I Cheated And I Regret It. How Long Do I Have to Pay the Price?

Cheated And I Regret It. How Long Do I Have to Pay The Price?

I am a 29 year old man who has been dating my current 31 year old girlfriend for close to a year. I met her last October at a mutual friend’s wedding and asked for her number. We began going out, and in January, we agreed to be in a committed relationship. We share many hobbies and interests, have stimulating conversations and love spending time with each other. She is beautiful (she was a former model), and is practicing as a lawyer now. Income wise, she earns more than me, but that has never been an issue and she is always happy to chip in whenever we go out. I knew I was in love with her, but I didn’t know just how much she meant to me until I nearly lost her recently. Please allow me to explain.

Prior to meeting my current girlfriend, I was notoriously known as being a player, with weekends filled with clubbing and picking up random girls. I hadn’t had a serious girlfriend for over 3 years. After committing to my girlfriend, I began missing my single lifestyle. Although my girlfriend always told me to have fun at my boys’ nights, she always wanted to know when I was home. She always wanted to know who I was with and where I was. I suppose I resented having to “check in” with her.

In March, I was having a boozy night out with some guy friends when I bumped into my friend, who I will call Katy. I always knew Katy liked me, and I was flattered at the attention she was giving me. My friend Gary, who doesn’t have much respect for monogamy, egged me on. Drunk and encouraged by Gary, I ended up sleeping with Katy at her place that night. After the event, I immediately regretted it, and messaged Gary saying that I felt like a complete jerk for cheating. I stopped contacting Katy afterwards and cut her out of my life, and resolved to be a good boyfriend from then on.

I had almost completely forgotten about this event until one day, I was napping at my girlfriend’s house and she woke me by slapping me across the face. It turns out that she had gone through my phone and discovered the messages between me and Gary where I was confessing to Gary what had happened with Katy. My girlfriend told me she suspected I had never really given up my playboy ways which is why she went through my phone to find proof. She broke up with me and kicked me out of the house.

The following week, I sent her flowers and called every day begging for forgiveness. I told her I would do absolutely anything to regain her trust and give me a second chance. She finally decided to forgive me conditional upon the following: (i) No more boys’ nights; (ii) To install a GPS tracker on my phone; and (iii) To remove Gary from my life. I agreed to all conditions; the last one was the most difficult for me to do as I had known Gary since high school, but my girlfriend believed he was a bad influence to our relationship, so I agreed and told Gary I could not to see him anymore.

It’s been a month since she decided to give me a second chance. I am grateful to have her back in my life, as I now know that I cannot live without her. However, I can’t help but feel stifled as I have no freedom or control over my life anymore. She doesn’t allow me to see female friends she doesn’t trust, even in the company of others. She watches my every move on the GPS tracker, and flips out if I forget to “check in” or report who I am with. I know I deserve this, but I miss seeing my friends and miss my freedom too. Would I be unreasonable if I asked her to loosen the leash around my neck a little? Or is her behavior now completely rational?

James

Let’s start at the end and work backwards, shall we?

Trust is the underpinning of any relationship.

You have a girlfriend who doesn’t trust you.

Therefore, your relationship is doomed and you should probably get out and start over.

Trust is the underpinning of any relationship.

Now that we’ve ripped the band-aid off, let me explain why I feel that way, so you can draw your own conclusions.

As I’ve said many times before, it’s either “all trust or no trust”.

You can’t partially trust your partner. If she’s talking to her ex-boyfriend on Facebook, you have to assume it’s platonic. If you’re going to a bachelor party with your buddies, she has to assume you’ll be faithful. If either of you doubts your partner’s ability to stay faithful, all trust is eroded.

The thing is, James, you didn’t have any trust to being with.

Your girlfriend was already mistrustful of men before she met you. You overlooked that and then resented that she made you “check in”.

Factor in that you aren’t a trustworthy person. Your girlfriend knew you were a player, that you hung out with players, and that you glorified the player lifestyle, and she overlooked it. She evidently figured that keeping you on a short leash would tame you.

In fact, as you pointed out, it had the opposite effect. The more she clamped down on you, the more you wanted your freedom.

So you cheated. And regretted it. And hoped she’d never find out. But she did, and now she’s got your balls in a jar next to her nightstand.

And, not surprisingly, you’re not really enjoying the consequences of not being trusted. This is what it’s like to be in jail, dude. You stole a car for fun, the cops caught you, and now you’ve got a record. Isn’t it bullshit that they’re locking you up? Isn’t ridiculous that you have a record and that it will follow you around when you apply for jobs? Isn’t it unfair that one mistake should haunt you for the rest of your life?

Not really.

Your girlfriend’s behavior is completely rational given your behavior. What she doesn’t realize is that it’s completely ineffective.

As I wrote in “Why He Disappeared,” men are about feelings, not about looks. In other words, we may fall for someone because she’s hot, but ultimately, we stay because of how we feel when we’re around her.

