Life

Why Do Happy People Cheat?

I’m newly single (see break up blog for back-story, 32 & Single…again). I posted about my breakup after I had time to process it, so I’ve been single for awhile now, but it is still new. I don’t remember the date exactly, because for me it wasn’t just one day, it happened over the course of a couple of weeks, as most break-ups do. Disclaimer: My ex didn’t cheat, this isn’t about him. This is about the stuff that happens after a break-up. The after, after break-up stuff.

I think every breakup comes with what I call “pop-up exes”, or the “almosts” that find you or maybe you seek out. Your perspective changes when one relationship ends and you reflect on past relationships. You wonder what could have been with one person or the other. What happened to what’s his face? Should I have really been so upset with (Joe) for that? Was I too quick to give on up (Bob)? I think it’s human nature to reexamine the past after a breakup. Some we can walk way from and never look back, others we wonder about from time to time. I’ll be honest, I have reached out to a couple of my “almosts”. The almosts I also consider friends, people I feel safe with. I believe they care about me, my well-being and truly want what is best for me, and some have had NO problems telling me what they think that is (even if it’s not what I want to hear). While I find that mildly annoying, I know they’re looking out for me, protecting me. Gold stickers all around for these guys in my life. They are a tiny glimmer of hope for me currently.

I also received some incoming “pop-ups”, some I could entertain, others I didn’t respond to at all, but this entry is about one “almost” in particular. Sadly, he probably represents way more of the population than I care to admit. This “almost” was someone I’ve known a little over a year. We never really dated but we talked quite a bit, he brought me lunch one day when I was swamped at work, but it just never took off. He travels a lot for work, I had J and my job, our schedules just didn’t mesh but we’ve remained friends, and by friends, I mean friends on Facebook. So, a friendly acquaintance. He found a girl, I had my guy, we “liked” each other’s posts, we both seemed genuinely happy and happy for the other. He seemed to be such a great guy!

Wrong. So wrong. I was WRONG about this one. He is still in his relationship, with a girl who honestly reminds me a little of myself. She’s a single momma, she’s “cute”, seems to have her ducks in a row…overall, just a good girl, who deserves a good guy. I’ve never met her but I liked her and I was happy for her, happy for her kids. She seemed like someone I would be friends with.

Initially, when I heard from him, I really thought he was being genuine in telling me the standard post break-up “his loss”, “any guy would be lucky to have you” kind of stuff. I appreciated his sentiment but I didn’t want to talk about my break-up. I went on and on about how happy he looked, what a great gal he had, her kids were so adorable, he seemed like a natural with them. I meant everything I said. I looked at their pictures after he reached out to me and I honestly thought to myself that they looked like what I might want one day. He talked about how lucky he was, and how he felt he didn’t deserve it all, and I was swooning over how sweet that was! I told him to keep that mentality and he stood a good chance of keeping her around. I even asked him when he was going to pop the question. I truly felt we were just two people catching up and we’d both go on with our lives, occasionally “liking” things here and there, but never really crossing paths again.

Our catch-up conversation slowly turned into a daily text. A good morning message, or a how’s your day text and I started to get the feeling that this just wasn’t right. I didn’t like that he seemed to be thinking of me so much. When you text someone or reach out to them, you’re letting them know you’re thinking of them or you have a direct purpose to contact them. He had no purpose. I was mad at myself for even talking to him at all, for being naive and trusting that he was as great of a guy as I thought he might be. It didn’t take me long to figure out that he was testing the waters, he wanted to see how far he could he get with me, even though I knew he was in a relationship.

Not far! He crossed the line in a major way (via text) I never would have given him the opportunity to cross it any other way. I will spare you those details, they’re not impressive, I promise. I could only think of his girlfriend, and her kids…I felt so bad for them. She had posted a sweet note to his Facebook that morning, it was a song and an I miss you note. She has no idea her boyfriend is such a creep. To her, he probably is everything I thought he was, this great guy! Is ignorance really bliss?

Gah! What an ass! Why is he so wiling to risk everything he has? Is it the mentality that he’ll never get caught? Is it the chase? Is he just that kind of a guy, someone who will never be content, who will always be after something else? I told him how disappointed I was in him, that I didn’t understand why he was so willing to risk screwing up what he had. I actually grabbed a couple of screenshots from his Facebook and I sent him some of his own pictures. I sent him pictures of his life to remind him what he had but also to remind him that I knew what he had. I was pretty insulted that he was even trying.

Here’s the thing, I honestly think he is happy! I believe he really does love her and those kids, so what the heck is he doing?! She seems to have everything to offer. Can you love someone and just be conditioned to cheat? I don’t understand it. He doesn’t want to leave her, I’m sure of it, they just bought a house together! He just wanted my attention, among other things, but why? A guy who seemed to have it all and was willing to risk losing it all.

I deleted his number, blocked him and removed him from my friends list. I removed myself, I think that’s the best thing I could have done but still feel incredibly disappointed. I feel bad for her but she doesn’t know, she’s in her love bubble of happiness. I worry that even if I wouldn’t entertain his advances, someone else probably will. I hope and pray he learned his lesson.

So, why do happy people cheat? If you don’t want to lose what you have, why don’t you just keep it?  I’m loyal to a fault, like Golden Retriever status, so I can’t process loving someone and cheating. When is enough, enough? Are there people who will never be content with what they have? Always chasing after the next thing? I have more questions than I do answer on this one.

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