Dear Wendy Updates: “Cheated On” Responds

It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing today. After the jump, we hear from Cheated On, who wrote in a couple weeks ago when she discovered her long-distance boyfriend had cheated on her during a big fight they were in. After talking it over with him, she was considering working through their issues but was nervous about whether they could re-build trust and actually get past the cheating. “He said that he would do anything I asked of him if it meant that we could keep our relationship going. My gut tells me that he might actually be honest, but […] I told myself I would never forgive someone who cheated on me.” So did she forgive her boyfriend? Did she tell him what she needed from him to get the relationship back on track? Or did she decide to forgo reconciliation? Find out after the jump.

I basically told him that if he wanted to move on that he’d have to break off ties with the person he cheated on me with, be upfront with me about any issues, and know that I would probably — and rightly so — have some trouble trusting him but that I did want to work through this provided it never happen again. So that’s where we’re at. I’m not giving him a free pass but I promised him that I wouldn’t hold it over his head in the future because … well, I love him and I want to repair the relationship. If he’ll put in the effort, so will I. I think that we may be able to do it as long as he upholds his end of the bargain. Which I have faith he will.

Your advice was spot-on and what I needed to hear and hearing other commenters encourage me made me feel better, too. I guess we generally read that there’s no moving on from cheating (you know, “dump the bastard”), and I believed that without really taking inventory of my individual situation. I knew I wanted to forgive him, but I was afraid. It’s not a pleasant thing to go through, but we have had many in-depth discussions about where we want our relationship to go, what our future can look like and so…overall, we may come out stronger for it.

I definitely believe in evaluating cheating offenses on a case-by-case basis rather than applying the old “dump the bastard” adage every time. I’m glad you were able to bend your personal rules of never forgiving someone who cheated on you and give your relationship a second chance. People make mistakes, but if there’s a willingness to do whatever it takes to rebuild trust, sometimes it’s worth putting in effort to work through the issues. I wish you guys the best of luck.

If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at {encode=”[email protected]” title=”[email protected]”} with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.

Follow me on Twitter and get relationship tips and updates on new Dear Wendy columns!