Marriage and the Husband-Wife Relationship/In a Fog
QUESTION: Hi Mr Blair,
I'm in a very troubled relationship. I met a man 3 years ago and fell head over heels with him. He was everything I ever dreamed of and on top of it all, he became an important part of my 2 teen daughter's lives. They like him, respect him and he has provided for them in ways their real dad hasn't. After dating for many months, I discovered he was married. He lied repeatedly about it but finally admitted that the marriage was over and he was getting a divorce once financial arrangements were made. He continued to string me along and later, I learned he had another girlfriend that claimed she was engaged to him for the previous 4.5 years. She had no idea he was married either. His work and military obligations give him much time to be away from any of his significant others. I also found he had many chat buddies from dating sites and email partners from around the world. He ended all relationships with those women, divorced his wife, had my name tattooed on his chest (he is NOT the tattoo type at all) and swears that he loves only me and is a changed man. He took a job 10 hours away from me and now wants me to move to where he is now. I am skeptical and still don't have a peace that he will be faithful and true to me. He wants to plan a marriage and a life together but yet sometimes when i ask to see his phone, he gets defensive and says i haven't forgiven him for his past. He has now had his cell phone number (of 18 years) changed so that all from his past will no longer have access to him. I still wonder about emails, etc. He claims he has done everything to prove to me he loves me and has changed but inside, how will I ever be sure? How do you gain morals and values at the age of 49? Do men like him really ever change? I am so consumed by him and all I feel for him but at the same time, I want to run but don't know how. He says if I am not in his life, he won't continue to live without me. I'm not sure if he is suicidal or not but I feel so lost and confused. Please give me guidance, or statistics proving cheaters and liars do change and can change or whether I should follow my gut instinct to run.
ANSWER: Hi Donna,
Trust is easy to loose and very hard to regain. He has a lot of work to do to regain your trust. You can and should forgive him, not for him but for you. Forgiving is something we do for our selves. Forgetting is entirely a different thing. You will not forget that he lied, cheated to not only you but at least two other women at the same time. He needs to understand that if he wants you in his life he will have to be absolutely transparent. NO secrets, No deception, No mysterious phone calls, texts or e-mails. I would not jump blindly into a committed relationship. Take your time and give him time prove he has changed. You are not responsible for his actions. Even so I would not worry about him committing suicide. That sounds like hyperbole. A dramatic threat with out substance.
Now what should you do? To know if a man will continue to cheat you must know why he cheats in the first place. Frankly, I think men cheat because they have opportunity as much as anything. Often it relates to the need to feel desired, sexual, masculine. If he sees his value as being tied to his sexuality, he may need to find validation with some one else. All men and most women are tempted from time to time. It is a persons moral commitment, his values that keep him on the straight and narrow. That and fear of getting caught.
What should you do? How much do you care? Is he the ONE? If you are just OK with him, move on. If you really like him, lay out your conditions, ABSOLUTE transparency.
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QUESTION: Thank you for the reply. He has changed some of his habits and ways but he still remains very defensive at certain times. He gets angry and says he isn't doing anything but I feel if he's honest about being in love with me and having a life together, he should answer all my questions and give me assurance until I am secure in our relationship. He's been caught numerous times chatting and flirting with coworkers and even recent had a call from a woman he's known for over 10 years who stated he has never mentioned me. Am I wrong to demand that he tells and shares all?
He says the reason he's cheated on SO many in his past and loved double lives is because thy always cut him off sexually. Our sex life is great and never been a problem so he can't use that excuse with me. Do cheating men really change?
I think you are right to lay down some ground rules. He needs to earn your trust. to do that he needs to be completely open and honest. He might need to examine why he cheated. His answer seems a bit cliche. If they did cut him off, why?
It may be a sex addiction. Here is a safe and effective treatment for that and other similar issues. A hypnosis audio to break the addictive pattern your brain has developed around sex.