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7 months in and struggling to cope with it all

trashpanda posted 7/29/2020 11:23 AM

Ive been in a relationship with my boyfriend for almost 5years now,I found out on Christmas day just gone that he'd slept with someone else.The woman he'd slept with hadnt known he was in a relationship,but she found out about me via facebook and messaged me on there to tell me all about it.She sent me various screenshots,told me everything.We spoke on and off for a couple of weeks,she was very good answering my many questions and listening to me trying to process it all.Turns out theyve been talking the entire of my relationship,although only actually met up once,the week before Christmas.
My partner was sat right next to me when the messages flooded in so he saw over my shoulder what was being sent,I got up to walk away and he tried to take my phone off me,tried to make me ignore her and block her,kept apologising..shed told him she was going to tell me,i feel a bit like he should have had the nuts to tell me himself instead of letting me find out like that on Christmas day of all days.My son was in the house at the time so I didnt feel like I could make a big deal about it,I didnt want my son to know what was going on so I had to sit on it for a couple of days until he went to see his dad.During that time I barely spoke to my partner.I just felt sick,numb,like I couldnt breathe.I still feel like that.When I finally had chance to talk to my partner about things I find out hes actually messaged several women throughout our relationship with the intent of meeting up for sex,although he claims he never went through with it,which of course I find hard to believe.
I didnt want to break up,I still dont.I cant cope with it though.I cant stop thinking about it all the time.He has,in all fairness,been amazing since then.I cant fault him on anything except for the fact that I cant talk to him about what happened,he just shuts down and gets irate if I bring it up.I feel like its been brushed under the carpet now,feel like hes just abandoned me to deal with it on my own and I cant.Im no angel,Im far from perfect Im very well aware of my flaws but Ive never even so much as looked at anyone else.Hes apparently spent the entirity of our relationship looking for other women.In my mind,if people are happy in their relationship,they dont feel the need to look elsewhere,so obviously there was something he needed that he wasnt getting from being with me,I asked him why he did it and all hed say was that he didnt know.Well,thats no help to me.If I dont know what the problem is how can I fix it?How can I stop it happening again?Can I even stop it happening again?
I have various mental health issues,depression,anxiety,borderline took me a long time to settle down when we started seeing each other,to settle down and stop thinking I wasnt good enough for him,now im back at square one and he just doesnt seem to understand why.Im sure its an uncomfortable subject for him,discussing what he did,Im sure thats why he doesnt want to talk about it but again,thats not much help to me.
Its like weve had to start all over again,like Im having to get to know him all over again.I dont think hed actually sleep with anyone again but i cant shake the feeling that he is,or would given the chance,message someone else.when i looked at the dates and times of some of their interactions,some of them he was actually at my house with me,in fact the night he went to see her he was here.We dont live together,he came round to see me,left here and went straight to hers!Looking back,that night I noticed his mood.He was dead happy,excitable...obviously now I know why!I just dont get how he could be like that,sat next to me with one hand holding mine,and the other hand sexting someone else.I dont understand how he could even look me in the eye.I cant talk to him about it,I cant talk to anyone about it.I just want to understand what I did wrong,know what it was that he was lacking here that he was able to find elsewhere.Or maybe its not even like that,hes been doing it the whole of our relationship,he met her on tinder 7 WHOLE YEARS AGO!and kept her number the entire time,even when he met me two years later.I just dont understand it and its really starting to antagonise my existing depressive issues I feel like Ive completely shut down,withdrawn from everyone and everything,completely disconnected.I know he loves me,Ive never doubted that,I want to get through this and move past it but I cant stop re-reading all the screenshots,replaying everything in my mind....I wish Id made him leave that night I found out.Wish Id made him go home and stay away for a couple of weeks.I wish he hurt like it made me hurt.I wish Id dragged it out and really made him suffer and sweat worrying about whether Id break up with him or not.I wish Id even cried at least.I have honestly never felt so utterly lost and alone I almost wish Id never found out.I dont know how to get myself past it,it would be so much easier if I broke up with him but thats not what I want so I have to find a way through this but I dont know how,I dont feel like me any more,Im drowning in it all at the moment.Im sure in time it will ease but right now its breaking me

auntiepat posted 7/29/2020 12:34 PM

Hello Trashpanda, I feel your pain! I see a bit of myself in your words. The struggle trying to understand why it happened, his happiness, his beholding the truth and play behind your back. And the love you have for him no matter what, the self-questioning, the thinking over how to prevent this to happen again, etc. I really do relate to all of this. It's terrible what many of us in this forum are living. And it's not fair, and it all sucks. Maybe your boyfriend is non-monogamous, as much as my (ex) boyfriend is. They do wrong in hiding and covering this truth up, but it's nothing that we can do something about or change. I think cheaters in some cases do love their partner. But they also love others who full-fill other needs or whatever hole inside they have, I don't know. What I know is that I tried really hard to do anything I could to prevent that to happen, and not only I failed, but I lost myself and my health in the process, and thus is not something I recommend you to do. Try to find the truth behind his behavior and listen to your gut. Think what type of person and relationship you seek for your life. I think the answers you are searching will be found there.

