Our beautiful friend, Lola, has been with her boyfriend for 6 years, and he has cheated on her in the past. Now she thinks he is cheating on her again, and has confirmed that he's lying to her. She's wondering what to do from here.
Here's her story:
I have been seeing this man (we both are 47) for 6 yrs. There has been cheating on his part in the past. I took him back, did brief counseling but I still have difficulty with trust.
I recently met a woman who said she knew him and immediately my "spidey sense" was heightened. I discovered (by asking) that they have since made contact.....Here is the what happened last week. He & I got together on Thursday (because something going on Sat night) & I asked about this woman again. He told me he has no interest in her. We end our evening on a good note, positive.
Saturday evening comes around & I'm out with a girlfriend by his house. I call. He says not home (tells me not to come by) but I can tell that he is there. Then I see his garage door go up & this woman (the one asked about) is leaving getting in her car in the driveway. He is in his car in the garage (I saw his back up lights come on).
I immediately called him and he did answer or respond to texts. I was furious and hurt.
I tried to contact him the next day and no response......it's been a week and I have not attempted to make contact with him.
He LIED to me, I hate myself because I love him.
Cheating on me again? What do I do?
Is over just like this after 6 yrs?
I keep thinking about it?
I know I overreacted when saw her leaving his house.....This can't be all my fault.
I don't want our relationship to be over.....
What do I do?
Attempt to contact him?
I'm a mess.......
Of course you still have difficulty with trust; it's because he isn't giving you any reason to trust him. Of course you're looking for the positive notes to gauge where things stand; it's because you have little else to go on. Of course you found yourself by his house; it's because you know there's so much more to his explanations.
And of course you feel you overreacted when you saw another woman leaving his house; there's nothing we do so well as blame ourselves for what went wrong.
It's so hard to see this clearly right now from where you stand, Lola. And especially when you have so much time and energy invested in this man that you know things could be so different with, if only he could see this for himself.
But you've tried reaching out, and he hasn't responded. Not for a week. He's cheated before, you say. You took him back - of course you did when we all want to believe in that beautiful romantic notion that love can conquer all – regardless of whether or not someone wants it to. You tried counseling; because that's what we all do so well.
We keep trying, we keep working, we keep thinking it's got to change if we can only do that "one last thing" to turn this relationship around.
But how lonely to be doing this on your own! How beautiful a heart you have that you can give and love and forgive and take someone back like you have for the sake of that one word that means so much to us all – love.
Is it love, Lola? Is this love? Is being treated like this love? Is putting yourself out there again and again to be subjected to this what you had in mind when you thought you were falling in love? Is watching some other woman walking out of his house when he's blatantly lying to you, telling you he's not at home when you can see with your own eyes that that's exactly where he is – what you had in mind?
No matter how much of ourselves we've invested in someone, when we look at the reality of what we're getting from someone, of what we're not getting, of what someone isn't capable of giving us whether they're wounded from their own pasts or not, there comes a time when we can no longer keep this reality from speaking for itself.
And then it comes down to where it always does – to you.
And the one statement buried in your email to me that says more about what's really going on than anything else about him; I hate myself because I love him.
This is why only you can change this, Lola.
This is why you are as powerful as you are, no matter how much you can't see it right now. You know in your heart of hearts that this isn't loving to you.
You know you deserve better than this. You know you don't deserve to be treated like this. You don't love him; you love the idea of him. You love the way you've made him out to be in your own mind that has nothing to do with the reality of who he is or what he can give you.
What are you really letting go of if you don't contact him again? What are you really losing if you set him free to live the life he so obviously wants to live? What are you gaining in return?
The kind that matters more than any other kind. The kind that turns into a higher self-esteem and more self-confidence than you're living with right now. The only kind worth having when you know you've done the most loving, compassionate thing you can do for yourself. The kind that realizes you're worth more than what you've been trying to convince yourself is the best you're going to get.
You're the loving kind, Lola; not the begging kind. And this self-loathing, self-hatred is a sign that something needs to change. We can't treat ourselves like this and still love ourselves.
If you're not enough to turn this around, why is he enough for you?
If you can relate to what's Lola's going through, I'd love to hear from you. And so would she. Share your thoughts with her in the comments.