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Ask Amy: Boyfriend can't forgive cheating

  • Article by: AMY DICKINSON
  • April 5, 2013 - 2:27 PM

Dear Amy: My boyfriend and I have been living together for a couple of years. He’s 14 years older, but I do not think the age difference gets in the way. However, while we were in our “dating” phase, I slept with another guy, which seriously hurt him.

We got past it and are now together. But whenever I get upset with something he does, he throws my past mistake in my face as if it makes anything he does excusable. I feel as if I can’t get upset or sad about anything he does because of what I did while we were dating. He always says he’s moving on from the past, but then he’ll turn around and say that he doesn’t want to talk about marriage or anything more serious than living together (which he says “happened on a whim”) because he thinks I’ll eventually do what I did again.

Amy, I know what I did was wrong, and I’ve tried everything to make this work — ranging from trying to hold back my feelings to sitting down and trying to discuss our relationship with him, but he seems like he’s just unable to move on. Is there anything I can do, or is the only thing left to end this relationship?

Amy says: You say you two have gotten past your infidelity, but you did not get past it. He has not forgiven you. Have you asked for his forgiveness? Ironically, when he punishes you by bringing up your infidelity, he is actually punishing himself because he is plunging right back into a painful time when he felt vulnerable and betrayed. He does not seem able, or inclined, to do the work required to achieve true forgiveness.

You might be able to work things out with the help of a relationship counselor, but for counseling to work your guy needs to recognize the problems in your relationship and determine to try harder — alongside you — to repair them. If he can’t or won’t try, then you need only imagine a future where this issue is always lurking in the shadows.

Lose the loser

Dear Amy: A woman wrote you about sulking over her live-in boyfriend enjoying their hot tub with another woman.She should not waste another moment with this guy. In fact, I can’t believe she even took the time to ask!

Amy says: Sometimes, seeing your issue in black and white introduces an element of clarity. I hope she can take the hot tub with her.

Send questions via e-mail to Amy Dickinson at askamy@tribune.com.

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