Q. I have been dating a man for 4 months and I really like him. However there is one thing that bothers me. When we talked about our past relationships, I asked him why he broke up with his ex. He said that his ex broke up with him because he cheated on her. He reassured me immediately that he would never do something like that to me. While I appreciate his honesty, the fact that he cheated on her really bothers me. He said that it was a stupid mistake and that he had too many drinks.
I have always doubted someone who uses excessive alcohol as a poor excuse for their behavior. There have been times where I have had one too many drinks, but I have never cheated because I always knew I was in a relationship no matter how drunk I was. I have to admit ever since he confessed, I have not been able to see him the way I used to before. I am starting to judge him and I am afraid to completely trust him because I feel he would do the same to me one day.
Should I stop being judgmental about him and forget his past? What can I do to trust him and strengthen our relationship?
A. Your concerns are of course, warranted.
One incidence of cheating can certainly represent the capability for more.
However, it can also create a profound shake up and teach someone where their boundaries are in order to never cross them again.
Unfortunately in relationships (as in most things in life) there are no guarantees. All we have are our hopes, best intentions, faith and most importantly our instincts.
Ask yourself if you have witnessed or sense anything that would concern you, indicating that this singular indiscretion would signal more of the same.
If it’s just your (very human) fears, it would be unfair to judge him by this one (albeit significant) mistake. As humans we are all flawed, we all fall down and we all have the capability to pick ourselves up, learn from our mistakes and do better in the future.
The only question is whether or not your boyfriend is the type of person that wants to improve and do everything under the sun to make that happen. Listen to your instincts and you’ll most likely have your answer.
Best of luck!