I’ve been dating my bf for almost two years now. We went to different colleges soon after getting together and ended up breaking up but reunited and have been together again for a year. I love him, but I feel smothered by him sometimes. He relies on me for his happiness, always wants to be around me and doesn’t completely trust me. This feeling caused me to cheat on him the first time we dated. I was doing really good about being loyal this time until the end of the school year when I started liking this guy I volunteer with and we hooked up a few times. I haven’t told my boyfriend because it would break his heart. Things between us have been rocky and I cheated on him again with the same guy. I feel really selfish for cheating and wanting my independence when he is so committed and sweet. I don’t want to destroy him because he is really dependent on me and I know this time if I break up with him, it will be final. He wants to marry me and be with me forever, and I’ve wanted that too, so I feel like this decision decides his future and mine. I know I will regret it if I make the wrong one. Should I tell him I cheated? How do I know if I will be happy for the rest of my life with him?
A: Stop thinking that staying with him is doing him some kind of favor. He has a girlfriend that isn’t in love with him, has cheated on him several times, and feels smothered rather than appreciative of him. You are staying with him because you don’t want to face up to your needs, not simply because you don’t want to hurt him. I recommend you take responsibility for your decisions and move on. You need to make this change and your boyfriend needs to be free to find someone that matches the way he is in the relationship. Pretending to be loyal while not really wanting to be there does no one any good.
However, there is no need to hurt him beyond explaining you want to end the relationship. Explain that the relationship isn’t working for you and move on.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 3 Aug 2011
Tomasulo, D. (2011). Cheating on a Boyfriend and Thinking of Breaking Up. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 6, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/08/03/cheating-on-a-boyfriend-and-thinking-of-breaking-up/