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Relationship Health Message Board

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Hi Belledin,

I think you've gotten a lot of good, well-meaning advice here, but I look at this situation a bit differently. I don't know if you've made any decision since your last post, but it doesn't seem like there's not much left to salvage in this relationship. Please don't feel guilty about cheating--you are clearly not the deceitful type; you did it because you know you will never get what you want from him and you really needed some validation after all the damage he's done to your self worth. If you're going to beat yourself up about cheating, then he should beat himself up about calling you a puppy, belittling you, and constantly chipping away at your self-esteem. I've done the same thing (cheating, especially with male friends) once I realized that a BF was a complete jerk who could never give me what I wanted or deserved. OK, it's techically "wrong," but it's not the same as betraying a guy who loves you, trusts you, cares for you, and treats you wonderfully. I'm sure if you told him or he found out, he'd be really mad, but only because his ego was bruised and NOT because his heart is broken. I think most young women have been in a similar situation--dating a decent guy who seems like a good match but ultimately doesn't provide enough of the love, comfort, and praise that you crave AND DESERVE!!

Anyway, I'm sure we'd all like to know how things are going when you get a chance to fill us in. If you think there is something there to salvage, then you should follow your heart, but please do some reading on emotional abuse if you choose to stay with him so you can recognize if things start to get out of control. I know there are tons of guys who would love to shower a smart, thoughtful, and caring girl like yourself with the affection you're looking for. You are not asking too much, or too needy, or anything like that--the problem sounds like (as you said) he's just not capable of demonstrating love or treating a girl with consideration and respect. Good luck with everything--it sounds like you have a good handle on things and will make whatever decision is right for you. Take care!

Best wishes,

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