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Switch to Forum Live View How do you repair a relationship after cheating?
7 years ago  ::  Oct 02, 2011 - 3:41AM #1
Posts: 1
My boyfriend and I have been seeing each other for three years now. Three months ago we made it official but not the way I intended it to be. For the last three years we were casually dating and every time the topic of a serious relationship came up he never wanted to talk about it. I eventually made myself believe that we were not going to be serious that this was the furthest it would go. However, I was complacent and didn’t end it when I should have.

Well about four months ago I went on a weekend trip with my girlfriends. We ended up going out one night and I ended up cheating on him. When I got back from the trip I asked about our relationship again and if it would go anywhere while trying to find a way to tell him I was ready to move on. A month after the incident I still couldn’t find it in my heart to tell him what happened or that we should move on. What I did was no doubt wrong and I am ashamed of it. Unfortunately he found out one night from prior text messages to the other guy. He ended up leaving and I didn’t expect him to come back but the next day he did. He said that he really cared about me and wanted to work things out. We ended up moving in together and getting into a relationship.

Although he forgave me it’s always in his head and there isn’t a day that goes by with out the topic being brought up. I don’t expect things to go smoothly and understand it will take awhile to get over this. There are moments where he would say hurtful things to me when he thinks about it and makes me feel worthless at times. He says that I haven’t shown any remorse or attempted to fix this. So here I am, I really want to work this out but I don’t know where to start. I would call him every time I am not home or getting off work, I would take care of all the chores around the house and buy him something I know he wants. Still this isn’t enough and I am extremely lost as to what to do to show that I am truly sorry and want to work on the relationship. I know this is long but any advice would help.
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7 years ago  ::  Oct 02, 2011 - 11:48AM #2
Posts: 16,577

Well, I did not keep bringing it up.  And as my husband noted, the only way I could assess his motives was looking at his behavior.  IMO, constantly bringing it up as a weapon is not the way to re-establish the relationshop.  In your particular case, it didn't even sound like he was really willing to commit, so his case strikes me as being a little weak. 

So, I think you have some decisions to make.  First, do you want to stay with him?  If you do, then I think you need to have a talk.  You cannot undo what was done.  There is nothing you can really say to make it better or go away. He may have to understand that he has a decision to make, too. Either he decides he can't trust you and leaves, or he decides he does trust you and he lets it go.  He can't have you and keep attacking. That simply won't work.  

Good luck and next time remember to fish or cut bait.  

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize what you heard was not what I meant...
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7 years ago  ::  Oct 03, 2011 - 1:59AM #3
Posts: 9,954
Yep; what ReTeach said.
Time for you and bf to have a "Come to Jesus meeting" where you lay down the law.

You could say, for example, that you're sorry it happened, that you wish you'd been brave enough to tell him right away instead of him finding out by snooping, that you regret stepping out on him, but based on how little he seemed to value you at that time, you thought that since the relationship was nearly ended, you may as well explore other options---but that if he cannot forget about your indiscretion and stop bringing it up, you'll know that what he REALLY means is that he wants to end the relationship and move on, even though you love him NOW, and apparently, he wants to make up for neglecting you in the past.

That unless and until he can get past this, you two need to separate for awhile---if for nothing else, to keep your sanity and avoid driving HIM insane with his imaginings of you with the other.

If he protests that he loves you, remind him that love involves/requires a lot of forgiveness---and silence about certain things, too, especially things that are certain to cause aggravation, upset feelings, anger, and mean-spirited words(unless you like that sort of thing; personally, fighting and make-up sex don't cut it, for me).  Now, he may take this to mean that he should go out and have sex with some other sweet young thing, to "get even," and then demand you be ok with it---but if that's the road he chooses to go down, let him know now that he'll be going down that road without you(unless you're ok with a one-time "get even" fling).

When he speaks demeaningly or disparagingly toward you about this other, you may wish to explain how those words make you feel in that moment, but without using words like "you always" or "you never."  Make it about YOU, e.g. "When i hear ______ about this other, i feel..." etc.  IME, when people hear the word "you," they often take offense and become defenSIVE...often seeking the counterattack, which usually leads to escalation.  If you don't like where the discussion is headed, head it off at the pass, so to speak.

Warmest regards-

"History records that the moneychangers have used every form of abuse, deceit, intrigue, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and it's issuance."
-- James Madison(1751-1836), Father of the Constitution for the USA, 4th US President
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