Was It Really Just A Visit To A Friend?

ImageI have been in a relationship with a lovely young woman for two years. We have discussed marriage and the future extensively. Last week, she visited a friend (a heterosexual male, in fact) that likes her. She stayed at his house for an entire week in another state.

She wanted to visit him to have fun, go sky diving (which I wouldn't do), and meet this guy she only talked to by phone. I tried for months to talk her out of it. I felt betrayed and disrespected. Throughout our two years, I have acted very unselfishly in our relationship. When we hadn't seen each other in a few days, I would go meet her for coffee late in the evening even though I had to work the next morning. I would offer to help her and her coworkers at work move stuff for a conference. I use to pick her up from school and drive her to her car that was parked only 1/2-mile from work. No matter if I wanted to or not, I would always accommodate my girlfriend because I love her. I have to admit that she has also been unselfish in motivating me for work, talking with me when I was down, and taking care of me the many times I have been ill.

While she was away, I told her on the phone that I was upset with her about going. She blew it off because she didn't want to deal with it until I got home. At the time, I felt she didn't respect our love or think of me too highly. She wouldn't even tell her parents where she was going because she said it was none of their business even though she lives with them. I think that she didn't tell them because she knew it was wrong.

Upon her return home, she apologized and wanted to work on it. She wanted me to help her not to be so selfish. Though, she told me that when she went to visit her friend, she wanted to see if she liked him. Now I don't look at her the same way. It totally breaks my heart what she did. We are on a break right now and I hope everything works out. I still love her and believe there is still something there for us. So does she. I am confused...I am waffling between working it out and breaking up. Please help me, Dr. Ruth.

ImageThe critical word in your message is “waffling.” I understand that what she did hurt you and that you need some time to decide what you are going to do, break up or forgive her. But you can’t allow that time period to remain indefinite. You have to say to yourself,  ‘I’m giving myself another two days, or a week, and then that’s it. If I decide to try to stick it out, then I’m going to try my hardest to put this incident out of my mind.”  (If you can’t do that after a time, then you have another decision to make.) If you decide to leave her, then leave her and get on with your life. The worst thing you can do is to straddle the fence for a long time. You’ll be wasting valuable time, and we’re all given too little time on this earth to do that. 

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