My Girlfriend Broke Up With Me. I Slept With Someone Else. Have I Done Something Wrong?

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I dated my ex for 16 months. We broke up with no hints of getting back together. 2 weeks later I had a one night stand with someone I don’t know. 1 week later, my ex calls and indicates we should try to get back together. In subsequent discussions, she asks me if I had slept with anyone. Being an honest man, I reluctantly told her yes. She is furious and hurt and is accusing me of cheating and lying to her. I want to be with her, never wanted to be without her (she pushed the breakup), and am disappointed that I hurt her, BUT, do not feel like I cheated or lied. Where do I go from here? Lay low and see if time helps or go all in again and try to win her over again?

Thanks.

Brian

Dear Brian,

You did nothing wrong.

You were broken up.

You had no hints of getting back together.

You did what pretty much any guy would do after a sixteen month relationship.

That doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods yet, but it does mean you’re technically “right”. The problem is that having truth and logic on your side matters very little when discussing emotional issues. This, by the way, is the main reason that I blog. I try to inject a little male logic into the largely feminine realm of relationship discussions. (This does NOT mean women are illogical — I’m just making a generalization here). I don’t actively hope to change the world, but I do hope to observe the world AS IT IS, as opposed to how it SHOULD be.

She probably wanted you cry your eyes out for a few weeks, paralyzed, unable to imagine yourself in the presence of any other woman.

Your girlfriend is caught up in how it SHOULD be. After a long, serious relationship — one in which she still had feelings for you – she was clearly hoping for some dating moratorium. She probably wanted you cry your eyes out for a few weeks, paralyzed, unable to imagine yourself in the presence of any other woman. And then, when she came back to reconcile with her beloved, she was shocked to discover that you had drowned your sorrows in the cleavage of another woman during – GASP! — a meaningless one-night stand. The gall! The disrespect! Did your relationship just mean NOTHING?

It feels pretty ridiculous to type those last few lines because they make no logical sense. You were broken up. You did when men do when they’re single — look for other women. When my serious girlfriend dumped me in 2004, I left her house, red-eyed, drove ten minutes home, and reactivated my JDate account instantly. Would I want to be the first woman to date me after my heart had been shattered? Hell, no. But I certainly wasn’t going to repair my wounds by sitting at home by myself for a month….

This isn’t to say that I don’t have sympathy for your ex-girlfriend. It’s just that it’s HER job to get over this bump in the road. There’s nothing you could do at this point that’s going to fix things. Especially since she asked for your honesty and you gave it to her.

This brings up a rant that I’ve always wanted to have in public forum. It stems from a conversation with a girlfriend from 4-5 years back — a girlfriend that I loved, a girlfriend who was deeply distrustful of men. It was based on her personal experience — she’d been cheated upon, and even dated a polyamorist at a time. As a result, I remember her telling me, point-blank, early in the relationship (and repeatedly thereafter):

“If you ever cheat on me, you’d better tell me. I do not tolerate cheaters and I will break up with you.”

And, me, ever the wise-ass, replied, with a twinkle in my eye, “Well, if you’d break up with me, why would I tell you that I cheated?”

And she’d reply: “Because it’s the right thing to do. It’s the manly thing to do. You’d want to have integrity, right?”

And I’d reply: “Yeah, but what if I made a god-awful mistake — say, drunkenly kissing a stranger at a party in Vegas? What if I made a mistake that I instantly regretted and would never repeat? What if I knew I would never intentionally jeopardize my relationship for any other woman again? What possible incentive would I have to confess, presuming that you’re instantly going to dump me for ‘honorably’ telling you? It just doesn’t make any sense.”

I’m not defending cheating. I am saying that I was living in the real world, and she was living in the fantasy world. In the real world, when someone cheats and realizes the consequences are dire, he’s got no incentive to confess. I can spit gum on the street in Singapore and turn myself in so I can get caned, or I can deny, deny, deny. I can “borrow” lines from a book when writing a term paper, and then tell the professor that I plagiarized, but that wouldn’t be too wise.

You want a guy to tell you the truth about cheating? You better be prepared to forgive him and painfully accept his apology. Otherwise, you’re asking for him to lie to you.

So while I’m not encouraging cheaters, let’s understand what logical behavior follows after infidelity: lies to cover up. You want a guy to tell you the truth about cheating? You better be prepared to forgive him and painfully accept his apology. Otherwise, you’re asking for him to lie to you.

