I've been cheated on by a partner who'd committed to our relationship as had I. The irony is that it wasn't, at the point of our commitment, something I wanted; it was his insistence that we "take our relationship to the next level". (I guess he did - later - when he cheated!)
It came at me out of the blue - we were very happy, by then I was madly in love with him, and he did amazingly romantic things for me almost every day (as I did for him, which I'll admit I had to have my best friend coach me on because I didn't have any ideas of my own, but I carried them out beautifully and with full intent and meaning, which only made me fall more in love with him). And lots of "I'm so glad we're together, you're mine," etc. were exchanged in conversation all the time.
One day at the gym the phone rang of the guy on the machine next to me while it was sitting on a bar of the machine. It vibrated, and it fell off, and it bounced across and hit my shoe. I picked it up, and my bf's pic and name was the call ringing in on the screen! I almost said, "Oh, you know my bf, Carl," but I didn't. Instead I just handed him the phone, and honestly I only didn't say something because I thought if I distracted him another ring or two and the call would go to voicemail. Then I overheard him starting out with "Hey, babe," which really got my attention, then "Yeah, I can't wait."
It was apparently meant for me to find out, because we were both early in our workouts, both doing upper body, so in the same area in the gym for quite a while after that. So I casually talked to him, first mentioning my phone versus his, etc. Then I said with a smile, "The call you got - HANDSOME guy!" And he blushed and then just started telling me how they'd been off-and-on for TWO FUCKING YEARS, how he knew that "Carl was in a bad relationship now since he and Carl had gotten back together FOUR FUCKING MONTHS BEFORE . . . " I will not defend my sneakiness nor will I take credit for cutting it off at that point and just finishing my workout with as much dignity and composure as I could muster.
THEN we hit the showers at the same time, and I admit that I did take happy notice that Carl, who was a stunning stud in every physical way, obviously had a vast contrast on his hands between me and "the other guy" (I honestly don't even remember his name), and I was on the higher end of the percentile of hotness-in-comparison-to-other-guys scale versus the other guy.
THEN the guy hit on me! HARD! PERSISTENTLY! So finally when I'd casually thanked him for the compliment and brushed it aside about four times I finally said, "We're both bottoms, dude, so let's leave this one alone." He of course said, "How did you know I'm a bottom?" And at that point I couldn't stop my lips from moving and my vocal chords from saying, "Because your bf who called you has fucked me enough times for me to know he's a total top and doesn't like vers guys, just total power bottoms."
Again, the fates were working with me that day because I was dressed and he wasn't, and as I finished the sentence I'd stuffed my gym bag and hoisted it and took off out of there. A few hours later, during afternoon classes, Carl called me. Then he texted me: I guess we should talk. I just texted back: It's not necessary. When I got to my dorm room, Carl had come and my roommate had let him in and he'd taken his stuff and had left me a card and a note and said he was sorry and if there was any way he could take it all back and not put me through it he would.
I spent a month without running into him, which my best friend said Carl had "taken off the other way" a few times and had deliberately not come to games or anything when I was playing like he always did before (not because of me; that's how we met actually). But I wondered things like "Why didn't he even make an attempt to work it out with me? Obviously he likes the other guy better!" and "What did it all mean? Was it just a game to him or what?" Basically I drove myself crazy.
I took a bad injury at a game about a month after our breakup. A friend who I hadn't seen since the breakup, who was a close friend of Carl's, came to see me in the hospital one day. (I found out I had a lot of friends and learned something about friendship from that whole injury/recovery thing that made me a better person.) So Derek, Carl's friend, gives me a card from him and asks if he can give me a card from Carl. I said sure, with no emotional intent or issue, just didn't have any reaction energy in me anyway. Then he said Carl wanted to come and visit me and had asked him to ask me because he didn't want to come if it would be a problem for me. I said sure, because actually it sparked something in me that was the first "fight" I'd had in me since the injury and a lot of head crap I was going through.
He came about a half hour later - Derek had texted him. When he came two of my friends who were there - big athlete friends of mine - turned to me and said "You want us to kill this asshole before we throw him out of here or after?" I hadn't told anyone he'd be coming because frankly I was surprised he really had the balls to.
Carl brought me a white rose and said, "I know I don't deserve your forgiveness, but you deserve my sincere apology and the opportunity to have me do anything you want to make up for what I did to you." So we had the "why" discussion, and of course it was just a mix of (sadly) typical male miscreance but penitent and honest, not daring to suggest I take him back, but telling me he knew he blew the best relationship he'd ever had and other stuff.
Was it all BS? I don't know. What I do know is that ten years later I moved here from Chicago, and when Carl found out I was moving (he still lived in Chicago, too, at that point) he called me so out of the blue that I didn't even have his number in my phone and didn't know who it was until I heard his voice. He asked me if he could take me out to dinner to congratulate me on my new job and my change and move, and I went . . . and had a great time with him, the charming, interesting, uber-masculine jock he always was. Much later, when he was leaving my apartment, he hugged me and held me really tight and I realized he was crying. When I asked him, still wrapped around each other, he said: "I guess I have always thought we'd somehow someday get back together, and now you're leaving and I realize we won't. I made such a terrible mistake, Mads, and I'm still sorry for what I did to you, but I've been sorry for what I did to me, too."
I was nice to him but sent him on his way.
Why do people have to cheat? Particularly when he never had to to begin with, HE forced it to an agreement between us that then made it cheating. That's what I don't understand. I'm NO fan of monogamy for me unless I'm wildly in love with someone, and that's happened RARELY. I'm a self-proclaimed, highly-acclaimed slut. But I've NEVER cheated on anyone ever . . . and I doubt I could no matter the circumstances. WTF