I so should have read the recent cheating letter and the advice that was given in the forum. I made the brutal mistake of telling my new boyfriend about my past infidelity with my ex-boyfriend. Needless to say, he did not take it well and has pretty much ended things with me. Let me give you a little background …
Four years ago, I was in a long-distance relationship with the ex. In some not-so-proud moments of unhappiness, I cheated on him and never told him. Eventually, for other reasons, he left me. I was devastated, single at 30, and knew that it was time to focus on myself.
The new man in my life came around at a great time. He has his own past, which includes a broken engagement (he called it off), but for the past month (yes, we've only been dating a month) we have been nothing but open and honest with each other. I've never felt so happy or at ease with anyone before in my life. I know he feels (or felt) the same way. We have talked about the future and both acknowledge that we are very lucky to have found each other.
The other night while eating dinner, he went fishing for some information about my past to make sure that I was over my ex. I told him in a non-confrontational way that I was over him and that while I regret it, I did cheat on my ex four years ago. He freaked out, barely spoke to me, but spent the night at my house in a very awkward silent state. I tried talking to him but he didn't want to hear anymore.
An hour after her left, I get an e-mail from him saying that he's calling off a weekend away and is not responding to any of my texts, e-mails, or phone calls. Now I know I'm not a bad person. I made some stupid mistakes when I was younger that I regret. I do not believe in "once a cheater, always a cheater." I was very unhappy four years ago and I do not think that my past should be any indication of who I am and my future. I've been spending time in therapy to ensure just that, and I really do believe that if I'm going to have a future with someone, that they should know the good, the bad, and the ugly.
New boyfriend doesn't see it that way, wishes I never told him, and has more or less ended things with me in a very immature way. Should I give him more space and let him come to me? I don't want to grovel anymore for something I did four years ago to someone else but recognize that what I did in my past has freaked him out. I do know that his previous relationship may have given him some trust issues. I've already sent him a long e-mail trying to give him as much insight to the situation as possible and have asked to not end things based on my past. So far, I've heard nothing from him. Is this totally doomed?
– Should Have Read Love Letters First, Boston
A: Well, SHRLLF, you're certainly learning about each other. He learned something about you that he didn't like. And now you know something awful about him. He's not forgiving. He made you regret your honesty. And he ended things with you in an immature way.
I don't want you to be sad that you told him about the cheat. Because telling him was what felt right to you. The guy who's right for you would want that kind of honesty. He'd be open to someone who has learned from her mistakes and isn't afraid to talk about them.
My thought? It has only been a month. At a month, we're still looking for reasons to forgive each other's flaws, not vilify each other. If he can't deal with your truth, better he knows it now. And the fact that he wishes you hadn't been honest with him -- well, that's pretty telling, isn't it? You've dealt with your past -- in therapy. He hasn't.
You've done all you can. You've told him that you want to keep dating and that you're not looking to betray him. If this relationship is doomed, it's not your fault. If he hasn't responded in a week, start picking up the pieces.
And for the record, yes, you should always read Love Letters first, but in this case, I'm happy you didn't. I'm glad you told him.
Readers? Should she wait a week to hear from him? Is he right to ditch her? Was she wrong to tell him? Would this have lasted had she not told him? Thoughts? Discuss.
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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.