[This message edited by auntiepat at 12:34 PM, July 29th (Wednesday)]

This0is0Fine posted 7/29/2020 12:48 PM

You send his AP a thank you letter for her honesty. She didn't want to be a part of his betrayal and bullshit AND she told you because you deserve to know.

You didn't do anything wrong enough to deserve being cheated on. Even if you contribute to problems in your relationship, you don't deserve to be cheated on. It's not your fault. It's your BF's decision to be a dirt bag.

Make no mistake, he is a dirt bag. He has probably only admitted to whatever you have seen, and there is, "Nothing else, for real, that's everything". The history of everyone here on SI will tell you that is a lie.

I know you don't *want* to break up, but what we *want* emotionally isn't necessarily what is in our long term best interests. It takes time to come to terms with it, and maybe you are getting there at 7 months. The reality is you are not OK with what he did, and you don't know he is a safe partner anymore. Your choices are guaranteed uncertainty with him or a chance you find certainty with someone else.

Believe me, I really understand your struggle. You will get through this.

Charity411 posted 7/29/2020 14:20 PM

I too saw myself in your post. The good news is I got out of it and life has never been better. Once I got out of it I realized I should never have been in a relationship with someone like him. I was slowly taught by him to settle for crumbs. But in my mind, as a single mom working two jobs after my husband left me for another woman, it was better than being alone.

You know what? It's not better than being alone. He may be in the room with you, but you are absolutely already alone. That's how he can hold your hand with one hand and sext someone else with the other. He isn't interested in you. He's interested in what you give him and that's the loneliest feeling in the world.

I fulfilled a need for him. If he needed a great meal he came to my house. If he needed a booty call, he came to my house. If he wanted to watch hockey on cable TV which he didn't have, he came to my house. The reason I was never at his house is because he was afraid his other girlfriend would show up.

Once I found out about her I was devastated. But he said he wouldn't see her again and I took him at his word too. But in hind sight that was laughable. His word meant nothing. He was lying to her just like he was lying to me. He had no issue with lying if it got him what he wanted.

Try asking yourself an objective question without the emotions attached to this. Imagine you just met some guy and he seems nice and you talk about whether you should continue to date. What if he said "Trashpanda, you're a super great girl. But I'm going to sleep with other super great girls and if you really want me, you'll work really hard at trying to please me to make me stop doing that." I'm guessing you'd leave tread marks on the floor you'd be out the door so fast. So think about how you got exactly to that point. It was probably little by little and you slowly lost yourself.

What worked for me was distance. I actually moved to get away from him. The more time passed without laying eyes on him or talking to him, the clearer everything became. No matter what he said, he did not love me. That is not love. And instead of feeling lonely, eventually I felt the lead weight of the depression and disappointment he was causing me lift. And life was so much better.

He would never have committed to me, or anyone else. And about 20 years later he is still the same person. Only it's hard for him to find women to use because he's older, fatter and still unemployed. None of us can change anyone else. Save yourself more years of grief and stop trying.

