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do cheaters every change?
March 14, 2006
2:14 pm
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basketcase
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Hi. Haven't been here in quite some time. But, I have a dilemma right now that I could use some advice. Here's the scoop in brief. Me and my guy have been together for a little over 2 years now (on and off). We were once engaged early into our relationship (we moved way too fast). Keep in mind, we both have children (I have 3, he has 2). So, moving way too fast, and combining the 2 families proved a little difficult. Anyways, we broke up less than a year after we met, I moved out, but, we keep coming back together. Can't seem to get over each other. Love has never really been the issue. He has had a drinking/drug problem in the past, although he hasn't had a drink or anything else in about 3 months. He's doing really well with that. A couple of weeks ago, he went to work in Colorado for 2 weeks. Naturally, he fell in love with the state, particularly a very small town, small population, small school environment. It would be great for our kids. Also, the financial potential for him would be alot greater than here. Combine that with the fact that the "rat race" here in the Dallas area is so much more stressful. Long story short, he wants to move to Colorado......all of us! He came back completely changed and positive and determined about what he wants out of life. He has once again proposed, ring and all, and wants us to all move. Sounds great, right? But, that is alot for me to digest. I have trust issues since he has been back and forth so often over the last couple of years. I love this man dearly, and he is really the only father my children have. They haven't seen or heard from their real father in about 2 years..... Anyways, I am a teacher, and I love where I am working presently. I've already packed up and moved myself and my kids once for him, and then we split up. I'm afraid to do it again. He tells me that I can take as long as I want. That he will wait for me, and fly me up to him as often as it takes, but he knows that we belong together. It sounds like a dream, and the place is breathtaking. I have researched and sent for an application for a Colorado teaching certificate. But, I'm not sure if I am ready to take that leap. A large part wants to stay here another year, and see how things play out. But, here's the new problem. Two days ago, we were talking, and he admitted that he cheated on me once about 7 months after we started dating. About a year and a half ago. I had my suspicions, but now that those suspicions have been confirmed, I'm really unsure about things. He's offered to go to counseling with me, which I know that I need anyways. But, is that enough? Do cheaters ever change? How do you forgive someone for this? To him, it was a year and a half ago, but to me it is like it was just yesterday. This morning I woke up in a funk. I cried after he left to work, and I typed a letter to him on the computer. He called while I was doing that, and I could barely contain myself on the phone. He could hear my voice cracking, and he knew something was wrong. I'm sure he probably knew what was wrong, too. He said that if I wanted to talk to call him anytime during the day. He called again this afternoon, and said the same thing. He's waiting on me to talk to him about it, but I just can't do it when I look at him. I have so many questions, and I know that the more details I have, the harder it is to get past it. But, do you ever get past it? I keep wondering if he felt any remorse after it was over and when he came home and had to face me, because, I was truly clueless that anything for certain had happened. Suggestions anyone? I am really struggling here. Yesterday morning was great however. The day before, I really didn't want him to touch me, but yesterday morning, I pretty much devoured him! What a way to wake up! Anyways, I'm so confused and unsure about what to do. Help!!!!!!!

March 14, 2006
2:43 pm
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Anonymous
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sometimes the best decision is NO decision.

when you aren't ready to make a decision - stop trying - stop thinking - and keep going with what you are doing - and trust the answers will show themselves in time.

I think that is the BIGGEST lesson I have learned in my recovery.

You have alot of reasons to believe this could be good - alot of reasons to be worried....and truthfully - obsessively thinking about it is NOT gonna give you the answers. Asking a thousdand people for their advice and opinions is not gonna give you the trust and assurance you are making the right choice.

So - don't make one.

And in the next set of waking moments - consider what YOU want - what you need to make you happy.

You mention your desire not to uproot your children again - keep that in your brain.

You mention your desire not to change jobs or move for a man again - keep that in your brain.

Let the rest gel.

Three months isn't a long time to be clean and sober - is he going to meetings? that's important. He should be in counseling on his own - not just with you....his demons that caused him to drink and use are his - and his to face alone. Joint therapy is good to help you learn to communicate and such - but it doesn't solve personal issues that we all have - we have to do that alone.

