What Happens When You Don’t Listen to Your Gut?

I have a friend who shared with me, that despite the fact that her boyfriend cheated on her, multiple times; she still did not want to break up with him.

They had been together for a little under two years and in the course of that time, there had been multiple instances of him flirting, hitting on, or asking out other women. Every time one of these scenarios would happen they would break up, fight and he would end up trying to rationalize the instances; claiming that what he was doing wasn’t cheating, but for my friend, he was.

One of those instances ended up in him having sex with another woman and my friend finding out. She decided to break up with him for good and moved out of his apartment the next day. She had only been out of their apartment for two days and was already working towards making amends with him. She called me and we talked for a few hours and by the end of the conversation she said, “The next time I am definitely not going to put up with it.”

…claiming that what he was doing wasn’t cheating, but for my friend, he was.

I remember not saying anything because I was shocked by her statement. The silence became deafening and we ended up arguing and she told me that my silence regarding this situation felt like I was judging her.

It was true, I was judging her.

Her decision seemed unfathomable to me. I finally asked her, ”What does your gut say?”

She didn’t care what her gut said, she simply loved him and had a deep emotional connection with him, this was just his flaw.

My actions towards her did drip with judgment. She was right, but that’s beside the point. Despite her gut and despite the betrayal she still insisted on giving him another opportunity. She abandoned her gut and listened to her emotional response.

It’s one that I can say I’m not sure I would not follow or change.

I try in almost every situation to listen to my gut. In fact, I feel very proud of the fact that in most instances if my gut doesn’t say anything I won’t move, but in matters of the heart, I have abandoned my gut, despite how loudly it was screaming.

The thought of love and all of the emotions that go into a relationship make you challenge your instinct to survive. It blinds you and that’s why love is so exciting and also so scary.

…but in matters of the heart, I have abandoned my gut, despite how loudly it was screaming.

I called her up and apologized for judging her—even though I still didn’t agree with her decision, I did take the time to understand and listen, because at one time I was there. I used to be very staunch in my belief that “I’d never stay with someone who cheated on me,” but now that hypothetical felt so underdeveloped. In that hypothetical situation could I weed through logic and emotion and actually listen to my instincts?

I don’t have the answer, but I have been thinking, of other times I did not listen to my gut. Most of the times those scenarios didn’t end up working well. I am unqualified to really give any advice on this topic, but I do want to open the conversation. Do you think cheating is more gray or black and white? Have you ever abandoned your gut? Not necessarily in instances of cheating, but in general. What was the outcome?