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I Cheated. He Left.
February 21, 2012 Ask Dr. Love Advice Column
My boyfriend and I are both in college and have been together for about 6 months now. Two years previous to this, we dated in high school for 8 months. Just recently, he found out that I cheated on him in that past relationship. He has since broken up with me and called me a compulsive liar for not telling him. I did lie about it, but I knew he would end things. I wasn't in love with him the first time we dated and I have grown and matured during the time we were apart but I am afraid that nothing matters anymore. He is insisting that he can never trust me again and two years ago doesn't mean anything.
Needs Some Hope
I understand your sad story. However, you didn’t ask me a question. I assume you are writing to ask me if there is anything you can do to get your ex back.
Your story is especially sad because you were so young when the infidelity occurred. High school is a time for experimenting. You were only doing what was natural for a young woman. You’re paying for what happened long ago.
Now you’re older and you love him and don’t want to lose him, but your past is biting you in the butt.
Let’s see what we can do to put the past behind you.
Broken trustMutual trust is a shared belief that you can depend on each other to achieve a common purpose. More comprehensively trust defined as "the willingness of a party (trustor) to be vulnerable to the...(Click for full definition.) as a result of infidelity is a hard problem to tackle.
If you haven’t already done so, read my book Make Up Don’t Break: Dr. Love’s 5 Step Plan for Reconciling with Your Ex. In the book, I go into detail about how to handle an ex who feels harmed as of result of your having broken his/her trust.
I don’t have unlimited space to discuss your issue here in this column, so I’ll give you a few pointers.
First, don’t fall into the trap of trying to defend what you did or try to change his mind; that will only make him dig in his heels even deeper.
What you need to do is put your own agenda to get your ex back aside. If he feels that you’re all about twisting his arm, he’ll resist. What you want to do instead is just focus on him. The goal is to selflessly identify with where he’s coming from and understand him. Keep in mind that the majority of issuesIssues, in the words of the Serenity Prayer, are things you can change, either by making different personal choices and/or by finding ways to work with your partner more effectively. can be resolved when the wounded party feels truly heard and understood.
What does he need you to understand?
When he says that he can’t trust you, he’s talking emotional Morse code. What he’s really saying is that he’s afraid to be cheated on again.
He needs you to acknowledge this. You can do this by saying, “I think you’re worried that I would cheat on you again. Am I right?”
He’ll tell you, “Hell yes.”
Then tell him that you have taken his comments—that you are a compulsive liar—under consideration and you consulted a professional. Tell him that you have discovered that you use a very primitive defense mechanism—avoidance--in order to protect yourself from pain. This avoidance defense begins in childhood when a kid grows up with a punitive or abusive parent. The kid becomes so afraid to get into trouble that he/she learns to lie in an attempt to avoid an emotional or physical beating. Unfortunately, defense mechanism bites us in the butt. In the case of the avoidance defense, the very thing we try to avoid is what we end up heaping on ourselves in spades; but the punishment and pain we suffer down the line is far worse than what we would ever have received if we just faced the issue in the moment. Case in point, you lied way back when because you knew he’d break up with you. In the end, the avoidance and lyingA lie (also called prevarication, falsehood) is a known untruth expressed as truth. A lie is a type of deception in the form of an untruthful statement, especially with the intention to deceive...(Click for full definition.) is what made him break up with you.
Tell him that thanks to him you are now aware of the problem and you are working on resolving this unconscious defense mechanism.
Feeling understood and knowing that you are addressing the issue is your only hope of getting your ex back.
If it’s too late. Then use this experience as a healing tool. You’ve learned that you must risk being honest and risk a “beating” in the present, rather than avoid pain now, only to suffer a far worse beating later.
I hope for your sake that it isn’t too late for him to come around.
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"Love Never Dies is guaranteed to give immense hope to those grieving the perceived loss of a loved one. Dr. Jamie Turndorf, together with her husband, Jean, now in spirit, provide stunning evidence of the continuity of love and life, along with the tools to help anyone connect with those in the unseen world."
