Relationship Advice

Far From Perfect

young woman

My boyfriend and I have been together three years. We are both late 20s. We love each other and seem unable to let go, though there have been many times when that might have been appropriate.

From the first month we were together, there was drama. First, he slept with me, then immediately dumped me for his ex. When we got back together, he continued to go over to her house for a weekly "date" though they did nothing sexual.

After all the frustration and hurt I felt, I cheated on him. I told him, fully expecting him to break up with me. That's what I deserved, but he didn't. He wanted me to forget my anger over his ex. The problem is I couldn't because he never acknowledged I deserved to be angry.

That was all within the first year. Things have not gotten better. One of us is always doing something inadvertently or purposely to hurt the other. We both carry so much anger and pain inside we are constantly exploding.

He truly believes we love each other enough to make it work and that I am the woman for him. I think that once may have been the case, but we may have ruined it. Can a relationship full of anger and aggression for three years suddenly change?


Sage, if you two were the only inhabitants of a desert island, and we received your message in a bottle, your only choice would be to work it out. But your letter arrived by email, which suggests you have many more options in this digital world.

You each carry the same problem. When there is a relationship issue, your answer is to cheat. Whether you stay together or go into another relationship, you carry that nature with you.

Whether you cheated because of a fight, a belief you are above the rules, or simply took advantage of an illicit opportunity, for both you, your response is to do what you are not allowed to do.

Unhappy people hint around. They say things like you are not being affectionate enough. But they don't tell the other party what they will do as a result. They don't give them the "or else." The or else is, I will cheat.

That's an entirely different conversation. When you tell someone you have a problem, you must tell them the consequences. You don't get to do the workaround, which is what cheating is.

For a cheater there is only one answer. They can't settle for 50 percent of what they want in a relationship. They can't settle for 80 percent. They must get it right, because if they don't, they are going to illegally supplement the relationship.

What is the 100 percent? That you love them completely. That it would never dawn on you to do something to hurt them.

Is that why some cheaters think they get to stay? "I'm not really doing something against you. I am just self-satisfying. I am doing something for myself." Is that why they think they can come back? I did this for me. I did not do it to you.

Cheaters don't understand the feelings of the person they had a promise with. The winner can't understand the feelings of the loser. It's like a theory to me. "I don't really understand it, what they are going through."

Maybe you both got what you deserve. You are each with a cheater. Or maybe, you will find a way off this desert island.

Wayne & Tamara