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Healing and confusion after cheating


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Came on here to just journal/seek advice from others as I process the destruction of the relationship I thought was with the one.

 

I'm a 26 year old male and she's also 26. I'm a young lawyer, and she's a young news director in a town 2 hours away. Basically, we seemed to have the perfect relationship. Everyone often commented how crazy we were for one another and how in sync we were as a couple. People would often joke we were already fiancees or ask when we were going to get married. Of course, we had our problems…sometimes she could be a little headstrong (myself included) or stubborn. We would debate on certain issues, but at the end of the day, we were always polite and loved one another for the lively debate. We had a lot in common and enjoyed doing a lot of things together. The only major problem was her dealing with her ex-boyfriends. About 6 months into our relationship, I found out a person she had invited me to hang out with in a group had previously not only been with her in a cheating capacity to her former college boyfriend but that he still also sent sexual texts that she chose to ignore. He actually said once, “you can move out of your mom’s house and not pay rent here. You just have to me.” This was often passed off as how he was and I didn’t have to worry. Another ex who she cheated on because she said she forced a relationship out of a friendship is now one of her good friends but he has always seemed to long for her still. He writes her handwritten birthday cards saying, “I long for the time we can see each other again.” Once again, that’s just how he is. I shouldn’t think anything of it. Our only real fights ever occurred when ex-boyfriends came into the picture because she always thought she could be friends with them. Sometimes, she said she felt I didn’t trust her, but I said these guys were disrespecting me to my face but I always let her handle it.

 

Now, this past August we had some tension because I was unemployed and living 2 hours away with my parents. We would see each other switching off weekends in one another’s location. She always enjoyed talking to me but sometimes she didn’t help me be productive because she would want to talk on the phone from 6:30-7:30 and then again at like 9:00-1am. I would sometimes ask for some time do workout, watch movies, play video games, etc. and she would just act like I was blowing her off or say “youre just trying to get rid of me.” However at the time, it did not feel too serious. Side note: sometimes she didn’t like being around my family too much. The week before she cheated, our family was involved in a minor argument with some cousins at a family wedding that she witnessed (although I was not included). She did comment once or twice that because I was living at home and unemployed, I seemed angrier or moodier, but I would always explain its because I felt stuck and hoped to be out soon.

 

August 18, she went out with coworkers and I talked to her on the phone and wished her well. Send me snaps and call when she got home. She never called and when I woke up the next day, I started to get worried. I discovered a few hours later from “find my friends” she had spent the night (naked in his bed and he fingered her) with her new employee (who she hired and is the boss of - who basically everyone who sees him says has nothing on me in any way) when she blacked out and he made a move on her. She was devastated. Said I was the love of her life and she ruined it. She wanted me to be the father of her children. I naturally was a little angry, and until, I could see her the next week asked her to not only tell her mother what she did but apologize to my family as a sign of good faith (they were there when I found out). She told her mom but never my family. She came up to see me and said she had been looking for jobs near me but couldn’t find anything. We were a little awkward at first but soon became electric again. We had sex twice over the weekend, and she said she had never been so wet or had better sex ever (sorry for being gross). End of the weekend, she starts crying and asks for space. Says her feelings for him have grown and although it had previously been a minor workplace crush, she felt it could be more. She wanted a week of space. I agreed.

 

The next day I got angry again and said I should get the week and called off the whole relationship. That night she wrote me “I’m so sorry. It shouldn’t have ended this way. I will always love you.” We talked that night, and I asked her to choose him or me, and she couldn’t. Said “she loved me, but was confused. Thinks I’m the one, but is not sure.” I stopped talking to her because she wouldn’t commit. The next day her friend messaged me and asked me to give her the week. I told her she had a week, but I had to consider us over with the chance of starting again. Said in this time, I could look at dating apps or maybe talk to someone if she was feeling this way about this guy. I waited and eventually texted Friday to talk. Found out she had seen him again Thursday to discuss her feelings and they made out. Her reasoning was that I had called it off, so I can’t be upset. I got blackout drunk the next night and called her. Broke my phone talking to her. Called her “a manipulative ” for telling me she loved me when she would go off with him, and terribly said, “she would just be the girl who someone ed at every news room she goes to” because she has a minor history of a lot of minor relationships. From there, I cut off contact for another week. Begged her back in a moment of despair, and she said that she just couldn’t decide. She believes me to be a 98% match but the “what-if” of him is killing her. She was aware that leaving me could be the biggest mistake of her life. But, he could be the one and the BEST thing. She just wants me to be happy and not hurt me again. Said I deserved someone better. Called herself a , a , and a because although she knew the cheating was wrong, she kind of liked it and both did and did not want it to continue. Supposedly, he expects a lot of her and works hard for her in the newsroom (“they could conquer the world together”), can make her laugh on a stressful day, and she wants to know more about him (she’s known him prior to this 2 months). For me, it was that we were very in sync and although I was always satisfying sexually with her, she felt sometimes we weren’t entirely compatible or I let her down socially sometimes if I looked at my phone while with her. I can’t remember exactly but she either said she saw me as a father figure or as a possible good father figure. She quoted that I would sometimes try to get out of her phone calls or the conversation felt forced (BUT AFTER 4 HOURS COME ON). I asked her to choose again, and she couldn’t. I tried to explain “grass is greener” and asked for a couple therapy, and she refused even though previously she wanted to go after she cheated.

