How to move forward in a relationship after your partner cheats

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    Judy ren

    hello tiny Buddha community,

    I’m 25 years old and I’ve been in a relationship for 2 years with a man I met through Instagram. Our relationship has always been very good and he is a great person and caring boyfriend. So I was very shocked he was capable of doing something like this. This is both our first serious relationship and I can say he’s my first love. Unfortunately I found out he had sex on two occasions with an old friend in span of 3 weeks. (They started reconnecting on Instagram. )She was the one that contacted me and told me what was going on. In the text she showed me he says this was only suppose to be a fling so I’m assuming that’s why she got upset and wanted to tell me.

    The only problem in our relationship was social media. I’ve never been a jealous person or care about social media (but then again this is my first  serious relationship) but after almost a year of dating I found out that he was sending nudes and receiving nudes from girls. I asked him to stop and he would for a couple of months and start again. His Instagram is only women which never bothered me before because he had them before I was in his life. It only bothered me after I found out he was sending and receiving nudes.  His friends and him send each other pictures of sexy women a lot which is okay if your single but is he going to be doing this when we’re married and have kids? Im not sure if this is a sex problem he has or men are just like that.

    After I found out he has been showing a lot of regret, remorse and he’s doing a lot to show me he wants to be a better person ( and boyfriend). He explains that it was a mistake he got caught up in temptation, he tells me about his dad cheating on his mom and how much that affected him not having a father figure, he also got fired from his job so he wasn’t in a good place. But during this time I was being supportive, optimistic and helping him. He didn’t blame me but himself for what happened. He’s willing to do anything to gain my trust back but I’m not sure what we can do to move forward. He made new social media accounts and gave me the passwords but for some reason it doesn’t make me feel any better.

    Its been a month and I’m still stuck between staying because we had way more ups than downs and if he can change I could imagine marrying him one day. but I’m having difficulty getting over the fact he cheated, not just a one night stay but he drove over her house twice… that doesn’t should like a mistake but a choice. I think about it almost everyday even when things are going well for us. That’s why I not sure if I should stay , it’s hard to love someone who’s betrayed you.

    I’m afraid he is capable of doing it again and what if we’re married and with kids and I can’t leave. It seems much easier to move on and not put myself through the hardship of trying to love someone who’s cheated on you and pretend like it didn’t happen. I know I can move on because I’ve always been very independent but I want to make the right choice.

    At the same time im hoping this crisis is an opportunity for us to do better. Our old relationship that consisted of him flirting on social media will stop now that he knows that he could lose me. This is literally our only problem so maybe getting rid of social media will help.

    What do you guys think I should do? Do you have any tips about moving forward in a relationship with a person who cheated on you? What he needs to do to gain my trust? Is it true once a cheater always a cheater??

    Looking forward to hearing from you guys!


    Dear Lena Luong:

    Let’s say he is an honest man and that his regret is sincere and he truly intend to not send nude pictures  of himself online and receive nude pictures of women in return, and that he truly intends to not engage in any online (and other) activity similar to that which led to him having sex with another woman- he  is still in the habit of doing these things.

    Habits are hard to break.

    “his friends and him send each other pictures of sexy women”- his friends promote and help maintain his habit, a habit likely practiced by his friends as well.

    “He explains that it was a mistake he got caught up in temptation”- three problems with his characterization of his cheating as a mistake and getting caught-up-in-temptation: not  only did he drive to this woman’s place so to have sex with her, he did it twice. After the first time he didn’t tell you about it for  some time. And after that some time, he did it again. And again, he didn’t tell you.

    If the woman didn’t tell you, you wouldn’t have known.

    *If this woman didn’t get offended when he said it was a fling and didn’t contact you, would there been a third time…And is there another woman out there who  didn’t tell you and therefore you don’t know?

    “he tells me about his dad cheating on his mom and how much that affected him not having a father figure”- none of that stopped him from cheating twice and not telling you.

    “he also got fired from his job so he wasn’t in good place”- there will be other challenges in his life to come, will those be reasons for future affairs?

    I say, ask him these questions and get back to me with his answers- when you ask him just listen to his answers, maybe ask him these questions online so that you have a record of his answers. Don’t negotiate or debate those answers so that you get the raw form of his thinking.


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