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Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Boyfriend cheated on me, wants to fix things

Home Forums Advice & Chat Boyfriend cheated on me, wants to fix things

  • This topic has 12 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 1 week, 4 days ago by Anonymousse.
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  • #1110560 Reply
    Raquel
    Guest

    I found out my boyfriend of a year, met with someone for coffee twice 8 months into the relationship. Nothing further happened than just meeting up (confirmed). he never saw anyone else after that (From what he said), but he still casually use dating apps, messaging other women ( from the conversations I read and how he described it, the convos were surface level, usually ended after the hey how are you)

    nothing about this is okay, and it hurt deeply. I am just sad and upset.
    there is no excuse and he hasn’t tried to give me one, all he’s been saying is that he’s sorry, and was confused at the time (for the two dates) but after realized that thats not what he wants etc etc and never saw anyone again, was a coward to not tell me and wanted to just move on from it and never bring it up again.

    as for the dating apps.. after days and days of talking this is the gist on what happened; he’s never been very confident with himself, and never was the “cool guy with the girls” and before me he’s never been in a relationship and wasn’t some guy who goes out and hits on girls. So before the relationship he would just scroll through dating apps just to see like who would he match with and just give one liners but “none would go further than that”, this was before the relationship. when we were together, he said he would download once in a while do the same thing when he was bored. so my interpretation is the same way people use social media like instagram feeling good about yourself with the likes and the comments come in, people DMing complimenting you.. it’s the same thing.. except that is dating apps.. but thats what hurts about it too, that he knew he was entertaining the idea of someone else.. can’t even lie and say is just a friendly conversation.. you’re in a dating app.. she’s not trying to be your friend.

    So obviously that’s no excuse, I’m pretty sure everyone who is unfaithful is insecure for whatever reason.

    He’s not an evil guy. Though alot of the relationship has been tainted. we have gone through so much, I can easily say that 8 months into the relationship.. we weren’t doing the best.. but we’ve gone through alot.. and he has shown me multiple times that he wants to work through our issues.

    so even now, since all this started he just wants to work things out. wants to “regain my trust”, work on never hurting me again.. because he’s so ashamed of hurting me..

    and I am someone who believes in second chances.. I am willing to try and work things out.. AFTER he shows me he’s willing to work for it, on himself and puts in the effort.

    The things is.. I don’t know what i’m suppose to be looking for.. we aren’t together.. what am I suppose to be looking for? I say effort.. but what does that mean.. and I know thats something I need to figure out for myself because it’s different for everyone but I still need some kind of example or something to guide me

    #1110561 Reply
    Ange
    Guest

    You’ve only been dating a year and had problems outside of this and he’s been actively pursuing other women for what sounds like the whole time, why would you want to give this guy another chance? So what if he was never the ‘cool guy’, if he wants to see how he goes now with women he can do that while he’s single – nobody is holding a gun to his head and forcing him to be in a relationship.

    I think all he wants is someone at home in case he strikes out on the apps and you’re there to remind him he’s not a total loser. He already had you and an opportunity to make it work and look what he did with it. That said, if you really want to give it another try (goodness knows why) he needs to offer complete transparency and commit to working on his insecurity with a therapist or something. For a certain agreed upon period of time at least I’d say he needs to prove he’s not on the dating apps or out there going on dates (he went on dates. DATES!). If you get twitchy he can take a bit of time to show he’s staying within your agreed upon boundaries. Also maybe sit down with him and discuss what ideas he might have for winning your trust back, he broke it so he should be putting thought and effort into how to fix it. That’s a big part of effort, him doing it and not just leaving it up to you. Ultimately I’d recommend you have a chat to a therapist as well, really.

    #1110562 Reply
    Raquel
    Guest

    because.. in every other way he was there for me.. I have gone through a lot lately, and he;s been there helping.. and supporting me. but maybe I’m just scared of being alone and therefore giving it a chance

    #1110563 Reply
    Kate
    Keymaster

    Ugh, that sucks. But look, we get soooo many of these letters, and what always happens is she gives him another chance, they move in together, and… he gets caught doing exactly the same thing again. When you give a guy another chance after he gets caught messaging women, you’re basically saying that you’re willing to deal with that behavior. That it’s not a deal breaker. And the underlying problems that caused him to do that are still there.

    I hear you trying to rationalize it, but no. He’s always going to be looking for attention from other women, and come on, he went ON A DATE. That you know of.

    This is over. You have to be strong and not get back together because you will 100% find yourself in a worse position a year from now. They don’t stop.

    #1110573 Reply
    LisforLeslie
    Guest

    Yeah – I don’t think staying is in your best interests. He decided that he would “see what’s out there”. I don’t want to hurt your feelings but to me that says “Let’s see if I can do better.” Maybe better equals prettier, richer, less complicated, whatever – but the point is 8 months into your relationship, he figured he’d see if he could line up his next relationship.

    YOU can do better. You deserve someone who thinks your flaws are what make you human and everything else about you is what makes you awesome.

    #1110575 Reply
    Kate
    Keymaster

    I agree, the problem with this type of guy is that they want to have options, see if they can do better. Meanwhile, YOU are the dream woman of a whole host of men out there who will appreciate you and treat you with love and respect.

    Everyone has insecurities. Everyone doesn’t spend their time looking to cheat.

