I don’t trust my boyfriend of five years anymore because "niloko niya na ako at iniwan" (Google translation: “He deceived me and left”).
But then I still forgave him because I really love him and I can’t live without him.
Then history repeats itself so he cheated again and again, but I still forgave him.
Now I don’t see any signs of cheating but I get jealous easily of other girls who talk to him, though they’re just friends.
I don’t know how to trust him again, but I don’t want this relationship to end.
I hope you can help.
You CAN live without him, and until he learns that this is true, he’s free to cheat again. He’s already learned from your forgiveness that he can get away with it… repeatedly.
And you’ll remain stuck with the miserable feelings of jealousy and distrust.
Break the cycle. Tell him that you simply won’t tolerate his cheating ever again. If he repeats that behaviour, you’ll walk away forever. Mean it.
Otherwise, you’re agreeing to a life of uncertainty, suspicion, snooping, accusing him and crying yourself to sleep. I’m sure that description fits what’s gone on before.
Meanwhile, talk to people who support you – your family, friends, and/or a counsellor. Probe your inner strengths, and recognize that you deserve more than what this guy has offered in the past.
He needs to believe that you value yourself too much to continue as before, with him playing fast and loose with your trust.
Partners can have opposite-sex friends without it meaning they’re fooling around. But when someone has repeatedly cheated, it’s easy to suspect the worst.
Unless, you’ve made it clear you’ll leave in a heartbeat, if he crosses that line again.
Then, trust your instincts and NOT your insecurity. Once you regain self-confidence, you’ll know if he’s playing you. And you’ll walk away.
FEEDBACK Regarding parents whose adult children remain unemployed:
Reader – “I’ve been there and it’s very difficult to experience.
“If they attend university courses, there are probably career placement services to utilize.
“If they’ve had part- and full-time jobs in the past, they should draw on those experiences and recognize the “transitional” skills they’ve acquired.
“My son was stubborn and didn't accept my advice that most jobs are found through cold calls.
“This is very important as job-seekers keep applying to positions advertised online, which usually doesn't work. It leads to them being discouraged.
“I took matters into my own hands!
“Through Google, I studied the field my son had trained in and built a spreadsheet of all contacts related to his field.
“Then I “pinned” those contacts on a map of the city.
“Any time my son went looking, I showed him where the contacts were and told him to go to the front door to introduce himself.
“Several times, he held back. However, finally, he walked into a very small business and he got a job there, in his field and he’s very happy. It’s all in the timing!
“Getting a job is difficult for young people. However, these young adults just have to get out there and make the cold calls, and network with everyone, too.”
Ellie – You make a good point about how important parental support can be during this job-seeking period that’s so frustrating and discouraging for young adults.
When parents get upset and negate their children’s efforts, it sets up a conflict which makes the situation worse.
Instead, be encouraging and creative.
FEEDBACK Regarding the young woman who wondered whether to encourage a relationship with a guy friend (June 23):
Reader – “Your final comment was right on: Hang out together more and nature will take its course.
“However, your suggestion that she "talk to him" couldn't be more wrong. I can't imagine anything that would make a guy who’s a bit "relationship-shy" run faster, than for the woman in his life to start talking about their relationship.
“The best advice is to keep hanging out, and more often if both wish it.
“If and when both are ready, it’ll naturally evolve into something more intimate.
“If it never does, she’ll have to be happy with friendship. There’s nothing wrong with a good solid friendship.”
Ellie – There’s the ominous, “we need to talk” command. And then there’s the gentle statement of appreciation that they’ve become closer, and she enjoys hanging out with him, which I suggested.
Tip of the day:
If you’re not clear that you won’t ever again tolerate cheating, your distrust will remain.