Many years ago before I was formed in my mother’s womb my grandmother found out my grandfather was cheating on her. Like any woman, she was distraught from these findings but she was not going to let it slide. She did her best to find this woman’s name and location which she successfully did. On one fateful morning, she woke up, served her husband, and left for an adventure. Little did Grandpa know that she was headed to his mistress’s village. When my grandmother arrived she did not use her words, she just beat that woman up. The mistress made a conscious decision to never see my grandfather again.
When this story was told to us we all laughed and praised our grandmother for setting things straight. Years into my adult life, I have seen more stories similar to my grandmother’s. Women have keyed their partner’s cars, destroyed their furniture, cut the other woman’s hair and some have gone as far as sending goons after the mistress. Recently on Twitter, a young woman walked in on her boyfriend cheating on her. A scene that would be upsetting for anyone to witness. She walked out and destroyed the man’s car. It felt like the best course of action until she learnt that the car she destroyed did not belong to him. It in fact belonged to a neighbour. Unfortunately for her, she walked away with a broken heart and a lawsuit on her hands.
Why you should not choose violence
Whether you attack the mistress or choose to destroy his belongings you remain in the wrong. In the former scenario, you have shifted the blame from the person you should be holding accountable. This reaction is reflective of a person who is protecting the image they created of their partner. Far it be from you for that to end, your instinct is to protect that image immediately. And the easiest answer is to shift the blame. This does not fix the behaviour issue you have at play in the relationship. You have just created room for your partner to be careful and to provide more support for the woman you just assaulted. Worse yet, it might result in assault charges and it won’t matter that you did it for love. A crime is a crime!
The latter is an attempt to take back the power. Most times the items the individual aims to destroy are those closest to the victim’s heart. This is done in a bid to leave them as broken as they feel. Unfortunately, the math is not that simple. What you have destroyed can be fixed, and can never compare to what you have to deal with because money can’t fix it. You are left with a broken heart, a questionable character and the anxiety of a lawsuit coming your way. Worth it?
Don’t lead with your feelings
This happens to be a very big challenge for most women because most of our decisions are naturally led by feelings. However, the feeling we must take note of the most is anger. There isn’t a single good thing that could result from acting out of anger. The urge to act immediately will be strong but fight hard to walk away. Express your anger through ranting to friends or family and if it helps you cry. Engage your partner when you have gone through the motions, sometimes it will take hours and other times it will take days. However long it takes, you avoid making regrettable decisions.
Do I leave or stay?
People’s behaviour rarely changes because they have been asked to change. It is often a personal and conscious decision that they have to make to do better. In this case, they might even require therapy to sort through the reasons why they were unfaithful to you. So the power for change is not in your hands.
Another thing to take note of is incidents like this leave a very big scar on the relationship. It is hard to win back the trust. The unfortunate result is that the victim will be triggered into an anxious state when their partner leaves the house, goes on a work trip, doesn’t respond to their messages or return their calls. This is an unpleasant state to be in because you can’t always be with your partner.
Some people do make it past cheating, however, it will require a lot of work. If you decide to stay together and keep trying then couples therapy is recommended. If you choose to leave, please take care of yourself. Opt for therapy, journaling, a boxing class or crying sessions until the hurt, anger and pain dissipate.
If you are going through a heartbreak right now, remember, this too shall pass. CIAO!