Being a person who forgives everything under the sun has put me in uncomfortable situations that I am still struggling to overcome. Some of you may think I’m crazy for allowing these men to use me, but I don’t look at it like that.

I met Dan at a bar. I was newly single and knew my new-found single life wouldn’t last long because of my need to be in a relationship all the time. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to be single, but from a very young age I always had a boyfriend. I’m not sure why, but I think I loved the attention. He played basketball at the University of Waterloo, I found that attractive because I use to play basketball.

“Personally, I don’t think cheating is wrong. I think it’s a apart of life.”

After hanging out for a couple of weeks we were a couple. I went to every basketball game and cheered him on. The only thing was Dan was dead broke. Men being broke never bothered me. I came from a family that made sure I wanted for nothing, he didn’t. He was American and grew up in a bad area. When I first went to his dorm room I noticed he had no sheets on his bed and he admitted to me that he only ate once a day. I was raised to help people out no matter what. No matter who they are, no matter how they treat me. Everyone deserves to eat. Everyone deserves to sleep on sheets.

The next few weeks I bought him food, made sure he had sheets on his bed, and made sure he wanted for nothing. It worked for both of us. He was 6’7 with dreads as long as my weave and beautiful chocolate skin. Who was going to turn that down. A few months later, Dan and I moved into my parent’s basement. We lived there for a while and became our own little family. I mentioned that Dan is American right?! Moving in together changed the dynamic of our relationship tremendously. His visa was about to expire and I thought for a moment that I loved him enough so I didn’t want him to leave. He loved me, I could feel it. I suggested that we get married secretly without telling our families. I told some of my friends and they questioned whether or not this is the best idea and I was confident that it was. Deep down I knew calling my friends who haven’t heard from me for months regarding my soon to be wedding meant I was doubting this union. I got so wrapped up in my life with Dan I didn’t speak to a lot of my people. The night before we got married I went to see an ex (who just stopped pulling on my heart-strings #tear). We had sex the night before I got married and my feelings for Dan changed drastically. It went from I think I love this man to I don’t.

Dan and I got married outside at a park in August. I wore a white summer dress and my friends from work were the witnesses. After our wedding, we moved to the city because he was no longer able to go to the University of Waterloo, but needed to be in school in order to stay in Canada. We both continued our education at Humber and that’s when things went from bad to worse. I didn’t want to tell my story in chronological order. Things were bad when we lived in my parent’s basement, but I wanted to paint the picture I was painting to my friends and family. There were holes in the walls that I had to explain to my parents. I had to come up with a story so my dad wouldn’t flip out. He would push my head into the pillow, shake me up, and turned into someone I didn’t see when he was broke with no sheets on his bed. These men switch up on you like they were like that the whole time. As if their new behaviour is something I’m suppose to tolerate because he’s been the same person the whole time. WRONG.

“He was always going to be there because I was his ticket out of whatever dysfunctional life he lived in America.”

We lived in our apartment together for 8 months before we I kicked him out. I was a breadwinner and he was basically my bitch that would bitch all the time. During that time there was multiple holes on MY walls. There was literally a hole in almost every room. I had a broken closet door (courtesy of Dan) that my friend and I had to break down together. I had to tell the building that they gave me the unit without a closet door. I had to patch up all the holes before moving out of that apartment. I wasn’t allowed to go out or see my friends or family. He hated my friends because they’d invite me out and I would actually go. I felt trapped because he was husband, but also because I know he needed me. I paid for almost everything. I convinced my parents to help me get him a car, I basically got him every job he’s ever had. He was always going to be there because I was his ticket out of whatever dysfunctional life he lived in America.

The truth is I got tired of him and his semi abusive nature. I started seeing other guys. One was from school, the other from an online dating site, which resulted in some repercussions. I was cheating on someone who would never cheat on me because he was obsessed. He went from this player who never had a real relationship before in his life to settling down with me. We made a promise to each other that we would forget the first three months of our relationship because of his infidelities. Once we made that promise he actually changed. Dan was the first guy that I actually stayed faithful to for a long period of time. It didn’t last, but I was just as wrapped into him as he was of me. It just wasn’t meant to be and you’ll learn why.

I deserved better than Dan. Yes I cheated, but he never knew a thing and cheating doesn’t excuse his abusive nature. I wasn’t going to divorce him because he needed that paper, so I distracted myself by talking to other men. Personally, I don’t think cheating is wrong. I think it’s a apart of life. Sure, it sucks to be the person being cheated on, but some couples make it through cheating. I grew up around a father that cheated on my mother constantly. He had two kids all while being married to my mother and she forgave him. I know my dad loves my mother, he actually adores her. I think he can’t be with one woman. He can love one woman, protect one woman, and cherish one woman, but he can’t be tied down to one woman. I see it in many relationships. My mother has only ever been with my father and she stayed through thick and thin. People cheat all the time and forgive cheaters as well. I don’t see the big deal. And don’t get me wrong I understand why some people find it to be the worse thing, but that’s not my view.

So, the last you heard about Dan and I was that I kicked him out. That didn’t last, we moved back into my parents house and things continued the way they were. I didn’t want to leave. When things were good it was great. A month before we moved into our own apartment again… I went out for my sister birthday and when I got home I was welcomed with hands around my neck. Yep, he choked me. I told him that day that we have one month left and if he laid a finger on me before then I wouldn’t move out with him. He behaved for the time being.

I think over time Dan got tired of me too. I caught him on Tinder and I was fuming. How dare this guy who barely pays for shit cheat on me. He’s where he is because of me. He wasn’t happy with my display of emotions and pushed me into the wall. My back was black and blue. During that time my mom was in the hospital. I was with her when I got a phone call, “Hi, Cleopatra? I had a Cleo in my phone, but I couldn’t put a face to it.”

To be continued..