I’m In a Relationship With the Woman I Cheated With and I Want to Go Back to My Ex.

In a Relationship With the Woman I Cheated With
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Evan, I’ve read a few of the posts and responses and can’t quite seem to find the answer I’m looking for, or similar situation, so figured I’d ask you straight up.

I dated a girl for 2 years and felt I was in love with her, yet, couldn’t quite pull the trigger – get the ring, get married and start a family. I felt the pressure, I pushed it off but it continued to hang over me like a dark shadow. It seemed that it became the only thing my girlfriend cared about. Whenever I would give her a gift, surprise her with dinner or a show, it seemed that she was disappointed that it wasn’t a ring and a proposal. We talked about it, again and again and again, but seemed to make no progress.

Then it happened, I met a girl through friends that I really seemed to click with. She, too, was in a relationship and neither of us wanted to cheat on our gf/bf because we cared so much about them and everything that we had built up with them. The need not to cheat didn’t last long – 30 days or so later, we found ourselves alone – the first wrong move – and then one of us leaned in for a kiss and it happened. We slept together, we had sex and it was amazing. It felt like a release on both our parts. We agreed that it wouldn’t happen again unless we both felt that it was time to end what we had.

We kept our promise, but both ended our relationships and 2 weeks later got together and a year later we’re still together. Lately however, in fact for the last few months, I’ve been thinking a lot about my ex. I did early on too, but lately even more. The songs, the restaurants, the friends, the activities, our places, etc., all the same experiences but with a new girl, doesn’t seem to remove the ex from my memory. I then began to think of how I’ve changed and opened myself up to change and if I had been this way perhaps the last relationship would have worked out. – I say to that, perhaps the last relationship didn’t provide me with the atmosphere to get to where I am emotionally today – so I see both sides of it. I find that the thoughts that I continue to have is making it increasingly difficult to move forward.

On top of it, I feel riddled with guilt that I cheated and that I’m still with that person. Am I with that person because I indeed love them, or with them because I feel guilty and responsible for their relationship ending as well and have a need to be in it. How do I distinguish which it is and if I’m in it because I’m in love and not feeling responsible? But the cheating part seems to be tearing me apart. At first it felt like relief and it was exciting to be with someone new and different but then I realized that I was open to different things with this new girlfriend and that they aren’t that different from one another, which is why so many experiences seem so much alike.

I’m hoping you can help me move forward. Stay in, get out, go back, distinguish, remove the guilt, be happy and alive with the not so new. I don’t feel a need to cheat, but I question whether I should be in this relationship, or with my ex, or on my own. In the end, I just want to move forward, somehow and for both of us to look in the mirror and know that we’re in the right place – together or not.

Thanks for the help.

Jamie

You fucked up, dude.

I’m sympathetic to you — in the way I’m sympathetic to any human being who made an indefensible decision and now regrets it — but I’ve got nothing for you.

You just learned, the hard way, what most people figure out independently:

  •   There is no perfect relationship.
  • There is no sign from above that’s telling you to pull the trigger on marriage.
  • Marriage is a choice to do loving actions every day for a partner; it is not based on those giddy feelings from the first few months.
  • The grass is not greener on the other side. Even if it seems like it is because your new partner is cuter or smarter or funnier, that same new partner will come with some downside that your previous partner didn’t have — like ego, selfishness, emotional unavailability, etc. Every relationship involves tradeoffs.

I’m not sure if you’re looking for absolution or advice. I can tell you that your letter sounds like my wife’s first husband, who cheated on her and later married the person he cheated with. I’ve never talked with him and have no idea if guilt forced him to stay in the relationship. I will say this, however: his loss was my gain. No matter how great his current bride is, I’ll bet he realized that he screwed up and couldn’t do better than his first wife. And that by staying with her, he’s trying to prove to her, to himself, to the world, that he’s not such a bad guy, and that he didn’t cheat because of a mere “fling.” I’m sure it’s complicated, since you don’t even know why you’re doing what you’re doing.

Let your ex go. Your guilt is with you for life. You can’t fix the past, but you can make better choices in the future.

Anyway, here’s the advice part, Jamie.

1. Let your ex go. She can’t trust you. Nor should she. You were willing to break her heart to cheat with another woman, and now you’re willing to leave the other woman to go back to her.

You’re probably not an evil guy, but you sure are selfish, and don’t seem to recognize the consequences of your selfishness until after the fact.

2. Your guilt is with you for life. You’ve earned it. You don’t get to wish it away. Like my wife’s ex-husband, you have every right to rebuild your life, but you have no right to sweep away the destruction you wrought when you cheated on your devoted two-year girlfriend for an entire month, and then dumped her. Hopefully this guilt serves a constructive purpose in the future about the meaning of fidelity — if not with this girlfriend, then a future one.

3. You can’t fix the past, but you can make better choices in the future. If you have no intention of marrying this girl, break up with her. Not to slink back to your ex, but to free your current girlfriend to find the man who wants to marry her.

Any woman that marries you despite your checkered history is willingly marrying a cheater, and therefore overlooking a LOT in order to trust you with her entire life.

If you stay with her, you have the benefit of hard-won wisdom — specifically the idea that no matter whom you marry, you’re going to have to make some compromises.

And so will she.

Any woman that marries you despite your checkered history is willingly marrying a cheater, and therefore overlooking a LOT in order to trust you with her entire life.

Whoever does this, appreciate her, cherish her and hold onto her.

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Comments:

  1. 21
    EmeraldDust

    Sumitha – Are you kidding me ?   He is supposed to get “good guy points” because he waited a “whole month” before betraying his g/f ?   And then waited two whole weeks before breaking up with the g/f to be with the girl he cheated with (who was also a cheater)    
      
    EMK did say he had sympathy for this guy, as he has sympathy for ANYONE who has made a mistake and now regrets it.   But just as he pretty much gives women no nonsense advice, a man who betrayed a g/f by cheating, and a year later after the new car smell wears off the new girlfriend, get the no nonsense advice too   and that is you “F—ed up Dude” and he did.   That’s not beastly, but it is blunt.  
      
    Maybe he WILL learn from this and never do this again and that will be a good thing.   But the g/f is doing the right thing by moving forward with HER life.   He has betrayed her trust and you can’t have a good relationship with someone you don’t trust.   And she has good reason to not trust him.
      
    Maybe the g/f will learn something too.   They had obviously reached the marriage impasse.   After 2 years she wanted marriage.   Not unreasonable.   He realized he didn’t, but neither one of them could pull the trigger when they reached the marriage impasse.   So they got into that dance that most couples get into when one wants to marry and the other doesn’t.   He clearly didn’t want to marry her, but didn’t want to break up either.
      
