I'm a 22 year old girl who's been in a relationship with a guy for the past 2 years.
I'd never, ever considered cheating. It was the kind of situation that would never, ever cross my mind on a normal day. Actually, I dreaded being cheated on. So when this whole thing happened, I was beyond confused and guilty.
I only started dating at age 19. Had a turbulent relationship that lasted some 7 months. Broke up, there was big drama, was heartbroken for a while, thought I'd never find somebody who liked me again. A few months later, though, I met my current boyfriend. I was head over heels sooner than I thought it emotionally possible. We began dating and for months I was crazy about him, only thought about him, did everything for him and the thought of him was the sole motivation for everything I did. You can bet that didn't end right... I ended up socially isolated and rather clingy.
It wasn't until a while later that I realised that my "prince" wasn't was charming as I made him. He lived in another city, just an hour away. When we weren't dating yet, he often sacrificed a chunk of his time to stay with me, come over to see me, hang out with me, etc. From the day we began "officially" dating, he changed his ways a bit. Though he always a good guy, he became increasingly lazy when it came to visiting me and spending time with me. He hardly ever left home (though he didn't work) and turned down most of my invitations to come over. He assumed he was "too lazy" to go out. This or excusing himself with minor obligations such as "I have to go grocery shopping". I soon felt like everything in his life was more important than me. Grocery shopping, hanging out with his pals, his hobbies, his family, his homelife... It got to a point where we didn't see each other for months. Other than that, he didn't visit more than once a week or every other week. While I tried my best to make up for his lack of interest in leaving home, I worked and studied, making it hard for me to drive to his place on my free days.
I was a very insecure person at the time. The previous relationship had left its marks and I was constantly comparing myself to other girls and wondering if and why they were better than me. My boyfriend was unaware of this insecurity and often commented on how hot other girls were, on how his ex was a model, how his previous relationships had been like etc. I felt jealous and hurt most of the time though I'd never admit it to him. Instead, I tried to be the best possible girlfriend so he'd value me and stop thinking about others. You can see how exclusivity played such an important role in my life!
The big problem between us came when I found out that he had been e-flirting with a really gorgeous girl he had met on Facebook. I found evidence here and there that the two chatted everyday for hous, exchanged texts and phonecalls and that he made sexual comments on her bikini photos. He believed I was unaware of this. One day, I confronted the girl in real life. She admitted to having an "internet affair" with him and that he had told her he had a girlfriend but that it didn't really matter and that he wasn't serious in his relationship with me. I confronted him, he denied everything, I confronted him with his own internet evidence, he denied everything, I was deeply hurt, I went through deep depression and a burst of anxiety that had me on meds but I didn't leave him. I still loved him deeply and I chose to ignore the obvious and pretend I believed his story.
A year went by, his physical distance didn't change, he was there when I needed him but only on my request yet I managed to make the relationship as satisfying as possible. I emerged from my depression through intense mental strength and building up my confidence. It took everything from me, but I made it and I'm proud of it.
I moved abroad to get my Master's degree, I got a good job in this foreign country too, I had battled a lot for this! While when I left I was determined to not break up with him and keep a long-distance relationship at all costs, I found myself 'cheating' in less than two weeks.
A nice guy with good looks came over to talk to me, asked me out, I took him for somebody with merely friendly intentions but couldn't deny my physical attraction to him. We went out for a drink, he kissed me. I didn't fight back but went home feeling as confused as I'd ever been. It had felt amazing to be kissed, to feel wanted, to feel like somebody desired me.
I kept exchanging texts with the guy, we met once more and we made out though for a while I convinced he only wanted me physically and that I could do this and forget it and never mention it to my actual boyfriend. In the past few days I have come to feel that the guy might actually want me as a girlfriend and not just a random hookup, as I'd thought. He's nice, he's physically present, he texts me more often than my actual boyfriend does, he turns down plans to be with me and he makes me feel like a woman should; confident, wanted, sexy, important, valued.... even if this "relatioship" is extremely fresh and just beginning.
Had I no other person in my life, I'd dive into this experience head-on, for good or bad. My feelings and body tell me to, yet I cannot help but feel terrible for the guy I left behind. Even if he had previously told me he didn't care if I had a side-relationship as long as I still liked him (that might say a lot about his careless personality), I feel guilty. I wonder if this makes me a terrible person. So, why don't I just break up and dive into something new? You can't simply put an end to a relationship of two years that's survived so many obstacles. You can't simply say that in two weeks I have made a conscious, sensible choice, especially when my whole life's turning and I just moved to a new place and to a completely different reality. Plus, I'm an extremely lonely person. Social anxiety prevented me from making friends so this boyfriend I have is the only true friend I know I can count on whenever I'm really down. When I go back to my country, also, I have no one else to meet besides old family members. He's "somebody to come back to". Like a home that's everything but perfect yet it'a home and you know it can play its role well.
I was wondering if anyone out there has been in a similar situation or what kind of advice you can give me. Part of me wants to keep both relationships even if I know it's impossible. At one point I'll have to make a choice, especially if things get serious with this new guy. One can never really get the best of both worlds...
Posts: 6 | From: France | Registered: Oct 2013
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I certainly think that it's going to be better, in the long run, to be honest with the folks you're involved with about what's happening. You say your existing boyfriend said he wouldn't mind if you got involved with someone else, yes? So I don't see you as being a terrible person here; you're just caught up in a complicated situation. I would suggest that you sort things out with your long-term boyfriend and let this new guy know what's going on - I think it's a good idea to let partners know what we have going on in terms of existing relationships, even when something's casual.
It sounds like you're getting a lot from this new relationship that your long-term boyfriend hasn't been giving you, and to be honest it doesn't sound like he has been that giving or supportive in general in your relationship. Have you really talked about how you both see the relationship, and how committed you both are to having it work out? I hear you say that you're doing a lot of work to maintain it and keep things going, but I'm not sure what work he's putting into it. I realize that it can be hard, after a certain number of months or years, to just "give up" on a relationship, but sometimes that's the best thing to do; breaking up with someone doesn't mean you've failed, it just means that one or both of the people in a relationship have realized that it isn't working for them. Some difficulties in relationships can be overcome with effort from both parties, and some can't - and that's really ok.
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