It’s 6 am. I have been staring at my laptop trying to figure out what to say about this for hours, but all I keep typing is, “I slept with someone’s boyfriend,” again and again. There are a million thoughts running through my head about it, but with no true direction.
To cover the basics: I don’t love him or even want him on an emotional level; it was not the first time, but it was the first time since he’s been in this relationship; I knew about her before it happened; they’ve been together two years; he has texted me since wanting it to happen again. So, based on that list of factors you can conclude that I am not free from any blame at all in this. I knew what I was doing. My only redeeming quality at this point is that I am sitting here typing this instead of on my way to stay with him right now like he wants.
Why are we so comfortable making reckless choices that will hurt others when we have all experienced that same pain on some level ourselves?
Before all of this happened, I had been investing my time and feelings in a guy I should not have, off and on, for about eight months. After eight months, it had reached the point where I was having panic attacks regularly and completely doubted everything in my life, from every relationship I had outside of him to my own self-worth. Finally, on St. Patrick’s Day I had the worst of all the panic attacks in the bathroom at a bar while out celebrating with friends. The following morning, I sobered up and spent my time reflecting on the day before, knowing it had reached the point where I could no longer allow myself to go back. I had grown accustomed to the feeling of someone repeatedly breaking my trust and knowingly hurting me, and I still cannot imagine any feeling worse than how I felt during those months.
Fast forward to one month later and here I am, in a hotel room at the beach with someone else’s boyfriend while she is only four floors above us. How could I do this? How could the same girl that was torn apart, crying on the floor a month ago over how someone was treating her so casually choose to do this knowing the people it would hurt? How could the same girl that said a thousand times, “I could never hurt anyone like that,” be choosing to do exactly that one month later?
I did not regret it during or after. I wanted to. I wish I had felt the weight of guilt on my chest, but I was fine and continued on with the day. I had the occasional bout of guilt over not feeling guilty during the following week, but never once guilt for the action itself. I even considered doing it again. As I previously stated, he expects me to be driving to his apartment to stay with him as I am typing this, so clearly the idea of it happening again has come up. And maybe this is my guilt showing. Maybe my choosing to take the time to write about all of this instead of eagerly hopping in my car to go stay with him is that little shred of guilt I’ve been looking for.
But, guilt or not, the question still remains: why are we so comfortable making reckless choices that will hurt others when we have all experienced that same pain on some level ourselves?
Do we value our pain more than the pain of others? I’m completely capable of sharing a friend’s pain when they come to me upset about anything, including being cheated on. So, if I know the pain of someone I care for betraying me and I am able to feel the pain of someone I care for being betrayed, then why would I not feel that same level of pain when I am taking part in the act of betraying someone?
Or does our overwhelming need to find something that makes us feel whole and loved and valued make us numb to the consequences of our actions?
I realize opening up about this doesn’t paint me in the best light, but I also believe it’s a position and feeling more people than you would think have experienced. If this is something you can relate to or have any insight on and you want to discuss it, I would love to hear your thoughts.