Saturday, July 13, 2024

Doctor Love: Betrayed

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Readers, please send your letters. They can be emails, formal letters or handwritten notes. They are edited solely for grammar and spelling. Also, they are sometimes edited for length.

Dear Doctor Love,
I caught my longtime boyfriend cheating on me a few months ago. He promised he had never done it before and he would never do it again and that we should put it all behind us, so I forgave him. But I still think about it when he is late or doing something that he doesn’t normally do and I get mad. He always explains it away but it is hard to trust him, especially when he goes out with his friends. The problem is that I have met someone who I want to cheat with. He is really attractive and I know he is interested in me. Do I get to cheat once because my boyfriend did?
/s/ Betrayed

Dear Betrayed,
Nine times out of ten cheaters who get caught will swear it was the first and only time, but usually that isn’t the case. Even so, you have tried to forgive him. But forgiving does not mean forgetting and you have not forgotten. It isn’t easy to forget the betrayal of infidelity and the feelings of distrust can eat away at the fabric of a relationship. Getting mad and questioning him when he is late is a natural response after finding your partner has been unfaithful. Your boyfriend will have to go to great lengths to prove his love for you. That means understanding your anger at his cheating and not glossing it over and telling you to move on.
The real question is do you still love your boyfriend? You want to cheat once because he did it, but if you feel a strong attraction for someone else, maybe it is time to ask yourself if you are still invested in your relationship.
Take a step back and reevaluate your true feelings about your relationship. Do you stay with him because you love him or because it is comfortable? Do you want to spend your life with him? Instead of cheating you should rethink your attachment to your boyfriend. If you are honest with him you about how his cheating has affected you it will better define your true feelings for him. You may realize that you love him enough to invest yourself completely in your relationship, or it may reveal that you have moved past it and are ready to explore a new one.
No matter what the outcome, you will feel less the victim if you talk openly to your boyfriend. You have a right to be angry; he broke your trust.

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