Is there hope after cheating?
December 24, 2013 1:35 AM   Subscribe

I severely fumbled with my boyfriend's heart. I don't know what to do.

First off I know this is a very sensitive subject. And I'm sorry if it triggers anyone's negative feelings. But I'm in a place of desperation right now and I just need to reach out to MeFi. I've always gotten good advice here before.

I've been dating someone I've known for six years, but because of complications, distance, and terrible timing, we've never had a chance to be together until three months ago. But I have to say being with someone I've formed such a deep friendship with had been the most amazing experience of my life. We have that fabled "connection" that so many people talk about. Kyle even loved my daughter to bits, and she loved him. We were deeply in love and had mentioned the possibility of marriage over the years, and now it seemed like a very real reality.

Not to make excuses for myself, but I have to give this bit of background: I have severe daddy issues. My dad was abusive and he rather dramatically split from my mom ten years ago. I guess I never fully got over it. In response I started accumulating lots and lots of male friends. Most of them I've never had any attraction to, and our relationship was just platonic. Some of them turned into "more than friends" but fizzled out.

Well I never realized why I surrounded myself with so many guys until recently, and from the start my Kyle half-joked about it. I saw that it was an issue, but I've always been quite retarded when it comes to relationships. Once I asked Kyle if one of his friends could take me out dancing, since Kyle is often busy with work. He reacted in anger, asking me why on earth I would want to go out with one of his guy friends. I didn't see what the problem was until he reacted that way. But like I said, I've never been very good at deciphering these things.

One major mistake I made was confiding too much about my relationship to my guy friends, and in one male friend in particular. I went to his house one day when me and Kyle first got together, a time when I was afraid and unsure about where the relationship was going to go. For some reason, in my heart I was sure it was going to end as quickly as it started. But later I'd find that this wasn't the case. Well my "friend" took advantage of the situation. Not to say I didn't have a hand in it, but he was quite insistent we sleep together, when he knew I was in a weak place. One thing lead to another. I still kick myself for getting into that situation at all. I really should have known better.

Well I didn't tell my boyfriend about it at first. I just couldn't bear to. But he got it out of me eventually, because he knew something was up. I tearfully told him what had happened. He was so wrecked to say the least. Still he seemed willing to give us another chance.

The fatal mistake I made was to think that it would be okay to still hang out with my guy friends after all of this happened. I got into the habit of texting Kyle each day to tell him where I was during the day. I thought this would give him a reason to trust me. But instead it backfired when I told him that I was hanging out with a guy friend who was in town visiting. I don't know why I thought this would be a good idea. I didn't realize it would drive a wedge between us. He responded that he couldn't believe that I would go hanging out with another man when I was trying to make things right between he and I, and in retrospect that makes sense. I kept texting apologies all day, but I didn't really hear from him until three days later when we had the conversation that ended our relationship.

Last night he broke up with me after explaining that there is a reason why he has a hard time trusting anyone. and I understood...I was wrong, and I can't deny it at all. But I've never broken down so badly. I even attempted suicide, but at the last moment I simply couldn't go through with it and leave my daughter behind. I know it was wrong to try in the first place. But the pain was so overwhelming. I'd deeply wounded this man I love so much, and now he was out of my life... I just wanted it to end. I was so hysterical when explaining to my mother what happened that she had to give me a sedative to calm me down. Then I asked her to pray for me, which is unusual because I'm agnostic. I just needed something to hold on to though.

So in short, I accept responsibility for what I did, and I'm not trying to excuse myself or paint myself as a victim...but I am saying that I've made some horrible mistakes that have lead to me losing someone that completed me so much. I want to know if there is hope of us ever being together again...hope of him ever forgiving me. Secondly I need to know how I can function during this time. I have to take care of myself and my kid...I woke up this morning and my whole body felt like lead. I know I need to be present for her. Thanks for reading. Again I'm sorry if this has triggered anyone or caused any negative feelings. I know that cheating is a very delicate issue. But I don't have anyone in my life right now who i can really trust to talk to about this.
posted by Cybria to Human Relations (30 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
You need professional help, stat. You tried to kill yourself last night? Get to the emergency department now for a psychiatric evaluation. You sound like you are out of touch with reality here. What happened is what happened and you cannot change it now. Forget about trying to make things up with Kyle. If it were going to work out with him, things would not have gone this far wrong in just 3 months. You have personal issues that you need to focus on hard before being in a relationship with Kyle or anyone else anytime soon. Get your daughter to a safe place with family and get help.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 1:41 AM on December 24, 2013 [56 favorites]

