My last three relationships (lasting from five months to two years) ended in my partner cheating on me.
While each of those relationship had its flaws, I don't understand why this keeps happening to me, and don't feel the cheating was warranted.
I’ve made an effort, each time, to be more open with my feelings, communicative, available.
I’m open to different things sexually and enjoy having sex with my partner.
While I know the cheating wasn’t my fault, there’s a pattern here and maybe I have some part in it.
Want a Fourth Chance
You’re already working towards a better chance at a successful, lasting relationship, just by asking, What can YOU change?
Without further information, I suggest: Look first to your selection pattern. This isn’t just about the men’s characters, but about why you’re attracted to them, and what you knew about them beforehand.
Some answers may be more obvious to you as factors, e.g. if they’d cheated on someone previously, or if there’s an initial “bad boy” allure that makes them seem exciting.
Other clues may come to light through counselling. Examples: A cheater in your own family background, or a lack of self-confidence that causes you to doubt a partner.
Getting professional help doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. It means you wisely want to learn from past experience.
Dear Readers – Some interesting and informative feedbacks:
FEEDBACK #1 Regarding the woman who “Shared Love” with a man’s wife and mistress (Oct. 11):
Reader - “I, too, knew a successful man and had no romantic interest in him initially. But often we’d discuss books or music. He’d send me items I’d talked about - tickets to hockey games, lunch invites, etc.
“I was very vulnerable after my mother’s death and eventually succumbed to what was clearly his seduction plan.
“After the first time, I learned that his marital state was not what he’d represented and suggested that he deal with it first before we could resume.
“I’ll never know if he would’ve ended his marriage as his wife found out first and kicked him out. He was devastated – I guess he was hoping to keep both of his worlds from colliding!
“He was mostly worried about his image in his social circles and how many millions he’d have to pay her.
“He did get divorced, but during our three years together he was careful that I never met his children or close friends. He kept saying they couldn’t handle it.
“And he didn’t want to be estranged from his daughters, though they were grown women with very successful partners.
“Finally, I realized I’d never come first for him or have a significant part in his life. I know now he had no intention of marrying me or having a full life with me.
“Three years later, I still have trouble going to some of the places we used to go without feeling longing to see him.
“Not all the expensive gifts, vacations, and loving rendezvous will ever make up for a full commitment. Someone not honourable enough to properly end a previous relationship will never honour you.”
FEEDBACK #2 Regarding the woman with debt problems she kept secret from her boyfriend (Oct. 6):
Reader - “There’s help in the form of a 12-step program called Debtors’ Anonymous. It's a miraculous programme (I speak from experience) and I've seen it help countless folks who have passed through its doors and need help overcoming the compulsion to spend.
“And it's free! There are chapters in many locations.”
FEEDBACK #3 Regarding the woman whose abusive ex wants to visit his baby daughter (Oct. 8):
Reader – “Please note, for some of your readers, that custody and access aren’t tied to financial support in Ontario. Parents don’t lose their right to access if they don't pay support.
“Sole custody means sole decision-maker about education, religious, and medical needs for a child. Access means the right to see/visit, have sleepovers etc. with the other parent.
“Even if a parent has court-ordered sole custody and the other parent isn’t paying support (even if also court-ordered) doesn’t give the custodial parent the right to withhold access.
“The writer’s issue is more about the kind of access a parent with a history of abusive behaviour might have – e.g. no access, supervised or unsupervised access, and where access may occur.
“All Ontario family courts have a Family Legal Information Clinic (FLIC office) where people can seek free advice.”
Tip of the day:
When a negative relationship pattern persists, counselling can help change it.