I am 23 years old and I've been living with my baby's father for a while. I recently found out that he cheated while I was pregnant. I confronted him and he said nothing happened. I did some further investigation and found out that he'd lied. I confronted him once more and he confessed to it all. It wasn't the first time he had done it. He said he didn't want to hurt me that's why he lied and that she means nothing to him.
I must say that he was there for me during my pregnancy and he is a great dad. Our baby is just a few months old. I forgave him and now I'm trying to forget about it all, but it's impossible. I keep thinking about it and I each time I do, I break down.
He keeps saying that he's sorry and he was wrong. I don't trust him. He said he wants his family to stay together but I'm wondering if I should just pack my things and leave. I love him, he's a great man, but I can't let him do that to me again.
Rebuilding trust is quite a daunting task for most people and requires steadfast resolve on the part of the offended to truly forgive the offender. The memories of the offending act linger in the mind for a long time and sometimes refuse to go, so when three steps are made up the forgiveness ladder, because of the refusal to release the person, we regress two or more steps and have to start the climb all over again.
Not only are you struggling with the strenuous ascent up the trust-rebuilding ladder, you are also embracing the idiom, "Once bitten, twice shy". And one can appreciate your dilemma.
Too often men use the line, "I did not want to hurt you, so I lied". Whereas it may suggest that he cares about your feelings, in the long run the suspension of the truth can be more harmful than helpful. At the risk of losing his girlfriend and/or tarnishing the relationship, it is always best to 'fess up when you mess up as soon as possible and hope for the best. Delaying the inevitable is unwise.
Another statement that is used concerning the other woman, hopefully to console the wife/girlfriend, is "Oh she means nothing to me. I don't know why I did it". Really!?
The truth is, even though he may have declared he had no feelings for her, she may not feel the same way and may do everything in her power to lure him back to her bed again.
So after much prodding he admitted that he did indeed cheat. I guess he would say that he needed sexual release while you were pregnant and so this other woman was the means to the end. This, as you know, is not an acceptable excuse. In dialogue and collaboration with you I am sure an amicable solution could be arrived at during your pregnancy.
If your child's father has repented of his straying ways and is desirous of playing his role as a loving and caring father in a stable environment, he must be given the opportunity to do so. If you continue to hold on to the memories of the past and refuse to forgive him, then the relationship will be stunted and not develop and the trust will definitely not be restored.
Your gentlemen must do some things to assist the process as well. He must first of all sever all connections with the other woman and do everything in his power to ensure that there will not be a repeat of such behaviour. He has to reassure you that he will remain committed to you and the relationship, and that he will not only be a caring father, but a true and faithful partner as well.
Wayne Powell is a relationship counsellor. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org