“My boyfriend cheated on me last year in June. He didn’t tell me for a month and when he did, I was so hurt and confused I didn’t know what to do. I stayed with him and am still with him now but I still find myself checking his phone and messages all the time, and when he goes out I feel so sick I could throw up. I feel like I haven’t forgiven him. I just don’t know how to move past it. I feel so silly that I’m still thinking about it all the time and worrying even though he has apologized countless times. And I feel like I can’t talk to him because when we do because he gets mad and upset with me for bringing it up. I was just wondering if you have any tips to help move past cheating because I hate that I feel like I can’t trust him because I feel like I know I can trust him but I can’t bring myself not to look on his phone and worry when he is out.”
First of all, I have to start with this. Not all cheating is the same. PERIOD. People cheat for a multitude of reasons which makes forgiving someone who cheated different for each relationship.
Giving advice on how to move on and forgive without knowing:
- How long you’ve been together
- How he told you about his infidelity
- If this was an isolated situation
…would make my advice less personal. However, since we are starting from forgiveness, since that is what you chose to do, let’s start there.
The reason you are struggling with forgiving your boyfriend is not just because you don’t trust him. It’s because you’re not sure you made the right decision to stay. Which means you don’t trust YOURSELF.
You are trying to see if you’ve made the right decision by checking his phone and discussing it with him all the time. You currently believe your question is, “how can I move on and trust him?” But it’s actually, “did I make the right decision to stay.”
The uncertainty is with you, which tells me one of two things:
1. Intuitively, you know you can’t trust him
2. This is holding a mirror to your deepest insecurities
Insecurities that, with or without this relationship, would already exist. And that is what I’m more concerned with babe. You know TLC is all about building a solid foundation of love within so that we have solid relationships around us.
Of course, this doesn’t dismiss your experience. Being cheated on is DEVASTATING but the very act of forgiveness is FOR-GIVING-LOVE. Forgiveness is being able to give the love that exists inside of you fully, but if deep down inside there is a contradiction/conflict, then this would be hard.
So my advice currently, without knowing much of your relationship, is to switch the focus to YOU. And see if you are honoring YOURSELF the way you deserve.
Do you know what your standards are for your relationship?
Do you know what you even value?
Is there a way you can start fresh and give to this relationship fully?
What things do you APPRECIATE in your relationship?
How can you change the meaning of his infidelity into something empowering?
The more clear you become about what YOU WANT, the more clear the answer will be if you should stay and repair or move on.
But just be mindful, the choice to stay in a relationship means you have the responsibility to actively REPAIR this relationship.
Hope this helps!