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You Asked: Should I Forgive him?

Dear Sugar--

I have been in a great relationship of 5 years. We live together and love each other dearly. Recently my boyfriend has been receiving some text messages from his best friend's ex-girlfriend. They have all hung-out before together but never chatted on the phone. Originally I thought nothing of it, he said he was fixing her car, no biggie, and he never talks to chicks (or so I thought). Recently I read a message from her that said "yeah I'm here right now, maybe we can meet up after you're done with work on Monday". I confronted him and he said he had no idea she just sent it. Now us females have something called a woman's intuition so I checked my cell phone bill (his number is on my bill) and I discovered that he has been talking and texting to her since December, 7 months ago!!

So once again I confronted him as to what's going on with her. He told me he needed a friend, that it was nothing at all just someone to talk to. I have many friends and normally I feel bad hanging with them and leaving him at home so I try not to, but while I'm always at work on Saturday (he's off) he'll be texting her nonstop and calling. He has other guy friends but only her as a girl-friend. I don't know what to think- I believe him, I want to believe him, but hiding this for 7 months leaves me feeling incredibly betrayed. I asked him if we should take a break so maybe we both can find ourselves and figure out what is really going on, and he refused, he said he wants to be with me forever. He has apologized, but it's been about 3 days and I'm still upset, I've been moping around and I know that is not the best thing to do but that is how I feel-- how else should I be acting? And what do we do from here? He says that he wants to be with me and I want to make it work...what do we do? -- At a Cross Road Rachel

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear At a Cross Road Rachel--

You have absolutely every right to feel betrayed Rachel. The fact that your boyfriend has be-friended a woman doesn't sound like the issue here, it's his lying that is inexcusable. Don't men understand by now that they are going to be worse off after their girlfriend finds out his secrets, especially since you share a phone bill?? Geesh! I am glad you have confronted him -- but do you believe him when he says that nothing sexual happened between them? If so, do you think you can re-build the trust that is lost?

Your boyfriend needs to be a lot more understanding of your feelings right about now. It's going to take longer than 3 measly days to clear up your hurt, so if you want to mope around the apartment, by all means mope around the apartment! You're entitled to give into your feelings, and you should to be frank, so you don't harbor resentment and anger towards him for the rest of your relationship.

From here, you and your boyfriend are going to have to be very honest and open with each other's feelings, fears, and anger towards each other. If you want to make your relationship work, you have to make a conscience decision to forgive your boyfriend for his actions -- that isn't to say forget, but forgive him and try to move on. Have you given couples counseling any thought? Set some ground rules so you are both on the same page of what feels comfortable and uncomfortable in terms of friendships and time spent apart. It's healthy for you both to engage with friends outside the relationship, but only if you both trust each other, and that will just take some time. Good luck Rachel.


