batha asks: I need advice about my boyfriend. I love him but he’s having an affair. What can I do?
Hi batha –
Oh what a horrible feeling you must be having! It’s just awful to be cheated on! I’ve never experienced it exactly – just felt very jealous when Handsome pets other dogs – but when I’ve seen others go through it, it looks awful.
So you have a pretty simple question to ask, and it’s only yourself you’re asking: What can you put up with? Is it okay with you that he’s having an affair? And if he promised to stop it and not have another one, would you believe him?
If you simply can’t handle that he’s done this, you really only have one choice. You should leave him now. Sticking around is just going to make you feel pain longer.
But if you think you can handle it, then what do you need? Do you need him to stop it? Do you need him to promise that he’ll never do it again? Then put it to him, NOW! Right now! Tell him he’s putting you through a horrible experience, and you need him to stop doing it at once, and absolutely promise to never do it again. And let him know that, if he does cheat again, you’ll be gone. Immediately.
The truth, batha, is that the worst thing about being cheated on is what it does to your self-esteem. And clearly, he’s not valuing your self-esteem enough. So it’s up to you to value it way more. Now you might decide that you love him so much, it’s better to hold onto him and not lose him, even after he’s done this. Or you might say no, that his doing this has made it impossible for you to live with yourself and him.
It’s awfully complex, batha, but at the same time, it’s simple. Only you can answer the big question: What do you need? And whatever that is, you have the right to tell him exactly what that is.
And you have the right to insist – to yourself and to him – on your right to be treated just that way.
And if that means he sticks around and changes his ways, then that’s great, and your life will be better. And if that means that you have to leave and be on your own, and grieve the loss of a boy you really loved, but move on and be stronger in your life and able to find someone else who’s really worthy of you… that’s great too. And your life will be better that way too.
So batha, ask yourself those tough questions, and then be your own Doberman Pinscher! Guard your rights with bared fangs and a spiked collar.
You’re worth it.