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Old 04-29-2008, 12:35 PM   #1
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Unhappy <b>I am a cheater and want to change for the sake of saving my LTR - Help!</B>

Hello, I admit to have cheated several times with two women who were deeply in love with me. My recent act of infidelity has caused my girlfriend (Lindsey) to leave me and now I am very lonely and depressed.

To make a long story short, I was with Sharon for 5 years and in the 5th year I met Lindsey... since there were issues I had with Sharon that I didn't think we would be able to overcome I continued to nurture a relationship with Lindsey while still having a relationship with Sharon... out of guilt I told Lindsey a few months into our relationship that I was still in love with Sharon.... but w/in a week returned to having a relationship with Lindsey (now Lindsey knew of Sharon, but still thought her (Lindsey) and I would end up together in the end).... so she was content on seeing me during the week, while I spent the weekends w/ Sharon (Sharon didn't really know about Lindsey at this point. I subsequently told Lindsey that I was done with Sharon, but I really wasn't. So now both women thought they were the only one. A few months later they found out about eachother {removed}.... but I was still somehow able to maintain a relationship with both. (Yes I know... crazy, it was a back and forth thing).

So much detail... I'll cut to the chase.... after finally breaking up with Sharon and being Lindsey's BF I STILL maintained contact with Sharon for a year. During that year I cheated on Lindsey with Sharon about three times.... and would still have lunch with her even though she (Sharon) had a new BF.

Sharon and I have a sort of unhealthy attraction for each other (rooted in sex and having gone through so much together). Lindsey (through being caught) knew that I was still in contact with Sharon and also found out we had sex.... through more damage control, Lindsey remained with me.... although extremely untrusting and suspicious (rightfully so).

My most recent screw up and the reason for my post involved Sharon getting the idea that I was really no longer with Lindsey and wanted to rekindle things with her. She ended up breaking up with her BF (in my opinion she manufactured problems so she could break up with him to free herself for a future with me). Although Lindsey and I had some issues, we were still "together".... but when the opportunity to be intimate with Sharon again presented itself I became weak and followed through on my urges.... not really thinking of what I was doing or potentially causing another explosive situation.

To protect herself or to find out the truth, Sharon ends up putting a headline on her MS page that she knew Lindsey would see (this may have been to test to see if Lindsey and I were still in a relationship). So, what a surprise, Lindsey sees the headline and immediately contacts Sharon... at which point everything blows up in my face and I might have lost Lindsey for good this time.

I know my actions were/are despicable, but like a crack addict or smoker who has had enough, I am admitting my fault and WANT TO CHANGE AND KICK THE HABIT. Keep in mind that I did not cheat because I could or for sexual reasons (ok w/ Sharon the sex was better), but because I honestly cared and were in love with both of them. I believe this is my first step in becoming an honest and trustworthy man.... I know I can do it. I feel the devestation that lies in a relationship cause.

But now I want to get Lindsey back, but fear she is completely done with me. I truly want to spend the rest of my life with her and I'm 100% committed in never lying or cheating on her ever again. Even though this just happened in the past week, I am not just feeling this way because of my hurt feelings and sense of loss. I want to be a good man and spend the rest of my life with Lindsey.

I appreciate everyones comments and advice. I know most, if not all, of you will say to forget about them both and move on... I know that is probably best. But I also want to hear from anyone who thinks I have a chance to salvage my mess. If so, your advice is truly wanted and appreciated.

Thanks and sorry for such a long post.

Last edited by Moderator BAC; 05-05-2008 at 07:21 AM. Reason: Do not post websites without Moderator 1's approval. Read and follow our rules!

 
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Old 04-29-2008, 12:51 PM   #2
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Re: I am a cheater and want to change for the sake of saving my LTR - Help!

First I think you need to let her be for a while, the trust is broken and for good reason. Let it be for a while.

Also, get some counselling, it will help you. You need to work on you before you can be with someone else.

Good luck.

 
Old 04-29-2008, 12:57 PM   #3
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Re: I am a cheater and want to change for the sake of saving my LTR - Help!

