I cheated in all my serious relationships. What's wrong with me?

Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2017 05:55 pm
Hi Everyone

I'm a woman, 28 yrs old, single now.

My first serious relationship started when i was 18/19. Took us 3 mths to have sex the first time. Everything was beautiful. I didn't feel pressured, but very accepted, loved, treasured. Worth waiting for. Sex was beautiful. And we were very important to each other. I'd say i loved him. (not sounding sure cause in my opinion, if i manage to cheat, it's not love). But we fought a lot. Mainly. Because i was overly jealous. He was considerably older (32) and i didn't have a lot of self confidence.
Already 3 months after a my "first time" i cheated on him. I waited for 19 yrs. And now? Now i cheat on someone like a ***. It went on for about 1 mth before i broke up with both. Affair cause 7 knew it was wrong and felt so bad. Relationship because i felt bad too. But later i decided to tell him the truth. After all, what if he would forgive me? I'd regret it for my life if i don't even give it a try. We had a on and off relationship that lasted 5 more years. I regretted my unfaithfulness so badly. I knew i was never gonna do the same mistake.

Since then sex felt worthless. And i had 3 more affairs. Cause i needed affection in exchange for sex. It's not like i didn't enjoy it. But it's not fulfilling to me if i know they arent relationship material. And they did really like me. They even wanted a relationship. But i didn't want to.

Then 4th affair (i wqs aged 25) turned out to be relationship material. But we were both not 100% convinced and werent in a official relationship. But it was definitely more than an affair and we agreed to be exclusive. Eventually we started to fight. Mostly about jealousy from both sides. But also because little things of who is right.

One night i was gonna go out with some study friends. There was one guy i felt attracted to. My "boyfriend" trusted me. He knew about that stidy friend and also knew about my history with my ex. and still trusted me. And i ended up in the bed of the study friend...
We didn't have Sex. Cause i swore to myself it'll never get that far again. But we were kissing and were topless. But still. M it's bad enough. I'd like to be 100% faithful. Anf I'd like to love someone with my whole heart. But somehow i cant...

I didn't tell my "bf". Even lied to him. And we broke up around 2 weeks after that too. Cause i felt so bad.

So... Here's my question :
Have any of you people also been unfaithful in a few relationships although you regretted it? And repeated your mistakes? Have you ever managed to become a faithful partner afterwards? Any advice for me how to change? I really regret it. But I'm scared i will hurt people. So I'm not getting into ANYTHING since almost 1.5 yrs now.
And also. M jot sure whether i can love. Have any of you though you cant love anymore? NOT because you were still lovesick, cause I'm not. I just generally feel i don't love the PERSON. i only love the characteristics (= he is smart, talentrd, charismatic. Thats cool). Do you think it's possible that my heart is just that cold?
I have never had a female best friend either. I have many friends. Male and female. But cant stick around with the same person for too much. Also in university. I mix with many different groups and have many "friends". But i would have no fixed group. Which has advantages but also disadvantages.

Thanks dor your answer and advice.
Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2017 06:30 pm
I'd like to say you just haven't met the right guy. That still might br the case.

Or you are unable to bond with another person - which might be caused from a screwed up childhood.

What do you think it is?
Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2017 06:39 pm
You seem very selfish. You're doing things you yourself identify as being wrong and hurtful to others. Stop it. If you want to have a lot of sexual partners, fine, but don't lead someone to believe you will be exclusive and then violate that trust. I'm glad you're not one of my friends. Good luck.
Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2017 11:47 pm
There are men and women who's personality leads them to be faithful to one person.

There are other men and women who feel the need or pleasure of changing partners continually, or being free to be with different partners without strings attached.

Apparently you might fit in the category of being free to change partners or just be faithful to one man until you find someone else in your life.

Then, you don't need to change because doing so you will be unhappy.

Just tell to every new partner not to fall in love too deep, because you are not thinking to stay with him forever. Perhaps a year, perhaps 10 years, perhaps forever, perhaps one month, no guarantees.

This way you won't cause much hurt to others.
Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2017 11:54 pm
Wow, you must be very, very young or completely oblivious. (I hear 'Rambling Man' playing in the background)
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Reply Fri 15 Sep, 2017 05:00 am
Hi Punkey

Thanks for your answer. I'm new in this Forum. Registered solely to ask this question. In another thread i saw your answer to another question and was impressed Smile so I'm very glad to receive an answer from you. Hehe.

Yeah probably.. Of course i always hoped to stay together happily ever after and dreamt about the future. But i never had the feeling: this guy is right for me in every aspect, i wanna spend my life with him.

I never had a dad. Cause my mum was working shifts i always spent time at other family's place. Sometimes even living at other places during weekdays. Later at the age of 8 my mum had sone small health problems. But she would tell me mum might not be here for long (as in she might die). So i thought i don't wanna bond with her, cause i may lose her soon anyway. It's less trouble for me to not bond if she leaves.
Only in recent years, i started to bond with her. Knowing. Even though a person may leave soon, it's worth enjoying the time with her now. Or even all the more reason to enjoy now and have a good relationship with her now.

