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*Warning: The following videos contain descriptive, explicit content with really, really bad words which could offend those with Bambi ears. Please tread with caution.
————————————Meet Ali Bill and Andrew Jernigan.

On September 1, 2015, Glamour introduced them in two videos as “Ali and Andrew.” Exes from a seven-year relationship who dissected their courtship two years later.

The videos diminished most viewers to rubble – wallowing in masses of snotty tissues. Surrounded by McCain’s cake foil trays as they poured over dusty yearbooks and faded photos.

And I was one of them. Well, minus the McCain’s.

I took to Facebook, reposting the videos in a flood of tears. “Everyone should do this,” I wrote. “When it ends, and the other party doesn’t know why, no one has closure. People need closure.”

People agreed. Except that one person. But they’re jaded.

As an impulsive Aries, I wanted to spearhead an “open-ex night” at some undisclosed location. It’d be an emotional, epic night of closure. I’d secure Kleenex as a sponsor. Hearts would mend. Exes would speak after years of silence.

That was in 2015.

Then I watched the videos in 2017. From a different perspective.

Yes, it was sad. And I felt for both parties. Pouring your heart out, knowing the videos will be public is difficult. And Andrew was – eventually – painfully honest with Ali. But that’s the issue. Eventually. This is what I observed:

  1. Someone who gave too many chances.
  2. Someone who didn’t give any chances.
  3. Someone who “was interested in other options” who had to be told “That’s cheating.”
  4. Someone who – when given a blank card – asked if the other person would consider going out again.

When the downfall of a relationship are cheating, lying and dishonesty? Never ask that question. A relationship without trust isn’t a relationship.

Forgiving someone isn’t a weakness. The forgiver truly believes the other person won’t repeat their mistake. They believe the other person will change. The irony is the forgiver continues to forgive. Establishing their own pattern – just as the betrayer long established theirs.

The betrayer learns, “Hey, I can do what I want, whenever I want, and they’ll forgive me. Awesome.”

No. It’s not awesome.

There’ll be epic fights about where you were; who you were with; when you were there; how long you were there; and for what reason. You’ll be under a microscope for the duration of the relationship. And you’ll lie your way out of the fights. Gaslight. Twist the story. Silent treatment. Pack up and leave. Return. Repeat.

You’ll manipulate the situation so people feel bad for you. And it’s baffling. Because you created the mess, even though you’ll argue otherwise.

But that’s the problem when you’re trying to save a cheater and a liar.

They’re never the one treading tears.