Ask Minda Honey: Help! I’m Obsessed with My Cheating Ex!

In a relationship or life jam? Lemme unstuck your life by sending your questions to: [email protected].

Hi Minda,

I thought I met the person that I would spend the rest of my life with eight years ago. We spent five years together before the lies and betrayals came to light. She was unfaithful with other women and men over the entire five-year span, and I had no idea until the last six months of the relationship. Knowing a lesbian relationship would be challenging from several perspectives, I trusted and believed we would navigate the journey together. I’m not a person who loves quickly or easily. This completely devastated not only my heart, but my faith that someone could truly value me for me. You would think that after all of the hurt and pain that she has caused, I would develop a definitive loathing, or even strong hatred, for this woman. I find myself thinking of her often and praying that she finds happiness even if that is not with me. How do you move past love, betrayal and forgiveness to find love once again? I’m not one who does, or enjoys, the bar scene and online searching seems like a mysterious cattle call. I’m someone that will encourage someone’s dream, value and protect their heart.

Any guidance is truly appreciated!

— B. Trayed

Hi B,

My heart goes out to you. In relationships, there often comes the point where we discover the person we love is not the person we thought they were. Sometimes, this is merely a deepening of our understanding of someone else, and, other times, it’s a total world ruining shock of a revelation. Clearly, discovering that the one you loved carried on multiple affairs over many years, falls into the second camp. You absolutely deserved better than that. Please take whatever comfort you can in knowing that there are a variety of reasons people cheat and often it has nothing to do with the caliber of their partner.

Since you’re someone that doesn’t love quickly or easily, the demise of a five-year relationship must feel truly devastating, but I assure you the emotions you’re having are incredibly common. When my ex of six and a half years and I broke up, I thought of him constantly. I had no appetite. All of my clothes were hanging off me. I cried myself to sleep every night. All this even though I was the one who broke up with him. We’d been together so long I didn’t know any other normal and almost immediately regretted my decision, but he held firm and moved on with someone else.

I thought of him obsessively. I couldn’t stop checking his Facebook or rehashing the details of our break up to friends.

Finally, I got to the point where I decided if I was this miserable and could only think of him, then surely we belonged together. I decided I would drive to his home, and if the other girl’s car was there, then it was a sign I should move on too, but if it wasn’t, then it was a sign I should fight to get him back. Thankfully, her car was there. That doesn’t mean I just suddenly stopped thinking about him, but his life had gone on without me. I wasn’t getting any rewards for suffering at the altar of our love. Sure it made me feel more noble because it was now just so clear that I loved him more and my love was truer and I was so betrayed by him blah, blah, blah. But as comfy as it is to wrap yourself in superiority and wear it around town like a coat, it’s a horrible look.

The other person doesn’t have to be 100-percent wrong and you a 100-percent right to justify being heart broken by the demise of a relationship. That shit hurts, and you have every right to be sad. But the more you build up this towering wall of wrong the other person committed against you, the harder it is to overcome all of those feelings. Are there any places you could take ownership for the end of your relationship or even willingly being with someone so wrong for you for half a decade? When you identify those places, you’ll feel more in control to change your circumstances versus just being a victim of someone else’s callowness.

The other thing I learned from that break up is that ex-lovers are like potato chips when you’re on a diet. The second you tell yourself you can’t have them, that’s all you want. And the craving intensifies until you give in or find a way to distract yourself until it passes. This distraction doesn’t have to be through dating (you don’t sound ready to get back out there to be honest). It can be traveling, work, a new hobby, etc. Just anything that absorbs enough of your attention to let time do its job of healing all wounds. •

— Minda