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General Dating Questions/How to forgive and forget

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my boyfriend cheated on me 1 year into our 5 year relationship... I still have times where it will randomly cross my mind (nothing "triggers" it just at completely random times with him or alone) and I resent him so much for it. At these times I feel like I am wasting my youth on someone who doesnt deserve it (I am only 24 and he is the only guy Ive been with). And like I will never expereince a loving respectful man. I feel so profoundly sad and wish I could cause him the same pain. But at the same time we have been together 5 years, I didnt find out until a year after he did it, so by the time I found out it was already the past, and he has changed since then. I try to appreciate his changes and efforts (like he will buy me whatever I want, pays all the bills, cut ties with all his friends since I found out his friends helped him get away with it etc) so I realize he has made some sacrifices but emotionally there has been very little (all he says is he did it because he had an argument and he "thought we were going to break up" even though we never talked about breaking up and were actually preparing for me to move in with him at the time so it feels like b.s. excuse, and he never acts sorry just flat generic apologies). I think he is a person who cannot communicate at all, but I am a very expressive person and his failure to articulate anything "real" or loving feels like complete rejection and like if he felt remorse he would express it so he must not care what he did, only that he got caught. Even with the other things he does. Am I hanging onto this too much, should I let it go since he did make changes and never did it again, or will I feel like this no matter how long we stay together? We have been living together for 4 years (he cheated on me literally a week before I moved in with him around our 1 year mark) and I feel like our entire relationship after that is a cheap imitation of real love and then I feel guilty for feeling that way when I see what he does for me to show he cares or the pain it causes him that I still dont trust him and dislike him at times. What should I do?

Answer
It sounds like you are not very happy right now with your relationship and may have already come to your conclusion and already know the answers to the questions you ask. Maybe rather than answers  you are trying to gather the courage to take the actions you have already decided on.  

It sounds like your relationship has largely been built on lies (you believing him to be faithful and him believing that you could genuinely forgive him and not try to hold it against him forever.)  From what you say it sounds like you are definitely not over it from before and have lingering doubts and resentment which is toxic for any relationship. That is why many most relationships don't survive someone cheating, if the people involved are young, unmarried and without children.

It may also be that you aren't right for each other but are holding onto something that just isn't there anymore. I believe 70% of people that get married at age 18 or 19 get divorced, this is largely because both people are still finding out what kind of person they are. Sometimes people just can't forgive and continue the relationship. Rather than cling to something that might not be there, why not accept it and move on?

Maybe he now is faithful and is trying to do the best he can, men have traditionally been raised to believe that being a good provider financially and taking care of things was a way to show they cared. However it doesn't sound like it is enough for you, maybe he's not the one for you and maybe you're not the one for him, especially if after 4 years you are not willing to forgive him. Rather than continue to punish him for it, why not just move on?  I think there is a benefit that you are getting for staying in this relationship and holding onto these feelings of resentment: a means to exert control and provide security for you. However just know that as long as you desire to punish him, you will continue to punish yourself as well by directing your energy in a way which blocks the very same love and respect that you say that you want. To quote the old Will Smith remake of the song "Just the Two of Us" "hate in your heart" will consume you too.

I also don't think it is healthy if he cut ties with legitimate friends of his and bought things for you just to try and appease you. In my experience trying to appease someone else by doing something you don't really want to do rarely solves the problem it intends to, rather it rewards and encouraged the other party to be even more manipulative.  So why are you still with him? Are you afraid of a lack of financial security or afraid that you won't be able to support yourself or have a relationship with a man who is a good provider not out of guilt or being manipulated but out of love?  Or are you staying because of a sense that you should be grateful for his financial generosity in the past or because you are actually happy with what you are getting out of and giving to the relationship with him now?  If you are only staying because of guilt or fear then you aren't doing yourself or him any favors and you won't come any closer to finding love.  

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Michael Hurst

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I can answer almost all questions related to dating and sexuality including the nuts and bolts of particular situations and specific communication skills as well as questions related to self-image and self-development. However most of my work has been with men, singles and those newly single or divorced, to get very rapid results starting with specific actionable tactics while also applying powerful techniques from NLP and hypnosis for rapid personal change. I don't specialize in working with those already in long-term relationship dynamics or marriage however I have also continued to give advice and support to my single clients as they move into relationships. It has been my experience that the most powerful results come from focusing on who you want to become as a person, then you will more naturally attract the types of relationships that you want rather than having to try to force them. I believe that most people's frustrations come from when they are trying to force a situation to get what they think they want when it is not completely aligned with their system of beliefs. While I believe in the role of self-development my strongest selling point has been to get specific, measurable results quickly using applied psychology. Ultimately nothing is more motivating and empowering than being able to quickly make noticeable changes in the way you interact with other people.

Experience

I am an author, dating coach and speaker based in the Washington, DC area. I've been involved in the industry since 1999 and as a professional dating coach since 2008. I have taught thousands of clients through seminars, speaking appearances and in-person coaching sessions. My coaching goes beyond just knowing what to do or say in a particular situation, by teaching how to become the person who is naturally attractive. I have training in Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) and hypnosis. I am the author of the book "Become That Guy: Become Irresistibly Attractive" (2010, AuthorHouse) a book which offers specific actionable exercises that you can use to address the root causes of common challenges such as confidence and interpersonal communication skills. I am also the author of "Pickup: Real Life Adventures of Seduction" and the creator of the hypnosis CD, "Be Irresistibly Attractive," which gives you the ability to rapidly develop and use the ideal skills and frame of mind to present your best self to the world. I will also be featured in a chapter in an upcoming book "Mastering the Art of Success" alongside "Chicken Soup for the Soul" authors Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield, the subject of a documentary first released at the portfolio show for Art Institute of Washington graduates in 2012. I have also been a presenter at the world dating summit in Los Angeles 2010 and 2011, the Global men's dating summit in 2011, 12 and 13 in Washington, DC and the National Divorce eSummit in 2012 I currently offer several different seminars ranging from evenings to weekend long seminars on topics including online dating, text messaging, conversational skills to build chemistry and attraction and more. I offer coaching by phone through one-on-one phone calls, in-person "infield" coaching where we meet people in real-life settings as well as a comprehensive coaching program.

Education/Credentials
Bachelor in Political Science, American University, training in Neurolinguistic Programming starting in 1999, hypnotherapy and various sales methods including the Sandler Sales Institute. In addition to that I have taken trainings with many leaders in my field including Ross Jeffries (Paul Ross), David Shade, Brad P, Mehow, Jonathan Altfeld and many others.

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