Mental Cheating

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    Hey Everyone, I have been struggling for the past 2 years with feeling comfortable being vulnerable and mostly trusting my boyfriend. Before I met him, I was cheated on and I grew up with a Dad who objectified women and cheated as well.

    With my boyfriend now I was very cautious at the beginning. We had many conversations about loyalty and I began reading online about how to trust your boyfriend. Unfortunately, what I read made things worse. I personally did not fantasize about other men. Sure I would find a guy cute, but even that was a rare conscious thought. When I read about how “all men fantasize about sleeping with your sister, their co-worker or even the waitress serving your romantic dinner”, I was utterly crushed! This was not like outright cheating because I was “supposed” to be okay with it. However, I was not and I still am not.

    After 2 years of talking and talking with my boyfriend about this painful painful topic, I am still not past it. He tells me that before we dated he fantasized about women a lot (he was out of a relationship for 6 years), when we dated he would still check out hot women and sometimes imagine them naked but he did not imagine sex with them. Now 2 years down the line and obviously many painful conversations, he says that he has developed and that he does not imagine women naked or sex with them. Yes, he still checks out the occasional woman and he finds some women hot but it is not a lasting thought that becomes them naked or him having sex with them.

    Despite all the conversation, I still don’t feel at peace. Ironically, the entire time I have been completely okay with porn because I look at it as an outlet that is with fake people. (Not that the people are fake, just that they are no one we know or even someone my boyfriend would date.) My boyfriend has not always been able to articulate what is going on in that handsome head of his which has made me uncertain to if he is telling the truth. I have gone through terrible phases throughout this entire relationship with thoughts of suicide, self-hatred, feeling not enough and just feeling like I will never be able to have the one thing in life I really want: to love and be loved deeply, loyally and fully.

    This may sounds stupid to some people but this has plagued me for the past 2 years and there is so much information out there about how “all men fantasize.” I just do not know where to go from here, I have tried retraining my brain, I have been to 2 therapists and have even taken space from my love for a couple of weeks. I really love him but I really can’t accept being cheated on and sometimes I feel like I have pushed him into a corner, forcing him to say what I want to hear and I hate that 🙁 How do I have a relationship when my love is not cheating on me in his mind but also give him freedom and ultimately peace for both of us?

    Thank you for your compassion and understanding! Seriously, any caring advice would be so so SO grately appreciated!


    I am so sorry you are suffering so much with this. I will pray for you Kathy.

    Are you loving yourself properly? Do you see yourself as the wonderful and blessed person that you are? Do you think your happiness is up to others? Are you validating yourself through others? This is where I would start my work.

    In monogamous relationships, no one can accept being cheated on even if they can move forward with their partner after it happens. Your issue goes beyond that though. He hasn’t cheated. You mention nothing that would support this fear of yours in your current relationship. Your boyfriend appears that he is being careful with you and trying not to say something that would upset you or send you over the edge which indicates that he is placing you in a very important place. Let me ask you this though, where does your obsession put him? Are you allowing him to be honest? Are you judging him fairly? Are you putting him in a place of importance?

    You are letting your past with being raised by a cheating father to control your present. It isn’t his to control and it isn’t yours to give to anyone else but you. The present is your gift and you are not in a place where you can begin to enjoy it.

    There is also a possibility that you are suffering from a mental disorder. There is nothing wrong with this. Have you explored this possibility? Are you overly obsessive or controlling in other areas of your life?

    I wish I could be of more help but I seem to have more questions than you do! Love and light to you Kathy!


    This is my first post at this forum. And I would like to be of help for someone.

    Your problem made me think of something Jiddu Krishnamurti said: “Is it possible to be related without idea, without demand, without ownership, possession? Can we commune with each other – which is real relationship on all the different levels of consciousness – if we are related to each other through a desire, a physical or psychological need? And can there be relationship without these conditioning causes arising from want? As I said, this is quite a difficult problem. One has to go very deeply and very quietly into it. It is not a question of accepting or rejecting.”

