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Dealing with breakup after infidelity is much harder

Every breakup is hard, you go through different stages of grief and pain before you can heal and leave things behind you. But recovering from a breakup with a person that was never yours, to begin with, is even harder. Let me explain why.

Returning visitors have followed my first steps in the Mexican dating scene. Walking on eggshells not to break your own heart. For dating in a land of macho men that all think they are God’s personal gift to women and in a culture where a second wife is a normality rather than an exception is very hard. Especially when you have no aspirations to be a second wife or a side chick.

So when I found out that after careful selection I still fell into the trap of word games and vague avoidance of a guy in another relationship with at least 1 woman, I broke up with him without even blinking an eye. I never had any aspirations to be a mistress, a second, a side chick. 

And besides me wanting to be a mistress or not, he knew my rules, my principles and he agreed on them, he promised me exclusiveness and monogamy. The only thing he forgot to mention was that he was in a relationship. Even when I asked him directly if I was the only girlfriend in his life, he lied straight to my face. He totally disrespected me and used me for his own needs. 

He was out of my life the moment I found out about his relationship with the other woman. I did not even feel the need for closure. I was over and done with him.

And even though I broke up with him, in full rage and anger, I struggle with the breakup. It is hard. And here is why:

Not only do I have to accept that the relationship came to an abrupt halt, but I also have to let go of that what I thought that was: A man madly in love with me loving me to pieces and all the illusion he created around “us”, and “us” that had no right of existence according to my integrity.

And probably he knew he was playing with fire as well, otherwise, he would have come clean, like so many of his fellow country-men do when we start chatting. Most do confess they have a wife, girlfriend or fiancée, on the other side of the country, leaving me with the choice to be a side chick or not.

That is honesty. And I have to accept the fact that not even that honesty, that choice wasn’t granted to me.

I lived for 3 months in an absolute lie

So besides picking up my old routines and breaking with habits that I enjoyed so much of good morning text and late-night phone calls, which is hard enough as it is, I also have to live with the fact that I have to say goodbye to the man that never existed. The relationship that never existed and the promised future that would have never become reality ever, not even if we had stayed together longer. For I was not his first, I was the side chick, the second woman, the mistake.

I thought he was decent, honest, sincere. I accepted him in my house and invited him into my life and social media, only to find out he was a fraud, a liar, a cheater.
And now I have to come to terms with that also.

I have to come to terms with the fact I dated a man I never really knew. I cannot believe a word he spoke to me and he is a total stranger to me. I was fooled and totally disrespected, I have to come to terms with that.

Jeanette Slagt on leaving Holland

Breaking up under these circumstances is totally different from any other breakup

When your guy leaves you, or you break up with him because the love is gone, or whatever reason, you say goodbye to memories and good times together. For me, every “good memory” has a bitter taste, for it was a fantasy.

You will recall your ex as a man who……and then you can fill in a blanc, I cannot recall anything for I am not even sure that the man that was around was the man he really is. For he was constantly avoiding, hiding, and lying.

So who was that man in my house? In my bed?

Who was that man holding my hand, telling me he loved me, taking selfies with me he did not want to post on social media, and who was that man that gave me the nice bits of his food?
I have no clue.

I deal with a lot of confusion, pain, and anger. But also shame, embarrassment, self-doubt, and humiliation. And those feelings are intense.

The experience has undermined my ability to trust, the saddest thing in my situation is that I told him about past experiences with trust and infidelity, he even offered to help me fix that, and here he was. How can I ever trust anyone again after this?

buiten de boot vallen in Nederland

I have to stick to my decision

Now that I finally have decided that this non-existing relationship is over for me, and I ended it with him, I have to stick to my decision. Even though he promised to do better and try to be monogamous, I have decided he and I cannot be together.

He disrespected me, and I cannot love a person that does not value me.

The person he was and still is has broken my trust, and he does not show any remorse or eagerness to prove he will change.

Standing firm in this choice will hopefully help me to get over him and this soon.

love or stockholm syndrome

Lucky for me it did not last long, my gut feeling made over time from day 1

Lucky for me this whole drama came to a halt within 3 weeks after our real-life meeting. Due to COVID lockdown, we chatted for 2 months prior. It is the real-time meetings where my gut feeling started warning me. t

During the first meeting, we had before the lockdown started, and immediately after our first date I wrote in my diary: Something is off……..but because of my own trust issues, I wanted to be sure it was him and not me boycotting something with good potential.

So I can draw strength from the fact that I did listen to my gut feeling and I got out in time. Minimizing the risk of permanent scars that infidelity can inflict on a person cheated on.

If you do have to end a relationship a lot further down the road because your partner cheated on you it might be even more difficult. Besides all the stages of a regular breakup

  • denial and disbelieve
  • desperate for answers
  • anger
  • acceptance
  • healing

You also have to deal with the fact that

  • you love a man that never existed
  • you were in a relationship that had no value
  • you lived in a lie
  • you were disrespected

For let’s be honest, if he gave you the choice upfront to be with him knowing he was never yours, to begin with, would you have gotten involved with him?