Late 2007/early 2008 I went out with a guy I met through a common interest. I didn’t tell too many of my own friends at the time, because the relationship was volatile (not usual for me, but plenty usual for him) and I didn’t know how long it would last. But at the same time, a handful of people were in the know, and a handful of others (who knew us both) were suspicious.
And a handful of that handful knew that he was also going out with at least one other girl (and possibly – no strike that – probably more) at the same time. Some people were aware of it at the time, others were aware of it afterwards. Nobody told me until last week – a whole year later!
And the person who told me was the other girl. Because she understood it was my right to know. She understood that I needed to be told the truth rather than be protected from it.
I do get why people who supposedly like and respect me chose not to share this important information with me. I get that people don’t want to be the one to relay that kind of news. And I get that people genuinely believe it’s best to mind their own business and not interfere in other people’s lives.
But as someone who was on the receiving end of such good (?) intentions, I’d like to say that the truth is you’re protecting nobody. The truth always comes out in the end. Even if it takes years, it will emerge at some point, and the passage of time won’t lessen the shock. The sooner the person knows the truth, the sooner they can deal with it and move on. It might be painful initially but knowing the truth is more in their interests than being deceived by appearances. To borrow a cliche: short term pain, but long term gain.
And it’s not just the victims of liars and cheats that suffer by your silence, but also the perpetrators themselves! In turning a blind eye you are aiding and abetting their behaviour, and while on the surface that might appear to be in their interests, at a deeper level it’s working against them.
Because if they remain unchallenged they’re unlikely to reassess how they’re living their lives. And don’t for a second believe that a chronic liar and cheat is a happy person – no matter what kind of front they put on.
A happy person is centred in the energy of love and doesn’t hurt other people. A liar and cheat is grounded in the energy of fear, and they inflict pain on others because they are in pain themselves, often without consciously intending it.
If you care about someone who lies and cheats, the kindest thing you can do for them is challenge their behaviour. Not turn a blind eye.
And as for the poor women and men who are being lied to and cheated on – how could you possibly be doing them a favour by leaving them in the dark?
Learning all I did about my ex last week was both unpleasant and uncomfortable – to put it mildly. In fact, it shocked me to my core. But I am deeply grateful to now know this, and I wish I knew it sooner.
And as for the lying, cheating ex, I hope somebody out there will find the courage to challenge his behaviour and encourage him to sort his life out – not only for his own sake, but for the sake of all those women he will hurt in the future if he doesn’t. You never know – it might be your sister next!