    Since he wasn’t man enough to “pull the trigger” by breaking up, he “pulled the trigger” on the relationship with an exit affair.   She wasn’t strong enough to pull the trigger on the relationship by breaking up with him.   Instead, she stayed and tried to pout her way to the altar.   That very rarely works and usually only leads to years wasted or a crap marriage that ends in divorce anyway.  
      
    I don’t think either one of them are necessarily evil, broken, or any other bad unflattering thing one could say, but that they are both human and made mistakes.   In the realm of love, LOTS of mistakes are made.
      
    And if they are like most humans, they might learn from THIS mistake and not repeat THIS particular mistake, but there are so many other mistakes to be made in relationships, so,   it’s lather, rinse and repeat . . .

    1. 21.1
      Lia

      EmeraldDust
        
      Loved your post! I agree that Evan offers no nonsense advice and this guy got the same no nonsense advice everyone else gets. My favorite quotes from your posts are: “ … and a year later after the new car smell wears off the new girlfriend..” LOL… and   “… she stayed and tried to pout her way to the alter.” Spot on!! I don’t think the guy is evil but he is immature! And you are right we all make mistakes. It is what we do with those mistakes that make a difference. To quote you again… “There are so many other mistakes to be made in relationships, so, it’s lather, rinse, and repeat.”

    2. 21.2
      Clare

      I do have to agree with you, that pouting your way to a marriage proposal is not a good way to go. If after 2 years without one you simply cannot handle it, then walking away is the right thing to do.   I must just say in closing though that despite the common wisdom, I know of a number of women who got married way after the 2 year mark (like 8, 9, 10 years) who decided not to pull the trigger because their relationships were happy ones, and they eventually got what they wanted. Who knows what the reason is that the man was finally ready to get married? Sometimes they just need to deal with their baggage or issues, sometimes they need to mature, sometimes they just plain old need to get there in their own time. But I don’t agree with the often-spouted wisdom on here that if a man doesn’t want to get married in the beginning that he will never want to get married.

      1. 21.2.1
        EmeraldDust

        Clare @ 21.2   “But I don’t agree with the often-spouted wisdom on here that if a man doesn’t want to get married in the beginning that he will never want to get married.”



        What do you consider the beginning ?   8, 9 or 10 years is hardly a new relationship.   It’s also a long time for a woman with limited fertile years to wait if she wants children. It’s a big risk for a woman to take, staying with a man for 5 + years hoping he will change his mind about marriage.  
          
        If a woman doesn’t want marriage or children then it’s a moot point, but if she does, it IS wise to have a time frame, because while there are exceptions, it is pretty much wisdom that tells women if a man doesn’t want to get married after 5 years, he is not going to want to marry you in 10 years either.   That is why that piece of wisdom is “often-spouted”, because it is true in   MOST cases.
          
        I’ve also seen marriages that happen after a long drawn out relationship end in divorce very quickly.   The marriage ends up being shorter than the pre-marital relationship.   Probably the result of someone being pressured into the marriage to begin with.

  2. 22
    starthrower68

    I think it’s one thing if you’re married and the spouse makes a really bad decision to have a one night stand, to work through the aftermath to save the marriage.   Very few marriages survive chronic infidelity.   But if there is no marital bond, there’s not that bond, for lack of a better word, to salvage the relationship and restore trust.   Most will just move on because there’s not as Much as stake to leave a dating relationship.

  3. 23
    Jay

    Is marriage really the end-all be-all of life?   Lots of Men don’t need or want to get married.   Men want the financial freedom of being single.   This is not about a guy “cheating.”   This is about a guy who just isn’t mentally ready for marriage with the first girl or the 2nd girl.   Maybe he should just be single for a while, and try to date other people.   Marriage is difficult and no woman is perfect.   If this guy wants children, then he should get married to whoever would be the best mother.   Some guys enjoy dating multiple women, it sounds like that might be something he is interested in.  

    1. 23.1
      Sunflower

      Sorry Jay, there’s always a right and a wrong way to do things and we’re talking about common decency here.   Whether the guy is confused on what he wants is one thing, but the guy didn’t have to go about it in a deceitful, scum bag way. He was in a committed relationship and should have broken things off with his g/f before allowing things to happen with girl #2.   We don’t wander the planet alone.   We share it with others and our actions affect others.   What comes around goes around.      

      1. 23.1.1
        starthrower68

        Sunflower, I mentioned the “m” word. Must be some sort of trigger. In this day and age marriage is not the end all be all, sex is.

      2. 23.1.2
        Jay

        We don’t live in a puritan christian society anymore.   Pre-marital sex is common.   Divorce is common.   Its sad to say, but women need to realize that the fantasy of monogamous marriage for 50 years is not real.   There is boredom, and men and women both want the freedom to date other people.   He just doesn’t sound like a guy who is mentally ready for marriage.   Should he have just got married and then divorced after 2 years?   Its not just men who cheat, women often stay in unhappy relationships until they find a replacement boyfriend.   Everyone cheats, get over it.   Unless you are married, there is no legal obligation to another person.   Sure, there are hurt feelings, but if he didn’t want to get married, then he has the freedom to cheat, to dump her, to do anything.   People are often very unhappy in relationships, but don’t have the guts to break it off because they fear confrontation or change.   Cheating is an excuse to avoid the “breakup talk” because its a lot easier to break up with someone knowing you have a replacement ready, and that you are not alone.   Its the fear of being ALONE that prevents many people from initiating a break-up.   The Millenial generation has a very polyamorous view on dating.   If anyone is prudish about sex, then they can go live in a nunnery.

        1. EmeraldDust

          Jay – If she wanted to get married and he didn’t, he could have broken up with her, instead of cheating on her. (she also could have broken up with him instead of crying for a ring)    Sure he has no LEGAL obligation to not cheat, just his word.   Used to be a man was as good as his word.   No more I guess.   It’s all legal beagle, and even then, if a man (or even a woman) signs a LEGAL contract, they can find a way out.   Because promises, spoken or written,   don’t mean a thing any more.
          It comes down to ethics, do you keep your promises or not ?   Doesn’t matter if the promise is one of sexual fidelity (in or out of marriage), a promise to re-pay a loan, or any other promise.   It has nothing to do with “puritanical Christianity”
            
          I am a Heathen so going to “live in a nunnery” isn’t really an option.   Despite my Heathenism,   I do my utmost to keep my promises.   Not because I’m a “puritanical prude”, but because I believe that people matter.   People’s feeling matter.   Society functions better when we can depend on people to keep their word.   There may not be a god to punish or reward me for my virtues and my short-comings, so since humanity is the only thing I really believe in, I guess because I interact with people every day and have no doubt that they exist, I base my code of ethics on how my actions affect others.   I don’t always live up to my own standards, but I do my best.   When I fail and disappoint my loved one, I do my best to make amends.
            
