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Articles > Relationships August, 04, 2016

I Cheated On My Boyfriend And This Is What I Learned

Vicky Hunt
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The truth is, I cheated on my boyfriend – twice actually. Now, three years, a lot of heartache and several new relationships down the line, I can finally make sense of my thoughts and actions . . . and come to realise that I’ve learned a lot.

I cheated on my boyfriend - young teens kissing in bedroom

Photo by Darcy Adelaide

I still consider the person I cheated on my first love, and I can hear people saying, “Well, if you loved them you wouldn’t have cheated” . . . and maybe they’re right, but I think I was just too young to understand the meaning of a true and honest relationship. I was too scared of being committed to one person entirely at 17 – and, as much as I loved him, the fear of missing out on other things happening around me took over.

What I did really hurt my ex, but despite my behaviour he decided that he really wanted us to try and push past it. He said he forgave me, and we didn’t actually break up until almost 2 months later, but I’m sure me cheating contributed to our final breakup and it’s definitely something he remained bitter about for a long time.

I think he was most hurt because he couldn’t understand why I’d cheated, he felt it was because of him and something he lacked. He was hurt because I had broken the trust between us, and a relationship cannot survive without trust. Although I can’t say exactly how he felt, something he said 4 months after we broke up stuck with me:

“I miss us so much, and I get so sad, I cried again last night, it’s still all so raw for me. You can’t imagine what this feels like and I hope you never have to. I’m not trying to make you feel bad, just explain. To be cheated on by the person you love so much, and because you love them you take them back, again, and again but each time, you realise that they mustn’t really love you the way they say, or at least the way you loved them…”

We continued to talk nearly every day for almost a year post-breakup, and I had this pathetic hope that we’d get back together. I really believed we could still be good friends at least, but we were just making it harder for each other to move on. It took me almost 2 years to realise that any kind of relationship was impossible and that we were just hurting each other more by keeping in contact.

“Seeing how much I hurt my ex by cheating made me want to be a way better person – I don’t want to be someone whose actions hurt people”

I regret what I did because it hurt the person I loved most, but I spent so long beating myself up about it that I learnt a lot about relationships, and myself. Seeing how much I hurt my ex by cheating made me want to be a way better person – I don’t want to be someone whose actions hurt people.

I’ve learnt that it’s unfair to hold someone back by trying to maintain a relationship and make it go back to the way it was. I’ve learnt that you can still care about someone from a distance. However, if I could still learn everything that I have without having cheated, I would definitely go back and change what I did to save my ex from feeling horrible for so long.

Even three years on I still think about how much I regret hurting him, and being the reason he felt so sad for so long.

Each relationship is unique but my message to people who are cheating, or considering it, is this: think about how much you care about your relationship, and how much you want to keep it. If you don’t care, then leave; don’t string your partner along. You need to really think about whether it’s worth the pain and grief you’ll cause the other person, and whether you’ll be able to forgive yourself.

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  1. Manas Panditrao

    I think…That what you did was extremely wrong but having said that you realised your mistakes and worked on it which is good. Have you heard the thought Yesterday is a past, Tomorrow is a mystery but today is what you have in your hand and you can redesign your present by the choices you make to become an infinitely better person than yesterday

    • Lokman

      Sometimes it can make you a better person realising what you have done wrong. But this happened to me last September when I found out she was cheating on me for 2 years. I forgave her but 6 months later she still left me because she felt guilty

  2. kenan mccormack

    I think… love is a gift and a curse, with great power comes great responsibility

  3. Jonathan Grierson

    I think it’s amazing that she could learn from her mistakes. People always say “once a cheater, always a cheater”, but she proved that it is possible to better yourself. Being young can’t completely justify her actions, however, I do feel like young people are trying too hard to get into serious relationships when they should just sit back and try to prepare their life first. Overall It is this woman’s life and I’m glad she is doing what makes her happy as far as love and relationships go.

