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long distance boyfriend of 3 years cheated...but our relationship was strong and healthy

 
 
jlg
 
Reply Thu 4 Feb, 2016 11:01 am
Looking for opinions on my situation.

I'm 41 he's 44...both been married before...both of us have kids ....me 1 him 2 ( one with his marriage...son is 17 now....and a daughter (8yrs old) with a woman he had a dysfunctional long term relationship of 11 yrs right after his marriage ended.). Have been in a 3 yr long distance relationship (following his 11 yr relationship) where we fly to see each other every 2 months (take turns to both cities), talk or text EVERY day, have said the I love you's, has even once early on impulsively asked me to move to his city, sent me texts with my first name in front of his last name, super romantic, have never fought about anything, supportive of each other, become best friends, passionate, the spark is stronger than ever, amazing sex, can turn each other on even over the phone or through text, we think about each other every day, the way he looks at me is like I'm the only woman in the room etc etc etc. When I look at lists of what makes an amazing relationship we are 20/20 or 10/10...of all the items listed. Our only problem is distance and that he cant come to me because his daughter is young and he needs to be there to raise her. While I have a son...with an ex that is awol in every respect so I could pick up and go one day without complicating my situation. But I've never asked him to move for me, never asked him to marry me, I have put zero pressure on him. We've been taking this situation moment by moment...living in the present. But of course I had some hope that there could be a future for us...you know when the kids get older. The odd time he'd say I love you but then say "i'm kinda not allowed to say that" because he cant be there for me 100% because of our situations. But nevertheless he said it and continued to say it, and I truly felt it. He would also say that he didn't want me to fall in love with him, again because of our situations, but he fell in love with me too. He was gaga over me...no joke...he was mad at himself why he couldn't go a day without thinking about me. He was amazing to my son as well. He said if he didn't have the obligations to be there for his daughter he'd move to my city in a heart beat.

Then last month he goes on an overseas trip to the country where he was born to visit family (and I'm that nationality too...but he was born there and I was born in Canada). Again texts and talks every day with me, telling me he misses me and loves me. Then all of a sudden for 4 days...no contact. Then I see a tagged pic of him on this fb page next to another woman and he's on a road trip to visit some friends there too. So I think...maybe a friend?...he's not responding cuz he's travelling? He finishes his trip and contacts me and I just knew he was with her. I didn't say anything...but a day later he just spilled the beans and confessed ( at least he had the courage to do so ). He ran into an old girlfriend from 20 yrs ago and they talked and talked. He told her about me and how amazing I was and that I truly allowed him to be himself. Apparently nothing happened at that point. But then they run into each other again ( small village towns) and this time she professes that she still loves him, always has. Background to them 20 yrs ago...it was a relationship of 5 yrs (4 of those she lived with him and his family), they were a good relationship until one day when he hurt her by just picking up and leaving to go live in other cities ( explore and travel )and then eventually met his wife and got married and moved to Canada. She got married too but her husband died of cancer a year ago so now she was a free woman. So she professes her love to him, and he gets caught up in old emotions...and with the desire to move back there one day...and then I don't know how it unfolded...did he ask her to drive him on this road trip, did she offer....but off they went together and acted as a couple, slept together more than once Sad when he confessed to me he said he got caught up in old emotions and that it felt the same way as when he is with me (in love)...but said it was a mistake....then days later he said he is in love with 2 women ( he said he was in love with her, but when he thinks about our love it hurts to the bone on how strong it is) and maybe that we were the mistake because we carried on for too long in a situation that might not have a future because of our situations...and we never should have let feelings come into play:( ( cuz then he wouldn't feel bad right now)

So my world just crumbled...there was nothing wrong with us! We communicated well, still were passionate, so in love....he says we were living in the moment but in the end it WAS a relationship and he knows it because of how much he is hurting right now too. Of course I suggested that we could fix this at first. For the last 30 days this has been over text and calls...and he is scheduled to come to see me in one more month. He says he wants to work on himself and be alone and that we need to end this. He said if we tried to fix it would be impossible because of the long distance and lack of trust now. All true. And even if somehow we managed...he is planning to eventually move back to where he is born and hurt me again when he leaves. I would never had an issue even moving there too...but of course when my son is older. He did the "it's not you, it's me" speech..ugh. He lays on the compliments of how amazing I am and did not deserve this. I know that...nobody deserves this. He's hurting because he knows my history of my ex husband cheating on me...and he says 'now i'm that asshole too. I did that to you too."

