At a grocery store in 2014, Nikki approached me as I was standing in life to pay. Nikki was a professional model and Facebook friend. We spoke often on Facebook but never met in-person. Nikki was a very beautiful woman. I was surprised that she even recognized me.
Nikki’s hands where over filled with food. I emptied my basket on the counter and gave it to her. She was rushing to pay for her things because she was late picking up her son from daycare. Nikki knew I was a photographer and she wanted me to take some photos of her. We exchanged numbers. We spoke that night, the next night, the next morning, and the morning after. We began talking on a regular basis.
Professional conversation began to turn to personal conversations. She enjoyed talking to me.
Suddenly, she had blocked my calls for a few weeks. Once she reached back out to me,she told me had gone back into a relationship with her ex and he didn’t want her talking to any other men. He beat her. They broke up again and she came right back to me. I should have seen that as a red flag.
Even though we were talking a lot it took me three months to see her again. She kept canceling dates and kept pushing off seeing me. It wasn’t until she wanted to go out parting and had no one to go with that she asked me to go out. I was too eager to hang out with her to turn her down. After three months of getting canceled on, I finally got a chance. However, that chance only came because she could get no one else. I placed her worth and time above mine. I allowed her measure of my worth to determine what I felt my worth was.
We hung out a lot after that. We grew very close. I was getting tired of our friendship level and wanted a serious relationship, however she would not commit. It took me pretending to be interested in someone else for her to take the step and get into a relationship with me. I manipulated her ego with her own selfish desires.
For months, I was going to her house and cooking for her and her son. If I was there alone, I would clean. I didn’t pay any of her bills, mainly because I didn’t have the extra money for it. I was already paying the bills at my own house and for my own car. I am sure if I’d had the money, I would have been paying her bills too.
One day Nikki confessed that she had bumped into her ex and he had kissed her. She kept on explaining that she didn’t allow it and that he had forced himself on her, while she was in his car. What made me upset is that she was in his car in the first place. “Why were you in his car?” I asked. She just kept apologizing and soon after I forgave her and we moved on. This would not be the first time the ex would appear, though.
At the time, I was too close to the issue and I was not thinking properly. The only reason she told me was because she felt bad about his advances. He felt comfortable enough to kiss her, and she felt comfortable enough with him to get in his car. I should have asked, Why were you in his car and where were you going? How did he find you? And, why are you talking to a man that just beat you? But I didn’t ask those questions because I was too busy enjoying the false sense of love, worth, and power that I had defined in my own mind.
Due to her performance, Nikki lost her job. She started to fall behind on her bills. Because she could no longer afford to live in her apartment, I offered her temporary stay at my home. In my mind, I was helping her get back on her feet like a man is supposed to do.
In the beginning everything was working out fine. While at my house, I was still doing the same things, cooking, cleaning, and paying of all the bills. I asked her for no money at all. I allowed her to save her money so that she would be able to get her own place. While she was in my home I took care of her and her son making sure that they were comfortable in my home.
Her son was autistic and very rebellious towards me. His family did not know how to communicate with him. As a result, they relied on him to point to what he wanted. I would not allow him to just point at things thinking I would just them. I worked with him to help develop his communication skills. I encouraged him to use full sentences and I documented his behavioral differences when his family was not around. This allowed them to see that he was manipulating them. He knew more than they thought he knew and was just using their ignorance for gain.
I challenged him to communicate better and because I helped him, he began speak in full sentences. We began to better understand what he could and could not do. Even though we clashed a lot he appreciated me for putting time and energy into helping him to develop.
Three months passed and Nikki still had no money saved up. She was spending all her money paying off old debts and getting her credit together. She had not saved up enough money to move, so I let her stay longer. I was continuing to provide for her while she improved her situation. Around this time, my eight-year-old daughter started living with me, so I was raising her full-time as well.
I was cooking and providing for my girlfriend, her son, and my child from my freelancing gigs. I was out making money, dollar by dollar, to take care of a whole family. I would be up working until two o’clock in the morning just to get back up at six. I did this for months straight. Moreover, I would also help Nikki get and manage modeling gigs. To me, I was doing this work for the people I loved, so I didn’t mind.
Nikki was losing the gigs that I had booked for her, and for the ones she did go on, her photos where coming out bad. She became very angry and sad. She told me that she felt like she was going through a depression and that her depression was causing her to act out of character. Because of this I tried to be more sensitive to her needs. This is when things started going bad in our relationship.
I began allowing things that normally I would not have allowed. Everything started going downhill once I found out she was still talking to her ex. Over and over again we argued about her still talking to him. Nikki kept saying she would never talk to him again. A week later she would be on the phone with him again. We would argue. A week later, all would be forgiven. She later confessed that she had his number saved in her phone under a woman’s name to cover her tracks.
Our arguments grew more intense. As the weeks went on, I became frustrated with her background role in our relationship and her secrecy and dishonesty. I started to see who she really was as a person.