    • Victoria Hunt

      Thank you very much, it really is a reflective article – you’re right, if I could give advice to my younger self it would be to just stop panicking and let life do what it does 🙂

  4. Laura Cocker

    I completely relate to this. I cheated on my boyfriend and he could never forgive me, nor could I forgive myself. But more than a year later I have been cheated on by two other guys and realised how much it hurts. The saying ‘once a cheater, always a cheater’ does not apply to everyone. Most learn from their mistakes and try to move on and be better people

  5. Danielle Churchill

    I think… that people in relationships who cheat (albeit intentionally or accidentally) are endangering themselves as well as the person that they are in a relationship with. For me personally, cheating is not always kissing or having sex with someone else it is also feeling the need to hide certain conversations or emotions from your significant other because you are afraid as to what they will feel. Cheating can be emotional as well as physical

  6. Claire Feipel

    I quite understand you.. when I was with my first boyfriend I also cheated on him. I was 16 and drunk. I know it is NOT an excuse but I really did not realise what I was doing until I came back to reality. Then I stopped directly! I was so devastated and cried the rest of the night. To be honest, I never had the guts to tell him the truth.. even though he knows it because a guy told him what happened. We broke up after my misbehaviour.. he forgave me and wanted to get together again but I couldn’t because I was so ashamed… Until today I don’t know why I did it. I just know that if I could turn back time I would change it.
    If you really have the ‘desire’ to cheat because you think you would miss something or so, it isn’t true!! Speak with your partner and try to find a solution because in a relationship you should be honest with each other

  7. Stephanie Skeet

    I think…I admire your honesty and how well you’ve come to terms with what you did. You’re brave for telling your story but you learned from your mistakes and this article has given everyone something to learn about relationships.

  8. michelle

    I think…i feel cheated After 35 years of marriage my husband cheated on me, thanks to priest kala for helping me, he told me that he was no longer interested in marriage, I could not say what leads to this cause, we have never had a real fight that could lead to such a decision. I was much worse than I could not continue. One afternoon I was at home talking online with a close friend, reading an article, and seeing a comment on a married woman. It really struck me because I never thought it was possible, I thought and tried. So I did whatever he asked me and after the last seven days my husband came and asked me to forgive him that he wanted us to meet and that he now has more than five years. now we are a happy family. I am really grateful for this help for what it is for me, I mean her kindness. {Whatsapp {{ 17692085860}}}}}}}} :: :

  9. amy

    I think…you seem to have learned a lot from this which is what lifes about however i wouldnt expect people to forgive you for doing something like that because i wouldnt forgive someone that did that to me, however you were young, its over and done with and youve learned your lesson

  10. Sara Stewart

    I think.. That if you not willing to miss out the trivial things that single people do to be with the person you claim to love them your not mature enough to be in a relationship (no matter if your 15 or 45)

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  15. Lida Flintroy

    Right here is the perfect web site for everyone who wants to find out about this topic. You understand a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually will need to…HaHa). You definitely put a brand new spin on a subject that has been discussed for years. Excellent stuff, just excellent.

  16. ShirleyWood

    This happened on valentine’s day, I caught my husband with his ex wife at a dinner party in a restaurant in Cornwall, I cried home and almost hit a truck. I actually has concluded that we are done from this marriage, but I took a second thought when I got home, I REALIZED THAT IF i SHOULD LEAVE, THEN MY HUSBAND WOULD NOT HESITATE TO GET MARRIED BACK TO HIS EX WIFE.

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  18. HalfLeFT

    8 months go my partner of 12 years cheated on me 4 times over a month we have 3 children . I WAS (STILL AM HEART BROKEN) i was in the mindset we could get over it as i love her so much she is 15 years younger than myself and i have to understand she just does.nt know what she has done to us or how to even start to put things right we have been trying to talk she now feels like there has been to many questions and she cant handle it . the question are still there even 8 months later because i feel she has never really been 100% committed to talk or even make me feel like im the one she loves im not sure she can or even knows how to do this
    do i keep trying and wait for her? i still love her and do want to be with her but im struggling to cope while she is not being 100% for us and me ,,

  19. Matthew Gonzalez

    I think… that if my partner cheated on me twice i wouldnt forgive her because that means shes taking your relationship as a joke and she doesnt really love you and she loves someone else.

