feeling so empty and lost yet still hopeful for a better future
I still feel drained from last night after my boyfriend confessed that he cheated on me 3 times with 3 different women during our year and a half relationship. I've never had to worry about someone cheating on me, maybe because I was naive and thought that it only happened to people who treated relationships simply as lust and sex rather than something more. In particular, my current boyfriend was the one person I thought for sure I never had to worry about because he understood what it was like to be cheated on and he felt strongly about his father cheating on his wife. Before, I used to think that cheating was not a big deal because as long as the person is with you, that means something. I really thought I would not care but to hear my Love say that he had sexual relations with 2 women and sex with one other, I found myself silently crying and sniveling as I listened to his story, thoughts and reasons.
I've mentioned on earlier posts about my struggling efforts to strengthen our relationship. Who would have thought that him cheating would make everything else fall into place? In a strange way, I could see why our relationship still seemed unusual - he felt that a relationship is based on conversations which we were not able to have a good one in a long time and in his initial opinion, our relationship was not a real one unless one is married. Sexual relations is still a sin no matter if it was with a boyfriend or a resident from your school. Ever since he hit me though, he finally felt in the wrong, saw his previous sexual encounters as terrible and felt that his morality needed a serious change.
During the conversation, he told me what happened following that incident when he hit me via a witness. When he was asked several times why he hit me, he said that he could not stand me. Yet the moment I said that I forgave him for hitting me because I loved him, he found my reaction the opposite of what he expected and he found himself reevaluating what love meant. Last night, when he finished his thoughts, he could not bring himself to look at me or turn towards me out of guilt. I wanted to be alone but I could see how little he became and I found myself holding him close, doing what I could to support him despite the pain I felt. I forgave him and chose to stay with him while letting him know that I trust him.
I've learned so much from being a member of this site in supporting others. I don't know if I would have chosen to focus on him and his feelings if not. Although I still have residual feelings from being cheated on, I feel that only time and support will truly help in repairing our relationship. I hope to have more of my questions answered later tonight.
Thank you everyone for your feedback. It's true that he hit me physically with intent. Sometimes we would spar to practice self-defense which usually surfaces as blocking hits from martial arts stances. Additionally, we would roughhouse in general for fun however in that instance, there was a different intent which threw me off guard and not ready when the hit connected. It was likely that I was not expecting the hit since I was absorbed in another conversation and sobering up from the wine so when he called my name, I was not expecting the punch to connect with my lower lip. After a month, there is a raised scar on the inside of my lip to remind me of the incident but no one else can see it.
My boyfriend showed remorse from the incident since he never thought he could ever hurt a girl, especially me. Since then, he's made steps to avoid repeating those mistakes such as avoiding most drinking situations, restricting his drinking at inescapable social meetings to an amount that we both agreed cannot get him drunk, remaining active in communication, and being upfront and honest with whatever is on our minds. Over the course of 2 weeks, I am amazed how much our relationship improved. We still spar every now and then but whenever I call him out on any hits that I feel are triggering me, he will immediately stop which I appreciate.
I do worry that he may become this abusive person that is seen with the stereotypical domestic abuser but I don't see it and this is coming from someone who has researched this topic for several years. Honestly, I am more afraid of him cheating on me again. He promised not to do it again which I believed him because the conversation he held with his cousin was powerful enough for him to make these active changes and maintain it. It doesn't quite keep my mind at ease though since it still is a recent event that repeats in my mind.
Jade, you may want to think about getting some counseling for yourself. hitting you AND then cheating on you NUMEROUS times are all forms of abuses/battering/disrespect.
so instead of hitting you, now he cheats on you, do you see the pattern? sorry honey, but this is not a healthy relationship and your forgiving him is called "codependency". as someone told you earlier, it will only get worse. he is taking advantage of your good nature. just because he says "i'm sorry" doesn't mean that anything has changed.
I can see your point and sense of concern. I am aware of the possibility that there may be a pattern exhibited and I agree that if there was no intervention that occurred, this pattern would have continued under my radar. Ever since I forgave him though, he was disturbed by it and began to re-evaluate his beliefs and behaviors which led to his confession and taking action to right the wrong. He knew that it would take more than "I'm sorry" to ease the pain I felt, physically temporarily but mostly emotionally. He quit drinking, decided to avoid parties altogether until he can say no to offered drinks, maintain open communication with me and allowed others to know the situation in order to keep an eye on him while I am away. I recall at one point in my life thinking that I could be co-dependent which was very possible when I was younger and to be honest, it could still be an issue now. Something that I am doing in order to test it out and combat co-dependency is to spend more time at my place while forming my own resources and support group without him.