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Ask Dr. Doug

3 February 2009 2 Comments

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  • Gary said:

    I desperately need some advice! My girlfriend has recently left me. I took her for granted and lied to her. I never physically cheated on her, but I would talk to people that I was not supposed to talk to, I would hide things from her and lie to cover my tracks. We did have an amazing relationship until I ruined it. I keep asking myself why I acted like that and why I treated her so bad. I am ashamed in myself and cannot understand what made me act that way. I love her with all of my heart and would stopped at nothing to get her back. It was a huge awakening when she left me and I never want to revert to the way I treated her before. She is telling me now that she still loves me, but she needs time to see if she is able to forgive me. I don’t know what to do. I cannot lose her. I know I love her I have had real physical pain since she left and every time I see her I feel like a love-struck child again. I really want to know how I can get her to be able to forgive me and come home and I also want to make sure I never go back to the way I treated her before. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

  • drwelpton (author) said:

    Hello Gary,
    I appreciate your honesty in admitting and taking responsibility for talking with other women, for hiding it and telling lies about it. It makes sense your girlfriend needs time to forgive you, and it sounds like she still does love you and wants to make your relationship work.
    Your first task is to restore trust in your relationship. This takes time and will not happen quickly. You start by making an amends, meaning you apologize for what you have done and commit yourself to not repeating your behavior of talking with other women when you know that will create problems in your relationship with your girlfriend.
    You may need some help with this amends process. You can wound your girlfriend by getting into the details of what you said to each of these women. Your girlfriend may ask for these details but you need to explore with her whether this information will help her heal and put your betrayals behind her, or whether it will just create more pain for her to have to let go of. Do not rush ahead but take the time to talk it over as you proceed.
    You may need counseling to help you understand your behavior in talking with other women. I know of a marriage that was destroyed in just a few months when the husband was caught sexting with a former girlfriend. This kind of behavior can result from love addiction or sex addiction and unless it is recognized and dealt with as an addiction it will undermine your efforts to establish a committed relationship.

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