I’m That Girl, So Sue Me: Cheating And The Bear Trap

Q. So I slept with a guy from work who has a girlfriend, yeah I know, I’m that girl so sue me, but I want to know what to do now. He’s obviously a jerk but all I want from him is sex. I want him because the sex is good and it’s kinky and I trust him even though he’s cheating on his GF with me. The problem is he’s so hot and cold with me. One minute he’s flirting and all is well and then next he’s a total douche. He broke our date to do it at my house and hasn’t brought up sex again. He ignores trivial texts I send. Ok… so if I wanna kept getting bonked how do I go about getting more of that and if I wanna ignore and discard him how do I go about that fashionably? I know how it sounds…

A. If you know how it sounds, then why ask me?

If you are that girl (so sue me), then why ask me?

He’s an obvious jerk, so why ask me?

He ignores trivial texts I send. So again, why ask me?

You know the answer to your question. I think you are just afraid to say it. I don’t blame you.

People cheat for all sorts of reasons, and I refuse to make value judgments about cheating. It’s too easy to say straight up, “It is always wrong.” I certainly don’t validate cheating, but I don’t condemn it either. Cheating comes from people feeling as if they are trapped, entitled, and just can. Cheating is not the same as non-monogamy. Cheating is a combination of secretive, shameful, and apathetic , a type of behavior that is somewhere between “fuck it” and “hope no one finds out.” Cheating is going back on the type of agreement you made for your relationship. Cheating is usually a last ditch attempt. Above all, cheating is human. Cheating is a trap we set for ourselves, and then wonder with incredulousness how we got our foot stuck in a bear trap.

You my dear, you have your foot caught in the bear trap.

While I tend to stay away from making general statements in regards to X-type of behavior, I will say that if one of the reasons why cheating holds such a reputation is because of the distrust and violation of a said agreement. Not because monogamy, that sometimes impossible act of will we hold onto so very tightly was broken, but because trust was broken. Trust was misused. This applies in any sort of relationship when cheating occurs, where relationships can be monogamous, kind of monogamous, or just going outside the rules that two people have put up for the union and ultimately, the value of their primary partner. Now, that being said, are you so surprised that this guy is pulling the same sketchy behavior on you that he may be pulling on his partner, whether she is aware of it or not? I don’t think you are dear reader, in fact, I think it backs up a lot of what you are feeling right now.

You say he is cheating on his girlfriend, but you trust him – why? What is the reason he has given you to trust him? That you are on a similar sexual level? That he keeps ditching you? That he ignores your text so that maybe his girlfriend won’t find out? That he can be hot and cold with you, maybe because it is part of his personality or maybe because that type of consistent auditioning for a sexual interest can keep a sane person feeling more insecure than they ever have before, thus not as likely to rock the boat? What is the rock on which you base the trust you have placed in this person who you are seeking for sex? Trust is a heavy word, one that I don’t necessarily believe you when you say it. I believe that it may be easy, accessible, and perhaps, once reliable. But I don’t believe trust. It’s like when teenagers apologize to their parents – most often, they don’t actually feel sorry for what they did, but know that it is what their parents want to hear. It comes with the package.

I hear so much self-blame and anger in your question. Not directed at him and not directed at his girlfriend, but at you. You seem to be creeping around the bombs you are lobbing at yourself. “I am that girl.” “I know how it sounds.” When you talk about him breaking your date, I can hear the disappointment in your voice, not because you missed out on sex, but because maybe, just maybe, in the back of your head, you were hoping for something more. Maybe not a relationship with a capital R, but maybe, just maybe, an intimacy, a person to be close with. Maybe you are feeling the same way I felt the first time I found out that my boyfriend was cheating on me. Or really, had been cheating with me, on his now wife. Of course, I didn’t know he had a long-time girlfriend at the time, only the fact that this really cool, really cute, much older, worldly guy had chosen me – me! A lowly, awkward, nineteen-year-old to be in a casual relationship with. Of course, when I found out that he had a long time girlfriend, I was incredulous – how dare she be his long-time girlfriend! But I want him! How come I have to be the one in this situation! All of me screamed to stop, but I felt so insecure about my own self that if I could just get this person to validate me, if I could just get them to realize I would be the perfect girlfriend, the person they would realize they should be with, than everything would be okay. But I also felt so ridiculous, so stupid for not knowing beforehand that this person had decided to cheat using me. That I was a means to serve an end. That was all I was. What end is that, I will never know. With this, as much as my heart and eager nineteen-year-old genitals ached, I knew I had to end it.

