Cheating boyfriend of 9 years

Reply Fri 24 May, 2019 11:11 am

I’m hoping for some advice and some opinions on the situation I’ve found myself in.

I’ve been with my boyfriend for almost 9 years, we’re both in our mid twenties. We’ve always spoken about other couples who have cheated and have said how terrible it is and that we would never do anything like that to each other, I couldn’t have trusted him anymore than I did, I would never keep tabs on him or go through his phone, as I totally trusted him and I was very happy in our relationship.

He admitted to me 2 days ago that he’s cheated, here are the details...

A lady from work kissed him & he kissed her back on a works night out in the first 2 or 3 years that we were together. On a separate occasion, he then went to pick this lady up from a night out and took her home, where they kissed and she gave him oral sex. He says that he was horny at the time.

He didn’t tell me about this until now, he says that he tried to block it out of his mind as he knew that by telling me I would end the relationship.

He then says that nothing more happened, until the 6th and 7th year of our relationship.

Where he has admitted to kissing another lady at work (he has since changed jobs, so not the same work place) but this has happened on 4 occasions on nights out with work (over the course of 2 years) he would also text this lady inappropriately after they had kissed which he said would go on for a few days, they also exchanged indecent photos once and he touched her bum inside of her trousers. He said that on one occasion, he was driving back from work late one night and that they had been texting and he was going to go over to her house but that she didn’t text back and he didn’t go over. He assures me that he wouldn’t have slept with her - not quite sure I believe this! This lady has been in a relationship for the last 8 months, so I’m wondering is this why he’s decided he wants to be with me as he can’t have her?

He has also admitted that during this period of 2 years that he has been messaging and exchanging indecent photos with 2 other girls on two separate occasions and the messaging only lasted one night per girl.

He can’t really explain to me why he’s cheated, but what he has said is that during these 2 years, he was attacked abroad and his father had a mental breakdown and these things really impacted him, he admits that he didn’t realise how much this affected him at the time. He is a worrier and will worry about everything and anything, there is no way of convincing him otherwise.

He felt really down during this period, didn’t see a point in life and did feel suicidal sometimes but says that he wouldn’t have gone through with it.

Over this 2 year period, I knew that he wasn’t right, we argued a lot (mostly about things he was unhappy with/about) and I did suspect that he was maybe depressed as he always seemed to be down, but he always dismissed it or said that maybe I was right but that he didn’t need any help for it.
I didn’t realise the full extent of how he felt and he says that he didn't until recently.

He has said that during these two years that he had a ‘I don’t care attitude’ and that he wasn’t thinking about tomorrow and any consequences that came with it.

He says that over the last 6 months or so, that something has just clicked with him, he’s in a much better place and can now see clearly and knows now that it’s me he wants to be with, where as during the 2 year period he wouldn’t have cared much about us breaking up, that it would have just been another thing to add to the things that went wrong.

I don’t know if it’s worth mentioning that he has quite a high sex drive, where as I don’t. I did at the beginning of the relationship, but I’ve been taking a contraceptive pill for the last 6 years and one of the side effects is lack of sex drive (I’m unsure if the pill is the reason for this, or wether it’s just the way I am) so he has said and has been saying that he thinks I don’t find him attractive and can’t understand why I never instigate. He has been making me aware of this over the last few years, and I have tried my best, but I never want to have sex as often as he does and have been turning him away quite regular.

He is absolutely distraught, he’s not a crier but he has cried pretty much non stop over the last 2 days and says that he is really sorry for what he’s done, that he wants to change and that he really wants to be with me.

I’ve asked loads of questions and asked him to go into details about things, it’s been hard for me to hear but I’ve got to know and I know he feels really uncomfortable talking about it, but has answered all the questions I’ve asked.

Am I a total mug for believing that he’s sorry and for thinking about giving him another chance?
I can’t imagine my life without him, and I do believe (or maybe really hope) that he could be the person I thought he was and that we can have the relationship I thought we had.

I hate him for what he’s done to me/us. I have never been unfaithful and to me, cheating is the ultimate betrayal and I have always told him that it would be it for us if he ever did. I never ever thought for a second that he would, but now I find myself in this situation where I really love him and don’t want to throw away the last 9 years.

One moment I think what’s done is done and that with time I could forgive and forget but then I also think that he could go through another period of feeling down and what’s to stop him from doing this again and at that point (if things work out) we may possibly be married/ have kids. He assures me that he will never cheat again but that if he does feel like doing it again, he will be talking to me first and that he’ll be a lot more honest with his feelings. He is quite a deep person, so I’m doubtful that he could change a habit of a life time.

I’ve told him that I do want to work through it and that our next relationship will have to be much better than our last one for both of us. It will take a long time for me to forgive and trust him again.

We’ve spoken loads over the last two days but I have said that I would like to go to couples counselling and that he will need to speak to someone about his own issues.

Do I tell people what he’s done? Do I make him tell our families? Do I let the women he’s cheated on me with know that I know?

Am I overreacting as he didn’t actually sleep with any of them? (If what he’s telling me is true)

Sorry about the long post and if there are things that I’ve repeated. Any thoughts or advice would be much appreciated. Thank you
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Reply Fri 24 May, 2019 12:14 pm
Mid twenties - and you have been with him for 9 years? Geez. Both of you missed a lot of experiences during your terns and early 20’s!

You were lucky that you only had these few incidences with this guy. He needed to grow up a bit. One of the ways is having casual relationships . Now he’s like the kid caught by mama with his hand in the cookie jar. But he’s just a kid, what’s so surprising?

Set yourselves free this summer. Date others . Then see if there’s really something worth while to keep together. Let him experience and explore.
Reply Fri 24 May, 2019 12:43 pm
Yup, we did get together very young and I do sometimes wish that we would have met later in life so that we could have both been able to experience other things. But I thought that we were both totally committed ... until two days ago!

You say that I was lucky to have only had these few incidences, you don't think that it seems like he's done quite a lot and that he could have done a lot worse?

You don't feel that it would be better to try and build on another relationship now that he has (hopefully) got this out of his system?

Thank for your response, it's very much appreciated.

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Reply Tue 28 May, 2019 08:01 am
First things first. He came to you and confessed. He didn't have to. You knew nothing about his cheating until he fessed up. So that is one point in his favor assuming he is sincere in making changes. Do you stay with him? That depends on your ability to forgive and move forward. If you want to stay and can forgive him, then giving it a shot may be the way to go. But it is your call.

You wrote that you feel he was depressed. Has he been to any counseling? Maybe it is something you both should go to in order to help you work out this major issue and help you both clarify your feelings about each other. Just a thought.

One last thing.

Do I tell people what he’s done? Do I make him tell our families? Do I let the women he’s cheated on me with know that I know?
The answer to all 3 questions is NO. NO, NO, NO. This is between the two of you. Bringing anyone else into this will not help you or him. IF you decide to leave him and someone wants to know why, you can simply say he cheated on you and leave it at that. Anything more is none of their business.
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