I am currently in a long distance relationship with my boyfriend of about 6months, it has been a very full on time from woah to go and feelings developed very quickly for each other at a level we both didn’t see coming, he is 6 years younger than me so hasn’t had as many relationships as me or life experience. He was living in the same town as me but then moved away for the summer for work. We had been planning the future together, both deciding to relocate and starting a new life together in a different city once we had both wrapped up our jobs.
He is just over a month into living in a different town than me. I had just spent an amazing extended weekend with him the first time we had seen each other in person since he left. It has now come out, about a week ago (the day after I left) that he cheated on me with a girl he barely knew who had no idea we were together, the girl contacted me. They didn’t have sex but kissed and fooled around a wee bit. I asked him if he had done something that would hurt me and he straight away said yes. His reasoning behind doing it was a very backwards way of figuring out for himself if I was truely who he wanted to be, as like I said it had been a very full on and intense progression of our relationship and him being that bit younger he was scared about how he had found me so early on in his life. He knew straight after this meeting with this girl that yes I was the one he loves and wants to be with. He said he had blanked it from his memory that he had done this as it meant absolutely nothing to him, he doesn’t want to even remember that he has done it. He didn’t want me to find out as he knew it would really hurt me but he also knew I would find out because I can read him like a book.
I do truly love this guy and see my future with him, he had not changed his tune at all with talking about the future and planning things together after what he had done. Of course I am really hurt with it what has happened but it will take me time to trust him again.
I guess the advice I want from you T is it possible that cheating with someone else like this is a way of figuring things out for himself? How do I move forward with him and learn to trust him again, especially as we still have 4/5 months of long distance before he was going to move in with me.
He has gone into a mode of why would I want to be with him after he has done this, his parents are pretty mad at him for what he has done and friends really disappointed. He is hurting because he has hurt me so much. I am worried that this will spell the end for us as it seems too much doubt has crept into his mind with how he views himself, and how I deserve better.
Thanks for writing to me. Let me first say that I’m sorry for the pain you’re currently experiencing. It’s not a great feeling to put your heart into a situation, only for the person you trusted not to hurt it, to hurt it. I’m sure you feel betrayed, angry, and sad that your boyfriend was so reckless. While I’d like to give you a time frame for your feelings about the situation to go away, I can’t. That’s really up to you, but I’ll touch on that later.
I’ve always said, long-distance relationships are not for everyone. They take an ample amount of trust, communication, and in many cases, finances. And sometimes, people don’t realize they don’t have what it takes to make a long-distance relationship work until they are in one. To be clear, I’m not saying you or your boyfriend don’t have what it takes, but I am saying that these types of relationships are harder to navigate; especially, for a novice.
Now from what I gathered from your letter, you’re boyfriend cheated on you, but claims to have done so to prove to himself he really wants to be with you. As much of a cop-out as this sounds to you and many others, I’ve actually heard this rationale before. Not saying it’s a great excuse by any means, but I’ve heard it.
Some folks get afraid to commit to forever with one person. A guy his age, probably questioned if you were his forever because he’s young and hasn’t done a lot of “exploring.” Until he slept with someone else, for him at least, he wouldn’t have known you were “the one.” I know you’re probably asking why he just didn’t know, and why he had to be so stupid to cheat to know? But again, he’s young and probably has some growth to do in the maturity department.
This guilt he feels and continually expresses as far as questioning why you’d want to be him, leads me to believe one of two things is going on. Either he just feels lower than low and wants your forgiveness, but feels undeserving. Or, he’s low key hoping you end things because he cheated, giving him a way out without seeming more like a bad guy. To cheat and then break up with you is a double whammy he may not want to give, so saying things like “I don’t know why you’d want to be with me,” is his way of nudging you to leave. You won’t know what’s really going on until you two have a very candid conversation.
And lastly, taking him back is a decision you have to make. I would just caution you taking him back if you can’t truly forgive him. It’s so unhealthy when couples try to move past a cheating incident, but one couple holds onto the incident and brings it up at will whenever the mood strikes.
Suggestions going forward.
- Have a very candid conversation with your boyfriend and get to the bottom of why he cheated and if he wants to continue on in this relationship. Remember, “I don’t know,” is not an answer to why.
- After you two talk, take all the time you need to reach a decision as far as your relationship.
As always nothing but love,