I can’t speak for James here, but I’d have a really hard time feeling good about a girlfriend who couldn’t forgive my mistake and continued to treat me like a criminal. To forbid you from hanging out with your friends, to be GPS tracked and to force you to cut off a friend is – depending on your perspective – a steep or perfectly reasonable response to your infidelity.

If she can’t trust you – or won’t trust you even though you’ve vowed to be faithful – then you both owe it to yourselves to make a clean break.

No one is going to defend your infidelity.

But I will take a stand and say that your girlfriend’s behavior is indefensible as well. If she wants to have a happy boyfriend, she has to make you feel like a trustworthy human being and you have to continue to earn that label.

If she can’t trust you – or won’t trust you even though you’ve vowed to be faithful – then you both owe it to yourselves to make a clean break.

You will have learned a valuable lesson as to why it’s important to be faithful – otherwise you lose the girl and get thrown in jail.

And she will hopefully learn that the only man she should date is a man she can COMPLETELY trust. Because while you may be willing to put up with this phone-checking, friend-banning, GPS bullshit because you’re a cheater, an HONEST man will have ZERO tolerance for being treated like a criminal.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    amydkl

    He really should examine his own reasons for cheating and man up and take responsibility. Maybe he doesn’t want a monogamous relationship, maybe he doesn’t respect women, maybe he is not set up for this type of lifestyle. Whatever his reason was, he should look into it and understand it.
    Moreover, the fact that he says that he “can’t live without her” sounds like an addiction. He probably can live without her, and should, since she sounds pretty nuts herself.

  2. 2
    Julia

    My friend married a man who she knew cheated on her with several women. She married him and tried to keep him on a short list, he still cheated. Now they are both miserable. She’s miserable because she feels stuck with the father of her 3 children who cheats on her every chance she gets and he’s miserable because he keeps on cheating, she keeps on checking on him and finding out and making him pay for his ways. Its a really terrible place to be in.

  3. 3
    Michelle

    **Your girlfriend was already mistrustful of men before she met you…Factor in that you aren’t a trustworthy person***

    I agree with Evan’s critique of the girlfriends behavior, but I still have nothing but disgust for a guy who lets one of his loser friends goad him into ruining his relationship. Did he think for a second that maybe this so called friend of his was actually happy to see this fool take his advice because envy and hidden desire to see his relationship fail? When you have a great thing goin with someone you love, it can shine a light on the emptiness in your single friends’ lives, even if they claim to be against monogamy and appear to be livin it up in that single fantasy, many are not. What weakness in this man’s character. No respect and no sympathy from me. Be a real man next time. Have some character and think for yourself.

    1. 3.1
      Androgynous

      Obviously his friend does not like the way the girlfriend “controls” James. I have never come across a man who tries to break up a relationship because of jealousy, but I have seen many women attempt to do so, sometimes succeeding. I have however, seen many men trying to break up a relationship because they are convinced the relationship is no good for his friend.

      Anyway, I don’t believe men “allow” themselves to be persuaded by their friends the same way women are. If they don’t want to do something, no man can make him do it – it’s an ego thing. They only do something they don’t want to do if they are being nagged constantly and they want the nagging to stop.

      1. 3.1.1
        Karmic Equation

        Agreed.

        Men are happy when their buddies are happy. They don’t suffer from envy the way women often do.

        Men do what they want to do. James liked the positive attention from Katy, as opposed to the negative attention from his now gf, and hopefully, soon to be ex.

        She may be beautiful but she’s got her own issues. I’d hazard a guess that James will more quickly become a faithful guy than she will overcome her issues.

        1. Androgynous

          There is no guranatee that James will be faithful if his GF overcame her issues, but it CAN be guaranteed that the relationship will fail if she doesn’t.

      2. 3.1.2
        Jen

        Horseshit. Men will smoke cigarettes, pot, heck even do hard drugs because of the influence of their friends’. They are extremely worried about how other men perceive them – this is why when they are in love with a woman who is unattractive they are far more likely to hide it and be ashamed of the relationship than a woman who is in love with an unattractive man.

        1. SparklingEmerald

          Hmmm, I’m not sure if men do drugs and random sex because their buds are doing that, or if they are seeking out men who do drugs and have random sex because that’s what they are into.

          It can be difficult for a man who was once a player and a partier to be the first in his group to decide to stop sowing his wild oats and settle down. If he really loves a woman tho’, he will tell his friends to back off if they rag on him for getting into a monogamous relationship.

          And men don’t just rag on men about this because they think the girl in question is a ball buster, it is just something they do. My son even told me that he and his buds are TERRIBLE that way, they give their buds a hard time when they are treating a girl well, and high fives when they treat her not so well. It does seem to be done in a joking, laughing way, and I do get the impression that they would shut the hell up, if the a guy with a new girl friend told them to do so.

          I also noticed my son (who is 23) is starting to have a little bit of a “I think I’d like that” tone in his voice, when he talks about his friends getting married and having babies.

