I can’t imagine trusting a person who’s cheated on me. I can’t imagine dating/being with someone I didn’t trust.
That being said, I have never been in the situation, and I think it would honestly depend on the particulars. Did he come to me immediately after? Did he hide it and I found out about it later? Was it a one-time thing or did it last a week, a month, a year?
Everyone is stupid when they’re in love. Speaking for myself, I’m very very willing to overlook anything bad about the person I’m with. Additionally, while I can find another person attractive, even sexy, I was never once tempted to even kiss someone who wasn’t my boyfriend while we were dating. It was like looking at a menu when you’re already full.
If I’d wanted and was able to maturely handle a polygamous relationship, I would have sought one out. If you tell me to my face you’re faithful and then you cheat, that’s the end of that. If you tell me up front you like to sleep around, that’s fair, and I’ll take my relationship-seeking elsewhere, and good luck to you, I wish you the very best.
I don’t even think it’s the cheating as much as the lying and the sheer selfishness of the act. I don’t tolerate lies of that calibre, or esteem-jerking of that magnitude. If you don’t want to be with me anymore, or want to explore other possibilities, that’s fine, but at least have the balls to tell it to my face. I’d have more respect for someone who said so. It could even leave the door open (though no guarantees) for the future, serendipity allowing.
I once thought I could do it. My ex-fiance cheated on me, we broke up, and I tearfully told the world I’d take him back if he came back, I “loved” him so much. Not my finest hour. In time, I came to realise that any relationship I could have with him in the future would be unfair to both of us; I couldn’t trust him, though I tried to pretend I could, and he wouldn’t be happy being kept on a leash all the time. We’d hate each other. So when he did come crawling back… I was already gone.
We all do stupid things, we all make mistakes. But I know myself well enough to know which ones I can get over, and which ones I simply cannot. Cheating is something I can’t tolerate. I’d be miserable, the cheater would be miserable. Dealbreaker.
It’s pretty much a deal breaker for me as well. If there were very extenuating circumstances (my mother and my dog just died, I was drunk, and Jesus, Cthulu, and Xenu told me to do it, and he really reminded me of YOU), and there was a very sincere and very elaborate apology, I might consider giving my hypthetical SO a second chance. Even then, I think I’d have to have been thinking beforehand that she was The One.
A boyfriend/girlfriend? Pretty much a dealbreaker. My husband? Probably not, actually. Mind you, he’s never cheated (so far as I know, and I am pretty confidant that is the case) and I don’t forsee him cheating in the future, but I really like having him around. The pain of betrayal would be nothing like the pain of having him gone, and I can’t see me signing up for that if I didn’t have to.
That said, if it happened twice, I’d assume he didn’t want to be with me, and so I’d have to get used to the pain of not having him around.
Also, not to hijack the OP but I have an additional question which I hope does not take away from the original intent.
Once cheated on and having ended/abandoned the cheater, what’s your view of cheating in future relationships? Is it as strong and visceral as before? Worse? Or is it more an acceptance of the possibility and a bit less scary because you’ve grown to accept the possibility and know that you can survive it?
I don’t even think I could still be friends with someone if I knew they had cheated on their SO, even if I didn’t know the SO. (This doesn’t include polygamous relationships, where the people involved have agreed to be non-monogamous.)
There are certain things you just can’t do and still be a good person, and cheating on your SO is one of them IMO. Maybe if the person who had cheated were very contrite, and didn’t make excuses for his or her behavior, and admitted that what they did was wrong, I could still be friends with them.
Absolutely. I told the SO as much and he agrees that it would be nearly impossible to trust the other person again.
And as a slight hijack, I have a story to add. My ex-housemate and now ex-friend was being cheated on. In a very bad way. He would be in bed with her and would call the other girl to tell her that he missed her. He used the bottle of alcohol that my ex-friend got him to try to get drunk with the other girl so they’d sleep together (coincidentally he couldn’t keep it up since he was so inebriated that’s what you get you BASTARD!!). The housemate kept telling me how he was hurting her and how insensitive he was for doing this to her (uh, you think?). I told her each and every time that she should leave him if he’s doing that.
It ended up blowing up in my face as she called me a controlling bitch who was trying to run her life. She went back to him for an nth time. Our other housemate told her the exact same thing I told her. Now they’re best friends because our other housemate “saved” her with the words of wisdom. :rolleyes: To this day they still hate me and credit me for being such a horrible friend for not being there for her.
I learned it doesn’t pay to try to help a friend out of an abusive relationship.