I recently found out my long-distance boyfriend was cheating on me for 3 months. We’ve known each other for 5 years, got into a relationship a year and a half ago, and a couple weeks ago the other girl ended up getting in contact with me while he was spending winter break here.
Now he’s taking time to work on himself (or so he’s told me) and is staying away from relationships altogether. I’m really having a hard time processing everything, especially because he promised this would never be something I’d ever have to experience. He was cheated on in his prior relationship, and I took that as a sign he would never want me to experience that pain. The worst part is that I still love him, but he’s fallen out of love with me.
I want to believe we could work things out, that we could start over in the future, try again when we’re both in a better place. We met each other at a really bad time in our lives, and both of us have some things we need to work on mentally/emotionally. This was my first real relationship, and I don’t want to let it go. I’ve never experienced love like this, and I’m truly devastated and heartbroken over all of it. But even though I’m hurting, I can’t help but want him back. I just want to know, am I stupid for holding out hope?
Thanks for writing to me. Sorry to hear about the heartbreak you’re experiencing. It hurts when things end with someone you love. Especially, when they end prematurely and under the circumstances of infidelity. And moving on in love can be complicated for most people, so don’t think you’re in a boat all by yourself.
Now as far as what’s next with your ex, I can’t say for sure. That ultimately will depend on you two. But what I can say, is that if you want him back, you’re not stupid. I know people will say things like cheating is a dealbreaker for any relationship, and once a cheater always a cheater, and staying with someone who cheated is idiotic. However, I don’t typically think love is that simple.
Feelings just don’t go away when someone betrays you. In addition, not every instance of infidelity is committed by some sex-crazed asshole. Sometimes cheating boils down to an isolated case of bad judgment. All cheating isn’t equal. (I know some will be riled up by this statement, but please folks, settle down.)
Look, I’m not sure of all the circumstances that went down with you and your ex. But, if his infidelity was an isolated incident, lessons are being learned, and you both do some personal work on yourselves to grow and mature, you two could have your own Lemonade moment. Only time will tell. As for right now, it’s best if you focus on yourself and do some self-reflection. Don’t make getting back together your number one priority.
Suggestions going forward
- I didn’t address the other woman above, but to be honest, she’s less important on your path going forward, unless she’s pregnant. Her reaching out to you was messy. If you and your ex try again in the future, as long as you trust him to give you the full story of what happened when he cheated and the two are no longer in contact, what she says is irrelevant.
- I’d be willing to put money on the fact that your family and friends will discourage you from reuniting with your ex. However, that’s a decision that rests solely on you. So, don’t allow them to pressure you into staying away from your ex. Also, don’t allow him to pressure you into reuniting.
- Lastly, as difficult as it may be, let your head help your heart in making a decision. Your instincts will be important going forward.
As always nothing but love,