I can recall only one relationship in which I trusted him not to cheat on me. I was 15 and it was my first love. Hardly anything to live by, considering I am now 29.
Since him, every single guy I have been with has cheated on me, or refused to be in a committed relationship so he can have other girls around him too.
But after one heartbreak too many I realised it was time I tried to understand why my relationships ended in the same way
16-18: Boyfriend one
Towards the end of our relationship, he told everyone he was single (he wasn’t) and we were over (we weren’t) and he went and got a whole other girlfriend whilst also telling me I could move in.
Found out about his double life as he turned up to the same club with her and blanked me the whole night.
19: Boyfriend two
Cheated with a fresher at university whilst I was on a family weekend in Paris. Found out as the girl fell over in front of me in a club, then stood up and told me she was seeing my boyfriend. Weird.
20-22: Boyfriend three
He cheated on me, proposed, then cheated a week after proposal too. For good measure I assume. Found out due to his sister logging into his Facebook account and showing me private messages
22-24: Boyfriend four
Refused to ever be in an ‘official’ relationship with me during our two-year relationship because, I was 95 per cent perfect but 5 per cent not what he wanted. He hooked up with another girl in his office because I wasn’t always ‘close by’. Direct quote.
Cheated with the girl before me and I found out the day after he tattooed my back via social media. She publicly tweeted me to let me know she’d been with my boyfriend three days earlier. Cool.
27: Boyfriend six
Only together for a couple of months…because I found out via Facebook that he was already in some committed relationship months before, when he met me and made me his girlfriend too. Okay mate.
28: Boyfriend seven
Cheated with two different girls. Took one on holiday, told me it was a lad’s trip. Found out about the other via personal email – it seems I’m easy to track down.
The worst betrayal was the proposal – I had no intention of getting married young but boyfriend seven proposed on my 21st birthday and I felt slightly compelled to say yes. I did think I loved him, so just figured it was a display of his affection and perhaps we’d have a long engagement. Quite the opposite actually…13 days in total it lasted.
Think I rival Paris Hilton in short engagement stakes. I found out through social media that he’d been sleeping with someone else for months, ergo, the proposal was out of guilt. Ouch.
Anyone who has been cheated on knows, it’s devastating. If you love someone and you find out they’ve slept with someone behind your back, it often feels like a punch to the chest. I am so used to that sick anxious feeling, I almost now expect it.
As I know how hurtful it can be, I refuse to do that to someone else. Especially someone I claim to love. But these guys, they just don’t care. Or maybe they think with their penis and then care after the little man has got his way. Who knows.
To say I’ve had a bad relationship run is an understatement. Each time, I have ignored the initial signs and given the man the benefit of the doubt.
I try my best never to paint them all with the same brush, convincing myself this new one is going to be different.
Nixalina was left heartbroken when at the age of 21, her husband-to-be cheated on her just a week after he popped the question
Yet I am constantly proven wrong. It’s a running joke with my friends that, with each new man, I will be all ‘smiles and sunshine’ telling them all these amazing things about him.
Then, at some point down the line, he’s done something that earns him knob status for life. Next guy comes along…smiles come back…you know the rest.
What also doesn’t make any sense to me, is that the majority of my exes were a mess after I left.
They’d beg me to stay with literal tears. I was suddenly the best girl they had ever met and they loved me more than life itself. So why does it have to take cheating and the reveal of the cheating for these men to realise their feelings?
Maybe it’s a case of the greener grass. Then once the grass at home takes a walk…well then they realise how super green it actually was.
Or maybe men have this knee jerk reaction to freak out a little once they’re in a committed relationship. Either way, it’s no excuse. And it’s by no means gender specific – I appreciate women can be similar, but I can only go on what I’ve personally experienced.
It’s not even an age attribute either. I’ve dated from 21 to 33…you’d expect the older man to be slightly more grounded and emphatic, but no. The recent guy was 32. He took TWO different women behind my back. As if one wasn’t enough of a kick to the face. How many vaginas do you actually need to satisfy your ego dude?
Surely, if I have been repeatedly cheated on, then I can spot the signs from a mile off by now, as well as the type of man who is more likely to be unfaithful? You’d like to think so. Yet I continue to fall for these guys who seem unable to be loyal. The saying goes: Shame on you if you fool me once, shame on me if you fool me twice. What happens when you get to double figures – how much shame do I take then?
I’m all for giving new people new chances, and I think it’s wrong to hold someone new, accountable for past pain and hurt.
However, there’s only so many times you can stick your fingers into a fire before you think…I’m not doing that again, I’ll just get burnt. The betrayals become more significant the more they happen, causing even more barriers to be put up. When your trust is repeatedly broken, you just stop trusting people. I’m like a fortress with a double padlock.
At some point, it’s got to be my fault. I am the common denominator after all. So either I am the world’s worst girlfriend (which is highly unlikely, given their sadness and tears after I leave) or I am attracted to the kind of man who cannot commit. Bingo.
In search of answers and an end to this destructive dating cycle, I had a chat with Petra Kreatschman, a qualified Love and Relationships Coach.
Petra has made it very clear that, whilst it isn’t my fault as such, I am certainly the one who allows such behaviour and who can amend the situation.
She begins to explain to me that ‘Most strong and accomplished women who struggle to find a partner deep down don’t think they deserve to be loved for who they are’.
So perhaps I am sourcing these kinds of men who don’t offer me respect, because deep down I feel like I don’t deserve their respect.
The most recent object of the brunette’s affection was a 32-year-old charmer who cheated with not one, but TWO different women behind her back
If this is the case, and I subconsciously feel like I’m not worthy of a decent man, then I must wonder why this is the case.
Is it because the men have cheated that I have developed this subconscious inferiority complex, or, do the men cheat on me because they can sense I have this inner quality where I don’t feel I deserve them? I have no idea. It’s the chicken or the egg scenario all over again.
When I spoke to Petra about it, she confirmed ‘Cheating – that one is a result of you not feeling good enough.
‘And since by now you’ve developed a fear you’ll get cheated on, you attract even more guys who are prone to it.’ So, it seems, cheating partners is a self-fulfilling prophecy. I think they all will, so I attract those who will.
Petra went on to pose me these two questions, and I’m afraid to say she may have hit the nail on the head: ‘Are you drawn to damaged/complex/mysterious characters because they seem deeper and more interesting than the regular guys?’ and then ‘Do you have a burning desire or inclination to save men from themselves? (heal their traumas, teach them how to love, help them overcome their issues).’
In all honesty, it’s a huge yes to both.
So, am I stuck in this vicious cycle forever? Well, it seems not. Petra has assured me; a change is round the corner. I can turn this around.
But it’s going to take a lot more than just dating different ‘types’ of men or trying to find a ‘nice’ guy. That’s superficial stuff that won’t stick. It’s going to take something stronger and more difficult…I’m going to have to look into myself.
Alter my own bad habits and negative opinions on what I have to offer. I’m going to have to learn that I am enough. It will be the hardest but most rewarding lesson I can master. Wish me luck