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Ask Jen Helant Your Own Question

Jen Helant
Jen Helant, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1124
Experience:  I have a degree in psychology and worked with many couples. I am happily married and have been for 10 years.
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Hello, I have been with my gf for 10 years

Resolved Question:

Hello, I have been with my gf for 10 years. It's almost like we are married. I am like a member of her family and so does she with mine. In the very beginning of our relationship, she cheated on me, she was ashamed and confessed it to me the next day. She was crying and imploring me to give her another chance as she would never do it again. The strange thing is that she did it a few days after Valentine's day that we celebrated in a great way! Anyway it took me a while to swallow the pill. But I gave her a second chance because I love her. Since then our relationship has been great. We have been living together for the last 3 years. Last year, she had a great opportunity to go to work for 2 years in Alaska. Unfortunately, I had to stay in the East coast. But we talk often and see almost every holiday. By pure coincidence, I discovered on her computer print screens of her cell phone conversation with a close friend of her. He was her teenage love. Basically, my gf has been sexting with him several times. The content is very suggestive and talks about what they did together (or may have done?), what they fantasize about and what they are planning to do and willing to do together. I confronted her and asked her what this story was. My questions were: 1) why do you have such a conversation with him? 2) why do you save the messages? 3) did you cheat on me? She replied that she was only doing it for fun and entertainment and that nothing happened and nothing will happen. She admitted she made a terrible mistake and that it will never happen again. I am trying my best but I am very hurt and I have a tough time to believe her. The messages were very realistic. I am not sure what to do.

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Jen Helant replied 1 year ago.

jenhelant :

, I am so sorry about what has happened. I understand why you would be concerned. Long distance relationships are difficult and it my be difficult to trust her after these instances. The problem is she cheated before and apologized. Now this happened and she feels she made a terrible mistake. When people make a mistake and feel bad they will learn from this and not do it again. However, when it becomes a regular occurance then the "feeling bad" is not longer as sincere. It kind of becomes routine since the trust is then gone. It is up to you if you are willing to work through this. However, if the trust is no longer there this is normal. She should not expect everything to be fixed overnight. Saying sorry will not make this go away. It will take time to build this trust up and the only way this will work is if she understands this. Some people tend to get angry if they apologize and things are not automatically better, so she would need to be understanding and willing to prove her trust to you rather than just think everything will be te same. Words are not enough. She needs to prove all her words through action over time. Consistency is key as well as everything she does making sense. If you see things she does and says not adding up I would be very skeptical. She also seems like the type of person to act upon impulse, so if this is true it would be good for her to realize this, admit it, and seek help because it can possibly prevent anything similar from happening in the future. It would be important to seek the root of her behavior if she truly does not mean it in order for her to change and not risk loosing you forever if that did not happen already. I wish you well and please let me know if I can be of further help.

Customer:

I am not totally satisfied by the answer. What is your take on the very realistic sexual conversations with her teenage lover describing what they did sexually together, what they fantasize and what they plan or want to do sexually together? She affirms that nothing happened and nothing will happen. I have a tough time to believe it, the messages being very descriptive and realistic. How can I be sure she is telling me the whole truth?

jenhelant :

Hi

jenhelant :

I way away. I will read your responses now.

jenhelant :

That is the problem. She broke the trust, so would be difficult to believe her. She was hiding it. Who is to say what would have happened if you did not see it. She is now trying to cover herself. It would be very hard to believe her. That is breaking the trust and respect barrier either way.

jenhelant :

I do not think she would be happy if it were the other way around.

jenhelant :

She may know nothing were to happen, but even if this were true in the best situation she still went behind your back and broke the trust.

jenhelant :

By saying what they plan to do there is really no telling what she was really going to do. This is why I explained in my first answer that the either way the trust would need to be rebuilt.

Customer:

When you says she should seek help, what do you mean?

jenhelant :

I mean could be self help or counseling. If she notices a pattern with her behavior. There could be underlying issues that need to be addressed in order to prevent from repeating similar behaviors.

Customer:

can sexting be considered as cheating in a way? or am i too excessive?

jenhelant :

People may have different views on this. However, in my opinion in this new age of technology I do think it is considered a form of cheating. Regardless, it still is not right and it is disrespectful. I do not think you are being excessive. I also do not think she would be fine with if she caught you doing the same thing.

Customer:

I am really hurt, confused and lost. I would like to believe her but I want to be sure I am not be taken for fool. Do you think a counselor could assess if she is telling the truth?

jenhelant :

I understand how you are feeling and how hard it truly is. However, no one could really know if she is being honest, but her. At least if you were to stay I would expect certain things from her as I said in my first answer because this can not be the same overnight. She would need to build the trust either way because even if she did have no intention to go further she still engaged in that type of talk, which was crossing the line especially since she hid it and it was as realistic as you said.

Customer:

thank you

Jen Helant, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1124
Experience: I have a degree in psychology and worked with many couples. I am happily married and have been for 10 years.
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