#HurtBae: Healing After Someone You Love Cheats on You

A heartbreaking video of a former couple, Kourtney and Leonard, talking about what went wrong with their reported relationship after their breakup went viral after The Scene released it on Valentine’s Day. She was quickly nicknamed #HurtBae on social media by the many people who watched her tearful response to her ex admitting he was repeatedly unfaithful to her.

  

 

All the details about the individuals featured in the video are not currently clear, but the emotional truth of the conversation still resonates. Though it isn’t necessary to share something so deeply personal and painful with the entire world, there is something beautiful in choosing to share what many might dismiss as an ugly part of your life for the sake of others. That’s why myself and so many others choose to write for I Believe in Love.

The video is raw, but we can learn a lot about how to heal and move on from such a painful experience through their story. The full video, over five minutes long, is worth watching. Here are some of the main takeaways:

1. It’s Not Your Fault

“What did you do?,” asks Kourtney at the beginning of the video.

“I had sex with other girls. I did everything,” responds Leonard.

Reflecting on their relationship, he says “I would say that you were my best friend.” She responds with a heartfelt “Yeah, me too.”

She recalls how he would lie about the other women he was talking to and seeing on the side. At one point, she asks how many times he cheated on her. He tells her, “I wasn’t counting.” She gets up and leaves to compose herself, then returns to continue the conversation. Kourtney also recounts how he asked her to leave after she caught him once with another woman in his room. What becomes clear is that she wanted a real relationship, while he states he simply didn’t want to commit at the time.

Just because you love someone you are dating doesn’t mean they will be who you want and need them to be in your life. Even if you are each other’s “best friend,” that doesn’t mean that the relationship will work. She wanted something he didn’t want to offer. Their choices have nothing to do with you. That’s on them, don’t blame yourself.

2.You Can’t Change Them

There is great value to giving someone who has made mistakes the opportunity to change, but that doesn’t mean you can change them.

Kourtney appears to have tried to salvage her relationship after Leonard told her he would stop cheating on her. But the trust wasn’t there. She recalls checking to see if he was still talking to other women.

“There was kind of a point when things weren’t really the same. Just like you would always go through my phone or my computer,” says Leonard in the video. “If you would go to that measure to find whatever, why wouldn’t you just leave?” he asks her.

Leonard’s got a point. He was unwilling to change for the sake of his relationship with her. Like he says, they weren’t “on the same page.” Her checking in on what he was doing wasn’t going to change that. Does any of this excuse his behavior? Absolutely not. But it does mean that you can’t force things to work out.

“There’s nothing that you could have done differently that I think would have prevented it,” says Leonard. “I think that you did everything that you needed to do to be a good girlfriend and I was lucky to have someone like you.”

If you are already married, then the best thing that you can do to salvage your relationship is to go to counseling. If you are dating, it’s a different story. You haven’t promised each other a lifelong commitment. It’s okay to forgive and move on to someone who is willing to give you what you deserve.

3.You Can Forgive Without Remaining Friends

Kourtney forgave Leonard for how he treated her, as she says, “because you’re my best friend.”

He apologizes for “hurting you and I hope in the future we can remain good friends. The video ends with a postscript stating that they live in separate states but still talk regularly.

Here’s something to remember: Forgiving someone doesn’t mean you have to be friends with them, or even in contact with them. Forgiveness means responding in love despite someone’s flaws. That doesn’t necessarily mean welcoming them back into your life. Forgiveness is a way of letting go. That can be really, really hard especially when you’ve become so emotionally invested in making a relationship work. But sometimes it’s necessary for you to move on with your life. Nothing kills our ability to love more than resentment. Forgive not just for their sake, but for your own. 

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Since the video was filmed in October 2016, both parties appear to have largely moved on with their lives. According to Heavy.com, Kourtney’s sister said Leonard started dating someone shortly afterwards. The site also reported she is not in an exclusive relationship right now, but reported that she is in a “much better place.”

If you are going through any of this, just remember that life goes on. Don’t demand change from someone who isn’t willing to. There are people in your life who do love you and want the best for you- and their might be someone just around the corner who will treat you the way you deserve.

Mariana

lives in Washington, DC. She is the second oldest of four but is perpetually the middle child. Growing up in Mississippi and later Michigan, her parents raised her to be a steel magnolia that will still bloom despite the cold midwestern winters. She believes in love because love is all you need.
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