I think the only chance you have of winning Lindsey back is to remain single and show her that you are not the sex addict she must think you are. Meaning, stop all contact with Sharon. That means no calls, texts, emails, lunches, nothing. You have to show her that Sharon will NEVER be a temptation for you again. I also think you could benefit from some counselling to see why you feel the need to sabotage your relationships like this.

This may not work and Lindsey may very well be done with you. I mean, after all, who could blame her? If you want to be a changed man than be a changed man by taking the above steps. If Lindsey doesn't come back then at least you may be able to enter your next relationship ready not to stray.

 
Old 04-29-2008, 01:00 PM   #4
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Re: I am a cheater and want to change for the sake of saving my LTR - Help!

Well, it's just my opinion, but I think if you really loved Lindsay all that much, you wouldn't have hurt her over and over again like you did. And you admit the sex with Sharon was better.

If I were advising Lindsay, of course I'd tell her to stay away from you and never give you another chance to break her heart again. It could be you've done a lot of growing and have learned more about being a good, solid, loyal, trustworthy partner, and those are lessons you can apply to your NEXT relationship. But I think you've broken Lindsay's trust with you to such a degree that any relationship with her would always be frought with suspicion and distrust and always checking your cell phone, your emails, always wondering what you're doing when you're not with her, when you're "out with the boys" or when you come home a little late, etc.

I don't know, I'm just a stranger and a lay person on the computer. It's possible that you can actually work things out with Lindsay and be happy, but first, you have to decide that's really, truly what you want. Love isn't always about finding that one personin the whole wide world that was meant for you. Sometimes, love is about finding someone you can connect with and get along with and have shared values and world views, etc and then just making the decision to be with them and no one else, no matter who else comes along after that. It's called commitment. I'm not sure if you're the kind of guy who will ever get there, but you know you better than I know you, so anything is possible.

If you really want, and truly think you really deserve Lindsay back after the way you treated her, be prepared to do some serious graveling. You'll have to be sorry for as long as she's angry and then some. And give her full transparancy, make sure she can get hold of you whenever she wants/needs to, knows that you are hiding nothing at all. Basically, she says jump and you say "how high, Ma'am??" If you're willing to do that until she can trust you again, and if she's willing to sincerely try to trust you again and not just get off on punishing you forever, then maybe, just maybe, you might have a shot. A long, long shot, but a shot. Good luck.

 
Old 04-29-2008, 01:05 PM   #5
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Re: I am a cheater and want to change for the sake of saving my LTR - Help!

Well as a woman who'se husband cheated on and left me and the kids for the other woman, I have to say you need some sort of counselling, you have to find out why you keep doing what you do. Maybe deep rooted issues that have never been dealt with? You will also need to prove to Lindsey beyond a doubt that you are truly sorry and remorseful for your actions and you want her and only her. Understand her trust in you is shot to hell.

This won't happen overnight but if you start with the counselling and put forth a 110% honest effort you may have a chance. Oh yeah and above all else you MUST cut off all contact with these other women, I don't care how much you have been thru with them or how long you have known them, get them out of your life.

 
Old 04-30-2008, 03:42 AM   #6
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Re: I am a cheater and want to change for the sake of saving my LTR - Help!

I disagree about the counseling. I don't think you need to go that far. I think you are just one of those men who played around and got caught because you wanted your cake and eat it too.

Do you have a chance with Lindsey? She has put up with you seeing Sharon in the past, and now vice versa. I think both these women need counseling, and you MUST be relieved that you are no longer living a double life.

You say you want to spend the rest of your life with Lindsey. Tell her that (leave out the part about Sharon being better in bed).....she will take time, but she will bite...I would doubt you, but your history with this woman says she will come around. Remember though, no woman will put up with this long term, so I hope you mean it when you say you are done cheating.

Mileena

 
Old 04-30-2008, 04:27 AM   #7
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Re: I am a cheater and want to change for the sake of saving my LTR - Help!

I am confused on some of the details. It sounds like just recently you were with Sharon and got caught. Seems to me you only want Lindsey back because she left you for good and you can't stand being dumped.

I am wondering why all the sudden you no longer want to be with Sharon, when it seems like just a few weeks ago you were sleeping with her. Why the change of heart all the sudden?

 
Old 04-30-2008, 05:20 AM   #8
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Re: I am a cheater and want to change for the sake of saving my LTR - Help!