katie_10 katie_10 9 years
This sounds so familiar to me. About 3 months ago I found a series of e-mails my boyfriend had sent to his female friend. When I confronted him he told me that he just needed someone to talk to. He wanted a friend who he could get relationship advice from. It was so incredibly hurtful for me to find out that he needed a female other than myself to confide in, and that he wanted to talk to another female about our problems. It probably didn't help that I don't find this girl to be a very worthwhile friend for my boyfriend, and I highly doubt she would ever give advice which isn't bias or just something she thinks he wants to hear. It's been a really rough few months for us because even though he has promised to never do something like that again, and to come to me with our problems, I still have that basic instinct to protect myself from being hurt again. I'm sure that whoever is reading this for advice because they are going through a similar situation knows that a lot of people will tell you never to forgive a liar. Once a liar always a liar. But I know from experience that sometimes forgiving someone is the best thing you can do for yourself.
Cure-Sugar Cure-Sugar 10 years
First of all, not a very smart guy to do that while knowing full well that you can see his cell phone activity. DUH!! Second, from this point forward, if you choose to stay with him after all of this, you need to remember that trust must be earned. If you don't trust him after that, I completely understand (and sympathize!!) however, you can't have a relationship without trust. And if you are constantly wondering what he's doing while he's out of your sight, it will DRIVE YOU CRAZY. From experience, this isn't a good thing!! So, you must trust him if you want to stay with him. Otherwise, save yourself the heartache and end it now.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 10 years
I will go even further than the others on here and say that he has no commitment to you, even though you live and sleep together. You aren’t married, there is no long term future plans. Both men and women, need to be nurtured and needed and loved and somehow your BF didn’t get that, or ultimately doesn’t want it from you. Sometimes by living together you are sabotaging a true relationship from ever happening. There is no room for growth, and if you have misgivings you feel trapped and that ends up most of the time as cheating. So wave goodbye to him, its over. And next time don’t live together. I have personally gone through what this person has, and never lived with a boyfriend ever again. Its too complicated and stressful
cubadog cubadog 10 years
Insist on the break he clearly has some feelings to sort out.
Marci Marci 10 years
The bottom line here is that he's been deceptive for 7 months. Masqueraded_Angel makes a good point that he wouldn't need to hide a friendship if that's all it was. It seems pretty safe to say there's more going on that just texting. My own opinion is that once lying and mistrust enter a relationship, it's doomed. The clock is ticking. You might talk and decide to give it another try, but you'll always be wondering; always checking those phone bills with a fine tooth comb, getting more upset than you should have to when he's a little late. There's just no room for that in a relationship. My suggestion would be to do yourself a favor and break it off with this guy. You deserve so much better than this. And I can't help but wonder how his 'best friend' feels about the situation, too.
L7amiguita L7amiguita 10 years
Be prepared to find out that he has been cheating on you. I am so sorry to say that, but to me it seems obvious. YOU DON'T HIDE a 'friendship' for 7 months if you don't have feelings for that person or if you are not engaged in a romantic relationship with that person. My heart really does go out to you, because I understand how it feels to be betrayed by someone you trust more than anything in the world. If he doesn't end his friendship with this girl, then I think it is time to cut your losses with this guy. If he does end the friendship, you can save the relationship, but it will take A LOT of time before you trust him again. Are you willing to invest THAT MUCH time? You have already been dating him for 5 years. Weigh your options, and decide whether or not this guy is for you. Either way, what you are going through is understandably very hard. Take care...
Masqueraded_Angel Masqueraded_Angel 10 years
Honestly, why would he hide a "friendship" for 7 MONTHS if nothing was going on? Totally inappropriate.
Masqueraded_Angel Masqueraded_Angel 10 years know that all those txts and calls were more than just a "friendship" and we all know it. He's most likely sneaking over to her house when you're not looking, hence the "Yeah, I'm here now, maybe you can come over..." message. Drop him, because even if you THINK that you forgive him, this will always be in the back of your mind. He's not healthy for you, and it doesn't matter how long you two have been together...find someone else.
Lila-Fowler Lila-Fowler 10 years
You could give him an ultimatum: tell him that since his relationship with the girl is making you really uncomfortable, he should either cut off all ties with her, or else only meet her when you're around too. He has no business to say that "they are just friends"-- even if they are, it is still making you uncomfortable, and he should fix that. Your relationship with your bf comes first before his relationship with this girl. Tell him that he needs to not talk to her again, or only invite her over when you are around.
sass317 sass317 10 years
I think you should take a break too- to drive home the point that he cant lie to you and not have any consequences. It certainly wasnt the fact that he had a new friend, it was that he totally lied to you about it for 7 months- that is ridiculous. I know you have been together a long time and you live together and taking a break will be a total pain in the a$$, but I stuck around when my ex lied to me over and over, and it just made me miserable- but I stayed bc I didnt want to move out (I hadnt done anything wrong after all) and the apt was close to my office, eventually I told him he had to go. Your bf needs to figure out what he wants and so do you. if you cant ever let this go then there is no point in staying with him. YOU are supposed to be his best friend, you shouldnt have these kind of secrets.
Chica8a Chica8a 10 years
I KNOW EXACTLY HOW YOU FEEL! DONT WANT TO GET INTO IT TOO MUCH BUT I HAD A SIMILAR SITUATION. You need to tell him to choose your love of 5 years or some dumb friendship... if he doesnt choose you then you need to leave that realationship even though IT HURTS LIKE HELL... this is when you need really good friends or family to lean on. Hopefully with this he will realize that this friend is not worth the love you guys have!! And if he doesnt then you are better off without him, life goes on too... people have gone through worst ... the apt and everything you have together will work itself out afterwards. Though 7 months of lies is hard to swallow... thats a long time!!! I only had to go through about 2 1/2 months and everything worked out for me... so I wish the same for you!! He says he loves you and wants to be with you forever ... so he must just be confused .... i dunno hopefully its nothing more then just talking and nothing physically has happpen ..... uuuugggggghhhhhhhhhhhhh i cried alot so i know the pain you must be going through that you dont even know exactly what is happening when he isnt with you and he is who knows where doing who knows what ..... GOOD LUCK!! If you can KIT and I would like to know the outcome!!
Stella2010 Stella2010 10 years
i agree with DS. I suggest you talk to your bf. a heart to heart one and explain to him how betrayed you felt and you are somewhat discouraged after all the trust that you have given him. let him understand what he would feel if it was the other way around, him finding out about you and a secret friend. Second step, tell him what you want to happen to fix things. like, ask him not to talk to her again with you by his side while he does it to make sure he wont lie. if hes not willing to compromise then i think its time for you to reconsider your relationship with him.
nicole121482 nicole121482 10 years
I agree with DearSugar's advice, but I would take it a step further...the chances that nothing physical happened after seven months of phone calls and text messages done behind your back is extremely slim...I think you should enforce a break. I know you don't want to and he says he doesn't want to either, but you need to enforce your point that he can't treat you like this and expect you to just let it go. Maybe he does need some time to figure out what's going on with himself and he just doesn't want to admit. This may sound a little drastic, but I have been through a similar situation and I went against my female intuition which had turned out to be right in the long run...
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