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I cannot bear to leave my cheating partner

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I cannot bear to leave my cheating partner

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Dear Coleen,

I’ve been with my boyfriend for two-and-a-half years and we have a baby girl. I love him with all my heart and I’m one of those people who fall hard.

A couple of months ago he was being very secretive with his mobile phone so when he left it lying around I had a few quick peeks at what was on it.

What I saw shocked and upset me. There were loads of pictures of girls – from faces to naked bodies – and also photos of him. They were obviously people he knows, not porn shots.

He also goes out a lot, saying he’s visiting a friend, but I can’t leave the house without it turning into a row.

I logged on to a few dating sites to see if he was on them and he was.

I tried to speak to him about his ­behavior a while ago when I found out he was looking for an escort.

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But he flipped out and kept saying he was just looking at the pictures and that I don’t trust him. He said if I kept accusing him, he’d leave.

So, I haven’t confronted him again, but I feel I need to as his behavior is affecting me very badly. I don’t enjoy life and have even had suicidal thoughts. I don’t want to lose him for the sake of our daughter – I want her ­to grow up with a proper family.

I do everything for him, tell him I love him and jump to his every whim. I know I should leave him, but I just can’t – how can I make it work?

Coleen says.

The problem here is your self-esteem is at rock bottom and you don’t think you’ll do any better if you leave him. How dare he threaten to leave you after the way he’s behaved! At the moment your heart is getting in the way of all logic.

No-one with kids wants their relationship to break down – that was my biggest fear, too, when my first marriage was in trouble.

I struggled on, trying to make it work, ­buying better clothes and cooking his favourite food because I’d lost all confidence in myself.

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And your bloke is destroying your ­confidence, too, by making you feel like it’s all your fault.

If you’re really thinking of your daughter, why are you staying with a man who sets her such a bad example? Do you want her to grow up thinking it’s OK for men to treat women that way?

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With the right help, you will start to feel better and stronger.

I understand why it is you’re fighting so hard for this relationship ­because you can’t bear the alternative, but it’s so much better when you get the ­courage to leave.

I was so much happier when I made the decision and so were my kids. Ask for help, don’t go it alone, and finally, good luck.

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