He says he doesn't want to lose me...wants to stay in touch. He's gonna take a year to work on himself and then see what happens but at the same time save money to leave one day. He's just gone from relationship to relationship...never taken time for himself. The relationship with his daughters mother was dysfunctional and full of hatred ( he cheated on her multiple times...and she may have too). His marriage... his wife became a drug and alcohol abuser so he walked away from that marriage and his son (which he's been trying to make it up to his son ever since). It's why he can't leave his daughter...to do the same and walk away like he's always told me...yet all of a sudden can entertain the idea of going back to his birthplace half way around the world maybe before she's fully grown up?? So many mixed messages.

He said who knows maybe he'll come back to me and it will be 1000% better than before...but he can only come back to me when he is ready and fixed himself. Fate brought us together ( some crazy circumstance of how we met) and he says you never know. I said i'm tired of guys saying i'm awesome and letting me go...only to ALWAYS contact me again saying they made a mistake letting me go. and by that point I don't love them anymore. He said he will die inside if he loses me to someone else but at this time he has to let me go no matter how much he loves me because he cannot give me what I deserve right now. Compared to my ex husband he was a million times better to me...I truly felt I found the love of my life Sad He said how much he loves me that I will be the death of him. So far he can't go any longer than 2 days without texting or speaking with me.

So my emotions are all over the place...never thought i'd be here again dealing with cheating. Feeling sadness, hurt, loss, anger, ...one day I want him to come so we end it properly face to face...but the last 3 days I feel like cutting him out of my life...not even friends...cancel his flight...get him off my social media...and move on with my life...to not even bother with the face to face.

I don't know what to do! I thought If I ever was cheated on again I would be like 'screw u!' and 'get out of my life'...but it is because of our connection and ALL great memories that I'm afraid to act out of anger. I read articles of cheating and none of them describe my situation...they usually suggest there were intimacy issues, communication issues, that the relationship was broken...but we were NOT broken! He keeps asking me to remember the good memories but why should I when he forgot all our memories for those 3 to 4 days where he disappeared out of my life to have a short emotional and physical affair with an ex. I'm gutted.

He's so lost and torn in so many directions...me here, his daughter there, his family back in his birthplace, and now this ex...I know he's confused. I do know that he's hurting. He said he's afraid to come see me...to see me hurting...to see me cry. I smiled from ear to ear every time we were together and he said he took so much joy in knowing that he could make me smile like that and now he killed that smile.

The other woman is still his friend on fb because she is also a family friend and he says he can't just cut her out of his life. He told her he was coming back to me and she was fine with that but then said "come back to me when ur ready"...what a mind f$%#. So here I am saying please stop talking to her (and looking like the crazy one) and she's over there cool as a cucumber saying it's ok ...go back to her (me)...but come back to me when you're ready. I don't know how people can be so selfish and cruel.

So i'm stuck between 2 actions...meet face to face, talk and say goodbye. Or blow this whole thing up and end it now...don't see him, cut off all contact, message the other woman and say my peace, and just move on. Erase him from my life.

Either way it will be a goodbye.

thoughts?






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Type: Question • Score: 3 • Views: 1,504 • Replies: 18

 
jespah
 
  3  
Reply Thu 4 Feb, 2016 11:36 am
@jlg,
Either way, don't contact her. It's not worth it and it feels petty.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Feb, 2016 11:44 am
@jlg,
Don't contact his old gf. There is no upside in it for any of you.

__

I'd suggest waiting a bit before responding. Maybe let him know you're going to no-contact for a week while you decide whether you want to see him in person before he takes his year to figure himself out.

__

Were you in-person friends before you became a long-distance couple?
jlg
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Feb, 2016 12:52 pm
@jespah,
I know Sad its just unbearable seeing her smug face in the tagged photo of them (that someone else took and posted.. that obviously didn't know about me and him)
0 Replies
 
jlg
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Feb, 2016 12:54 pm
@jespah,
I know Sad its just unbearable seeing her smug face in the tagged photo of them (that someone else took and posted.. that obviously didn't know about me and him). He hid that photo from only me since the incident and untagged himself in it. But the rest of his family and friends can still see it on his timeline. He won't delete it probably because he doesn't want to upset her either
0 Replies
 
