Can Cheating Fiance Turn Over New Leaf???

Visitor's Question from a 31-40 year old Female
Had been with my fiance for 5 years - engaged for the last 2 years. Recently, found out that he had been having an affair throughout our relationship with a married woman that he met and got involved with before me. At the time he started the affair he was separated from his wife who had been cheating on him. He says it was an on/off affair and he knew it was wrong. However, in the beginning he had strong feelings for this woman. I then come into the picture and our relationship was great. He was always happy with me as I was initially very happy as well. Apparently this other woman would have left her husband for my fiance, however he then proposed to me. He says he has known for many years that he wanted to be with me but had this other thing going and he's not sure why it continued (other than the fact that I had no clue). Since we had gotten engaged his life went south [his business failed, had financial problems, health problems, started pot smoking, etc.]. Meanwhile I was trying to stand by him and eventually I somewhat backed out of the relationship as I could see he was unable to take responsibility for his own life. He has always wanted to work things out with me. Then I found out about the cheating - which brought me to my knees. Ironically, he said he had ended it just prior to my finding out. He has said he is somewhat relieved that this lie is out because he had been struggling with the person he had become. He doesn't know how he could have done this and for so long. He had basically hid it from everyone in his life. He is now extremely remorseful and says he understands my feelings and how much he hurt me. He has started cleaning up his life, has put himself back into counseling, has attended church every Sunday and has gone to confession. He says he will never ever lie to me or disrespect me like he knows he did. He says it was never any problem with our relationship or me but that he was "messed up". He's willing to do whatever it takes to work it out: give me time, counseling, couples therapy, honesty, he wants to be the man he should have been to me all along - and he knows that it will take a long time for me to ever trust him. He says he wants to be completely honest with me and will tell me whatever I want to know. He is willing to "hurt me with the truth now" to show that he intends to be completely honest and never lie again. He loves me and wants only to share a faithful committed marriage/life with me. And I still have feelings for him. I do not hate him but I hate what he has done. We have been speaking and I've told him that I don't know what I feel at this point. Of course, I'm concerned that this could happen again. I have also been divorced and at my age [35] I don't have time to waste in life. Can a man that has done this much damage and for so long really mean what he says now? Can I really believe that he had his own issues to deal with?? Any advice would be helpful. Thanks. Advice
Long term affairs take on a life of their own.

Often the people involved are not happy with the circumstances but can't break out of the routine. When finally caught, there is a sense of relief about returning to an honest life.

Whether the aggrieved party (you, for example) is willing to try to rebuild the
trust is based on how much love there was to begin with and how penitent the cheater is. In your case it appears that your b/f is sincerely sorry about what he did. The question then is how much love is left for him in your heart and that is what you are struggling with. Right now your trust in him is shot and since trust is one of the foundations of love your love is also affected.

It's hard to give advice on whether he should be trusted again or not. My hunch is that he should be trusted but that is about a 65-70% positive feeling. Perhaps professional counseling could help you. Can't hurt.

Good luck! George

-- from George
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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