        2. Heather

          Yep!!!  

  4. 4
    MsB.

    Grow up. Putting the blame on the “friend who hates monogamy” is a cop out. When you cheat, you break up a bond of trust. It sounds like this guy wanted to have the upper hand and know that although he is in a relationship he still has what it takes to sleep around. I don’t see how this could last. Sorry. Too stressful to deal with a cheater. If she is a lawyer and a former model, she will find a replacement VERY soon. I hope she does, she deserves it!

  5. 5
    Selena

    James you cheated on your girlfriend because you felt like doing it. You can blame your buddy, you can blame the alcohol, but no, bud, it was you who felt like doing it and did it.

    I am going to venture further and say you knew when you did it your girlfriend might find out. Almost always when there is cheating, there are other issues going on. You love this woman? She’s model beautiful, smart & successful (an attorney), and she shares the cost of dating with you (generous). But still… that wasn’t enough to resist the temptation of a one nighter? I’m not buying it.

    Despite how she looks “on paper’ James, I don’t think you see your future stretching ahead with this woman. And she most likely isn’t seeing it with you as well. Despite the electronic leash she is trying to put on you at the moment. That’s hurt. That’s not willing to give up – yet. And it never works. The only thing that might work is addressing the underlying thing — why did you cheat? And would you do it again?

    If both of you are determined to keep this thing going and hope it to evovle into something safe, better, long lasting…then try couples counseling. That gets down to the real “nitty gritty” of motivations. It’s not pretty and it’s not fun. And it’s no guarantee of any kind that the relationship will either improve or last. But it is more honest than blaming other people/things/circumstances for a “slip” and the sure-to-fail “punishment” that comes when one becomes the “warden” in the relationship.

  6. 6
    starthrower68

    This does not sound like a good match. Probably better for both parties to cut their losses, learn from their mistakes, and move on. While I do not condone the cheating at all, this sounds to me like a woman who is taking advantage of her perceived “power” in the relationship. When the relationship is based on control, then nurturing is not happening. Love cannot grow, let alone exist under such conditions. Forgiveness must be unconditional.

  7. 7
    Karl T

    #4 and #5, Where does James say he blames Gary for his cheating??? He said he was drunk and Gary was egging him on. After it happened he does not say it was Gary’s fault that he cheated. He is taking responsibility for it and not blaming anyone else.
    In my opinion this women knew full well what she was getting and deserves what she got- a cheater. I feel sorry for people who get blindsided by a cheater, but this one was totally clear and proven BEFORE she got married. I have no sympathy for her because she chose to ignore it for what…looks..money??? Why doesn’t she woman up and divorce him instead of becoming a control freak…..?

    1. 7.1
      SparklingEmerald

      Karl T – How ironic that you are scolding others for interpreting his statement that his friend “egged him on” for blaming. Then you talk about marriage and divorce. Re-read the article, they are not married, they are Boyfriend/Girlfriend.

      1. 7.1.1
        Karl T

        Hey Sparkly,
        You show me where he says that it was all Gary’s fault or where he says that if Gary didn’t egg him on he would not have cheated. He DOESN’T blame Gary for his cheating, He just said he was one of the influences along with alcohol, but he does not dismiss himself for being at fault. I’m not sure where you read that he blamed Gary and not himself????
        As for the married part, who cares I slipped up between reading the OP’s story and Julia’s.

        1. SparklingEmerald

          Show me where I said that he said it was all Gary’s fault.

          I was just pointing out that you misread and said he was married.

          But gee, to me saying “Drunk and encouraged by Gary, I ended up sleeping with Katy at her place that night. ” doesn’t sound like taking responsibility to me. He might not be placing 100% blame on Gary, but he seems to be minimizing his part.

          But of course you only come to this blog to tell us that women are ALWAYS wrong and men are ALWAYS right. You even blame this woman for being cheated on. You make Gary out to be some sort of noble cheater who took responsibility for his hound dog ways.

          I suppose we just have to date virgins to avoid that.

          IMHO this couple is a train wreck. Don’t think they can fix this ever.

        2. Selena

          @ Karl T.

          Adding to SE’s reply to you: it seems clear that James implicated his friend Gary in his cheating when telling his girlfriend about it. Hence one of her conditions for getting back together was that he cut Gary out of his life- deeming him a bad influence.

          Ironically, this seems to be the part of James’ “probation” that bothers him the most.

          Trying to shift some of the blame onto Gary, along with alcohol, is not taking full responsibility for his own actions.