          You seem to be anti-religion which is fine, but if you are an atheist, agnostic or some sort of non-religous person I would like to say that as a fellow non-believer, you don’t speak for me or other non-believers. Some of us call ourselves “humanists” because we care about humanity.    Most of us derive our code of ethics from a sense of how we should treat our fellow human beings, irregardless of what a church, the bible or a higher power says.   Most of DON’T adopt a “Well if there’s no God, I can do what I want, I can hurt people and it’s no big deal”.   For all your blathering on about “Christian Puritans” do you even realize that EMK is an ATHEIST   ?    Shocker, ain’t it ?   An actual atheist who thinks it is important to love, honor and cherish his wife, who thinks it’s important to provide a stable environment for his children.   He had all of his fun prior to settling down, but he is a true believer, in LOVE and fidelity.   So why don’t you stop with the accusation of “Christian purtianism”, because you are barking up the wrong tree. This blog is hosted by an ATHEIST ! Who told the cheater he “F’ed Up”.
            
          Yes, callous disregards for others is the stereotype of atheists, agnostics and heathens like me.   Thanks for perpetrating a stereotype (NOT !)
            
          Oh, and by the way, this cheater is now whining that he wants his girlfriend back.   She isn’t under any legal OR ethical obligation to take him back.  
            
          If he wants to live a polyamory lifestyle, that’s his business, but he shouldn’t lie to the “uptight puritans” who believe in monogamy and betray them.   He should stick with his own kind.

        2. Sunflower

          It’s called accountability.   We are living in an “accountless” society and it shows. If people want to choose to live life by learning the hard way, good luck.   Life is much better and fulfilling when you follow life’s simple rules.   

        3. Lau_ra

          I wonder if you would be so fierce if you were on the receiving end of the “right to cheat, dump and do anything”? Most likely not. Yes, cheating is the easy way out. No one even argues in here that it takes little very little effort to be a primitive creature, and quite some to behave in adult ways.

        4. Anonymous

          @Jay

          I have a question for you. Of exploring other possibilities is ok in marriage then do you think it has a negative impact on raising the children

          Also do you think couples need to let each other know that they are exploring sexual possibilities outside of the relationship?

        5. Jay

          Anonymous – Each couple can decide for themselves if they want to pursue sexually adventerous opportunities. I just get the sense that, for whatever reason, that some women here are very sexually close-minded or prefer a sexless marriage. I’m just saying that Men have higher sex drives and may want to explore more sexual options if their wives aren’t interested in fulfilling their sexual needs. These women seem to have a marriage paradigm that marriage = companionship, while repressing sexual urges. If Men didn’t have sexual urges, then there would be a lot less divorce. Instead, around half of marriages end in divorce, so that means that half the men in America are labeled as “cheaters” because they no longer were sexually satisfied in their marriages. The “Puritan Rules of Marriage” have changed, and there is now greater importance on sexual chemistry and even the possibility of sharing your spouse with other lovers. As for raising children, that is certainly the primary function of marriages, and when that is over, many spouses choose to date other people. Sexual needs can be met outside the home, without bringing extra sexual partners to the home. I was just expousing on the idea that “sexual monogamy in marriage” is often not practiced and not realistic for many couples. Its easy for prudish bible-thumpers to declare that everyone must follow “sexual monogamy in marriage” but especially with couples that marry young without sowing their wild oats, the idea of sexual freedom becomes more appealing if boredom sets in, Yolo.

        6. Jay

          Lau_ra – its not really the cheating that you think is wrong, its really the “feeling of rejection” – either way, you are being rejected. Even if he breaks up with you, you will be asking questions and seeking answers. There also might be nothing wrong with you, he just might want more sexual variety. We live in a society with greater sexual freedoms but its the feeling of jealous and rejection that stirs the crazy emotions. Women get too emotionally attached to “marriage” and extremely possessive of their men.

        7. anonymous

          @Jay. i think in this aspect communication would be important between couples. there’s also one concern- STDs. it increases the risk with multiple partners even with condoms. I think what defines cheating and not is doing it behind the other’s back. if the man’s needs are not met, he should be upfront about seeking other sexual opportunities. there are also women out there who seek other sexual opportunities because their needs about sex.

          perhaps if a woman were seeking marriage she should never close her options until she gets the ring even if she was in a relationship.

        8. JannaG

          Not everyone cheats. I didn’t. It’s not my thing to lead a double life.

    2. 23.2
      EmeraldDust

      Jay @ 23 said , “Is marriage really the end-all be-all of life?”

      For some people it is a very important part of what they want from life, among other things. If two people are at opposite sides of this fence, then an honest discussion should take place early on, and if one is “the marrying kind” and the other isn’t, time to part ways. It’s very cruel to feign ambiguity, when in fact you have NO desire to marry, or marry THAT person ever. To feign ambiguity just to keep the person in limbo with their false hopes until YOU can find a replacement for them is very dishonest. I don’t know about the OP. He said he “loved” this girl but couldn’t “pull the trigger”. Perhaps he really was on the fence, or perhaps he knew he NEVER was going to marry her, but didn’t want to end things until he got his next sexual partner lined up. I can’t peer inside his mind, so I don’t know.

      Jay Said ” This is not about a guy “cheating.””

      Yes, it is about a guy cheating. The OP used that word to describe his extra-relational affair at least 2 times. He now regrets it. In all your replies in this thread, you try to paint a picture of a girlfriend in a so-called “open relationship” who suddenly is demanding marriage. Perhaps you are some frustrated poly-amorist who can’t find a nice girl or two or three for your harem, so you come to blogs such as this to try and convince women that we are all wrong about love, commitment, monogamy and (gasp !) emotions and that we should just kick back and be what ever kind of “cool girl” booty call the dude de jour in front of us wants. Nowhere in the OP did I read that this guy was upfront with this girl about wanting to keep things polyamorous or casual. Yet all your replies seem to indicate that this is what the OP has always wanted and has always unequivocably communicated from the git-go.

      Jay said “Marriage is difficult and no woman is perfect.”

      Life is difficult and no PERSON is perfect. Hmmmm, very interesting how you chose to single out women as the only gender less than perfect. Life is difficult, but with the right partner, those difficulties can be faced together, or they can tear a couple apart. No PERSON is perfect. The point of marriage/committed relationship is NOT to find the perfect person, but a person who’s flaws you can live with, and they yours.

      Jay said ” If this guy wants children, then he should get married to whoever would be the best mother.”

