Talk About Marriage banner
21 - 28 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,522 Posts
I am trying to decide what to do and outside feedback would be appreciated.

I won't bore anyone with too many details, but when in a long distance relationship, my boyfriend cheated on me quite long term. He lied to me every day, he minimised me to the other woman (and to friends locally), he let me continue believing we were both completely committed and I only found out about it once the other woman called me to tell me.

She did this because he would not leave me for her and she thought if she got rid of me that this would clear her path. He reacted instead by dumping her, telling her he loved me and didn't want her and begging me to take him back.

I was willing to give him a second chance because (a) he underplayed the cheating initially and I really didn't know what I was agreeing to (b) we had not seen each other for a year when it happened (pandemic related) (c) I was probably in too much shock to even think straight and just wanted the pain to go away.

This didn't happen because he was lacking something with me or because we had problems or because he met someone he just felt compelled to kiss. It happened just because she was there and I wasn't.

After she told me, he quit his job, moved to be with me and six months later, I am just not sure how I feel or what I want.

One the one hand, commitment that was lacking before is now there. He is obviously committed for the long haul and fully invested (he admits he was not before and it took nearly losing me to see it). He is now open and emotionally intimate in ways he never was before. He is now committed in practical ways (wants to buy a home together, makes decisions jointly). He is loving to me, caring, supportive, kind and we are in love still. If this had not happened I've got no doubt we would be incredibly happy together. He did all the stuff he's meant to do (cutting all contact with other woman, told me the whole truth, going to get therapy, reading books on this stuff, apologising constantly, tending my emotional needs)

On the other hand, I don't really know how to put it behind me or if I even want to. Whatever "the work" is that needs to be done has definitely not been done. I still don't get HOW he did it. I get WHY, but I am blown away anyone could treat me as if I was so disposable. I am such a loyal person, I can't have any empathy for the mindset where he took getting his kicks as important enough to risk harming me like this. I don't really trust him. I don't think he'd cheat again and think he only did because we were apart for so long, but he showed he's capable of having zero integrity so how do I trust him?

What seems to be my choice now is to accept, I was in love with this man and wanted a full commitment, he wasn't willing or ready so he went off, had an affair behind my back and now this has led him to realise what he almost lost and he's offering me everything I ever wanted. Or to just leave and be with someone who didn't cheat on me or treat me with so much disrespect. It would be a no brainer, except the **** part is that I believe we really love each other and it would be pretty hard, if not impossible, to find that again.

I get most people who cope with "infidelity" do so because they have a marriage or kids or a life together, but for us none of those things are holding me here. What advice to those who dealt with cheating have to offer me? I never thought this was something I could accept or live with, but here I am.

I had an uncle who cheated on his wife when they were young. She stayed and he adored her for the rest of his life. They had the most beautiful marriage and when she passed away he sat in his chair, depressed, talking of nothing but her and how his life meant nothing without her before dying himself. So I know there are sometimes happy endings. But I am not sure how to get that for myself.

This whole situation sucks, and I really wish he'd never done this to us. Is the solution as simple as putting it behind us?
I would dump him. You can do better. What happens the next time you are apart, or the relationship gets bumpy. He won’t be loyal. He has a character flaw, these are very difficult to fix unless he is committed to therapy. Why waste any more time, it makes u lose the trust and once that is gone there is really nothing. Run.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,086 Posts
He's your boyfriend, not your long term husband. I'd say that makes the decision to start over with someone new much easier.

In your shoes, I'd dump him, and who knows, maybe 3-4 years later you'll be healed enough to entertain a Round 2 if you are both still available. But you can only really do that with a full break up first. What you had is gone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,141 Posts
Thanks for a lot more information.
I thought time alone might help him get over his fear of commitment.
Doesn't work that way.
Will I always look at this person and remember how badly he treated me once upon a time, or will I think how great it is that we made it through something so hard?
How about "both"?

I need to disclose that I am biased: I am a couple counsellor. And reading this, my reaction is, this so needs couple counselling. Sending him off to therapy on his own is the parallel of sending him off to that distant job. There is such a lot to unpack here. Just my opinion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,134 Posts
I really don't think that's it either :( He has been "punished" enough. Not by me (intentionally), but by the consequences of all this. Public embarrassment, having to give up his job, dealing with the affair partner who was out for revenge big time and deployed all manner of behavior on him that was pretty horrible. I never sought to punish him. I love him. Whatever he did, seeing him punished wouldn't make me feel better.

