What men can learn from being cheated on

So I am sitting in a bar last Friday night having a chat with an old friend. We’re catching up on what’s been happening in each other’s lives and he tells me that he and his wife are seperating. 

How come? I ask. 

‘She cheated on me’ comes the reply.

What did you do? I asked him.

‘Beat the shit out of the guy’ he replied nonchalantly. 

I looked at him and replied, deadpan, ‘So how did that work out for you?’

Turns out that he blamed the other guy, someone he never really knew for the reason he was leaving his wife. I heard the classic excuses, ‘you don’t fuck another man’s wife’, ‘He should know better’, ‘She should have spoken to me’. The list was endless and his rant lasted a good 20 minutes. At the end of it I looked at him. He sipped his drink and returned my gaze.

‘What?’ he asked.

‘So what didn’t you do?’

This friend of mine failed to see through his red mist and sheer stubbornness that the failure of his relationship was his fault and his alone. He couldn’t be with the fact that it may have had something to do with him and so he avoided it like the plague. He hadn’t listened to what his woman wanted or needed. He hadn’t taken her seriously throughout the relationship. And finally it came out that he hadn’t been totally honest about his feelings in the relationship either. Let’s face it – if a man comes up to you in the desert, he is bedraggled, starving and in need of some water and asks you for it, the logical response is you give him some water. Clear. If you ignore then walk away from him what kind of person does that make you?

Guys, in a relationship, if your woman says she needs to talk more or see more of you it’s because that’s what she wants and cares enough about you and the relationship to communicate that to you. At that moment you have a choice. Give her what she wants or don’t. With both outcomes there are consequences. Some better than others. Know this though, what you don’t do is ignore her request and then blame someone else down the line for what you failed to do.

Women, the same applies to you. If your man cheats on you, don’t have a brawl with the other woman on the high street. Apart from embarrassing yourself and her, it’s petty and just plain stupid. It is not HER fault that YOUR man sought the refuge of her female kindness. Rather it points out that perhaps your ‘kindness’ wasn’t so kind and if not, why not. Check yourself. Whatever the reason, the first place to start looking is in the mirror.

Now, I write this not to suggest that infidelity is right. We’ve been there before. It happens. Get over it. This is more about what to do if you are the ‘victim’ of it. Life is a journey and that journey looks different for each of us. One thing we have to do though is recognise those things that happen that present us with a teachable moment – a chance to learn something valuable about ourselves and life. 

If you lose your woman, look at what was missing from you and put that into your next relationship. Next time you see the guy who did your wife/girlfriend, buy him a drink and thank him. No, really – say thank you. Maybe even touch fists and if you’re really going for it ask him what got her off, and take notes! If anything he did you a favour and you can learn something from him. Ladies, when you come across that ‘heifer that stole your man’, take her shopping, swap notes, get matching tattoos, whatever! But thank her for showing you something you hadn’t seen before. 

Just think, if we could all just take things on as and when they happen and look at ourselves in the bargain, how great could this world and our relationships be? In life we embark on a series of relationships some personal, some professional, some short, some long. Each relationship we enter is an opportunity to learn and experience growth. 

Even when a relationship doesn’t last as long as you wanted it to or isn’t all you hoped it would be, the learning is yours to keep. No one can take that away, it’s a gift that you get to take with you into future situations so that you do better next time.  Appreciate that and you will never again have to beat yourself up (or anyone else for that matter) about a failed relationship. It may have ended  for whatever reason but if you’re willing to open your eyes and heart on the way out, the lessons you find are priceless.

Join the conversation and post a comment.


12 Responses to “What men can learn from being cheated on”

  1. Prekosifa Says:

    No that’s not cheating!!

  2. Joey Jay, Pain is a non-negotiable part of the human experience. None of us are responsible for protecting others from pain. People will always label us. It doesn’t mean anything and it doesn’t mean we have to lie our way out of any situation to avoid being labelled. Thanks for making some great points on an interesting issue.

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