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Trying to forgive my boyfriend


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My boyfriend and I have been together over 2.5 years now. We live together and have never fought up until just a few months ago. At the end of May he found out that his best friend from high school who he had lost touch with had passed. He flew home (halfway across the country) for the funeral. While home he was able to catch up with some old friends. On the day he was going to fly home, he had some spare time before his flight and asked my permission to get together for lunch with his first girlfriend who was a mutual friend of the one who passed away. I said it was fine, I understand the situation and trusted my boyfriend with her. A few hours later he called me saying they had kissed, and they had cuddled (fully clothed) in her bed. I was in so much shock I just hung up the phone. I picked him up from the airport and couldn’t even look at him. When we got home he apologized profusely, and explained that being with her again just made him feel like he was back in time, like his friend was still alive. I sympathize with him, I don’t believe he meant to hurt me or planned on this happening, and taking the situation into account with how emotional they both were I don’t want to hold it against him. He’s never done anything to hurt me before, and has treated me better than anyone. He’s given me some of the best years of my life, I see myself marrying him in the future. But ever since this happened I notice myself becoming more and more cold and distant. I get angry at him over the most trivial things, I get annoyed if he kisses me too much, I hardly ever want to have sex, and I feel like I’m pushing him away. I don’t want to, I want to work through this together and find a way to forgive him. I know it’ll take time, but I don’t know how to stop acting like this. I don’t want to lose what we had over her. What do I do to make this okay? How can I get past this and get our relationship back to the way it used to be?

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My boyfriend and I have been together over 2.5 years now. We live together and have never fought up until just a few months ago. At the end of May he found out that his best friend from high school who he had lost touch with had passed. He flew home (halfway across the country) for the funeral. While home he was able to catch up with some old friends. On the day he was going to fly home, he had some spare time before his flight and asked my permission to get together for lunch with his first girlfriend who was a mutual friend of the one who passed away. I said it was fine, I understand the situation and trusted my boyfriend with her. A few hours later he called me saying they had kissed, and they had cuddled (fully clothed) in her bed. I was in so much shock I just hung up the phone. I picked him up from the airport and couldn’t even look at him. When we got home he apologized profusely, and explained that being with her again just made him feel like he was back in time, like his friend was still alive. I sympathize with him, I don’t believe he meant to hurt me or planned on this happening, and taking the situation into account with how emotional they both were I don’t want to hold it against him. He’s never done anything to hurt me before, and has treated me better than anyone. He’s given me some of the best years of my life, I see myself marrying him in the future. But ever since this happened I notice myself becoming more and more cold and distant. I get angry at him over the most trivial things, I get annoyed if he kisses me too much, I hardly ever want to have sex, and I feel like I’m pushing him away. I don’t want to, I want to work through this together and find a way to forgive him. I know it’ll take time, but I don’t know how to stop acting like this. I don’t want to lose what we had over her. What do I do to make this okay? How can I get past this and get our relationship back to the way it used to be?

 

This would rub me the wrong way. How is cuddling w/an ex helping him feel like his friend is still alive? Makes absolutely no sense. Bottom line he cheated on you and in the future he might again, depending on the level of temptation. People have loved ones die all the time, they don't end up cuddling and kissing w/an ex.

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He has suffered a painful loss, no doubt.

 

However, given that he had the presence of mind to first ask you if you were okay with him having lunch with his ex, I would not accept this reasoning for proceeding to kiss and cuddle with her. He knew what he was doing, and he knew it was wrong. I really don't like that he is using grief over the untimely death of a friend as an excuse for this. And yes, I have grieved the sudden loss of a close loved one before. Everyone grieves differently, it's true - but he was cognizant enough to ask about lunch, so it doesn't follow that he suddenly was so caught up in his grief that he couldn't say no to her. Him claiming doing this made him feel like his friend was still alive would really not sit well with me, out of respect for his friend's memory.

 

How was it that they went from catching up over lunch to finding a bed to cuddle in? How did they go from restaurant (I assume) to her bedroom? My point is that there were several moments along the way where he could have stopped this. He elected not to. I also hope that he is actually telling you the full truth here, and that it did indeed stop at fully-clothed cuddling. Yes, he called you and told you what happened. That's the very least he could have done.

 

I would think long and hard about your boyfriend's true colours, OP. If you decide to stay, know that he is flimsy with boundaries and not entirely trustworthy.

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Yeah, we get posts like this a lot. Once someone has broken your trust, it's difficult to get that trust back. And your boyfriend was a bonehead for telling you this happened, but one thing in his favor is that he felt so guilty he had to tell you to beg your forgiveness. But what your brain has trouble with is that he did it anyway! And to do it in bed? Come on. I mean, I can see two people crying together on a couch and putting their arms around each other to comfort each other. But this sounds like they were fooling around with each other. Again, it happens, but there's really no excuse for going that far.