      Please, if a man wants children, fall in LOVE with a woman who be a good mother. It is devastating to be “fired” from a marriage because the child is grown and the services of motherhood are no longer needed. My ex married me for my uterus. I think at the time he believed he really loved me, but when he had his mid-life melt down he told me that he will always love me for the child I gave birth to, but now that our son has flown the nest, he doesn’t need me. He also told one marriage counselor that he only married me for “my looks”. (OK, I’m not a 10, but in his eyes I was a 10. I bore a strong resemblance to his mother when she was in her 20’s, hmmmm, maybe that is why he saw me as such a good mother candidate ? ) He now deeply regrets the pain he has caused me, and tries very hard to make it up to me, which I appreciate. For the sake of our child, we do get together as a family for holidays and milestones, and act pleasant and friendly towards each other. We are no longer husband and wife, but we are still family, so going full no contact is not possible. Also, his family has expressed a desire to keep in touch with me, and I don’t want to lose half of my family, so again, no contact is not possible. Can’t turn back the clock and change my life, but to any men listening to Jay, DON’T. Most women want to me more than a brood mare. No man would be happy if his wife left him mid life when the last child was out of the house saying “Thanks for being such a wonderful sperm donor — Bye-Bye”. If you believe in the Golden Rule, DON’T take this nonsense advice and use a woman as an incubator for your seed. Find a good woman that you can LOVE, and let your children be the fruit of that love. Not just an end product produced by a woman you married just to fill the slot of brood mare.

      1. 23.2.1
        Jay

        EmeraldDust – you seem to be very conservative. You have to realize that Men can be sexually adventurous and get tired of the same woman, just one woman, or just want the opportunity to meet, and enjoy the company of new people. Sure boring people can stay married, but some people want to live life to the fullest and have new sexual experiences. You seem to equate love with sex, and love with marriage. Marriage IS about procreation. Anything outside of procreation comes down to what the Man, or Woman, wants to do with the rest of their lives. You may want a lifelong commitment to co-dependency and security, but He might want “Independency” and the freedom to try new things. That doesn’t mean he didn’t love you or doesn’t love you, it just means he wants to meet new women and have more experiences. Just becuase you spend 20 years with one person, doesn’t mean you have the spend the next 20 years with the same person. Life Changes, and maybe you just don’t want “Change”

        1. EmeraldDust

          Conservative or liberal has nothing to do with this. Again, more strawmen arguments.

          Evan is an atheist and liberal and he believes in marriage.

          We all know that men crave variety, but many men want to settle down after a period of “sowing their wild oats”.

          I don’t label myself conservative or liberal, as I think idealogical labels just box people in.

          I have been accused of being a flaming liberal by some, you assume that I’m conservative because I’m not out screwing a different guy every weekend.

          You make many false assumptions about marriage minded women.

          That they are “boring”.
          That they want to be a helpless dependent.
          That they are conservative.
          They are puritanical Christians.
          That they have been “brainwashed” by Disney movies.

          Do think men that want marriage (brace yourself Jay, such men exist) are all boring, conservative brainwashed religious zealots ?

        2. Jay

          EmeraldDust, So why don’t you agree that the OP needs to sow his wild oats before deciding on marriage? He was unhappy with the first gf and wanted to bang other women. It might just be immaturity and restlessness, and not a player mentality, since he has stayed with the 2nd gf. If you say never trust a “cheater” then are all these “marriage-minded women” only supposed to marry “men with clean records of never cheating.” Some men, maybe most men, want to sow their wild oats or have different sexual experiences. They can do this before marriage, during marriage, or after divorce. It doesn’t make a man a bad person for wanting variety. Just because you view marriage as sexual monogamy, does not mean that other women or view men view marriage with the same restrictions. There are also many “single women” that don’t want to be independent or lonely. That is just life, learn to deal with “bachelorhood of women.” Women don’t need men to feel complete, or need a partner, or for anything. That’s what Feminism is for.

        3. EmeraldDust

          Jay – Why do you insist on imposing your Old Testament ideas on other people ? The Old Testament considered women to be property that could be discarded like an old shoe at will, and a man could have as many wives as he wanted. (You used the shoe metaphor to justify tossing women aside once a man no longer has use for them)

          I realize that not everyone has the same views on marriage which is why people should discuss these things before marriage. If a man feels like he’s entitled to mulitiple sexual partners, he should not marry unless he communicates clearly to his fiance that he will continue to bed other women. If she agrees to his polyamory lifestyle, then he’s not cheating when he beds other women. If he lies his way into marriage just to get a broodmare, he is indeed lying and cheating if he beds other women. He also runs the risk of being cuckolded, because if he is going to cheat on his wife, she just might cheat on him too. He loses his right to boo-hoo about the cuckoldry if he introduces extra-marital sex into the relationship in direct violation of the original promise & marriage contract.

          Just because you like to use women and discard them, and admire the religious cults in Utah where they sexually abuse little girls, doesn’t mean every man does.

          And you seem to think you speak for ALL men, because when I asked you why you come to a board for marriage minded women to impose your Old Testament/Fundamentalist Mormon Cult ideas on us, you said you were providing the male POV.

          Your are NOT the male POV. Other men might share your POV, but not all as you seem to think. Not even the OP shares your POV, because he referred to his affair as “cheating” and you insist that it is NOT cheating. So why don’t take up your battle with the OP, because he clearly regrets his cheating, and you think he did the right thing, so convince him.

          Why don’t you go over to the polyamory board I linked for you and stop imposing your religiously based cultish ideas here.

          This is 2014, not BC.

        4. Jay

          EmeraldDust – You seem to not accept or realize that people change. You seem incredibly bitter that your ex-husband changed and wanted new things. You seem to have a “frozen in time” mentality. A man and woman can marry at 25 and be in love and monogamous, but then at 35, they may have more desires or more sexual opportunities. You seem to think that marriage is a “iron-clad contract” and while the government tries to enforce these contracts, we often know that Human Beings don’t always follow these “Puritan rules.” Just because you want your husband to stay monogamous for 50 years, those not mean its realistic or even practical. I’m trying to tell you, and you seem to be ignoring the possibility, that people change throughout a marriage, things and conflicts come up, and people want to try new sexual partners. Some people can maintain monogamy for 50 years, but most people will be lucky if they last 20 years in monogamy. This has nothing to do with my beliefs, I am merely saying that “20 years of marriage monogamy” is unrealistic the majority of modern couples.

      2. 23.2.2
        EmeraldDust

        Jay asked another inane question when he asked “EmeraldDust, So why don’t you agree that the OP needs to sow his wild oats before deciding on marriage? ”
        ——————————-

        Jay, Please see Skaramouche’s response to you. In another post to you I specifically said many men need to sow their wild oats before settling down with marriage, and at that point, many of them are VERY HAPPY to marry. (EMK is a good example) Are you deliberately being obtuse with your questions and comments ?

        ———————————————–

        In another examples of Jay’s paying no attention to a thing I have said he once again asked a question that I have already addressed when he asked his troll question . . . . . .

