OK, I finally created an account so that I could comment on this. You say that you won’t listen to advice from people who haven’t been there, even though it seems that most of these ladies have been exactly where you are. I’m not going to tell you what to do, but I am going to tell you my story. I apologize for the length of this, and if you choose not to read through to the end, I understand.
Before I met the guy who I thought was the love of my life, I had a string of bad relationships with cheaters. Once I caught them, I dumped them because I believed that I was not the type of girl to forgive infidelity.
Then I met “Steve”. Honestly, the way our relationship began (no strings, friends with benefits, etc.) probably should have clued me into the way our relationship would eventually play out, but I was young and head over heels for him.
The first time he cheated on me was right before we moved in together 1.5 years into our relationship. I found out a week after we moved into an apartment with a locked one year lease. He had a met a girl at his work, stalked her on Facebook, and hooked up with her. He told her that he, “lived with his ex.” When I found out they had been seeing each other for almost a month. When I asked him when he planned on coming clean he said, “I was going to wait and see how things worked out.” I found out it was going on because he was being very secretive with his phone (taking it everywhere, even to shower, turning away from me to answer texts or check Facebook, etc.) and one day when he forgot it I looked through his texts. I wasn’t proud of my snooping, but these ladies are right in saying that if you have a gut feeling that something is going on, you’re probably right.
So what did I do? Stupidly, I forgave him because I was so in love and had never had a connection with anyone like I had with him. Up until that point our relationship had been so easy and I thought we could get that back. We couldn’t. I felt like his mother, not his girlfriend. I was constantly checking up on him, looking through his email on our shared computer, questioning who he was with and where he was, the works. I was a nervous wreck. Everything put me on edge. A Facebook comment from a girl I’d never heard of, phone calls late at night, all of it. Probably the thing that hurt the most was that this other girl was worth pretending I didn’t exist.
And what was he doing? Pleading with me to forgive him, telling me I was the love of his life and that he wanted to marry me, telling me he didn’t know why he did it and that he needed help. Oh, and sneaking around with a coworker.
One night he didn’t come home from hanging out with coworkers, and when he finally showed up at almost noon the next day he lied and told me that he’d done coke, because he knew that even though I hated when he did it, I’d find it preferable to the truth. The truth was that he’d been screwing around with the aforementioned coworker and I only found out by checking his email the next day. In his chat log was a message from her asking if he’d gotten away with it, and he told her that he’d just told me he’d done coke instead and I’d bought it. I screamed, cried, threatened to leave, but he begged me to stay and I let him convince me that once again it would never happen again.
He cheated on my twice more after that, the last time while he was living with me rent-free for a summer. I had it. I felt horrible about myself because I’d let him walk all over me for almost four years because I loved him so much and because I told myself that he could be a better man. I don’t doubt that he loved me, but love isn’t always enough to make a person want to change who they are.
I know that you love this man, and that you envision a life with him. I understand where you’re coming from and that you don’t want the “what ifs” after ending the relationship. But I can tell you that most cheaters don’t change. I found out a long while after we broke up that “Steve” had been contacting women from the “Casual Encounters” Craig’s List board through almost our entire relationship, even when he was swearing that he loved me and that I was his soulmate.
I’ve since met my soulmate. He’s a man who I can fully trust with my heart. I know that he is where he says he is and that he would never, ever do anything to hurt me. I cannot even begin to tell you how freeing it is to feel like he loves and looks after me as much as I love and look after him.
I apologize for the length of this, and I really do wish you all the best. Infidelity is incredibly tough to deal with regardless of which way you choose to address it, but if at any point you do decide to end the relationship, I promise you that someone worth your while is waiting in the wings if only you open your heart to the possibility.