We were in a wonderful relationship for 1.5 years. He went abroad. Sick with loneliness and old emotional problems (BPD) that came back when he was gone, I cheated on him.
Then I moved abroad with him, where he found out. He forgave me and wants us to stay together, I'm not sure what the fairest thing to do is.
posted by mangoprawn to human relations (33 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Now to begin with, if you hate hate hate people who cheat and lie - Please don't judge, I hate myself enough for everyone
So for 2.5 years now I've been in a really great relationship with a great guy, let's call him Tim. We're both 21 and got together when we were 19 at the beginning of college. This relationship was certainly predicated on exclusivity, as he explicitly made me stop dating anyone else before he would even date me.
I was so madly in love, we didn't move in together but we spent every day and night together for the first 1.5 years, were generally inseparable and the most stable and loving couple imaginable. We are both sure we don't believe in marriage, but have often spoken about a future together and kids, and I truly believe being with Tim would make me happy in the long run. He is extremely honest, trustworthy, hard working, understanding and he would always take care of me.
Before I was in college I had a lot of problems. I was diagnosed with BPD after years of self-harm, bulimia and suicide attempts. I had also been in a 2 year relationship in which I had been violently abused. When I got together with Tim it was as if all my problems had disappeared completely, and I was so happy for a long time. I never even once thought of cheating on him although I had cheated in all my past relationships, I truly thought it was going to be different.
Then, in the summer of 2011 I met Brian. He lived a few houses down from me with his girlfriend and another couple, and we all became friends. From the beginning there was a sense that Brian and I were interested in each other. Group conversations would get to the point where everyone would stop speaking but me and him, because they realised we were only focusing on each other. For whatever reason, I guess I could say I was pretty in love with Brian after a while.
In Autumn Tim had to leave for a year abroad in the US. It broke my heart. We had been so inseparable and now I was alone in the desperate UK, everyone around me including myself unemployed and depressed. I lost 40 pounds in a month. I was as depressed as I had ever been, neglected my schoolwork, didn’t sleep, and didn’t eat. Tim was truly my everything and I didn’t know how to function without him. I spoke to him on the phone but it was hard because he mostly got angry at me for drinking too much or doing drugs or not eating. I was really ashamed of being so emotionally dependant on him.
I started drinking heavily and taking valium with Brian and my housemates. One night in a drunk, depressed stupor I had a threesome with Brian and one of my housemates. That opened the floodgates, and I spent the next three months in a destructive spiral, had a tortured affair with Brian, slept with another guy, got arrested, dropped out of college and was date raped.
When Tim was back at Christmas I was so overcome with guilt I could hardly love him like I used to. I suddenly felt I had toughened and he would never know my true, evil character. I couldn’t tell him because it was such an impossibility for him, I didn’t know what would happen. Besides, I had booked tickets to the US to stay with him for the spring semester, I thought that would make it all go away..
Since January I’ve been here with him. In February I started voicing my doubts about being in a monogamous relationship due to the fact I have BPD and end up hurting people, and because I’m his first, and I don’t think it’s right for him to settle on me. His first girlfriend, his first lover. I don’t want to stop him from growing as a person. At one point I had packed my bags, but he begged me to stay. I probably should’ve left then.
While I had been in the US with Tim, Brian slept with 4 other girls, one of which told his housemates about me and him, forcing him to tell his girlfriend. He hadn’t been in contact with me at all for months, so I never had any idea what was going on. Then, one day Tim got an email from Brian’s girlfriend, informing him that I had slept with Brian. I didn’t deny it but I didn’t admit to the affair. After a few days of being furious with me and a lot of sleepless nights and crying on both our parts (but not wanting to kick me out) Tim forgave me. Now we’re back to normal almost, as loving as ever. He says he just wants to be with me.
Then a few days ago I had a long conversation on the phone with Brian, who I finally got through to. We were as always, really good friends, on the same page about everything, non-judgemental of each other (he owes me 700 pounds too) and he immediately asked me to stay with him when I return to England in a month. I said it would be inappropriate, but I can’t deny that I’d want to, and I can’t deny that when he said he was going to break up with his girlfriend, it made me want to break up with Tim. When I thought that Brian was still going to be in a relationship, I was sure I wanted to stay with Tim. This makes it obvious to me that if I were to break up with Tim, my true reason in doing so would be to be with Brian, and this is an elusive and illusory goal.
I am so in love with Brian because he is as instable as I am, and seems to have the same issues. At the same time we disagree on almost all everyday things. I don’t think I could ever be in a relationship with him, yet his friendship is so important to me, I would always regret giving it up. On the other hand he makes little effort to be with me, or more, I don’t know what he wants from me, so I feel like I’m running away from someone wonderful, stable who loves me and forgives me to someone who is not good for me and probably doesn’t want me.
But sometimes I think it’s more than that. I think I may be too young for a relationship and that Tim is too, we both need to roam more, especially since I'm his first, but he thinks he wants only me. I wish we could kiss goodbye and come back to each other in 5 years if we still want to. He sees that as impossible. Day to day life with Tim is fine, we are still the best of friends, but we need to decide whether to live together this summer when we return to England.
I am moving in with my sister, Brian is moving in with his brother in the same town. Tim has his doubts about living with my sister because of her wild lifestyle, and because of my friends left in that town who knew about Brian and me, including Brian. And I have my doubts about living with Tim because I still don’t know whether I want to be in this relationship. I love him, and I want to do whatever is best for him, but I don’t know what that is. I could stay with him, meditate, become a better person, love him as much as I can, forget about Brian and never cheat again, or I could say goodbye and work my problems out. I don't know what the more selfish choice is.