I realise I am being unhelpful by not being able to verbalise what I need specifically, but after six months it's still raw and I suppose most people wouldn't be "over it". I am really just trying to figure out what the picture looks like 10, 20, 30, 40 years from now. Will I always look at this person and remember how badly he treated me once upon a time, or will I think how great it is that we made it through something so hard?

I remember when we were first dating how cute we were. He was so smitten by me, I remember him nervously asking me out and then asking for a second date when we were five minutes into the first. I remember him cancelling all his plans for the week just in case I'd have time to see him. He dated me seriously old school, and it was a cute story.

But as things got to a point of being together for about six months when I felt he was holding something back. He always wanted to be with me, but he didn't say "I love you". He didn't make decisions as a couple. He didn't invite me to family stuff. He didn't talk about the future. He wasn't fully invested and I knew that. I tried to leave a couple of times in that first year together, but he kept telling me he was sorry, he knew he was holding back but he was afraid and if I could just be a bit more patient...

Then he took that darn job, and he persuaded me to wait. I knew it wasn't quite right to commit to an LDR with someone I knew wasn't fully invested but I thought time alone might help him get over his fear of commitment. I even gave him books on it to take with him when he went! The last thing I ever thought he would do was cheat. He just isn't that kind of person.

Then he went off and became a cliche. Some old lady (and I mean OLD) at work giving him lots of attention and flattery. He was alone in a new city. She wanted to be friends. Several months of being friends and then a lot of alcohol and BOOM, he is the worst person. It was all just so selfish and so destructive.

Now he's all in. Talk of marriage. House-hunting. His family coming for Christmas. "In a relationship" on his Facebook. No secrets. No compartments. Wholehearted love and vulnerability. I have what I wanted, and that makes me happy, but it makes me so sad that I had to go through what I went through to get it.
It's possible he has changed, it's also possible he's telling you everything you want to hear. The problem is you won't know until he runs into a new woman who gives him attention. You might end up like your uncle, but nothing can guarantee that. There will be risk whether you stay or go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
I am trying to decide what to do and outside feedback would be appreciated.

I won't bore anyone with too many details, but when in a long distance relationship, my boyfriend cheated on me quite long term. He lied to me every day, he minimised me to the other woman (and to friends locally), he let me continue believing we were both completely committed and I only found out about it once the other woman called me to tell me.

She did this because he would not leave me for her and she thought if she got rid of me that this would clear her path. He reacted instead by dumping her, telling her he loved me and didn't want her and begging me to take him back.

I was willing to give him a second chance because (a) he underplayed the cheating initially and I really didn't know what I was agreeing to (b) we had not seen each other for a year when it happened (pandemic related) (c) I was probably in too much shock to even think straight and just wanted the pain to go away.

This didn't happen because he was lacking something with me or because we had problems or because he met someone he just felt compelled to kiss. It happened just because she was there and I wasn't.

After she told me, he quit his job, moved to be with me and six months later, I am just not sure how I feel or what I want.

One the one hand, commitment that was lacking before is now there. He is obviously committed for the long haul and fully invested (he admits he was not before and it took nearly losing me to see it). He is now open and emotionally intimate in ways he never was before. He is now committed in practical ways (wants to buy a home together, makes decisions jointly). He is loving to me, caring, supportive, kind and we are in love still. If this had not happened I've got no doubt we would be incredibly happy together. He did all the stuff he's meant to do (cutting all contact with other woman, told me the whole truth, going to get therapy, reading books on this stuff, apologising constantly, tending my emotional needs)

On the other hand, I don't really know how to put it behind me or if I even want to. Whatever "the work" is that needs to be done has definitely not been done. I still don't get HOW he did it. I get WHY, but I am blown away anyone could treat me as if I was so disposable. I am such a loyal person, I can't have any empathy for the mindset where he took getting his kicks as important enough to risk harming me like this. I don't really trust him. I don't think he'd cheat again and think he only did because we were apart for so long, but he showed he's capable of having zero integrity so how do I trust him?

What seems to be my choice now is to accept, I was in love with this man and wanted a full commitment, he wasn't willing or ready so he went off, had an affair behind my back and now this has led him to realise what he almost lost and he's offering me everything I ever wanted. Or to just leave and be with someone who didn't cheat on me or treat me with so much disrespect. It would be a no brainer, except the **** part is that I believe we really love each other and it would be pretty hard, if not impossible, to find that again.

