My boyfriend is the strong and silent type, a man of few words. We’ve been together since we met in college two years ago. We had a happy relationship, but when he cheated on me, my eyes opened wide. I’m not the kind of woman who thinks that if a man makes a mistake by straying it’s a deal breaker. He cried when he apologized but thinks that an "I’m sorry" is sufficient. It’s not!!!
He won’t talk to me about it. When I look back I realize he has had a track record of sweeping emotions under the carpet. He accuses me of nagging and being petty. He betrayed me, broke my heart, and he’s treating it the same way he has done with every other slight. But not this time. If we can’t talk about this, how can our relationship survive? Should I get out of this relationship? Am I being petty?
I won’t advise kicking him to the curb. Your well-intentioned “got your back” girlfriends can handle that.
I can say that you are ABSOLUTELY NOT being petty! You have a right to feel hurt and angry, and it’s healthy to express your emotional pain. My advice to you is to be honest and vulnerable with him, let him know he has hurt you, as often as you feel you need to in order to ensure he understands the depth of the emotional hurt inflicted. His inability to cope with your pain wants you silenced, and I say to that is too bad, get over it, grow up and be a man.
These tips may help you:
- Mourn! Mourn so you can heal. Mourn for the death of the beautifully romantic perception you had for your relationship. It’s gone and it is not coming back, at least not as it had been.
- Step back awhile, take some time away for yourself. I mean real time away. Not one of those, I won’t see him, but continue to text and talk on the phone. Step back and stick to it. (Don’t view this as punishing him. This is for you to remember who you are separate and apart from your relationship, and rekindle a self-love and awareness.
- Know, you did nothing wrong. You are the person he said he loved and that was enough before he cheated on you, you are enough now.
- Accept a sincere heartfelt apology. Have some empathy for the emotional insecurity that lead him to cheat.
- Demand that through both words and deeds he proved he will not betray you again.
- Remember it’s your choice to remain or to leave.
- Go to couples counseling. Talk it out. Listen and talk some more.
Our culture teaches us that fidelity is one of the greatest expression of unity, trust and love a relationship has to offer, it’s sacred. Infidelity diminishes what we know and expect from a loving relationship.
Surviving his betrayal can make for a stronger more understanding relationship and prepare you as a couple to meet life’s tribulations together. Though it may not be the same relationship as it was, with work, this may be the catalyst that makes it better.