        “. If you say never trust a “cheater” then are all these “marriage-minded women” only supposed to marry “men with clean records of never cheating.” Some men, maybe most men, want to sow their wild oats or have different sexual experiences. ”

        ———————————-

        I posted a long post on this, and I never said “never trust a cheater”. In fact another male poster commented on favorably on my post. I specifically asked how exactly does one go about asking for a relationship history and pointed out that everyone past a certain age has SOMETHING in their relationship history that could cause someone else to skip out a relationship.

        If someone told me they cheated in their earlier days and they deeply regret their actions, learned from them, and never want to go down that painful road again, and they seemed very sincere, I would consider them for a relationship, if there were other favorable things about them. Someone like you on the other hand, who celebrates cheating, and resorts to name calling toward people who are monogomous, (conservative, puritans, boring) NO. This is NOT about sowing wild oats, this is about CHEATING. Big difference.

        —————————–

        Jay condones lying when he made this troll comment: “They can do this before marriage, during marriage, or after divorce. It doesn’t make a man a bad person for wanting variety.”

        ——————————-

        Marriage is a promise of sexual fidelity, so you condone making and breaking promises, and you condone lying. Deliberately lying and breaking promises as a way of life makes ANYONE a bad person.
        (not a moment of weakness that one regrets and truly wants to make amends) .

        Yes, in this age of “anything goes” LYING and BREAKING PROMISES makes someone a bad person. There, I said it.

        LYING and making promises you never intended to keep, just to fullfill your desire to bang as many beautiful women as you desire makes one sexual spoiled brat and a bad person.

        Men don’t need to lie their ways into a woman’s pants these days. They can feed women a line about not wanting anything serious yet, and some women will willingly go along with it, some will pretend to be cool with it when they aren’t, but the man was at least upfront about it.

        Very few people are down with “Open Marriage”. Most people won’t bother with marriage if their spouse is going to be out banging the flavor of the month. Marrying someone when you have NO INTENTION of being monogomous is a LIE.

        ———————————
        Jay continued to babble on: ” Just because you view marriage as sexual monogamy, does not mean that other women or view men view marriage with the same restrictions. ”
        ———————————–

        You are right, other people do not view marriage as sexual monogamy, just because I do. MOST people view marriage as sexual monogamy because THEY do. Most people in the world don’t even know me, yet people the world over consider marriage to be a sacred or special bond and promise to “forsake all others” and share themselves sexually only with each other. Since you seem to think that marriage is for breeders only, a marriage with poly amourous parents is not the safest place to raise children. For one thing, they could grow up and unwittingly marry a half sibling and end up dealing with the genetic fall out of that. So yes Jay, I realize that my antiquated views on keeping promises and telling the truth aren’t the reason why other people in the world feel the same way, but thank you for thinking that I am SO powerful, that I was the one who initiated the idea.
        ——————————

        Jay said “There are also many “single women” that don’t want to be independent or lonely. That is just life, learn to deal with “bachelorhood of women.” Women don’t need men to feel complete, or need a partner, or for anything. That’s what Feminism is for.”
        ————————————–

        Which is why I don’t call myself a “feminist” (I don’t like to attach very many idealogical labels to myself for that matter) I am all for civil rights for people regardless of their race, creed, national origin, GENDER, or sexual orientation, etc. but I am not anti-marriage. (No longer want or need marriage for myself, but support other people’s desire to do ) So many equate feminism with being anti-marriage and anti men, and there are some women who spout this stuff and call themselves femnists, so if I had to attach a label to myself in this regard, I would prefer to think of myself as a “humanist”. I believe in fairness for all humans. Intentionally LYING to a woman because you want to bang her, and you feel sexually entitled to do so is not a fair way to treat someone.

        Try reading the OP Jay, and try reading and REMEMBERING what people say in response to your non-sequitors. The OP was about a man who CHEATED (his words, but you say it wasn’t about his cheating, when clearly it was) and now REGRETS it.

        There are actually articles on here that ask if monogamy is natural, if cheating is inevetable, etc. and most of your comments would be more on topic there. This is a blog topic about a man who admits he CHEATED and regrets it. Not a forum for you to try and convince women we should forget about what we want and give men like you what they want.

        Your moral compass is the equivalent of someone who thinks it is OK to steal something from someone else because you want something and you don’t want to pay for it. And that people who don’t appreciate you stealing their stuff are just uptight religious puritans. And that people who don’t want their stuff stolen should just get over it, because damn it, you want all the shiny sparkley things you can get your hands on, and if have to steal to acomplish that, then all the honest folk in the world just need to get over it.

        1. Jay

          Emerald, I would have to disagree that everyone on the globe agrees that “marriage = sexual fidelity.” For example, it is acceptable in France for married men to have mistresses and girlfriends. Even, in America there are many married men and women who cheat, have affairs, or just want new sexual experiences. You seem to think that “sexual fidelity” needs to last for 50 years in a marriage. That may have worked out for you, but I think in reality, even most American couples don’t last 50 years. That is why you see so many divorces, because men and women realize that “sexual fidelity” is not realistic. But there are plenty of marriages, where couples don’t believe in divorce and the husband or wife secretly cheats to stay happy. It can be messy, emotional, but you seem to assign all these “rules to marriage” and there are no rules to marriage, not even sexual fidelity. If the man cheats, it does not automatically mean a divorce. Don’t impose your puritanical views of “marriage, sexual fidelity, and cheating” on other people. We live in a time of greater sexual exploration, and its not comfortable for some older people, but that is the reality of a liberalized life.

        2. Twinkle

          Lol Jay, I’m speechless. I usually respect other POVs, but some of your posts are just nonsensical.

        3. starthrower68

          I agree; Jay should not ever marry. He should spend the rest of his life having casual sex with as many women as are willing to indulge him. A wife and children would require something from him and he doesn’t want to give it. So, go ahead Jay, do as you will. But there’s nothing wrong with the folks that don’t buy into your witless diatribe.

        4. EmeraldDust

          Jay said ” Don’t impose your puritanical views of “marriage, sexual fidelity, and cheating” on other people.”

          Jay YOU are the one who’s imposing. You come to a board for women who want to get married and demand that embrace casual sex. I’m not the one going to the polyamory support board and demanding that they become monogomous.

          http://www.polyamoryonline.org/

          Here you go Jay, a place where you can get the support for your poly lifestyle you so desparately need. You’ll have better luck on the support board above. Why don’t spouts the wonders of the poly amourous lifestyle on the above link. Who knows, you may even find a few women for the harem you are so keen to build.

          Why don’t stop trying to impose your Old Testament ideas of polygamy on the rest of us women, who believe women should have a CHOICE in their life, and not be slaves to to the sexual desires of men, while our desires our dismissed and ridiculed.

