I cheated and lied, now what?

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Female
I was best friends with a great guy for many years. Just over 2 years ago we got together and last October we became engaged.

Not too long after we got engaged we got in a huge fight when I was away at school and I cheated on him when we were apart for a few days. We did get back together and I did not tell him about what I had done. Months later he found out and he broke off the engagement. He says that he is scared to get back together because he is scared I will do it again.

How do I prove to him that I made a mistake and that it will never happen again, and after having to live without I have truly realized that he is the one I am meant to spend the rest of my life with.

RomanceClass.com Advice
Cheating is an incredibly destructive force that can demolish even the most healthy of relationships. In essence what you showed him is that when things don't go your way you are willing to run off and cheat on him - and then lie to him about it. The cheating is bad enough but honesty is THE cornerstone to any relationship. If you can't trust the other person, how can you spend your life with them and raise children to be happy, healthy individuals together?

You can never prove from this point forward that you have not cheated again - he's just going to have to trust you. And you've already violated that trust and shown him you aren't able to BE trusted. Any time you have a fight (which you shouldn't be having anyway, you should be having discussions of issues and finding solutions) you could potentially be prepared to run off and find a 'new solution'. Any time you leave the house and are near guys, you could decide to cheat because of some real or imagined slight. That can eat away at someone for the rest of their life.

I would really talk to a therapist with him and work through this. You need to really understand how amazingly destructive cheating and lying were. Not that you were caught! That you did it at all. He needs to fully accept that it happened, that it was in the past and that you two are starting from this point forward with a fresh, new life. Sometimes people don't heal at all from cheating. They can damage a person for their entire life. But maybe with a therapist helping you can get through it and get a fresh start.

I wouldn't just 'let it go' without at least a few weeks of a therapist even if he came back to you. Things like this simmer under the surface for years until they erupt and people divorce. I would really talk to a therapist to get the feelings resolved even if he claims he's OK with it. You wouldn't believe the numbers of letters I get from married people who are still upset about a cheating that happened years ago.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at RomanceClass.com

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