Confessions of an Internet-Famous Cheater

When I betrayed my fiancée, I destroyed my relationship. But the shadow stretches over the rest of my life as well.

J.P. Cummings


Photo: Johnnyhetfield/Getty

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There’s nowhere to start but at the beginning, so let’s do that. Last year, my fiancée discovered that I had been unfaithful to her. She called the wedding off and ended our relationship for good. I made no attempts to reconcile. Four months later, on the June Sunday we’d planned to get married, she shared her story in a post on our onetime wedding website, describing in excruciating detail the pain I caused her, showing the graphic text messages I sent to another woman, and generally reading me for filth. The post, as well as her tweet about it, went viral. (I’m not linking to either of those to avoid bringing her unwanted attention.)

The words she used to describe me — narcissistic, manipulative — torched me. They were also true. “He will have another story to tell,” she wrote. I don’t. Poisoned by narcissism, I sought validation from other women. I gaslit her, her family, my family, the other women, our mutual friends, and anyone who followed our relationship on social media, where I’d built a brand around the image of