I’m not happy...
I'm 32 years old and I have been in a relationship for two years. He cheats on me with two of his exes and another woman, and this means I can't trust him. He tells lies for the smallest things. It's hard to believe anything he says. I'm not happy in the relationship because of the lies and cheating. I'm not comfortable with him. He and one of his exes talk on a regular basis. She told him that she wants him to come and know where she lives. I don't know what to do. Please give me some advice.
Dishonesty and distrust are two destructive factors that if present in a relationship will only lead to a life of misery and frustration, particularly for the person on the receiving end. In some extreme cases the offended person is driven to a state of clinical depression as he/she is unable to cope with the situation.
If you have decided to establish a relationship with someone, there are some expectations that are understood and binding on both parties. It is understood and expected that you will exclusively commit to this individual unless there is a mutual agreement to the contrary. Whether or not you are involved in a legally sanctioned contract of marriage, you are still obligated to behave in a monogamous way. When the person you are dating agreed to be involved in a relationship with you, the understanding was that your ex-girlfriends or boyfriends and other persons would not be a part of the relationship, openly or secretly. If you have a problem committing to one individual, then you must make your position clear to the individual at the outset so that he/she can decide if he/she will accept your baggage.
A relationship should be a mutually satisfying experience and should provide a sense of emotional security and stability. When there are breaches in the relationship that threaten your emotional well-being, some critical examination must be made followed by decisive action.
Your level of discomfort and unhappiness unfortunately will only increase if the situation is not addressed in short order. In other words, the longer you take to make a decision one way or another, the greater the frustration. You have to decide if you are going to continue to accept the lies and cheating or if you are going to do something about the situation. If the gentleman is not prepared to do something about the situation, then you have to. It's as simple as that.
The truth is, you have the power to effect the change that will improve your emotional health and welfare. People (men and women) in your circumstance need to realise that the decision to accept or reject the ups and downs in a relationship is entirely theirs and the power to effect change resides in them. The biggest challenge is to get up and act. It may mean walking away from other "perks".
The questions you need to ask yourself are, "Do I deserve to be treated in this disrespectful manner? Is this what I bargained for? What steps must I take to ensure my emotional and psychological well-being?" You need to be honest with yourself and remove all doubts that come about with the "What if?" questions — "What if I terminate the relationship and I have no other financial support? What if I don't find someone else who is just as good or better in bed?" You have to decide what is your prime concern: a miserable life with financial security, or a happy life that may require much more effort on your part to make ends meet.
To those who may ask the pertinent question, if they were ever to walk away from a physical and emotionally abusive relationship, how they would manage, I give you the powerful song by Gloria Gaynor, I Will Survive. Where there is a will, there is a way.
Wayne Powell is a relationship counsellor. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org