It seems every month, week, or even day I learn something new about myself that I have to deal with. Another repercussion that I didn't even know I had.
When you've been cheated on, it changes you dramatically. I managed to make it through my whole high school and college dating life having only dated boys that were true to me - of course this is just to the best of my knowledge. So I was able to go into my marriage completely trusting and confident that my 'happily ever after' was going to happen. I had no reason to think otherwise.
But in 2010 my life changed. My cookie cutter world was flipped upside down. Within a two month period my house burned and my husband started an affair that would lead to our divorce. My faith in God grew, and my trust in the world took a plunge.
You would think that the only repercussion from all that would be trust, but it's not. Being cheated on is a blow to your entire mental state. The effect it's had on me is complicated, and I'm finding hidden layers of issues that I didn't know were even there. Thankfully, my trust is returning. The hit to my self esteem is getting better. But I've found a new layer. I'm realizing the mindset you have while being suspicious of an affair will change the way your mind responds to certain things. When I hear of a friend's husband going out of town - for any reason - my first thought is automatically "he's having an affair". When I hear of a husband being insensitive to his wife, I think it's because his affections lie with his mistress. When I notice any out of the ordinary behavior, I automatically think the absolute worst possible thing.... and I hate it so much. I hate thinking the worst. I want to scream and pull my hair out every time this happens.
I never used to be like this. I've always been optimistic, and even naïve to an extent. Some people think it's a bad thing to be naïve, but I have to disagree. When the opposite of naïve is jumping to conclusions that aren't even there, I'll take naïve any old day. I'd rather live in a state of blissful trust - and pray that everything is ok - than to constantly be looking over my shoulder, and questioning every motive. I just want to be back in my sheltered, naïve world where I don't know just how bad the world can really be. I want to trust with my whole heart, and not over-think every action till it becomes a motive for evil in my mind.
I realized soon after the divorce that if I were to ever re-marry it would have to be to someone that has been through what I've been through. Someone who has known the pain of an affair. If I were to marry someone who has never been cheated on, they would never understand the emotions that come with it. The perfect person for me would know what I've been through, and know how to calm my fears, ease my anxieties, and not get mad at me for questioning things.
And the best part is that the Lord knew who I would need long before I did.