He Left Me For Another, Now Wants Me Back

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Female
Five years ago, a good friend from high school and I decided to take the relationship plunge. Things were fantastic and unbelievable until the 3rd year. We were living together at this time. I was working 2 part time jobs and attending college; he worked full time. I fell into a painful depression and became distant, and his mother (whom he was extremely close to) died of Lupus. I tried to be there for him and support him as best as I could, and for a time this seemed to help. However, he became very close with a female friend from work, whom I had welcomed into my home and felt like I was developing a friendship with as well.

At first her visits were fun, then they became far too frequent and intrusive. (At one time she broke her leg and moved in to our tiny 1 bedroom apt. with us the entire time she had the cast. He did EVERYTHING for her then, including holding her hand). Ultimately, I felt abandoned and like I no longer existed to my boyfriend. He became cold and indifferent toward me. He literally left me alone; we hardly spoke. When before we would always retire to bed early weeknights, now I was sleeping alone as he stayed up late to hang out with her. They spent hours hanging out away from home and going out to dinner, from which I never saw so much as a doggie bag from. They hung out at our home. They even went to early breakfasts and took lunch breaks together and shared the same lunch!

I tried repeatedly to talk about the situation with my boyfriend, but he refused, stating that there was nothing to talk about because he wasn't doing anything wrong (just friends). He'd get upset if I said spoke ill of her. Suddenly, he said he wanted to go solo for a while and asked me to move out; he wanted to see if he could make it on his own. I reluctantly moved out, though we remained "together".

I later found out that she asked him that if things didn't work out between him and me, if he thought they had a chance together. This shocked me, but mostly because I had warned him that this would happen (men fall in love and have friendships, women have friendships then fall in love). He said he told her it could never happen because he couldn't tolerate her past. This saddened me more; he didn't say it was because he loved me and that things would work out between us.

My boyfriend was the most loyal, devoted, loving and affectionate person I've ever known. I was able to let my guard down and trust him completely and never gave his loyalty a second thought. It's been a year since we've separated, and I still have nightmares and cannot let myself trust him despite his attempts to turn things around and work things out. He has just lied too many times and kept too many secrets (after swearing off his "friend", I discovered that they were still "hanging out" many times after). He apologizes and swears his love for me over and over and is planning a life happily ever after for us. I just CANNOT get over what's happened; it was a real deal breaker for me, but I want to hold on to that chivalrous gentleman I used to know and whom I hope will return. But I find myself thinking very negatively of him and nit-picking, like I'm trying to rationalized reasons not to love him any longer.

Is this considered cheating? What advice would you give? Please give me any and all insight you have in this matter. Am I being irrational?

RomanceClass.com Advice
You have exactly hit the nail on the head here. Cheating has nothing to do with "Male A putting sexual organ into Female B". Cheating is about a betrayal of trust. Chaeting is about betraying the commitment you have made to each other to always put each other first, and to put your relationship above other concerns.

In essence, the moment your boyfriend started spending all his time and energy with this other girl, sharing his feelings with HER, taking HER out to dinner, looking forward to spending time with HER, he was cheating on you. You, as his girlfriend, had the right to his primary time, affection and interest. He neglected you and deliberately put her into that spot. So he was treating HER as his girlfriend and YOU as a casual roommate. That was his betrayal of you.

For him to then lie to you makes it even worse - he has betrayed your trust as well as the commitment to you. Trust is THE most important thing in any relationship, it is what ties two people together as they stand shoulder to shoulder against the world. If you can't trust that person beside you, how can you face the world *with* that person?

As hokey as it sounds, you really have to get him to accept and admit how badly he treated you during that time period before you can go forward. Because if he thinks it was "OK", who knows, he might do it again. And if you always resent him for treating you like chattel, that resentment will linger and grow and cause you to nit-pick at him if he starts chatting with another woman.

You can try my 'have a serious talk' info -


and see if that works. But if he denied this to himself all that time he may still be in denial. You might, if he is really wanting this to work again, try going to a therapist just for a few weeks. Tell him that it's part of your aim to "cleanse the past" and start afresh. If he hears from a 3rd party just how disruptive his actions were, maybe it'll sink in better and will help him come clean. Which will help you forgive him and move on.

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

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