Advice: trust after cheating?
Two months ago I found out my boyfriend cheated on me when he was drunk at a party. He wouldn’t tell me who it was with. I broke up with him for a while but then we got back together. Since this all happened my cousin who I’m really close to has been acting weird. She won’t hang out with me and my boyfriend any more and hardly speaks to him. Now, I am starting wonder if she was the one who he cheated with and that’s why she’s being strange. I don’t want to ask her because it would cause mega dramas. It’s doing my head in. How do I get through this and trust my boyfriend again?
Confused, 15, South Australia
Our psychologist says: Trust once broken can be hard to regain. Because you don’t have all the information about the ‘cheating episode’ you’re left questioning who the ‘other girl’ was. Your cousin may be in avoidance mode because something happened between her and your boyfriend and she feels bad about being the ‘guilty party’. Alternatively, perhaps she’s giving your guy the cold shoulder because she’s angry he was unfaithful to you. What you need is some clarity and the hard facts. Even though your boyfriend is reluctant to reveal all, it seems you need this ‘vital information’ to know where you stand and have any chance of really ‘moving on’. If he genuinely wants to try to repair your relationship, he needs to be prepared to answer your questions. Ask him outright about his cheating. Who was it with and why did it happen? How can he reassure you he won’t go down that path again? What changes is he going to make to his behaviour to help feel confident you can trust him again? If it turns out your cousin was involved, you’ll need to decide “where to now?” for your relationship with her. If however she’s ‘innocent’, it’ll be a weight lifted from your shoulders. Ultimately you must decide if you can let go of the past and genuinely trust your boyfriend again. If you’re constantly plagued by question marks and doubts, ultimately this isn’t going to be a happy or healthy relationship for you and you’re better off out of it..
Over to you:
Our psychologist has shared some of her ideas, but what do you think?
Have you got any suggestions for ‘Confused, 15’ about how to handle this situation?
(image credit: Tom Woodward)
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