Trust key to of­fer­ing sec­ond chance

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ENTERTAINMENT - El­lie Tesher

Q - My re­la­tion­ship with my boyfriend of seven months was per­fect, un­til he de­cided to cheat on me.

He had sex with this girl af­ter his best friend was done fool­ing around with her (he was also at­tached, classy boys, eh?).

The next day he con­fessed to hav­ing sex with her be­cause he was tempted and in­tox­i­cated. I know that’s no ex­cuse. For two months since, he’s been spoil­ing me with flow­ers, favourite things, and even home­mak­ing gifts of our me­mories to­gether.

I’m un­sure if this just shows that he’s feel­ing guilty or ac­tu­ally want­ing me back.

I still love the guy, and he isn’t giv­ing up, but I don’t know what to do.

I re­spect him for telling me, but he be­trayed our re­la­tion­ship and most of all our friend­ship.

Are for­give­ness and a sec­ond chance an op­tion?

Con­fused and Pur­sued

A - Take a closer read of what you wrote — “he de­cided to cheat,” tempted and in­tox­i­cated “is no ex­cuse.”

You may still love him, but you cer­tainly rec­og­nize that he’s flawed, which means he’s ca­pa­ble of do­ing this again.

A sec­ond chance is al­most al­ways an op­tion in re­la­tion­ships but won’t work with­out real for­give­ness. You’re not there yet.

His gifts aren’t enough to con­vince you.

In­stead, dis­cuss openly what “tempted and in­tox­i­cated” mean to him.

Dis­cuss how much he drinks, how often, and how it af­fects him, to de­cide whether it’s an is­sue that’ll keep af­fect­ing your re­la­tion­ship.

Ask why he was tempted, be­cause there’ll al­ways be other at­trac­tive, sexy, avail­able women out there.

Is that an is­sue in his char­ac­ter, or do you truly be­lieve he won’t risk this again?

Also, get tested for STIs. The sec­ond-chance de­ci­sion is up to you.

Q - I’m a young, fe­male pro­fes­sional. I met my boyfriend when he was liv­ing with his then-girl­friend, and I was dat­ing some­one, but lived with a room­mate.

Once we were both sin­gle, we be­gan a re­la­tion­ship which be­came se­ri­ous six months later.

We had a great time to­gether and with friends, talk­ing, laugh­ing, and telling stories.

Four months along, I re­ceived an evic­tion no­tice from my apart­ment. The own­ers had sold.

Five days af­ter that, my fa­ther died un­ex­pect­edly.

The next few months were a blur. My boyfriend, my room­mate, and I all rented a new place to­gether.

It’s been three months and we’ve been fight­ing con­stantly.

Some ma­jor is­sues emerged (if known be­fore, I wouldn’t have moved in with him), but I’ve tried to get past them be­cause weíre com­mit­ted in this liv­ing sit­u­a­tion.

There’s con­stant bick­er­ing about lit­tle things, too.

He’s a won­der­ful per­son but I’m won­der­ing if, dur­ing my grief, we ac­cel­er­ated the re­la­tion­ship.

I often feel trapped. I’m still sad and house­hold con­flicts are tir­ing.

I care about him a lot but I’m long­ing for peace and just to be happy again.

Tired of Con­flicts

A - You haven’t had time for peace or griev­ing.

A rental lease is a com­mit­ment of money and time. But it’s not enough to bind peo­ple in love and life.

The bick­er­ing is an alert to both you and your boyfriend.

You need to ac­knowl­edge to each other that this move was too hasty, with wrong tim­ing for you. Start grief coun­selling as soon as pos­si­ble (found through your faith com­mu­nity, a so­cial agency, a ther­a­pist). Al­low each other re­spect­ful dis­tance and con­sider one of you sub-let­ting and mov­ing out.

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