      2. 7.1.2
        Karl T

        ” How ironic that you are scolding others for interpreting his statement that his friend “egged him on” for blaming. ” Right there Sparkles. You are criticizing me for saying that I am calling it egging on while others are saying he is blaming Gary. Can’t get much clearer than your own statement!
        Learn the difference between someone citing something as an ‘influence’ as opposed to placing blame and ducking out of responsibility.
        Now you go and put words in my mouth saying I am blaming the woman for his cheating! Seriously?? Where in hell do I say that?? Where also do I canonize Gary??? I don’t blame her at all- I just say I have NO SYMPATHY for her. Talk about not being able to read the right words!!!!! You’re the master at twisting words up to suit your premise. Let me spell it out clear before you further twist my words. I think Gary is a loser. I think James is wrong for cheating and also has issues. I think his GF is ridiculous and whacked- first for choosing to date a know cheater and closing her eyes to it and second for being a whacky control freak. I would liek to know more from the GF about why she dated this guy. I’m guessing she is shallow and probably chose him for his looks while overlooking his scummy ways. If I chose a girl who is full of issues and psycho, but I choose to date her based on her huge boobs or something all the women would say I deserved what I got!! No different here. I find it appalling this woman knew so much about the guys past and still chose to date him. No sympathy. I’ll save my sympathy for people who get blindsided by losers. They deserve sympathy.

        1. SparklingEmerald

          Kart T – Let me put on my surprised face about your obvious dislike of women. WOW, I am soooo surprised. You obviously have no clue about paraphrases and that there are several different ways of communicating the same concept. Just because James didn’t say “I BLAME Gary”, if he says “drunk and egged on by Gary” he is essentially doing the same thing. But then again, you had to have the meaning of the word “Macho” explained to you, so I am not surprised that you can’t see the subtle way James was at least partially blaming his friend.
          And if you can “guess” the girl is shallow, than we can “guess” that when a guy says that he did something because his friend “egged him on” we can “guess” that he is sharing blame with his friend.

          Actually I do think his friend was slimey to egg James on. James is obviously tempted by such things, and while James made the ultimate decision to cheat, I don’t think a real friend who knows what your weaknesses are, would tempt someone into doing something destructive.

          If you know a friend is an alcoholic, don’t push them to drink, if you have a friend who has a real sweet tooth but is trying to lose weight, don’t shove cake under their nose, because you’re fat and you are jealous because your friend is skinny. If you are a player who doesn’t believe in monogamy, it is slimy to try and break up your friends relationships, because you are a player and don’t want to lose your drinking buddy/wingman.

          I don’t agree with the GF’s actions (especially the slapping). I think James should dump his jerk player friend, but it should be HIS decision, not something he is being nagged into. I also think he should dump this violent control freak, but that has to be HIS decision.

          Who would want to be with a person, when you feel the need to SLAP them to deal with your problems ?

          When I am trying to improve my life, I dump or stay away from friends who try to drag me down.

    2. 7.2
      Julia

      they weren’t married….unless you are responding to me….

  8. 8
    Clare

    Cannot understand what possible joy these two could be getting out of their relationship.

    GPS tracker? Give me a break. Do I *really* want to be my boyfriend’s parole officer? What a miserable, sad, insecure, paranoid person this girlfriend must be.

    And as for him – “I want you in my life no matter the cost”. Clearly he doesn’t actually trust himself either.

    Where is the romance and the intimacy in a relationship like this?

    No thank you.

    They should both get out and work on being whole people capable of having a good relationship and being good partners.

  9. 9
    morgan

    An interesting one…

    I’m in a relationship with a man who cheated on me very early on. He was also a player when we got together – different to James – going crazy after being dumped by his wife of 25 years and being thrown out of the family home. I decided to keep on with it in the understanding he has an elevated risk profile for straying because there is so much that’s brilliant about being with him – the rewards far outweigh the risk. After two years I’m very happy I did.

    I think what he did was wrong and I have had to work to build trust with him; however I would never have made the demands that James’ girlfriend has. GPS tracking and dumping one of your besties? A recipe for resentment and rebellion if ever I heard one. Not to mention creepily controlling.

    James you sound like someone whose behavior is too influenced by others – Gary, Katy and your girlfriend. You need to get clear on your own values and needs and learn how to say NO when what others want you to do doesn’t accord with them.

    And dude, you can totally live without her. The bigger question is whether you can be true to yourself in the quest for a healthy relationship at the risk of losing her.

  10. 10
    Kiki

    I would say to the OP that the reason his girlfriend is acting this way is that he has not apologized the right way, and from his heart, or, to put it differently, by her standards, he has not repented enough.

    IMO, the reason he has not apologized from his heart is that he thinks a drunken one night stand is not a big deal. By the way, I do not think it is a huge deal either, but this is my older and long married self that thinks so. When I was younger and single I certainly thought it was the worst crime ever. I suspect that a 30 year-old former model turned lawyer still has very low tolerance for bulshit (sorry I meant human weaknesses :-)).

    When you want true forgiveness (which is the only possible basis for trust), you need to apologize, apologize, apologize. You need to show, with all your words and your actions, that you are truly sorry for what you did. Also, you have to do it by her standards, not by yours, because she is the one who has been wrongerd, and not you.