I agree, I think the only reason why you want to be with Lindsay is because she dumped you and that bothers you. But she rightfully doesn't want anything more to do with you.

I think you're talking a good game but I don't get the sense that you're ready to make the kind of changes in your life that will last and that will end up with you truly becoming a changed man. That kind of introspective work takes time and effort, and it doesn't seem like you're ready to make that kind of commitment. You seem to want it all to happen right away. And realistically, it's not going to happen that way.

If you're really serious about changing, then start by becoming a better man. That means self-help work through seminars and reading books about the subject. I don't know if counseling would necessarily help you, I think instead you need to find a men's group to learn about what it means to be a good man. I think that you probably lacked a positive male role model in your life while you were growing up and that's why you're in this situation. And if you truly worked on this aspect of your life that you would turn out a much better person.

The only way this situation will change is if you make the effort. And right now you should forget about a relationship because all of this introspective work is going to take time and you can't be distracted with having someone in your life. If you're really serious about changing then put your money where your mouth is and do what needs to be done to make those changes. And maybe after a year or so, if she's still around, you can try to contact her again. But don't try contacting her until you've made some changes from within. Otherwise you'll just be wasting her time.

 
Old 04-30-2008, 02:12 PM   #9
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Re: I am a cheater and want to change for the sake of saving my LTR - Help!

okay, so where did he go? We are wondering what is going on?

 
Old 05-03-2008, 09:44 PM   #10
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Re: I am a cheater and want to change for the sake of saving my LTR - Help!

Hello and thank you all for giving me your opinions.... they are really eye opening. I know I left a bunch of things out, but everyone seemed to get the gist of what happened.

To add more background and shed some light as to why I may have become this way I want to give you a brief history of what might have changed the person I was. Here are the times in my life that in my opinion may have lead me to be the person I was when Lindsey dumped me (I'll do it by chronology).
1. Moved from Mexico to the U.S when I was 4 and about a month later I was put into the American School system.... as those with children know, being apart from your mom for the first time, in a new country, new language, new place (school), etc) when you've been with your mom since birth can be pretty traumatic.
2. This is kind of funny, but I remember this being VERY traumatic for me. My mom threw away my most beloved stuffed animal. I went to look for it one day and nothing. Gone, she just threw it away (i was about 5-6 years old).
3. I had sex for the first time at age 19 with a girl who I was in LOVE with. At the time I thought ALL women were precious and would never do anything wrong. Well, this girl cheated on me and after hearing rumors from people I knew, I would ask her if she was seeing some one and each time she lied and said "no"... then I would believe her... until I finally saw it for myself. I was DEVASTATED and that was the day I realized girls can be bad people too.
4. At age 22 a girl I knew from HS (Kathleen) wanted to be with me so bad and was EXTREMELY persistent that any round about way to avoid her would fail... at that time I was young and just wanted to do my own thing (I was still a very nice guy with respect to caring how girls feel and not hurting their feelings). To make a long story short, every time I wanted to end my relationship with her, she would threaten suicide. This went on for about 4 years. Since she would threaten to kill herself if I tried leave her I felt trapped. This is when I really started my pattern of seeing a girl, but messing around when I got the opportunity. This relationship is really deep... but to make a long story short, I ended up getting her pregnant and marrying her to try to do the right thing. I thought it was the right thing b/c she was having my baby and I figured I could try to sacrifice my happiness just so she wouldn't kill herself. This, in my opinion was the most significant and life changing time for me. After years of her seeing me cheat she even had enough... my final cheat on her was with SHARON. (now fast forward about 5 years towards the end of my relationship with Sharon) During the time I was seeing Lindsey and Sharon, my ex-wife dragged me into a long and bitter child custody battle.... I kept trying to work it out with her cordially, but she was upset at me b/c she knew I had two GFs (and she had nobody). This woman who in the past put up with me cheating on her as long as I didn't leave her now does not get along with me even though we have a son.
5. I did not cheat on Sharon nearly as much as I did on the girl above (because I was much more attracted to her), but as our incompatibilities reached its peak and we were starting to break up I cheated on her with a random girl towards the end. Sharon is a spit-fire and my relationship with her had high highs and low lows, With her the best times were the best I've ever had, but the lows were the lowest I ever had. Lindsey came into the picture when Sharon thought we were working it out, but in my head I knew that there was a better girl out there for me. This is when I met Lindsey.
6. Lindsey came into the picture. When I met her I thought within weeks that she was "the one". She was beautiful, smart, had a very respectable job, loved my son, etc. She offered to me what my previous 10 years did not... STABILITY and NO DRAMA. But having gone through everything with Kathleen, and then Sharon, it 's no surprise that I brought a lot of baggage.

