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I cheated and we broke up, but I still love him. Should I give up and let him move on?


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This is a long one, so I apologise in advance!


6 months ago I would never had dreamed this would be happening. We were going through a rough patch, but we both thought we were solid. We really were best friends, loved each other enormously, and knew each other inside out.


We had been together 6 years, but moved back in with my parents a couple of years ago so that we could save up for a house. This is probably where the problems began, as suddenly we had very little privacy and it seriously affected our sex life- and a few strokes of bad luck meant we couldn't afford to move out as quickly as we'd hoped.


In retrospect I realise now that he became very depressed under various different pressures. He would work and play computer games all day. He did take up boxing, which seemed to give him more energy but also made him more aggressive. At the time I thought he was losing interest in me- especially since he no longer wanted to go out anywhere with me or do anything different together.


I really wanted to go on holiday with him- as we'd never been anywhere for more than a couple of days- but he would always shrug it off. Then he decided to go on holiday with his friends- which hurt me enormously since he wouldn't go with me in the 6 years we'd been together. After that I think I became a bit... despondent.


... Then I got a new job. I've flitted from job to job, never really finding somewhere I fit, but I really loved it (and still do). I immediately struck up a friendship with one of my male colleagues- we clicked straight away- and over time it became quite... intense, I suppose. We would text each other constantly. We had so much in common that I didn't have with my partner, we just never seemed to run out of things to say. I've never been very good at keeping friends, so this all seemed very new and exciting. For a long time I really did just see him as a friend, although my partner was getting increasingly impatient with our constant texting. Then one day my partner and I had a big argument about something unrelated, and my new friend (I'll call him F) was there for me when I was upset. He told me the typical things like 'you deserve better than that' and really fed my ego, and I think it was from then onward that I gradually began to feel something more. Whenever we spoke about my partner the conversation would take a similar turn to 'you can do so much better', 'you're such a wonderful person' etc, and I really lapped it up.


One day we got drunk on a night out and confessed that we had feelings for each other. I had started to lie to my partner about how much we were texting each other, and also so that I could meet F outside of work, saying I had to work late. I was lying so much it became second nature. A couple of weeks after the night out, I was upset about something and F and I kissed.


My partner caught me in a lie, and I confessed that I had feelings for F. I was really confused and had no idea what to do. I felt like I was in love with two people at the same time. He was obviously distraught that I had feelings for someone else, but equally so by all the lying. One of the things he said he always loved about me was my honesty, and his trust was now broken irreparably.


He said if we were going to make it work, I had to stop talking to F. I agreed, but I kept talking to him anyway (only as friends, but still a deal breaker), and lying to cover it up. Of course this didn't continue very long undetected, and both my partner and I decided we should break up. He couldn't trust me any more, and I couldn't be trustworthy.


When we first broke up I dealt with it relatively well. I didn't contact my now-ex-partner, but I did lean on F a lot emotionally. I told F that I wouldn't be ready to be anything more than friends for a long time, and he said he was fine with that. But our friendship was very intense. We'd speak on the phone for at least an hour every night, and once or twice a week he'd stop over in the spare room so we could go out. On a couple of occasions, we slept together, but I insisted it couldn't mean anything more. Eventually it all fizzled out, and now we're still friends but I speak to him once or twice a week, and we only really go out socially with a group from work.


It's now that all the drama and excitement has disappeared that I truly feel the loss of the relationship I had with my ex-partner. I missed him before, cried over him, but ultimately was able to distract myself with work and socialising. But now it physically hurts- a pain in my chest when I think about him. I can't imagine ever having what we had with anyone else.


The last time I spoke to him, I confessed to having slept with F. Before that, I lied- again and again- but this time I felt I had to be honest. He hasn't really spoken to me since, mostly ignoring my texts except for one instance when he asked why I wanted to speak to him at all. He always said that if I ever cheated on him, he would cut me off completely- never speak to me again.


I'm at a complete loss as to what I should do. If I could go back to the way things were before I met F – even though things were rough – I'd do it in a heartbeat. I believe my ex-partner would agree. I feel like I want him back, but is it even possible that we could eventually move on from this? Should I just give up on our relationship and move on myself? And let him move on? This whole thing has absolutely devastated him, so would that be fairer? Selfishly I'm also worried that I'll discover that he's slept with other women while we've been apart too. Though it would hurt a lot, it's also that it would be a signal that he'd given up all hope or desire to reconcile things between us. Even if we could get back together, would I be plagued by the fear that he'd cheat to get even?


