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Is there a RIGHT way to handle cheating??

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  • Is there a RIGHT way to handle cheating??

    This will be a bit long, so bear with me. I appreciate any comments or advice, as I've never had to deal with anything like this before.

    My boyfriend ("Aidan") and I have been dating about a year, and we're both in our early twenties. I go to a low-residency grad school program, so I live at home. He normally lives about five minutes away, but goes to school two hours north. We went to high school together and were friends before we dated. Our relationship has been easy and very much like a "fairytale." We've even talked about getting married one day, kid's names, all that.

    Up at school, he only really has one friend, "Cara," who we went to high school with (I didn't know her very well back then, though). Cara lives in a house with a few other girls, and Aidan lives by himself in an apartment. Since he's a social person, he goes to visit Cara lot, and he's become friends with her roommates. I don't have a problem with this, except for one girl, "Lisa," who I immediately got bad vibes from. I just didn't like her. I'm shy and somewhat socially inept when first meeting people, so Cara and her roommates, including Lisa, have all mistaken my shyness for arrogance, and none of them like me very much. I've had this problem before, and at this point in my life, I've come to the conclusion that some people will care to see past it and others won't, and that I shouldn't try to be someone I'm not. But I digress. Aidan commented to me many times how similar Lisa and I are - similar fashions, similar tastes in literature and music, we're both going to grad school, both independent, strong women, etc. He thought it was odd that we didn't like each other. He told me that Lisa said she "would never like that girl," meaning me. I told him I don't like her because I felt like she was constantly trying to out-do me. I had no solid proof, but she made me very uncomfortable. Nevertheless, I trusted Aidan and never asked him to stop hanging around her. I didn't want to be that kind of girlfriend.

    About a week ago, I went to visit Aidan at school like I sometimes do. Occasionally I go up unannounced, and he's always been very happy about it. Well, this time he was upset. I had known he was stressing over school, so I thought I would surprise him, clean up the apartment (because god-forbid he ever did), make some decent food, and just keep him company for a while. He freaked out and said he was so stressed out that he needed alone time to think and clear his thoughts, that his parents were hounding him and his grades weren't as good as thought. Aidan has never handled stress very well, and sometimes he shuts down emotionally under it. So I cleaned the place up, left him some food, and went home the same night while he was at work. Over the next week, Aidan was very distant and barely talked to me, Around Thursday he started to act like himself again. I was glad, because he was going to be visiting for Easter and would be home soon.
    Saturday night, we went out with some friends and got a little drunk. When we got home, Aidan said he'd needed some "liquid courage" to tell me about what had happened the week before, and why he'd been so distant. The last Wednesday, he'd been over at Cara's like he does often, only he'd been alone with Lisa for a while and they were both drunk. He said they talked about a bunch of things, and at the end of it, he'd made-out with her. He said he'd immediately felt terrible and left, and over the next week (after I'd left Friday), he'd worked through what he'd done and resolved that he loved me, not Lisa.

    I told him that I don't want him to be friends with Lisa anymore. I don't want him to see her, talk to her, and especially not drink when she's around. The problem arises because Lisa lives with Cara, and Cara has been Aidan's friend for years, and is his only one up at school. He doesn't want to cause more problems or "waves" by refusing to hang out at Cara's house, or leaving if Lisa is there. He's also said that he doesn't want it to be awkward at Cara's by ignoring Lisa either. I'm dumbfounded and hurt. Aidan thinks that since it was "only" making-out and "not like he slept with her" that he should be able to talk to Lisa about it so they can move on and still be friends. I feel like he wants to have his cake and eat it too, like he's more worried about upsetting Cara and Lisa than he is about upsetting me. I've done nothing wrong! I don't understand why I should have to be okay with his continued contact with Lisa, when both of them were in the wrong. Aidan said he thinks that going the "totall cut-off" route is juvenile and that adults should be able to talk it out. I disagree. It's not a "little" thing to me. I feel betrayed. Lisa doesn't know me, doesn't care to, and I have a suspicion now that she's not sorry at all for what happened. Why should she be? She doesn't like me.

