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Newest Member: M0771

Just Found Out :
Boyfriend soliciting SW but not meeting up with them, can we get over this?

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 notsureifishouldbehere (original poster new member #84982) posted at 11:33 PM on Monday, June 24th, 2024

Hello. I am a first time poster and I am looking for some guidance and support. I am still very young (22F) but have been with my partner (23M) for 4.5 years and we have lived together for almost 3.5 years.

Our relationship started off perfect. We were very happy and in love. My partner has a lot of childhood trauma from seeing his parents abusive relationship and having his addict father in and out of his life. We have known each other from childhood but reconnected at 4.5 years ago. He was in the armed forces and this also took a toll on his mental health (was not deployed). I have done everything to do right by him. I helped him leave the services early, encouraged him to find a career path he would enjoy, encouraged him to go back to school and get his A-levels, helped him apply for university etc. We have always had small arguments and a number of big ones. When the large ones happened, I always gave him the opportunity to leave but he chose to stay.

Around 2 years ago, his mental health took a huge hit. I think leaving the forces was a shock to him and I was patient whilst he adjusted to his new life. I was in university at the time and felt like he wasn’t supportive of me or my struggles (working in healthcare during COVID, my own personal struggles with depression and ill health) and we decided to take some time apart. We eventually got back together as he realised that he wanted to be with me and wanted to make it work. However, I found out during this time he slept with a co-worker. As he was single, I decided to get over it and I also slept with someone during this time. We were happy for another 2 years until recently his mental health has declined significantly, I think this is to do with his father’s most recent departure from his life and his mother and step-dad (who has been in the picture since he was a child) relationship breaking down. He was not as affectionate or caring as he normally was. I was patient and tried to help him through this time with little joy. I brought up how his behaviour was impacting our relationship and he basically told me that I deserve better than him and he doesn’t deserve to be with me. We agreed for some time apart without seeing other people but I discovered he was spending time with a female friend (they did not sleep together at this point) and so I decided to call the break off and break up as I was suspicious. We broke up completely for 2 weeks and in this time he did sleep with said female friend.

He came to drop my house key off and asked if we could try again. I asked him if he slept with this female friend and he denied it even though my friend who attends the same university as them seen them in the accommodation together and seen them leave in the morning together. When confronted with this, he admitted it and said he didn’t want to tell me as he thought it would stop me from getting back with him. I chose to get over this as he was single and swears to me nothing happened before this and he has no feelings/desires for her (and he showed me messaged between him and his best friend stating that they hadn't slept together), he was just lonely. I do believe this as he messaged her before seeing me telling her he still loves me and is going to ask me to try again.

However, this is where the cheating begins. We have been back together for a week and it has been perfect. He has really tried to be the guy he was in the beginning, lots of affection, taking me out on dates etc. He has always told me he loves me and wants a future with me (even through the bad times) but he was even talking about proposing to me when he finishes university etc. However, two days ago I logged on to his user on our shared laptop to watch Netflix and unbeknown to me, his iCloud was synced. A load of messages came through of him contacting sex workers asking what their rates are. My heart dropped and I was shaking. We spent the night together after he sent those texts and he seemed completely normal. By the look of the texts, nothing ever came of it and he did not meet up with them. He was out with his friend at the time and I just called him and straight up asked him if he has been messaging sex workers and he said yes. He drove to the house to have a chat about it and he was tearful and was telling me it will never happen again and he never had intentions to meet up with them he was just ‘doing something he knew was bad for him’. He told me that he first contacting one when we were broken up and when he is feeling down or self destructive he just messages them because ‘it feels wrong and I (he) deserve to feel awful’. He seemed very remorseful and was begging me to forgive him, telling me it won’t happen again etc. He kept saying how disgusting he felt and embarrassed. He agreed when we got back together that he need to go to IC and talk through his childhood issues and his issues with not believing I love him or that he deserves me. He showed me he has a session booked for Friday and was saying he wants to work through all his issues but he needs me by his side. I said I don’t know if I can get through this and he was begging, saying he would wait years if that’s what it takes. He had to go back up to placement 2hrs away after the chat and he has been constantly texting me saying he needs to change and he is going to be the man I need him to be and how nothing he has done has been my fault at all.

I know this is long but I really need some insight on what to do. I love this man with all my heart and I cannot help but think maybe he won’t do this again? Maybe it is just his mental health issues manifesting in some weird self sabotaging way. Is there any way of getting through this? The cheating wasn’t physical so I don’t even know if I have the right to be as upset as I am. I am only young and so is he and I feel like I don’t have the life experience to deal with this. I honestly feel like we are meant to be together and I am scared of the outcomes:

a.) I end our relationship and have to wonder ‘what if? What if he changed?’

b.) I stick it out and potentially he changes and never does this again or I just get more heartbroken.

Please can someone give me some real, genuine advice as I cannot talk to anyone in my RL about this as the embarrassment is too much.

Thank you.