        5. Jay

          EmeraldDust, just because you think “marriage = sex = love = companionship” does not mean that everyone else believes the same thing or that men or your ex-husband believe that. Here’s a secret to male psychology ” Sex does NOT equal Love” – Men can keep their emotions separate from Sex and Love. Men or Woman can choose to explore new sexual partners or have new sexual experiences after marriage. Some people get bored after 10 or 20 years of marriage. Some people marry young and never explore new sexual partners. That does not make someone a cheater, that does not mean something is wrong with the partnership, or that Love is gone. In America, women place so much importance on “Marriage” and having a “husband” fulfill all their needs, that it becomes an “all or nothing relationship.” Women may value companionship without sex. Does that mean there is no Love in a sexless marriage? Here is an interesting article at how Europeans view affairs, cheating, and marriage. They accept that have new sexual experiences is part of being human. America is becoming just as liberal as Europe on marriage – http://elle.com/life-love/sex-relationships/a-civilized-affair-the-rules-of-monogamy-655898

        6. JannaG

          My ex-husband apparently couldn’t do monogamy. From what I understand, he isn’t doing polyamory all that well either. But, his new wife is giving it back by also screwing up polyamory and ignoring their contract. So, I guess they work well together.

          He was also emotionally abusive. So, I’m quite happy that I’m no longer in that marriage.

  4. 24
    starthrower68

    You may very wellPride goes before destruction.

  5. 25
    starthrower68

    Omg stupid phone!   Pride does indeed go before destruction. I’ll happily take that nunnery over what’s on the horizon.

  6. 26
    fleurdl123

    Yes, the Millenial Generation has embraced polyamoury the same way young adults in the ’60s took to Free Love: mostly as an concept, with a small percentage actually benefiting from it.   For better or worse, there is no more intoxicating feeling than falling in love with one person–and believing that that person is in love with you.   Some people don’t understand the big deal about cheating until it happens to him–and then it is the end of the world.

  7. 27
    PhillySMN

    I’m a 45 y/o woman who has been on both sides of cheating. It’s awful, from both sides, and I don’t condone it. However, this guy isn’t married so while it’s certainly not great behavior it happens more often than you might think among people you’d never in a million years suspect would be capable of it. I agree with Jay that many people just cannot be monogamous. That’s okay; they just need to own up to it. The guy shouldn’t be labeled a pariah because of this. From personal experience, really the best thing he can do is break it off with his current GF and take some time to himself, not date anyone, sit back, and understand what he wants in a personal relationship.   He needs to learn how to be honest with himself and others. Also, once a cheater, always a cheater is a fallacy. His “checkered history” and “any woman who marries him is willingly marrying a cheater”? (eye roll) Infidelity happens for a myriad of reasons yet quite a good number of   “cheaters” move on to have healthy, stable relationships.

    1. 27.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Say what you will, but objectively, he has a checkered history and she would be willingly marrying a cheater. Your eye rolling doesn’t change the facts.

      1. 27.1.1
        Katie

        Yes, really, everyone makes mistakes…. Marrying a cheater (in the past) may lead to a faithful marriage, as   well as marrying a guy who has no “checkered history” can lead in some future to his / your cheating…..

        1. JannaG

          True. He can choose to change and not cheat anymore, if he wants to do so. Unfortunately, many cheaters don’t wish to change.

    2. 27.2
      jeremy

      There is a line between fantasizing about doing something and actually doing it.   Everyone fantasizes, but relatively few people act on those fantasies, especially if they know there will be negative consequences.
        
      A man might get angry with his wife.   His instinct might be to want to hit or lash out. But most men will (hopefully) control their baser urges and act in the best interests of themselves and others.   For a man to actually cross the line between the impulse to hit and actually hitting means that something – some critical inhibitory process of the brain – is not working.   And once that line has been crossed, it is easier for the individual to cross it again.   That is why most people believe that a man who was, at one point, abusive is more likely to be abusive again.

      What does hitting have to do with cheating?   A lot, actually.   Again, it is a line between fantasy and reality.   Everyone fantasizes.   Fewer people act, because they know that the action will hurt themselves and others (unless, of course, they reach a point where they simply don’t care about hurting their spouse, or perhaps WANT to inflict hurt).   For an individual to cross that line between fantasy and reality means that something is wrong with an inhibitory process in the brain, and that person is more likely to cross that line in the future.  
        
      “Once a cheater, always a cheater?”   Not necessarily, but likely.   A person with inhibitory processes intact would first break up with the old partner before acting on their impulse.
        
      As has been written above, marriage and monogamy are not for everyone.   The key is knowing ourselves, and acting in our own best interests without hurting anyone else.

  8. 28
    starthrower68

    When we live by our feelings (because they are fleeting and fickle) and we have no standards, chaos ensues.

    1. 28.1
      Holly

      I had a similar situation happen to me years ago. A coworker asked me out and I knew from talking to him loads of times that he had a girlfriend. When he asked me out, I asked him “What about your girlfriend?”. He replied that she was “on the way out” and that he just liked to have someone “waiting in the wings”. I told him that I don’t play second fiddle to anyone and that he could approach me again after they had officially broken up. Another coworker tried to tell me, “But you should go out with him, he really likes you!”. I said, “Bull. If he really liked me, he’d end things with his current girlfriend  before  he tried to start anything with me.” Guys like that can’t be trusted, and for good reason.  

      1. 28.1.1
        JannaG

        Yes! He may have really liked his current girlfriend at one point too, now look at how he is treating her…

        The problem I have with this is that people who like to have someone “waiting in the wings” are being totally unfair to their current significant other.   Shouldn’t his current GF get the chance to know she’s out so that she can move on with her life too? Wouldn’t that be more fair?

  9. 29
    Tullipes2002

    The only pathological term I would use Is “selfish”.
    Everything is about his and only his wants, desires, happiness, etc…
    Commitment is about your other half. And when both parties feel the same way, there is no room for selfishness or time nor desire to look for a greener grass. The same for a job. When you are committed to your job, you overlook the headaches and nasty colleagues and finish your job. The rewards (bonus, raise and just a simple acknowledgement “good job”) make up for the hard times and are priceless. The motivation grows endlessly.  
    I have no tolerance for cheaters, no matter what the reasons are.
    You are not happy?   Leave!! Don’t cheat! !  
    Cheating means lying along with the endless deceitful attitude (s) that comes with it.  

  10. 30
    Kim

    Recently, I dated a guy who had just gone through his second divorce. He cheated on his first wife, after 3 kids and 20 years of marriage, with a woman much younger than he, and then, after his divorce from his first wife, married the girl he cheated with.   Then, his new spouse pressured him to have a kid (he’s in his 50s, she was late 20s), and they did, and then right after the baby was born, she cheated on him and is now living with the guy she cheated with, who also cheated on his wife to be with her.   Now, my “friend” is a single dad, has a very young child, and since his separation and divorce, has been with a number of women, including me.   I recognized pretty early on that this guy is probably toxic, and when i ended the 2-month long relationship after two booty calls and taking a phone call in the middle of sex, I realized that I dodged a major bullet here.   I don’t think you can generalize that once someone cheats, they will always cheat on whomever they are with, but I do think that brain chemistry, just like an addiction, figures into it. One of the posts here mentioned the dopamine rush, and that definitely characterizes my friend’s behavior (with me, he came on hot and heavy and then got weird after 2 months, citing that the sex had become “empty”), and I’m guessing that the OP is also experiencing the dopamine withdrawal as well.   He needs to understand why his need for the rush of dopamine, or lack thereof, is causing him to have second thoughts about both relationships.   Best to end the “new” relationship as well, unless he can achieve peace with himself.   As Stephen Stills said, “Love the one you’re with.” I might add, or get the hell out.

