Long Distance Relationship Cheating

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Side 2
Side 1 says... I left for an out of town job to make lots of money. I get flown back into town once every 3 weeks for a week. I had been going out with this girl for 8 months. I neglected to discuss details. She was devastated to say the least. I'm gone 2 months to find out she's drunkenly made out with some dude. She's so sorry. Fine I forgive her. The next year she ends up sleeping with some guy. We 'break up' for about a month. When I come back from my turnaround we still get back together. I'm weak like that. Our anniversary roles around the corner and I can't make it home. The very next turnaround (where i come home), my friends force me to go on a trip with them. I don't see my girlfriend for about 6 weeks and this is shortly after our anniversary which I wasn't there for but had bought, got delivered, and surprised her with flowers. Another couple of months go by. I give my company a six month notice and also tell my girlfriend that soon it'll all be over and i'll be home... in around half a year. During this time, I book a two week trip to china and a three week trip to south east asia without consulting her. I go to china during one of my turnarounds and a couple months later when i've finally quit my job, I take her on a two week vacation in florida. Then I go on my 3 week trip to asia before finally living in taiwan with her for 6 months. During the last little bit of my job, I'd noticed her and my oldest friend hanging out quite a bit. When I finally come home after almost 2 years of flying back and forth, I find a message she's written to her friend saying that she had feelings for my friend. I confront both of them and both swear that nothing happened. My girlfriend and I happily go off on our trips living in taiwan for half a year and traveling for half a year. Then one day while bringing up how my girlfriend and my friend had gotten close to some of my other friends, I find out that they actually did make out. Then I find out from them that they were actually dating for a few months during the last few months of my job. Now both of them are "so sorry" realizing it was "the worst mistake of their lives"... I'm embarrassed and sickened. She says that ever since i've been back she's been happy and has not needed anyone else. She says that because i'd booked these trips without telling her and because i wasn't around she had to confide in someone; that she was lonely, sad, etc. My friends all tell me its over. I can't force myself to end it because I still care for her but I'm still pretty disgusted with the fact this happened, with her and with myself. Is this sort of cheating justifiable? What should I do?
Added by Oliver1985 (male)
Side 2 says... We have been together for 4 years. His is my first boyfriend. I am not his first girlfriend. He asked me out for my looks. Two days after I gave my virginity to him, he goes on a skii trip, does illicit drugs, and texts me asking me if I minded that he was hanging out with hot girls. He was very sweet otherwise and when he told me he loved me two months later, I believe it was true.

But just over half a year into our relationship, he decided to take a job 700 miles from where we live without discussing it with me. He was to work for between 20-30 days and return home for 5-8 days for the next 2 years. Whenever he returned home, he would see me about half of the time, and spend the rest of the time with his friends smoking, doing drugs, going to casinos, and strip clubs a few times. I had asked him many times not to do any of these because it bothered me but he didn't even discuss it with me.

In the meantime he did everything he could to change parts of my personality that he didn't like and I changed almost everything I could for him because I felt like he would leave me if I didn't. He would chastise me for behaving in ways he didn't like.

It didn't feel much like a relationship because I would only see him total of about 1/4 of the year. From the distance and due to feeling like I was inferior due to my flaws, I became depressed to the point where I was unable to eat or sleep. I was dragged out by friends one night, got drunk for the first time and kissed someone. I apologized, said I wouldn't do it again, did a lot of things to make it up to him, and we got over it.

A year into the long distance relationship I couldn't take it anymore, and I felt like I needed to break up with him. It was the most painful thing I had ever done. I saw someone else briefly and was able to decide things for myself for once instead of being dragged around by him and his schedule. Due to this experience, I regained some self-esteem and finally was able to let go of the fact that my boyfriend had dated other girls before me.

My boyfriend and I got back together again shortly after, and I flew to see him for his birthday (August). Our usual anniversary is October, and I suppose it didn't matter anymore since we broke up for a bit, but instead of taking his off-days to at least see me, he decided to go to Vegas and LA with friends instead. This made for a total of 2.5 months apart. Then, instead of coming home for the holidays, he decided to go to see his parents in China on the premise that he wouldn't get to see them again for a long time (he went to see them again 5 months later).

The next year came and he was to finish his job in April. He promised me we were going to spend the summer together (we never had before). He said he was going take a short trip to Thailand with friends, which I agreed to.

But he booked a flight from Vancouver to China in May to see his parents again, with a side trip to join one of his friends who was traveling abroad. He also bought another ticket from Vancouver to Hong Kong and a number of other countries for July, making for a brief stop at home after his job was over. He didn't even tell me right away.

During this time, I hung out a decent amount with one of my boyfriend's friends. This guy had been dumped by the girl he wanted to marry about half a year prior, and had dragged me out to chat (we had barely talked before this). Over the course of a few months while my boyfriend was away, we saw each other a decent amount and developed some feelings for each other. But we knew we needed to stop, so we stopped talking and haven't talked since. My boyfriend suspected something, but when he asked, I couldn't bring myself to tell him.

My boyfriend finally returned from all of his trips, we had a very happy relationship for the next year. He took me on several amazing trips around the world, we laughed, and we loved each other.

But recently, my boyfriend found out the truth of what I did with his friend. His relationship with that friend and their mutual friends is damaged too. But ever since my boyfriend finally came home and proved to me that he wasn't about to take off again without discussing it with me first, I have been nothing but faithful and our relationship has been amazing. But then we have this history.

He is blaming almost everything on me and his friend. I know that I am majorly at fault here, but I also am sure that, had he not gone away or had he waited until we have a more solid relationship to do so, we probably could have made it. I would have gotten over his history, my lack of history, his drug and gambling habits, and my own insecurities.

Everyone thinks we are an amazing match. When we get along, we get along amazingly. We have thought about spending our lives together. We are still living together, but he treats me terribly and I don't know how to live without him. What do we do?
Added by G1988 (female)
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