I think the bondingnpart got worse after my first relationship broke. Cause before that i was emotionally ready for bonding. I believed there must be a soul mate somewhere out there. Who understands me 100%. Now i became more realistic (or pessimistic depending on how you see it). I think there is no 100%. We have to make it work. And it could work with anyone. But we gotta work on it.
I'd like to have a family. I'd like to be loved and also to love! But I'm scared i would do stupid things again, once things aren't going well.

Oh and there is also a defiance-issue. I do think it's triggered by a guy "flirting" with other girls. It might not be real flirting.. But if I think he overstepped the boundary, I'd emotionally give up on the relationship and flirt too and then get into stupid situations. I know it sounds stupid. But i think this is how things had evolved.
Both incidents are some time ago. I just wanna analyze so that i will never repeat them again.
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Reply Fri 15 Sep, 2017 05:07 am
Thanks. As i have writte, I stopped being involved in any kind of affairs / relationships.. i wanna figure out how to change

I don't wanna have a lot of sexual partners anymore. I'd like to be exclusive. That's why i asked the questions.
Reply Fri 15 Sep, 2017 05:09 am

I do actually wanna have a "eternal" relationship. Just the trusting and the vulnerability part scares me.
Reply Wed 20 Sep, 2017 05:37 am
Sharpen your skills in how to choose a mate.
There is a ton of self help books and articles that speak about finding a good man. Even consider counseling.

Good luck. To love and be loved is the greatest thing.
Reply Wed 20 Sep, 2017 07:01 am
What's wrong with you? Just a guess, but maybe nothing other than you bought the bullshit society taught you about love. Bullshit like:

You can only love one person.
There is only one who is right for you.
That you must guard your love because it can be taken from you.
That one person can be everything to you.
That you can be everything for someone else.
Reply Fri 22 Sep, 2017 04:50 am
No matter what we believe at any given time, our beliefs will modify to accomodate our actions.

As an example:

Person Z believes that they should be monogamous in a relationship
- Z cheats, feels bad, and still thinks they should be monogamous
- Z gets hit on again, 'somehow' ends up sleeping with X...feels terrible, and still thinks they should be monogamous
- Z has a fight with partner...cheats...and goes 'damn, well it wouldn't have happened if A,B, C'
- Z ends up cheating again, and goes 'well, I'm not a bad person, so it can't be too bad to cheat.
- Z does again, and goes 'you know what, I'm sick of feeling guilty'
- etc

Now that may not be the exact rationalising away of what they are doing, nor the exact path...the point is, that if you look at the start (should be monogamous), and look at the end ...5 affairs later...and the beliefs associated with their identify vs what they are doing - their beliefs have changed.

Then again, it's a little more complicated than that, because we have logical beliefs, and emotional beliefs (beliefs in different parts of our brain) that compete with each other...but again, some part of our beliefs change.


You can reverse that, when in a relationship, by not even flirting with the other sex...being friendly, but not flirting with anyone other than your partner:
- at each stage that you choose not to flirt with the other sex , you start reversing the beliefs that supported cheating

The problem is...cheating is supported at very low levels of the brain (the instinctive level). Instincts to can be trained - they just take longer. In other words, it would take discipline to stick to 'not flirting with anyone else'.

If that sounds too boring, then you are not ready for a monogamous relationship
Reply Tue 26 Sep, 2017 08:35 am
Hi Punkey

Thank you for your advice. I do think both of the men i have had a more serious relationship with, were in general good men (whatever that entails; but at least they weren't physically violent or didn't cheat on me).

I am seeing a therapist, but it's a long process. Cause I'm in a free programme from the University I can't see her too often. Just once a month. It's a long process.

Thanks for wishing me luck! I'll report back if I find my love Smile)
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Reply Tue 26 Sep, 2017 08:39 am
Hi Leadfoot

Thanks. Indeed, I did believe in all those things.
Now I don't anymore. I think there are several persons who can be suitable for me and in any case we have to work on a relationship.

However it's still my responsibility to be honest and respectful towards my partner, that includes not cheating. It's not just a responsibility, it's also my desire to be faithful and communicate honestly.
Reply Tue 26 Sep, 2017 09:02 am
Hi vikorr

Thank you for the insight from another perspective and your detailed description! It's not boring at all! Very interesting.

I've heard of that principle --> subconsciously modify the belief in order not to "feel bad". And then there is also habit, do something "wrong" for many times and you''ll not even have a bad conscious anymore, cause "I've done it so many times already". And thirdly, to feel too hopeless to change: "I can't change anyway"...

For the principle you mentioned: "don't even flirt and I can reverse my belief about cheating" - or myself - i have a question just out of curiosity

I'm currently single, not having any affairs and try not to flirt at all as well. It's been almost 1.5 yrs now and I can already feel that I'm getting more sensitive and careful with how I stay in touch with male friends and how i set boundaries. So boundaries became stricter now and my brain learns that "sex is not nothing" and dealing sexuality in a more responsible way.