Do cheaters ever change? most will tell you no - I will tell you they CAN - but the percentage that do is slim. And quite honestly - there is no good reason to cheat - but under some circumstances - the cheating may be a symptom of an issue that CAN be fixed - and not just a glaring character flax. What I mean is - sometimes people cheat because of "special" circumstances. And under the right conditions and with the right kind of therapy and recovery - it may not happen again. But some people just cheat and cheat and cheat - and think nothing of it - and no amount of therapy will change that - I was cheated on - and I never ever thought I would recover - and while time has passed and I have forgiven him - it IS hard to forget....and there are times it haunts me.

I also think that sometimes people act erratically because of their "environment" and that a change often helps. And perhaps in the environment he is in now, being together as a family is a problem - but in a new environment - it is possible. I guess what I mean is that my boyfriend and I have talked about living together many times - and we face many challenges if we choose to live in one place as opposed to another - and because of that - it HAS affected our relationship. Things are better now - because I don't "rate" our relationship on where we live - but at one time - I had issues with the idea of him living where he was - and me living where I was - and I wanted it MY way - which I thought was "perfect" and doable - and he had his ideas. Anyway - probably confusing.

If he is staying clean - perhaps moving away from his old "stomping grounds" will do him good? If he WANTS to use - he will find new sources where he is - but if he truly wants to change - the new environment may encourage and support him. Running away from problems isn't an answer - but removing yourself from temptation certainly is smart.

I think the cheating incident is going to hurt you for a while - only because you JUST found out - with all else that went on - it's going to rock your boat.

And so, all I can really tell you is to take your time - all the time you need to know in your heart that this is the right or wrong thing to do.

But don't kill yourself trying to "process" it - relax and let the answers come to you - listen to your inner voice - and listen to your higher power if you believe.

And also - if he is truly changing - he will care what you feel about all this - so talk to him - don't feel like you are alone in this - and he should feel some remorse - just cuz it didn't happen yesterday doesn't mean it didn't happen - or that it hurts any less. You have a right to your feelings - don't forget that.

take a deep breath - and focus on what you can do TODAY - and let tomorrow happen TOMORROW. Focus on what you have control over - let go that which you don't.

March 14, 2006
2:51 pm
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taj64
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Im sorry about your situation. Of course you are confused. Since you have recently learned that he cheated on you it is going to take time to accept this knowledge and also move on from it. He hurt you and you didn't deserve. He disrepected your dating relationship and while you may not have been committed to each other just yet, he should have been open and honest awhile ago and not now. He lied to you and I too would find it hard to trust him. Can you really trust him? Because once the trust has been broken, it is extremely hard to gain it back. And you have already stated that you had suspicions which means you have not really trust him all along. Without trust you cannot have a successful relationship unless you are willing to just put up with it. It devours self esteem. Im not saying breaking up with him is the answer since he is saying he will go to counseling however actions speak louder than words. You do not know at this point if the move will be good or not and you certainly have valid reasons not to rush there. it sounds whimisical to move like this across the states especially after having been sober for only 3 months. He has a whole family to consider, not just his needs. Is he considering your needs? I am not sure I can say he is when he offers for you to visit instead of the way things are now which up to now seemed ok. It is a step backward in a relationship to move separately, especially where kids are concerned. It become a distant relationship which often ends in failure. You have a lot to think about but hang in there. As for your question about cheaters, they can change but only if they want to and it takes a lot of hard work.

March 14, 2006
4:39 pm
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basketcase
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Thank you both for your response. I have told myself several times, at least about the moving, to just put it in God's hands and let Him lead the way. I am tired of making these big decisions alone, but in my situation, that is all I have. I am trying to let my head lead, not my heart. God knows my heart has gotten me in much trouble before. My plan at this point is to get through this school year, and to possibly sign another contract for next year. Let him prove that he is for real this time.