 

I went no contact for another 2 weeks and drunkenly contacted her saying, “I would be her biggest mistake in life.” Next day, I apologized, and she said don’t worry. I asked for her to remove all doubt for me that we would be back together because it was hurting me from moving on. She said “I don’t know what to say. I don’t see us back together at this point and I’m shocked to hear myself saying it.” I asked her to say that she could never love me romantically again and that she chose him, and she said “I suppose you could put it that way.” They are still not dating, but most likely hooking up while she is single. I stopped all communication.

 

2 weeks after I had stopped communication, she decided to reach out to tell me she would be saying prayers for me because she had heard through her mother that my family would be putting my dog down. At first, I thanked her, but then later said that I did not want to be friends and her communication was inappropriate. This seemed to displease her, and she said she only did it because she thought it would cheer me up and her mom encouraged her to do it (said her mom said I would be angry if she did not do it). I lied and told her I no longer had hurt so not to worry, and I was happy with myself and it just didn't work out because she didn't see me as good enough for her. She went back to her saying how wonderful I am and blah blah blah. I agreed and lied I was no longer groveling over her and her actions are toxic, this almost seemed to make her angry. From there, I blocked all contact and finally removed all her friends and family from social media (they had been liking my stuff and her mother had even reached out to me a number of times telling me to be patient with her). I had heard through the grapevine, she acted as if I was slightly crazy for how I took us breaking up, but I find that really ironic that she contacts me when I completely cut ties.

 

As far as my personal journey, I got into a boxing class even though I was already in good shape a few weeks after the relationship ended. I also have been writing and focusing on my career. Trying to move up even farther. Other than that, no real signs of improvement. I just really miss her. I know that when we are in a room together we are like no one else. She even said “if we were in the same city. This wouldn’t have happened, but it did.” But at the end of the day, I cannot play games. This is bad for me and unless she truly wanted to come back with the right intentions, I have to cut her out of my life. My sister said to me, "if she really wanted to be with you 1000%, she would find a way to get around blocks to contact you." Until then (which probably won't happen) for my own mind, I need to move forward.

 

So yeah…that’s my story. About a month and a half out of the breakup. Now starting a new round of no contact with a complete block for my own mental health.

 

Cliff notes:

- 3 year relationship

- she cheats, begs me back, leaves again

- i beg her for like 3 weeks with no result

- stop contact and she reaches out and I tell her to leave me alone

-hurting really bad and still love her but this is bad for me if she keeps playing games. trying to get my mind off of it

 

Any insight, tips, advice, thoughts on whats going on with her, or similar experiences would be greatly appreciated

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Sorry for your pain.

 

From everything you've written it's just so, so clear that this woman is not ready to be in the sort of relationship you want. The impression I get is that she's fixated on male attention in an unhealthy way, a way that she doesn't even understand. The blurred-line relationship with exes, the need to have you on the phone for hours and not respecting your boundaries, the minor history of minor things, and, alas, the cheating—that all speaks to someone looking to fill some kind of inner void with external stimuli. Those people are not safe, plain and simple.

 

I say that having been one of those people, when I was around 26, and having gotten out of a relationship with one (also 26) about a year ago. She cheated on me, twice, so I certainly know the pain. I also know that in that pain there can still be longing, love, and even compassion for the person and what led them to make the choice that caused you pain. That's okay. That does not make you flawed or weak; if anything, the opposite. It makes you awesome. It speaks to an awesome heart that years to be open.