Oh, Cybria. I'm at work and can't make a proper response right now, but please please please get help. A suicide attempt is a big, BIG deal, and we're all so glad you didn't go through with it. Take care of yourself for your daughter, yes, but please take care of yourself for yourself. Hopeline is a start, and I'm sure others will chime in. Please talk to someone and get some help.

I am NOT a trained suicide interventionalist, and this is not professional help (which you should get), but if you just want someone to listen, I will listen, if you want. I'm kind and try to be non-judgy. Memail me.

This too will pass. Your daughter needs a mom who takes care of herself. It's one of the most loving things you can do for her.
posted by spelunkingplato at 1:50 AM on December 24, 2013 [3 favorites]

Yes, what treehorn+bunny said. You need to talk to a mental health professional, ASAP. This doesn't make you a crazy person, but if you made an attempt on your own life you need to get help now. It will also put you in touch with someone you can work through these feelings with - a regular therapist. Please get help.
posted by nurgle at 1:51 AM on December 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

I'm going to Nth treehorn+bunny right now SO HARD.

This is above Ask Metafilter's pay grade, so to speak, and it is very very good you are being directed to the proper resources.

Reach out. Accept help. Don't wait.
posted by jbenben at 1:54 AM on December 24, 2013 [3 favorites]

For some reason I didn't see the suicide attempt as a reason to get help....I'm just so broken over what I've done to my relationship. it's true though, I'm in a very bad place emotionally and mentally. Currently I'm an expat in a country where there aren't things like suicide lines, but I'll go to see the psychiatrist as soon as I get a chance to.
posted by Cybria at 1:55 AM on December 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

> . Currently I'm an expat in a country where there aren't things like suicide lines,

Is there someone in your family or circle of friends that you can call back home? You can frame the discussion in terms of your very real difficulties with going through interpersonal issues while working in a foreign country, and you may find that just having a responsive person on the other end will let you relax enough to see the next small step.
posted by planetesimal at 2:06 AM on December 24, 2013

I think the suicide bit will be well covered. I'm going to look st the longer term. Therapy of course, but you have homework as well. Decide not to partner up for one year. Spend that time making an inventory of yourself, and who ou want to be, both for the saint of parenting your daughter, and for your future life.

Many people believe there is not just One person who will suit us, and if Kyle suited your current self, imagine what kind of a partner you will have if you deal with your issues. Consider difficult choices like you faced recently - fidelity or give into desire. If you want to be the kind of person that fidelity is important to, write scripts for yourself on how you might deal with similar situations - if given a choice to go home alne with a man I'm not bound to, I will chose not to. If an attractive man comes on to me, I will tell him "I'm flattered but no, thank you." (No explanation required).

How will you go on? Like anyone who is grieving. You will take one breath after another, try to plan your days, make time and emotional space for your daughter, follow your career goals, and rinse and repeat until you start to feel like you again.

Do you have a chance with Kyle? Possibly, but it would be very difficult, and I wouldn't recommend it without relationship counselling. To get through this together, you would have to tolerate - accept - his lack of trust in you. You would have to accept him bringing he issue up over and over again until he has no more to say on the matter without getting angry or defensive, and that is very hard, when you may feel he's not putting enough effort into forgiving you and trusting you and loving you.