trashpanda posted 7/29/2020 14:55 PM

thanks for the replies guys,i found out about this website on pinterest,im glad i came.
i did thank the girl in question,it wasnt her fault he had her believing he was single,she was completely blameless in it i said,we were in touch for a few weeks and she never failed to reply to my messages and questions,she was really lovely.
youre right though,im 100% convinced hes only admitting to the bare minimum.ive no firm evidence to accuse him of anything more and he knows it,hes doing the damage limitation thing.however i made it clear i wasnt buying it.
the weird thing is,in all this weve been planning the future.we dont live together currently but thats the plan,his house is going up for sale to fund buying a bigger one for the both of us,i judt dont understand why someone would plan a future and invest in it emotionally and finacially if they didnt want to be with the other he does want to be with me,but then why cheat on me?none of it makes any sense.i want to know why he did it but i dont think hell ever tell me so ill never know.
the year running up to me finding out was horrendous,he wasnt himself.he wasnt the person i thought i knew.hed regularly instigate arguments,or be randomly vicious verbally screaming at me about the most bizarre things,each time hed storm out and go always followed the same pattern.hed randomly kick off,id get upset,hed go home.then hed apologise,but then straight afterwards say he never said any of those things and say i was making things up.then hed finally admit he had and apologise again.this went on all year and i never understood why at the looking back i think he was lashing out at me because he was feeling guilty,or because i was a burden getting in the way of him 'enjoying himself'.by the time i found out hed actually cheated,i wasnt even surprised,id half suspected something was going on just because of the lashing out.punishing me for his bad behaviour.
half of me thinks none of this is my fault,but the other half thinks that if id been a better girlfriend and given him what he needed then this wouldnt have happened.but then,hes been doing it the whole of our relationship so i assume its just the follow on from what he was doing when he was single rather than something he started up after we got together.
theres just so much i dont understand,and i feel like i need answers to be able to move on.but on the flip side,is having the answers actually going to make me feel any better?its not going to change what happened is it.if hed gotten drunk one night and had a random one night stand in a bar i could deal with that alot better than what hes actually done.i feel like punching him in the face.i dont condone violence at all but by god i wish id knocked his bloody teeth out

trashpanda posted 7/29/2020 15:05 PM

i feel like ive already given up trying to be honest.when we sat down to talk things through i said to him i give up.the last year prior to finding out was murder,the only person in the relationship was i told him i wasnt doing it any more id had enough of being the only one fighting and trying to make things always seemd like the more i gave him,the less interested he now i do less,give less,and i like it better this way.the less i go to him the more he comes to me.its hard because hes such a great guy apart from that.hes the best partner ive ever had,no joke.all my boyfriends have been cheaters and beaters,emotionally and physically.its a running joke in my family that i cant keep a man!im not ready to let him go though.i felt like i had to give it one last chance,otherwise id always wonder what if.of course the reality of that decision is that its not that easy.i want him to understand how this has affected me but i dont have the words

nekonamida posted 7/29/2020 16:16 PM

TP, you need to get into IC if all your boyfriends have been abusive. Infidelity is abuse too. He's not much better than the others. Your picker might be broken if you can't find a healthy partner.

Charity411 posted 7/29/2020 16:23 PM

I understand that you're not ready. But I think you are slowly starting to be. You can already recognize that the more you gave him the less interested he was in you. And you sought out this site, which says you are not happy with the relationship as it is.

Nekonomida is right on. We only have your description of him, and he is not much better than the other boyfriends you describe. For some reason you can't see that right now. You will when you are ready. Some individual counseling would help you sort it out.

Buster123 posted 7/29/2020 18:48 PM

I dont think hed actually sleep with anyone again but i cant shake the feeling that he is,or would given the chance,message someone else.

What makes you think he wouldn't do it again ? he's been deceiving you the whole time you've been together, he's now a proven cheater and a liar, did I mention cheaters lie a lot ? they only admit to what you can prove.

Listen you seem hellbent on trying to "move on " and keep him at all costs, forget about what your family thinks, he's already shown you who he is, believe him, based on what you posted you're not married and don't even live together so dump him now before you get more entangled emotionally and financially, don't forget to get tested for STDs, yes he's been playing russian roulette with your health too, RUN and don't look back! you deserve so much better than a proven cheater who's been lying to you the entire time and keeps lying to you, you want to know why he did it ? simply because he wanted to do it, PERIOD.

CallingSpades posted 7/30/2020 01:42 AM

Oh, trashpanda, none of this is your fault. He's been on his way to cheating since day 1, saving that number. You didn't make him cheat.

He may not always seem emotionally abusive, but the entirety of 2019 shows that he's perfectly capable of it, and unapologetic as well. No matter how you feel about him, please don't let this man be an example to your child.

tushnurse posted 7/30/2020 10:27 AM

I cant fault him on anything except for the fact that I cant talk to him about what happened,he just shuts down and gets irate if I bring it up.I feel like its been brushed under the carpet

That is a pretty big thing to not deal w/.

I'm an oldtimer here, and I have to say that you cannot nice him into behaving, and he will not be a safe partner ever if he doesn't fix what is broken w/ in himself, and it seems he has no interest in doing so.

Please do not make a joint investment w/ this man. You will end up regretting it.

Do go get STD tested, and demand he do so as well. If he is behaving he should jump at the chance to prove he is, if he isn't he will most likely give a litany of reasons why he doesn't need to.

I would also recommend that you get yourself into therapy. If this is the best a man has ever treated you, there is something wrong w/ your picker and your level of acceptance. You need to understand why you tolerate being treated poorly, and heal that in yourself. Otherwise you will continue to allow men to abuse you forever. And what he is doing is abuse.

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