  20. HARSH GUPTA

    You made a mistake but at this age its not easy to judge whether it’s right or wrong. However now you know to stay in a relationship and base it on love and don’t let him down next time. Now its your turn to prove to him that you are worthy of this relationship

  21. Haidarah Alkade

    We have to differentiate between love and marriage
    Even if love is sincere but temporary
    Marriages can choose the right person

  22. Rebecca Siddall

    I think… I HATE to say it but this is exactly like me, you feel like you want to justify what you did but you’re never quite sure how.

  23. Dan Goddard

    I think… Love is a very difficult thing and takes a lot of heartache to get right.

  24. Nida Rouf

    it’s sad that it took you going through that to realise what you wanted, but it can only make you learn from your mistakes and find someone who you won’t be hurting in the same way. Everyone gets cheated on these days and many people do not seem to learn. Instead they continue to hurt others, forgetting they’re also hurting themselves in the long run.

  25. Sharna Luscombe

    I think…that no matter what someone is always gonna get hurt when there is lies involved, love is complicated enough..don’t add more stress

  26. Raffaellino Martinez

    The ending was the icing to the cake, your so right at the end of the day your sometimes have to hurt people you love or even your self to realize things. Your not going to know if that needle is sharp if you don’t touch it.

  27. Carl Gordon

    If you want an open relationship make that clear and it will be better for everyone. If you’re not ready to be in a serious relationship MAKE THAT CLEAR and it will be better for everyone. If you have the urge to cheat why not tell the other person? Why not break up? If you love someone and you know that with all certainty you will not want to be with anyone else. Therefore you won’t cheat. How can you say you love someone and then do something so intimate with another person? (Not only that, cheating could not only cause mental harm but physical harm to the person you “love” I have known people that cheated and caught diseases and then had sex with their partners and transmitted said desease)
    . Also if you cheat on someone twice that’s not a mistake. You hurt them once and them later willingly chose to do it again…

    • Victoria Hunt

      Hey Carl,
      I definitely agree you should be honest and make it clear exactly what it is you want from someone in a relationship! I can’t speak for other people but the problem for me personally was that I never knew what I wanted, probably because it was my first serious relationship. Another thing for me personally was that I never felt confident/brave enough to say no – so I’d find myself in those kind of situations again and again and I wouldn’t know how to get out of them so I’d just go along with it, I know that sounds ridiculous but that’s another thing I’ve learnt – how to say no, and be able to get out of those kinds of situations. Also, you can only endanger someone physically if you cheat by sleeping with someone else! I cheated through kissing someone else, so that rules out the physical endangering for me.

  28. Hazehra Khatun

    I think… its like when you love God but you still sin – you can love your boyfriend but still cheat. Its just how we’re biologically wired.

  29. Casey Norton

    I’m 16 and I’ve been with my boyfriend for over a year and I would never even imagine doing that to him, it could destroy people

  30. Cliffstan Nnaji Obijiaku

    I think…that cheating does not necessarily mean that you do not love your partner. Of course the assumption here is that if ever it should happen it should not be on purpose

  31. Queen A

    I think… u deserve it but think about it, if its happen to you would you do the same?. Maybe you’re just thrilled by the thought of two guys in your life.

  32. David Diamond

    This happened to me around last year just before university. It was the worst feeling ever and I didn’t think I could ever trust her again. We did get back together and all of that but I just didn’t feel the same, I can say I miss her but I could never feel the love that was once there as of what happened. I am young and we have been apart for almost 8 months now and I can honestly say it was for the best. I will always be grateful and maybe feel a little sad but ending it made my life a lot better. Especially now I feel great about myself.

