I am just going to say it: I cheated…like to the extreme!!! He found email messages and text messages to multiple people I claimed were my “cousins.” I even got pregnant by someone else. I know I hurt him, and we went through a stage where it was just him hurting me to get back at me, but we got through it. So the next year I got in some legal trouble and ended up going to jail for about a month or two, and that absolutely broke his heart. When I got out, we tried to pick up things where we left off, except one night he got mad and went out and saw his side girlfriend whom I found out he got pregnant. He apologized and we are somehow making our way through that now as he continues to hide stuff from me.
All this happened in the past two years, but in January of this year I lost my memory. I had a stroke of some sort and everything has been kind of foggy, but he has been doing a great job at taking care of me even though I didn’t know who he was. As I got to know him again, I fell in love with him, but then I walked in on him about to have sex with his first cousin! I was just in the other room still awake. It was like he didn’t even care that I might walk in, and now I cannot get the image out of my head.
He has lots of excuses for what he did and he just wants me to sweep it under the rug like nothing happened, like he said he did for me when I cheated on him. But he never walked in on me with another dude! Anyway, I feel so betrayed and angry. But he makes me feel like it’s my fault. He turns it all around on me and doesn’t help me cope at all. He isn’t sorry — he’s just sorry he got caught. I come to find out they have been doing this for years!! Even when we first started dating, even before I cheated on him. When I try to talk to him about it, he just tells me to leave, but it’s not like I have anywhere to go. My family doesn’t really want to put up with me.
My question to you is: Is he in the right? Should I just shut up and sweep it under the rug like nothing happened? Please give me any insight that you may have. — Lost Soul
Oh, sure, totally sweep it under the rug. And then write a screenplay about your experience — “extreme” cheating!, two oopsie pregnancies!, jail time!, some kind of stroke!, amnesia!, incest! — and try to sell it to Lifetime and then use the money to take a vacation with your boyfriend around the world to help give you both a fresh start and new perspective. It will be like a honeymoon!
Obviously (I hope it’s obvious, anyway), I’m not serious. And I can’t believe you are either when you suggest sweeping all this under the rug. For fuck’s sake, you have to know how toxic this relationship is and always has been. I’m sorry you feel like you have nowhere to go and your family doesn’t want to deal with you and you have some sort of head trauma or medical issue that has made you dependent on someone you can’t trust, but this set-up you have is clearly not working and it’s time to move on.
Do whatever you need to do — call in family for help, apply for government assistance or disability, maybe, I don’t know, get a job, start taking care of yourself — and say good-bye to the toxic boyfriend forever. You are no good for each other and, apparently, he’s content with his first cousin and has asked you to leave. So, leave. And close this chapter for good.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.