    Easter has come and gone, and Aidan and I are on good, solid terms - except for how this is going to be dealt with. We talked through our feelings and all that, and we still love each other. But this thing with Lisa is killing me. I don't want her in the picture at all. I can't trust her. Am I wrong to want their friendship over? To not want him to see her? Talk to her?


  • I don't think you're wrong for wanting it to be over at all. I can't blame you. If my boyfriend did that, I would not be comfortable with him still having contact with her. He may think the "ignoring" route might be juvenile, but it wasn't mature to cheat on his girlfriend either. Yes, people make mistakes, but he obviously lacks a bit fo self control around this girl, which is enough reason to distance himself from her, if he truly wants it to work between you two. You aren't telling him he can't see Cara or be friends with her, you're just saying to not have contact with Lisa, which unfortunately, will probably be kind of hard to do since they live together. He shouldn't down play it that "it was just making out", because cheating is cheating, period.


    • The old adage comes to mind "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me." He's had the first chance and he blew it so shame on him and now you are well within your boundaries to ask that he not be friends or alone with this person anymore. If he is sincere and truthful with you he will give you that much at least. Cudos to you for talking it through and for giving him a second chance, not many other would do this. Mature people can sometimes overcome infidelity, and with others it would tear them apart. You may want to take a step back yourself and ask yourself some hard questions about your relationship, where it is today, where you want it to be tomorrow.
      That which we forget may as well never really happened.


      • I don't know that the actual kissing is the worst thing here. I think hiding it and needing to take time to realize the he loves you is the icing on the cake. He had "liquor courage" to make out with her but not to immediately call you? Not only that but he had to resolve that he loves you and not her? And saying it's not like they slept together is just a way he is making himself feel better about it. I agree with lizzard. Cheating is cheating. Emotional, physical, kissing or sleeping with. I don't know that I really believe in "mistakes" when it comes to cheating. I have been very drunk while being hit on by guys before and have been told the next day that, even while very drunk, I was saying "I have a boyfriend who I love very much". In my opinion, when people are drunk is when they're truthful. So his slip up, to me, says he had been thinking about it in the first place. I could never stay with a guy that cheated on me but only you know the inner workings of your relationship. Nobody on here can tell you what your gut says. Your gut was right about her, it's probably telling you right now what you should do. Good luck with your decision. I know it's a tough one.


        • My post from yesterday has been wiped out. Let me summarize. You are right to have him stay away from Lisa. It was both of their decision to make out.
          I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience.
          Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

          From a speech by Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775 at St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia


          • You are completely right to ask him to cut off contact with her. What does Cara think of what happened? Why does he need to be close to Cara? Call me controlling or possessive but I feel like you are the only really close female friend he should need. If he has other female friends, you should all hang out together - and they should definitely like you and support your relationship. It is disrespectful for him to hang out with girls who don't like you - and to tell you that they don't like you! It sounds like he hangs out with these girls and probably talks about his relationship issues with them, getting all worked up and determined that he doesn't actually like you - until he sees you or calls you and realizes he's been influenced by outside sources. Perhaps he tried out a relationship with this girl and it didn't work out so he went back to you. How much longer are you guys apart for school? I'd tell him that you'd appreciate it if he made the effort to make new friends and not hang out with a bunch of girls who don't support your relationship. Even if it was guys who don't support your relationship I'd be insulted. Honestly, it sounds like he's not that invested in the relationship and you really need to start preparing yourself to move on (so much easier said than done!)


            • I was wondering what Cara's take on the incident was, too. If they have been such close friends for such a long time I would expect her to be cross with Lisa, at the very least. I don't want to repeat all the points above but I do agree with most of it.

              However, girlnextdoor, I feel asking him to cut himself off from his entire friendship group is a bit harsh. He won't take the request well and it's not reasonable. He should be able to have friends and the OP has a mature attitude to Cara and Aiden's friendship. I would want to spend more time with Cara if I was the OP, to get to know his friend and to be part of their lives, not a near invisible element on the side. You are obviously both very important ladies to him and it helps if you can get along well.

              I wouldn't want him spending time around Lisa though. But I guess the more you forbid it the more he'll want to do it and the more exciting it'll be if/when he does. He has to agree 100% and my want to see her x
              Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around.



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