[This message edited by notsureifishouldbehere at 11:34 PM, Monday, June 24th]

22
Together 4.5 years and partner caught texting SWs.
Found out: 23rd of June 2024

Struggling to know what to do

posts: 2   ·   registered: Jun. 24th, 2024   ·   location: UK
id 8840733
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SackOfSorry ( member #83195) posted at 11:46 PM on Monday, June 24th, 2024

It seems like for someone so young you spend a lot of time trying to fix him, to figure him out, to help him. These issues are his problems - what is he doing to get himself help? He is not your job.

I don't believe that anyone is "meant to be together". It just seems to me that you could find someone with a lot less to deal with. More of an equal partner. With a lot less drama. With my life experience, I'd say move on.

Me - BW
DDay - May 4, 2013

And nothing's quite as sure as change. (The Mamas and the Papas)

posts: 120   ·   registered: Apr. 11th, 2023
id 8840736
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 notsureifishouldbehere (original poster new member #84982) posted at 11:51 PM on Monday, June 24th, 2024

I appreciate your response. I know it's not my job I just can't help it. I honestly don't know what it is maybe I have some issue I need to work out or I just desperately want him to be good with me.


what is he doing to get himself help?

He is getting counselling and starting his antidepressants back up I suppose.

22
Together 4.5 years and partner caught texting SWs.
Found out: 23rd of June 2024

Struggling to know what to do

posts: 2   ·   registered: Jun. 24th, 2024   ·   location: UK
id 8840737
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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 12:25 AM on Tuesday, June 25th, 2024

Things to always remember. You can’t change him nor can you fix him. He is who he is. Look at what you wrote. He comes and goes. You take him back. Nothing is working.

Also, both of you are very young. It is time for him to get serious individual therapy. It is time for you to take a breath. Finish your education if you need to. Get a job that allows you to support yourself and sometime in the future make relationship decisions based on maturity and not memories.

When things go wrong, don’t go with them. Elvis

posts: 4272   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8840739
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SackOfSorry ( member #83195) posted at 2:08 AM on Tuesday, June 25th, 2024

I know it's not my job I just can't help it. I honestly don't know what it is maybe I have some issue I need to work out

You should maybe look into the book Codependent No More. It might be your issue?

You're very young, and you're not tied to him with children or by marriage. You've had some good times and some good memories, but those don't mean that you have to tie yourself to him forever, *especially* when he is showing bad coping skills, and certainly less-than-desirable traits to have in a partner. Sometimes these people are just a learning experience as you pass through life and on to something better. Again, looking through much more experienced eyes, there's just no sense in tying yourself to a sinkhole.

If he wants to work through his issues, he can certainly do that without you by his side. He's just manipulating you.

Me - BW
DDay - May 4, 2013

And nothing's quite as sure as change. (The Mamas and the Papas)

posts: 120   ·   registered: Apr. 11th, 2023
id 8840747
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leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 3:45 AM on Tuesday, June 25th, 2024

Welcome to SI and I'm sorry that you're here. There are some pinned posts at the top of the forum that we encourage newbies to read. Also, there are some posts with bull's eye icons that are really good. The Healing Library has a lot of great information and includes the list of acronyms we use.

If you read your post and pretend like this is your best friend telling you this, what would your response be?

Your WBF (wayward boyfriend) seems like he's not ready to be in a committed relationship and that he has some things to work out in IC (individual counseling) before he's ready. He has been physical with others while you were on break. I'm not sure that he hasn't met up with the sex workers. What's the possibility of all these workers turning down money?

He needs to read How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair by Linda MacDonald. Although you aren't married, the book would be helpful. It's a little over 100 pages and provides a blue print of sorts. Another good book is Not Just Friends by Dr. Shirley Glass.

They say the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Some partners are able to do the hard work to be a safe partner, but there are so many who do not. It's a lot of work.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 3546   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8840751
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Abcd89 ( member #82960) posted at 5:12 PM on Tuesday, June 25th, 2024

A boyfriend should be someone to share your life with not a project for you to work on.

Enjoy the memories and learn from this relationship and pop him back into the dating pond.

He’s not a good bet. Life throws us so many curve balls and this man is unreliable. With no marriage or kids let him go.

Even if he is just texting the hookers with no intention of going through with the act it demonstrates his attitudes to other people.

He thinks it’s okay to text and waste their time, why does him degrading himself or getting his rocks off mean he gets to mess people around? His attitude to others is rubbish. Presumably the hookers have bills to pay and he’s wasting their time. (Many of these women are victims of trafficking or violence). Just like he feels it’s okay for him to mess you around and waste your time. He’s happy to waste peoples time for his own benefit and that sucks. Why does he deserve to waste peoples life? Or he was texting them to get off in some way. Either way he is not ready for a relationship. If you look at him closely I bet he has other less than desirable traits too.

Codependent no more is a good book. As is Lundy Bancroft ‘why does he do that?’. You need a partner not a renovation project.

What in your past means you want this to work? Focus yourself on fixing you, spend time getting to know you. Not the you who is rescuing this boyfriend, but the adult you. Why are you thinking of staying with this man?

At 22 the world is your oyster - do not stay with a man whose hobby is texting hookers to find their price. No kids, no marriage - move on and find someone who has self respect and integrity.

posts: 129   ·   registered: Feb. 27th, 2023
id 8840792
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