Things do get better. We get over loves lost, not by living them again, or someone else to avoid the pain but by choosing to experience the loss, and shame, and regret and feeling it all deeply before moving on to a new part of our life where we are wiser and more careful. It takes time
It will hurt, but you can get through it and make peace with this experience, if you work at it.
posted by b33j at 2:33 AM on December 24, 2013 [13 favorites]

Hi Cybria
Sounds like you are having a hard time. You want to know if there is hope. I want you to know that there is hope, however that hope depends on you getting professional help now. Dont let it be a matter of chance, you are in a bad place mentally and emotionally. Make your self care come first.
You are deserving of compassion and kindness regardless of these relationship mistakes, please consider having compassion for your self and call a therapist now.
If you have access to long distance phone you can call any suicide hotline or mental health helpline. They will talk with you and listen. Even if those feelings have passed you can still call.
Things will get better, there is hope for you. The only action you need to do right now is to reach out for help and not stop until you get some.
posted by SyraCarol at 2:40 AM on December 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Cybria, hugs. I'm glad you didn't kill yourself. Please don't. I've lost several friends to suicide, and you can't imagine the grief and darkness that it leaves behind. Especially for the families. Please don't do that to your daughter.

Try to get help ASAP. Can you call the suicide hotline in another country until someone becomes available where you are? Can you return home?

You do have hope. Relationships can weather these storms if there is commitment on both sides. Some partners would have the emotional wherewithal to stand by you as you work out your issues, especially when you're showing such remorse.

Some people think it is okay to have opposite-sex (or same-sex in the case of LGBT folks) platonic friends while you're in a relationship. It's something I believe every couple has to work out between themselves. It sounds like Kyle had reservations about it from the beginning. If you get back together, you might have to be willing to forego hanging out with single guys without Kyle. I don't think it's unreasonable. You need to decide whether you are willing to do that.

I'm glad you asked your mom to pray for you. Have you tried praying for yourself, Kyle, and your daughter as well? I suggest that you give it a try. You and your mom can pray together. You may be surprised at the peace you feel.

Metafilter skews toward a belief that the only way a person can get their act together is to swear off romantic relationships for at least a year, and that people shouldn't try reconciling. However, that's not the only option. I've known people for whom relationships were healing and positive. You don't have to wait to be perfect or almost perfect before you're ready for a relationship. Sometimes love is a crucible in which we are made better people. (And I say that as someone who actually is on a break from dating).

I hope you're okay, and if you want to MeMail me, please do. Update us to let us know you're fine.
posted by Rainflower at 4:05 AM on December 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

So in short, I accept responsibility for what I did, and I'm not trying to excuse myself or paint myself as a victim...but I am saying that I've made some horrible mistakes that have lead to me losing someone that completed me so much. I want to know if there is hope of us ever being together again...hope of him ever forgiving me. Secondly I need to know how I can function during this time. I have to take care of myself and my kid..

You don't need a relationship with a man (or woman) to complete you. You have a relationship with your child. Focus on that. And while I doubt you'll ever get back together with this guy, in a bigger perspective, if he's known you for years, then he knows what you've been through and he'll probably get over the infidelities and be able to be friends with you again if you give it time.

All of that said. You really, really, really need to get into therapy. Not just for the suicide attempt. You've had a rough upbringing and it's left you unable to negotiate reasonable boundaries with anybody you're in a relationship with, just because you haven't had good examples in your life of what those reasonable boundaries are. Your upbringing isn't your fault, you can't control what happened in your past. But you can start to take control of the rest of your life today. See a cognitive behavioral therapist, see if it helps.
posted by empath at 4:36 AM on December 24, 2013 [3 favorites]

I want to know if there is hope of us ever being together again...hope of him ever forgiving me

For a lot of reasons, you should not be in a relationship with anyone right now. First and foremost, your mental health needs to be dealt with (if not for yourself, for your daughter). You don't have the luxury of romantic relationships right now, or dwelling on old ones.

However, you understandably can't just forget what just happened. The bottom line is that you made a lot of mistakes in your last relationship, and while you take responsibility, it doesn't seem you really understand what happened. Your thinking seems "clouded" and you describe the things you did passively, as if you were watching someone else do them. This probably has a lot to do with your mental state and painful history. Therapy can you help you deal with this. You need to get healthy for you and your daughter, but also to one day, when you are ready, have successfull relationships.