What I think my problem is, is that I'm afraid to be alone. I say that because I have never really been without anyone since my early 20's... I'm 34 now. Also, when a girl falls in love with me and is willing to revolve their world around me I feel obligated to stay with them, regardless if I really do love them or not. And since I stay with them for so long I get extremely attached and used to them.

Anyway, like I said in my original post, I REALLY DO want to change once and for all and NEVER betray, lie, or deceive anyone again. I HATE what I have become. I have begun to show myself and the world that I AM serious. Just yesterday I jumped in my car and drove 6 hours to see Lindsey's parent so I could apologize to them personally. I plan on apologizing to anyone that I have indirectly hurt by cheating on Lindsey. I'll probably take it a step further and have a heart to heart with Kathleen (right now I am SO upset with Sharon that I have hatred towards her.... even though it really is MY fault.... probably b/c she ratted me out and I'm feeling so much pain because of it. One day, I'm sure I will have to apologize to her too).Every second of every day that passes is a struggle, I find myself spontaneously balling my eyes out... usually when I see a picture or hear a song that reminds me of Lindsey. And I am very manly and don't often cry. Financially I don't know if I could afford counseling otherwise I WOULD do that, but I will be looking into something called al-anon (i guess it's for people with co-dependency issues).

What seems to be everyone's advice is to let her go and change for the better, then maybe I will get another shot. I will definitely try, but my heart feels like it's shattered into a million pieces. Karma is a b****!

 
Old 05-04-2008, 12:25 AM   #11
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Re: I am a cheater and want to change for the sake of saving my LTR - Help!

1) I think Lindsey will probably never trust you again. I know she knew about Sharon in the beginning and still stayed in the relationship with you, but you broke the golden rule. You lied. When she knew, she could accept it, but when you lied, that was what "broke the camel's back".
2) I understand that you had issues where you were cheated on and your mom threw your teddy away, etc., BUT, those are really not valid excuses for your behavior. You said it yourself. If you don't deal with these issues, before you commit to Lindsey or anyone else, you will only repeat history.
3) Do you really know what love is? This is not a slam. It's a legit question. I'm not sure that you can know, with your constant need to cheat on anyone who means something to you. Real love, transcends this selfishness. I hate to say it like that, but it is selfish to cheat.
4) I don't think you are a lost cause. Not at all. I do think you need counseling, to find out what real love is like. This is a must do. Not a maybe. You have gotten so "good" at this game, it will take some real soul searching and some painful reflection to move ahead. Therapy can be painful. But it is worth the pain if you are successful at it. It's all about reconditioning your brain, not your heart.
Final thought. You are not a "bad" person. You deserve to be happy. You can change IF you REALLY want to, deep down in your very core. Best of luck to you. If you are as determined as you sound, you could succeed. I don't know if it will be with Lindsey, but that is not what is important. You are the key factor in this. Nobody else.

 
Old 05-04-2008, 08:10 AM   #12
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Re: I am a cheater and want to change for the sake of saving my LTR - Help!

I know you said that financially counselling is out of the question, but don't dismiss it yet. Do you have insurance? Do you qualify for reduced rates based on your income? Look around to see if there is something you can do.

I am sympathetic to you (to a point) because you have been through a lot in your life. But like everyone else you have to "grow up" and start taking responsiblility for your actions. I think coming here and being honest like you are is a great first step. Keep going in this direction. But honestly, I think counselling will REALLY help you in the long run. There is a lot of baggage there, starting with your childhood, that really needs to be resolved.