To wrap up, I want to offer a quote from Ramana Hamarshi, “Wanting to reform the world without discovering one’s true self is like trying to cover the world with leather to avoid the pain of walking on stones and thorns. It is much simpler to wear shoes.”

If you’re frustrated with the dialogue here and expect to change men or women, make no mistake about it, you’re trying to cover the world with leather.

 

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Comments:

  1. 141
    Laine

    Hmmm…I had this happen to me. I had a disagreement with my boyfriend of 3 years, nothing major, but he stomped off in a huff. I did not hear from him for a few weeks and he would not take my calls.   I thought he was mad and gave him space only to find out that he went and slept with other women during this time and claimed we were broken up. This is not the type of man I want ! If a man is not prepared to work out issues when they occur, but instead runs into the arms of another woman, I say you are best rid of him. And if the OP really loved this woman, why did he start seeing someone else rather than work it out with her.!!! Oh, but wait—he does want her back, and is open to that…but used the break to see others.!

  2. 142
    Anonymous 126738900....

    Brian,

    Flip the script.   If she had done the same to you, regardless of who broke up with who, I would bet the farm you would feel the same as her.   Also, the fact that you are here even asking really shows you know it was wrong.   I don’t think you two were done yet and you know that.   Stop resorting on logic when you fucked up on the emotional side.   Both emotions and logic are “real” world.   But emotions are the most “real” thing about relationships.

  3. 143
    Sheena

    Interesting article.

    I broke up with my fiance and he returned to me months later – after his 2 back to back rebound relationships blew up. Was I hurt he moved on so quick? F*ck yes. Did he cheat on me? No. I initiated the break up and kept up my end of no contact. He came back after he realized he screwed up his life with empty sex, the facade of trying to prove to himself and everyone he moved on without being hurt, the rebounds were huge mistakes, etc.

    I felt it was my business to ask about those rebound relationships because I didn’t want to be the rebound of his rebounds and what his true intentions were. Plus in this day and age of whether safe sex was practiced.

    Your girlfriend in this post appears to be mixed up and probably won’t ever get over it. As a woman, I think you are better off without this nutcase. Also, get some self esteem and keep it in your pants for a bit after break up.

  4. 144
    Girl20s

    Stories like this reminds me how selfish, irresponsible and heartless a man can be. Dear men and women, please do not sleep with someone you do not love, because that only means you are a selfish person who uses people for himself or herself to gratify oneself, and having sex with someone you do not love makes you less trustworthy. If you can sleep with someone you do not love, then there is a big possibility you will commit extramarital sex when you are married. Nasty.

     

    1. 144.1
      Lanna

      Are you serious?? If two CONSENTING adults chose to have sex that is their choice and their right. Seriously there is nothing wrong with having sex outside of ‘love’ please jump into the 21st century and stop living in the 50’s we’ve evolved beyond that Patriarch bullshit. And it absolutely does not mean someone is more likely to be a cheater.

  5. 145
    Heidi Jolly

    Doesn’t sound like the advice giver was deeply in kove if he ran home to get visuals of avsilable women right after she broke up.   Kind of makes me wonder why she broke up.

    And rebounding into sexual actions with a new person so soon makes it sound like he isnt too focused on LTR.   Rebounding is self-disrespect.

  6. 146
    Jean

    Here is my take.   as a woman.   happened to me.   but 14 yrs relationship.   a fight.   you both scream break up…and in one to two weeks he has sex with someone?   We are not talking logic.   we are talking feelings.   being BROKEN UP is simply a label.   the relationship and the individuals deserve respect and an oppty to work thru things without involving 3rd parties.   Things get really screwed up when you do that..       Men need to learn to decompress.   give things some MATURE down time before making decisions that can become problems down the road.   Our feelings matter.   and a roll in the hay right off the bat screams immaturity and most definitely makes her feel she really didn’t matter.   He has a lot of reassuring to do.   Shame on him.

    1. 146.1
      hunter

      Jean, both men and women medicate themselves after a break up, in this manner..

       

  7. 147
    Ryan

    It’s not wrong to sleep with someone else if your broken up. However, you probably desired to sleep with other people in addition to your ex-partner and that’s why you had sex with other people. I wouldn’t blame it on your unfortunate break up or a personal pity party. To be honest, both parties from the ex relationship were likely missing something important. That’s why there was a break up. Being single with all the lonely nights is much better than being with someone you can’t trust or don’t enjoy being around.

