Will This Relationship Work?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Tonight my boyfriend of five years told me that he cheated on me (protected) last week while drunk at a party with a girl he dosn’t know. About two years ago he slept with another female during a brief break up and contracted and eventually gave me a STD, I broke up with him then. At the time he was about 18 and I about 16. About a year and a half ago I decided to give the relationship another chance in hopes that he had matured enough for this commitment. This past year and a half has been amazing, we handle all problems like adults and are able to compromise and he had ultimately gained my trust back. This recent infidelity has come as a complete shock to me. Our relationship seemed to be at its best and I was considering marriage as the next step. I am now completely devastated and I just don’t know what to do. He is BEYOND remorseful and has been begging for me to stay offering to do anything. Everyone I talk to claims “men cheat” and that what he did, while wrong and inexcusable, shouldn’t be ground for break up. I know more detail is needed for a complete response but to sum it up I have been with him (solely) since I was 14, now 18 and in college (& a little mature for my age)with our relationship/love being SO strong plans on moving together to our own place and marriage were in the making. I know how sorry he is and I am sure he really will do w.e. it takes to get me back, I just don’t know if I should. I am so hurt and I feel like it may be more hurt to leave that stay. I feel like I found something good and I wish he didn’t put me in this position. I am beginning to consider couples counseling? Please help!!!

A: Couples counseling is a great idea. However great your relationship is, your boyfriend has twice acted in a way that pulls you two back from a permanent commitment. He needs to take a serious look at just why he has done that. You need to take it seriously too. It could well be that he isn’t as ready to take the next steps toward a life together that you are but isn’t able or willing to face it to himself or to you.

It’s not incompatible for him to care for you a good deal and still not be ready. You two have been together through your teen years and have no experience with other people. There may be a part of him that wonders what he’s missing if he slips right into marriage.

It’s wise to think about couples counseling. A skilled counselor will help the two of you bring any doubts or fears to the surface so you can deal with them directly instead of by creating a crisis. You will deepen your understanding of yourselves and each other and you will improve your communication.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 12 Jan 2012

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2012). Will This Relationship Work?. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 18, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/01/12/will-this-relationship-work/