But this might.
The biggest mistake that you can make after experiencing romantic betrayal is believing that it’s about you. We make the act more painful by taking it personally. By telling ourselves that a partner’s infidelity is the result of our lacking in some area or them not caring for us as they should, we take on undue responsibility and unjust agony.
Our biggest mistake in any relationship, with anyone, is believing that we wield more influence than we do over their actions.
First thoughts and even spoken words after a partner has cheated are usually similar to:
How could you do this to ME?
I thought you loved ME.
If you loved ME you wouldn’t have.
What does he/she have that I don’t?
Are you trying to hurt ME?
It’s all about us, seldom about them. That’s because our minds are trained to believe that fidelity and loyalty are birthed from love, when these states could each be mutually exclusive. We think that if a person loves us enough and we meet all of their needs, they won’t seek the intimate company of another.
Just the same, I’ve seen those who’ve cheated grow annoyed (as though they have the right) with the idea that they did it to intentionally hurt someone. Because oftentimes, as difficult as it may be to believe, they didn’t. The person whom they love isn’t on their minds when with someone else — though perhaps they should be.
Love is love. Sex is sex. Emotional affairs are something different but in those that are purely physical, these two elements rarely intersect. That doesn’t make the cheating meaningless and therefore more acceptable, but it does make the behavior less about the presence or absence of love — and consequently, less about you.
I’ve known those who love their partners beyond measure, yet still cheated. They feel bad for breaking their vows and potentially hurting the person that they love but do it anyway. Sometimes the betrayal is made known, other times partners are kept in the dark — but the offender doesn’t claim or appear to love them…