Who in their right mind would want their boyfriend to cheat on them? I did. And I prayed to God that another woman would tempt this guy to cheat on me.
I felt guilty for these thoughts, but I knew that my intentions were never ill-meant or disrespectful to those who experienced infidelity.
I recognise that cheating is one of the worst things that can happen in a romantic partnership; it’s an unforgivable action, one so overt and irreversible.
And that’s why I wanted it to happen to me.
Because I knew that if my ex cheated on me, I would finally have the courage to leave him.
I thought it would make saying good-bye easier.
Breaking up with someone can be frightening, especially when you live in fear of an abusive partner.
Our relationship consisted of explosive fights, constant turmoil and control issues that left me feeling stuck, angry and helpless.
He played me as the bad guy in the relationship, often treating me as if I wasn’t even human.
The harsh words that were thrown my way made me feel like I was dating a vicious bully, a person who secretly hated and only expected the worst from me.
There wasn’t a week that went by where I wasn’t accused of cheating, had my cell phone searched and interrogated and questioned about everything I did.
There came a point where I was scared to sleep in, or turn my phone off at night, as I knew he’d find it suspicious if I didn’t reply to texts immediately. Yelling seemed to be a favourite pastime of his, alongside throwing my phone.
I always said I would never be with someone like this, and there I was, making excuses and blaming myself for his actions every day.h
Regardless of my loyalty and fidelity throughout our relationship, he always made me believe that I was guilty of something.
I never cheated, and yet nothing would convince him otherwise.
For once, I wanted him to recognise that I was a great girlfriend. I begged him for kindness, to just let us have one good day.
But the good days became rarer and rarer, and by the end of our time together, the fights and interrogations would become the norm.
I stopped talking to friends of the opposite sex. He had all my passwords and there was no privacy anywhere.
And, regardless of the control he had over me, there was still no trust.
There comes a time where being accused of cheating takes a toll on you.
I was tired of walking on eggshells and wanted a way out.
I wanted him to cheat so he could admit to being wrong and I could stop being the bad guy. I craved the satisfaction of proving him wrong and watching him become a hypocrite.
I wanted him to cheat, so I could finally be the one who had the upper hand.
I fantasized about this. Call me vengeful, spiteful, or crazy, but I loved the idea of catching him red-handed.
While this would have hurt me, I felt that nothing would ever be enough to motivate me to leave. I loved him too much, and as toxic as our relationship was, I couldn’t seem to let go of it. He wasn’t always like this, and mixed with the bad times were some amazing memories.
It was a love hate relationship, with the intensity of a rollercoaster that kept me hooked. I spent a lot of time thinking his actions were my fault.
I thought that cheating would serve as that last straw, forcing me to end our relationship. Why his behaviour alone wasn’t already enough to leave is something that still shocks me.
It’s so easy to ignore red flags when you believe there’s a real connection.
I liked the idea of someone being protective of me, but we need balance rather than one extreme.
Possessiveness and control is glamorized so that when you experience it, you question if you’re overreacting.
We often see certain instances of control normalized in films, and while it never looks right we tend to see fans swoon over the “bad boy.”
Their problematic and downright concerning behaviours are easily excused, which in turn sends off a confusing message. I now realize that I was never overreacting, and like many individuals should challenge and question it.
Of course, you must be wondering if my prayers ever worked. Did he ever cheat? And, to my knowledge, he never did.
But, after a few mock breakups, we eventually came to a halt. I saw a therapist who opened my eyes to what I was experiencing and helped me understand that this is not normal.
You shouldn’t have to see a therapist to know if your relationship is healthy. But, sometimes, it gets to that point, and you need an outsider with no bias to help bring you back to reality and help you realize that you deserve so much more.
Don’t wait to get out
If you can relate to this, don’t pray for your partner to cheat; find a way to leave and end things for good. Even the slightest bit of disrespect should never be tolerated.
You should be treated with kindness every day, a voice should never be raised to make you feel small, and words never used to make you cry.
I know you may have never connected with someone so well, that your partner isn’t always mean to you, but this doesn’t excuse emotionally abusive behaviour; nothing ever does.
Going through a relationship like this can be extremely isolating, but is far more common than we realize.
Statistics show that 48.4% of women and 48.8% of men have endured some form of psychological aggression in a relationship.
It’s easy to stay, and there will always be good times mixed in with the unpleasant ones. It’s a cycle that will only continue to leave you further drained and mentally taxed.
That’s what keeps you hanging on until you reach a breaking point and gain the courage to leave.
Your relationship shouldn’t make you cry every day, send you to a therapist’s office, and bring you immense stress and anxiety.
The long term effects can be detrimental, as 7 out 10 women develop PTSD and depression as a result of emotional abuse. It’s not something to take lightly, and words really do cause harm.
So, don’t ever call yourself dramatic, or sensitive for something that can have real consequences on your mental health.
As cliche as this sounds, love should make you happy.
This is not to say that relationships don’t have issues, but there are ways to work through them in a healthy manner that doesn’t induce fear.
Know that if you’re already miserable, it will only get worse. This person isn’t your soulmate; they are your lesson.