For those of you who’ve ever had to digest the phrase “I’ve cheated on you”, I apologise for the memories I’m about to evoke. However, in the words of Oscar Wilde, “Memory is the diary that we all carry around with us”, and a part of everything we do from one moment to the next. In other words, our memories foreshadow our futures. Our memories remind us of the choices we’ve made and why.

For those of you that haven’t fallen victim to a cheater, let me ask you this: would you want to know? I mean, if the love of your life shared a flurry of passion with someone else and you had the choice, would you rather they carried the burden of guilt themselves, leaving you ‘blissfully’ unaware of the truth? Obviously there’s slight tension between wanting to know and needing to know, but you get my drift.

As far as I’m concerned, knowledge and a capacity to love are the fundamental factors that elevated humanity to its superior state. Agreed?

What happens when you subtract knowledge and truth from love? I’ll tell you what, the relationship of an idealistic, self centred teenager. Perhaps that’s why your first love often feels that much more powerful. It’s raw and untainted and feels real because in many ways, it just isn’t. Not only that, the perfect image you have of that person often turns out to be inaccurate at the first hurdle. I’m not saying that it’s impossible to experience real love until things start to go wrong. Rather, love survives complications. If you can’t be honest, you’re not in love. After all, isn’t the best part about being in a relationship the feeling that you know that person inside out?

Here comes the predicament: Why would someone cheat on you if they were in love with you? And similarly, why would you cheat on the love of your life? The answer, in most cases, is that they, and you, wouldn’t dream of it if you were. There are no excuses for cheating. However, there are explanations, be it emotional, physical, reactionary or psychological. For the record, drinking too much is not an explanation; it’s a warning sign, even if you are in a long-distance relationship.

So, what if you had a fling, or shared a kiss, with your best friend’s brother because you were depressed and your boyfriend was too busy to talk to you about it? If you valued your relationship, you would tell him. If he valued your relationship, he would want to know. Otherwise, what’s to keep you from going round in circles? It sounds harsh but, at that stage, if you can’t remedy it, then you need to end it.

Choosing to ignore the truth is like accepting that you don’t really know the person you’re with all that well.  Not only that, truth unveils further truths. Like, who your friends are, how strong you are, how much you love or loved that person, what you’re willing to put yourself through and why, what you’re willing to forgive.

In most cases, the cheater doesn’t deserve you, which is why you need to know. In other cases, the cheater needs more from you, or from life, which is why you need to know. Either way, Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance merely prevents the possibility of bliss. Without sounding too obvious (and borderline cheesy), if you’re not in pursuit of happiness, what on Earth are you doing?

BY CORIN JACKSON

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