Amelia and Dylan seemed like a perfect match — except for one tiny thing they both ignored until it was too late.Carolyn Tatenews.com.auFEBRUARY 26, 20196:30PM
PlayMute0:22/1:38Loaded: 0%Progress: 0%Fullscreen
The psychology of cheating
Amelia, 30, and Dylan, 32 — both hospitality workers — fell for each other fast and quickly moved overseas together. But just months into their year abroad, Amelia started hearing rumours about the stunning Swiss backpacker who was living in their hotel. Here, they explain in their own words how their relationship imploded.
Amelia: I should have known from the start it wasn’t going to work but I met Dylan at a time when my self-confidence was low, and he was so nice to me.
Dylan: She was the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen and I knew we’d be together forever the first time we met. Yes, I’d been engaged twice before. My sister says I’m in love with being in love, but I don’t know. I just want to be happy — is that too much to ask?
Amelia: He didn’t play it cool. He wanted to be with me and he was serious right from the start. It was intoxicating, and very flattering.
Dylan: I come from a bit of a chaotic family. My father was abusive and my mother met my brother, sister and me one afternoon after school with all our belongings packed in the car. We drove away, moved interstate and never went back.
Amelia and Dylan’s relationship was perfect at first. Picture: iStockSource:istockAds by Kiosked
Amelia: The first few months were a whirlwind. Dylan had big plans — he wanted us to travel together, and I thought that sounded exciting. So we started saving for an around-the-world ticket. In hindsight, I’d say this was all part of his plan to separate me from my friends and have me to himself. He was jealous all the time and hated me talking to other guys.
Dylan: I thought it would be romantic to go somewhere tropical and warm and live a simple life together for a while. She was into it too. I just wanted to be with her and not worry about anything else.
Amelia: After months of saving, we bought our plane tickets and got jobs in Hawaii working four hours a day for room and board. The rest of our time was ours to do what we liked. We surfed and swam and had a lot of sex. It was incredible. But there was always this nagging doubt in the back of my mind. Everything that went wrong was a disaster. He didn’t trust me. He hated me doing stuff without him, and with our shifts, we were apart for eight hours a day. Most normal people are but for him that was too much.
The first few weeks in Hawaii were like a dream. Picture: iStockSource:istock
Dylan: Amelia is a beautiful looking girl, and I wasn’t the only one who noticed. I started to feel like she was keeping secrets and not telling me everything. She’d disappear down to the beach while I was working. She said she was going with girlfriends or by herself, but I saw the way the other guys in our hotel looked at her.
Amelia: He didn’t trust me and although it irritated me, there was also a bit of me that was thrilled he cared that much. What I didn’t notice at the time, while I was regularly defending myself, was that it was him who shouldn’t have been trusted. The reason he suspected me of sneaking around is because he was doing exactly that.
Dylan: My brother always had this saying, “All the great girls are taken — so you have to steal one from somebody.” I could see that was going to happen with Amelia. It made me feel insecure, so when a couple of Swiss girls checked into the hotel and they seemed to take a shine to me, I enjoyed the attention. One of them was stunning and it didn’t take long for her to capture my attention. I still loved Amelia but Karin made me feel good and helped me forget that I felt like a loser for a while.
Amelia: He started to seem evasive and weird. Sometimes I’d get home after doing a late shift and he wouldn’t be there — and he wouldn’t answer his phone. I’d fall asleep not knowing where he was, and he’d sneak in at all hours. There were whispers around the hotel that he’d been seeing one of the European backpackers who had been staying with us.
There were rumours about Dylan and the Swiss backpacker, but Amelia ignored them. Picture: iStockSource:istockAds by Kiosked
Dylan: Amelia accused me of cheating and I knew I had to confess to make things right. I realised it was her and only her I wanted to be with.
Amelia: I told him I was leaving. I’d had enough. I was devastated but I booked a flight back to Australia, determined to get Dylan out of my system and start again.
Dylan: I had two days before her flight back home. I wanted desperately for her to stay so I did the only thing I could think of: I bought an engagement ring to show her how serious I was.
Amelia: The night before my early-morning flight, Dylan asked me to have a drink with him. We went out and drank mai tais in our local bar until it closed, then went and sat down at the beach and reminisced about the good times we’d had — and there were plenty. He told me he was going to miss me, and that he will always love me. Then he pulled out the ring. I couldn’t believe it.
Dylan: I couldn’t believe I’d put my whole relationship in jeopardy because I was feeling insecure. I told her I’d change. I told her it was only her I wanted.
Amelia: It might have been the mai tais talking but I said yes. I loved Dylan and I so wanted him to be that man I fell in love with, not this guy who was so desperate for approval and attention, he’d take it from anywhere.
Dylan: I told her I’d follow her back to Australia as quickly as I could, but that I didn’t want to wait to marry her. We planned our wedding for six weeks after Amelia left Hawaii.
Amelia: In hindsight, I should have waited but there was something so romantic and urgent about the whole thing. We rushed into it. We got married, with about 20 friends there.
D ylan: After the wedding we couldn’t stop fighting. She didn’t trust me and I didn’t trust her either. Getting married hadn’t fixed anything.
Amelia says she was miserable throughout her doomed marriage but was still devastated when it ended. Picture: iStockSource:istock
Amelia: Honestly, I think he’d a drama addict. He loves the roller coaster lifestyle of things going wonderfully, and then terribly. Any time things are on an even keel, it’s like he has to shake it up in order to feel anything. In the end it all the fighting wore me down. I couldn’t take it. We were married for about six miserable months when I called time. I told him I was moving to Edinburgh and didn’t want him to contact me.
Dylan: We’d broken up before so I thought I could win her back. I even flew to Edinburgh and walked around the city hoping to find her, but she was gone for good. I moved to London to start again.
Amelia: Dylan emailed me pictures of himself in Edinburgh, two streets over from where I was working. It was painful but I ignored him until he gave up and left. It felt cruel but I knew for me I needed to sever all contact in order to heal and get him out of my life for good. We’ve lost touch now and that’s for the best.