I’ve been a reader for a long time and I’ve always read your advice in awe of how much I’m always in agreement with you. your advice is always relatable, super honest and encouraging. I never thought I’d be on here asking for your advice.
About a year ago I moved across the country and it was the happiest decision I’ve ever made for myself. I wasn’t expecting it, but a few months after I moved I met an incredible guy and fell deeply in love. You know how they say, “when you know, you know”? Well, I thought I knew. We were so in love and our relationship got pretty serious quickly — planning for the future and so happy with one another.
About 8 months into our relationship, rather than embracing how much we loved one another and how right it was, he got scared and cheated on me. I know it didn’t mean anything and he wishes it never happened. He told me he wants so badly to be with me and wants a future, but doesn’t know how we get there. I never thought I would be the kind of person that could forgive cheating, but now that I’m in the situation, I know I love him enough that I could possibly forgive him. But my heart is completely shattered and I’m scared of getting hurt again.
We’re taking time apart and not speaking right now and I didn’t really get the closure I needed so moving forward has been somewhat difficult for me. I feel like this isn’t the end and he’ll come back into my life eventually, but I’m scared I won’t have the strength to let him go when that day comes. I don’t know what to do. Should I let my heart lead me even though there are no guarantees I won’t ever get hurt again, or should I be logical and say goodbye even though I feel so sure he’s my person?
Thank you so much for writing in and opening up to me! And thank you for reading all these years :).
Wow, what a tough situation to be in. I can totally feel your heartbreak and I know exactly what you mean when you say you never thought you’d be someone who could forgive cheating. But cheating comes in all different forms as do relationships. Moving forward can be tricky and it’s good you’re taking time apart from each other. I think you should continue this break for some time so you can figure out if those feelings for him will pass or if you really want to try again. Not speaking to each other for a while can really help clear your head and reveal to you whether you want to be with him or not. After some time, I really do think you’ll have a clearer idea of what to do.
If, after some time apart, you feel in your heart that you’re not ready to give up on him, then I think you should listen to that. I wouldn’t say that for every situation, but you sound like you have a good head on your shoulders and wouldn’t let a man walk all over you. I’m sure you know but talking this through with each other is going to be so important moving forward. You’re going to want to understand exactly why he did what he did and he’s going to need to prove to you that he would never do anything like that again. When I say “prove to you”, I don’t mean “make it up to you” by doing things for you or treating you like a queen — I mean communicating to you what was going on in his head and what is currently going on in his head so that you can truly believe and understand that this isn’t something he would do again. Trust is a hard thing to gain back, but if it was really strong to begin with then I think it’s possible to get back there.
I really do think it’s best to follow your heart, even in situations like this, because it will always reveal the answer — even if it takes some time. I would rather make decisions based on my heart then choose not to do something based on the fear of getting hurt. I hope that makes sense :).
Good luck — you got this!!
Photography by Tait Campbell.