 

So I agree with MissCanuck. It's really up to you if you can get over this broken trust and forgive him. You're obviously having trouble doing that. The relationship might be over. But you have to decide what to do yourself. Is he worth forgiving or are there other troubling things he has done?

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I wouldn't be okay with this.

 

He just accidentally happens to be in bed cuddling and kissing with a girl from back home? Then he uses the excuse that he was mourning? Please, give it a rest.

Mourning has nothing to do with feeling up another girl.

 

It really doesn't matter if he came clean about this or not, he jumped on the first girl he could while he was away from you and showed absolutely no loyalty.

That's pretty pathetic too that he uses the excuse that being in bed with her made him feel like his friend was still alive?!? Wow, what a sad excuse to use his friends death to justify what he did.

 

I would be telling him to hit the road.

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I'm sorry you're going through this.

 

Everyone has a different threshold for this sort of thing, and as you can see in the replies to your post it seems most people equate any shred of infidelity as an immediate dealbreaker. Personally, I don't think it has to be. We give are partners so much grace to wobble in other respects, but very little here. Let's say he got super drunk after the funeral and got in a mild fender bender—also not cool, but forgivable, yes? To me his actions are closer to that than, say, to carrying on a secret affair behind your back for months.

 

Your bf made an awful choice. He messed up during an emotionally charged moment. Life is filled with emotionally charged moments, of course, so they're no excuse for poor choices, but they do give context. You already understand that his behavior wasn't a verdict on you, but his own failure to meet his expectations of himself during a hard moment. It already sounds like you're on the path to forgiving him; the question is can you still be with him? Does a kiss and cuddle negate 2.5 years? Only you know the answer to that, and it may take some time to get there.

 

I would suggest some therapy sessions so you can both vent your feelings in a way that is healthy, rather than the passive aggressive stuff that's surfacing now. Just as there are relationships that crumble in the aftermath of something like this, there are plenty that get stronger once the immediate pain fades.

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How long have you lived together ans what are the nature of the arguments? Why would he text you this blow-by-blow account of their having lunch, kissing and sleeping together? Is he trying to precipitate a breakup? Your instincts/anger is telling you something very important: "Red Flag!" but you are trying to override it.

 

He very much did plan on it happening. In fact he gave you the full account of this plan. Why give him permission to cheat and try to rationalize it by thinking "they were distraught"? Doesn't it seem like BS that a funeral made them kiss and cuddle in her bed?

 

It seems you are too invested in the "future husband" idea even though that is not happening either and in fact he's just shown you he can't make or keep a commitment. That is where the conflict is. Your brain telling you "this is all wrong" and your sentiment telling you "forgive and forget". So you don't have to face facts and can pretend to live happily ever after.

We live together and have never fought up until just a few months ago.

-lunch with his first girlfriend

-later he called me saying they had kissed

-they had cuddled (fully clothed) in her bed.

I don’t believe he meant to hurt me or planned on this happening

ever since this happened I notice myself becoming more and more cold and distant.

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When we sat down and talked about it after he came home, he explained that they had gone out for lunch like he had asked. They talked about their friend. Then she wanted to take him one of her favorite bars for drinks, and he went with her. They had 2 drinks each and she said she wanted to show him her condo, she was proud of it. So they went. Once there they talked more about how things were back then, and he said it just happened. He stopped it from going too far, she was making advances. Then she took him to the airport and he called me immediately. I understand where everyone is coming from, I’ve thought all of it in the time since this happened. But I came to the conclusion that 2.5 years together was worth more than one mistake. He has never done anything else to hurt me, we were so happy before. As I said, I see myself marrying him, he treats me like a queen. This is the only thing bad that’s happened in our relationship this whole time.

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Your distance and anger are the beginnings of resentment, of feeling trapped via your commitment to a bf who disappointed you.

 

First: recognize you aren't trapped. You are responsible for your choices. You do not need to be silent nor do you need to be angry. You don't need to do anything except be responsible to yourself, first, before all else.

 

Second: It takes two to stray and it takes two to stay. This event gave you information that something is missing. His desire and/or ability to be emotionally intimate and in a committed relationship may be missing. Actually, this may be true for you too.

 

Put your desires, feelings, and fears out there. Look at them. Share them. Do not let fear be your ankle chain. Intimacy means sharing the tough stuff and finding a way to move forward as a couple or as an individual if that is what it takes. If you can't share it, you need skill development and also are likely not in your last relationship.

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When we sat down and talked about it after he came home, he explained that they had gone out for lunch like he had asked. They talked about their friend. Then she wanted to take him one of her favorite bars for drinks, and he went with her. They had 2 drinks each and she said she wanted to show him her condo, she was proud of it. So they went. Once there they talked more about how things were back then, and he said it just happened. He stopped it from going too far, she was making advances. Then she took him to the airport and he called me immediately. I understand where everyone is coming from, I’ve thought all of it in the time since this happened. But I came to the conclusion that 2.5 years together was worth more than one mistake. He has never done anything else to hurt me, we were so happy before. As I said, I see myself marrying him, he treats me like a queen. This is the only thing bad that’s happened in our relationship this whole time.