Think of relationships as just one category of life choices. Getting the help you need will help you make good choices in all areas of your life. As a parent, this is critical.
posted by spaltavian at 6:31 AM on December 24, 2013 [6 favorites]

Not a lot of hope.

Pretty serious injury.

Would take a very mature partner to deal with it well and not let it impact the future. Based on subtext in YOUR post, he's not that guy.

Your best bet is to deal with your loss, own your actions, and plan on how you will be better with the next one. The goal in life isn't perfection so much as it is continuous improvement.

If you feel drawn to multiple partners, perhaps stating that up front is a good way to avoid this in the future. Nothing in the world wrong with non-monogamy, as long as you are honest about it and everyone involved is with the program.

Lies, however, are usually character flaws. These aren't acceptable in real grownups, and while it's hard to be honest sometimes, look how hard it is to be dishonest. Ouch.

Good luck. Don't make too much out of this. You will heal and accept yourself, eventually, and the boy will, too. Probably not a good idea to do it together until you are a little further along. There are millions more and the next boy will benefit from your hard earned bruises and experience. And don't be too hard on you. We all make mistakes and grow from them. Doesn't mean you are an evil person, just flawed, like we all are.

Big hug. Peace. Patience. It'll be ok.
posted by FauxScot at 6:43 AM on December 24, 2013 [3 favorites]

There is plenty of hope for you.

You need to get professional help as soon as you can. Talk to your mom, who obviously cares for you.

There's a lot of reasons it doesn't seem like you or your ex were in a good place to build a relationship. I took a peak at your previous questions, and it seems pretty clear that you have been dealing with some serious issues, and you need to get treatment.

Making mistakes doesn't make you a bad person. It does not make you undeserving of love. Please get help.
posted by inertia at 7:25 AM on December 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Thanks for all the replies...I don't feel suicidal now. I feel deep grief, but I'm not suicidal. I've been emailing about what's been happening. I very much want to go to therapy at this point. It's always been cost restrictive though, which is the only reason I haven't been going. I also really want to save my relationship. I'm not really resigned to the fact that it's over. I was chatting with Kyle today and he is very hurt right now. I think I should just take my mom's advice and give him the meantime I'll do my best to take care of myself. Thanks again for all of the advice.
posted by Cybria at 7:46 AM on December 24, 2013

Please go see a counselor, therapist, social worker, psychologist -- someone to whom you can talk about your feelings. Not just someone who can write prescriptions, but someone who can help you work through all the things you don't understand or don't know why you did or make excuses for. This person should also be able to help you with the more concrete, day-to-day living choices that you will need to function in the best way for yourself and your daughter.

Take some space away from Kyle right now. Your focus should not be on whether you can save the relationship, because both you and Kyle are exhibiting thinking and behavior that will likely only lead you to the same places you've already been, should you get back together.

I hope you will really consider giving both of you the distance you need to make decisions informed by emotions other than hurt and shame.
posted by sm1tten at 7:53 AM on December 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

Currently I'm an expat in a country where there aren't things like suicide lines, but I'll go to see the psychiatrist as soon as I get a chance to.

You need to go to a hospital emergency room, now, and tell them that you have attempted suicide and need psychiatric help immediately. Let your mother take care of your daughter while you are at the hospital.

You need to do this ASAP.
posted by fraula at 8:57 AM on December 24, 2013

Smitten Your last sentence resonated with me. I know I can't help what I've done. I do feel very deep shame now over being another person on the list of people who have hurt him. I want to make that right. I feel a deep need to, but logically there is nothing I can say to make it right. I've already said more than enough to him. It's hard to let go of him right now. Even if it's the right thing to do. I think I am still in the denial's still early on though.

fraula I don't have the option of going to the emergency have to pay upfront to see a doctor here and I don't have any money to do so. I think I will be okay for the time being though.
posted by Cybria at 10:30 AM on December 24, 2013

To be honest, you really didn't do anything that bad to him. A three month relationship that goes south is hardly anything at all. I mean I'm sure he's angry/hurt whatever, but it's not the end of the world. You're building this all up to be this horrific betrayal, and it's just not at all that much in the grand scheme of things. Which isn't to say that you should try and patch things up with him. You're in no state to be in a relationship right now. Just take a deep breath, relax. Not everyone is meant to be with each other. Sometimes you just hook up at the wrong time, and maybe if you guys had been in a different place in your lives, it would have worked out, but you weren't and that's okay.