 

But that is an awesomeness, and openness, you need to protect, and share with those that can respect it. She, sadly, is not in that place right now, just as my ex was not. In other words, none of her actions are really about you, your worth, but a reflection on where she's at right now. The games, the manipulation—that's not even intentional. She means everything she says—her feelings for you, her hopes, but also, remember, her confusion. You have to listen to that—the parts you don't want to hear, and accept that they just negate the other stuff right now as being viable. She is lost, flailing. To get close is to get hurt.

 

Hard as it is, you just have to disengage, fully. THAT is how the games end. You accept that, for all her good qualities, which you can continue to admire in silence, she cannot offer you nearly what you want and deserve. And that sucks, especially when that information is conveyed in a way that causes so much pain. But let that pain in, you know? Just feel it in a void, away from her, and you know what happens? You live! And you get stronger. The tricky pull with cheaters is that their actions hurt our sense of self and worth—and our egos lead us to want the cheater to sooth that hurt. But that, of course, is the vicious cycle.

 

Letting go of my ex who cheated was not easy. I loved her. And the caveman in me wanted her back—so I could be the "winner." But really there are no games, never were, only sadness. Like you, I offered one shot: we do this, all in, or not. When she wobbled on that, I cut bait and moved on—done. Not because I hated her, but because I loved myself and wanted to protect my heart.

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Well, the silver lining is that you are going through the hardest part right now. It will not get any harder than this (no contact). So there is nowhere to go but up. Your sister was right by telling you that if she really wanted this there would be no obstacles for her to contact you. She would just drop by your house for example. If a person is doing what your ex-girlfriend is doing is because she feels guilty for letting you go for someone else, not because she is confused. She already made her decision twice to cheat on you & try to get you back and then leave you again. This is toxic from the very core. The fact that you chose to block/remove her and her relatives from your social media circle shows that you are improving. :) Do not let a person who does not deserve you make you feel like this. She will run back to you one day, I am sure of that and if you keep your head held high - she will be in your position.

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I am sorry to hear what you have been through.

I had the same issue. A girlfriend that was cheating but saying nice things. She told you only the nice things to soften the blow. But also to ease her own guilt.

 

In my situation I went NC and she contacted to relief her own guilt. The lesson here is exactly what your sister says. If she wants to be 100% with you she would be able to contact you (at least multiple times)

Now ask yourself. Why do you want to be together with somebody that is not choosing you?

 

I was in the same position also. I wanted her even after cheating. Now realise this is not a good way of dealing your self-worth.

 

Please please think about your own healing.

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To engage with the first comment, she had always voiced that I was the first person she felt she ever truly wanted to marry, and that's why she hates herself for doing what she did. She has expressed guilt and says that even seeing items I own makes her miserable to this day. That's why she wanted to give them back in the most recent talk. I told her she could just throw them out.

 

To engage with the second comment, I am scared she will try to come back at some point because I don't know what I would do. Do people like this tend to come back sooner rather than later? I don't know if I'll be so strong in the next month or two. I'm trying to fake it till I make it at this point.

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To engage with the second comment, I am scared she will try to come back at some point because I don't know what I would do. Do people like this tend to come back sooner rather than later? I don't know if I'll be so strong in the next month or two. I'm trying to fake it till I make it at this point.

 

They usually tend to get back later. By then you will be the stronger one. And believe me, when she does - you will feel a lot better knowing that she tried to reach you. Right now you have to suffer through these horrible emotions. Think about them. Think about what she is making you go through. Turn those emotions to hate, hate eventually converts to anger, and then go to the gym and sweat all that anger out. :) It is what I did. It works.

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Like I said, she does mean that stuff—and that's the problem. That is not a silver lining, but the opposite. Because the words, even if true in her mind when she says them, don't matter. Her words say one thing, her actions another—and actions are where the real information is. What she's saying, really, is that she wants to want all that, wants to be a slightly different version of herself, and feels bad that she can't fully surrender to that want right now.

 

And, look, that is NOT a knot for you to untangle. That's hers. Get close to that and you'll just get more twisted.

 

She might come back, sooner than later. She seems incapable of cutting off any source of male attention, which, remember, is how you got into this pickle. So, stay away from it. The sh*t she has to work through—it's not going to be worked out in a week or two months. My ex poked at me for months. I knew I could be right back into that pickle with engagement. But no: a pickle is a pickle. I drew a line in my head. Basically: I will engage with her if, and only if, she comes to me with transparency, with signs of deep reflection, with full responsibility and accountability, with a clear desire for a future and a plan for how that happens. Anything less than that would be deemed noise—and so when the noise came I just ignored it for what it was: misguided attention grabs from a lost soul.