Of course, he made that decision for me. Like you, I had planned on finding out the perfect way to maintain my semblance of dignity, and tell him how wrong he was, cheating on his girlfriend, lying to me, assuming I was naive as I actually was. Of course, that day of reckoning never came. He stopped answering all my calls, texts, and ignored me completely. Again, I assumed that I had figured out a way to maintain power in the scattered situation. I wanted a resolution so so badly. This is how it always ended – there had to be a resolution. But why would I assume that? Why did I assume that the guy who cheated on his long-time girlfriend would give me the respect of airing my feelings at the end? I had served my purpose. He had more important things to get back to, like his long-time girlfriend. They ended up getting married a few years later. To my knowledge, they are expecting a child. They seem nothing but happy.

You may have to sit with the fact that you served your purpose.

There is no way to go about this fashionably. Fashionably has been thrown out the window and shat on. What we have here is a big, hopping mess of heaping, crapping garbage. Take a good hard look at the garbage. It is ugly, maybe it’s shameful, maybe it’s full of regret or no regret and a thousand other conflicting emotions. Part of you wants to continue boinking, because there is a tiny, tiny chance that it can still happen. Part of you wants to step away. I recommend you step away from the vehicle. The other person? The one you you want to potentially still sleep with? The one you trust? They have already done their stepping away.

Step away from the vehicle.

Years from now, you may not still be able to parse and piece together the bits of this particular wreckage. Was the sex that good? Did I really trust him, you might ask over and over? I can’t read the future my dear, and neither can you. Leave those feelings for when the time comes. But for now, don’t worry about fashionable. Don’t worry about saving what is left. Just step away and know that there are better ways to find trustworthy, kinky relationships. There are people out there who are loving, kind, and honest about their needs, and will respect your needs. There are people who will give you the type of sex you need and want. This person who has done the work of getting what they want? They are not the only person you will ever meet you can give you the sex you want.

In the beginning of my answer, I asked, why ask me? I did really mean it. I think you knew what you needed to do, you were just aching a little bit. Maybe you wanted to hear that there was still hope. When I cried in my bathroom at the awkward age of nineteen, writing a note to the older, worldly guy, that asked that I should have been given enough respect to have been told the truth in the beginning, I certainly was. When we are hurt, especially by the things we never expected to hurt us, we can grab on for dear life at the shreds of what is left. But the shreds give us a little bit of hope, a grasp at maybe, just maybe. Grab at the shreds of what you expected, and tear them to pieces. Light them on fire. Wash away the ashes. Cut yourself out of the situation completely. Find a way to pull your leg out of the bear trap. It will hurt and you certainly will have to let go of a lot of the things you expected and hoped for. But if you stay put where you are, you will be in a limbo of possibility, meanwhile the you that deserves the kinky sex, honesty, and respect? That person will die. That person will become so cynical that they see nothing bad with what happened and potentially make the same, aching mistake again. Cut your leg out of the bear trap. Step away from the vehicle. Do whatever you can to pull yourself out of the muck and get up and start all over again. You deserve a start over. You deserve honest, respectful relationships. You deserve to make mistakes. Give yourself the chance to try again. Maybe when you look back ten years later and see yourself, grasping, and then tearing at the shreds, you will not understand why this happened, or why he did this, or why he chose her over you. But you might understand how important is was to get out of the trap and start over, to demand more for yourself. You will be infinitely more proud of that person, because you won’t just be “a cheater” or ” a cheatee” or “someone involved in cheating.” You will look back and see a person who made a mistake, a mistake that seemed worthwhile at the time being, but nonetheless, a mistake. One that taught her how, even in the middle of a flaming, heaping pile of garbage, one that had once been something worthy of her time, pulled herself out of the trap, and kept walking.

Because she knew she deserved so much more.

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