This week I talk to a woman whose unfaithfulness ended her three-year relationship. She talks about why she did, her regrets and lessons learned.
How long were you in a relationship?
A little over three years. Three good years. Even at the very end, there was no bitterness, just sadness.
How’d you meet?
We were really close friends. I’ve known him since secondary school. He had just gotten out of a nasty relationship, I was in a ‘fuck all men’ phase. And we just started leaning on each other more. Eventually, we decided to explore the romantic angle of our ‘friendship’. So no sparks flew or anything, it was just a natural progression.
How’d the relationship go?
Oh man. It was great you know. Like really good. I don’t know if we ever had a honeymoon phase because of the way our relationship started but it was nice. The first year, we were inseparable. We were that annoying couple that turned up everywhere together even though it was only one person who was invited. Then towards the end of the second year, he had to travel for his master’s. But we wanted to be together so we tried the long distance thing.
Was it hard?
It was incredibly hard. A whole lot harder than I thought it’d be. How do you go from seeing someone every day to not at all? Our lives had become so surprisingly intertwined. I’d find myself doing activities we’d usually do together alone and it made me really sad. Even though we talked every day it felt like I had lost him.
How was he handling it?
He seemed good. Or maybe he was just focused on cheering me up because no day would pass without me whining about how much I wanted him to come back. They were more than a couple of teary FaceTime calls, with all the tears from me. But he seemed genuinely good, happy sef.
The first time you cheated?
Does it count as multiple times if it’s with the same person? It was with a mutual friend, who was more my friend than his. It didn’t happen all at once. There was an accidental kiss when he dropped me at home once. Another one when he had just moved apartments and I went to check out his place. That one somehow ended with both of us in bed.
Was that the only time?
No. No it wasn’t. I first formed, ‘this is a huge mistake’ ‘we should never do this again’ ‘I can’t believe I did this’, the usual. Well I guess it wasn’t forming because those were truly the feelings I was experiencing. But we moved in the same small circle and I saw him all the time. It just felt like what’s the point you know. It’s the same person, one time or multiple times doesn’t change the fact that it happened.
And how did it happen?
How else do these things happen, by being short-sighted and foolish? It’s funny how this was like two or three months before Daye* was supposed to come back. Apart from one December visit we had done the long distance thing for eleven months.
How’d it make you feel?
The first couple of weeks I felt nothing but excitement. It was new it was illicit, I really felt like a bad bitch juggling two ‘relationships’.
It would bubble up now and then. But it was so easy to push it back down. I didn’t even try to justify it, anytime I started to think about the fact that what I was doing was wrong, I just shut those feelings out. When I was talking with Daye I was a completely different person. I was the doting, loving girlfriend and I just didn’t think of Femi*. And when I was with Femi I was this free-spirited person having fun, I wasn’t in a relationship or cheating, I was just you know, chilling. Of course one of us being a whole continent away helped.
Did Femi* know you were in a relationship?
Yeah, he did. He was my ‘confidant’ at first. I was talking to him about all my fears about my relationship not surviving the long distance thing. Ironically, we also talked about me being afraid Daye will end up cheating on me. Lol. One or two phone calls a week became every day phone calls. We worked in the same area so we’d jam after work. And well na from clap dance they start.
How long did it last?
About two months. Up until Daye came back.
How’d Daye find out?
I told him. It’s a whole lot easier to lie to someone over the phone than to their face. I had actually stopped seeing Femi about two weeks before he came back. Completely cut off contact with him even blocked his number. But when Daye came back he kept on going on and on about how something with me was off. In my head, I was just like ‘shit shit shit he knows’. I confessed in a week.
How did he handle it?
Jesus. He was devastated. The person he had dated before me also cheated and in the messiest way too. When we started dating, we’d talk about how we knew each other too well to be blindsided by that sort of thing. He didn’t break things off immediately. I begged for a second chance and he agreed. Lol, this was crying and rolling on the floor kind of begging. I think he just took pity on me. And it just really says a lot about the kind of person he is. Through his own hurt and anger, he was still thinking about me. Man, I fucked up. Anyway, we limped through another month and a half of the relationship. But it just wasn’t working. He didn’t trust me, I think a little part of him had even started to resent me. So he broke it off again so we could at least save our friendship. Which is funny because we don’t talk anymore.
Why’d you do it?
I can’t say I didn’t mean to. I knew exactly was I was doing. I was lonely. I was just really lonely and craving physical attention. I was young and stupid too.
What do you regret?
Lol, asides fucking doing it? Not ending the relationship when he travelled. I mean we were friends before we started dating. I just think if we had put a pause on it or something then we might have ended up back together. Now it’ll never happen. I don’t think he could ever trust me again and I don’t blame him.
*names have been changed.