Should I Leave?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I am 27, and my boyfriend is 24. We have been together for 3 years and lived together for 2 years.
Two months ago my boyfriend texted another woman while at dinner with me and his mother. When we got home the woman he texted had gotten caught by her husband. He read everything and called my boyfriend’s phone late at night while we were asleep. My boyfriend then got up and was sitting on the couch in tears in the morning and confessed. He said he has texted her naked pictures and she has sent them to him. He sends her texts like I love you and want to take you away from your abusive husband. He also tells me that she threatened to kill herself several times and has 2 children.

The husband sent me a Facebook message (every other word was misspelled) and he is clearly violent. My boyfriend confided in his mother and she gave him a gun. He just recently changed his phone number last week after several fights with me and says he will be the best man in the world to me bc he messed up and any other man will do the same.

Now that he’s done it he says he’s learned. I feel like a break is a long way to break up, and texting is different than physical gratification. Do I take a break or end this?

A: He may not have had a physical relationship with her but he was cheating on you. Regardless of the other woman’s circumstances, he was directing emotional and mental energy to her that rightfully belongs in your relationship. We’re not talking about a momentary lapse here. We’re talking about three years of this nonsense. You even had to fight with him to change his phone number? That’s not a good sign.

My guess is he was getting off on getting away with it. He had lots of time in the last three years to break it off. It took being caught and threatened to put an end to it.

By the way, he’s just plain wrong when he says that “any other man will do the same.” Lots of men are loyal and faithful to their women. He apparently isn’t one of them.

I can’t tell you what to do. I can only suggest that you be very careful. Until he genuinely wins back your trust, your relationship is on very shaky ground.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 27 Jul 2013

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2013). Should I Leave?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/07/27/should-i-leave/