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September 7, 2015

Ask Me Anything: Should I Forgive My Cheating Girlfriend? {Weekly Advice Column}

Author: Global Panorama

*Editor’s Note: Elephant Journal articles represent the personal opinion, view or experience of the authors, and can not reflect Elephant Journal as a whole. Disagree with an Op-Ed or opinion? We’re happy to share your experience here. 

Dear Elephants,

Welcome to this week’s Ask Me Anything, where no question is out of bounds! To submit questions for next week, please email me at [email protected] I look forward to hearing from you! ~ Erica

 

Dear Erica,

My girlfriend and I (also a girl) have been in love for seven years.

We were so insanely addicted to each other and were always so close.

We were soulmates.

Two years after our relationship began she cheated on me with another girl when she switched schools. They stayed together for two years, but I was certain she was deluded.

She came back to me begging and pleading for forgiveness and was remorseful. She said she always loved me during that period and the other wasn’t even close to love, so we got back together.

Three amazing years have passed with even a stronger love (or so I thought) until I noticed this summer that she’s completely changed for no obvious reasons. I got the same feelings in my gut as those I felt the first time she cheated. Finally she confessed that she met a guy three times in his car and he kissed her hand.

He loves her but she doesn’t love him (she says).

How do you go on dates while you’re in a relationship?! And if she doesn’t love him why did she allow him to do this?!

She’s now confused but doesn’t seem to be regretting her act. I called it off and we broke up but it’s killing me. She’s my lifelong partner with whom I spent the most important years of my life (from 14-21) and I just can’t wrap my head around all of this.

We’ve been physically intimate several times, we kiss, we had sex, we did everything and she was always the clingy one.

I even thought that I could cheat on her, but she would never do such a thing (apparently I was wrong).

I don’t doubt her love for me but I can’t believe she did this to me again. I want her so bad but I know that this time her mistake is unforgivable, considering that he’s a boy and that she hid everything from the very first day!

Please help me—it’s agonizing and torturing to go through this heartbreak game again. Does she deserve a third chance? Is it possible that all those years she was just obsessed with me but doesn’t actually love me?

I’m so confused.

~ Help Me

 

 

Dear Help Me,

Your relationship with your ex is the definition of dysfunction. You are very young, and perhaps that is the reason you haven’t learned an important fact; loving partnerships do not look like this.

Your girlfriend has cheated on you twice; the first time she actually left you for someone else for two years (not exactly a casual dalliance), and the second time she went on three dates with another guy where there was at least some physical contact (I have a sneaking suspicion there was a lot more than “hand kissing” going on.)

You did the right thing by breaking up with her.

Now you need to ride out the pain of the break up. Remember that by getting back together with her, you’ll be opening the door to a lot worse pain ultimately than you are feeling right now.

 

*

Dear Erica,

I am very lonely, I am very depressed and I do not know how to change.

I have no support—I am the support.

For example, this week I have paid for my neglectful and abusive father and stepmother to stay in a hotel in my home town, in order to facilitate a meeting between them and my brother after many years of anger. I have also paid to have my attic boarded out for storage in order to help a friend who now no longer wants the space, and therefore will not be contributing.

I am a part-time cleaner and I can barely afford to buy food. I’ve been saving and saving in order to make repairs to a jointly owned property my sister makes no contribution to.

My mother will not listen to my problems—it as if she is deaf. I now realize she has been telling me for years my feelings do not matter.

I have suffered from depression for years. I am unable to form relationships with men and can no longer hold down a full time job.

My friendships are not supportive and due to the emotional neglect and abuse, I have no idea how to support myself.

Please help!

~ Lonely and Depressed

 

Dear Lonely,

You do indeed sound clinically depressed. Depression is a crippling disease which affects millions of people regardless of race, creed or income level.

The good news is, treatment can be highly effective.

The very first thing you need to do is visit your primary care physician. Try and be as honest as possible about what’s going on.

Ideally, you will be referred to a mental health care professional and you can take things from there. If you don’t have insurance or can’t afford to pay for medical services, discuss that as well. Your doctor should have some suggestions about therapists with sliding scale fees, or places where you can receive treatment at little or no cost.

You can not treat depression this profound alone. You will likely need drug and talk therapy, and it can be a long and challenging road. If you proactively try to heal yourself, however, you can turn things around.

 

 

 

Relephant: 

Ask Me Anything: How Should I Handle an STD Confession? {Weekly Advice Column}

4 Stages of Cheating & When It’s Warranted.

 

 

 

Author: Erica Leibrandt

Editor: Renée Picard

Image: Global Panorama at Flickr 

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