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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4814
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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Hello, I would highly appreciate if you could help me to

Resolved Question:

Hello,

I would highly appreciate if you could help me to deal with a sad situation I am now in. Never thought it will happen to me and I feel broken and depressed... Here is the story:

I am 29 years old, my boyfriend is 35. We live together for almost a year, and we are a couple for 1.5 year. We are from different countries; I live in his country, as I moved here. We were a happy couple, loving, spending good time together. Our sexual life was good (and often), we were really emotionally connected. We were planning to get married, to have kids, to buy a car together; we were planning things like all families do.

However, two weeks ago, when i was working on my boyfriend’s computer, I have discovered, that he was cheating on me online few times during this 1.5 years... I left the country two times during being his girlfriend: and both these times when we were not together, he cheated on me. His cheating was: dirty talks to unknown, random women in online chats or Facebook, with exchanging nude pictures (he sent them his naked pictures). This thing kills me. For me it is cheating and I feel extremely bad, as I thought we are a family and we are commited. However, probably like many women, I had some 6th feeling that he flirting to someone online, from the start...I shared that feeling with him many times during the year, but he never could tell me the truth. I never cheated on him, even did not flirt with any men, as it is not acceptable for me. These women whom I saw with who he cheated are bad-looking, overweight and so on..The ones which can barely be attractive to someone.
After this thing when I caught him, i started to hate him and all these women. I told him that I will move to live alone as soon as I will get my wage, to have money to do that. Now it is the moment when I will get it in few days, so I can move. However, my boyfriend started to feel very bad when he realized he is losing me.... He is sorry and told that he regrets for all he did, and he did not realize this will damage our love so much. He told that he always loved me with all his heart, that I’m extremely attractive to him, and these random women did not mean anything to him, it was just some "game". Few days after I caught him, he went to psychologist for advise and for help, as he wants to change - he has a problem with low self-esteem, and he used these online chats, as he feels no fear to talk to random people, and to be "smarter" him near the screen (this is what the therapist told to him, and advised to work on his self-esteem). He wants to change and tells that he made terrible mistake and asks me not to leave and tells he is ready to work on that and be a best husband to me. He told he is ready to do everything to bring my love back.
I don't know what to do. I need to take a decision but I don't know how.
- should i forgive him and give a chance?
- how to trust him again, if the trust is lost?
- how to forget these all things i saw in his PC,these overweight/unattractive women are all the time in my mind...
- how to plan something with him, like we planned before, if now I don't feel secure in him? I think people should plan things and buy cars or houses only when they REALLY trust and respect each other...
- how to see a future again with a man who betrayed my trust?
- Should I at all try to stay with him and repair that or it is better to leave?
- what if I will get pregnant, and then he will see me weaker, and take advantage from that, and cheat on me again, at the moment when i need him most?
I am an attractive woman and get a lot of attention from men, I know that I can start a new life..But I still love him and I remember how happy we were together every day...Sometimes, some days, I think I can forgive him, but some days I think I must leave him.
We still making love after that thing, but our communication and my attitude towards him is very far from what it was before. I don't hold his hand, I don't kiss him by myself, only when he tries, I don't feel good, because I feel so humiliated, hurt and betrayed. I don’t have friends and my family here, that’s why it is super more difficult to me to survive this situation. I know time heals, but I also know that I need to take a decision.
Is it possible at all to get a trust back, for person who betrayed you just for "game", without any reason?
I would like to get some professional advice, based on experience, which could help me to turn to a right direction!
Thank you!
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 10 months ago.

Dr. Z :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concern

Dr. Z :

Give me a few minutes to read over your question and then I will be able to give you the best advice possible.

Dr. Z :

I am so sorry that your boyfriend cheated on you like this, and yes this is cheating. I can imagine how hurt you are feeling right now.

Dr. Z :

May I ask, have you ever suspected that he had low self-esteem or maybe a mild depression before?

Customer:

Hello, thank you for your willingness to help!
Yes, he shared this with me many times, and I always supported him.
He did not finish his education, has no car at the age of 35 - and this makes him feel bad. I told him that he will reach his goals, little by little! that he must believe in himself. I have a Master's degree, and he always reminded me that...

Dr. Z :

And did he ever meet these women at all or was this only online cheating? I am not dismissing it because yes this is cheating and infidelity, I just want to get an idea of how he did it

Customer:

That was only online cheating, and he never tried to meet them in real life. Moreover, he cheated with unknown, random women, as he told me, he feels "brave" and "not shy" then... In real life, he is a reserved person.

Dr. Z :

Okay, so I do agree that this was mostly for his low self-esteem and that is why he sought validation from these women. This made him feel more confident in some ways to be valued by other women. It also explains why the women were not very attractive either because he just wanted validation from anyone of the female gender.

Dr. Z :

So it is possible to get the trust back in the relationship, but it will take a lot of time for him to earn that trust back.

Dr. Z :

I suggest that he has to be transparent, that means no passwords on the computer or phone and that you can look at it whenever you like with no questions asked. Also I would suggest couples counseling as well because I am not entirely sure he understand how he hurt you

Dr. Z :

Also for some reason he did not feel validated by you 100 percent and that is because of his low self-esteem. I think couples counseling will help him understand that better that you love and adore this man

Customer:

Thank you. Do you have any tips, from your experience, which helped betrayed partner to gain trust and respect back, or it only comes with time?

Dr. Z :

I think these three books will help as well. The first two are geared towards you both as a couple and the last one is geared for him to help him with his mild depression and low self-esteem

Dr. Z :

It comes in time, but he will have to prove it through his actions. You cannot take his words at face value anymore

Dr. Z :

I think couples therapy will help you both immensely. It will help you regain the trust back and hopefully can strengthen your relationship more

Customer:

Thank you for the suggested materials!
I totally agree, that it would be good to visit a couple therapist.
thank you!

Dr. Z :

Anytime, I am always happy to help. Is there anything else I can assist you with?

Customer:

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX I got the point.

Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4814
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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