Your Heart

I Did A Terrible, Horrible, Anti-Feminist Thing.

By January 8, 2016 0

I’ve always thought of myself as being a feminist. I have a girl squad! I take lots and lots of birth control! I’m pro-choice!

But a few years ago, I really, really fucked up. I did the most anti-femist, anti-woman thing I can imagine:

I blamed the girl.

When I was in college, I found out one of my closest friends slept with, and then started dating, my ex-boyfriend. He and I had a tumultuous, on-again-off-again 7-year relationship, and one final horrific breakup  that landed me with wrist restraints in a psych ward. I was a complete mess when things ended, and my “friend” was one of the few people who was there for me through all of it.

3 months after the post-breakup meltdown, just as my life was starting to feel together again, the “friend” texted me and asked if we could meet for coffee.

Within minutes, she started crying and told me that she’d gotten really drunk one and kissed my ex-boyfriend.

I felt like I’d gotten punched in the stomach, but instead of letting it get to me, I immediately forgave her. “Shit happens,” I told her. “We all get drunk and make mistakes. We’re too good of friends to let this come between us.”

We laughed and hugged, etc. etc. Then, she handed me an envelope and walked away.

The letter inside basically said that she was sorry, but she was going to continue seeing my ex-boyfriend, and if I had a problem with it our friendship was over. The ball was in my court, but she had made her choice and it wasn’t me.

I later found out that they had been sleeping together, right under my nose, for months. The same months, in fact, that she was preaching to me that I “just needed to get over him and move on.”

That fucking bitch. That traitorous, fucking bitch.

I thought it then, and I still think it now, 6 years later. She betrayed me in the worst way, and beyond that, she broke girl code (Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj would be PISSED. Candace, on the other hand, thinks its fine). Seriously — who does that??

But as much as I hate her, I actually hate myself for hating her more.

Let me explain:

My ex-boyfriend and I are now  great friends — we talk all the time, and the fact that he was secretly fucking one of my best friends behind my back is all but forgotten.

She and I, on the other hand, never recovered.

Don’t get me wrong: she tried to apologize, and a few times I even tried to accept it. I really, really wanted to — it would have been a lot easier than continuing to hate her — but every time I tried to let it go I remembered what it felt like to open that letter and find out that she’d betrayed me.

But why? Why was I able to forgive him almost immediately after they broke up (she caught him cheating on her, which was just about the best revenge I could have ever asked f0r), but have held onto my ill will toward her for the better part of the last decade?

I have one theory that just about sums it up: convincing myself that she was some sort of slutty temptress who lured my ex into bed and tricked him into falling in love with her was much easier than considering the fact that he probably wanted her, too.

Keep in mind, this was one of my closest friends we’re talking about here.

As women, we are much, much quicker to blame the other woman when it comes to cheating. Whether it’s  full-blown infidelity or a trickier-to-define situation, like mine, we let the dudes off scot-free. Women are more willing to forgive their cheating boyfriend or husband because it’s easier to start hating her than to stop loving him. 

I’m the first one to raise my hand and say, “yup, I did that,” but not without a little bit of shame, even all these years later: This “ex-friend” of mine broke “girl code,” but so did I. By vilifying her, while simultaneously letting my ex back into my life, I was just as guilty of being a shitty woman as she was.