    This particular quote for me, applies to your situation (close to where I am/was), because it talks about how we are insecure with ourselves, and project these insecurities in our lives, relationships, loved ones. Why do we cling to the past? Why we let the past event and future ideas change our present feelings? Why to we need to attach to people? To know not only their actions, but control their thoughts?

    Hope this will help you find the answers you’re looking for. Unfortunately only you can find it inside you, but the reward and understanding will be yours forever.
    Sorry for grammar mistakes – english is not my native language.


    First off, I just want to mentioned that you can never trust blanket statements like “all men do X”. Men are individuals with a range of desires and behaviours and you can’t pigeonhole them unanimously as being all the same in one particular respect. And to add in my own opinion, I don’t even think the “all men fantasize” statement is true; I’ve known men who fall on both sides of the spectrum.

    That being said, I do agree with what Grace has said. You mentioned that the one thing in life that you really want is to be loved deeply, truly, and fully. This is something that you can give yourself! Relying on external factors, on other people’s feelings, is not the most secure path to happiness. Happiness is the gift you give yourself.

    All the best!


    Hi Kathy,
    A few points you may wish to consider or discard. This is your post and merely a reader’s opinion.
    You sound like you have a great boyfriend and they can be very hard to find. I think you recognise that though. And you sound like you do want to address your issues of insecurity, because you have been to two therapists you mention.

    Ultimately the change needs to come from within you. I know this is what you are stuggling with and I know very well how hard it can be. My advice is to keep a very close check on your feelings when you get the urge to question your boyfriend’s loyalty. What are your triggers? Is it when you see a girl you perceive your boyfriend will find attractive? Or when he mentions another girl’s name? (These are just examples by the way). And during these trigger times, try and remember to consider how you physically feel? Sick in the stomach? Wanting to yell? Wanting to run? Maybe this is how you felt when you saw your Dad behaving in inappropriate ways. Maybe Im completely wrong.

    You say your boyfriend finds it difficult to articulate whats goin on in his head. However actions speak louder than words and it could just mean he isnt as good with words as you. Particulary if his put on the spot.

    I hope you find the inner peace you are seeking.


    Hi Kathy,

    So sorry to read about your struggles. It seems to me you are focusing your attention on something that may or may not happen, when you could also focus your attention on beautiful things that are going on right now. Your fear of being hurt, of your boyfriend leaving you, seems to be ruling your life right now. How about, instead of letting your fear do all the talking in your head you let love talk for a little while. Can you focus on that? What do you feel when you see your boyfriend, when you cuddle up next to him? Why not let that be your point of attention? He is with you right now, he loves you and in this moment, now, you have nothing to fear.
    I would advise you to start reading about mindfulness and implementing that in your life, so you can be more aware of the thoughts that seem to be poisoning your life and your love. I can also recommend reading ‘the power of now’, by Eckhart Tolle, it has really helped me overcome similar fears.

    Remember thoughts are only words, not ultimate truth…

    You are worthy of love, and you will find a lot of love within yourself if you look. Be kind to yourself, mild.

    I wish you lots of strength and love 🙂


    Hi Kathy,

    I’m facing similar concerns and just wanted to let you know you’re not alone. You seem to have quite a bit of awareness of what’s going on internally for you; I think that’s crucial in moving past jealousy. For myself, I’ve found that jealousy is fundamentally a pointer about my own deeply rooted, negative judgments of myself. As previous posters have said, self-love is certainly not easy, but a great, and I think lasting, tool for healing judgments about self, and moving on to feel more secure.

    Sending you lots of peace and loving-kindness; it may take time but you can do it! =)



    A famous painter
    A famous model
    The famous pose
    The famous brush
    The famous art

    Famous model “I look hideous, this is terrible, I am blue, I am deformed, how dare you, destroy this atrocity, NOW”

    Famous artist “It’s a masterpiece, you are beautiful, I am beautiful”

    We are all beautiful.. I love it… if any man stops seeing the beauty and any woman stops to see her own… we will live like stones under stones.

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