New mom doesn't see future with chronic cheater

All Woman

DEAR COUNSELLOR,

I am in an eight-year relationship and I love my partner, but I am uncertain we have a future together. I recently had a baby who just turned four months. At seven months into the pregnancy I found out that he had given me a STD. He had travelled to participate in an internship programme for a new role he was assuming at work. On his return I found evidence that he had cheated on me with someone that I not only know, but whom he told me he was not the least bit attracted to.

The whole situation has made me quite bitter and I am torn between wanting him to be present in my life for my son's sake especially, but I think he doesn't care even though he says that he does. I want to forgive him for my peace of mind, but even that has been so hard. I don't think I will be able to hold things together for much longer because he is a chronic cheater. I discovered evidence that would suggest that mere weeks after giving birth he was trying to hook up with an ex. All this is overwhelming for me and I just don't think I can keep allowing him to walk over me, child or not.

It seems that your partner does have a compulsivity to cheat and so does not even appreciate the harm he is causing you as well as his child. When people engage in careless and reckless behaviour just to satisfy a momentary sexual urge, they are insensitive to the physical and emotional pain and hurt they cause their partners.

In your case you contracted a sexually transmitted infection which indicates the wanton disregard your partner has for your health and well-being. He obviously placed you at risk, having intentionally engaged in unprotected sex. It is bad enough to be unfaithful in the relationship, but to physically endanger your life is a cruel and heartless act that cannot be taken lightly.

If your partner is a compulsive cheater then surely unprotected sex with other women would be a feature of his rendezvous and so you must protect yourself by insisting that he wears a condom and if he refuses, then you must deny him entry to your body. This should not be negotiable.

The argument about not being attracted to the other woman is a lame excuse and only indicates that the affair was primarily sexual as far as he is concerned. But who knows what's the other woman's agenda? She may be interested in a long-term relationship with your man and so willingly engage in unprotected sex with him. The things that the other woman will do to gain the favour of the borrowed/stolen man are just unimaginable and beyond logical reasoning.

It is pathetic when men, who have sons who should be looking up to them as positive role models, behave with scant regard for the message they are sending their sons. These boys witness their mothers being disrespected and believe this is how they should treat women. And so the cycle of infidelity continues to the next generation.

You must sit down and assess the health of your relationship and determine what is in your best interest both from a physical and emotional perspective. Your mental health is also contingent on the decision you make today.

Take care and all the best

Wayne Powell is a relationship counsellor. Write to agapemft@gmail.com. Check his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MFTCounselor/.

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