WE often think of cheating as the ultimate form of betrayal, but for some women, while this may be crippling, there are things that have caused them far more pain than any act of infidelity. Below, All Woman readers share relationship experiences for them that didn't only burn like hell, but had impacts that were more far-reaching than cheating.
Claudette, 46, investment banker:
It's not the cheating that hit me; emotionally I wasn't as attached to feel as hurt about that. What gutted me was finding out that he was sharing very personal and intimate details about me, even going as far as to discuss what panties I wear — and this man was supposed to be my husband. He spoke casually of our family, our children, and the challenges we were facing as a family, including our sex life. Basically, if a pin dropped in our household this other woman knew. It got to the point where this woman felt like she had earned the right to call me and disparage me with more than a mouthful of my business. I couldn't remain married to him. Thank God my kids agreed with my decision.
Nordia, 28, teacher:
I was verbally abused — he would gaslight me all the time. I was with someone who would turn things around to make me look bad all the time. At one point he thought I was seeing other people, and he would tell friends and family that I was cheating or that I was a gold digger and had been messing around with his friends. When I finally managed to escape from his mental and physical bondage, he told his friends that I was cheating on him with my best friend and that I had been impregnated by him.
Sherley, 37, field agent:
I have two things that I consider the worst things that happened to me on the relationship front. Number one being that I got beat up by my ex-boyfriend for telling him I wanted to end the relationship. I never knew 'twinkle star' was real until that day! The second thing was that while in a long-term relationship, my partner at the time got someone pregnant and that hurt, that really cut deep.
J, 29, customer service agent:
My babyfather was having unprotected sex with other women, even during my pregnancy. At my first screening I was clear for all STDs and STIs; however, when I did the last set of tests the labs showed the I had been infected with one curable and one incurable STD. It has been my biggest source of pain to date. I had to be hospitalised for weeks because my pressure wouldn't go down, and to make things worse, he came there with his mouth full of lies, saying that he was careful but the condom burst. This man also had the audacity to say to me, in my distress, “Babes, it's not like it's HIV, we can work through this.” The nerve of some men — he is lucky my child came out healthy.
Monique, 34, marketing assistant:
My first serious relationship ran five years and I knew that things wouldn't work out because I was always his last resort — his best friend (female) and his mother were his go-to people. He travels for work and when he did (this was a man I lived with), he would give his mother his bank card to do his business. There was also the fact that while I was struggling to help him with financing himself at school, he could afford to buy his best friend a Samsung Galaxy while I was stuck using a phone with a broken screen. One other thing that really bothered me was that he only showed affection when he wanted something. Being used, for me, was much worse than being cheated on.
Shamiel, 26, teacher:
A lying partner is far worse than a cheating partner. What made it even worse is that most of the time I knew the truth and even if he was caught in a lie he would continue to defend himself. This can be both physically and emotionally draining.