As far as the cheating thing. Yes, it is tough. It does hurt as if it just happened yesterday. My suspicions with him cheating is partially based on my past history. My childrens' father cheated on me as well, so I have a trust issue with men in general. Regardless of how long ago it happened, it still happened.

Anyways, he has called a couple of times today while he is working. The last time he asked if I wanted to talk about what was bothering me earlier. I told him I didn't want to talk about it right now. He said ok. I am pretty sure he knows what is bothering me. He would be a fool not to know. It's hard to talk to him face to face about it right now, though. I wrote my thoughts down and after he reads it, I will talk to him. It's just easier to express myself without getting bogged down in emotion that way. Thanks again for your input.

March 17, 2006
3:45 am
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tomgirl
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I love how you said you'r gonna give it to God forgiveness is gonna bring you throught this .I do not beleive once a cheater always a cheater I think thats a lie from the devil.God can heal restore love is hopes all things for good.pray together . God bless you both

March 17, 2006
3:56 am
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bonita1
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basket,

I don't believe they change, unfortunately. Thanks for posting in paragraphs. That first post was a little difficult to wade through.

;p bonita

March 17, 2006
10:51 am
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whidbey
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I know for a fact that SOME cheaters can change. My brother was one, big time, in his marriage. However, the last time it happened, after the huge blow-up between him and his wife, they went to intensive counseling, and, as my brother said, he realized it was time he grew up. He allowed my SIL all the time she needed to process everything, never got defensive about his behavior, and basically "took his lumps" and did whatever it took for her to work through her feelings. They now have a very good, trusting marriage and have for at least 10 years. I can read my brother like a book, and I know he's changed.

That all being said, the bottom line is that my brother did the work it took to change, realizing that he DID need to change. That, of course, is key.

March 17, 2006
11:02 am
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Mishy2sons
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To answer the question: yes, I believe that chronic cheaters can change but usually only once they get to be middle-aged and settle down. If a partner hasn't cheated before then (middle-age), that is the time he or she might.

My unsolicited advice to you is to evaluate this situation for yourself and your children. I wouldn't move just for him or rush into a marriage committment. However, if you rsearch the opportunities and believe that this could be a good move foryour family with or without him, then go for it.

March 17, 2006
11:02 am
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Anonymous
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another thing worth mentioning here is working on yourself.

while it's important that HE change - you will need to work on the trust issues and the insecurity issues - and eliminating the "baggage" from the past.

I know this all too well - as I recently thought I was doing "well" with the whole putting the past in the past thing - and it reared it's ugly head (not without good cause) - and it hurt. I am still trying to make sense of what to do next.

But sometimes - I hate to make excuses - but sometimes - depending on how a person was raised - they may "see" things differently than we do - they may not know any better. The ones worth sticking around for are the ones that admit they were wrong and work hard to correct the mistakes....if they continue to believe they did nothing wrong and have nothing to fix - those are the ones to run for the hills from.

But speaking from experience - no matter what you decide - cheating haunts you for a LONG time - and part of recovering from that is learning to trust YOURSELF (and trust that you will know if he cheats) - as well as working on your self esteem and insecurities - so if he's not cheating - you won't ruin the relationship by always worrying that he is.

March 17, 2006
3:05 pm
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nappy
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Hello,
I read your thread and realize that it is not about your boyfriend cheating, this is about you.
Let put him to the side right now and focus on you.
Have you thought about what you wanted in life. What you want for your kids. You is trying to hard to change, enable, rescue this person. We all would want that life that consist of being a good wife, good mother, having that little house with the picket white fence but sometimes that is not what we will get in life. I would learn to love myself first, Learn to let him go so that he can find himself. You both maybe right now don't know what you really want. I don't think that after a short time later that he has gotten himself better. It don't work that fast. Maybe you should just let him go up there and if it is meant to be then he will come back. Life is one of the hardest lesson that we will learn while we are on this earth but we will learn it and that is a fact.
You don't want to get up there and find out that you are going to have to pack up and leave again especially when you have children. It might be happen in the beginning but when the real storms of life come through are you and him able to handle them.??????

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