A woman whose military beau keeps cheating fears she won't be able to trust him again. What would you do if you were in her shoes?
Passionate Living Coach Abiola Abrams gives love, dating and self-esteem advice on the CW's Bill Cunningham Show and all over the web through her hit web series AbiolaTV. Now she wants to help you keep things spicy and fresh between the sheets. Are you in need of an intimacy intervention? Just ask Abiola!
I’m in need of some serious advice. To make a long story short, my long-time boyfriend and I have run into an issue. He cheated. God willing, he will soon be my fiance, with the blessings from my parents. By my previous statement, you can probably tell that I do still love him and we both intend on making our relationship work. We’ve discussed the issue, but I am still battling myself. My insecurities are now taking hold of my current state of weakness and it’s troubling me to the point that I think I am going insane.
I’m conflicted on whether or not I should sleep with him again. The clincher is that he is in the military and I don’t get to be with him often. I last saw him in June of 2012. The unforgettable deed occurred and he was deployed in January.
Now, he is due to return in November and I am tormented on whether or not I should hold out on him just to show him that I can (slightly out of spite) or to just let it go and trust that he will not violate me by abusing my trust once again. We both love each other very much and he’s gone the extra mile to show me that he is hell bent on winning my trust again.
I am fixated on whether or not I should allow myself to not only physically feel his presence but emotionally and spiritually as well. I know that November is some time away and by then, things can change for the better, but doing this would leave me open and vulnerable. That is my biggest fear.
What should I do?
Take a deep breath, queen. Your problem is a challenging one. It is no easy task to repair a relationship after infidelity. Add a long-term, long-distance relationship and a loved one serving in the military, and you’re dealing with a powder keg.
Battling yourself is not helpful. You need to be your own best friend right now. You and your boyfriend did not “run into the issue” of cheating. He made a decision as a grown man to declare war on your partnership by breaking his commitment. Your first obligation is to yourself. Integrity before intimacy will give your love life the best chance for success. Your letter indicates that you are far from being healed. Your boyfriend should win back your heart before he wins back your body. You are not going insane. You are feeling broken-hearted and abandoned. The grief of the loss hurts. It's not fair that you are left alone to deal with the aftermath but this is the nature of your reality.
My heart goes out to you. It can’t be easy to suffer a betrayal and have to worry about the safety of your partner at the same time. When your partner is in the armed forces, you are serving as well. That’s a great deal to ask of someone. To cheat on the person waiting for you is selfish and callous.
Diana Falzone of Military.com claims that, “With long, repeated separations between military husbands and wives, extramarital affairs become the norm for many couples.” In certain military circles there is a boys will be boys mentality when it comes to sexual escapades. Falzone has even encountered “a deployment sex pact.” This is a couple’s agreement on “what is acceptable sexual activity outside the relationship during deployments.” Just giving you the facts, ma’am.
Of course there are many loving and faithful, courageous men and women who serve in our armed forces. Unfortunately, your boo has already proven that (at this moment anyway) he is not one of them. MilitaryTimes.com has a forum for military girlfriends. You may want to join so that you are in the company of other women who directly relate the issues you face.
Sex is not a reward or a weapon. We should never manipulate a partner by withholding or promising sexual favors. If you're able to come to a place of peace together your reunion lovemaking could be healing. If you don't, the last thing you want is to feel is like you sold yourself out after he's gone. You can't feel sexy if you feel emotionally unsafe. You don’t feel safe if you’re scared to be vulnerable. You can still be intimate, close and loving with your man without having sex, if you choose.
We salute our brave men and women keeping us safe but as it pertains to your relationship, you must separate the Soldier from the man. He went M.I.A. on your relationship. If your plan is to reconcile this is not the time to go A.W.O.L. on each other. Don’t rush your healing. Some couples are able to rebuild after an affair. This is with daily work but your man works overseas. Unless you will be in the same location for an extended period it's going to be extremely arduous to rebuild a new foundation.
The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior unless your man makes different choices. Let him know before he gets home that you love and miss him but need to come to a resolution before you can be physical. This way he doesn’t feel blindsided when he gets home. Then give yourselves a weekend together to reconnect hearts before discussing up the issue. Be clear about your expectations. Don’t hide your hurt and disappointment. Tell him how his acts of subterfuge made you feel. Make sure that he is as invested as you are. You say that hopefully you will soon be engaged. Is this just your goal or his as well?
Questions to consider: Did he have an ongoing affair or was it a one-night stand? Is he still involved with this person? Does he have an emotional connection with the person? Did he confess or was he caught?
You sound at the end of your rope, sis. It could be time to lace up your running shoes. Don’t be afraid to walk away or fall back from the situation to give yourself some room. A healthy marriage can only be built on a strong foundation. Meanwhile, you need a support system. Tell your inner circle about what you’re going through. Consult a spiritual counselor, coach or therapist.
My goddess sister, you deserve whole and bodacious love and fidelity on your terms. I'm sorry to be the one to break it to you but he may not be your happy ending. Just remember, you are much stronger than you think.
Sending you bountiful blessings, bella.
Abiola Abrams is the founder of The Bombshell Academy blog, online school and web series over at AbiolaTV. Follow her on Twitter to continue the discussion about this week's hot topic, and then email her your burning questions now. Anything you send will be posted anonymously, promise.