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Boyfriend cheated, does he deserve a chance to prove himself??


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So I’ve been dating my boyfriend for over a year, I’m 23 and he’s 24. Before the terrible situation came about our relationship was really good. Our families love us together and we’re very involved in each our families lives. We’ve taken trips together and we’re really each others best friend. He’s the most patient man I ever met and he’s very caring and kind. So before the recent cheating I would have told you he’s a really good man, rare even. And i’ve dated some ****ty guys before.



Now recently, I discovered he’s been communicating with this girl he met from twitter. Apparently the 2 have been heavily flirting and talking on the phone for months on and off. She even told me she’s speak to him while he was with his friends. However they never met before due to her living in a state 3 hours away. She claims he planned to meet her but never did. She told me she knew nothing of me and thought he was single.


He claims in the midst of a rough patch we had (constantly arguing) he started talking to her as a way to talk to someone to have an escape. He claims he never intended on having sex with her nor meet her in person.


He’s owned up to his mistakes however, he only has because he got caught. Its been a few days and he’s been calling and pleading every day to fix it and make it right. He claims he was stupid and says theres no excuse for what he’s done. He claims he was weak and didn't deal with his problems like he should and he cowardly went outside of our relationship to find an escape. He tells me he wants just one chance to change and fix everything.


He’s offered to give me his passwords to his social media and phone. He told me he doesnt plan on going out with his friends until we’re okay. Until this incident, I never thought about him cheating. Of course we’ve had fights here and there, and recently more frequently but nothing worth being mad about for more than a day.





Im struggling with this though because even though he didnt sleep with her, it still hurts me to know he even entertained another women and I cant help but wonder how long it wouldve gone on if I didnt catch him, would he have ended up meeting her?


I want to take him back but I want him to struggle first. I want him to hurt and go through hell so he knows to never do this again. I’ve blocked him and rejected all his proposals of fixing this. Its been extremely hard because I really just want to give him the chance to make this right.






He just sent me a long message about just wanting me to give him a chance and he’ll prove he’s worthy of it and all that jazz. I ended up blocking him and before I did, telling him how I love him and this will be the hardest thing ever. I feel like maybe I should make him feel like he’s really lost me before I give him a chance.





I love him so much, I started to plan my future with him, I dont want to let him go but I don’t want less than I deserve.


What should I do?? What would you do?? Leave him and move on? Or make him work hard to earn a second chance??

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First I’m sorry this happened.


Second don’t play mind games. I know you want to but you need to be the bigger person here.


I personally have cheating of any kind a dealbreaker. He may not have slept with her but he emotionally cheated!


You have to keep in mind also, that this was his reaction to a fight you two had. Will he always try to find ways to ‘cope’ whenever you two struggle?


I think you can do way better because cheating is very disrespectful.


It shows all he can think about are his needs.


He says he’ll change but he won’t because he hasn’t fixed what made him cheat in the first place.

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Tough situation—sorry about this.


I think you are, right now, struggling to think and feel clearly, as is expected. So first things first, I'd make it a priority to find some stability in your head and heart, best you can. That means just sitting with this for a bit, hard as it all is, without reacting or trying to trigger some reaction from him that will stabilize things. So take about a 100 deep breaths—for real. Take some space from him—for real. Talk to trusted friends—and, perhaps, a therapist who can help you sort through your feelings from an objective angle.


To the specifics:


At the end of the day, only you can decide if this is a dealmaker for you, or not. Neither one of those choices is more "right" than the other, as what matters is what choice is right, or feels most right, for you. The really hard thing is, if you're going to try to get through this, together, you can't do that by engaging in manipulation.


The instinct to hurt him, to punish him, to make him "earn" a second chance, to "feel like he's really lost" you—all that is just adding destruction to a destructive moment. Yes, it's totally understandable, totally human. If my neighbor punched me in the face when I waved a hello, a primal part of me would want to break his arm and burn down his house. But, big picture, I don't want to be a person who does those things—I'd hate myself—so my choices are basically (a) steer clear of my neighbor or (b) see if we can find peace, while remaining cautious as peace gets (re)established over time.