I get most people who cope with "infidelity" do so because they have a marriage or kids or a life together, but for us none of those things are holding me here. What advice to those who dealt with cheating have to offer me? I never thought this was something I could accept or live with, but here I am.

I had an uncle who cheated on his wife when they were young. She stayed and he adored her for the rest of his life. They had the most beautiful marriage and when she passed away he sat in his chair, depressed, talking of nothing but her and how his life meant nothing without her before dying himself. So I know there are sometimes happy endings. But I am not sure how to get that for myself.

This whole situation sucks, and I really wish he'd never done this to us. Is the solution as simple as putting it behind us?
Move on, better person out there, date locally
Only. Best wishes
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
I am trying to decide what to do and outside feedback would be appreciated.

I won't bore anyone with too many details, but when in a long distance relationship, my boyfriend cheated on me quite long term. He lied to me every day, he minimised me to the other woman (and to friends locally), he let me continue believing we were both completely committed and I only found out about it once the other woman called me to tell me.

She did this because he would not leave me for her and she thought if she got rid of me that this would clear her path. He reacted instead by dumping her, telling her he loved me and didn't want her and begging me to take him back.

I was willing to give him a second chance because (a) he underplayed the cheating initially and I really didn't know what I was agreeing to (b) we had not seen each other for a year when it happened (pandemic related) (c) I was probably in too much shock to even think straight and just wanted the pain to go away.

This didn't happen because he was lacking something with me or because we had problems or because he met someone he just felt compelled to kiss. It happened just because she was there and I wasn't.

After she told me, he quit his job, moved to be with me and six months later, I am just not sure how I feel or what I want.

One the one hand, commitment that was lacking before is now there. He is obviously committed for the long haul and fully invested (he admits he was not before and it took nearly losing me to see it). He is now open and emotionally intimate in ways he never was before. He is now committed in practical ways (wants to buy a home together, makes decisions jointly). He is loving to me, caring, supportive, kind and we are in love still. If this had not happened I've got no doubt we would be incredibly happy together. He did all the stuff he's meant to do (cutting all contact with other woman, told me the whole truth, going to get therapy, reading books on this stuff, apologising constantly, tending my emotional needs)

On the other hand, I don't really know how to put it behind me or if I even want to. Whatever "the work" is that needs to be done has definitely not been done. I still don't get HOW he did it. I get WHY, but I am blown away anyone could treat me as if I was so disposable. I am such a loyal person, I can't have any empathy for the mindset where he took getting his kicks as important enough to risk harming me like this. I don't really trust him. I don't think he'd cheat again and think he only did because we were apart for so long, but he showed he's capable of having zero integrity so how do I trust him?

What seems to be my choice now is to accept, I was in love with this man and wanted a full commitment, he wasn't willing or ready so he went off, had an affair behind my back and now this has led him to realise what he almost lost and he's offering me everything I ever wanted. Or to just leave and be with someone who didn't cheat on me or treat me with so much disrespect. It would be a no brainer, except the **** part is that I believe we really love each other and it would be pretty hard, if not impossible, to find that again.

I get most people who cope with "infidelity" do so because they have a marriage or kids or a life together, but for us none of those things are holding me here. What advice to those who dealt with cheating have to offer me? I never thought this was something I could accept or live with, but here I am.

I had an uncle who cheated on his wife when they were young. She stayed and he adored her for the rest of his life. They had the most beautiful marriage and when she passed away he sat in his chair, depressed, talking of nothing but her and how his life meant nothing without her before dying himself. So I know there are sometimes happy endings. But I am not sure how to get that for myself.

This whole situation sucks, and I really wish he'd never done this to us. Is the solution as simple as putting it behind us?
You can forgive him many times, but you can only trust him one time. If there is not trust, there is no relationship worth committing to. Cut him loose YESTERDAY and move on.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,546 Posts
Thanks for a lot more information.
Doesn't work that way.
How about "both"?

I need to disclose that I am biased: I am a couple counsellor. And reading this, my reaction is, this so needs couple counselling. Sending him off to therapy on his own is the parallel of sending him off to that distant job. There is such a lot to unpack here. Just my opinion.
I tend to be uncoupled, seeing both sides.
I say break-up, make him do the chase, yet again.

Let him compete with other dates,
Take your time.

Today is tainted, for him, another time and date is needed, and should not be promised.
 
21 - 28 of 28 Posts
Top