When you’ve never been betrayed by a partner before in your life, it’s easy to declare that once it happens to you, you’ll absolutely pack up and go—no questions asked. But once the man who does the betraying is someone you truly love, that righteous indignation won’t come so easy.
Joey* and I had been a couple in college, but we only dated for a short while. Almost a decade since we first went out, he saw me on Facebook and added me. We had been chatting on Facebook for a few weeks when we decided to go out. After that night, we became a couple again, and we began seeing each other almost every day.
Naturally, I fell for Joey a second time. He’s a very caring person who would always help out in any way he could without complaining. He’s down-to-earth and can get along well with people from different walks of life, even choosing to chat with security guards or yayas over bosses or rich people. He makes me feel beautiful; he has seen me as both fat and thin, and he adores me either way. He is supportive of my passions and endeavors; I often seek his advice whenever I run out of ideas and he always calms me down. But what I love most about him is how good he is with kids. Every kid I know loves him—including my daughter.
I’m a single mom who had been scarred by two failed relationships before Joey came back into my life, so I had my doubts about starting a new one. At the same time, I had just begun a new career and was very busy. But Joey was supportive; he would arrive at my workplace and would offer to help out. And besides the fact that we just really enjoyed each other’s company, he was always there for me whenever I needed someone.
One time, my daughter asked Joey, “Are you also going to leave us?” To which he replied, “No. I will stay with you and never leave.”
That was when I felt that he could be it, the man who would be in my and my daughter’s future for good.
Joey and I were always together, and even when we weren’t, we were always texting or calling each other. So imagine my shock when a woman claiming to be his girlfriend rocked the steady bond he and I had built.
I began to receive strange text messages from an unknown number two weeks before I learned about the other woman. I didn’t really pay any mind to them when I first got them because I didn’t have any suspicions that Joey was going behind my back anyway. One time, however, I got a message from the same number straight-up asking if I knew Joey. I asked him about it, and to my surprise, he told me not to reply. I began to wonder why he’d get uncomfortable about a text message.
One day, I decided to reply to the unknown texter. The reply I got shocked me: It said that she was Honey*, Joey’s girlfriend. According to her, they had been together for years already.
I felt as if a huge weight had suddenly been dropped on me, and I couldn’t breathe. But I had to know more. I asked Honey how they could be together when Joey was always with me. Honey revealed that she and Joey actually lived together, but they never went out anymore.
Shocked, hurt, and infuriated, I texted Joey and said that I never wanted to see him again. He replied asking if he could explain, but I shot back that I didn’t want to be the other woman in this drama.
For a week, I didn’t talk to Joey. However, at work, I would catch him peeking in to check on me. Since he knew that I was very busy, he would leave food on the hood of my car with a note that said I should eat and take care of myself. I was already an emotional mess by then, but his little efforts made me cry even more because I knew in my heart that he loves me.
We decided to talk again after a week. Joey explained that he had been with Honey for a long time, but he no longer loved her. He couldn’t leave her because she’d always have a meltdown whenever he would try to leave her, even threatening to hurt herself. He kept waiting for her to get a job so she could start being independent, but she never did. He was scared that I would leave him once I found out about Honey, and ever since we started dating again, he was happy again. He had been unhappy with Honey for so long.
And I believed him. I believed in his love for me. I recounted the many times he was there for me, and I knew he needed me now just as much as I needed him in those times.
Joey asked me if I could wait for him. He promised to fix everything first so we could finally be together for good. While we weren’t together, I would spend time with members of his family. They would tell me how much Joey had changed for the better in the time that we started dating again.
After a month or so, Joey moved out of the place he shared with Honey and back in with his family. His siblings told me how happy they were to be with their brother again. Since then, I began to feel that maybe our reconnection was bound to happen. Maybe we were meant to find each other again so I could draw him out of the unfortunate life he shared with Honey and back to his family, back to a happier life.
Our relationship has been a really bumpy ride, but we changed for the better when we found our way back to each other—both of us, not just him. Before Joey found me again, he was often out with friends drinking. I, too, was always out whenever I had no work; I guess I was trying to fool myself into believing that shopping and going out at night made me happy. But after everything that happened between us, we quit that lifestyle and have settled into a quiet one at home together with my daughter. We still encounter problems, but we always know that the worst is behind us—anything that happens from here on out, we’ll be able to surpass together.
I learned that love really does make you do things you never thought you were capable of doing; it can inspire you to make sacrifices and conquer any challenge thrown at you.
And I also learned to really just pray. I had prayed to God that if Joey was not the one for me, I would accept it if he was taken away from me—as long as my daughter and I were okay. But Joey never left. He stayed and fulfilled his promise to my daughter.
Loving someone is always a choice. You can either choose to keep loving someone through their faults, or you can choose to leave them for good. Me? I chose to love Joey anyway. Some might say that what he did to Honey, he could do to me. But because I choose to love him, I choose to believe in the strength of our love. And you know what? Our relationship now is better than ever.
*Names have been changed