(How) Do I get over my girlfriend's one-time infidelity?
January 18, 2010 9:29 AM Subscribe
My girlfriend cheated with an old ex. (How) Do I get over it?
posted by anonymous to human relations (55 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I'm 20, she's 22. We're both in college, she's in her fourth year, I'm in my third. We've been dating for 5-6 months. We met my first year and were friends until last summer. We also share a lot of friends.
Relevant: she had been in a longish distance relationship ("John") since the end of high school. Before that, she had a relationship with "Jim" for 2 years.
When our relationship started, she was still very much in the "I'd like to be single for a while now" mode. She had been seeing other guys around that time, but those things ended within a few weeks as we decided that we wanted to be serious about each other. Over the course of the rest of that summer and the fall, we gradually became more serious about the relationship, spent more time together, etc.
There was always a question of independence though: she has a lot of friends, many more than I do, and she likes going to lots of different kinds of events with different people. I didn't like to ask her about who she went with and what she did all the time, because I told myself that I liked this kind of relationship where we both could be independent and not share everything, while still being together.
The other thing was that she was reluctant to label us as boyfriend/girlfriend for a long time, and the few times we did try to discuss it she got distant and changed the subject.
Cut forward to the last 2 weeks. We've been spending more time together than ever, and I really felt like we were becoming closer and a better couple. Yesterday, while walking outdoors, there was some little thing that she did that I liked, and from my mouth come the words "I *love* you!" I really meant I love it when you do that, or I love that little thing about you. I was not really ready to say those words, and there was a bit of a brief silence, and then we changed the subject.
I didn't think much of that, until later that night - she brought up that she felt like I shouldn't have said that, and that she was kind of afraid at how close we were becoming. After a long period of silence, she told me that the reason for this was that she slept with her ex-boyfriend "Jim" once over winter break.
It means a lot to me that she told me and didn't just keep it a secret, even though chances are I wouldn't have found out anyway. I told her that I found that unacceptable, that I was disappointed, hurt, etc, and she told me that it was a mistake, that she was sorry, and that she would never do it again.
As reasons, she cited:
1. All of her other friends were gone, so she ended up hanging out with him
2. It was kind of like a 'test' of whether or not she really wanted to be in a relationship again. She said she missed me during it.
What should I do? I really like her - the time we spend together is always fun, I feel that we share a connection, physically and mentally, etc. I feel that a stronger man than I might say "it's over" based on principals. I don't feel revulsion toward her because of it, just a sense of disappointment and betrayal. I can see myself getting over it fairly quickly.
We've already spent a long time talking about it, but the question that remains is, how can she keep her independence after such a betrayal? I don't feel that I want to grant her the same flexibility that I did, and she agreed, saying that she "abused the flexibility that I allowed her".
I don't want to end it. Should I? How can I reestablish trust if not?
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