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Chronic Cheating


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Hello. I'm new here and looking for perhaps some help or at least understanding.

Since I have started dating at age 15 I have been a cheater. Always for different reasons, of course I suppose there is an excuse for everything isn't there? Anyway this time I really want to change. Before I didn't care much about it, I always said I did it because the other person was neglecting me.

I don't know, I guess I am just wondering if anyone else has been through this or something similar and over come their issue or if anyone just has any tips to get me in the right direction for any sort of help.

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Welcome to our little community. I think this is a great question to ask, and I'm curious as to how people may advise you. I think it would help if you could give us some context about the relationship that you're in now and how it is different than previous relationships, and what else is different in your life now that you're looking into learning how to be faithful to your partner. Something must have changed inside you or in your life to get you thinking this way. Sometimes it's just a growing up process, but sometimes its more specific than that - some event or some loss that felt like a wakeup call urging you to change.


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Of course I can. I knew when I typed my first post more information would probably be helpful but I more or less wanted to get my foot in the door here and then figured I could add more when I was in a better mood.

Well here goes... [its going to be rather long.]

---In my first relationship, in high school around the age of 15, we were together about a year and a half. I think we were dating maybe 6 months or so before I cheated on him. It was simple, just kissing this other man and being to close to him. I knew it was wrong to be doing but at the same time I told myself that it was a learning experience. Like, since this was my first relationship this is the one I should use to make my mistakes so I can learn how to avoid them later. So all in all, I didn't regret my choice. And a few months after that the 'other' man that I had been with was killed in a terrible freak accident. So then I really couldn't let myself regret the chance that I had taken, knowing that if I hadn't seen what it was like to be with him when I did, I would have never known. I did tell my boyfriend what had happened and of course he was hurt and mad, but he decided to give me a second chance and we lasted about a year more. During the rest of our time together I was fine, I didn't cheat on him and don't recall wanting to.

--- There were two guys after wards that I dated briefly. I didn't cheat on either of them, but when I say brief I mean only about two months.

--- After that I ended up with my 'high school sweetheart'. We were together about four and a half years. In that time I both emotionally and physically cheated on him 4 times. About once a year. The first time it happened was because for a few months I had been openly and very blatantly telling my bf that I needed more attention from him, that I constantly felt he was choosing his games over me. During that time, while I was telling him how I felt and trying to get it work out, I was also griping to one of his friends about the situation and how I felt. This other man started giving me attention and saying things that made me feel really good, and wanted. So while my bf was making me feel neglected, here was this other guy to make me feel like I was wanted. We never physically did anything, he did a few times have his hand a bit high up on my thigh but never 'there'. This went on for a few months until again, I told my bf what I had done. I don't think I told him straight forward though, I believe a friend told him to confront me about it and I confessed. He, as my ex did, gave me another chance because he did realize it was partly his fault for not helping to correction the attention issue.

The next time it happened was emotional only, as the man was someone I had known online for five years prior to meeting my bf. It seemed the same thing was starting to happen again, boyfriend would ignore me and I would tell him, normally through tears that I felt he was choosing his game and online friends over time with me. And yes, this was true. He would have me over and I would sit on his bed for hours while he played his game. He would cancel plans because he had something to do in game, or he wouldn't make plans with me at all because his friends wanted him to do something in the game later on [which would have been fine if once in a while he would tell them no, instead of me]. Well, online friend started talking to me on the phone, he would stay up with me until I fell asleep. Tell me how I deserved better. All the things that would make a girl feel wanted and appreciated. I don't remember how long this went on for, or how he ended up coming to know but it happened. I again confessed, we talked it out and surprise I got yet another chance because of how much he loved me and didn't want to lose me.

This is repetitive, I know. Because the third time was the same thing. Neglected feelings, fighting with the game for his attention. This time was physical, and my friend actual helped me cheat on the bf this time. She knew what had happened before, she knew what was going on. And for whatever reason she kind of pushed for me and this new person to be closer. She would invite us over along with her bf while the house was empty. We would play games like strip poker and such. While I say it was physical it was kissing, hugging and once he got to 'play' with me. It was never more than that. When this happened I told my bf about it. I told him he didn't deserve this and that he should move on. At this point I also kind of felt that I was beginning to try and use cheating as a way to push him away and make him break up with me because I had tried to break up with him a few times before, since I felt bad about cheating the other times, and it didn't work out well. For whatever reason he decided again to stay with me.