    1. 30.1
      ScottH

      I take serious issue with the comment “once a cheater, always a cheater.”   I think “cheating” needs to be defined a little better.   IMO, cheating is when someone has a loving willing partner and chooses to have sex with someone else, kinda like a sport.   OTOH, if someone’s significant other refuses to have a complete relationship, then extramarital sex is NOT cheating.   If the person who vowed to love, honor, and cherish me decides to reneg on her vows, she does not have the right to banish me to a life of celibacy.   And yes, it is probably obvious that I fit into the second bucket and am sick and tired of being treated like those in the first bucket (to the point where I will not reveal that detail of my life in the hope that transparency will be appreciated).   If you can’t see the difference between the two buckets, then you need to think about it a little more.   And yes, there are situations where the neglected partner cannot just get up and leave.   (sorry, but this hits a very deep nerve.)
      Scott  

      1. 30.1.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        Of course, Scott. It leaves the obvious question of why you can’t leave a dissatisfying relationship. Or whether you can get your spouse to understand that you have to get your needs met elsewhere and she can sanction them. Exploring all the options other than infidelity. I am sympathetic to any man in your position, but, no matter how you slice it, extramarital sex IS cheating. By definition.

        By the way, like everything else on this blog, you may be an exception to the rule, but that doesn’t mean there’s not a lot of merit to the rule. You know? So maybe stop taking things so literally and seriously and understand that for MOST people, dating a man who cheated is probably a bad idea.

        1. ScottH

          One reason for not being able to leave a bad marriage is that perhaps the other parent is abusive to the kids and the kids need the sane parent around to regulate things.   There are many other reasons but I think this one is plenty valid.
          If my spouse refuses to meet my needs, she does not get the right to tell me that I can’t get them met somewhere else, so why ask her?   At that point, I no longer consider her to be my spouse, hence, it is not cheating.   And refusing to work on major issues like this is a major betrayal by her.   And according the Jewish Law (according to something I read by Rabbi Shmuley), cessation of sex marks the termination of a marriage.   
          Yes, you are right about exceptions and taking things literally.   This is a very very sore topic with me and I’ll stop arguing.
          I do agree that people who engage in extramarital sex for sport are not of the best character and people should be wary of dating these people.   Extramarital sex is not as simple as most people make it out to be.

        2. Cherry

          Hi Evan,

          I totally agree with you. Of course people can change their minds. If they fall in love with other person, then should end the current relationship first. But having sex with other person while being in a relationship then it’s cheating…

          I was in the same situation as Jamie’s ex girlfriend..now I know my ex is seeing the one he cheated with…

      2. 30.1.2
        jeremy

        @Scott,   if this is your situation, you have my sympathies.   I won’t presume to judge you – I think I understand.   Nor will I lecture you in Jewish law, though I will say that your statement about what terminates marriage is factually incorrect.
          
        I will say that your situation is very different from the OP here, and I wish you and your family the best possible resolution to your difficulties.

        1. Jeremy

          Scott, your article implies that cessation of sex functionally terminates a marriage.    But it doesn’t actually terminate   it. That requires a divorce (GET). if you are truly so miserable, and if you’re wife really is unwilling to listen to you, are you not better off going separate ways (and perhaps applying for custody of the kids?  

      3. 30.1.3
        kim

        ScottH,, I think you misread my comment: I said, and I quote: “I don’t think you can generalize that once someone cheats, they will always cheat on whomever they are with, but I do think that brain chemistry, just like an addiction, figures into it.” Also, I do agree that once intimacy (notice I didn’t say sex) leaves a relationship, it is on the downward spiral.   You can get it back, if you work at it and both partners want it, but if the grass seems greener elsewhere, and the urge to bolt is stronger than working on what was once good, then infidelity is probable. Infidelity is not the cause of a breakdown in a relationship, a lack of intimacy is, IMO.

  11. 31
    Tullipes2002

    Following the latest responses, I feel the need to say:
    I would give the benefit of a doubt or try to understand those who
    live with someone who refuses themselves (although we might want to know why, but that is a different topic). If you deprive your partner you can only blame yourself for the need or desire to look elsewhere. Not that it makes it right, but. ..
    For those whose health (physical or mentally) plays a role in the deprivation, it would be very hard to be objective. Because that would ultimately question the “for the better and worse, till death do us apart”. For those unfortunate and exceptional situations, one can only try to understand.
    A cheater has no special circumstances, no sickness, no fear.
    He is simply selfish; ready and willing to go out there to enjoy himself and blame his/her partner for his unhappiness and lack of commitment.  

  12. 32
    Grace

    Emerald Dust – if  (EMK) had all of his fun prior to settling down, then I  seriously wonder why he (or anyone else for that matter) ever   thought  of getting married.  
    Surely marriage – or commitment – is where a new and  different kind of fun can start?  
    Thinking that the fun stops at ‘I do’, or that your wedding day  should the best day of your life, can make the rest of your married life (and spouse) look like a downhill slope on the dopamine curve from which the grass of  ‘freedom’  will look seriously greener.    
    Doesn’t have to be that way!!
      
      
      
      

    1. 32.1
      EmeraldDust

      Hi Grace – Of course marriage can be fun, it can be the most fun to be had !   When I said EMK had all of his fun before settling down, I meant his sowing his wild oats period.     He dated over 300 women.   That’s what I meant, not that fun had come to complete stop because he is now (happily) married.
        
        
        

  13. 33
    Noquay

    I was unbeknownst to me on the”other woman” side of cheating. This dude pursued me for a coupla years until I found out, by accident of his involvement with another, out of town, woman. Immediately bailed and haven’t trusted him since. The OP needs to break up with woman #2, forget about woman #1, be alone for while and in future always end relationships that don’t work out BEFORE starting another.

  14. 34
    AS

    Fantastic advice, the guy is selfish and absolutely needs to love & cherish any woman who will have him given his track record!

  15. 35
    EmeraldDust

    AS @ 34 – I hope this doesn’t violate the rules of this blog, but I have a question about “track records”. Do you (you in general) do relationship histories with potential partners ? How do you bring it up ? Or do you just rely on the information to come out organically ?