Sometimes she would become a totally different person. It was like a bunch of evil would come out of her towards me and I did not know where it was coming from. All I did was help her and instead of stepping up, she lashed out. The anger she built up inside of her was transferring to me. I was getting angry to the point of breaking things and yelling. I had never in my life gotten that angry at anyone. I had never in my life felt that much hate and anger.
The energy she was giving off triggered anger inside of me. I never stopped for one second to ask myself where the energy was coming from.
Pay attention to whom you share your intimate energy with. Intimacy at this level intertwines your aural energy with the aural energy of the other person. These powerful connections, regardless of how insignificant you think they are, leave spiritual debris, particularly within people who do not practice any type of cleansing, physical, emotional or otherwise.
If I had been paying attention, I would have realized that she was getting that energy from her ex and bringing it to me. When it comes to energy, women are mainly receivers and men are mainly producers. A woman’s behavior changes when she receives a different level of energy. That is how you can tell if a woman is cheating. Women must cleanse their energy before returning.
I was putting up with her issues because it was feeding my need addiction. She needed me in order to survive, to eat, to get to and from work, and to get her son to school. I was there for her and I never put it in her face. I feel like that made her feel helpless and weak and she hated that. Nikki directed her hate towards me because I was the only person around.
It got to the point that she started to become verbally abusive. Nikki started telling me I wasn’t going to be anything, and all the work that I did was trash. Her verbal abuses pushed me past my breaking point. I broke up with her and kicked her out of my house.
A few days later, she called me and told me that she had been cheating on me with her ex the whole time she had been living in my home. She was feeling guilty about it and was lashing out at me because of it. I was hurt but not devastated. I was more hurt about her being verbally abusive towards me than her cheating.
Two months later, Nikki popped up at my door and I let her in. She started talking about how she lived out of her car until she moved in with her ex. Between the drugs and arguments, she realized that the only thing he was for her was fun. She wanted to work our relationship out and she was done with her ex. Of course, I took her back and forgave her.
Let me stop the story right here for a moment to advise you: If someone leaves you, cheats on you, and/or plays you for someone else, do not take them back. “Men have a difficult time understanding emotions not explicitly verbalized but can think more logically, while women have a more wholesome view of thinking & understanding but their emotions can sometimes influence decisions” (Niu, 2014).
Women should take time to develop their relationships with men. Normally, women have feelings for the person with whom they cheat. So, even after the act of cheating, a woman will continue to have feelings for this other person. Therefore, there is a high likelihood of her cheating again with the same person.
Moreover, we have to understand the 80/20 rule.
Nobody is going to possess all the qualities you are looking for. You have to find the person that has most of the qualities you want and settle with them. People get so wrapped up in what they do not have that they forget what that do have. People lose their 80% over the missing 20%.
As men, we have to realize that most women are not rational when it comes to their emotions. This is why many of them choose “bad” men. They don’t choose the men because the men are bad per se, but because these men and their lifestyles stimulate women emotionally. Therefore, women are more likely gravitate toward “bad” men.
In my case, Nikki’s ex provided her with the emotional ride that I did not give her. I thought that because I was a good man that was enough, but that was far from the truth. To Nikki, the drugs, alcohol, parting, and violence stimulated her more, therefore she cheated. However, as Nikki learned, when the person you cheated with becomes your primary partner and not your escape, the whole situation changes. This is something I should have paid attention to in the beginning of our friendship. However, I was so wrapped up in her, I willingly ignored the red flags.
Why did I stay so long? How did I allow all of this disgrace to enter into my relationship? I believed that I loved her. And, because of that, I stayed. But, was it really love? And, did she really love me? It’s fascinating how clear your mind becomes when you step back from a situation.
I do believe that she loved me but I don’t believe that she wanted me. I believe that I was just convenient for her. She did not need to go far to find help with any of her issues. Whenever she would call, I would be there. I made myself too available to her without requiring her to be available to me. I mistook her need for me as her love of me.
Not once did she help me in my life. I was doing everything and she was sitting back and enjoying it, until her secrets came out. I have always confused love and need. My parents created this idea that love is being there for someone when they need you, but that’s not love its reliability.
After this relationship, I knew I needed to work on me. Trying to gain control over people is what causes my codependency. I create an environment where I am needed and therefore others have to submit to me. What I didn’t realize was that there is no such thing as controlling someone else. We barely have control over our own lives.
I thought I could control my codependency. I thought because I knew I was codependent that I would have more control over my codependency. That was wrong. I had to work at controlling my codependency.
I never should have allowed Nikki to move into my home. I never should have allowed her to continue to talk to her ex. Her cheating was my fault. My heartbreak was my own fault. I allowed her to cross that line over and over again and then forgave her. I allowed that poison into my life. I could have told her to leave, but I allowed the bad behavior, abuse, and negative mentality.