    If you are not truly sorry, because in your heart of hearts you still think that 1) it is not a big deal, and/or 2) you are cool enough to be meeting even more, and hotter girls in the future (and you might very well have this option since you are only 29) then you have to tell her like it is, and let her break up with you.

  11. 11
    Selena

    @#7

    Re-read the letter. They are not married. Your second paragraph makes no sense in light of that.

  12. 12
    SparklingEmerald

    I no way in hell condone his cheating, but the woman is violent and controlling. I think it would best if they parted ways, worked on themselves, and then start over with someone new. If they were to stay together and have children, it would an AWFUL environment to raise children in.

  13. 13
    Karl T

    #11
    Oh geez, then they should both be done with each other then!

  14. 14
    Dawn

    they should just break up … neither one of them can be happy in a relationship like this.

  15. 15
    Bella

    Her behavior is a little too much, sure the trust is broken and James needs to work hard to re-gain that trust but she is going too far with it. I like to be able to know (or believe) that my boyfriend goes out with his friends and comes home soon after because he misses me and know that whatever or wherever he was with his friends he still had me in his mind to say, “ok enough fun with the boys tonight, now I want to go home to my baby.” I disrespect that James cheated, but the way she is handling things is no road to a happy future together.

  16. 16
    John

    I don’t think this guy really even cares about the advice. This letter was an excuse to brag about how he was able to snag a model, lawyer girlfriend who makes a lot of money. Those pieces of info are irrelevant to his cheating story but its his excuse to work its way in there. And then also brag about how other women outside of his relationship still desire him.

    Evans advice is good but I don’t think this guy even cares about the Evans reply. He just wanted to let everyone know that he can get hot women.

    1. 16.1
      Karl T

      What??? Who cares about bragging to faceless strangers you will never see or ever talk to??? Doesn’t sound logical to me.

      1. 16.1.1
        SparklingEmerald

        Karl – There are misogynist websites devoted to men bragging about humping and dumping. The goal seems to be to hurt women and then brag. So obviously some care about bragging to nameless faceless strangers. Of course, when I’ve fallen down into these manholes while surfing the net, I have really come to believe that most of these tall tales are science fiction tales being told by men who never or hardly ever get any and are bitter, so they make up a fantasy sex life online, where they are the tormenters and women are their emotionally devastated prey.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          Karl T has been banned from this site. While I do value male posters and often agreed with his contrary point of view, his unnecessarily hostile tone either required me to edit or delete too many of his posts. This was decreasing the quality of my life. So no more Karl T.

  17. 17
    prisoner223

    Forever.

    Tough, don’t be such a screw up next time around.

  18. 18
    James

    I just wanted to thank Evan for answering my question. Just to update your readers – my girlfriend and I are still together. It’s been about 3 months now since she found out about the affair. It hasn’t been easy, but I’m slowly and gradually regaining her trust. I’m free to see my female friends and Gary, and she’s promised not to go through my phone ever again. The GPS tracker is still there unfortunately, but I’m sure eventually in a few more weeks I can remove that too.

    1. 18.1
      starthrower68

      James I hope you are going into this with your eyes wide open, as love requires two things to grow and remain: grace and truth. Of course based on your post, you’ve gotten to the truth part, but what my concern is – for what it’s worth – is the grace part. Imposing these harsh restrictions on you (not that I hold you blameless) is not showing grace; it’s lording over you. It’s not unconditional forgiveness. You are caught in an area of legalism, i.e. you obey those rules or else. I mean, if this is really what the both of you want, then more power to you, I hope you can make it work. But you both need to take a different approach to make it work. Most people who are reformed change their ways out of a desire to return the love of a person who loved them and forgave them unconditionally, not because a bunch of rules and regulations were imposed on them. What I’m saying may sound counterintuitive, and I do applaud you for your self-awareness and acceptance of the conviction you felt for your infidelity. But I would feel some condemnation over the restrictions and demands and I’m not sure how that gets you into a place where you want to move forward, even if you truly love her. But only you can know that for yourself.

      1. 18.1.1
        SparklingEmerald

        Of course she is going to be into “legalism”, she is a lawyer.

        James, kudos to you for putting your head on the chopping block here. I think you and your lady both have some issues that need to be worked on. (particularly her anger control issue)

        Of course, we don’t know the WHOLE story, don’t know if she mistrusted you from the start, or if you showed obvious signs of straying and that’s why she stuck her nose in your phone. Did you perhaps subconscienally want to get caught ? If so, why ? To test the relationship ? To end the relationship ? To be punished ?

        Anyway ST makes a good case that if this girl is going to forgive, it should be complete and total forgiveness.

        Everything I have ever read about relationships surviving infidelity say that although the cheater must take responsibility for their actions and completely repent, the cheated upon person has to completely forgive. It might not happen right away, but it must happen eventually, or the relationship is doomed.

        Sorry to go all pschyco-analytical on you, but this sort of thing rather fascinates me a little bit.

