I'm here wondering what you would do if you were in this situation. You may judge me, and you'd probably be right to, but I'm here for your advice all the same!
I have been dating my current boyfriend for nearly 3 years. My friends tell me that I'm extremely lucky to have found him, and I agree. He respects me, he protects me, he's polite to my family and is always trusting.
Before him, I had only ever dated one other guy, and the relationship was hell. My ex was older than me and was controlling, violent and both physically and mentally abusive - in addition, he also spent 6 months of our relationship seeing another girl as well as me (and treating her exactly the same, may I add). I left what should have been a happy 'first-love' relationship feeling completely shattered and unable to socialise with people correctly.
A few months later, I met my current boyfriend, and I am not exaggerating when I say that he saved my life. I started the relationship suicidal, anxious and an emotional wreck. In the years that we have been together, I have rebuilt my confidence and independence. He put up with my every insecurity, including several accusations of him cheating due to my past experience.
Now, nearly 3 years on, as I have regained my independence, my feelings towards my boyfriend have started to change. Previously, we have talked of marriage and even children, and he gave me the feeling of security that I lacked. Now, although I know deep down he's one-in-a-million, I find myself longing to be free to do what I want - to be single after spending nearly 5 consecutive years in a relationship. My new found confidence has made me want to explore new opportunities - my uncle, for example, loves to travel abroad, and I would want to do the same - in other words, I want life experience before I settle down.
I recently went away on a trip with friends and these feelings reached a point where I ended up cheating on my boyfriend with a man I met on holiday (we didn't have sex, it was everything but). I know that this is awful, and I completely regret what I did, but I can't help thinking that if I was really happy in this relationship, I wouldn't have done it.
I'm torn between the fact I really do love my boyfriend despite what happened, that I know he loves me and it would break him to know what I'd done/if we split up, and I feel like we've been through too much for this to end. On the other hand though, I don't think it's fair on him to stay with him considering what I've done, and I'm not ready to settle down with one person for the rest of my life. That said, he's ideal for me, and I have a feeling that if we split up I'd wander around for a few years before eventually drifting right back to him (then what was the point of splitting up anyway?)
My head's all over the place, and I'd appreciate your comments. Thank you.
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