http://lincolnfillstation.com/blog/page/7/ Preface: This is probably one of the darkest and most vulnerable pieces I've ever written. It's tested my faith and my resolve to trust in God when I'm scared of what people will think of me. It's the worst of me that I would have never wanted to reveal to anyone, but in the spirit of Good Friday, I know there's nothing I could have ever done that hasn't been forgiven already. I share this only to potentially reach out to any men who may have been as confused and lost as I was at this time in my life.
I broke her trust. Again. And again. Each time I swore I would never let it happen again. Each time I would continue to slip into the habits that caused our relationship to suffer. I couldn't figure out why. It was like something was ingrained within me that made me unable to appreciate what was in front of me.
I wasn't strong enough to stop it on my own.
I grew up wanting to be the quintessential hero of heroes. In my mind, I played the role of Ash Ketchum, Pokemon Master, or the Green Power Ranger, the ringer who would bail the other Rangers out of trouble, or even Goku, the alien super-fighter who defended the planet he was meant to destroy. What these cartoons and kids shows have also taught me was how to treat women. The protagonist was always respectful, playing the role of the faithful and loving boyfriend/husband/etc. They never strayed, and they were always there to serve and protect.
So what happened to me? Life as a skinny Asian teen with acne wasn't as kind to me as I had hoped. Little did I know, girls in high school (especially the really pretty ones) didn't respond much to "nice" guys. They seemed to like all of the cool, "bad boy" personalities. That definitely wasn't me. I used to cry in grade school when someone stole a pencil from me.
However, I eventually learned to adapt because I wanted these kinds of girls to like me. I didn't know that it would transform me into the type of guy I never wanted to become. I grew more cocky. Aloof. I began to string girls along, giving them just barely enough time and attention to keep them chasing me. It felt good. I felt wanted. I became addicted to this feeling and eventually didn't feel complete as a person until I had 2-3 girls interested in me at any given time.
I didn't know that it would transform me into the type of guy I never wanted to become.
How did this affect my relationship with Jewelz?
Unfortunately, she found me at my lowest. I had just hit bottom and asked God to take away the emptiness I was feeling from meaningless sex and dating. I slowly tried to make progress, but it would take over a year to break the reckless dating habits that had been so deeply ingrained within me over the past decade. I only now truly appreciate the tremendous grace Jewelz gave me to help make me a better man.
At this point, I should mention that I never physically cheated on Jewelz. I didn't as much as kiss or touch anyone that attracted me in that manner. However, I cheated on her mentally and emotionally, which became more powerfully destructive than any wayward kiss could have ever been.
I had deleted all dating apps within a month or two of dating her. However, I still subscribed to Instagram and Snapchat feeds with bikini or nude photos. I even collected screenshots of them in case I wanted to ever go back to peruse them. I begrudging gave them all up when Jewelz found out I had them, but at the time, I still didn't appreciate how they affected both my mind and how I viewed our relationship.
I didn't delete the contacts from past relationships and past flings that were still sitting in my phone. Sometimes I hit them up for casual conversation or to get their advice for my relationship (worst place to go, I know). Sometimes they still sent me flirty or "more than flirty" pics. Sometimes I encouraged it. I didn't stop them because it brought back that feeling of being wanted by more than one woman. It made me feel like a "real man."
[I am still hesitating to write this section, and I pray for the grace of anyone reading it to not judge me in my weakness.] Whenever I was really struggling in my relationship with Jewelz, I would occasionally fall back into the habit of sexting old flings. One time, we had hit a particularly rough patch. I was absolutely sure the relationship would not work out because we had been arguing past midnight every single night that week over fundamental things like Christianity, and it was taking a huge toll on me at work. I lost hope in us. So instead, I reached out to a particularly elegant woman from my past. I complained about our problems to her, and eventually, I convinced her to let me come over, knowing fully well what would ensue.
That was the worst of me.
I felt incredibly guilty, but I let my frustration push my guilt to the side. I'm not sure if I prayed that night or if God was on my mind from all of the arguing, but instead of seeing each other that night, I set up the meeting for the next evening. By some divine intervention (and I wasn't Christian yet), I came to the realization that if I gave it a day and slept it off instead of going over to her place that night, I would probably clear my mind and come to my senses. I distinctly remember knowing that everything I was doing and feeling at that moment was wrong. It was a temporary fix for temporary feelings, and it wasn't the type of person I wanted to become. I woke up the next morning, still fully aware of the implications of what I had almost done, and I apologized to her and called it off.
What I learned:
Growing up, I thought I had all the time in the world to do what I wanted in life. However, the realization of my limited time on earth has begun to finally sink in. I have a limited amount of time to love. I have a limited amount of time to dedicate to relationships with those I care about. Everything that I do must intentionally account for what I want to have built by the end of my life. This reminds of me a recent quote on marriage I read from "The Meaning of Marriage" by Timothy Keller:
"If you were seventy-five, which would you rather have: years of steady if occasionally strained devotion, or something that looks a little bit like the Iraqi city of Fallujah, cratered with spent artillery?"
A marriage forged by decades of deep struggle, learning, compromise, and ultimately joy is way more interesting than a fleeting romance or affair, regardless of how passionate it may seem at the time.
I think men are particularly prone to the subconscious dismantling of their fidelity. There are an incredible number of things that nudge us towards infidelity nowadays that we barely pay attention to it. It starts with being okay with staring at lingerie catalogs a little too long. Then we reason that there's no harm in craning our necks just to catch the hot young joggers along the beach for another second. Eventually, we decide that there's nothing wrong with a little playful flirting with the cute co-worker as long as it doesn't lead to anything serious. can you buy clomid at gnc Where do we draw the line?
I would argue that most men don't draw the line. They let the line be drawn for them. When they "realize what is happening," sometimes they try to draw the line a little too late. The fundamental problem behind this is a lack of awareness and intention. Personally, I wasn't really aware of how things like pictures of lingerie models or even porn could alter my view of women and how I treated them in relationships. What followed from that was a lack of intention in controlling my thought process and focusing on what a real quality woman was like and how she deserved to be treated.
I now guard my mind very closely with respect to letting it wander emotionally and psychologically (even though I am still single). When I pass by a Victoria Secret store, I remind myself that their depiction of models is not a realistic of indication of what women are "supposed to" look like. Whenever I see girls out on a night painting the town or even pictures on Instagram of friends dressed up and looking especially gorgeous, I'm happy for them that they get to spend time in fellowship, but I caution myself that having great cleavage and looking sexy in a dress are not true indicators of what will bring happiness in a 30+ year marriage.
Even when meeting a new girl, I used to daydream about what kind of person she was and what it would be like to be with her. The thought of "what if" always fell short of "what was," and the thought of "what might be" always sabotaged what I already had in front of me. I've since learned to appreciate what God has blessed me with in life. I'm working on creating better relationships around me instead of selectively forcing some while neglecting others based on my passing desires.
For example, I recently met a gorgeous nurse at work. Unfortunately, her recent boyfriend had cheated on her, and now she's having a rough time letting go. I could give into temptation and insert myself as a rebound relationship to help both of us get over our exes. Instead, I understand that she's in no state of mind to date anyone right now, and using each other for mutual self-comfort would only confuse us and hinder our ability to grow as individuals in Christ. So, I've resolved to only be her friend for the time being and help her grow her relationship with God until she's ready for a healthy, stable, and fulfilling relationship with someone new. Only by consistently showing respect will I make myself ready for that kind of relationship too.
My actions will reflect the kind of person God is molding me into, and I will work to ensure that they shine light on anyone He brings into my life.