  33. Chantelle Hall

    I think that if you really love someone you wouldnt want to hurt them on purpose or not

  34. Daniel Hulme

    I think… that if you love someone you love them. Age is just a number and if you love someone you aren’t going to miss out on anything that single people get because you have a life long partner. UCAS have started sending out leaflets saying don’t take a childhood girlfriend or boyfriend to university at 18 but if you have been with them for a while and know you love them then why just suddenly let them go. There is never any excuse for cheating except the fact you just don’t love who you are wth anymore.

  35. gareth lewis

    I think… love is a hard uncontrollable feeling that hurt millions each day. I think everything happens for a reason and sometimes it hurts the ones you love the most. However, you will never be the first or last person to cheat and really you should never deny it and try find out why you did. from my experience I could never do it but I can also see why people do despite the fact it’s not morally right it could be right for you! Make sure you do what is best for you no one else!

  36. Ellen Clarkson

    Agree

  37. Georgia Spencer

    I just don’t see how anyone justifies a one night stand to be worth someone who could potentially love you forever.
    If you want to be with another then let your partner know, let them find someone that will equally love them back. Don’t be selfish and keep them all to yourself, you would have created an entirety of torment for that person as their mind would never be at ease, if you go out without them all that would be on their mind is who else could you be with.
    If you truly love someone you couldn’t possibly go with another.

  38. Mihail Dujenchi

    I think… partners just should never give a second chance to one another. It doesn’t matter how immature you are/were, if you know you have a bf and still think of another guy.. that isn’t love, it’s just teasing.. So why not making things clear and break up before breaking a heart?

  39. Georgia

    I think…you can, if you love someone you can forgive them for one mistake but if they do it again then no

    • Jade Garbett

      Georgia, I can understand where you are coming from, but to me cheating is not a mistake. It’s not excusable or accidental. You made a conscientious choice to abuse the trust of your partner and sleep with someone else.

      Speaking as someone who has been cheated on, I can’t forgive it once. If someone can abuse that trust once and see you take them back, they’ll do it again knowing that you’ll come right back to them.

      • Victoria Hunt

        But then where do you draw the line? Sleeping with someone or kissing them, or as said by someone else emotionally cheating (hiding messages etc) it’s all cheating, isn’t it? I never slept with anyone when I cheated, it was a kiss but I felt awful all the same. I’ve been cheated on as well, and chose to not forgive them as I didn’t trust them as a person… not sure how I would feel if it happened with someone else though.

  40. Nadia Esmaeil

    It’s good that you have learnt and taken responsibility for what u did. One thing people need to understand is that cheating is a choice not a mistake so whatever u did it’s cuz u wanted to do it at that time, but now u know better

  41. MaxJ

    When my girlfriend first went to university, she would hide conversations and become very secretive during and after freshers week. She said to me several times that nothing was wrong, she’s making friends, and she loves me unconditionally and couldn’t imagine doing anything to hurt me. One night she stayed out all night and came home in the afternoon the following day, saying she wasn’t sure if she wanted to be with me or not, not because she’s cheated on me but because she’s ‘rethinking things’. It later turns out she did cheat on me, only because I found out she slept with people without protection and they were worried so they’d message her about it. I even confronted her without her knowing that I knew about this, and she denied cheating. The point is cheating creates a whirlwind of lies and deception and pushes it into the mind of someone you care about, and it really does destroy you! I’m posting this for the reason that, I am going to university away from our hometown, and question myself wether I should be with her or not. Am I a fool for taking her back? I can’t even answer the question myself, and constantly trying to decide wether it’s best for us both to not struggle with a long term relationship that I expect will essentially have no trust…

  42. Ali Khan

    He here you guys are going on about your bf/gf. And im here like damn ive been single for 18years. I guess thats how ive prefered it. Being single is great and no stress

  43. laura davies

    I think…cheating is wrong no matter the circumstances

  44. Diamond Thomas

    Cheating is wrong end of …

  45. Jake Powditch

    there is no reason to cheat on anyone its an excuse for immature people to reassure themselves and try not to make themselves feel bad

  46. Allison Dawson

    I would NEVER take back someone who cheated on me, it is honestly the worst breakage of trust you can do to a person, i’ve been cheated on by the same person twice! because I was too naive and stupidly took them back after the first time thinking it was a one off. Unfortunately once a cheater always a cheater! The way it makes you feel is truly horrendous, I felt used, worthless and unlovable! it really broke me and it was a long time until I could trust anybody again.

