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27 Jan 2004

He cheated - now how do I handle my feelings?
My boyfriend cheated on me one night while I was away on conference. It was pretty much a one-night-stand with a woman we both know. After a night of drinking they went back to our house...and it happened there. He told me about it 2 months later. I never ever suspected a thing, he is a loyal man and has been hurt by an ex of his this way. He is so against cheating. Anyway, he told me because he felt he had to be honest and deal with the consequences of what he had done.

I made him tell me everything. And I mean EVERYTHING. Right down to every movement. It was hard, and against his better judgment at times, but he felt I deserved his honesty after what happened. Now it's time to move on. I'm not leaving him, I know that he made a stupid mistake. In the end, it emphasised the value of our relationship to him, and to me I suppose.
But I can't seem to get past it. In my minds eye I see them that night. Everytime I look at him it reminds me... when I see him wearing a shirt he may have worn that night I want to rip it to shreds. I'm angry and I'm hurt, and because of that I have distanced myself from him. When we talk, I throw in a barbed comment about what he did. In turn he remains as honest as possible, loving and supportive. He regrets terribly what he did, it's eaten him up inside. And at the moment, knowing he has caused me this pain, is ripping him apart too.

In the past I've walked out of longer relationships for less reason than this. I WILL NOT STAND FOR BEING TREATED LIKE THIS! But there's a part of me that knows he didn't go out with these intentions. The moment got away with them.
And if I can't see through a problem like this, especially when he's trying very hard to see it through with me - it doesn't bode well for a future together. It's one of the hardest things that I'll have to deal with in our life together, and our relationship is worth seeing it through. But how do I stop these torturous thoughts and the terrible mistrust I have now? The way I handle things now is important, and I'm not handling it well....
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Dear Lost,
It sounds like you're both trying to handle this sensibly. Maybe making him describe every single detail, though understandable, gave you far too many details to try to forget ; and while your head recognizes that he didnt intend to be unfaithful or hurtful, your heart still feel hurt and cries FOul!
he does sound like a decent guy who got into a situation which got out of control, and has been honest and tried to make amends ; and it sounds as if you are bothered by finding yourself responding ungracefully to his having been frank about it.
Sounds like you both could benefit from getting involved in god marriage counselling, especially to deal with your excess of anger, with him and with yourself. You had and have good reasons for loving him ; yo had good reasons to trust him --- and for him, until late on that occasion, even to trust himself.
I disagree with Amy. So far as we know, he has not been "screwing around", but there was one episode of terribly bad judgement. And it is not true that "if a person was weak once... they're bound to do it again", or none of us would ever do anything except repeat all of our mistakes. it is possible to learn from experience, even if some of us don't do so very easily.
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