My Girlfriend Cheated on Me, Can I Trust Her?

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Male
i've been seeing my girlfriend for 8 months now and have never had any reason not to trust her because we had a very open relationship, but all of a sudden she became very secretive about text messages and phone calls she was getting.

So one day i looked at the text messages and found out she had been seeing someone behind my back. At first she denied it when i asked her if she had been seeing someone else but after me badgering her and telling her id seen the texts she admitted it. She told me she'd met him at a nightclub when she was out with her friends, got off with him exchanged numbers and then had a txt relationship for a couple of weeks and then arranged a date. She told me she got drunk on this date and slept with him, a week went by and they went out again but she said nothing happend this time, i found out about this a couple of days later.

She tells me she made a stupid mistake and she can't understsnd why she did it and it ment nothing to her, but if it was a mistake how come she slept with him then went out with him again? she has sent me a letter telling me how sorry she is and that she would do anything i want her to to make it upto me because she knows she was wrong and that she hates herself for betraying me. I love her and proberbly can forgive her in time but how can i be certain it wont happen again? how can i trust and believe in her anymore? Advice
Wow, first I have to say my heart goes out to you. We've all been cheated on at some point in our lives, but it is INCREDIBLY painful. It's going to hurt, accept that. A relationship is about putting your total trust in someone else to support you and care for you. When someone that you trust so completely then stabs you in the back, it can be completely impossible to heal from that. You really can be unable to trust her ever again and have to find someone you can trust - and even with someone new it might take you months to get to trust her.

The whole thing about honesty is that there is no way to "prove" it or "force" it. All you have is your trust in the person that they really are acting in your best interests. Once they prove that they are selfish and do whatever they want even if it will hurt you a lot, they have in essence proven that your pain is a whim for them. They've already shown that they CAN hurt you, it's just a matter of at a given moment if they WILL hurt you. It's like having a pet dog that sleeps with you every night, and one night you wake up and find him fiercely chewing through your leg. Sure, you COULD trust that he's better the next day and sleep with him again - but why take the risk??

Humans are of course a small bit more intelligent than dogs (in many cases at least). And they can learn. And yes, some people make REALLY stupid mistakes when they are young and realize how stupid those mistakes were and never make them again. But there are also millions of people out there who are loyal and caring and who wouldn't consider backstabbing someone they care about.

So you have to weigh this. On one hand you have this girl who you have spent 8 months developing a relationship with. So that's time invested. But not only did she just have a 'one night drunken fling' (which would be at least semi-reasonable) but she had a prolonged, multi-meeting relationship she built with this other guy, slept with him, didn't tell you (which is a HUGE HEALTH RISK) and kept it going. Sure, she's sorry that she was CAUGHT. The fact that it kept going on means she wasn't sorry she was DOING it.

On the other hand, 8 months is pretty much nothing compared to the decades you spend with someone you truly love and who truly loves you, who is your best friend and who you can trust and care for. It will be hard enough getting over the trust hurdle with a new person who IS trustworthy. To do it with someone who backstabbed you in such an obvious manner, it might be impossible.

In any case, I recommend going together to a therapist or counsellor or minister or some other person. She thinks she can "get off" by apologizing and saying she's sorry, but obviously if she was doing all of that she doesn't understand just how incredibly nasty her betrayal was. You can love her and not want to BE with her. If you really do want to keep being with her, make sure it is with the knowledge that this is going to be a long, painful recovery and require a lot of work - and it may not work out after everything you do. This girl cheated with another guy, slept with him without telling you, and by all accounts was just going to keep going. If she didn't value you before, I'm not exactly sure what changed in here so that she values you now. I don't mean to be harsh but it would suck if you went through the pain of the cheating, the pain of the healing and she just did it again when she felt it was "safe".

Really, talk to someone with her so she understands just how serious her actions were. Maybe it will really sink in. But if it doesn't, I would love her - but find someone else to trust.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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