My boyfriend (R) and I broke up on January 30th. I’ve seen him three times since. He wants me to tell him that I love him during sex, and he tells me that he loves me. He told me he drinks (I think too much) about three times a week. He has told me (when drunk) that he slept with 8 people since we started dating (3.5 years ago, then told me later that he was lying). When he was sober he texted me that he slept with two people in the three weeks we were apart (so last month.)
My relationship with R started casually, we both became emotionally attached. In the first two years, R joked about having ‘sides’ and periodically made it clear that he wasn’t committed to me long-term because he wants kids. He also told me that he wants to keep seeing me sexually after he is married to someone else. I feel a strong emotional attachment to him, and we are each other’s closest friends, which seems more important in the pandemic. There are several topics, including this one, that I have strong disagreements with his thoughts, beliefs, and actions.
I have had kind of a phobia about cheating since I tried a polyamorous relationship many years ago. My partner broke an agreement and broke up with me so he could “sleep with as many women as possible.”
I have had a very weird experience since I have been doing TW where I almost feel numb about R sleeping with others. I still have emotional releases and feel bad pretty bad, but I’m not totally freaking out. Instead, I’m more depressed and hard on myself. Like I tell myself I am not good enough, and if I was I would attract a loyal partner. Or, I should know better than to keep seeing him and it’s my own fault that I choose him. (This is a much better version than the thoughts I had going with fidelity issues in previous relationships, which were probably less serious, objectively.) When we first broke up I felt pretty good, but I have been pretty depressed for about a month.
“If R behaved in the exact way you wanted him to, what would you get to believe and feel?”
I would believe that I am a good person, that I deserve to have someone who is loyal to me and loves me. I would be able to relax and move forward in my career. I would not have to worry about cheating. I could believe that trust in relationships is possible for me and others. (I know these Ts aren’t logical or correct).
“I recommend that you explore what you want to decide to believe about yourself and this situation on purpose and with intention.”
I am worthy and loveable independent of a relationship. I can move forward in my life because I trust myself. R’s Ts, Fs, and As are generated by him, not of me. I am not responsible for fixing all the problems in this relationship. I can learn to let go of a relationship that is not in line with my personal preferences. It is possible for me to meet someone new. I can forgive R and move forward with my life. I don’t have to spend a lot of emotional energy on this breakup. I can learn from past experiences and see them as positive. I can believe in an amazing future for myself. The future does not have to be perfect. I can enjoy life more by letting go of controlling future outcomes.
I am thinking about making a plan to stop seeing him, but I am struggling with integrity and follow-up in other areas of my life. Also, I think it is not honest to plan to break up with someone and not tell them. I appreciate any advice and coaching.