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Hey everyone, just looking for a little advice about something. As a lot of you probably know, my ex-girlfriend cheated on me back in September, and Iíve had a tough time coping with it. Anyway, something yesterday reminded me of the circumstances of our break-up, and I found myself thinking that, while it sucked that she cheated on me, the past few months would probably have been even harder for me if she had just broken up with me normally. I would have probably tried to get her back, and Iím sure I would become obsessed with figuring out why she did it, and wondering what was wrong with me.

Thatís when it hit me: maybe she foresaw that and maybe that was the reason she cheated on me. Things between us had been going downhill for a while. I felt her pulling away from me, and I didnít understand why, so I was doing everything I could think of to try to make things better. However, looking back, even before our relationship had started going bad, I had prioritized it to an unhealthy level in my mind. For example, I was in danger of being kicked out of school due to bad grades, and rather than being concerned about my future, I was upset because I wouldnít be together with my girlfriend anymore. She and my sister didnít get along, and I was prepared to side with my girlfriend and just stop talking to my sister unless she started treating my girlfriend with more respect (thank God my sister forgave me, because she turned out to be absolutely right). I ran up a $6000 credit card bill buying my girlfriend groceries and taking her out to expensive dinners, which wouldnít have been a problem, except my parents pay my credit card bills, and I have put them into a bad financial situation. Anyway, one night, right before we broke up, my girlfriend and I were talking about our relationship, and I told her that she was the most important thing to me, and the only thing that mattered to me anymore. I told her that I was even more concerned with her well-being than with my own. This really scared her and worried her. We both agreed that the way I was feeling was wrong and unhealthy, and we both agreed that I should start seeing a therapist. A few days later, my already-fragile mental state was made infinitely worse as I caught her cheating on me. I survived the heartbreak, but just barely.

Anyway, I realized yesterday, I know she was very scared when she noticed me becoming obsessed with her. By that point, she had fallen out of love with me, and I think she was about ready to break up, but I think she was worried that I wouldnít be able to handle it, or that I would become a stalker. So I wonder if maybe part of the reason she cheated on me was so that I wouldnít do all of that. Maybe she wanted me to hate her, for hers and my own benefit. If I knew that she had cheated on me, it would be easier to cut ties with her and in my mind, I would no longer hold her up on a pedestal. This has happened, to an extent, but in my own mind, Iíve forgiven her for what sheís done. Iíve tried to stay friends with her (to no avail), and I still think of her as a good person. Iíve even had dreams recently where I am seeking her approval. I know, this is kind of pathetic, but I just hate thinking that my judgment was off, and I spent a year and a half with someone who was just a bad person. First of all, to hate her for what she did, for the actions of one night, which may have come in desperation, is to ignore a year and a half of what I considered a good relationship. And I really felt that I knew her. Maybe she changed, but the girl I loved would not have done that to me. She was probably perplexed by the fact that I still wanted to stay friends with her after we broke up. I bet she couldnít fathom why I would still want that, or how I could possibly forgive her. Maybe it just shows weakness on my part that I was able to forgive her.

So anyway, my question here is, do you think it is possible that this was why she cheated on me, instead of just breaking up with me in a mature, adult manner? And secondly, I know there is something really wrong with my perception of that relationship. I shouldnít have put it on a pedestal the way I did. It actually hurt us both in the long run, because it got to the point where there were things that bothered me, but I was afraid to talk to her about them for fear of starting a fight. In fact, Iím finding that my obsession with that relationship may have even been tied to some deeper psychological problems that I have or was having at the time. Aside from altering my underlying beliefs and perceptions, does anyone have any advice about how I could alter my behavior in future relationships so that I donít find myself getting obsessed? I always just wanted to make sure I was a ďgood boyfriendĒ, but I think I definitely took it too far.

*PS- Iíve realized recently that I think my obsession with that relationship does indeed signify an imbalance in my own personal life. After we broke up, I was obviously really unhappy, and I believed that the best way to be happy again, and to get my life back on track, was to find a new girlfriend. But then it struck me, partly through discussion on this website, that I shouldnít need a relationship to make myself happy. I know now that there are aspects of my life that I am unhappy with, other than the fact that Iím single. I am starting to correct these things, but itís going to take a little time. Iím hoping that, once I figure out why Iím unhappy with my life and get that sorted out, I will be in better shape to seek a new relationship. And hopefully, I wonít fall into the same trap I did the first time, getting obsessed with my girlfriend and placing the relationship on a pedestal above all else. I used to think a girlfriend was the key to my happiness, and I see now that thatís not the case. Still, any advice on modifying my behavior would be greatly appreciated. It seemed logical to me that, if I was truly in love and truly valued my relationship, than I should have put in great effort to make sure that it lasted and thrived, but perhaps that shouldnít have been the case.

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