Author of Messages of Hope
"Dr. Turndorf's eternal love story powerfully proves that our loved ones in spirit are waiting for us to reconnect with them! Read this amazing book and discover her new dialoguing technique, which enables you to reconnect and turn grief into peace and joy."
-- Mira Kelley,
bestselling author of Beyond Past Lives
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-- Fr. Richard Rohr,
Founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC), and bestselling author of Falling Upward
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Part 1 was her story of losing the love of her life. Reading about the pain and agony she experienced and SO MANY people experience will be healing to know that others experience the same emotions after the passing of a loved one. I think the first part could be a book on it's own merit because it is so beneficial to people dealing with the same intensity of grief.
As a scientist myself, I was glad to read that she didn't focus on a religion. As a medium, I have come to know that "god" not of a religion, but is the consciousness of all living things. Like Dr. Turndorf I've learned that all people are equal and all creatures part of all existence (and with "souls.").
I particularly enjoyed reading how she used her talent/mediumship to help people overcome their grief. Readers will get a lot out of this book and know that their loved ones are always connected.”
-- Rob Gutro,
Author, Medium, Scientist
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Former Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Human Energy Systems Laboratory, U of Arizona, Co-author of The Living Energy Universe
“This is the most beautiful true love story that I have ever read. The depth of the author's love for her husband and her terrible grief at his death, and then her triumph as she learned to continue her relationship with him even after his death are all palpable. I lived it with her, and her story has stayed in my mind. For me, though, the reason to read this book is the author's wisdom in teaching her readers how to heal rifts across the death boundary. As one who has done extensive afterlife research, I can attest to the importance of post-death healing of relationships to both our dead loved ones and ourselves! Yet few people know how essential this healing is, and fewer still know how to begin it. As a prominent relationship counselor, Dr. Turndorf tackles this essential area, and she does it well. Hers is a wonderful book.”
-- Roberta Grimes,
author of The Fun of Dying: Find Out What Really Happens Next and The Fun of Staying in Touch
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-- Margaret Lane,
“Midwest Book Review”
“Love Never Dies is an astonishing and refreshing story of survival of consciousness. She clearly shows the many ways spirit can communicate through us and with animals and even objects. I could hardly put the book down, and I have read many of these types of books. This is a great read for those who have lost a loved one and are looking for answers to the ways spirit makes contact with us, and also how we can contact spirit to make peace. I highly recommend this book.”
-- Dave Campbell,
Certified Windbridge Research Medium (WCRM)
“When I held this 248 page spiritual giant in my hands, even before I started turning the pages I knew I had found a special guide that would help me through one of the hardest journeys I have taken. To love so deeply and completely and then to have the person removed from my physical life is hard enough, but then to find a way to stay connected with them is even more frustrating. So it was totally Heaven sent when I was asked to review this gentle messenger that helped me to stay connected, to recognize the connection and to even validate the connection. I also loved the way the author shared on such a deep and personal level it helped me to not feel alone and gave me courage to bypass my mind. I would recommend this sweet giant to anyone who feels the loss of a loved one. Thanks so much Jamie for the awesome blueprint. “
-- Riki Frahmann,
Chief Reviewer for the ezine Mystic Living Today
"As a colleague of both Jamie and Jean, I have been blessed with firsthand witness to their devotion and mutual love, in life and now through death. In her eloquently written new book, Dr. Turndorf has made their everlasting love accessible to all. Just as the uniqueness of their emotional connection radiated to me, it will radiate to you, the reader, in this groundbreaking work that will guide you to reestablish your relationships with loved ones in spirit... and even make peace, if needed."
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author Emotional Incest in Group Psychotherapy
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-- Ken Page,
L.C.S.W. from "A Life-Changing Exercise for Anyone Who Has Lost a Loved One" published in Psychology Today
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author of Dancing on a Stamp and Dancing Forever with Spirit
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Author of NY Times #1 bestseller Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus
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Pulitzer Prize winning author and Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School
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-- Bill Hammond III,
Winner of the Best Historical Fiction Award, 2012
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Producer Relationship Advice Cafe
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Syndicated Radio Host
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-- Dr. Matt Townsend,
Host, The Matt Townsend Show