when my dad cheated
When I learned that my dad cheated on my mum, I probably got the worst heart break ever. I feel betrayed by the person I admire most.
I’m the only child among my siblings who grew up with my dad around me. He was the one who showered me, feed me, took me to school, and helped me with my homework. He was the one who worry the most when I came home late, or when I was about to move out of town by myself. He was my first love, my role model, my guide. He was the one who I want to be when I grow up. He was a super human being.
Thus, I could not forgive him, even after he passed away.
That was when I realised that he was just a man. Just like any other man, he had lust, he made mistakes, and sometimes he was not the best version of himself. It was not easy for me to come to this understanding. I had to fight my own ego, I had to deconstruct the image of him that I build inside my head, and develop the more realistic one, the one fits the reality best. I had to accept that my dad was not the one whom I thought he was.
The acceptance helps me making peace. I still feel betrayed, but I started to accept what happened, happened, and could not have happened any other way. However, the side effect wasn’t measured.
I started to normalize cheating. I started to believe that a person (regardless his gender), at one point of one’s life, will cheat from his partner. Even worst on a long distance relationship, because there are needs that can’t be fulfilled. Cheating is almost inevitable. Sadly, I used to believe it.
Hence, when my first boyfriend cheated on me, I tend to forgive him and get back to him. This experience repeats, up to my last relationship. I found my partner fooling around with his ex. I thought he needed time to deal with his past, so gave him the second chance. He worth the second chance, so I thought. However more girls show up, and he chose to fool around with one of them. It was the time for third chance. I put all the efforts to heal myself, and rebuild the trust. I warn him about this girl, and he said they were best friend. (Un)luckily, later I found out what he did with his best friend. Time for the fourth chance? Stupidly, yes.
Even worse, I started to blame myself. I was sad and miserable. It hurts to find that my partner and the other girl were fine, but my partner and I were not. I asked again and again, was it me attracting the wrong person? Was it on my gene? Mum had the same experience, so did my aunty. Was the blame on us? Maybe our partners were not a bad person, nevertheless, they just did not suit us best. Or, did we actually bring the worst on our partners?
Patriarch and misogynist mindset at the worst, we were the victim, but I blame ourselves. This way, I failed to see my dad as a human being. I tend to see his pattern as something normal, and it is normal for mum, for me, to deal with such attitude. Seeing him as a human being, I should have seen cheating as unacceptable behavior, rather than an acceptable pattern. What I should have accepted is the fact that my dad had the ability to make mistake and was unable to repair the damage. What I should accept is not all wound can be healed, sometime we just have to embrace it and avoid the next possibility to be hurt by avoiding the source.