jlg
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Feb, 2016 01:02 pm
@ehBeth,
I met him when he was in my city for work 3 years ago...it was initially only a couple of encounters that lasted 2 weeks then he left...I said goodbye. Then 3 weeks later he texts me with how's the weather there (jokingly) and all these weird comments...he had already flown back to my city to extend his work contract for 2.5 more months. So we continued spending time together...dating...staying with me on the weekends, cooking for me etc. Then when he was finally done with work after that he left and I said goodbye. Then he continued to keep talking to me and asked me to come out to his city for a visit...and that's how the back and forth started. 1 year in...after new years in my city...he was stressed b/c of his ex and worried she was playing games to take his daughter away from him (cuz no legal arrangement was made post break-up and they were never married)...when he got back home he said maybe we should stop and he entertained the idea of trying with her again cuz he didn't want to lose his daughter. I knew that was a joke cuz they hate each other...and like 5 days later back to texting with me. The next 2 years was going fine after that and feelings just grew and grew...we were only getting better and better. So we became friends in the process of dating each other because we talked so much....he was not a friend before I met him.

I just don't want any regrets...to cut him off so harshly and then 3 days later I'm mad at myself for cancelling the face to face...and am just sad. It will be super awkward when he comes because he'll be here for 3 days and 2 nights...and he wants to cook for me and hold me etc to make me feel better.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Feb, 2016 01:07 pm
@jlg,
jlg wrote:
I knew that was a joke cuz they hate each other...and like 5 days later back to texting with me.


sounds like running hot and cold is a pattern with him - as is cheating
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Feb, 2016 01:10 pm
@jlg,
jlg wrote:
So we became friends in the process of dating


so it wasn't a friendship that developed into a relationship

I think it makes it harder when there's no pre-existing friendship to base a romance on.

___


as I read your posts it doesn't seem like you were part of his future plans - and now it's a bit more obvious
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Thu 4 Feb, 2016 01:12 pm
@jlg,
jlg wrote:
It will be super awkward when he comes because he'll be here for 3 days and 2 nights...and he wants to cook for me and hold me etc to make me feel better.


seriously? that's not how break-up visits work

he can book himself into a hotel - you can meet him in coffee shops or elsewhere during the day to talk. no evening get-togethers

I'd suggest no longer than one day.

he seems to want to have it all in a way that works to his benefit
jlg
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Feb, 2016 01:47 pm
@ehBeth,
yes, no pre-existing friendship...but the friendship that has emerged is genuine. But continue with a friendship when the romance is done...and ending in this way...I don't think I can do it. I always told him if he left one day I'd be sad but I would understand and cherish the memories...Because I never said I was ready to move just yet either. But to end something that was good this way...due to cheating...my brain can't process that this is how the two of us ended.

I have one close friend that knows what happened and I've forwarded her our texts since the cheating event...and she says it's the saddest texts she's ever read...like she sees he loves me (I didn't imagine we were great but in reality we weren't)...but her opinion as well is he's all over the place and that he can't deal with the pain he's caused me so he's not even going to try to fix it.

He never had these future plans at the beginning to leave the country...they emerged in the last year because of the strain of having to deal with his ex and go back to a simpler life overseas. I told him he caused his own pain with her...by living in the same building just to be close to his daughter...and not separating himself from those dynamics. He is now planning to buying in another condo building to be more apart from her. And because he loves his daughter any ideas to move away I took with a grain of salt. After he landed back from his holiday he told his ex he's moving back in 6 months...next day breaks it to his daughter and she cries a river and he texts me I don't think I can ever leave her. It's like I know him better than himself.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Feb, 2016 01:51 pm
@jlg,
He sounds like quite a mess. Running hot and cold in relationships. Cheating in the past and now. The more you say, it seems kind of obvious that he's not really a great guy for the long-term. He could probably use some counselling.
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Thu 4 Feb, 2016 01:54 pm
@jlg,
jlg wrote:
yes, no pre-existing friendship...but the friendship that has emerged is genuine. But continue with a friendship when the romance is done...and ending in this way...I don't think I can do it.


so here's the thing. if it's a genuine friendship, independent of the romance, then continuing with the friendship is possible. if the friendship is intertwined with the development of the romance, it's generally pretty difficult to continue with the friendship on its own.
jlg
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Feb, 2016 02:01 pm
@ehBeth,
I think we both want it in a way that works to our own benefit. He's asked me if I still want him to come like a dozen times ( cuz his heart says yes go and see me, but his brain says no...maybe not a good idea)...and each time I've said yes. It doesn't feel real doing it over text and I deserve an apology in person. But here I am now last 3 days questioning it...after the last time he asked.

