Alias (DO NOT USE A REAL NAME!!): Sally R
Comment: I found an old text string on my boyfriend’s phone from a year and a half ago between him and another woman. They were obviously seeing each other based on the texts. At that time he and I had been exclusive for 9 months. We’ve now been together almost 3 years and I find out that he cheated on me. I had his permission to look in his phone for a text from another woman with the same first name as the other woman that he was seeing, and opened the wrong texts.
I’m devastated to find out that he cheated because I thought we had this really great relationship. Now I can’t help wondering what else is on his phone. I can’t get past thinking “once a cheater, always a cheater.” We had our first fight when I confronted him about it because he felt I was snooping. I truly wasn’t because it never occurred to me that there was anything to be suspicious of. I don’t know if I can ever trust him again. I love him and don’t want to break up, but now I find myself wishing that I had gone through his phone thoroughly after finding this evidence of infidelity.
He denies that he cheated, but the texts are pretty clear they had a physical relationship.
Is there hope for this relationship to heal from his betrayal?
I had his permission to look in his phone for a text from another woman with the same first name as the other woman that he was seeing, and opened the wrong texts.
Oh, honey. How stupid do you think I am? Nobody- and I mean nobody – is letting other people go through their phone. Especially not someone who has saved text messages with the woman he cheated with. Especially especially if the woman whose text you’re looking for (with his permission) is the same name as the woman he cheated. No. Just no.
We had our first fight when I confronted him about it because he felt I was snooping.
That’s because you were.
Without seeing the texts, I have no idea what is going on here. For all I know, the text string was innocent or from a former lover and they were discussing stuff that happened well in the past. I don’t know. I also haven’t a clue about the nature of your relationship. Only you know how this guy has treated you.
My personally feeling is that people fuck up with stunning regularity. They say stupid things, they do stupid things. Relationships are all a crapshoot. Maybe I am just too jaded and cynical at this stage of the game but I’d bet most people do things they know will hurt their partner because we, as human beings, are selfishself-serving creatures. I have to say I’m kind of over the idea of cheating as such an escándalo. Technology has almost ensured that people will cheat in some form or another, be it a conversation with an ex or cybersex or going on like sprees on Instagram and Facebook. I don’t know, man. Sexual infidelity just doesn’t get me worked up. It’s emotional betrayal that would shatter me.
The keys to a lasting relationship of any kind – platonic or romantic – are appropriate expectations and forgiveness. I would bet that most people have had a friend hurt or betray them and got through it. But for whatever reason, romantic relationships don’t have the same kind of resiliency. Why? The levels of intimacy between a romantic partner and a friend really aren’t all that different. Yet, for some reason, we place higher expectations on our romantic partners than we do our close friends. In fact, we often let our closest of confidantes disappoint us without a thought. We just shrug it off. Not so when it’s our lovers that betray us.
Obviously this guy isn’t going to tell you if he’s cheated more than once. No one in his position would. So either you need to be able to move past this or walk away. Those are your only two options. Either you believe him that he didn’t cheat or you don’t. If you don’t, leave. If you do, stay. But you’re right, things will never be the same. Not unless you consciously choose to work at forgiving him, even if there’s nothing to forgive.
That’s a tall order, I know. Forgiveness is one of the most difficult gestures we are asked to make as human beings, but without it, we’re screwed.