Just.... Relax. Go rent some movies, eat some ice cream and have a good cry and then take your kid out to play in the snow or something.

Before you get into another relationship, you really need to get out of the mindset that a relationship will make things better for you. It won't. It never will. There is no Prince Charming. You are not sleeping beauty. You're a grown woman who is in charge of her own life and responsible for your kid. You can do it by yourself. And once you start living for yourself, by yourself, you'll find it a lot easier to fit someone else in your life comfortably, without all this drama.
posted by empath at 11:23 AM on December 24, 2013

The deep grief you're feeling now is the emotional equivalent of the pain of broken legs and ribs after a bad but not fatal car crash. The memory of it will make you a more careful driver in your next relationship.

And if you're wise, that will be somebody who, having committed to the relationship, will just choose to trust you unconditionally and not give you a hard time about who you hang out with and when or why. You ought to be free to associate with whoever you please. And if your partner trusts you and you know it, then after what's happened this time around you're really, really unlikely to make the same bad move again.

But if you do, your least bad option afterward is to disclose quickly. The worst thing you can do with somebody who has chosen to trust you unconditionally is deliberately keep something from them that you know they have a right to know.

I'm sure this all sounds really simple-Simon and head-in-the-clouds la-la and couldn't possibly have anything to do with the Real World (tm) but honestly if you have a partnership based on mutual chosen unconditional trust, it works and it is that simple and it is just flat-out wonderful.

Once I asked Kyle if one of his friends could take me out dancing, since Kyle is often busy with work. He reacted in anger, asking me why on earth I would want to go out with one of his guy friends. I didn't see what the problem was until he reacted that way. But like I said, I've never been very good at deciphering these things.

If I were in a relationship with somebody who "reacted in anger" at the prospect of innocent socializing with anybody, that would be the end of that relationship right then and there for me. Total dealbreaker. "Deciphering" be buggered. If I'm not free to be trustworthy, they don't really love me. It really is that stark.

I need to know how I can function during this time. I have to take care of myself and my kid...I woke up this morning and my whole body felt like lead. I know I need to be present for her.

One of the skills that every good parent is pretty much forced to develop is putting their child's needs before their own, even in times where life has totally turned to shit.

Your mantra for the next few months is just going to have to be "I cannot fall apart now. I have things to do." And then you just bite down on the fucking leather strap again and run another fucking mile on your broken fucking legs with your broken fucking ribs. Because you cannot - cannot - let one horrible fuckup tear your kid's mother away from her.

She still has a roof over her head, and clothes, and a warm bed to sleep in and enough to eat and you. And she needs all of those. Refuse to let her down.

Because you know what? She already trusts you the same way a good partner would. She knows you'll be there for her. She doesn't need you to text her every five minutes with a status report to help her trust you, because she just does.

And in your downtime, take the time to grieve. What happened was big and was genuinely tragic.

And when you're ready - and not before! - go find somebody who can hold you close and set you free at the same time.
posted by flabdablet at 11:24 AM on December 24, 2013 [9 favorites]

empath, hello. :) Thank you for another helpful answer. It feels like the end of the world now but it probably won't this time next year. I'll hold on to that.

flabdablet, it's true that I have to be there for my kid no matter what. This has been a lesson I've had to really keep in mind. It's so tempting to just fall apart, and when she was living with her grandmother, I had the freedom to fall apart if I needed to. Now that she's with me again I have to train myself to keep her first. Thanks for that tough reminder.