This moment is kind of similar to that. You have to think big picture, which means thinking past the immediate pain, and really asking yourself who you want to be and whether you can still be that person with him, in any way, after this. Many people can't—and know this instinctively, as limichelle described. Some can, and do. Some try, and learn it's "too much, too hard." Others aren't sure. Me, for instance? I'm genuinely not sure if I could work through it, though I suspect I would try, in certain scenarios: a decade into marriage, or some such.


A year or so in, though? I probably would have no choice but to back away, as one of the most essential qualities I seek in others is how they handle conflict and difficult moments. I think the world of my girlfriend, for instance, and a big part of that is because I adore the grace she shows when the winds of life blow strong. Were I to find out later today that she has a pixilated side piece whispering sweet nothings into her phone? I wouldn't hate her, but I don't think I could be with her anymore. The grace would have proved illusory, as the woman I love is not a woman who needs a saucy distraction when things get a little rough.


You are both quite young. That sounds, I know, condescending coming from an internet stranger (who is, for reference, 40). I don't mean it that way, but just to try, along with the pain and confusion right now, to see it from that angle, and ask yourself how genuinely you are invested in the equation of you plus him being the foundation for your future with this moment. You don't need to answer that today, but if you try to work through this, together, it has to be because you genuinely see a future, not because you want to make him squirm. Mad as you are right now, it is yourself you have to live with forever, and I don't think you'll like yourself a whole lot by indulging in that approach.


Here's a thought experiment. Imagine that trying to stay together means 8 months to a year that is going to be pretty hard. Not full-on misery, but not an easy walk, and nothing like the past year or so. After those 8 months to a year? The chances are 50/50 that you guys are functional or four times more emotionally gutted than you are today.


Are you up for that roll of the dice?

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Sorry to hear this. What is the constant arguing about? Unfortunately you seem to be planning your wedding bells and kids names, future, picket fence etc way too much and are to fixated on this. Stop.


Secondly what is worse than some twitter convo is that he claims it's how he deals with stress. This is a guy who wants to stick it to you behind your back, not "deal with stress".


End it. You are not compatible no matter how much "your families love you together". You are both playing a game and this is a divorce waiting for the wedding if you go further. The only thing you have in common is being passive-aggressive in your approaches.

I’m 23 and he’s 24.

He claims in the midst of a rough patch we had (constantly arguing) he started talking to her as a way to talk to someone to have an escape. He claims he never intended on having sex with her nor meet her in person.


He’s owned up to his mistakes however, he only has because he got caught.

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I would cut my losses and be done. It's only been a year, and his response to a rough patch was to seek out another woman. You are going to find it very hard to ever trust him again, particularly as he didn't come clean on his accord. My personal experience tells me the damage done to a relatively short relationship isn't worth trying to repair it.


There are better guys out there, who don't sniff around for other options when the going gets tough. He has shown you his true colours. They're not what you thought they were. Take him back at your own risk, and understand the road ahead is going to be incredibly bumpy and not likely to go back to the way it was.


How did you find out about this, by the way? It's clear you've communicated with his crush. Did she come to you with this, or?

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He showed you who he really is, so believe him. Decent, honest, caring guys do not cheat no matter the provocation or opportunity.


This guy is doing typical, stereotypical cheater bs - when caught, shift blame. You see it's your fault, you were arguing, you are somehow responsible that he had to go find someone else. Note that someone else is strategically located just far away enough for him to be comfortable you and her won't run into each other in your local grocery store. No, OP, I'm sorry but he is not sorry about cheating, he is only sorry he got caught. He meant to cheat because that's who he is and yes, he'll do it again, except next time he'll hide it better.


The other problem with cheaters is that you have no idea how many times they've done it and will never really know. You only know about the times or time you've caught them - look at it always as just the tip of the iceberg. What you know of him was nothing more than a facade and one he is trying to restore with crocodile tears and promises, but the truth behind the facade is ugly. He meant to do what he did to please himself and he didn't give a hoot about you, your relationship, or how you'd feel about it. All about himself and that's who he is.