Then it happened again, I found someone online to talk to, started to complain about my bf and how he treated me. That he was sweet but picked playing games over me. Well this guy, online and thousands of miles away from me started telling me great things about me, how I was sexy and intelligent how any guy would be lucky to have me. He would also slip in a few things here and there about how he would please me just right. That he would give me so much my bf wasn't giving me. We did have a few more intimate conversations on the phone but not more than that.This continued maybe a few months, and then I told this person that it needed to stop, it wasn't right. Well it was a bit rocky to get rid of him, and he threatened to tell my bf about everything. It didn't matter and so I ended things with him. I told my bf what was going on, he already had an idea of what was happening though. This time I know I was partly doing it try and have a better reason to push him away, to get him to break up with me. I mean, this was the fourth time, what guy in his right mind would stand for that? Well.. he did. He stayed with me. We lasted about a year after that and I finally felt myself ready to move on. It took a few months still of talking with him and such but we did finally break up.

--- I had a brief fling with someone and then found the man I am with now. At this time I am now 21, for point of reference. We have been together since Jan. '08. I know he is the one for me. Part of this is because before I ever said I loved him, I was wondering to myself if I could ever tell him I love him. The answer to myself was that I loved everything about him, in short I actually said to myself "I know I am in love with him." It was sort of an 'Omg :D I am in love with him. Of course I can tell him I love him." I told myself and my friends, and even him that he was not worth the risk of cheating, that I didn't want to lose him. He lives a couple hundred miles away from me, on a military base. He trusted me to go out to clubs and such, to be with my friends, to let me live my life without being controlled by him.

-Posting so that this saves, just in case power goes out.-

Edited by Keraun
*Adding more and saving due to storms.*
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--- Continued from above--- After a few months of this, I met some at one of the clubs with his brothers. He seemed really nice and I told them all right away that I did have a bf who I was very serious about. We traded numbers after talking for a while, and we started talking and hanging out. I kept reinforcing that we could only be friends, that I didn't want to cheat on my bf. We would talk about my bf, i made sure to always keep the knowledge of him present. Trying to prevent anything from happening. And yet some how it still happened again. I fell weak. IT was this time just lack of will. And he told me about how good he could be to me. I suppose I wanted to see if that could be true. Because so far all the men I had been with, excluding my current bf, well I was their first so I had to teach them. Things started out slow, kissing, hugging then progressing. And everytime after something would happen, I would say how they needed to stop, how they couldn't go on. How much I didn't want to do this to my boyfriend. But it was like I could say no, and honestly mean it in my mind but I felt like my actions were not my own. Like I wasn't really in control of what my body was doing.

One weekend my boyfriend came down, and throughout the weekend we tried to make love, and it wasn't exactly working for him. So he left when it was time for him to, ashamed for not being able to please me and feeling bad, and leaving me 'wanting'. I made a stupid move and told my friend about the weekend and he told me he could show me something much better. I know I said no, and I know in my mind all I could think about was my boyfriend and how much I said nothing was worth losing him for, and as I said before it felt like I couldn't control my body. So it happened again. I cheated on him but this time it was worse, I actually slept with someone else. And this time I care. I did learn that even though I thought someone experienced would make me feel better, it wasn't true. My boyfriend still made me feel a way no one else ever has, even if there are a few issues here and there.

He does know what happened. And he knows my past, he knew what he was risking when he asked for me to be his. And he knew what he was risking when he let me hang out with another guy. But he sees how I feel about this and how much I really want to change. I want to fix myself so that I can have a relationship with him that will last. I think perhaps it is part of that 'growing up'.

