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Lies, self-destructive thoughts and forgiveness

Hi there, I am struggling with a situation and I am not sure how to deal with it.

I am in a fairly new relationship (8 months) which started from my side seriously from the very beginning. We agreed to be exclusive when we decided to try dating but through a super stupid incident I have learned that my partner was heavily (!!) flirting with other people during the first 3 months of our relationship. He denies having met any of these people and he also denies having cheated on me physically. After a first attempt of worming his way out of it, he admitted everything and apologized, asking me to stay and to continue with him. He says that he stopped this nonsense when he realized that his feelings for me got stronger. Some part of me wants to believe it. It seemed all so great, because he asked me to move in with him and we just met each others parents, we were talking about the future. He claims that being with me changed him and made him believe in relationships again -he doesn’t tell me much about his past but I understand that he had more less only short and bad relationships so far but a lot of them. I in contrast had few but long and deep relationships (11 years the longest). I am a big believer in second chances, but how can I trust this relationship, when he lied to me so early on? For me there was only him, while he went on digging around. I am so disappointed and also not sure how to deal with it if I decide to continue. On the other hand I wonder if I am having such hard feelings because I am hard on myself. Loyalty, integrity, honesty are very important to me and I am always trying my best to live up to these standards. So I am of course down if other people do not. But not everybody is like me, especially with this crazy dating scene today (note that I am in my mid 30s!). I feel really shit, because I had just recently a super bad experience with betrayal and struggled with destructive thoughts because I beat myself up for not seeing it coming. Like it is my own fault if people go behind my back. Now I am starting to have nightmares again and I suffer! I feel there is nothing good for me out there.

Please only comment If you have something supportive to share, and I will be grateful for that. If you have nothing supportive to share, please refrain from commenting.

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I’m really sorry your going through this. I 100 percent identify with the confusion and sadness you are feeling. You are definitely not to blame for someone else’s dishonesty. I can tell you based on experience that trust in a relationship is vital. The person who broke the trust has to be willing to work really hard to build it back up again for your sake. Please don’t be hard on yourself. You expect people to be kindhearted and truthful because that is how you are. Those are awesome qualities to have!

Oh man, I relate to this on so many levels, unfortunately.

I’ve struggled with relationships my entire life- everyone I had ever been with cheated on me. Including my husband- who I was with for 10 years. The first time he cheated on me was 6 months into dating me, and from then until the end of our relationship- he’d continue to cheat on me several times every year. He was a massage therapist, and had a huge issue with sleeping with his clients, even dating some of them behind my back. I do not exaggerate when I say, our relationship was on a 6-month cycle of “commitment”, then betrayal, then cheating, then forgiveness. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. I’m 28 now, and we separated when I was 25, so I literally was with him for the entirety of my young-adulthood up to that point. I felt like my whole life was over when our marriage fell apart. We were both heavily involved in church, his parent’s were pastors, and I remember being so angry that he had deceived so many. When he left, he took a lot of fake friends with him, and looking back now- I’m grateful. It hurt like hell, damn near felt like my whole life had been reduced to nothing. For a while I couldn’t function. I couldn’t heal. I couldn’t feel anything but heartbreak.

But rest assured, it gets better. That was 3 years ago, and I am so happy to say that I have finally found my person. He has never once cheated. His level of loyalty and commitment is unmatched, and something so incredibly rare these days. The day we started talking, he deleted every girl off his snapchat, canceled and deleted all of his dating apps, and even deleted old contacts that would’ve been inappropriate to talk to.

Best part?? He did all of this without me even knowing. Without me even asking. Because to him, he had found someone he wanted to pursue- so that meant pursuing only me. It was a few months later that he told me he had done all of that, and went to the lengths to even show me he had done so. I come with a lot of baggage and history of very unhealthy, toxic, and abusive relationships, so needless to say, I have trust issues- and this man has completely restored my faith and trust in people. He has never lied, never disrespected me, and proves to me his love and devotion every single day.

I say all of this, to say that 1) I have been where you are, and 2) you deserve that same love and devotion. If your partner is not feeding your trust, he’s misusing it, and I would say you should walk away. That’s just my advice, having stuck around for 10 years hoping and praying for change that never came. If your partner isn’t 100% honest and committed, then you’re only wasting time. I don’t say that to be harsh. I just need you to know that you deserve the same level of loyalty and love that you have given, and there is someone out there for you who will give you that, and anything less than is not worth the time or pain. You remind me of me, and I know that you give your whole heart to someone when you give it, and it is devastating when that level of devotion isn’t matched. Just know you WILL find them, and they WILL prove to you how real love operates and acts.

Just know it is not your fault. You are worthy of so much love, and you have a beautiful heart that deserves protecting, nurturing, and connection. I know you will find that, and it will be so worth it.

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