    I never understand cheating. If you are unhappy talk it through or leave! if there is someone else, leave! it hurts less and it’s more honest.

  47. Nabila Zachary

    I think…you shouldn’t take them back

  48. Jack

    I understand completely your reasons for cheating, even though it is a HORRIBLE thing to do to someone… I feel the same way you said you felt. I’m 19 and have loved my current partner for as long as i can remember, yet i still sometimes feel that i’m missing out, or WILL miss out 20 years down the line when i’ve still only really had 1 woman, 1 relationship… And it makes it so much harder that she had a pretty serious boyfriend before me… Im still struggling with these thoughts and desperately trying to wrestle these pangs of infidelity out of my mind but with the circumstances being as they are… All i can think is that my relationship may go the same way as yours… And i know to that people will say “well break up with her now before it gets any worse and save both of you the trouble” but that’s not really an option.. We live together at university, we love each other very much, at least im pretty sure i do… And i know that it would absolutely crush her if i broke up with her, purely for something stupid and seemingly insignificant as “more sexual partners while im young”. I have very conflicting views on cheating, on the one hand i despise it and could never forgive someone for doing it to me, and yet on the other im considering doing it in secret so as to relinquish and feelings of regret, and not let her find out… Some un-biased advice would be greatly appreciated

    • Anon

      I know exactly how you feel. I was with someone that (might have possibly been) the love of my life. I had been with him for 4 years by the age of 21, and there was always a part of me that wanted to date others, see what was out there. But I also loved him dearly – my whole family knew him and loved him. I have to admit that these conflicting feelings made me resent him and myself. I had to weigh up if losing someone who is potentially the love of my life, is going to be worth it in order to be free, young and be able to do what ever it is that i want. I decided to end things – and it was the hardest thing i ever had to do. I wasn’t able to let go for ages, and now 3 years on it still gives me anxiety.

      I lived my single life and for a long time, i was so happy and excited about the future. But he got into a relationship with a REALLY hot girl pretty soon after. (That never helps!) I lost him for good – there really was no going back.

      If you can’t stand the thought that you could lose her forever, for good, then don’t do it. In my case – I always knew there were issues of compatibility, so i had other reasons for leaving. But if you also need to get this curiosity dealt with, (is it something that might disappear for a year but keep coming back year after year? 10 years? When you’re 50? ) then you need to leave. There are millions of fish in the sea! And there isn’t just one great person out there – there are tonnes.

      But if you take away anything from this, it should be this – stop thinking that ‘what’s mean to be will be’. That’s bullshit. Someone you love can happily move on the moment they find someone who can do your job but better. Someone who won’t have doubts. If you want someone – GO AND GET THEM AND KEEP THEM!

    • Victoria Hunt

      Hey Jack, I completely get what you’re saying – it’s understandable, and normal, that you’re gonna have those kind of thoughts. The thing I’m thinking is that if you were to try something with someone else, you wouldn’t have the same connection as you do with your girlfriend now and in turn you wouldn’t enjoy the experience as much – regardless of cheating or not, anything you do won’t be enjoyable if you don’t connect on some level so cheating for the sake of seeing what other people are like isn’t going to be enjoyable – and whether you tell your girlfriend or not, you’ll still feel regret. Also, whether you’re 19 or 54 you can definitely have the same sexual experiences you’re having now – so if for some reason this relationship doesn’t work out, you’ll still have time to experience other sexual partners. However, from what you’ve said it seems like you’re scared of hurting her feelings more than anything… remember that your happiness is most important in your life 🙂