How to make a relationship work when both have hurt each other

Aval asks: I am 21 years old and have been in love with a man of my age for more than 4 years. We were happy, till I cheated on him with his best friend. I cried a lot and he accepted me back. But after that I hurt him many times by talking and being in touch with the third person. He showed his anger every time he got hurt. And ill-treated me in response. Which has left me hurt a lot. I am afraid that I’ll lose my temper and that could even end in break up. What should I do?? Should I give up my self-respect to live with him? Or should I move on?

Hi Aval –



This is a really tough situation. On one hand, you’re very open and honest about where you’ve gone wrong. But on the other… you’ve gone wrong a lot. It was hurtful for you to cheat with his best friend, and more by keeping things going in a way he didn’t like.


But now, he’s treating you badly. And the danger is that he might keep on doing it as long as you’re together.


The hardest thing about your situation is that, if you’d just made one or two mistakes, I’d be telling you that you could just talk with him and promise never to cheat again, but say you also need him to treat you with more respect, so that you two can make a better relationship than you’ve ever had – but I worry that, if you did, he’d say “Why should I believe you? You’re a cheater and a liar!”


And this takes me to the bigger question – Does he want to stay in this relationship? And if so, what does he envision it becoming?


So my best advice to you is, still, to sit down with him and talk about the relationship you want to have. About faithfulness, about respect, about affection, about everything you want to have. And when he responds (as he almost surely will) with anger and accusations, you’ll just need to calmly explain to him why he should trust you in the future.


And if that works, and he agrees to, then you two are in great great shape. But if it doesn’t work, and he continues to treat you as less than him… then it may be best to just leave. And to prepare yourself to begin a new relationship – one where both of you start off with a better sense of how to make things work.


I can relate to you – when Handsome first brought me home from the pound, I was just awful. I chewed up tons of his stuff, was always biting him, and even had toilet training issues. And he stepped on my tail a couple of times too! But over time, we learned what each other needed, and how to trust. And now, we’re better than most marriages seem, a great and happy couple.


Which is just where I hope you find yourself. Soon!


All my best,


About the Author

Leave a Reply 0 comments

Leave a Reply: