I was head over heels in love with my last partner. He was handsome, charismatic but “supposedly” introverted. I had a sexual health test taken and it came back all clear. The next month I had another test because I was showing symptoms. Turns out he had given me chlamydia. This was 2 years into our relationship. He completely denied being with anyone and made me feel insane. I hadn’t been with anyone. I stayed with him a year longer (silly move, I know). I was just wondering if you had any advice on how to heal and begin to trust men again after going through that? I honestly feel so disheartened and ashamed of myself for putting up with that. I’m scared that this is going to affect my future relationships.
My darling girl,
Cheaters suck, they really do. Not just for the actual lying and cheating, but for the effect this will and is having on you moving forward. Here’s the truth – your ex was a ratbag. He cheated on you and gave you chlamydia. Here’s another truth – you stayed with him knowing this. Wooah girlfriend! Where did your self-respect go? Time to get it back. Now. Here’s truth number three – none of this was your fault and not all men cheat. Guess what – at some stage in our lives most of us would have been cheated on. It’s not nice and makes you feel pretty down about yourself. As the old adage goes, it’s not you, it’s them. Banish any shame you are feeling about yourself number one. Number two is know that next time round, when that little voice in your gut tells you something is off, that you are being lied to, listen to it. Your gut is there for a reason, to protect you. Don’t let your emotions cloud it. See you gut as your very best friend who has only your best interests at heart. Now, moving forward into shiny new relationships. Choose wisely. Be cautious but at the same time, be open. Not every man (or woman) cheats. Stress that honesty is number one on your list of traits of your partners. Do not ever settle for second best – it is far better to be alone with dogs and cats for the rest of your life than to be with someone who is cheating you out of a true and honest relationship. When you meet someone special, you will just know. No one is perfect let me assure you. They may be a snorer, or messy, or eat like a toddler, but they’re an honest man. And that’s the one for you.