ForumRelationships and Stuff ► ex boyfriend
i broke up with my ex bf about 3 months ago. I did it because i cheated on him, and i felt like he deserved someone much better than me. I still feel that way now, but at this point, ive made my peace with the fact that we broke up and that i cheated on him. In doing so, i realized how much i love him. I feel awful for not taking things seriously before. i know he has feelings for me still, but he isnt sure if he wants to get back into things. i feel the same way. I really miss him, but i dont think going down that road again would be a very good idea. any advice?
  
So my immediate first thought is that it's normal to "grieve" a recent relationship, regardless of why it ended, or even whether you were the one who ended it. There's almost always some good parts to a relationship, and there's at the very least always something we liked about it. There are things you're going to miss, and wish that you could have back again.

Which doesn't mean that getting back together again is a either a bad idea, or a good idea... just that wanting to is normal and doesn't give us a lot of information either way.

Which leaves me wondering what the actual question is here... I mean, is this just a side-long way of asking "how likely is it that I'm going to cheat on him again?" I think that's a valid question actually, and something that would be interesting to explore. A lot of people have a religious aversion to the whole concept of cheating that borders on paranoia. I happen to think that's counter productive. To me, cheating means "I make a promise to be sexually and emotionally exclusive, and I didn't keep that promise." It's bad, don't get me wrong... but it's hard for me to see it as "the worst thing ever" to happen in a romantic relationship.

As someone who identifies as non-monogamous myself, I think a lot of the religious aversion to cheating is... basically literal religious aversion, but it's really more about the concept of non-monogamy more than anything else. Take that away, and what's left are simply broken promises (ie, I promised to be exclusive, and I wasn't) and the coverup - and I'm a big believer in this being a case where the coverup is worse than the crime, so you've got a lot of points in my book for (presumably) coming clean to your BF of your own accord.

Ok, so... will you cheat again? I think whether you will or won't is hard to predict, but what is easier to answer first is whether or not the reasons for your previous cheating still exist. I'm leaning towards saying that, yeah, actually they do, and therefore it's a distinct possibility that you will cheat again, whether or not it's probable. I'm mostly basing that on the fact that cheating is pretty common, actually, so more people than not probably have reasons to cheat in their relationship, given the right situation.
  
I still feel that way now, but at this point, ive made my peace with the fact that we broke up and that i cheated on him.


The thing is that a) the act of cheating was all about you, with little concern for what he might want, b) breaking up with him seems like it was more about your guilt and projections than his actual feelings, and c) you making peace with your own cheating is all about you.

Ultimately you are probably not what matters in the situation. It doesn't matter if you've made peace with your cheating, it matters whether or not he has. In fact, it probably matters a lot more, based upon your actions, whether or not he even wants to be with you after what you have done.

I think bringing the concept of non-monogamy into this is a little bit weird - OP maybe should analyse herself and her actions to see if she may actually be non-monogamous for the future, but even if she is - her ex-boyfriend isn't necessarily likely to be. Cheating isn't the worst thing that could happen in some relationships, but in others it is - whether that is religious paranoia or not - people are allowed to have their own priorities in a relationship.

Love should be equated with caring and respect, and not respecting the things that are important to the other person is probably the worst thing you can do in a relationship. That is basically the essence of incompatibility (and no matter how much one "loves" someone, and feels that they "love" someone, it can't really override base incompatibility.) Respecting someone's priorities means respecting another person's feelings in a lot of scenarios. The scenario can be: OP cheats on her boyfriend, he says that doesn't matter, but she still breaks up with him claiming he "deserves someone better". That is not respecting what is actually important to him. Or the scenario can be: OP cheats on her boyfriend, he is hurt and says he is not interested in a relationship with her. She has an epiphany and 'changes', and wants to pursue him again... that's not particularly respectful of what he really wants either.

Ultimately two people should value the same things - whether that be monogamy, non-monogamy, religion, family, money, etc. - or respect the other person's values as highly as one respects one's own values. The agreement to be in a relationship is generally contingent on upholding that respect for each other, and if you don't uphold it, the relationship should be dissolved.
  
I don't want to suggest that she's non-monogamous, or even that I think she should be. I respect that everyone gets to make their own choices in that matter, and regardless there's nothing that suggests to me that this is about non-monogamy.

That being said, what I wanted to do was just contextualize my advice and where it's coming from, so it's more understandable why it's different from other people's reactions.

I appreciate the general sentiment of the rest of your comment though - I don't necessarily agree that OP is making this all about her, but that's just my personal sense of the situation; differing perspectives are useful.
  
Swerve. Move on.