My First Love Has Cheated on Me

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

At the moment I feel quite desperate. My boyfriend / best friend of 6 years has cheated on me and I am heart broken. It is constantly on my mind, I’m not eating very well due to constant feelings of anxiety and anger, I’m not sleeping well also due to racing thoughts. I feel helpless, like this feeling will never leave me and I don’t want to live a life like that. As well as this I have been talking to my ex partner as I feel he is the only one that can make me feel better but I’m not sure if this is a wise decision. Am I moving backwards? Should I just accept it? He often suffers from depression, and has been unhappy for a long time so I can understand his destructive thinking. I am unsure of what to do, how to feel better? I want to regain the hope and excitement I felt for the future.

Thank you for your time.

A: Your reaction to the loss of a first love is normal. You are grieving. You are probably a little scared. The two of you have been together since you were only 16. That means that you haven’t had any experience with other relationships and probably haven’t developed a strong support network of women friends. The boyfriend has always come first.

I understand completely why you would feel he is the only one you can talk to. I understand completely why you feel drawn to what is familiar. But I do think you are moving backward.

Give yourself some time to grieve the relationship. Then it’s time to move out of your comfort zone and back into the dating world. This is a time in life when you should be exploring relationships in order to have the information you need to make a good decision about who you will eventually marry. Please take it slow and don’t jump into a relationship with the first guy who makes an offer just because you are scared to be alone for awhile. Being alone is a good thing. It can help you get to know yourself and figure out what you really want in a man. At 22, you have plenty of time.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 9 Dec 2011

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2011). My First Love Has Cheated on Me. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 28, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/12/09/my-first-love-has-cheated-on-me/

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