Boyfriend Cheated

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

My boyfriend and I have been dating for 8 months. He had a very rough childhood/teenage years including abuse, sex, drugs, alcohol. He was diagnosed with manic depression and schizophrenia at a young age and went through therapy and tried many different drugs. He is now 28, and doesn’t take any meds. He just got out of a 7 year relationship and I know it seriously broke him. We began as friends when we worked together. I had just broken up with a guy who stole money from me, sold drugs, and was just an all around loser. Although my boyfriend has a bad past, I met him after he’d seriously changed his life for the better. He also currently is living with his mother and paying all her bills as well as his because she is attempting to get disability. Our relationship seemed to progress so fast, and he’s told me that it scared him. Also he seems to desire sex much more than the avg person. – possibly a symptom of schizophrenia? I know he’s paranoid and insecure. But he just told me that he’s cheated on me for “weeks” now. And the girl he’s cheated with is an old childhood friend who just got out of an 8 yr reltionship and moved back in town. He says he feels bad and guilty, but that something about our relationship or me scares him. He says he loves me and wants to be with me, but why is he questioning our relationship? I’ve been loyal and good to him. And until maybe a month ago he was supportive and loving and perfect to me. It’s like he suddenly got scared, then became more distant, and then began cheating on me with a girl who he says was more sexually aggressive. Do you think his schizophrenia has something to do with his confusion? He kept telling me theres nothing wrong with me, but that he didn’t know why or couldn’t explain why he would cheat on me. Im so confused and hurt. I told him he has to decided whether he wants to be with me or not. Because, if he continues questioning us, then it’s not fair for me to stick around. But is it crazy if I give him another chance? I know from his background and his burden of taking care of his mother, he seems to have more baggage than I would want. But before this whole cheating thing, he was such a great person and great boyfriend to me. I don’t know what to do.

A. You asked whether your partner’s higher-than-average sex drive is a symptom of schizophrenia. It is not. It is, however, often associated with the manic symptoms of bipolar disorder.

The strong possibility also exists that his high sex drive is not associated with either of his mental illnesses. Sex drive is a biological function. It is mainly determined by chemical levels.

Should you give him another chance? That is a decision only you can make. Before deciding, consider the facts of the relationship. Those include the fact that he cheated on you and is not sure if he wants to be with you. Most people, given those facts, would not want to remain in the relationship.

Cheating is a serious thing. It destroys trust, the basis of all relationships. You must feel safe and loved in a relationship and you cannot do so if you can’t trust the person you are with. Cheating destroys trust but it does not automatically mean the end of the relationship. Trust can be rebuilt but it will take a very long time.

He cheated on you but you are essentially letting him decide if the relationship should continue. There are many men who would never cheat on their partner. It is unclear why you are allowing him to determine the fate of the relationship. What is it that you want?

If you continue to struggle with this relationship and are not sure what to do, consider consulting a therapist. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 10 Apr 2012

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2012). Boyfriend Cheated. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/04/10/boyfriend-cheated-2/