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How Do I Heal from Being Cheating On?

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From Denmark: I’m a 28 year old male, I’ve been in long term relationships (5 years) that have ended and recovered rather quickly.

However my ex girlfriend (F26) of 1.5 years confessed she was unfaithful in a drunken one night stand within the first month of our relationship, after she had asked for exclusivity.

There was no indication of infidelity other she ensured she never consumed alcohol, and a moment where she asked to define our anniversary, and suggested oddly a date following this transgression.

She was had been one of my best friends for years and I was very close to her family.

She confessed to her family and her therapist the days prior to confessing to me. She said that I helped her find herself from depression. That she realized she had betrayed our values and she does not know how she could do this. She also told me for the first time that she loved me.

I ended the relationship, I said I forgive her, but I asked she give me space. I have not spoken to her in 6 months and I will not contact her again.

In the months following I operated as normal without much pain, I dated casually, invested in my fitness and have a strong support network. However only now I find my mind constantly opening this wound, I try to reconcile how one of my closest friends could not respect my values or me.

We all make errors in judgement, but she chose to lie to me, to try to change the date, I feel this displays her true character.

I question if I fell in love with her, or rather some projection of who I thought she was. I question my ability to judge the character of others. I can no longer find confidence in trusting others romantically. Worst of all, I cannot focus, I run my own business of 40+ employees, which I loved.  People see me as a stoic man, I am no longer this man.

As an injured combat veteran with no military related PTSD. I struggle to understand why I allow this experience to destroy my peace.

I come from a culture with little regard for sex, and I know in terms of infidelity, this is not so bad.

I hope she changes through therapy, I hope she finds happiness but I cannot be a part of her life. If she contacts me, I must ask her to leave me be.  I know most women can pass this low threshold of not having sex with others.

Is this who she really was? Should I thank her parents for urging her to inform me?

What can I do to bury this, or to heal within?

Pardon my English.

How Do I Heal from Being Cheating On?

Answered by on -

A.

I think you are still in love with her. Your inability to move on may be your inner self telling you that you are making a big mistake in judging her so harshly and ending a relationship on the basis of a mistake.

She made one very ill-advised decision very early in the relationship when she may have been scared that she had asked for commitment. By being unfaithful, she betrayed her own values as well as yours. It bothered her so much, she could’t just let it go. She talked to her therapist and her family and then finally found the courage to talk to you.

I’m not at all sure she needs to change. People make mistakes. It’s what we do next that matters the most. What she did next was feel horrible, then confess to try to make it right. By telling you what happened, she was refusing to live a lie. She was trying to be worthy of your trust and love.

Yes, trust is the foundation of a good relationship. But so is real forgiveness and the willingness to give the gift of trusting again. I hope you will at least talk to her to see if you can reclaim the friendship and maybe an even deeper connection than you had before.

I wish you well.

Dr. Marie

How Do I Heal from Being Cheating On?

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2019). How Do I Heal from Being Cheating On?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 21, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2019/11/04/how-do-i-heal-from-being-cheating-on/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 30 Oct 2019 (Originally: 4 Nov 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 30 Oct 2019
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.