I’ve been with my boyfriend for a year-and-a-half now. I love him so much and I’d do anything for him! I was cheated on in my last relationship after seven-and-a-half years, and I think I bring a lot of baggage from that relationship to this one. From the start I always felt I wasn’t enough for him and wondered how I could I ever keep this fantastic man!
After a year with my new man I felt so much more relaxed and settled; I was happy! We decided to buy a house together and are moving in two weeks. But just over a month ago I found a chat he was having with another girl on his computer. He said he had split up with his girlfriend and just needed a friend. As the conversation went on, it turned more sexual and he asked her if he could pick her up for a cuddle. She said she couldn’t and the conversation ended shorty after that. But now all I can think about is how I’m not enough and will never be enough!! I talked to him about it and he said he was so sorry and that he loved me more then he could ever explain. He said he never wanted to hurt me and would never ever put me in that position again! He also said he would never of gone through with it and was just lonely and bored and he knew she would say no!
I do love him more than anything in the world and I have forgiven him and I know that he loves me. But what if it happens again? I love him far too much to lose him and don’t think I could handle/cope with the fall out! I’m still not sure if I’m this hurt because of what he did or if it’s more my baggage from my ex? But I’m getting to the point of feeling lost without him and scared when he’s not there. I’m terrified all the time, and I can’t/don’t want to talk to anyone about this. If I tell my friends/family all this, they will blame my new fella. But I love him and I don’t want to break up with him and I can’t stand feeling this lost.
Please help. Any thoughts are welcome. I’m well aware that I will have a lot of people saying I should dump him, but it’s not that easy!
Thanks for your question. What he did should make you pause to consider what you’re doing? What he did—if it is a one-time thing—is not necessarily grounds for a breakup, but it’s certainly something that you shouldn’t brush under the carpet. (He certainly was doing something behind your back.) A full-blown betrayal? Maybe, maybe not. But certainly an attempt at a betrayal. His excuse, “I was bored and I knew she would say no,” is no excuse. He had no idea she would say no. He was just lucky she did. So the question is: What makes you think you can trust him?
What jumps out at us is your willingness to accept his behavior and move forward. You talk about how devastated and lost you’d be if the two of you split up, but what about being in a relationship with a guy who cheats on you? You think you’d be devastated if the two of you split, but that feeling will be nothing compared to how you might feel down the road. So we’re strongly suggesting you DO NOT move in with him until this is resolved. We highly recommend seeing a couple’s counselor.
The other thing that worries us is your self-esteem. Instead of being incensed by his betrayal, your first reaction was to immediately start worrying about whether or not you will be enough for him. That’s the mark of low self-esteem, and something you need to take a look at. If you’re telling him you’d be lost without him, that’s a lot of pressure for him. He has to worry about his feelings and yours. And what this does is create an imbalance of power in your relationship. Basically, he’s got all the power and you’ve got none. And most people have a hard time wielding this type of power. Usually they end up cheating, mistreating, or even abusing the other person. We strongly recommend you look into seeing someone—a professional— yourself to help you work through why you’re so scared to be alone. We acknowledge that it’s not easy being alone, but also understand that it’s worse being in a lonely relationship. And if you’re with a guy that you can’t trust, that is a lonely existence.
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