I realised from a very early age that men cheat. I was 5 and Daniel with the dimples sat next to me in nursery. He would always scribble on my drawing paper during art and then give me half of his Samco chocolate milk at break time to make up for it (Yep! I’ve always liked bad boys). He was my first love. Who knows, we could have been married by now with little dimpled children running around if I hadn’t seen him giving his chocolate milk to that play ground hussy Tanwa. For goodness sake the girl didn’t even wear matching hair bands. I always had matching hair bands and socks too(Thanks Mum). Anyway, needless to say our chocolate milk affair came grinding to a halt. Any attempts by him to scribble on my drawing paper after that was met by banshee like screaming until Miss had to move his seat over to the other side of the room. He would throw little heart broken glances my way but I refused to acknowledge them as he had committed the greatest crime known to the fairer sex. He had shown interest in a girl other than me and I was not the forgiving type.
As I grew up there were other Daniels and sometimes there might even have been other Tanwa’s but I always reacted the same way when things weren’t going my way... I left. I would slam the door on that relationship humming under my breathe “You abandoned me; Love don’t live here anymore”. I would pack all my emotional baggage from each crappy relationship and move on to the next. The only problem with dragging all my issues with me was that I was always waiting for the poor guy to fail. Bags packed, I was just counting the days until he slipped up so I could go storming out of the relationship guns blazing, moaning to world that love had failed me again. I was so determined not to get taken for mug paranoia would kick in. Every call he got was from a girl. Every 5 minutes he was late was because he’d been in some woman’s arms. I would look for cracks where there were no cracks and if I couldn’t find any I would chip way with my insecurity chisel until I made a great big hole. Pretty soon the guy would get tired of my 3 am surprise visits just to tell him I miss him when all I really wanted to do was make sure he was alone. I would be yanking strands of hair off any woman he introduced as his cousin, sister or mother so I could get it DNA tested. NO MAN WAS GOING TO MAKE FOOL OUT OF MENA!!! Yes I was obviously in the first stages of madness but then I just thought I was hard.
Now that I’m one of the great unwashed I have a lot of time to ponder these deep emotional issues and I’m wondering if daddy dearest was right? He once told me all men cheat. He said what you need to ask myself is “Do you throw away a relationship you’ve worked on over wounded pride and broken trust or do you stick with it”? He told me that if he’s actually sorry for what he’s done then you need to weigh all the good against that one bad thing and figure out if all the good is worth giving up. He told me that I needed to learn to forgive or that I was going to be a very lonely woman. I can see where my dad is coming from and I’ve even tried applying his principles but you know the saying “You can forgive but you can’t forget”? Well who ever came up with that saying was absolutely right and therein lies my problem. At what stage in a relationship do I stop forgiving, kick his ass to the kerb and try to forget about him instead?
There used to be a man in my life who, lets just say he did a lot of stuff that I could neither forgive nor forget. So we went our separate ways. Fast forward to a couple of years later and he says he’s a whole new human being. I’ve forgiven him because hey I’m all holy and 10 commandments abiding now. He says he’s changed and sometimes it looks like he has. Sometimes he’s so good I shell out a mini fortune on wedding magazines and start thinking of baby names. Sometime he pisses me of so much I take a walk round my backyard to figure out where I can bury his body when I’m done chopping him up into little pieces. However regardless of if he’s being good or bad, the major problem is that I can’t forget the past. So in the midst of all the do I or don’t I take him back lies the disturbing fact that no matter how much you can forgive another human being the shadow of the hurt they caused you will always cloud your relationship.
So really what’s the point of even bothering if:-
I’m always going to think he’s lying before I think he’s telling the truth.
I’m always going to think he’s cheating when he comes in late or doesn’t pick up his phone.
I’m always going to wonder if he means it when he says he loves me.
I don’t get how other people do it? How on earth do they carry on when someone betrays their trust in a relationship? Is there some compartment in their brains where the store all the bad stuff to make way for the good? Because I sure can’t find mine. “So walk away” you say. “No point sending yourself to the loony bin worrying about stuff he might do because he’s done it before. If you can’t handle the heat Mena, We suggest you get out of the kitchen”. That’s easy for you lot to say but the problem is that how often is Mena going to walk away? So what do? Paint over all the bad memories and try to give this new and improved relationship a fair go or just accept the fact that my decision all those years ago was the right one and keep on dragging my now massive case of insecurities down life’s lonely highway?