Boyfriend "sexting" another girl?
Ugh! This is a mess, but I'd love some input.
Boyfriend and I were having problems for a couple of weeks or so. One night last week, little things about his behavior lead me to get curious, and that curiosity got the best of me and I snooped in his phone while he was asleep. He was texting a girl who's name I didn't recognize about our problems, and had sent two pictures of his erection to her. I was shocked, of course. I woke him up, apologized for spying, then told him what I did. He wasn't mad, he just seemed to look really guilty and sorry. He said that for the last couple weeks, he was having doubts about us, and he logged into a chat room as an escape, where he met this woman. He said that he never met her (and truly thought he never would), and what I saw was the worst they did.
I was pretty much disgusted and wanted out of the relationship. He started seriously bawling (which is an extremely rare thing for him to do. I'd never seen him get this upset before), saying that he was incredibly sorry, really regrets ever doing it, and understands why I wouldn't want to see him again. He said that he had doubts about us, but since sitting there right in that instant and realizing the very big chance of never seeing me again was right in front of his face, he didn't have doubts anymore and still wanted to work things out. Those tears made it seem more sincere to me, and I believe that he was telling me the honest truth.
I was really conflicted, though. I saw him as someone I could marry one day, and as a man who would never do something as immature as this. Apparently there's a side to him I didn't know about. And I've taken pride in not putting up with bad behavior from men, and I wondered if I'd kick myself later for forgiving him for what he did, and I wondered why I would let HIM get by with something like this, but have let other men go for a lot less. And when he was sitting there, telling me he'd do ANYTHING to keep me... Believe me, I didn't know what to do.
I really didn't want to torture him days before I made my decision, but I had to. He kept telling me he was scared I was going to walk, gave me his word it only happened that time and won't ever happen again, and the possibility of losing me made him realize how important I was to him. I maintained my space so I wouldn't feel like I was "worn down" by his apologizes, but I eventually came to the conclusion that he must be truthful about this, and despite the rough patches, I really do love him. I also remembered that love is always a risk, sometimes a leap of faith, and this instance is just an example of all of that (I'm aware of how cheesy that sounds).
I decided to tell him that while my trust of him is worn to a nub at this point, it'll take a lot of work to get us strong and I would try. He was really happy I was willing to try.
Since then, he's been pretty forthcoming with sharing his texts with me, and when I asked if he would be open to sharing passwords to email accounts, he said that he would be willing to do that (I don't really want to read his emails; just his word saying he agreed to it was what I needed to hear). I intend to ask to see his phone every once in a while just to "check up" on him, but I think that once we're more solid (and it's apparent he's behaving himself), I might not feel the urge to do that anymore.
I'm sure that some of you think I'm an idiot for taking him back and might tell me so. That's okay; I made the choice to share all of this. I know that I'm really taking a risk here, but I know how much he really wants to try to make it work, and knowing how much he does makes me feel that much better.
I'm just wondering if there's been others who've had a similar or worse experience with a partner and if you two worked it out and are better for it? What things did you do to make good changes for each other? Any advice from those who've dealt with something like this and ended up working things through and being happy again would be appreciated. :)
- Asked by Female, 29-35