Following are questions from my live chat on “Cheating Hearts” (October 3):
I’m a gay man in an exclusive relationship with my live-in partner. His work takes him on buying trips all over the world, and his closest travel buddy, who’s always along, buying for another company, is a woman.
But I know there are also lots of other gay men on these trips, and he never talks about them. Sometimes, though, his female friend will mention some of the guys by name, and my partner clams up.
Does this signal that he has, or is, cheating when on these trips?
If he had a romance or even a fling with any of those men, before being with you, it no longer matters. They’re there, because they’re in his industry.
Also, his longtime female friend whom you know is your assurance that he’s not cheating with any of them now. As a close pal, she wouldn’t raise those names if she thought she’d betray him.
However, he may be sensitive to your feelings and not want to talk about the past, which could be why he clams up.
Consider too, whether you’ve shown easy jealousy and suspicions previously, and he doesn’t want to open that door by talking about other men.
I’m the product of my mother’s attraction to “players.” We’re not even sure which of two was my father, as they overlapped at the time she got pregnant. And then they took off.
She raised me well on her own. But I feel doomed to either end up with a player or eventually cheat myself. My relationships are always short-lived; the guys always lie, and have other women.
I’m so frustrated with being taken for a fool, I feel like turning it around!
That sure would be a further waste of your time! Revenge by turning it around on someone innocent is NOT so sweet… you end up being the kind of person you now resent!
Don’t let your mother’s acceptance of “players” haunt you… learn from it.
Look at your own selection skills – how long do you give to getting to know a guy before getting emotionally involved?
What do you know of their relationship patterns, what clues do you watch for, e.g. not showing up, always late, sudden absences?
Have more confidence in yourself, and you won’t accept thin excuses, and shabby treatment… and then players won’t get past your door.
I left my husband of 15 years for our close friend with whom I had an affair (my husband was also having affairs, we were part of a fast crowd then, but I fell in love).
That husband became an alcoholic, and after 10 years I fell for another man. We had an affair, and I divorced again to be with him.
We’re happily married, five years, and I firmly believe I’ll never cheat again. So was I a serial cheater?
You were definitely a serial wife!
(Serial cheaters play around with as many people as possible. You married three men, successively).
When you fell in love, you had the kind of strong personality that eventually takes action when it feels necessary. Same reaction, when you left the alcoholic. But in both cases you waited years to see if staying would work.
There’s a lesson for your third marriage: Don’t let trouble accumulate. If you spot a problem arising, talk it out with this husband. Get any help and find solutions, early on.
I thought I had a solid marriage so only discovered my wife’s cheating by seeing her sext messages to another man when she left her phone lying near me.
She’s never left that phone anywhere again, so I can’t believe it when she says it’s over. She refuses any further discussion about it.
She’s sometimes suddenly passionate and swearing she loves me, and then she’s working late, has meetings out of town, and sits in her home office waiting for “emergency work” calls.
Do you agree that she’s still cheating?
She’s likely still emotionally attached to the other person, and/or to the affair’s excitement and escape.
What’s certain is, she’s not open with you. She’s swinging from holding onto you to being carelessly absent.
Confront her. Say it’s unacceptable. You’ll need a full process of counselling – with her behaviour discussed in her presence - to give this marriage a chance.
Tip of the day:
If your partner’s cheated on you, staying together usually requires a full counselling process, to make changes and rebuild trust.