Q. To get right into it, I’ve been cheating on my boyfriend of six years for the last six months.
My boyfriend is my best friend. We laugh so much and understand every single thing the other person says. We’ve been together since our early 20s and nothing is “wrong” with our relationship, but lately I’ve had a hard time thinking about long-term commitment and never having a spark with anyone else.
At the same time, my boyfriend is my future. I can’t imagine starting over or not being with him when I’m building the rest of my life. I don’t know what to do. I don’t even know what I’m asking you for help with. But I feel like I’m losing my mind, that I’m a bad person, and I don’t know what I’m doing. Also, know that I’m in therapy and talking about this with a professional.
– Feeling Terrible
A. You’re using this space to confess. To unburden yourself.
That’s not what Love Letters is for. We love giving advice — and sometimes it’s unsolicited.
That’s why I’m going to offer some now.
If you want any kind of happy, healthy future with your boyfriend, you should break up with him now. You’ve taken something great and polluted it with lies. You’ve allowed yourself to believe you’re entitled to do whatever you want — that your choices keep the relationship going — but that’s not true. If you leave sooner than later, you might have a shot at starting over with him in the future, when you’re both ready for big promises.
Breaking up with him will also give you space to figure out what you actually miss. You’re trying to keep the status quo while pursuing a new kind of life, but it’s difficult to know which path you prefer when you’re juggling everything at once.
Ask your therapist to help you figure out the best next steps toward being on your own. I know it scares you, but that’s life — a bunch of risks, rewards, and changes, all of which require courage. This is a great time to learn how to count on yourself. If you can figure that out, you’ll make better choices with a partner.
If you love this man — if he’s really your best friend — you’ll let him go. It’s what’s best for both of you.
You say you do not want to break up with him, but your actions betray your words. THERAPYCARD-
Has it ever occurred to you that if you’re cheating on your boyfriend, he might also be cheating on you? It’s time for the two of you to have a “where do we go from here” talk. JESNANA
No one would treat a best friend like you’re treating him. We have all dated great people who are damaged goods from being treated like you’re treating him. Many of them never get over it. This can’t continue while you and your therapist explore your feelings and options. COSMOGIRL
Today’s the 20th anniversary of me finding out my long-term girlfriend whom I lived with (and had an engagement ring for) was cheating on me with a co-worker. Took me about five years to start dating again. . . . I’m 49 and single because of her actions and my reaction to it. My advice: End your current relationship and keep your dark secret to yourself. ENIGMA317