my boyfriend cheated... should i stay?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-03-2003
my boyfriend cheated... should i stay?
Tue, 06-03-2003 - 2:08am
About two months ago, I found out that my boyfriend cheated on me for most of our relationship (it's been over a year.) his ex/the mother of his child found out that him and I were together, so she called me and told me about their relationship. I told him that it was over and I never wanted to talk to him again.. but we kind of worked things out. he showed up at my house the next day crying, telling me he loves me, and begged me for another chance. I'm giving it to him, because I love him, and because i believe in second chances.

as happy as i am that we're still together, I am scared to death that it will happen again, or that he never even ended things with Her and i am just being blind because i love him. he was so good at concealing their relationship back then, so what's to say he isn't doing that again? I spoke with his ex again about a month ago, and she wished us the best and told me that he had not tried to fix things with her or get back with her or anything like that. however, I still have a pit in the bottom of my stomach whenever I think about it.

i think my real question is, do you believe that men can change? is it really possible that my boyfriend realized what he did to me (AND her) was wrong and he isn't going to do it again? He told me the reason he didn't end things with her when he met me is because he didn't want his son to be without a father, and that his ex would take his son away from him if he left her. he said he is in love with me, but that he cares about her, and felt that he should be with her because of their son. i know that he loves me... i am just so terrified... but I want to be with this man. I love him. I just don't know what to think anymore. it's going to be hard to ever, ever trust him again. should I? or should i get away ASAP?

any advice, whether i'll like it or not, would be greatly appreciated :)

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anonymous user
Tue, 06-03-2003 - 11:24am
You say that you're scared that it will happen again, and I think that you need to remember that it's his job to reassure you of that. You should make it clear to him that you're not condoning his previous behavior by taking him back, you're merely forgiving it, and if it happens again, you will end the relationship. I want to emphasize, though, that a relationship is built solely on trust, honesty, and respect, and clearly all of those were put by the wayside when he had an affair. If you truly think that you can regain those, and he won't cheat again, then focus on your relationship and leave the past behind. Good luck.
Avatar for drshoshanna
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 06-03-2003 - 11:37am
This is a tricky situation. Although it is wonderful that you are forgiving and want to work things out, it is also necessary for you to have safeguards and assurances that it will not happen again and is not happening now. The fact that he hid it from you so successfully for such a long time indicates that it is important for the two of you to establish really open, honest, on-going communication with one another. He explained why he did this, and his ex called and reassured you. On the face of it all looks fine. However, you need to ask yourself what it is you now need to be able to trust him and believe him. What would make you feel secure. Then let him know what it is, and make sure he provides that to you. Do you need to know where he is for awhile? Do you need the two of you to have a few sessions with a couple therapist? Do you need more quality time together? This is up to you to decide. Yes, of course, people make mistakes and can and do change. It is good to be forgiving and offer second changes. But it is also important to realize that basic patterns in a person do not alter unless they are fully understood and worked upon.

Best wishes to both of you,
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-06-2003
Tue, 06-03-2003 - 2:14pm
He WILL cheat again. It's not a question of if, it's just a matter of when. I'd dump him before he makes a fool out of you again. This time, you'll have nobody to blame but yourself.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-17-2003
Tue, 06-03-2003 - 2:25pm
In this case I don't believe he can change. You already gave him, or rather he took, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, etc. chances each time he cheated on you and kept it from you over the majority of your relationship.

You should have someone who is as devoted to you as you are to him.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2003
Tue, 06-03-2003 - 2:29pm
He only stopped because he was caught. What has changed since then to really prevent him from doing it again? Has he beenin therapy?

He cheated because he could, not because of his son. He can be a good father without being romantically involved with his ex.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-22-2003
Thu, 06-05-2003 - 10:12am
You are going through a really tough time, honey. And, no matter what anybody tells you to do, you are going to follow your heart. Just beware that it may get broke again. Nobody knows your whole story. There's no way to tell it in a few quick paragraphs. I'm sure that you are still with your boyfriend. So, my advice to you, is to get busy. Find as many ways to make yourself happy, as you possibly can. Don't live for your man. You need your own life. Which includes things that make you happy, having nothing to do with him. That way, if you two don't work out, you have good things to keep you going. I've been going through some infidility problems with my boyfriend lately. I've heard the advice from the people who care about me. But, I just can't give up, yet. I decided, though, to stop revolving my life around him. I am moving forward and trying to better myself, with or without him. I hope we make it, but if we don't, I want to have other good things in my life waiting to take the place of him. Before I went through this myself, I'd have thought of you as pitiful and desperate. But, now I know that it's just the downside of love. Best wishes to us both.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Thu, 06-05-2003 - 12:43pm
He's still only your boyfriend you have no "real" committment to him why stick around?? If you know for sure and he's done it already why should you believe he'll never ever do it again ever in the future??
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
Thu, 06-05-2003 - 3:09pm
First of all, your question wasn't stated correctly. You asked if "men" can change. What you should have asked is if "cheaters" can change, because a real "man" would not have done this to you.

Yes, sometimes cheaters do change, but only if they absolutely have to in order to keep you around. That is not the case with you. He cheated, then he cried (pathetic), and you took him back. He doesn't have to change. You didn't demand any better.

Should you trust him again? What has he done to earn your trust? All he did was cry and beg. You want to believe that he loves you. You want to believe that he knows how wrong he was. You want to believe it will never happen again. You are kidding yourself. He cheated on you for over a year, and the guilt didn't get to him at all. I think it would be even easier for him to cheat on you now, knowing that you are aware he has done it before and you didn't leave. If you don't leave him now, you are setting yourself up for heartache in the near future.