relationships

My Long-Distance Partner Cheated… Should I Forgive Him?

T,

My long distance boyfriend cheated on me. We have liked each other for about three years but never made anything official because of the distance. We spend our summers together in the same small town every year since we were kids but last summer we decided to make it official. We’ve been together for about seven months. We are absolutely in love with each other but I found out that he did cheat on me.

No sex. He fingered a girl and she gave him a blowjob they made out and he stopped it there but he might as well have done it all. It hurts so badly. I found out  just a couple days ago but this happened about three months ago and he says he feels horrible and has felt  horrible ever since.  I want to forgive him but I just don’t know if I will ever be able to trust him again. He promises me he’s changed but I’m pretty sure that’s what all cheaters say. I need some advice that isn’t biased by my friends or his friends. Please help!

-Payton

Dear Payton,

Thanks for writing to me.  I’m sorry to hear you are currently experiencing heartache. It sucks to entrust your heart to another person and to have that person damage it.  To have that individual essentially betray your sense of trust and taint a romance you probably thought was pretty perfect up until the moment of infidelity.  And as much as you may want to hate this guy that’s managed to hurt you, you can’t fully commit to that emotion because love still exists.   So again, sorry you’re going through this.

Listen, long-distance relationships are hard to navigate, and not everyone is able to navigate them successfully.  That’s just a fact, and it has nothing to do with maturity. Some people in life are just wired to crave consistent everyday intimacy.  They need to be able to see, hear, and feel their bae on a regular basis without having to make in-depth travel arrangements.  For these people, they don’t want to have to go on a long trip just to have dinner with their mate or get a kiss. Let me repeat, this isn’t a maturity thing, but rather an understandable characteristic that some (well many) people have.

It’s possible that your boyfriend may be one of these individuals not able to handle a long-distance relationship.  He wouldn’t be the first, and won’t be the last. He may not have known this about himself until being with you.  Or, he could have known that long-distance relationships don’t really fulfill his needs emotionally or physically, but he’s just so into you he was willing to try.  Either way, I would venture to guess that the infidelity stems from the difficulty of being away from you for three out of four seasons of the year.

I also need to point out that not all men that cheat are bad guys.  This is a point I’ve said before and I’ll continue to believe.  We as humans are imperfect and are flawed. Since that’s the case, we are all bound to make mistakes here and there.  So even though your boyfriend cheated on you, it’s possible that you can chalk this up to a one-time mistake he made.  His infidelity may not be a reflection of the love he has for you, but a reflection of his ability to make bad choices. If he’s apologetic and willing to put in the work to make this relationship work, you could have your Lemonade moment.

Yes I said Lemonade moment, and yes I’m referring to the masterpiece released by the Queen herself.  Despite many folks assuming Beyoncé wrote the album as a screw you to cheaters and infidelity, it actually documents the journey of two people trying to overcome life circumstances to preserve what they both deem to be true love.  At the heart of this journey is forgiveness.  Queen Bey was able to go through her stages of emotions to forgive being hurt, all in the name of love.

I use this as an example because like Beyoncé, you have to figure out if you have the capacity to forgive and stay with your boyfriend.  Neither I nor your friends can make that decision for you.  You have to make that choice on your own.  However, you need to know that forgiveness means once you decide to move forward with him, you genuinely move forward.  You  have to work on trusting your boyfriend again and have to be able to look past his cheating.   You can’t let his actions constantly be a cloud over your relationship, and keep rehashing his mistake over and over again.

Suggestions going forward.

  1. If you two decide to give him another shot, be sure you can really forgive him.  Also, make sure he has what it takes to be in a long-distance relationship.  Force him to take a look at himself and see if he has needs that can’t possibly be met given the distance.

 

  1. When determining if you want to stay with your boyfriend, it’s a good idea to ask him why he cheated. While it may have been a one-time thing, there was a reason he did it. Oh and “I don’t know”, “it just happened”, and “I was drunk” are not valid answers to the question why.

 

  1. If you need a break from your boyfriend to gain perspective and clarity, take it. There’s nothing wrong with needing space and time to think.

As always nothing but love,
Tavion Scott

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10 thoughts on “My Long-Distance Partner Cheated… Should I Forgive Him?”

  1. Kili says:

    I just went through an almost identical situation. Although it was my girlfriend. I am stuck as to what to do because she is begging for forgiveness and I have similar apprehensions. This post really helped me ground my thinking. I am so used to zero-tolerance policies for cheating but at the same time, I thought this girl was the one. These steps going forward are very good things for me to keep in mind so I can make a decision that is right for me. Thank you Tavion. Heartbreak sucks.

    1. AsAccordingToT says:

      I’m glad you found my words to be helpful. While I never endorse cheating, I also can’t say it’s a deal breaker for everyone under every circumstance. Unfortunately, relationships aren’t always rainbows and sunshine, and all relationships will face hardships, whether those hardships are infidelity or not.

  2. Raffy says:

    This is the worst part that will ever happen if you found out that your long distance partner is cheating on you. I experienced that before, I was in a long distance relationship before, we were in a relationship for more than 2 years, and we met each other 4 times. We were already engaged too. and then I found out that she is cheating on me, she had several profiles in some dating sites and even admitted to me that she had sex with another man because of the money. I was so broke that time and I don’t know how to handle that. But just like what they’ve said, time heal all wounds. I already moved on with her. Maybe my advice for those who are in a long distance relationship, try to conduct an
    online loyalty test to your partner so that you will not waste your time and your money to somebody who is not worth your time. Let’s be wise.

    1. AsAccordingToT says:

      Thank you for your comment and sharing your experience. However, I would caution you and others about reducing your relationship to an online quiz. That’s dangerous territory, and may cause problems that didn’t exist.

  3. emmy says:

    i’ve been in a relationship with my boyfriend about 4yrs now,i’m 20 and he’s 25,we started experiencing a long distance relationship within 2 yrs,i know he loves me but he has been cheating me there,he’s now back and her girl have been calling saying that the baby she has is my boyfriend’s and he’s denying and pleasing me to forgive him while they’ve been fucking up there,its really hard for me,what should i do? i’ve left the place we staying together he’s saying he aint in love with her and i should not cry since he fucked up with the girl whom she’s far from us we should mind ours,super confused.

    1. AsAccordingToT says:

      I’m sorry to hear about your dilemma. I’ve decided to respond via a post. Please check back on the main page.

      1. Emmy says:

        Tell me the main page sorry,i cant find it.

        1. AsAccordingToT says:

          Sure thing.Here’s the link to the main page. Thanks for visiting.

          http://accordingtot.com/

  4. Ben Lockmiller says:

    Hey I didn’t really find this post until I needed it which was just now. My girlfriend of 8 months just admitted she had kissed a ex-Boyfriend of hers. I’m not really sure what to do as she is beating herself up over it and saying she wants me to have someone better when I know that I want to be with her. But is it worth fighting for if I’m not sure if this will happen again?

    1. AsAccordingToT says:

      Hello Ben. I decided to write a post dedicated to your specific dilemma. It will post June 10th. And thank you for reaching out.

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