Tue | Aug 22, 2017

I never meant to cheat

Published:Monday | September 12, 2016 | 9:00 AMKrysta Anderson

They often say that once a cheater, always a cheater. And while we are not here to condone their indiscretions, sometimes it's good to hear their side of the story. For some, it might have been an act of weakness involving an old flame, or even a new one. There are the handful, though, who will concur that they really never meant to cheat.

When I met him

in the summer

Meet 24-year-old college student Raquel Morrison*. She would spend holidays at home, and recalled being entangled in a web of lust just last summer. "I was home, working for the summer when I met my co-worker, Karl*. He was single and I was in a relationship overseas, so hooking up was the furthest thing from my mind - we were just friends." She confessed, however, that after working together they soon got close. She even admitted to them having lunch together, and spending time outside of work when she took on the task of teaching aerobics to members of staff after hours.

"He used to carry me home after class and after work," she added.

After a while, they started flirting. He would walk by on purpose, she said, dropping compliments her way whenever he could. She found herself filling the void her boyfriend had left by now bringing her co-worker breakfast because he loved her cooking. One weekend, one thing led to another and they impulsively went for it. "When it was over, we pretended like it never happened."

She continued, "When I returned to school, I felt so bad - the guilt was slowly killing me inside. I almost told my boyfriend so many times, because he is perfect. He has been nothing but nice to me and all I had to do was keep my legs closed, and I just couldn't resist the urge."

WRONG ATTENTION

Dorothy Kingsley* also recounts her college days when she did the unthinkable and cheated on the then love of her life. "It's not like I meant for it to happen. I just wanted attention, and in the end was given it by the wrong person, which led me down a dark path to unhappiness," she told the Flair.

Kingsley, against her gut feelings, decided to go the distance and transition from a short to a long-distance relationship. It was there, she said, that everything changed. "I didn't realise how often I had seen him until he was no longer here. That meant that communication now became a major issue for us," she said.

This concern unearthed other problems of jealousy, insecurity and selfishness. "He was off pursuing his dream, and I was not only happy for him, but supported him every step of the way. It was as if he had left me behind, and had no time to even answer the phone. And when he did, he was either preoccupied with other things or people, females in particular."

He disregarded her fears, and it was there that her emotions began to stray in a different direction. "This particular guy was attentive, kind and considerate, almost filling the gaps my then boyfriend had created. When I expressed his intent to my boyfriend, out of desperation for some kind of reaction, he just laughed in my face, as if he didn't care about me or what I did, reiterating that he was busy."

Months after their first encounter, she found herself in a compromising position with the attractive guy. She admitted that she felt wrong for cheating, and chalked it up to a mistake she would never make again.

When her boyfriend returned from his summer break, he caught wind of her movements, and after much badgering, she confessed, stating what it was - a mistake. But for him, the deed was done and there was no turning back. A friend of his, who confronted him, demanding to hear Kingsley's

side of the story, blamed him for leaving her hanging, and upon that discovery, he returned to her.

"By then, everything had changed, and instead of just enjoying his company, I had to deal with his constant paranoia and jealousy. I got that I made him this way, but I didn't know how else to apologise for what I had done, explaining over and over that I had cut ties with the other person long before he came home." He learnt to cast that feeling aside, after receiving couples counselling. They rekindled their love for each other, and by his departure, she said, they were both in tears, because they both knew this would be the end of their relationship. And it was.

* Names changed

krysta.anderson@gleanerjm.com