The flight was prebooked for that many days because it was one of our scheduled visits ( already rescheduled once and charged a fee...I won't change it again to be shorter...I would just rather cancel it then). He wants us to talk and talk. I want to talk because I need to gauge what he's saying in person...because over text there is too much room for misunderstandings. I guess I need to look in his eyes and see if it was all really bullshit...his feelings for me. I don't know what to believe anymore. I've got my brain, heart and gut all throwing different explanations at me. Will closure help? By the time he comes it will be 2 months since the affair...a total of 4 months since I've physically seen him (our 2 month visit pattern interrupted by his trip back home)...maybe I'll be calmer and we can really talk. I have an extra bedroom that he can stay in.

And though he says he wants to hold me etc...fact is I probably won't let him touch me...and I really have no appetite to eat...and that will be an emotional weekend...so his cooking will be pointless.
0 Replies
 
jlg
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Feb, 2016 02:19 pm
@ehBeth,
I agree with everything you say. I had no expectation for a long term thing with him...seriously I never made any demands and he knows this and acknowledges that I never put any pressure on him. If it came to me moving to him...I could of actually been the one to say sorry I can't or won't. I don't know because we didn't get to that point yet. And I never thought long term, only when he kept bringing up the future in the last year which forced me to think ahead a bit too ( and it was this wanting to move overseas which I took with a grain of salt cuz of his daughter and cuz if he just got out of his weird arrangement with the ex he'd be fine) ...but I always said to him not to worry too much about something that might or might not happen.

He says I'm the best relationship he ever had...and he can truly be himself. I knew of the cheating before and in our talks he explained how broken the relationship was. I told him the story of my ex and back then he said "omg...I think I'm like your ex too...in my past relationship...I was selfish...I did things wrong". But with me and because of this open line of communication we had no way did I think we would end because of cheating being an issue.

I know he's not ready for long term and yes he needs counselling. Maybe I was just keeping myself blind to what I didn't want to see cuz of how good everything else was.

Difference with me and my ex husband...I never should have married him. He manipulated and demeaned me to make himself feel better cuz he was insecure (his words) that I was too good for him. I was always walking on eggshells with him. When I found out about his affair I was fighting to get him back because of fear to be divorced, a single mom ( I was pregnant when this all went down), fear of starting over, moving back to Canada (we were living overseas)...but I was never fighting really for him. With this boyfriend...we don't have a marriage to lose, kids to fight over, ...it's just him I'm losing and it's a million times worse than the feeling I had in my marriage when it collapsed while being pregnant. It's a rawer emotion...I'll be losing a love and a friend.

Thank you for responding to all my posts...I'm just needing to vent and everyone makes valid points. I'm just struggling with it all right now
0 Replies
 
jlg
 
  2  
Reply Thu 4 Feb, 2016 02:30 pm
@ehBeth,
I agree. the most ideal scenario would have been if we parted ways on good terms (both saw no future and timing was off)...I'd have no problem staying friends and wishing him the best. I still wish him the best...but I'm hurt...and to heal I need to cut ties to him...even the friendship...because of how the romance ended.
0 Replies
 
Leadfoot
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Feb, 2016 02:54 pm
@jlg,
Tragic how badly we torture ourselves and each other, pretending that it is possible to truly love only one person and that loving another is a betrayal.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  2  
Reply Thu 4 Feb, 2016 03:17 pm
Long distance boyfriend of 3 years cheated...but our relationship was strong and healthy

Ummm, clearly it wasn't
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  2  
Reply Thu 4 Feb, 2016 05:09 pm
@ehBeth,
ehBeth wrote:

jlg wrote:
It will be super awkward when he comes because he'll be here for 3 days and 2 nights...and he wants to cook for me and hold me etc to make me feel better.


seriously? that's not how break-up visits work

he can book himself into a hotel - you can meet him in coffee shops or elsewhere during the day to talk. no evening get-togethers

I'd suggest no longer than one day.

he seems to want to have it all in a way that works to his benefit


Sounds to me like he wants one last fool-around before ending it.

Have him stay in a hotel or one last time around sex will happen.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Feb, 2016 05:16 pm
@jespah,
yup

that's kind of obvious eh
0 Replies
 
 

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