Here are three questions to ask yourself before deciding what to do after you find out your boyfriend had sex with his ex-girlfriend.
Yesterday I got an anonymous email from a reader. Here’s an excerpt:
“My boyfriend cheated, plain and simple. I don’t know how to deal with it. Before we got together, he had a girlfriend who was pregnant. He said he didn’t love her – in fact he hated her. He was sticking around for the pregnancy. We slept together that night. I felt horrible, but I still loved him (I’d pined for him for 10 years before this). This was the start of our affair, which lasted 2 months. He finally broke up with his partner and we started a formal relationship.
Recently, I found out he was still sleeping with her after we got together. He said he kept this relationship going with his ex-girlfriend in secret so he could see his child. Since then he’s been faithful. What should I do?”
Is Sex With the Ex-Girlfriend Forgivable?
It depends. Some women couldn’t ever forgive their boyfriends after an affair (that would be me), while others are willing to rebuild their relationship (a friend of mine stayed with her cheating husband, and has no regrets).
What you do about a cheating boyfriend depends on several things.
How often has your boyfriend cheated in the past?
The best way to predict future behavior is by looking at past behavior. If your boyfriend cheated on his previous girlfriend with you, then he’s more likely to cheat on you with his next girlfriend.
If your boyfriend hangs out with guys and gals who cheat or who think there’s nothing wrong with cheating, then he’s more likely to cheat on you again. People absorb the qualities and values of the people they spend their time with.
Some girlfriends are 100% certain their boyfriends won’t cheat again, but they still feel jealous and insecure. If this is you, read How to Cope With Jealousy When Your Boyfriend Sees His Ex.
How many times has your boyfriend lied to others – and to you?
Your boyfriend lied to his ex-girlfriend, and I believe he lied to you when he said he had to keep sleeping with his ex so he could see his baby. I think that’s a load of crap. Most women – 99% of them – would do anything to ensure a good relationship between father and children. They don’t need to be bribed with sex.
Sometimes we know what we need to do about a boyfriend who cheats with his ex-girlfriend, but we just can’t let them go. If this is you, read How to Stop Loving a Man Who Lies, Cheats, and Steals.
How valuable are you?
Some women stay in unhealthy, abusive, or uncomfortable relationships because they don’t think anyone else will love them. I stayed with a moron for far too long, because I was lazy. I didn’t want to begin the work of breaking up, healing from the breakup, and dating someone new. What if I never fell in love again? What if I got hurt again?
Some women may also feel like they’ve invested months, years, or decades in this relationship, so they don’t want to walk away. It’s hard to quit something you’ve been at a long time, whether it’s a relationship, a job, a book, or a house. Seriously. It’s harder to walk away and start over than it is to stay stuck.
If you’re scared you’ll never be able to leave your boyfriend, read How to Let Go of Someone You Love.
I can’t tell you what to do when your boyfriend has sex with his ex-girlfriend. But, I can tell you what I’d do if I were you: dump the bastard.
You deserve better.
I'm glad you're here! My name is Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen; my husband Bruce and I live in Vancouver, BC with our critters. We can't have kids, and are learning to accept whatever life brings - both good and bad. I have an MSW (Master of Social Work) from UBC, and degrees in Education and Psychology. I hope you say hello below - I can't give relationship advice, but writing can bring you clarity and insight.