 

Yet your anger and distance is increasing, and I think that is because you have dismissed some thoughts and feelings that are overwhelming. Either you master these thoughts and address them, or you sabotage the relationship with your undercurrent of anger and distance.

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How old is he? Are you engaged? Has he proposed or given you a ring? Or is he not ready for commitment?

 

Sadly it seems he is less committed and less invested than you are. How do you know their affair won't continue through chatting? She's not some random one-nighter. After all she and many of his friends are in his home town. How often does he visit his friends family there?

I see myself marrying him.
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We are both 24 (well I will be in a couple weeks) I am ready to get married, not necessarily start a family yet, but I’ve been ready to commit to him for a while now. His family is full of divorce, and I think it put him off from the whole marriage thing. He says he wants to get married one day but he’s not ready.

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We are both 24 (well I will be in a couple weeks) I am ready to get married, not necessarily start a family yet, but I’ve been ready to commit to him for a while now. His family is full of divorce, and I think it put him off from the whole marriage thing. He says he wants to get married one day but he’s not ready.

 

No, clearly not. That's not to say he won't mature and learn from this, but now is certainly not the time to consider marriage.

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Unfortunately you are incompatible in terms of goals, future, timelines, etc. This is why he may be trying to sabotage the relationship. So that it's on you to put up with cheating and get strung along. That's why he spelled all that out. So you would pull the plug and he wouldn't have to.

I am ready to get married. He says he wants to get married one day but he’s not ready.
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What I would be concerned about is him being still quite young and feeling he hasn't had enough experience with other women which is why he did what he did.

 

He might say that it was only a one time thing but it could pose a problem later on down the line.

 

It's just not typical for a man who is in a committed relationship to go with another woman this easily. Despite his explanation, I really would be concerned if I were you.

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sorry, the "mistake" started when he agreed to more than just lunch (and lunch should have been with another friend there, too. I am sure there were plenty of other people who would have wanted to reminisce or it should not have happened). The drinks, the going back to her house and kissing was a date. There are people who cheat but think its okay as long as they tell their gf/bf what they are doing. I would not be quick to forgive him

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I really applaud your clearheadedness—and have to say I'm a bit dismayed by some of the harsh responses you're getting on here.

 

Mistakes happen. At 24, at 44, at 64. Whether we can forgive them, truly, is another matter, one that changes from person to person, so listen to your heart and your gut and you'll be fine. Forgiveness is always important for our own well-being, but it doesn't always mean you can continue to share space with the person you've forgiven. Sometimes the hurt is just too much.

 

You are both quite young, and this might be an important juncture to really look at what you both want and where you see this going—because this might be triggering some deep seated anxieties about where the relationship is out of balance (none, for the record, are ever perfectly balanced 24/7). IAmFCA makes a great point about how your emotionality is at odds with your rationality. You do need to give yourself time to really FEEL whatever your feeling, so (if you stay together) you don't drift into a dynamic where he's in permanent atonement mode and you're never quite satisfied.

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sorry, the "mistake" started when he agreed to more than just lunch (and lunch should have been with another friend there, too. I am sure there were plenty of other people who would have wanted to reminisce or it should not have happened). The drinks, the going back to her house and kissing was a date. There are people who cheat but think its okay as long as they tell their gf/bf what they are doing. I would not be quick to forgive him

 

This..Plus i would look at the whole situation

 

 

you guys were having some isssue

 

yes someone passed away sadly but IMO still does not give them a free pass for a mistake.

 

He ended up with someone who he date then back cuddling and kissing.

 

Ive been cheated on multiple times but the trust i lost for them drove me insane trying to fix it..

 

things for me were never the same and i had to end it.

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Mistakes happen

 

He didn't just accidentally fall on her in bed and opps, his lips hit hers.

 

This was no mistake. They wanted to see each other and they could have met up with other friends if it was all innocent. They continued on to have drinks and he followed her back home.

Lots of steps to what happened and at anytime he could have said no, I have a girlfriend. Definitely not a mistake. He wanted to be with her.

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Unfortunately you are incompatible in terms of goals, future, timelines, etc. This is why he may be trying to sabotage the relationship. So that it's on you to put up with cheating and get strung along. That's why he spelled all that out. So you would pull the plug and he wouldn't have to.

 

A great point.

 

Sometimes, our focus on the outcome undermines our ability to achieve the best results.

 

Let go of your marriage ideas. Think only about your relationship and whether you want this man, this way, this time.

 

There will be others, and you will be better off, if you learn from this experience - regardless of the man.

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Relationships can be very hard someitmes. The good thing is that he was completely honest with you about the situation. It is important to be honest in a relationship. Telling him that you still feel hurt about the situation can help him understand that you still feel the same way that you did when he told you. I hope everything gets better.

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