Cheating Boyfriend

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I have dated my boyfriend for 2 years. He is 20 years old and is the same age as me. We never really had the dating situation, we just moved in together. He moved in with me at our home town. Now we are living across Canada together so he can work.

While we were home for Christmas he took off on me for a week. He went to his mother’s and didn’t answer my phone calls or texts. I was going crazy, I didn’t know what I did and I became very sick. I was puking 3 times a day, couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep and was just so confused and devastated. I then got a text from him saying he thought we should be done and how we fought all the time and he didn’t think we should be together.

During this week he hung out with another girl. She is 18 years old.. well after the week was up he came back up to my home town and explained he wanted me back and how he loved me. He cried and I told him I didn’t trust him since he just took off on me and then was with her??? He told me they only hung out once and that they were just friends. I BELIEVED HIM..
so here I am back out west 52 hr drive away from my hometown. and I find text messages on his phone with her. He had called her babe and vise versa.. they hung out several times, and he told her he liked her and he basically tried to get in her pants BIG TIME. I confronted him about the messages and he tells me “nothing happened”.So now I know I’m dating a liar
Do you think he will change and not do something like this again? We have a place together, a dog and our own life. I don’t understand what he was thinking. This guy has done everything for me, if i need help financially he helps me, I don’t have a vehicle but he has given me one to use. Without him i would have to move back into my mothers and figure my life out. There is no work where my mom lives because it’s such a small town.

I have no one really since I have been out west for 8 months my friends from home have all moved on with their lives. My father has a drug and addiction problem and constantly is asking me for $, he also cheated on my mom a lot until i begged her to leave him. Why is it that this guy I’m with cheated on me and I can’t seem to let him go???? Do you think he will ever change??

A: The two of you didn’t date, grow into love, and then decide to have a future together. Instead, you kind of slid into living together – without talking about what it meant to each of you. At Christmas, he acted out his ambivalence about whether he is really ready to be in a committed relationship and cheated. This was neither mature nor caring. A question at this point is whether he is with you because he found out that he really does love you or if he got scared about the idea of putting himself back into the dating scene and is back to you because you are familiar.

Meanwhile, you seem to be in the relationship primarily because you don’t know what else to do and don’t see options for yourself. In addition, you have grown up observing your mother put up with cheating and addiction. In a sad way, you too may be opting for the familiar instead of putting yourself out there to find someone who you can love whole-heartedly. Unless you do some solid personal work, you could end up living some version of your mother’s life.

Although you and your boyfriend have been good friends for each other, neither of you seems to be ready to make the unconditional, loving commitment that living together and making a life requires.

Please consider taking a big step back. There are worse things than going back to live with your mom for awhile (like spending the next 10 years with the wrong person). If you can’t find work, it may be because you don’t have the education or experience you need. If that’s the case, figure out what to do about it. Get some schooling or do some volunteer work or an internship to make yourself more marketable. You might check back with counselors at your old high school to get some ideas.

Canada is a big place. There are good schools and good opportunities throughout the country. You don’t need to be stuck in a shaky relationship to make your way in the world. As you said, you need to figure yourself out.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 5 Mar 2013

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2013). Cheating Boyfriend. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 31, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/03/05/cheating-boyfriend-2/