Ask Dr. Sherry: ‘Am I Right To Forgive Him Or Just Afraid to Be Alone?’

A woman who keeps forgiving her boyfriend, who’s a serial cheater, wonders if he has really learned his lesson this time.

You've seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel All Alone in Their Marriages, keep the Braxton sisters calm on the hit show Braxton Family Values. Now it's your turn to sit in her chair...

Dr. Sherry,

I have this boyfriend and we've been together for almost three years. We both love each other very much. There was once a time when he cheated on me—he was texting another girl, his ex girlfriend. I almost broke up with him but I don't know how I will live another day without him. We are already planning for our future, our wedding, our soon-to-be children and everything. I forgave him. I let it pass because he told me he would never do it again. Then a year after the cheating incident with his ex, here comes another woman. They're really close but they were exchanging messages and calls. I caught him. He was really calling that woman and they were flirting in their text messages. I want to break up with him, but again, I do not know what to do the next day without him. I've been so dependent on him and vice versa. I was going to break up with him last night because he admitted that he cheated on me. He told me he was afraid to tell me the truth because he knew how much pain it would cause me. That night, he saw me crying – crying to death. Then he promised that he will never make me cry like that again and told me that he's learned the greatest lesson in his life. I forgave him again but I'm still doubtful that I made the right choice. I asked him if he liked or loved that girl, he told me an honest answer and it was “no.” Was I right in forgiving him again? Or am I just afraid of living alone? I don't know what to do.

Signed,

Anonymous

Dear Sis,

Unfortunately, you may find yourself "crying to death "many days until your boyfriend commits to the relationship. While you are planning your dream future with your boyfriend, he may not share your dream. In fact, your dream may become a nightmare if you are not careful. As long as he believes you are with him because you "need" him versus "wanting" to be with him, he has no real concerns about you leaving him. He knows or at least may believe that you have no options and must accept his behavior. It is great and wonderful to be happy and in love, but it is another thing to be fearful and insecure while trying to convince yourself that you are happy.  You are holding on to your boyfriend out of fear of being alone.

Anytime you are so emotionally dependent on someone that you don't know if you can live without them, you are seriously in trouble. When this occurs, you have given your power away and that person has control over you. They can decide when and if you are going to be happy based on their behavior. That is a whole lot of power and control to give away. I recommend that you seek individual therapy to process your codependency and other issues. You must find your personal value independent of your boyfriend or anyone else. You do not have to settle and accept anything. If you want more, don't settle for less. – Dr. Sherry

Email us your questions for Dr. Sherry now and be sure to include "Ask Dr. Sherry" in the subject line.

Read More
Filed under: Love & Sex