Hi there. You are definitely at a difficult crossroads. First of all, I commend you for your strength and resilience in this situation. One of the most challenging aspects of getting back together with someone after they have cheated to this extent is rebuilding the trust that has been lost. It's perfectly normal to have a huge amount of fear, but also moving forward can be so, so tough.
Your boyfriend violated you in a number of ways and many of those are not just physical (though yes, sex and threesomes are pretty extreme). A lot of the difficulty here is the psychological recovery from the insult of being cheated on. This raises questions like, "Will it happen again?" "Am I good enough?" "Does he find me attractive?'
The question that lies ahead of you is this: how much are you willing to let the past stay in the past? This also depends on if you really feel your boyfriend has changed. So you need to evaluate his behavior: is he giving you evidence of change and renewed commitment to you? For example, you mention his honesty. That's a very good sign of wanting to wipe the slate clean. Also, is he setting firm boundaries with other women that may contact him? Is he honest about his activities now that you're back together, and very importantly, is he sensitive to the fact that it will take time for you to have the trust rebuilt? It won't be helpful if he acts defensive and annoyed when you question or worry about him.
At the same time, you also need to be able to draw some boundaries for yourself.
So, can you avoid bringing up the past when you get upset, or get into arguments? Are you committed to forgiveness and not resenting his behavior in the past? If he shows you signs in the present of genuinely wanting to work toward a happy relationship, it might be easier to do this. Do you have a therapist or a good friend you can talk about some of these fears with, as well? At the same time, can you do some things to raise your own self esteem, whether it's taking time to appreciate the good things you have to offer, and make a list of positive affirmations?
The answer to your question: "can I ever trust him to be faithful to me now knowing what he's capable of?" is one that can only be answered with time, patience, and experience. There is no reason why, if you love him and believe he has changed, you shouldn't at least give the relationship a try. Relationships are difficult: you're used to yourself and how you handle things. Trying to understand another person's thought process is definitely a huge task. It isn't always easy. Using reflective listening can be so helpful. Reflecting what he's saying to you: "What I hear you say is X, am I right?" expressing your feelings with "I" statements: "I feel X" (as opposed to "YOU make me feel X") can also lead to better communication between you guys. Taking a break, visualizing a big red stop sign when things get too intense and you fear you might say things you regret...these are tools that you can built up.
I say it's worth a try, but you also need time to lick your wounds and mourn what happened. And that's ok. You've suffered a major insult to your ego with his poor choices and activities.
I hope this helps. I'd be happy to discuss it with you further.
he didn't cheat .. that's the problem he did all these things after we split. he is still texting three girls what he had relationships with . he says their still friends but how can I trust he wont go back to sleeping around with them ?
Hi there. Right--I saw that he did this after you guys split up. It's so tricky, but I think the same advice above still applies---do you think you can move forward and trust him, that if he's made a commitment to you, he won't go back on it now that you're together again?
Or do you think it's reasonable to ask him to end those friendships with these other women?
I don't think that's an unreasonable request--that if he's committed to working on the relationship, he respect that you need for him to not be interacting with these women. You're in a vulnerable place and need his reassurance and support on this.
How do you feel about asking him about that?
i asked him to stop talking to them he said no he said they are his friends and that nothing is going on . i know he is still recving text from them and has long text conversations with one in particular. they are nothing sexual but i still hate it
Hi there-- I'm sorry to see you feel I've answered your question poorly, and not to your satisfaction. If you could tell me how I could help better answer your question, I'd be happy to hear your feedback. Would you like to continue discussing this with me? I can certainly see why you would hate your boyfriend continuing to engage in these conversations via text.
It's not my intention to provide you with bad service, but I'm also happy to opt out if you'd like to speak with someone else. Take care, Dr. E