If you want to know more or want to know what happens to women who forgive and marry these creeps, check out chumplady.com It will be an eye opener for you and I think you'll relate all too well to the behavior listed in detail in that blog.

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Emotional cheating is worse than physical cheating!


You say that he had been communicating with her for months. Have you been fighting the entire time? What percentage of the relationship has he been cheating on you? How do you know that this is the only girl? Why didn't he communicate the issues with you, instead of turning to another? What happens the next time there is conflict?


I would NOT go back to this guy. You have not been dating long, and he has cheated a considerable amount of your relationship. He has shown you who he is and you would be foolish to return.


He does not respect you, OP!

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Nope. no chances.


If a woman ran up to him, flung her arms around him and planted one on him and he kissed back in the heat of the moment - that's an incident which you can choose to forgive or not.


This has been an orchestrated emotional affair.


He has proven at the first sign of shakey ground he cheats.

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I'm sorry you are hurting.


He said it himself, he is weak. That's not something that can be changed easily. And it's something that someone has to really want to work on themselves, it can't be sped along in an attempt not to lose someone or something.

He doesn't ' get it' and your hurt and anger, or hoops you may think of putting him through, won't magically turn on that light of understanding.


I think you deserve someone who already gets it. Who you can build a future with, from a strong foundation of love and respect. It's just not him. It hurts, I know, but it would prolong your pain to drag this out. Don't put yourself through more than you have to.


As a general rule, if a relationship ever gets to a point where there is discussion of one person being under a leash by the other, that's a very good sign to pack things in. The idea of you monitoring his phone and being a police to him is terrible. Don't fall for it. It's prison for you too.

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Don't punish him or make him suffer. That's not the goal. The goal is to live your best life forwards. You should make up your mind whether it involves him or not. I'm also not sure what your fighting or arguments were about. Maybe it's time to be very honest with yourself whether it would have worked out in the long run at all, with or without this incident.


The easy route would be to vilify him.


The more difficult and meaningful route, in my opinion, is to take a very good look at the dynamic in the relationship and ask yourself whether this was adding to or subtracting from your overall happiness as a person.

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As many others said, I am sorry. This does hurt. Looking back over my own dating life, especially in my 20's, this is what I would tell the younger version of myself:


Take the time to really think about how you feel about all this. I mean the kind of thinking that requires alone time, consistently, for as long as it takes until you really process how you feel. When I was but a babe in the woods :p and I would be hurt by my boyfriend, I always seemed to care so much about fixing it and moving past how I felt. I felt pressure to be in a relationship. I felt like loving someone meant loving them unconditionally. What a load of you know what that unconditional love phrase is. All those thoughts and feelings were focused on others-- the boyfriend at the time, the judgment from my friends or family, my own picture of what I wanted this guy to be but he wasn't and I didn't or wouldn't see it or myself in all this. What did I want for my life? And was the guy even capable of what I wanted? Was I just someone that met his version of whatever he was needing at the time?


You mentioned your family loves you together. Forget that. Your relationship is yours. It's great that you have support of your relationship-- but that "everyone loves us together" is not a reason to be with someone.




He may want a chance to make this work out, but what is his motivation for that? Love? Cheating for months and essentially blaming unhappiness in the relationship is not how love works. If you guys were arguing a lot and going through troubles, why wasn't he focused on fixing things with you?



Maybe some time apart will do you some good. Tell him you don't know how you feel, since you don't. That's the truth. If he wants to know what that "means", then he just has to wait and find out. when you know you will tell him. He messed up. So he doesn't get to say how you repair things for yourself. If he gets mad and starts dating someone else, wont' that tell you how he really feels. If he is patient and lets you have space, but shows remorse and changed behavior, then maybe you two will get past it.


Sometimes people say and do things out of ego, not out of love. That is very immature. Relationships with an ego don't work. But, he could also improve. It will be a BIG RISK on your part to take him back. Because this could be a long road of "once a cheat always a cheat". Or not. There's no way to know right now. You just have to make some good choices for yourself and that will take time for you to know.


Good luck!

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You call this cheating? It's not even emotional cheating - he's not in love with her. He doesn't even know her. You called it "entertaining". Let's agree that's what it was and leave it at that. Entertainment doesn't break-up a relationship. She wasn't even powerful enough to get him to take a drive.