    #1110579 Reply
    golfer.gal
    Guest

    I echo what all the others are saying. We also have a general rule around here that cheaters cop to the least damaging and least amount of wrongdoing. We’ve heard from so many women whose partners all miraculously conceived children with other women during “one night stands”. He’s been on dating apps the entire time you’ve been together, how likely is it that he met up with only two women and he just ghosted them after platonic coffee dates, and literally every other conversation never made it past swiping or “hey what’s up”?

    A guy being there for you when you’re going through a rough time should be the lowest bar you set. That doesn’t make him some kind of super special amazing partner, it means sometimes he does the bare minimum. That plus the cheating the entire relationship, plus the fact that it’s been rocky and you’ve had issues for months and not even been together a year. Just, no. Kate is right and he will absolutely continue this same behavior. If you take him back it needs to be with the clear understanding you will never be in a monogamous relationship with him.

    #1110581 Reply
    Lucidity
    Guest

    golfer.gal is right. You need to assume he hasn’t been 100% honest with you about how far things went and what his motivations were. Cheaters will only admit to as little as possible, especially if they don’t want to lose you. You’ll know this is happening if you got the info out of him a little at a time: “I was only looking, that was it,” “oh, you saw the messages? Yeah, I did send a few messages, but it never went further than that,” “oh, you saw a message about meeting for coffee? Okay, I did meet up with one person, but I was thinking of you the whole time and regretted it right away,” and so on. You have no way of knowing it didn’t get physical. If it did, he will never, ever admit to it unless you have proof. Speaking of proof, you should get tested for STIs, just to be safe.

    Cheaters want to paint themselves in the best light. That’s why he says he did this because of “insecurities” – to make you feel sorry for him and be more likely to stay. He’s not going to say he did it because he’s getting bored now that you’ve been dating awhile and wanted to feel the thrill of flirting again, or because he was hoping to get some action on the side, or because he’s not that into you but wanted to line up his next relationship before breaking up.

    Personally, there would be nothing he could do to earn my trust back. It’s not a good sign that you’re already doing the work of rebuilding trust for him – you’re wracking your brain trying to decide how he can make amends, what “effort” would look like. HE should be the one agonizing over how he can fix this, coming to you with a plan of what he’s going to do, making appointments with therapists, deleting apps, etc. If I were you, I’d cut my losses and find someone deserving of my trust.

    #1110583 Reply
    Copa
    Participant

    Hi, LW. I’m sorry this happened to you. About 7-8 years ago, I also had a boyfriend of a little over a year who I found out was online dating. I was not looking for, but found, pictures the other woman he’d started seeing posted of the two of them on FB that he’d tried to manipulate his privacy settings to stop me from seeing. When I dumped him I heard alllll kinds of weird stories and excuses. All this to say, I know how much something like this hurts. I was not okay for awhile after it happened to me.

    Actively using an online dating site while in a relationship is NOT like scrolling through social media. Those sites exist for one reason and it’s a method of cheating that’s so intentional, it’s gross, really. (I once read a stat that something like 30% of online daters are in committed relationships and from my experience and friends’, I’d believe it!) I think you know that if he’d gotten past the “hey, how was your weekend?” portion of the online dating game with more women, there would’ve been more than two dates.

    I think you can do better than this guy. He sounds like an insecure loser. He lies. He cheats. You allude to other issues between you outside of this. Trust me when I say there are better men out there. If you are struggling with this or general fears of being alone, please speak with a therapist. It can really help!

    #1110589 Reply
    Anonymousse
    Guest

    Please listen to what everyone has said. It’s highly likely you know the very least of it. How can you say you’ve confirmed nothing happened? He’s a cheater. Being on dating sites is not like being on social media. If he needs extra attention from women while he’s with you at the very beginning of your relationship, what exactly has changed to make him not need extra attention from random women now that the rose colored glasses are off and you see him for he is, a liar, a cheater.

    He doesn’t deserve your second chance.

    #1110636 Reply
    bloodymediocrity
    Participant

    “as for the dating apps.. after days and days of talking this is the gist on what happened; he’s never been very confident with himself, and never was the “cool guy with the girls” and before me he’s never been in a relationship and wasn’t some guy who goes out and hits on girls. ”

    Speaking as a someone who has definitely never been a “cool guy with the girls”, and also extremely painfully limited dating experience (I’ve dated 2 women, and ended up marrying both of them), this is not an excuse.

    People don’t look at dating apps because they are bored. They do it because at minimum they are fantasizing about dating someone on one of these apps.

    #1110655 Reply
    Copa
    Participant

    “there is no excuse and he hasn’t tried to give me one”

    Except he explained away his behavior by saying he’s never been a “cool guy with the girls.” That’s him making excuses. And @bloodymediocrity is right, this isn’t something people do when they’re bored. When I’m bored, I watch TV. I go for a walk. I read.

    You don’t mention how any of this came up but is this guy really ashamed? Or is he only ashamed because you found out about his shitty behavior?

    I don’t think cheaters are evil people. I think there are a variety of reasons people cheat. This guy falls pretty squarely into the “has a lot of his own shit to sort out and is doing it on your time and at the expense of your feelings” camp.

    I will also say that my ex who behaved similarly was the shortest of my significant relationships but still the one that messed me up the most and took the longest to get over. I had a really hard time getting past how insignificant and disposable his behavior made me feel. I hope you will put the energy you’d put into learning how to trust him again into loving yourself and creating your best single life until you meet a man worthy of your time.

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