    2. 18.2
      Shaukat

      James, I ‘m sorry to say that the last part of your update is unintentionally hilarious: “The GPS tracker is still there unfortunately, but I’m sure eventually in a few more weeks I can remove that too.” You really do sound like someone who has just been released from jail and is on parole as opposed to someone working on a relationship. Not a good sign.

  19. 19
    Francesca

    I don’t necessarily think that “checking in” is a bad thing. I do that with my current partner and I would never think that he would ever cheat on me. I even trust that his friends would try and make him reconsider if he did think it was a good idea. I just think that his friends are rowdy, and that if he cannot tell me when he gets home that he might be lying passed out drunk in a ditch and need to be picked up…

  20. 20
    Marie

    The problem here is that I’m not sure that James is ready to give up the player lifestyle and seek the long term commitment that his girlfriend may want. Men have to go through stages of life themselves on their own terms. You can’t force yourself to mature before you are ready. Your heart might want to stay with her but are you really ready? Or will you stray again once the passion fades? Doesn’t you a bad person but you have to take a good hard look at that before hurting her again. Men who are ready to move onto the next step act differently – the don’t like to party with their single guy friend that much anymore, they may not even want to go out, preferring the home life, they’ve had enough of bars, drinking, and one night stands, they think about saving for a secure financial future for a potential family, etc. where does your girlfriend think she is in life and how do you fit into this picture? Does she just want serial monogamy or is she looking towards marriage and kids. She is 31 and the clock is ticking. The fairest thing after what you’ve done is to find out her goals and see if this is something you can give her, if you really love her. Otherwise you should let her go to fulfill her dreams.

  21. 21
    Locutus

    Sparkling Emerald or should I call you Faded Jade,
    “There are misogynist websites devoted to men bragging about humping and dumping. The goal seems to be to hurt women and then brag. So obviously some care about bragging to nameless faceless strangers. Of course, when I’ve fallen down into these manholes while surfing the net”

    LOL…you mean you go out looking for these sites on purpose to reinforce your obvious hatred of men!

    1. 21.1
      SparklingEmerald

      Locutus – (or should I call you Karl T.) 3 years ago, when I wanted nothing more than to save my marriage to a man I loved more than life itself, I started surfing the net, looking for advice on how to “Get Him Back”. I wouldn’t be trying to save my marriage to a man if I hated him. That’s how I found this website. Evan (who is also a man, and who I do not hate) pointed out through his numerous blog posts, the futility of trying to cling to a man who doesn’t want to be clung to. Unfortunately, not only did my web search bring me to this site, but I fell down some man holes and found some really ugly misogynist websites. I also fell down some ugly feminazi sites, that raged against men. Those sites creeped me out as well. Kinda hard to hate men when I have a son whom I love dearly. I wouldn’t be on online dating sites to meet men if I hated them. But I will weed out the ones who only want to hump & dump. Or the ones I’m not attracted to.

      Oh, and the faded jade is through my other e-mail address. Since EMK went to this new blog post, it defaults to FJ, and now I prefer SE, but I don’t always remember to change the default back to SE.

      Kart T. , maybe if you agree to play nice, EMK will let you stick around as Locust.

  22. 22
    judy

    Quite frankly, if I was the man, I’d move on. Both of them had trust issues from the very start. I can’t say that I feel sympathy for either of them. I did know a couple who tried to “forget” the unfaithfulness of the woman but she is paying for it every single day of her married life.

  23. 23
    Catharine

    What I find interesting is the lack of comments about the girlfriend checking his phone and finding the texts in the first place. Why didn’t he delete the texts?

    I dated and married before all of this technology was available. My ex-husband traveled extensively because of his job and I had no way of checking on him other than a phone call (no cell, just landline). I decided to trust him or I would have been miserable. Our marriage ended over many things, including infidelity and he later married her. This fall, he had a stroke and died at 58. She and I were both there, because he was my son’s father. She and I talked for hours a week after he died. Not only did he cheat on me, but several times while married to her. She even left him twice, which I did not know about. She did not divorce him because she loved him and he had serious health problems.

    My point in discussing my past is that you are fortunate to have many opportunities to find out things before getting married and your girlfriend has her own career and the money to take care of herself, so there is no need to stay together if you can not and will not trust each other. I was divorced from my ex for 25 years before he died. I forgave the cheating, but never trusted him again. Unfortunately, I was right and he continued to behave the same way with someone else.
    Take advantage of what you know and consider moving on.

  24. 24
    Yuri

    You cheated. There’s no excuse for it. Worst of all, she didn’t find out about it from you. You thought you could just sweep it under the rug and vow to be better. Wrong answer. You did the deed – man up to the consequences (whatever they may be).

    If you were afraid she’d break up with you, you should be. That’s what you deserve. Slapping and leaving you was a perfectly acceptable response in my opinion. Taking you back was a big mistake…especially if she just trusts you even less.