You're going to manifest a break-up if you don't work on your confidence and self-esteem. This isn't about him or her, it's about how you're reacting to it - your wanting to hurt him, to put him through hell says a lot about you. Who wants to be with a person who's vindictive instead of forgiving? If you play the game you have in mind, are you prepared to lose? As long as you're ready for the worst case scenario, do what makes sense to you.

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It doesn't matter what kind of cheating it is -it's a betrayal, it's inconsistent with being in a committed relationship, it's how he deals with conflict. I wouldn't invest more time in this -if you were married, especially if there was a child involved then sure maybe but I agree with the others -for most of the time you've been involved with him he's been dishonest and misleading in his actions.

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It doesn't matter what kind of cheating it is -it's a betrayal, it's inconsistent with being in a committed relationship, it's how he deals with conflict. I wouldn't invest more time in this -if you were married, especially if there was a child involved then sure maybe but I agree with the others -for most of the time you've been involved with him he's been dishonest and misleading in his actions.


Sure, you don't even need to classify something as cheating if it's just plain disloyal.


Either you want a loyal, trustworthy partner, or you make excuses to overlook the fact that you don't have one.

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Talking to someone inappropriately behind her back IS cheating. -_- Cheating isn't just physical.


Not to me -it depends on the couple and what is ok with the couple. To me cheating is having sex outside the relationship/getting sexually intimate outside the relationship. What he did might have been cheating if they decided from the outset that it was cheating to flirt with a member of the opposite sex, or whatever they decided. What he did was inconsistent with being in a committed relationship, was disloyal, looks like he also lied.


I do think there can be "emotional cheating" -my hesitation is that very often it's broadened beyond all boundaries in a way cheating is not. For example, a person is not going to label as "cheating" hugging a member of the opposite sex even if there is an attraction there - because often people hug in real life and sometimes those attraction feelings just sneak up. But I've seen where "talking" to a coworker of the opposite sex that involves some personal conversations, one on one lunches - becomes "emotional cheating" so I'm more careful with that term. To me "emotional cheating" is when a couple is in a committed relationship and one person goes on a romantic date-like evening with a person of the opposite sex where they flirt heavily and speak in sexual suggestive ways and express sexual and romantic feelings to another -then yes it's hypocritical to say "it's not cheating because I didn't hold her hand".


I absolutely have had several conversations with men while out and about that were friendly and that I didn't tell my husband about -because -why? I don't ask him to report to me every person he speaks to every day - were they "flirty" -not on my end - on his end -no - but I have no idea what the man was thinking, not a mind reader and it's irrelevant because I will always have male friends, always have and I will always be committed and loyal to my husband (and before we were married as well).


I agree with what I said above and with Catfeeder -this guy is not acting in a trustworthy way with this person he's chatting with. It's not consistent with being committed to her. It doesn't matter if it's "emotional cheating". Especially since they're not married -it's not like she needs proof for a divorce, etc. I don't see it as helpful to have to label it (and what I wrote above was to respond, this part is again to be helpful!)

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If he's hiding things, that's cheating. If he was doing something appropriate and okay he wouldn't have felt the need to hide it.


I don't agree with that definition because to me that's far too broad. People hide things for all sorts of reasons in individual relationships for individual reasons. I don't tell my husband that a man I dated many years ago for a couple of months emails me about twice a year through linkedin - sometimes he verges on the too personal -meaning topics that are too personal -but I keep it to appropriate topics only including questions about his wife and children. I don't tell my husband -it would annoy him that this guy is contacting me because when we first dated many years ago this guy contacted me too many times inappropriately so I cut off contact. I am not cheating on my husband. Were he to "find out" what he would find out is that this person and I exchange a handful of emails every year. I don't see the point in irritating my husband and I don't see the need to block this guy since I keep it 100% appropriate. It's fine with me to keep in touch to that limited extent.


In this situation what he did and that he hid it were not consistent with being in a committed relationship, I agree. Certainly a couple can decide to label as cheating "any interaction with the opposite sex that you hide or try to hide"

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