 

There was plenty of faking it till I made it. But it was easier with silence, with no engagement. And you know what? At some point I just stopped caring. At some point I was living my life again, genuinely, as you will too.

 

You sound awesome, dude. Smart, warm. That's going to serve you very well. But it's not for this, not now.

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Well in the past month and a half through diet and 7 day exercise of weightlifting and boxing classes, I went from slightly toned and thin to basically I could be in a Marvel movie :) So that helps (might sound terrible but in some ways it helps me to think that if I become really really good looking on top of what I already was it will kill her especially since he's got bad dad bod)

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I'm really sorry for what you are going through. Like it or not, she has shown you who she is and this is not life partner or marriage material. As another poster already pointed out, her behavior and back and forth swinging is very toxic and in a way, shows selfishness and a total lack of remorse. What I mean by remorse is that if she had made a drunken mistake, woke up and was truly horrified to the core of her being and wanted to truly make the relationship with you work, she'd be doing everything under the sun to correct her behavior, prove herself trustworthy going forward, would stop the drunken partying, would even be seeking counseling to help her sort out why she did what she did and ensure it never happens again. Instead, she is swinging back forth - maybe she wants you, maybe him. So that's where you pick up what's left of your dignity and forget this woman exists. Stop dwelling on how hot the chemistry was because it's not helping you move on. In the end it was just sex. When you reduce it to that, it's suddenly not that huge of loss and there will be others.

 

Block her from all contact and refuse any attempt at contact at all is my advice to you. A cheater is just not marriage material. Period. Full stop. Right now you are going through the worst pain of the break up, but know that you will heal and start to feel normal again and eventually you'll meet a woman who is worthy of you and when you look back, you'll wonder what you ever saw in your ex in the first place.

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Well in the past month and a half through diet and 7 day exercise of weightlifting and boxing classes, I went from slightly toned and thin to basically I could be in a Marvel movie :) So that helps (might sound terrible but in some ways it helps me to think that if I become really really good looking on top of what I already was it will kill her especially since he's got bad dad bod)

 

That's one way to look at it I suppose :D That is good positivity coming from you. Cheers.

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I am somehow going through the same process. 5 year relationship. 3 weeks engages. Emotionally cheated and is now flirting with that guy (started 3 weeks after breakup).

 

Here are some advices. This really helped me (I felt the self respect and the leap into moving forward).

 

1. Be honest. Accept that you are HURTING. Self esteem can plummet down.

Being dumped hurts like hell. Being cheated on HURTS like HELLx100. Just like you, I also thought I was strong enough. I am a very independent guy (my work, health and hobbies are good). I thought I could just push through this experience with logic. (Everything happens for a reason, I will be a better person because of this experience, its her loss not mine, I dont deal with cheaters, etc) - this makes sense and are most likely true BUT it does not remove the fact that you are the one that was left with a shattered heart. In order to move on.. we must really look and accept the fact that we are the ones hurting. We cannot pretend otherwise.

 

2. Dont look for love from someone else (especially a cheating ex). Love should come from INSIDE you.

Accepting the fact that you are hurting and that your heart needs healing will make you see things clearer. You will see that it is necessary to focus on yourself and help your heart to heal! Self improvement is a way of healing.. but it is not enough. True healing happens when you finally decide to LET GO and genuinely focus on your wellbeing. Imagine yourself as another person who is injured and weak. It is your job to take care of that person. You want him to stand up again and be happy. Why? Because only then can he(you) start thinking and giving “love” to other people again (can be your ex, a new girl, family and friends).

 

What helped me was cutting her off from social media. This finally removed our final connection. NO MORE GAMES. If she wants me, she can contact me anytime (Honestly, it does not matter what she is/will do). I have done my part.. its time to take care of myself now.

 

3.Be thankful for the experience of breakup and being cheated on

Yes, be thankful! I am a man and I am so thankful that I experienced this. She is my first love and my first relationship. The break up, being cheated on and being engaged for 3weeks is quite traumatizing. But I am a man and in the end I will rise up and not give up on me. We will learn from this experience (Please, we should!). We will be stronger and have a deeper understanding of how life works. Through this experience we will find out that this is not something we want our future partner to experience. Be a better man. Be strong. Be thankful. Learn. :)

 

“When we are crushed like grapes, we cannot think of the wine we will become.”

Look straight ahead beyond the cloud of pain, discomfort and confusion of the present. Look forward to better days, my friend.

 

All the best to everyone. F*** heartbreaks :))

Edited by Nachocheese
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