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I cheat to break up

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  June 4, 2010 09:37 AM

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Looking forward to seeing everyone tonight. I'll be wearing a dress that is somewhat orange.

I've been getting some e-mails from people who didn't RSVP in time. My advice: there's a bar upstairs at Game On!. I assume the party will float up and all around, so please come and seat yourself upstairs and the party will find you.

Also, for those who did RSVP, food will be passed earlier than later, so get yourself moving if you want those free apps.

And really, who doesn't want free apps?

Today's letter will give us all something to talk about tonight.

Q: Hi Meredith,

Love, love your advice. Been an avid reader for over a year now. I never miss a column.

Maybe you can help me with this ridiculous situation that I have put myself in.

I'm 30, I've been with my bf Mike, 33, for a year and a half now. We moved in together last fall when he got a house. When we first started seeing each other I couldn't believe how much I liked him. I never had any intention of dating him. He had tried to pursue me before and I blew him off. Well finally I gave him a chance and I couldn't have been happier that I did. I've never had so much fun or felt so loved in such a short amount of time. I literally did everything with him. I even disappeared from my friends and family for a few months, which, let me tell you, didn't go over very well. In the beginning we had our ups and downs, though. Sometimes he would disappear and not tell me where he was. If we fought, he would say mean things to me like I ruin all his fun and I never let him do anything. Meanwhile, he never wants me to do anything without him! And there was also his ex factor, someone he couldn't break ties with at first. I almost broke up with him twice because of it. But as far as I know that doesn’t exist anymore. And part of me doesn't really care now anyway. Sounds like I'm becoming desensitized, huh? But that's the least of my problems.

Fast forward to now. Here we are, 1.5 years later, and even though he tells me a million times a day that he loves me, there is no affection. We are hardly ever intimate, maybe once a month, if that. I'm a very sexual person and I count the days because being intimate is very important to me. I've mentioned this to him before and he always steps up at first but then it just goes back to being the way it was. He’s constantly in a bad mood when he comes home from work. He's less mean then he used to be, but there are still times when he tells me to shut up, that he doesn't want to listen to me. All in all, I've been finding myself very unhappy recently. Even so much to the point that I've actually cheated on him. And not once, like four times with the same person. And I can't guarantee that it's not going to happen again. This person that I've been cheating with is someone I've known for years. We kind of had a friends-with-benefits relationship like once a year for the past few years, until I got together with my bf. It was fine to not have any contact with him since it was never anything serious. Basically I would see him out at a bar randomly and then we would hook up. And it's pretty much how this happened as well, except now there’s planning involved. I've been sneaking around behind my bf's back. And I know that I should feel guilty, but I don’t. Well I do a little, but not as much as I should. I don't get anything else from my friend-with-benefits besides affection, as in there's no real feelings. Besides, I know that I am just trying to make up for what is lacking in my relationship. I've cheated before, but it was always a way to make myself break up with someone that I didn't want to be with any longer. I have a really hard time just walking away, so cheating always made it easy. I cheated. I had to breakup because I couldn't be dishonest.

But what about now? I don't want to breakup with my bf. Why am I doing this?? I definitely love him more than I've ever loved anyone else and that hasn't changed for me. I can’t imagine my life without him. I keep trying to tell him that I'm not getting what I need from him and he isn't listening. Also, I can't even say anything to him without it turning into a fight. It's so frustrating. I could never suggest therapy, and I'm not even sure that I'd be ok with that. So please, any other advice you could send my way would be so appreciated.

– Love Starved, Boston


A: Let's say I told you that you could never seek physical intimacy outside of your relationship. Pretend that you live in an alternate reality where if you attempted to cheat, you'd be struck by lightening or tasered. Would you want to stay in your relationship knowing you could never get the intimacy you craved? My guess is that you'd probably choose to start over and find someone who meets your needs. If you want an exclusive relationship, starting over is your best option.

Honestly, even if intimacy wasn't an issue, I'd tell you to consider whether this guy is who you want in the long run. He allowed you to ditch your friends and family. He has told you to shut up.

You're not a liner-upper. You're a cheat-to-break-upper (can someone coin a better term than that?). This whole cheating thing is not the right way to end a relationship. By pretending that your dishonesty is what caused the break-up, you're preventing your partners from learning what they did to drive you away.

You need to learn how to leave a relationship when it's best for you without having a human bridge to get you to the next step. You also have to learn to be honest with yourself. "I definitely love him more than I've ever loved anyone else and that hasn't changed for me." Um, yes it has. It has changed big time.

Breaking up is never easy. Usually, people still care for the person they've decided to ditch. My advice: stop the cheating. Don't take the easy way out. It's time to break up like a grown-up.

Readers? What's going on here? Does she want to be with this guy? Why does she cheat to break up? Advice? What are you wearing tonight? Discuss.

– Meredith


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ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
Blogger Meredith Goldstein

Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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