As for having trust in a relationship, that feels like something so far off to me because I've never been in a functional relationship before. The closest I've come is with Kyle, and I know he has trust issues because of past experiences. Someone warned me before that two people with emotional issues getting together is a disaster waiting to happen, but I chose not to listen. *sigh* I'm learning as I go.
posted by Cybria at 12:11 PM on December 24, 2013

I just want to echo empath. I know a lot of people will touch on your suicide attempt, but if I'm reading your question correctly, the worst "sin" you've committed is DARING to have male friends, some of whom were exes, and to have engaged sexually with other men in the very, very early stages of this current relationship, before the two of you were exclusive.

I have no doubt you truly believe you are in love with this guy, but if, after only three months, he can't reconcile the fact that you happen to KNOW and SOCIALIZE with other men — that just seems SUPER controlling to me.

I mean, I just can't quite parse exactly what you've done wrong here.

But yes, please get help. Even if that just means having someone come stay with you for a couple days to make sure you don't relapse into suicidal thoughts. (I've lived over seas and know there is often a dearth of support for mental illness issues in other countries.)
posted by Brittanie at 12:30 PM on December 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

Someone warned me before that two people with emotional issues getting together is a disaster waiting to happen, but I chose not to listen.

I started to say this in my first comment, and opted not to -- I kinda hinted. But since you mentioned it...

It doesn't excuse your own behavior, but consider that despite the connection you feel you share, there are quite a few red flags on his side.

Being in a good, functional relationship is not something that just "happens" to many of us; it's something we have to learn. We make mistakes as we go, we hurt, but all of us are capable of it.

One thing that you super-super don't want is to be in that type of relationship and sabotage it with your doubts and etc., because you've never experienced it. It's another vote for some type of therapy. If you're particulary motivated a good therapist can work with you through bibliotherapy which might require less sessions (and have less cost) than other forms.
posted by sm1tten at 12:30 PM on December 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

There's a bit of tough love in this response, but please know it doesn't come from a place of judgement; just perhaps a reality check. Let's do this in numbered form:

1) You almost left your daughter, the most important thing in your life, without a mother. Where would that have left her? So, agreeing strongly with the pleas to get help. There is absolutely help out there, and you deserve it.

2) This guy? He's small potatoes. He can't deal with the fact that you have male friends? There's a ton of insecurity there. Between that and your tryst early in the relationship, it doesn't sound like it was ever going to get very far. I know that doesn't make the heartbreak any easier in this moment, but it's for the best. And I don't mean that in pat, offering comforting platitudes kinda way. This person was not healthy for you. You've been given a gift of being free of him. In the future, you'll look back and be grateful.

3) There is NOTHING wrong with having friends of the opposite sex. Any guy in the future that tries to put that on you; show him the door, stat.

4) Armchair psychology time: Have you ever talked to anyone, a professional, about your history of abuse and abandonment? Having glanced at your AskMe history, consider whether you are self-medicating the pain from your past by bouncing between relationships, and not necessarily healthy ones.

You suffered before; it's okay that you feel the need to find comfort. That's human nature. But comfort doesn't equal healing. What you need is healing.

5) Your history with your dad also affects the way you approach relationships: maybe you're drawn to unavailable people? Maybe you sabotage relationships before your partners have a chance to hurt you because you've been hurt in the past? You mentioned some loose connections or flirtations with some of your guy friends that never went anywhere...could you be surrounding yourself with people who seem out of reach? Just raising some potential patterns to see if you recognize any of them.

6) At the end of the day, what others have said here is absolutely right: you need to focus on yourself and your daughter. You need to be healthy and present for her, first and foremost. Find fulfilment in her and yourself FIRST before you even contemplate a relationship. And when you reach that point, one of the questions you ask when you look at a potential mate is, "is he/she good enough to play a role in my daughter's life?"

There's no getting around this simple truth: EVERY choice you make for yourself you are also making for your daughter. There's added responsibility there. Like it or not, that's how it is.

7) It's understandable to feel the need to be in a relationship; to feel incomplete without one. But work hard to get away from that attitude. Relationships can be wonderful. But not ones where you lose yourself, and the things you like about your life (like your friends). Truly, work on loving yourself first. When you love yourself, you'll find you're a lot pickier about who you let into your life.