    On the other hand, she snooped through your phone and found out. I don’t know many women who snoop through phones that don’t have trust issues in their relationship. Double negative, I know. It means she snooped because she had trust issues with you. Go figure. You proved her right. Problem is that you should have trust issues with her, too, because she invaded your privacy.

    She can’t control your actions by tightening the leash, and you don’t want her to tighten the leash anyway…So many bad decisions with so many terrible responses to bad decisions…

    This relationship sucks.

    1. 24.1
      faded jade

      Please, leaving him was acceptable, SLAPPING is not ! Snooping was wrong, but maybe her gut was telling her he was cheating. (Cheaters often leave little “tells”) But instead of snooping she should have said, “I have noticed X,Y & Z and I am feeling concerned. Is there something you need to tell me ?” Slapping and snooping are BAD behaviors in a relationship. (as is cheating)

      Also, if she going to give him another chance, at some point she has to forgive and forget. If she still feels like she can’t trust him, she shouldn’t be with him.

      1. 24.1.1
        Selena

        SE,
        Given some of your comments about the slapping I’ve decided to tell you a personal story.

        A dozen years ago my then partner cheated on me. We broke up. After a month of no contact he started making intense effort to get me back. We started talking and decided if we were going to try this again we should go to counseling. Our first session the therapist told us the goal was healing from what happened regardless of whether we ended up staying together or not.

        I found counseling to be tough and painful. Details of my partner’s affair came out that felt as though salt was being poured in the wound. I loved him , but I was also so hurt and angry with him much of the time because of what he did. Why did he do this to us? Who was he?

        It came out in a session that he met with the other woman one weekend when he told me he had to work out of town. It was a weekend that my birthday fell on. He had gotten out our bed the day before and kissed me goodbye when he left. He was back 3 days later. He didn’t call me on my birthday.

        We get home and I’m miserable with this new information. I’m angry and I’m showing it. He says to me, “Go ahead and slap me. I know you want to. I deserve it.” I walk over to the couch where he sitting and I slap him across the face. Hard. He doesn’t flinch.

        Here’s the thing SE, I DID want to slap him. And he could read me well enough to know that I wanted to. But I wouldn’t have without him telling me to go ahead and do it. He knew that too.

        Slapping him did not make me feel any better. I think I felt disappointed at the time it didn’t. I remember feeling just kind of defeated.

        You seem to think James’ girlfriend slapping him is just as bad as him cheating on her. That she is violent. I don’t if she is or isn’t. I will venture though the desire to slap someone who has betrayed you may not be uncommon. Just the perspective of someone who was once there.

        1. SparklingEmerald

          I understand WANTING to slap him, but she ACTED on that. If I slapped every person I WANTED to slap, my hand would be in a cast by now. However, if someone that I wanted to slap explicitly gave me permission to do so, I just might. But I’d have to be really mad.

          There was a time that I was supposed to slap someone. I was in a play, and I was supposed to slap the character who was my boyfriend. I asked, can’t I just fake slap him and we add in a sound effect ? The actor said it was OK, he showed me how hard I could slap him (hard enough to make a slap sound, but not really hard) He even said I could slap the side of his neck instead of his face, because if the actors are at the right angle, it looks like a slap in the face. I had more trouble with that scene than the love scene. (although the first couple times we rehearsed I got the giggles when we first started making out on stage (or as I call it faking out). I had no problem letting the other actor tear my clothes off and carry me off stage (he didn’t tear all my clothes off) but slapping him ? Couldn’t do that, the director finally cut that part. Guess I’m a lover, not a fighter.

          I mostly raised my son without corporal punishment, think I may have slapped his hand once when he was little, and gave him one hard smack his ass out the door when he ditched school as a teen.

          I think if a relationship degrades to the point where you want to slap your partner, you probably shouldn’t be with them.

      2. 24.1.2
        WinsomePeach

        “I have noticed X,Y & Z and I am feeling concerned. Is there something you need to tell me ?” That is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. You really think cheaters are going to tell you about it if they think they can get away with it? I bet you’ve been cheated on a hundred times and were oblivious to it because you asked liars to tell you the truth instead of being proactive and finding it out for yourself. Maybe ignorance really is bliss.

        1. SparklingEmerald

          WinsomePeach – It depends on the reason for cheating. You’d be surprised at how many men cheat and WANT to get caught. I’ve had friends who “caught” their hubbies cheating or on the verge of cheating, because they “accidently” left the computer screen up with their e-mails to their mistress on the screen. It’s almost as if, if their wives won’t snoop they will put the evidence right under their wives noses, in order to force a confrontation, and they can “confess”.

          Strange, I know, but human behavior, especially in the area of male/female relationships is filled with oddities.

          Some men cheat as a cry for help. Some men cheat to end a relationship. Some men cheat just because the opportunity arose, and they still want to stay with their SO.

