Marie on the difference between infidelity and rape

Warning: talks about rape

Infidelity or cheating in my eyes is something that should never be done. To me the act of cheating is unforgivable. However that does not mean I am a saint, I have been unfaithful in the past. I was raised to see cheating as any action that should be reserved for your partner happening with someone else. (eg. Dates, kissing, sex etc.) It was very black and white, if it happened it is cheating, no ‘if’s, ‘and’s or ‘but’s.

I was dating a man a few years back and my best friend invited me to a party. My boyfriend, lets call him Craig, had no reason to have a problem with me attending. I’d gone to plenty of parties with my best friend without him in the past with no issues arising. So with no reason to not trust me going he told me to have fun and he’ll pick me up afterwards. The party was being held on a party bus and we had a blast; we were drinking, dancing, and conversing the night away. By the time the party was over everyone was fairly intoxicated, and we were all splitting ways: some to continue drinking and others to go home. My best friend and I said goodbye as we had to go opposite directions for our rides.

I’ll admit I had a bit too much to drink and was not fully aware of my surroundings.  As I was walking towards my destination one of the guys who we were partying with appeared next to me.  He seemed nice enough and we were both heading the same way, me for my ride and him for the bus.  We easily fell into conversation, and were seemingly walking innocently down the street. I knew the area pretty well and it was a pretty safe place so I felt fairly comfortable.  However I did not take into account that the person I was walking with could potentially be a threat. Although he seemed nice enough, that night my attempts to fight off and plead with him to stop were futile and he is now my rapist.

When I finally met up with Craig I felt dirty, violated, and ashamed.  I wanted to go home, sleep, and tell him what had happened. However seeing as he had a bunch of friends in the car with him who wanted food, that did not happen as the only way to make him change his mind was to blurt out in front of everyone what had just happened. Which put off me telling him for the night seeing as I was dead tired by the time he dropped the last friend off at home.

In my state of intoxication I knew it was rape, and not my fault. I had no issues telling him about what happened, Craig was my boyfriend and I trusted him.  However when I woke up in a clearer, more sober state of mind I started second guessing myself.  I still knew I was raped, however I started blaming myself. I chastised myself over getting drunk and the ‘what if’s started arising. What if I had gotten Craig to pick me up closer? What if I had been more aware of my surroundings? What if I kept my guard up? Countless scenarios went through my head including if I had fought harder, I tortured myself with these thoughts for months. Along with these thoughts came the fear that Craig would see it the same way. Would he blame me? Would he consider it cheating? That scared me and pushed me into not telling him.

Months went by and I was withdrawn, depressed and ashamed. Eventually I tried to tell Craig and it came out as a garbled mess.  By that point some part of me had twisted it into I had cheated and I was to blame. Thankfully he did not see it that way, he saw it just as rape and not an act of infidelity.  It had taken me quite a while for me to revert to that way of thinking as well.

Infidelity is the action or state of being unfaithful to a spouse or other sexual partner. I had classified my rape as infidelity because someone other than my boyfriend had been ‘intimate’ with me regardless of consent. Someone else had touched me places reserved for my boyfriend.  I had in my mind skipped over the part where I had not willingly allowed those events to happen, I only focused on the fact that it happened.  I should not have thought that way, but I had.

Rape is not an act of infidelity.  No one chooses to be raped. Infidelity is a choice someone makes. The only part of rape that is a choice is the rapist’s choice to violate someone when they have not consented. No one should blame themselves of cheating if it was rape.  The person did not choose for those events to take place, they did not consent, making it rape.  If someone you are with is raped and you blame them for cheating you are wrong.  No one should feel or be blamed of cheating if they were raped. It took me a long time to separate the two, but I don’t know if I would have without the help of my boyfriend.  If he had blamed me I don’t know if I would be able to separate the two and be able to say I was raped without classifying it as infidelity.

Unfaithful: engaging in sexual relations with a person other than one’s regular partner in contravention of a previous promise or understanding.
Rape: unlawful sexual intercourse or any other sexual penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth of another person, with or without force, by a sex organ, other body part, or foreign object, without the consent of the victim.
They are not the same.

Stay Loud. Stay Proud. Stay Faithful.
Marie Olsson xx

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Infidelity -Brian O’Connor

Infidelity also known as cheating is a pretty common subject now a days that everyone has experienced or is dealing with. I personally think that if you’re going to cheat on someone then you shouldn’t even consider being with them or at least be honest and now a days that’s one thing that ruins a relationship. When a person is hiding the fact that they cheated on someone, their partner has to find out through a friend, or find out for themselves by walking into their partner being with someone else. To be honest it’s the worst feeling ever to think or find out your partner is cheating on you. I went through it multiple times and it hurts a lot, I don’t think anyone should ever really go through it. If you want to be with someone don’t have others on the side you flirt with because most relationships end knowing that there’s other people involved and can cause a lot of trust issues. The lack of trust now a days will end a relationships really quickly and depending on who you are and how you deal with things it can either be good or bad. Everyone has different ways dealing with the fact they got cheated on rather that’s by moving on real quick or by letting the hurt get to most us.

My experience with cheating was pretty terrible. The first time I was cheated on I found out by overhearing my girlfriend at the time talking to our roommate that she cheated on me with four guys in four days. To hear the fact that your girlfriend did that to you and having her hide it sucked big time. After that I didn’t date or see anyone for the longest time really; my previous relationship I had a gut feeling that my girlfriend was cheating on me just by the way she acted towards me and the way she treated me. Along with seeing her with a guy five minutes before she texted me saying that were breaking up. I really don’t know what hurt more, over hearing the fact I got cheated on or getting a text message saying were breaking up… Still to this day I can’t understand what went wrong, did I do something? Or was it because I wasn’t good enough for them that they would cheat on me?

I have grown to realize now that we need to leave the past behind us and that we all move on to finding someone better one day, it may not be today or tomorrow but one day we all can find someone we trust. I for one have a lot of trust issues now a days that I’m not ready to be in a relationship with someone yet, whether I have known them for a couple years or not. As much as it sucks to be cheated on, I just want you to realize you are not alone and there are many people that have been through or dealing with similar situations as you. Be positive though a right relationship will come your way when the time is right and you will find someone that won’t cheat on you.

Love Yourself First

Brian O’Connor