The question, “Why do people cheat?”, is so common I’m rewording it. I understand the top reasons why they do but I really need to know why they can’t. Are their families or partners not enough reason not to? Do they think of their children, of the people that will be affected, of the consequences should it be revealed? Does karma’s and conscience’s font sizes in their dictionaries not big enough? How big is temptation’s and temporary pleasure’s then?
I have a confession to make. I’ve dealt with cheating three times in my life already in my 22 years of existence. I haven’t even had a boyfriend, just so you know.
ONE.. But not the first. In an almost relationship, I found out just when I was so ready to tell my parents I want to say yes and be with him regardless of their response. I was very prepared to face the pressures from academics and my relatives along with it. All the time he was courting me, he was trying to get back with his ex-girlfriend. With each day I spent with him, which was almost everyday, they also spent time together. He either visited me first or last. Bravo, right? I was fortunate enough to hit my head onto a rock right before I did something I will only have regretted. Thank goodness I have guy friends who found out and informed my girl friends right away.
TWO.. The most devastating moment of my life (until last week). I was in 2nd or 3rd year. I had the instinct to check my mom’s phone one morning when everyone was still asleep. I read all the saved messages from and to her other man, who happened to be the most caring godfather of mine and her almost lover back in the day. I broke down in the bathroom for an hour, prepared to face the problem thru writing in a notebook, entrusted everything to the Lord who was the only one I spoke to about it until later when I told my former Closest guy Friend, lowkey asked for my batchmates’ prayers during retreat, spoke and printed messages to her, received her apologies and mocking of my plans, and am keeping it to myself until now to protect my sisters and father whom I love so dearly. All these happened when I was an innocent, quiet, fragile yet courageous 14-15 year-old.
THREE.. Now, the worst of the worst. I’ve been my daddy’s girl ever since. I’m the eldest of 3 girls. I’m my mother’s stronghold. Not many months ago, he finally created a Facebook account. He found his Bicol batchmates from elementary to high school, spoke to and talked about them often, even teased mom about his exes and crushes he’s having updates already. Every time mom begins to act all jealous over petty things such as that, I unwittingly answer back and easily gets pissed. I hated how mommy jokes and thinks about daddy having an affair. I’ve always know he would never do that, plus the hidden fact that it was she who’s had the guts to.
I started noticing the changes just a few weeks back. He’s always wearing his earphones, holding his phone near even when sleeping, staying in the car moments after we arrive home. Mommy noticed, too. She’s half-teasing half-pissed that daddy wants to go to the dermatologist, was buying skin care products, opened our group chat less and less, replied to our messages fewer as days pass.
One night when he was asleep and had his earphones on, I had, again, the urge to check a phone. His was upside down. I took it and saw a woman’s name, with an ongoing call that has been on for long already. I realized I was right. I realized that all this time he was wearing his earphones when he’s fetching me, she was listening in on our father-daughter conversations. I ran to the living room and gasped for air. I tiptoed back and ended the call before running to the kitchen. His phone rang. He woke up to accept the call and went back to snoring. So she’s addicted to the sound of it? I tweeted this right away in the middle of tears:
Girls’ gut feelings are never wrong. I hate that it’s never wrong. Why do I have to be right all along? 🔪
My world crushed. I’ve always believed in him. I’ve always believed in the good of the world because of him. I’ve always trusted in the good in people because of my parents. I’ve easily let go of #1 and haven’t had trust issues with boys because of him. I optimistically didn’t generalize men to all be cheaters because of him. I kept #2’s affair from him all these years because I would hate to see him hurt and our family to break because of the pain it may cause them. I chose to silently be tortured for it and let him be innocently happy. How can he do this to us? The innocent version of me somehow always disliked Tay’s song, Mine, because I believed I couldn’t ever relate to this lines:
Flash forward and we’re taking on the world together
There’s a drawer of my things at your place
You learn my secrets and figure out why I’m guarded
You say we’ll never make my parents’ mistakes
Again, I choose to keep my silence. Again, I choose to speak only to the Lord God about this. Again, I’m not acting on my emotions and planning so hard on what I will do. This has happened before. My younger self was brave enough to face this. Again, I’ll get through it. Tomorrow, I will let him know.
I, deep down, have never forgiven the first and second persons. What about him? What more when it comes to him? Why can’t they not cheat? Answer me.