The relationship help forum is a regular element here on the Relationship Blog. I take a letter from a woman with a real relationship crisis (sent to me on a relationship forum elsewhere) and edit all the identifiable details so she can't be identified. I know that highlighting these issues here will help this blog's readers who're facing the same situations in their lives, as I also include my answer to the original letter.
Today's real life relationship story reminds us of how important it is to stay true to ourselves and what we know is right. Sally's (not her real name) story illustrates how we can sometimes allow relationships to make us second-guess even our own conscience. You can see other relationship help forum stories at this page.
I have been dating *Tony for over a year now. We were set up by a good friend of
ours. It started off pretty casual in the beginning. I’d just started my own
business (with little spare time on my hands), and he had gotten out of a
pretty long relationship. Also, I knew he was seeing another woman too.
After a few months we both realized that this could be IT. I made time for him
from my schedule, and he seemed 100% completely into me. He even made jokes
like ‘You should marry me’ (being cute of course). Neither one of us had been
married because we take marriage seriously (at least, that’s what I thought).
I come to find out that the other woman he was seeing happened to be
married. Not only was she married, but she and her husband were good friends of
his. I met her and her husband at a party Tony threw. After finding this out, I
had a hard time respecting and trusting him. How could I fall in the love with someone
who could do this? I felt disgusted with him and her. I wasn’t shy in telling
him how I felt either. I was outright mean. We started fighting a lot and
couldn’t seem to trust each other.
I know my fault was over reacting and causing arguments about the infidelity.
After a lot of over analyzing, I realized that everyone has a past and I love
him. I am in a place to forgive him and get over it, however, I fear he has giving
up on us.
I feel like I’m in a desperate position and am wondering why I ever reacted the
way I did. I miss him every day and hope I didn’t ruin everything. Please
help! I will practice your advice daily. You have the best advice.
Relationship help forum: fidelity issues - answer
Dear Sally, the distrust and disgust you felt when you found out what
this man had done was your inherent reaction. It was the right way to feel as a
decent, trusting person. Why then would you back-step and doubt what is truly
natural for you to feel? I don’t think you overreacted at all.
The fact that he does not want to proceed with the relationship says
something, not about you, but about his intentions towards a life alongside
you. Maybe your outburst made him realise that you were seriously into a
committed relationship with him. Maybe it made him realise that you were
reading much too much into your monogamous relationship. It could be that he
saw this as a good escape route.
If you said things about fidelity that he had no intentions of
honouring, maybe he took the kinder way out and left you alone. Listen, if he
really is in love with you, a long talk with him should clear things up. You
found out such an awful thing about him and you’re prepared to forgive him.
Why? Simply because you love him. If he loves you just the same, he would
forgive the things you said to him because to him, this would be better than having
to live without you.
Have another chat with him. Find out where things stand and where
they’re going. My guess is that he’s scared of the type of committed
relationship he had no idea you wanted (until you spilled your guts). If you know someone who needs this, please share it with them. Please also add it to your social networking site. Thank you.