          If you confront a man with his behaviors that lead you to believe he is cheating, he might not come right out and say, “I had an affair”, but it you confront him with his distancing behavior (being hyper critical of a mate is one of the signs of cheating) he might come out and say that he’s just generally unhappy with the relationship and questions weather he wants to stay in the relationship.

          Even if he doesn’t admit to the cheating, it opens the door to conversation about the PROBLEMS that are giving rise to they SYMPTOM of cheating. Initiating a conversation about the relationship is more respectful than snooping.

          You might think it is “the dumbest thing” you ever heard, and I admit it sounds strange, but many men will admit to the cheating, or at the very least admit that they are unhappy with the relationship.

          And of course some will LIE, but they will do such a bad job of lying that it will become obvious what’s going on.

          But anyway, in my opinion, it’s better to have a conversation than to snoop. Or walk away if the relationship has so deteriorated that you mistrust your SO so much, even if you are WRONG that they are cheating, if you are suspecting it, there is still probably something terribly wrong in the relationship.

  25. 25
    Selena

    @ SE
    “If I slapped every person I WANTED to slap, my hand would be in a cast by now.”

    This statement made me smile this morning. :)

    I don’t have the urge to slap people when I’m angry. Lot’s of extreme profanity goes through my head though (and sometimes out loud when they are out of ear shot).

    You wrote: “I think if a relationship degrades to the point where you want to slap your partner, you probably shouldn’t be with them.”

    Yes. But in the case of finding out about infidelity one might not have realized how degraded their relationship had become. Until that moment.

    1. 25.1
      SparklingEmerald

      Speaking of slapping, I remember when my marriage was circling the drain, my ex-hubby had been harping on a minor spat we had when we were newlyweds. Seriously for DECADES he would bring up this very minor incident. Not like he brought it up constantly, but over a period of 23 years, he kept going back to a minor thing, that had been apologized for. I even gave him a “love coupon” on our one year anniversary that basically said, “I’ll never do that again”. (and I never did)

      I remember thinking to my self that the NEXT time he brings it up, I’m going to give him a nerf bat, or some other non-injurious object and invite him to beat the crap out of me with a foam rubber bat, or whatever soft object I could find. I would give him carte blanche to whack me upside the head with whatever, and scream at me for however long it took to get it out of his system. Then I’d tell him to drink a big cup of “Shut the hell up” and don’t EVER bring this up again ! (and if he does, then I’m going to whip HIS ass with a feather boa)

  26. 26
    Mickey

    Dude:

    With so many guys who would kill to have a decent relationship and would never cheat, I can’t feel sorry for the payback you’re getting now. You said it yourself; you were a player and you missed your “single” days once you got into this relationship.

    If this is the end of the relationship, just suck it up and move on. Sometimes the best life lessons are the ones we learn the hard way.

  27. 27
    Ben Iyyar

    I was caught out by two women who found out that I was sleeping with both of them and they both confronted me together and I felt really bad that I had betrayed both of them, and I apologized rather effusively to no apparent avail.  Imagine my surprise when later that night one of the women came by my house to stay over and later that week the other woman came by and did the same.
        I have friends who have been caught in similar situations and neither woman would have anything further to do with them.  Me, after that one experience, decided that things like that were just too difficult, too painful, and too emotionally wrenching to ever get involved with again and it was just better to end one relationship and start a new one, even though I got away with a whole skin the first time around.  I guess some women are willing to give a guy a second chance and some women aren’t, and it depends to some extent on the man and the situation.

  28. 28
    christian

    Maybe you should look into some marriage counseling and both work it out together and maybe she will start getting that trust back little by little. It is not going to happen right away but if you really love this girl its worth the try and the patience. But most of all if you have a girl that motivates you, is faithful, makes you smile, and really love her don’t cheat on her again because your only cheating yourself from your happiness.

  29. 29
    keepitreal

    Cheating is not a “mistake. It’s a choice.  The trust is gone. There’s nothing worthwhile here to save.  Why are these two people beating a dead horse?  Thank heaven they weren’t married with children.  Then it would have been a disastrous choice affecting innocent third parties.  If you can’t keep your junk at home, don’t make a commitment.

  30. 30
    Aileen

    I just recently broke up with my ex-boyfriend, not because I wanted to, but I had to because he cheated on me. Twice. He is the classic emotionally recluse, alpha male. The sad part is that he didn’t need to cheat. I was my best self around him and have always treated him well. It took every ounce of my will to not take things personally, but there is literally no other way. And I hate it when they play the victim card making excuses for their bad behavior because they were wronged themselves. Surprisingly, the cheating doesn’t really faze me. I grew up around them, hearing infidelity issues in and around my family, my own brothers. I just shake my head. So when my man cheated, I truly felt sorry for him. I only wish him well. I haven’t given up on humanity yet. I’m sure I will find someone who will reciprocate the love I give and who will choose not to make me feel bad or put me in harm’s way due to his indiscretion.

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