You cheat by what’s in your pants, you betray by what’s in your chest
The system we live in has tripped us up perfidiously and deviously ever since we learned to stand on our own feet. Fairy tales have created princes on white horses, gyms and fashion have imposed unattainable physical standards, porn movies have shaped insatiable appetites, television has promoted instant morality… Love is mentioned by only a few people, very rarely and so shyly that in such an atmosphere we have reached a point when love is unwelcome. As they like to say – it makes us feel vulnerable. That’s a lie. The absence of love makes us vulnerable, and love makes us stronger.
Later, when all those princes turn into plain-looking males with big bellies, and when all those Lipizzaner stallions turn into crowbaits, when those female models remove their false eyelashes and bra pads, and bodybuilders flush steroids out of their bodies, when after a few years, their dicks become slightly flabby and the labia becomes less moist, there comes a time for cheating. Their brains having already been set to faulty values by fairy tales, porn movies, trends and television, instead of trying to find out what is wrong with their relationship, people set out on a quest for new stallions, new eyelashes, pornstar lookalikes, thinking that you arouse passion by the visual, not the mental.
From the beginning, everything is based on the wrong foundations, because we think we claim exclusive rights to our partners’ thoughts, feelings and physical body. And it is actually our ego that loves, not them, our partners, but ourselves. When you love with your heart, then you do not withhold but hold out, you do not constrain but let free, you do not imprison but keep guard. As long as you think you can own and control your partner, you are just deluding yourself into thinking it is love, since all you do is get enslaved by your fears while protecting your ego. Not your heart. The heart does not need a guard to protect it, but a hero to wear it proudly on his sleeve.
Cheating is a mundane, banal, shallow act, driven by lowly urges, performed by what is in our crotch, and it should not be given much significance. It is driven either by our desire to penetrate or to be filled, whatever, the responsibility is the same. Betrayal is what frequently follows cheating, and that is the worst thing. Betrayal is a whole network of lies, deceptions, dishonesty, untruths, stupidities. Cheating is not so awful because it usually lasts until an orgasm, while betrayal lasts until the truth comes to light. Cheating traces such as lipstick stains or sperm traces can be removed in a washing machine, the traces of betrayal are irremovable both from your cheek and your heart.
People cheat out of stupidity, never out of need. If you think it is worth the effort to hit on someone new, rather than engage in conversation with someone you have spent so many years with, if you think that you are going to find some overnight compensation for what you have been missing in the form of a new person that is not yours, rather than in the familiar person that is yours, if you think that a couple of orgasms with someone who does not mean anything to you, instead of a couple of honest words exchanged with someone who matters can be a solution to your dissatisfaction, then you are not worthy of such a noble thing as togetherness. Such people, even though they could have anyone, always remain alone.
“If you do not respect yourself, nobody is going to respect you” – I’d rather say that if you do not know how to love, no amount of self-respect can compensate for lack of love. All of you who have cheated and haven’t really felt sorry, you have never really loved then. And all of you who have not sincerely forgiven those who have repented, you have never really loved then. How can you know if someone is really sorry? There is no way. You have to trust that person. How can you trust someone if you have been cheated on? There is a way. Love means forgiving, and if you think you know how to love and that you know how to give love, then you should show it. Now. Right away. Always. To everyone. Yes, even to them.
Translated from the Serbian by Svetlana Milivojević-Petrović