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         Cheating: Continuing Contact

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Cheating: Continued Contact


My live-in boyfriend left to be with another woman.  He’s back, but he wants to continue to be around “their” friends in an online game we both played.  I find this disturbing as he says he had no intention of cheating, and it all happened so fast he can’t say why he did it. 

I do not want to lose him, but I can’t see this as healthy for our “struggling to rebuild” relationship.  I am working on making changes in myself so he will not want to go outside the relationship again.  I notice the more I try to change, the more he expects me to change.  He has not made one change for me other than not being in direct contact with this woman. 

He did say once I regained trust he would like to be friends with her as she has shown him how to make new friends.  He wants to stay in the game, but claims he isn’t planning on letting it escalate again.  We’ve been to a counselor twice and are trying to work through this.  After we went today he approached me about not speaking to her, yet not logging out when she is on.

I told him I am not comfortable with this.  Am I being unreasonable?  I know tonight will be miserable with him being hurt at my lack of trust.  At first he acknowledged he left of his own free will, and now it is reverting to me being guilty of driving him to her.  There is a constant battle of flipping the guilt off him and onto me.


Kristin, there is a basic distinction between guilt and shame.  Guilt is something imposed on us from without.  Guilt is the mark of a controller and manipulator.  Whenever someone tries to make you feel guilty, you can be sure that person is trying to manipulate you for their own end.

Shame is something which rises from within us.  We have done something wrong and so we are ashamed.  We have learned our lesson.  We resolve not to do it again.  Unlike guilt, shame is a healthy emotion.  Your boyfriend feels no shame, but he sees guilt as a tool with which to control you.

A Carly Simon song says, “Whoever you want is exactly who I am willing to be.”  That advice never works for a woman.  It’s an invitation to a man to degrade her because a man can never respect such a woman.  If a man does not hold a woman on a pedestal of respect, there is no future in the relationship for the woman.

Your partner is supposed to watch your back, not stab you there.  If you let this man manipulate you, one morning he will wake up and think you are not good enough for him.  He will see another woman as his prize, and you will be expendable. 

(The best of relationship advice from Direct Answers.)


A Plausible Defense

I just looked at your website and read "Wanting To Be Caught," and I truly think that is awful advice!  You said and I quote, "You can't act as if you had no wish to end the marriage when you undertook marriage ending actions."

I have just been caught cheating on my husband of 16 years, and at no point was I wanting to end my marriage.  This whole experience woke me up and made me know just how much I love him.  Now what I need to do is rebuild my trust with him, and hopefully one day he will believe me.

I don't think you can answer questions if you have never been through it!  I really don't know why I cheated but I did, I do regret it, and I do wish I could take it away but I can't.


Raquel, people who work with criminals know if you want to understand the crime, you need to check police reports and the courtroom evidence.  If you simply ask offenders, they will do everything to minimize their actions.  They won't admit to anything you don't already know.

Whether you or your lover made the first advance, how did you justify your actions to yourself?  What was in your mind when you decided to go out with him?  What were you thinking while you undressed, or while he undressed you?

"I don't know" works when you are a small child, but it doesn't work with adults.  Are you saying your mind was totally blank in the months and minutes before you slept with your lover?  Are you saying you forgot you were married to someone else?

Your husband doesn't know what you told your lover.  He will never know the true record of what you did.  The distress you feel about what we say is normal for someone caught in an indefensible position. 

What you are saying now is based on self-preservation, which creates a dilemma for your husband.  If you won't say why it happened, how does he know it won't happen again?  Then again, why would he stay if you tell him everything that was in your heart and mind?

Wayne & Tamara
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