Then there are things like our families- his would never accept me again after this, and even my own wouldn't think I deserved to have him back. When we broke up they hated me for it. I can't talk to them or anyone else about this.


There are so many questions and I'm completely lost. Any advice that you can give will be greatly appreciated. I've done a terrible, terrible thing and I'm desperate to make it right, whatever that means.

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Yes, you should let go of your ex completely. The chances of a long-lasting reconciliation are slim-to-none in a situation like this.


The bottom line is that you don't love him as much as you claim you do, or you wouldn't have cheated. That is the ultimate display of disrespect. I am not saying your ex is perfect, but clearly you were not invested and committed anymore. I think you're lonely now because your new fling hasn't worked out, but think of why you gave yourself permission to cheat in the first place. You were gone from the relationship before it actually ended.


Learn from this, let your ex go, and hopefully you won't make the same bad decisions again in a future relationship.

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You must, and I say MUST learn to live on your own as a single woman who is independent and happy in her own skin. You are not going to be a good partner nor will you find a good partner until you learn that you don't need a man to be a whole person.


Once you are living independently, being able to pay your own way, have made good friends and are content without a man in your life it is then that you will find a man that will treat you with value (your ex did not nor did your interloping friend who took advantage of a lonely women who was suppose to be in an exclusive relationship). When you are treated with value, you return that value and that is when you will have a successful, lifetime relationship.


Grow as an individual and the rest will follow.

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You can't make this right with your ex, but you can make it right within you.

You need to find how to forgive yourself, and find your own healing, minus him.

If your other relationship hadn't ended also, you probably wouldn't be having these intense feelings.

It's a good idea to be on your own for a while and figure out what you want .

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I have been where you are and I know how much it hurts, trust me. We actually had quite similar stories. A couple things I wanted to say... first off, he won't forgive you and be able to let it go, that's why it will never work with him. It will always be a big problem in the relationship even if you were to get back together.


Secondly, you need to cut off contact with him permanently. It's hurting both of you. Even if he reaches out first, it's probably not to get back together. Maybe he wants to remind you of what you did and make sure you still feel bad.


You have to forgive yourself. It's the hardest thing in the world to try and forgive yourself when the other person doesn't. My ex literally said he could never forgive me. But I'm still trying my best to forgive myself.


Every few months he reaches out to me, not to try and reconcile but to hurt me because he knows he can make me feel bad by bringing it up ( at least that's what I'm guessing). I blocked him and don't respond anymore even though it still gets to me a lot.


I promise it will get better but it will take a lot of time. We all make mistakes and the important thing is you learn from it and do better next time. You're not a bad person and don't ever let anyone make you believe that. He might try to tell you that but it's not true. You messed up yes but it seems like your heart is in the right place.


You will heal and you will meet someone new who is a better match for you. And because of your past you won't cheat and you will be a much better partner because of it all.


I'm so sorry you're going through this and I empathize with both of you.

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^ I am not sure why you're making it out to be like she's the victim in this scenario?


She made bad choices repeatedly and lied a whole lot. Those weren't just 'mistakes.'

Once she realises the extent of what she did and take some time out to evaluate why she would allow herself to do this to someone who loved her, she can move on and become a wiser better person.


Right now she's just feeling like this partially cos the thing with the other guy didn't work out. It's loneliness talking.

Being cheated on is very damaging to a person, I'd hope both of you guys would be able to fully learn from this and never inflict the same pain on someone else.

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You did a pretty awful thing. Infidelity is not a small indiscretion one gets to brush over. You want to be forgiven after all cheating, the deceit and the false promises, but do you honestly feel you deserve it?


And your new fling is a rotten person. Actively helping to break you up rather than (if he was remotely moral or a true friend) be supportive or at least stand aside and maintain boundaries till you were single. You fed off each others's immorality.


It's good that you're hurting. Not as punishment; that serves no purpose. But because now that it's finally become a cost to you, you see how much wrong you've done - the lowest level of remorse, but remorse nonetheless.


Leave him alone and move on. If you're feeling altruistic, you may choose to send him an letter in which you apologise categorically and unreservedly for your misdeeds. No doubt he made mistakes and wasn't perfect but he did not deserve what you did to him. Do not include anything in the letter about wanting him back or any expectations to be forgiven. It will help you in time to forgive yourself.

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