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Can we get over a cheat?

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  March 12, 2014 08:47 AM

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Q: I need help. I found out my long-term boyfriend who I was living with was cheating on me. How long it had been going on and how many times I don't really know and don't want to know.

Regardless, I packed my things, moved out, and ended it. Or tried to end it. I started dating other people as a means to distract myself from missing him, but it just backfired on me and left me missing him more, even though he cheated on me. We now hang out pretty frequently and he wants to get back together. He has really shown me that he is trying to be better by doing little things that he knows will make me happy. Right now things between us are going great. But I am still so worried that if we get back together he will cheat on me again.

I know I am probably crazy to go back to someone who cheated, and everyone says "once a cheater, always a cheater," but I think he saw how badly he messed up when I moved out and started dating other people.

So, what should I do? Give him a second chance or move on completely?

– Confused Carrie, Boston


A: I don't believe in the "once a cheater, always a cheater" thing. Many couples can move past this kind of betrayal.

But in your case, something is missing -- and it seems to be the gory details. You have no idea what this guy did or how long he was doing it. You say that you don't want to have this information, but how can you decide whether it's worth sticking around if you don't understand what happened and why? You can't take him back until you know what went down and why he wants a second chance. If you don't get the story, you're going to fill in your own narrative -- and it probably won't be accurate.

It's great that he's being nice to you, but nice isn't necessarily honest. Tell him you that need to talk about what happened during the cheat. After you get his story, you can decide whether you want to forgive or just walk away.

Readers? Does she need to know what happened? Would she be able to trust his answers? Can they get over this betrayal? 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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