Approaching a Talk about Infidelity

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Male
How do I approach the subject of infidelity? I have been in an honest and trusting relationship for 2 1/2 yrs. I had to leave on business for a while and when I came home, I discovered that my girlfriend has started seeing someone else. She says that she wants more space because she is "having fun" with her friends and wants to see if this is the life she really wants before she settles down. I know who her "friend" is, though neither one is aware of it.

I am truly in love with her, and if this is just a fling, then I could let it pass. I believe that our relationship is strong enough to survive it. But the main issue is trust and self esteem. To get things into the open will allow the healing to begin for me and to let her recover what she has lost through deceit. If the relationship cannot survive then at least we'll be on the way for an honest breakup. Advice
I think first you have a really good grasp of what is going on, and a good attitude about it, so if anything is going to get you through this, that will.

The main issue here is honesty and trust. Relationships are founded on being able to trust each other, to be open and honest with each other, no matter what curves life throws at you. She lied to you and snuck around because she wanted 'fun'. If she'll break your trust for fun, how can that bode well for when more serious things come along?

The way in which she's doing it suggests maybe she's really not ready for a serious relationship. One of the first things you learn in a relationship with someone (after the first month or three of the 'everything is PERFECT' stage) is that you both are NOT perfect. If you're going to start looking for faults, there will ALWAYS be someone better in some way. Someone else will be better looking, or richer, or better in bed or whatever. You have to make the decision to work with the person you are with, or to stop working with them and seek something else.

If you're even going to start on the "Well I want to see if something else is better", you're doomed. Because there will ALWAYS be, no matter who you are with. If your attitude is "I'm going to keep experimenting and will jump ship any time something better comes along", that's never going to end up in a solid relationship. It undermines the whole basis of any relationship which is trust.

You really sound like someone who has his head on his shoulders and who has a very healthy attitude towards relationships. You can certainly give it a try with this woman, show her that you know about the affair, ask her if she's "decided". But really, I would worry that someone who thinks it's ok to 'test out other waters' and lie about it isn't going to just decide it's not OK after all. There are thousands of women out there who dream about finding a man like you. Certainly do your best - you need to be able to face yourself in the mirror each morning. But if it doesn't work out, think of it as a training relationship that taught you many valuable lessons, and now you're ready to find the One Special woman who can truly fit into your heart.

Best of luck.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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