Paballo asks: I’m 21 years old and I have been dating my boyfriend for over 6 years. He is my first and since him I haven’t been involved with anyone. Things we going great for the first years, but as time went by he cheated continuously, and when I asked him why, he would turn the blame onto me. I was patient thinking he would realize how much I love him, but it got worse when he cheated on me with the same girl for the past 2 continuous years. Last year I then decided to break up with him. As hard as it was, I continued to be single for couple of months. Then, during December, I saw him by the club and we ended up having sex, and after then I thought things were working out. He then started to dig into what I was doing during the break up and found nothing. Then one time when we were chatting on social media he asked me if I had a thing for his cousin’s ex, and I tried to tell him that I did not. He continued to stress the fact that I had a thing for him, I felt cornered and I snapped out of anger and admitted something I didn’t do. I feel like he needed closure from our first break up, that that’s why he came back to me, and needed a reason to leave me. It is hard for me to accept and move on more, especially as he made me believe in us when I was already trying to cope. Please help coz this is affecting my college grades.
Hi Paballo –
I am so sorry about this! I wish I could just climb up onto you, put my paws on your knees, stare into your eyes and whine to say “I feel for you!” This is just so painful!
So, first of all, I have to say, I don’t think you’ve done anything wrong. You gave him a chance when you first caught him cheating, but left him when you caught him at it again (and I can’t even imagine what it must have felt like to learn that it had been going on so long). Then you gave yourselves the chance to rekindle the relationship after a while… and then he pulled this nonsense about his cousin’s ex. And now you know you need to move on from him. Absolutely correct.
But you’re wondering why it’s so hard. Well, I have two thoughts.
First, you’re attached. You were with him for five years, and he’s the only boy you’ve ever been involved with. Of course it’s hard for you to move on to anyone else, or to just be single. Look at us pups – we’re famous for sticking around people who starve us, yell at us, even beat us. We know what it’s like to be too attached for our own good. But you’re a person, with a much bigger brain, so you have to (and get to) struggle to get yourself to a better place, so you can have a better life.
But second, there’s a really weird power to what your boyfriend did. I’ve seen this with my human, Handsome, when I see him with girlfriends. Some of the women he’s dated have been just great, and I respect them completely. But some others have this trick of False Accusations. Like maybe she’ll feel he’s been a bit distant for the past week, but instead of asking what’s been on his mind, she’ll say, “I know you’ve been cheating on me.” And there’s something so weird, and so awful, in that accusation, that instead of it making him say “You’re crazy, let’s stop seeing each other,” he’ll try to prove that it’s not true, and stay with her.
You see, he can’t prove he wasn’t cheating, any more than you can prove you aren’t madly in love with your boyfriend’s cousin’s ex (or Ryan Gosling, or Vladimir Putin, or me!). So accusing someone of something like that puts them in an impossible position.
But there is one thing a person can do, when they’re accused of something completely wrongly. They can say “Stop it.”
Handsome has learned the hard way to say “Stop accusing me of things that aren’t true. If I’m doing something that bothers you, of course you can complain about that, but if you accuse me falsely again, I’m leaving.” It’s been hard, and I’ve had to lay my head in his lap a lot of times while he’s built up the strength to do it, but it’s worth it, I promise.
And you can say to this guy, “It was bad enough that you cheated on me, and that you even had a two-year affair. But to accuse me, who’s always been faithful, who’s taken you back time and time again, of anything, is just inexcusable. I’m done with you.”
Now if you did this (in your own words, of course), would that be good for your grades? Probably not for a day or two, as you’d be as sad as Handsome.
But then, something would change. You’d start feeling better. Your life would become freer. You’d start to be glad that you’d treated yourself better than you ever had before.
And when you start to feel that good about yourself, you might start looking better to others too. And maybe, just maybe, some guy who’s waaaaaaaaaaaaaay better than that clod will show up and show some interest in you.
And life will become the way it should be! WHICH YOU DESERVE!!!
All my best,