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Cheating — But Not Really?

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My fiance and I have been together for 4 years. About a year into our relationship I had to take a break from it because I had a history of violent sexual abuse that I had to get help for and our relationship was hard for me to participate in during that time. About 3 months into our break we started going out on dates and working toward getting back to normal, but we were not officially together. During this time of dating and him pursuing me he had sex with another girl. 3 years passed and he never told me about the incident — since that happened we had moved in together and he asked me to marry him. I recently found out about the sex because he left his email logged on to my computer and he was emailing her an apology for his poor behavior with her. This is the first time he has been physical with another girl, but during other parts of our relationship I have caught him sexting his ex and at one point I found him texting one of his peers at school telling her that he didn’t get enough attention from me and he wanted to kiss her and see if she was the thing missing from his life. I don’t know how to proceed with him. I love him very much and our wedding is in 2 years but I’m not sure after all of this if it is even worth the work it will be to fix our relationship. So should we work it out or should throw in the towel?

Cheating — But Not Really?

Answered by on -


Don’t throw in the towel until you sort through what has happened. Couples counseling right now is important. There’s a lot invested here, and it seems as if your prior history and break up is playing a part in this. You do not want to go forward in a relationship with a person you cannot trust. Yet it seems there is much working with the two of you.

Take the time to explore what is happening in couples therapy. Get a third person opinion from the therapist and bring the issue out where someone skilled can help you determined if trust can be re-established. If it can’t, then you throw in the towel and take the lessons forward. If it can, you’ll have established a better foundation on which to build. The “Find Help” tab at the top of the page can help you find someone in your area.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Cheating — But Not Really?

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Cheating — But Not Really?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 26, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 29 Feb 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.