Do you think if I manage to stay away from guys while I'm single, it will also contribute to "not cheat when I'm in a relationship"? Or do you think the re-programming-principle only works when I'm in a relationship?

The problem is, I think there are specific situations and patterns, that lead me to cheat:
I realised that I actually have a very high standard of faithfulness. I know it sounds weird, looking at my history. Examples: When I was freshly together with my first boyfriend, I confessed to him that i was looking at a guy when i was in a tram. He was outside the tram and we exchanged looks and smiled until the tram went on. Also with the second boyfriend: He confessed that he danced with some girls in a disco, but only shortly. And I'd say I'd never do that. Which I regularly don't.

Whenever I felt drawn to another guy, while being in a relationship, there was a story of "him" not accepting my boundaries first (dancing with other girls, flirting with other girls). This is not to justify my actions. I still feel utterly guilty for my actions and feel ashamed. But "his" action would make me anxious & jealous and therefore being distanced to him. As I can't force him to not dance/flirt/talk with others anymore I was trying to find my own solution. A stupid one... -> If i flirt too, i feel less hurt, when he does the same. Just with me - cause I'm stupid, can't say "no" after having flirted - I'll go further and do things that are harmful to me, my partner and the relationship.

Sorry, wans't everything relevant to the question, but just for the context...
Reply Tue 26 Sep, 2017 11:51 am
Thank you for opening up with your story, you have brought up a very interesting point I think I may also do. I too have cheated on my now ex girlfriend and have been struggling with the why I did it. I know that my previous marriage it was done to me and that was part of the issue, but you mentioned that you had a high expectation on loyalty and when thats broken you throw your hands up and do things worse or just as bad then regret your actions afterwards. I know that pattern I live that guilt and feeling of low self worth afterwards as well as then finding yourself hurt again and doing the same trend over again. I would love to hear insight on this part if anyone has some as it plagues me as well
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Reply Wed 27 Sep, 2017 07:50 am
it's also my desire to be faithful and communicate honestly.

Those are worthy desires.

And congrats on giving up the silly ideas!
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Reply Thu 28 Sep, 2017 05:05 am
Hello Qwertz,

For you, purely as a single person, I see no reason why you shouldn't flirt - unless you are trying to achieve something (which it seems you are, so that is fine).

Boundaries are necessary to keeping principles. Principles are necessary to self esteem (Self Esteem generates from seeing traits in yourself that you admire in people in general. Keeping principles then, is one part, while acquiring traits you may admire, like respectfulness, drive, focus, generosity, passion etc are other parts...but principles are necessary to consistency).

When you acquire traits that you admire - you now have things in yourself that you admire in life - ie. you now have traits in yourself that you find admirable...and no one can ever take this away from you - which is why it is self esteem...rather than esteem for you in the eyes of others).

Self esteem enhances happiness, and results in lifting other people up...while the lack of self esteem leads to lack of empathy, fear generated reactions, and tearing others down. This of course, is a very shortened version.

On the other side (not having much self esteem), if a man chose a woman who had higher self esteem than him as a partner, then I've never seen a man who:
- didn't have high self esteem; or
- was working towards high self esteem; or
- valued self esteem
who didn't actively (and usually unconciously) work towards lessening his partners self esteem until it was lower than his (if they stayed together for any amount of time). I presume this is genetics at work, because it is so consistent (I'm sure there will be some exceptions, but it is incredibly consistent)

The reason I talk about self esteem, is because of your experiences with men. You wonder why they do what they do. You wonder why you do what you do.

The path you are on, as you stick to it, you will start to develop, and strengthen your sense of self. That will lead to new discoveries, and new understandings (so long as you stick with it). You will eventually start understanding why they do what they do, and why you did what you used to do.

Hope this helps some

Reply Thu 28 Sep, 2017 12:44 pm
Wow I read your response about self - esteem and I really want to say thank you for that perspective. I actually am going to use a piece of that to remind myself if you don't mind. The truth in that is simple but so easily over looked on how one treats others when they have a low self esteem. I am guilty of letting low self esteem drive my fear and in turn hurt the ones I love. I now if its alright with you have a inspirational quote to drive my actions every day.
Reply Thu 28 Sep, 2017 02:27 pm
You are most welcome to use anything you find useful. I would only add that anything you choose to make your own - make sure you test/question it over time, to ensure it is sound/works for you. If it remains constant through all your testing, it is something you can use, for life.

The only other thing I would add, is that self-esteem is a building process. You build a foundation, then a structure, then a roof, then walls etc (symbology, but close to the truth, and it's to point out that it truly takes time, growth, understanding, acceptance of your strengths and flaws, a willingness to work on them etc etc)...but at the bottom of it is willingness to find & live by principles (they help you know who you are, remain constant, guide you etc), and the willingness to work to acquire traits you admire.

Again, this is a very short version. Hope it's of some use to you.

Best wishes
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Reply Mon 2 Oct, 2017 09:25 am
Congratulations! Very few sociopaths self-diagnose.

Not sure where you go from here. Maybe see a shrink or a clergyman.
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