You can do it. Remember to breathe.
posted by dry white toast at 12:36 PM on December 24, 2013

i'm really sorry you are in such pain over this relationship. i think DBT therapy might be really helpful for you. maybe you can find a counselor online if there aren't any in your current country. here are some self-help resources about DBT.
posted by wildflower at 12:46 PM on December 24, 2013

There is NOTHING wrong with having friends of the opposite sex. Any guy in the future that tries to put that on you; show him the door, stat.

I think most of the advice here is great but there is a repeated theme of "you have done nothing wrong." Someone who surrounds themselves with proto-partners is not the same as someone who has friends of the opposite sex. The poster doesn't have a clear separation and both the boyfriend and the [quote]friends[/quote] have picked up on that. It's not [quote]wrong[/quote] but it will be a problem in your life until you knock it off.
posted by rr at 12:47 PM on December 24, 2013 [6 favorites]

rr yeah, I think "proto boyfriend" is a good term actually. :(
posted by Cybria at 2:15 PM on December 24, 2013

dry white toast, you've raised some important points...thanks for your input. Perhaps I should look closer at my patterns.
posted by Cybria at 2:23 PM on December 24, 2013

[Hey, Cybria, just as a general thing: ask works best more as an ask-question-and-wait-for-answers thing than as an ongoing conversational exchange between the asker and answerers. It's fine to toss and update or two into the thread if you need to clarify or elaborate on something the answerers are trying to pin down regarding your question, but frequent responses to individual answerers is kind of going overboard, so please try to avoid that.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:56 PM on December 24, 2013

Hi cortex, sorry if I am breaking a rule. Usually I don't reply so often, but doing it this way just helps me feel more connected, which I really needed today. I'll remember for the future though.
posted by Cybria at 4:35 PM on December 24, 2013

A few tough things to say here.

Everyone says there's something wrong with Kyle to be on your case about having male friends. Except the situations that you brought up though were not exactly innocent. Isn't dancing quite a date-ish thing to do? And hanging out one-on-one with a male friend right after cheating with a male friend post-hanging-out is pretty disrespectful. It made it seem to him that you didn't really know why you ended up cheating on him in the first place. What rr said is right, you've proto-partners and poor boundaries.

So yeah, therapy. And don't reveal relationship problems to your male friends, because by doing so, you're deepening the emotional bond between yourself and your male friend. Do this enough and you end up in an emotional affair. If you need a male opinion, try blood family members or a professional. Or female friends.

On the other hand, I can understand how your circumstances culminated in you ending up sleeping with your friend. It was something you didn't intend. It happens sometimes. Find a way to forgive yourself though. Many people have been in the same vulnerable situation as you and ended up doing the same thing as you.

I want to know if there is hope of us ever being together again...hope of him ever forgiving me.

There is a possibility, but I would say your chances are very slim. He might forgive you but it may take years before he stops really looking over his shoulders worried you might cheat (if ever, even). He might forgive you in the short term, but the mind movies for him will keep coming back frequently and out of the blue. On the days where they happen, he might take it out on you. He might place restrictions on you such as not hanging out one-on-one with male friends, or require his presence, or whatnot. He will probably never trust you again.

Can you be in this type of relationship? If he even offers it, that is. You don't need to accept this type of relationship to punish yourself. You can just accept the breakup and move on because frankly I think this is no way to live. Your daughter is also watching the relationship between you and Kyle transpire and is learning how to have a relationship by observing you. But that is what is waiting for you if you want a relationship with him where he deals with his feelings about you cheating. You will be making up for the cheating for a long time. He seemed to try to forgive you after you cheated for the first time, but he hadn't actually dealt with his emotions. These things take time and nothing can speed it up.

Lastly, your friend is a dick. He knew you were vulnerable and manipulated you. He is no friend. Your real friends would at least try to stop you from losing your integrity like that.

Hugs. May you find the strength to get through this situation.
posted by rozaine at 9:13 PM on December 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

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