  8. 148
    Clothespony57

    People break up all the time for various reasons and then they often get back together even though in the middle of all of their emotions they are swearing it will never happen! I am 60 years old. I was married 28 years. I had a lot of boyfriends when I was young and I have had a lot of boyfriends the past ten years. What I’m saying is I’ve seen a lot! What you do when you break up is a sign of your character! You can say “I was hurt! I was depressed! I felt unloved” -while all of those are valid emotions how you handle them is a sign of your emotional maturity. It’s not a male vs. female thing! There are plenty of women who jump into new relationships right away. After spending over a year loving someone and sharing a life with someone and then immediately going out to “get over” them by sleeping with someone else just says you are hugely immature- and you didn’t think into the future and you were willing to potentially damage the person you presumably loved in case you did get back together. Getting over someone is an emotional process and takes time. If you can go “f” someone to forget someone that was not love you were sharing with them. You have no depth of character. If they were still in your heart no matter how mad or hurt you were you couldn’t or wouldn’t take that step- if you are emotionally mature! Honesty, trust and integrity are crucial to a healthy lasting relationship. Integrity means doing the right thing even when no one is looking! No one seems to be interested in having values and personal standards! I totally commend that man for being honest with his girlfriend. It would take me a very long time but I would try forgive a man that was strong enough to risk telling me that he had slept with someone else. If he could tell me that he could tell me anything!   As long as fidelity and other women had never been an issue in our relationship-it would still hurt because I think that is always a bad thing to do when you are feeling emotional and as I said I think it’s immature to do but to be able to step up and be honest is huge! You have to stop and think how you’re really feeling and realize whatever decision you make- in this case to have casual sex with someone else-could have terrible consequences for you in the future in case you do decide to get back together. Many times the truth has a way of coming out in unexpected ways. And as someone else posted let’s not forget about diseases! Saying you’re broken up doesn’t excuse the fact that he or she didn’t value the time and love that was invested in the relationship enough and wanted to go have sex with someone else- and the hurtful thing for the ex is that he absolutely wanted to have sex with someone else that wasn’t her! I’m sick of people saying it meant nothing and was a meaningless act! That is another excuse for not accepting responsibility and trying to validate the situation. Sex is not meaningless. Things don’t just happen. Everything you do is a choice! And someone on here said maybe that’s moving on or they didn’t want to miss an opportunity to enjoy themselves. People get emotional they break up they change their minds that doesn’t mean it’s a test of the other person’s love! Here is my advice- I say if you’ve slept with someone after a short breakup and your ex calls and says they want you back-never go back to them. They deserve better than you.  

  9. 149
    Clothespony57

    Oh and the reason I even wrote this and found this thread was because this recently happened to me! I was with my boyfriend a year and a half. He broke up with me. After three weeks he sent me a text saying he was sorry. We started talking and then got back together- total time apart 6 weeks. I knew he had been on dating sites so I asked him if he had dated or slept with anyone and of course he said no.Flash forward 2   1/2 years later. I found out that he had pursued another women, taken her to our favorite restaurant and she had slept over and they had sex. Guess what? I broke up with him even though he had really made an effort during the past 2 1/2 years. I tried for 2 months to just let it go but it was impossible for me. He knew how I felt about lying! He had broken up with me and then actively sought out another women and romanced her and slept with her! He never should have contacted me again! He wasted our lives. We are 60 now! He should have known better at this age! He kept telling me that lame bs that we were broken up but he was just justifying wanting to go out and screw someone else. He said he realized he loved me after he was with her! No one should accept this behavior! It is immature and irresponsible- thank goodness I didn’t get a disease!

  10. 150
    someone

    Question, what if this scenario was the other way around? My ex hooked up with someone after we broke up for a month! In that month he kept calling me and telling me how he lost the love of his life etc. When I finally decided to meet up with to talk things out he told me what he done but had the nerve to say if I hooked up with anyone else he wouldn’t take me back. So, I see on this thread a lot of the men say the women is manipulative etc. But if the roles were reverse and she slept with someone while broken up and wanting to work things out after… would you have the same argument ?

    1. 150.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Yep. I am many things: a hypocrite is not one of them.

  11. 151
    Susa

    I just had a similar experience I broke up with my boy friend for about six weeks and he then contacted me , we got back together and I learned he had hooked up during the time we were apart , , I was hurt but how could I be mad , I wanted the break up, then realized I missed him too much and it was a huge mistake, we are together now so that shouldn’t matter now,.we’ve been off for the past two years, so we have grown closer in that time and have a stronger relationship now because of what we’ve been though.

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