Boyfriend was Unfaithful

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I’ve been in a relationship with my partner for almost 4 years. We have a son who is just over 1. I thought we had a very good relationship – we just fit, we are very affectionate and have a great sex life. My partner has just come back on 2 weeks leave during his second tour of Afghanistan – something I’ve been counting down the days to and we’ve had a great week until I found a “pay as you go phone”in his car (I popped to the shops and it vibrated because the battery was low). I couldn’t resist checking and unfortunately found text messages between him and another woman arranging sex sessions since before he left to go on tour. When I confronted him, he admitted that he had been have “no strings sex” with this woman on and off throughout our relationship (apparently not while I was pregnant). He says he loves me, he’s happy in our relationship and that he was using his tour as a clean break from her – he hasn’t contacted her since being home. He says he doesn’t know why he did it – I think he likes the reassurance that he’s still attractive to other women, and there’s probably the excitement of meeting another woman for sex. I don’t want our relationship to end but I’m not sure I can trust him again. If he can do it now when things we’re supposedly happy then what’s to stop him doing it again?

A: The only thing to stop it now is his character. It is quite possible that his experience in the war and the responsibility and love that comes with a baby have helped your guy grow up. It’s at least worth giving it a chance.

Since you two are in your 30s, I wonder why it is that you haven’t made the commitment of a marriage. I suggest you talk to him about whether his attitude about fidelity would change if you were married.

It’s a good sign that he hasn’t contacted the other woman since he came home. Re-entry after a tour of duty can be challenging but it can also be an opportunity.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 19 Apr 2013

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2013). Boyfriend was Unfaithful. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/04/19/boyfriend-was-unfaithful/