Dear Wendy: “My Boyfriend Signed Up For A Cheating Site”

I have been with my boyfriend for four years and although I love him with my whole heart, I have a problem: he signs up for online dating sites. I recently found out he signed up for a guest membership to a popular cheating website. When I confronted him he said he wasn’t doing anything wrong because he was just curious and just looking and didn’t plan on actually meeting/chatting with anyone on the site. This, of course, led to a huge fight with him asking me why I didn’t trust him. I tell him that it makes me feel belittled and disrespected when he signs up for these sites, and like he really isn’t happy with me. When I asked him what he’d think if I signed up for a site like that, his response was he wouldn’t care because he trusts me. He tells me he loves me, and has and will never cheat on me, and wants to spend the rest of his life with me. But he continues to sign up and visit these websites and I don’t know what to do. — No Webmaster Needed

I don’t care how much you love someone, when he’s basically waving a huge sign in front of your face telling you what an untrustworthy tool he is, you’re a fool if you stay with him. Why does your boyfriend have a membership to a cheating site? Because he’s window shopping! He’s window shopping the same way I go on sites like Etsy. I may not have an intention of buying anything, but if I see something I like and the price is right, there’s a pretty good chance I’ll make a purchase. I’d bet money your boyfriend has made a purchase — or many purchases — in the past. And if he hasn’t, it’s only a matter of time. So, I urge you to run, run, run as fast as you can from this guy and if you’ve had unprotected sex even once in the four years you’ve been together, please get tested for STDs as soon as possible.

I’ve been with my live-in boyfriend for several years. Two years ago, I discovered that he had cheated on a previous girlfriend, and cheated on me once early in our relationship, as well as continued to have inappropriate, sometimes sexual phone and e-mail conversations with former a girlfriend (all this after assuring me, early in our relationship, that he’d never cheated before and would never do that to me). Needless to say, I was furious with him, but decided to stay with him under certain conditions, including dropping all contact with the former girlfriend. About seven months ago, I discovered he was still maintaining inappropriate contact with her. But despite his poor behavior, I chose to stay with him under the condition that we go through couple’s counseling, which we started almost immediately and are still in today (with no end in sight). On occasion, he asks me if I trust him and I tell him, honestly, “Not yet.” He gets angry with me for thinking of him as a cheater and a liar. I love him very much and feel like he’s great for me, but his dishonesty really hurts me. To complicate matters, a month after we started couple’s counseling, he proposed and I accepted, though I want to wait a few years before we get married so that we have time to work things out and make sure we both feel 100 percent confident in our relationship. Am I crazy for being with this guy? Is getting married to him just setting myself up for more heartbreak? — Cheater’s Fiancée

If your boyfriend doesn’t want you thinking of him as a liar and a cheater, maybe he ought to stop lying and cheating. He should be going out of his way to earn back your trust, little by little, month by month, not getting angry at you for having feelings his actions brought on. This isn’t someone who just cheated once — he’s cheated multiple times (that you know about) — so he has his work cut out for him in earning back your trust. And FYI, simply going to counseling doesn’t equal hard work. You have to actually apply what you learn in counseling; you have to put in the work. And now that you’ve agreed to marry him, what’s the incentive for him to do that? If he knows you’re willing to stick with him no matter how badly he treats you, where’s the motivation for him to be a better partner to you? Your relationship started with lies and has continued with lies. If I were you, I’d cut my losses and find a man who doesn’t take me — or my trust — for granted.

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