 
Old 05-04-2008, 08:32 AM   #13
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Re: I am a cheater and want to change for the sake of saving my LTR - Help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by scorpiolover View Post

What I think my problem is, is that I'm afraid to be alone. I say that because I have never really been without anyone since my early 20's... I'm 34 now. Also, when a girl falls in love with me and is willing to revolve their world around me I feel obligated to stay with them, regardless if I really do love them or not. And since I stay with them for so long I get extremely attached and used to them.
Well it's a very very good thing that you've recognized this pattern in yourself. that's the first step in breaking it.

Most men don't do being alone very well. They prefer to have someone, and things being what they are, they have an easier time finding someone than women do. that's why after a divorce, especially after age 40, men almost always remarry and women seldom do.

Now that you realize that feeling obligated to stay with a woman you don't love is your issue and not theirs, you can work on that. A good place to start is understanding that you are not doing a woman any favors by lying to her and pretending you love her when you don't. Even if they say they are ok with you cheating on them as long as you stay, Kathleen is proof that's not true. Honesty is always the best policy. It is possible to be honest with a woman and be respectful to her. She may be hurt, but she will be hurt a lot more down the road when the truth inevitably comes out. Sacrificying your own happiness to satisfy someone else's co-dependence doesn't work. Realizing that is a good first step.

Now that you know why you've made the choices you have, it's time to rise above your raising and learn how to make new choices based on the man you want to be, not the man you've been. And being honest, respectful but honest, is a good first step.

 
Old 05-04-2008, 11:01 AM   #14
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Re: I am a cheater and want to change for the sake of saving my LTR - Help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by KeltoKel View Post
I am confused on some of the details. It sounds like just recently you were with Sharon and got caught. Seems to me you only want Lindsey back because she left you for good and you can't stand being dumped.

I am wondering why all the sudden you no longer want to be with Sharon, when it seems like just a few weeks ago you were sleeping with her. Why the change of heart all the sudden?
You're right and wrong at the same time. I do see how when I get rejected I try my hardest to get them back. That has been my history. However, I REALLY DO LOVE LINDSEY....and I do really want her back. Only god knows at this point that I would NOT mess it up this time.

My problem (i believe) is that I didn't want Sharon to think I was more in love with Lindsey than with her... because I didn't want to cause Sharon pain. Sharon had a away about her that made me feel extremely guilty if I said anything nice about Lindsey. Sharon knows what buttons to push and how I respond to them. I have now snapped out of the way she affects me and I now see that the feelings I had for her were unhealthy and unreal.

I believe ending the relationship I had with Sharon was my biggest obstacle. Now I am overcoming that obstacle, but it took me losing Lindsey to finally do it.

By the way, ever since I was with Lindsey, all Sharon ever wanted was for me to not be with Lindsey. She would say, I don't care if you're with anyone else as long as it's not with her. Even when she had a new BF, Sharon would still express to me that I was still hurting her by being with Lindsey. I guess this is why I wanted to maintain contact with Sharon, so I could express to her that she meant something to me and that I didn't want to hurt her.

In the end I lost both of them. Sharon, in my mind, was someone I had REALLY fun times with and since she had some health and self image issues I was compelled to take care of her. Now Sharon and Lindsey are friends and going out together. Sharon, I know is befriending Lindsey because this is one sure fire way to make sure Lindsey and I don't get back together (the thing she always wanted). Also, she feels rejected by me again and wants me to hurt. Lindsey I feel is her friend (actually both) because she has someone she can talk with who has gone through the same thing with the same person (me). This has formed a bond between them even though both (mainly Sharon) intentionally tried to harm and verbally attack each other very maliciously in the past.

 
Old 05-04-2008, 12:06 PM   #15
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Re: I am a cheater and want to change for the sake of saving my LTR - Help!

I really think you need to stop making this about Sharon and Lindsey and focus on the only person that you have any control over...YOU.

What has passed, has passed. You can't go back and rewrite history. What you can do, is move forward and work on changing the future. It really isn't important what Sharon or Lindsey thinks anymore. It's time to move on. You said yourself that they are friends now and Sharon is going to make sure that Lindsey and you never get back together. I believe you are very right about that.

I know it sounds easier said than done, but it's time to put the past behind you and do something to make the next relationship a good one, where you can stay faithful to one woman. Whoever that woman turns out to be.

 
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