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Old 07-15-2008, 09:35 AM   #1
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Having trouble with the fact that he's cheated in the past...

I've been with my bf for about 1 and a half years now, and so far it's been really good. We have known eachother from a previous workplace for years and we have many mutual friends. He makes me feel wonderful the majority of the time, and for the most part, treats me with respect. (I only say 'for the most part' because sometimes he can act like a bit of an idiot when his mates are around, but I chalk that up to classic guy-ness). He's intelligent and sociable, but in general is quite a private person, and doesn't go out a lot. He has always been in long-term relationships, as long as I've known him. He's 7 years older than me - I'm 24, he's 31.

Well here's the thing... he admitted to me when we first got together that he'd cheated in a past relationship. I'm not sure how long ago this was, or how long it was for. All he said of it was that he regretted it and realised the potential affects it could have had, and he put too much on the line so he'd never do it again. However, what I do know is that his gf at the time never found out. This makes me even more concerned - like he got away with it, or something.

I've been in a relationship with this knowledge for a year and a half now. Initially, i didn't think about it much at all, when things were new and hot and passionate. But now its slid into that 'comfortable' stage, and I'm more paranoid. It's like social values or something just got the better of me. The whole "once a cheater, always a cheater" generalization. Could it be true? He has never given me any true reason to doubt him, or think that he may be cheating. But now I am becoming more and more distrusting, and it's a downhill slide. I find myself getting edgy every time he recieves an sms on his mobile. Or when he says he's going to his mum's for dinner, and then a few nights later he says he's going to his mum's again... I start to doubt that's where he's going. He's still friends with the ex he cheated on... I don't know how often they see each other. Yet I couldn't stalk him, I don't think I could bring myself to do something like that. I do try to sneak peaks at his email to see who's been emailing when he logs on. But I have never checked his phone messages or anything sneaky like that.

I only see him about 3 nights a week - sometimes once in the week and then stay at his for the weekend Fri-Sun... so I have no clue what he does on weeknights, really. I'm not sure why this is such a 'thing' for me lately, but I'm concerned. Should I expect the worst, given his past? Or am I just being paranoid? Have any of you dealt with this kind of thing in the past? Maybe I'm just insecure all of a sudden, and it's me. Please help... I hate this distrust, and my mind keeps jumping to awful conclusions.

 
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Old 07-15-2008, 10:24 AM   #2
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Re: Having trouble with the fact that he's cheated in the past...

I went through the exact same thing you are going through. We dated for over 3 years and I knew he had cheated on his previous girlfriend (I've known him through work for 13 years). At first everything was peachy, then we got into an argument and he told me he didn't want a girlfriend, so we were just dating without making a commitment to each other. I found out after several months that he was still seeing his ex-girlfriend (the one he cheated on!) occasionally. I confronted him on it and he denied it each time (there were about 4 times total). I took to doing "drive-bys" when he said he was "Christmas shopping" or was "busy". Her car was at his house a couple of those times. But he still denied it. A few times she came over when I was at his house and he told her to leave each time, so he wasn't treating her very well either. So I decided to stop seeing him, which he didn't like AT ALL, but that wasn't his choice, it was mine. I decided that I didn't want to live my life that way, always wondering what he was doing and who he was with, even if he wasn't doing anything wrong. Always looking for signs that someone had been with him at his house (she liked to leave her ponytail scrunchies on his nightstand or on the floor next to his bed, so I'd know she'd been in bed with him). Checking his phone on the sly, checking his site on a social networking website, etc. It's a lousy way to live and just kills your self esteem.

Now, I don't know if you have seen any signs that your boyfriend has actually cheated on you. There may be nothing, and there may in fact be nothing to find. But as you are finding out, it sucks to have these fears and suspicions. You will never truly know what he's up to and you can drive yourself nuts wondering. Do you have a strong relationship otherwise? Can you sit him down and straight out tell him your fears and ask him how you two can deal with this? I would try not to sound accusing, just let him know that after what he told you, you just have this little voice in the back of your head making you doubt yourself. He may be able to reassure you that even though this happened in the past, he learned from it and has no intention of ever doing it again. Generally I agree with the "once a cheater, always a cheater" but I believe it in the context of the current relationship, i.e. he cheated on YOU, you took him back, and now he feels he has blanket license to cheat on you again. He truly may have learned from his past and won't repeat it. But only you know him well enough to gauge if he is being open and honest with you when you talk to him.

Good luck, I hope to hear that you two talked and worked it out, and you can relax and enjoy the relationship!

 
Old 07-16-2008, 02:19 AM   #3
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Re: Having trouble with the fact that he's cheated in the past...

To me, it seems like the fact that he cheated, moved on and is still amicable with the ex, that it wasn't THE RELATIONSHIP for him. Every relationship is different, and while there are people who will always cheat, there are many more who took a wrong step and learned their lesson from it. Even though the relationship was long-term, it maybe didn't go very deep for him. I would give him the benefit of the doubt in the light of no grounds for suspicion. He didn't have to tell you, and the fact that he did probably means that it you are important enough to him to lay it on the line early in the relationship. Sera

 
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