--- Now, as a side note to this all. Aside from kissing and hugging, I only ever once touched another man in the process of cheating. And that was this most recent time. Also whenever I did cheat, it was that same feeling I described at the end. I knew it was wrong, and I could say no but I just didn't feel in control of my actions. As an additional note, I think part of my growing up had something to do with it, my behavior that is. My mother did similar things. She would be in a relationship, ready to end it and so she would find a man that was giving her the attention she wanted. She would talk to them, and I suppose begin to develop something with them. Of course she always said 'do as I say, not as I do.' And she would always tell me not to follow in her footsteps. I started seeing this behavior from her when I was about 13. I don't know if this did affect me, but I think in some way it must have. To bad I did follow her footsteps.

Well that is about it. As short as I could make it without leaving out anything to important I think. I suppose if you wanted more information I could add that, like personal history. My parents did divorce when I was about 8.

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I believe I can relate to your feelings. I am young, and much more mature than most my age. I would enter into relationships with the best of intentions, wanting someone that would provide support and love, and I would give the same to them. But it seemed that under the surface, the relationships had no true love or substance.

For background, my parents being divorced, and both hating me as a child and culmination of thier past feelings, they all but abandoned me.

I would cheat on my girlfriends, and it just.. happened. Every time. I just, felt a need to do it, not that it is my excuse. I can only offer my best guess to this.

I wanted love and affection more than anything, and I could not get it from my current girlfriend, so I would look for it in other girls. I could still not give up what I did have with the first girlfriend, though, could not bring myself to lose that affection, no matter how little. So I would cheat, trying to find more.

I now can only hope that someday someone who truly loves me can fill the void, and furfill my seach for affection.

I don't know if this is how you feel, or if it will help, but I hope you can at least see your not alone.

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It's not exactly how I feel but it is nice to know I'm not the only one. Seems our issues are at least similar, even if for different reasons. My relationships had love, and substance. And while my dad never hated me it was hard for him to show his love for me. My mom and I are nearly best friends.

The cheating never 'just happened'. They were always slowly built up incidents. Progressive, ya know?

Mostly during my second relationship I was searching for affection elsewhere. During my first it was 'a new experience'. And this time it was because I thought I was going to get something my boyfriend couldn't seem to give me.

It doesn't feel like I am looking for a void to be filled, I just feel like the opportunity ended up there and I couldn't stop myself even though I knew it was wrong.

I tried calling one of the relationship counselors that are under therapist listed on this site today, I figure maybe they can at least help me understand -why- I do this, and maybe then I can work more on stopping such behavior. However, the number didn't seem to reach the office it was supposed to. Time to look again I suppose.

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I think working with a therapist on this topic that is bothering you will probably prove helpful. Good luck in finding a therapist you can connect with.

I like your account of how this cheating has come about. It's long but you've illustrated a pattern. I'm not sure if I can condense it into a paragraph but here's my quick try at that.

1) you form a caring committed relationship that you understand to be exclusive

2) at some point you realize that the relationship is not meeting your emotional needs and that is upsetting to you; frustrating and angering

3) but you don't really know how to talk about this with your partners, and maybe you have chosen partners so far who are not terribly engaged with you - kinda distant (like the boy who was into video games) and perhaps not talkers either.

4) You try to communicate your discomfort, but it's non-verbal and emotional in nature (you cry) and the guy maybe writes it off as just you are having your period or something. He doesn't understand fully what it is that you are objecting to

5) and you become ambivalent - still being interested in your boyfriend, but also now wanting the attention you can get from other men. But you can't give yourself permission to just cheat, so you hang on for a while trying to stay "Good"

6) but ultimately, you decide to cheat and get your needs met. Of course you feel badly about it, but not badly enough to stop you from doing it in the first place.

My quick guess is that there are a few problems here

1) your choice in partners is not so good. You aren't picking guys who value the same things as you do.

2) maybe the reason you aren't choosing well is because you aren't able to really own what you want in the first place. you want a strong intimate sexual relationship where you are the center of your partners life. Nothing weird about that. But you pick and then stay with guys who don't give you what you want.

3) Guys can't read minds, and can't know what you want until you tell them. Many guys I've known are rather dense when it comes to what women want, and you have to practically beat them over the head with bluntness before they get it. You have to say what you want. You have to be direct and clear about what you want, and you have to be willing to walk if you don't get it. that's selfish in a manner of speaking, but it is also the way to find a partner that you can be satisfied with and not covertly angry at.

Hope this helps.

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