I cheated many times, how do I prove things are different now?

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Female
My ex-boyfriend and i were together for 3 years. I cheated on him with 2 different people. He still took me back after that and I recently broke up with him. After we broke up I slept with another guy and my ex was still trying to get me back. one night i went over to my ex's and he begged for me to come back but i told him that i slept with someone else. he said he wanted nothing to do with me ever again and it was time to move on...he just wants to go out and have fun.

Now i realize how big of a mistake i had made and i will never cheat on him again. i don't know what to do because i feel like a piece of me is missing. how do i let him know that i'm being honest this time about never cheating again?

RomanceClass.com Advice
Breaking someone's trust is about the worst damage you can do to a relationship, and breaking it repeatedly puts things into the "fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me" category. The person who is betrayed feels like they not only tried once, but tried many times, and each time they were trampled on.

A relationship is based on trust and honesty. Those are the most important things in a relationship. For some reason you felt that this person who you were in a committed relationship with was OK to lie to. In essence you are now saying to him "I didn't value you before, so I felt it was OK to lie to you. I do value you now, because I don't have you any more, so I won't lie." But he hears that both of these are based on your current value of him. Say he does get back with you, and say you start dating. What if, once you're dating again, you decide you don't really value him again? You would start cheating on him again, because you feel that it's OK to cheat if you don't value your boyfriend.

If you didn't value him before, what has changed? Really think about why you feel this way. It's very, very common for people to want an ex back after they break up just because they don't like being alone. They figure whatever they had is better than dealing with life alone. Make REALLY sure that this is not the case for you. Are you happy being alone? Can you get along fine while you're alone? If the answers are no, work on *that* first. You really need to be a happy person on your own, with friends and hobbies, before you can then merge that happy person in with another and have a relationship. If you are really sad being alone and want to be "with someone", that's not a good reason to date a person. They shouldn't be a teddy bear because you're unhappy being alone - they should be a person you willingly choose because you want to share your happiness with them.

In any case, healing that betrayal is going to take a lot of time, for you to show him that your value system has changed and that you no longer feel cheating on someone is OK. You can't just show him "you value him now" because that is fickle - if you don't value him later, it's saying you will cheat again. And he's had enough of that. You need to show him that you *don't think cheating is OK any more* - because that will tell him that no matter how you feel as things go forward, he will not be betrayed. It will take a lot of time, a lot of talking, and a lot of patience before the hurt heals. If you really do feel that way now, and are willing to take the time, and really and truly feel content on your own and want to share that contentment with him, then it has a chance of working.

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

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