    There is another relationship coach on the internet, and I do like much of what she has to say, but she advocates doing a thorough relationship history. I wouldn’t feel right interrogating someone like that, or being interrogated. I think it’s more important to find out who this person is NOW. Instead of wondering if they have ever cheated, ask or observe for their feelings on monogamy. And for pity’s sake, if the person indicates that they aren’t ready for anything serious, or they believe in “open” relationships, polyamory, FWB, and you aren’t into any of that, walk away. Don’t play the “cool girl” if you aren’t cool with it !

    Seriously though, I think if you are over 35 and dating (or dating again) if you sift through someone’s relationship history you can always find a reason to bail. And your own history would give them a reason to bail.

    If the person has never been married —->They must be afraid of commitment
    If the person has been divorced —-> They can’t keep their commitments.
    If the person has been cheated on —-> They must not have been keeping their partner satisfied.
    If the person did the cheating —–> They aren’t trustworthy.
    High number of sexual partners * —-> Slut/Player *How high is high ? No one seems to know.
    Virgin—–> Frigid/Impotent/Uptight
    Widowed ——> Who wants to compete with a ghost ?

    I don’t ask for a relationship history, and when I’m given someone’s unasked for sad divorce story and then they ask for mine I just give them the reader’s digest version and say “We grew apart”. Because really, basically that is what happened. All the other crap that went on was just a symptom of how far apart we had drifted. If the person presses for more info I just add, “That we got married too soon”. (because we did)

    1. 35.1
      ScottH

      ED- great and thoughtful comment! thanks.

  16. 36
    Jay

    anonymous – Its not that women should close their options, but make their lives revolve around other people besides her husband. SAHM are solely dependent on their husbands. But in Europe, as written in the Elle article I referenced, it mentioned that there is a greater feeling of community, and women are involved in their churches, and have a lot of friends in the community. Either because of Disney romanticization or rural geography, wives in America can isolate themselves from society, while the husbands are working everyday and meeting other women as customers, or co-workers. Sure, many men cheat because they just want more variety and more sexual experiences. But some men are driven to cheat if their wives aged 40-60 don’t want to have sex. Its biological that men want to have sex more often than women, and for whatever reason, women often don’t want to have sex after given birth a few times. Sure, it might be good to talk about STDs, but if he wasn’t having sex anymore with his wife, then the wife won’t catch any STDs. Each couple gets married and stays married for their own reasons. But I think with divorces to half of the couples, men and women are deciding that they want more sexual partners in their lives, even after procreating.

  17. 37
    Lauren

    The letter writer sounds like a classic commitment phobe. The second a relationship settles into a pattern and he senses that the woman expects something from him, he worries that if he commits, he’ll be making a mistake. But, his original GF obviously isn’t the one. It’s too late. He screwed her over, she’s moved on most likely. As for his current GF, she obviously isn’t living up to his fantasy either, just like the first GF… But news flash… As Evan said, relationships aren’t fantasy.

    Unlike many other commenters, I don’t think this guy will necessarily be a serial cheater. I know several serial cheaters, most of them feel little to no guilt, most of them have no intention of leaving the other person for the new woman. Generally, they are interested in the ego rush of another woman finding them attractive and the thrill of sex with someone new.

    Instead, I think this guy, like I said, is scared to death of commitment. That fear is causing him to be overly critical of his partner and to wonder if the grass is greener somewhere else.

    I have cheated. Not on my now ex husband, but on a boyfriend. I was in a 2 year relationship, we talked marriage. I knew he wasn’t the right person for me, but I was too scared to end it because of the uncertainty of being alone. So, I cheated on him more than once and then, because I felt guilty, finally worked up the courage to end things.

    Not everyone who cheats is suddenly doomed to becoming a serial cheater. For some people, it is merely a sign of another issue that can be worked through. The letter writer needs to figure out what is at the root of the cheating tendencies. For me, I know that my ex boyfriend was sort of like a post-divorce security blanket and I was scared that no one else would want me. It took me a while to figure out that I am a good catch and that I deserve to be with the right person in my heart, not someone who looks right on paper, but with whom there is no chemistry and significant sexual issues.

    I think the letter writer needs to figure out what scares him about commitment and figure out how to address that, either with his current partner or – if he is sure that she is wrong for him – with someone new.

  18. 38
    BRIE

    I dont agree, ive been where you are. You have to let your current girlfriend go, or you will always be reminded of the guilt you felt cheating on your girlfriend. You made a mistake, as we all do, but theres no reason to hang that guilt over your head for the rest of your life. You need to be single. Take some time for yourself, to get over what you did and get over your ex you cheated on. Its better to just try to move on, better yourself, and once you do that and another woman comes into your life, dont make the same mistakes. If you go back to your ex gf you cheated on you will always feel guilt for cheating on her. the best way to remove these feelings are to start a new chapter in your life and let both of these women go. Its time to focus on you.

  19. 39
    Nickel

    @ Jay. I think YOU want to sow your wild oats. I think you want to be polyamorous, I think YOU think marriage is boring, I think YOU want multiple sexual experiences. That is fine. We all have our own journeys, but why are you trying to convince a bunch of women who are in a forum that values all the things YOU DONT WANT, to value what you do want??? You are working out your own psychology on this forum, trying to convince the world of YOUR righteousness. It’s a waste of your time. Go out and live the life YOU want, and leave the rest to live the lives THEY want. Just be honest when doing so, I think that is all anyone replying to your comments is trying to say. If someone has demonized you for your own personal wants and needs, I’m sorry. If it was a woman, I’m sorry. We are not all alike and all deserve their own path. That includes women and men who want to still pursue the so called puritanical, conservative approach to romantic relationships called “marriage”.

  20. 40
    Al

    Joni Mitchell said it best. “Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone.” I think most people with any real history of relationships has been here at one time or another,usually in the beginning, when we are first learning about love and dating. Some folks take longer to absorb the lesson.  

    That being said, there are also a LOT of people for whom this is not just a simple matter of immaturity. Some seem to recklessly careen from one relationship to another, expecting that if they could just find the RIGHT person, everything would be perfect. The problem is really within themselves though and can never be filled by something external.  

    Still others mistake “intensity” for “intimacy.” Intensity is that infatuation phase which happens in the very beginning. For a real, true committed relationship to succeed, the lovers need to transition to “intimacy,” which requires vulnerability and patience.   It’s not as exciting but is a stronger and deeper bond. You can spot the people who just skitter across the surface and never actually get wet because they have multiple failed under two year relationships.

    What bothers me about the OP isn’t that he screwed up (because lots of us have done so and learned a valuable lesson from it) but that he seems to be unable or unwilling to accept the consequences for his own behavior. He seems to just assume that he’s entitled to a second chance with the poor woman he cheated on.   

    I hope for both their sakes that she tells him to piss off in no uncertain terms.   

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