Q: I was with my boyfriend for about three years. I thought I was a great partner; I supported him when he was down — financially and emotionally — and I thought we were happy. Then I found out he was cheating with a neighbor, and this was the fifth time he had been unfaithful! I threw him out of my house.
We've been apart for six months, and he swears he will change. Now he’s crying for me to give him another chance, and when I ask who else he's seeing, he swears on his life there's no one else. But then I get into his phone records, and I find he's texting four other women. Again, he cries, begs, and tells me he needs someone to pay attention to him, since I am not there anymore. He says he can't stand life without me, and he'll do whatever it takes to get me back.
He's proven over and over that he cannot be with one woman. I offered him an open relationship and he was offended. Dare I even consider that this guy learned his lesson and is now finally ready to be honest with me and have his first grown-up relationship at 42? Yes, he's 42! Please, please help me.
— One More Chance?
Dear One More Chance (no question mark!),
Dude got caught cheating, and now he says "he will change." "Will" is the operative word here. If he hasn’t yet, why should he now? Yet you are "daring" to "even consider that this guy learned his lesson and can be honest" now and is "finally ready to have his first grown-up relationship." Honey, you're living on Uranus! What would make the dude suddenly ready — at 42?
Face the facts: He admits that "he needs someone to pay attention to him." Translation: You'll have to breast-feed the infant 24/7 so he constantly feels nurtured. IS THIS REALLY OK WITH YOU? As you’ve considered an “open relationship,” and now a reunion, I’m afraid you're the one who needs to grow up!
— Dr. Gilda
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***About: Dr. Gilda Carle is the media’s Go-To Relationship and Lifestyle Expert, serving private clients worldwide at www.DrGilda.com. She has conducted Relationship Wellness training for Columbia University Medical Center, and hosts TBN TV shows. As President of Country Cures® at www.CountryCures.org, she uniquely applies Country Music to train Homeless Female Veterans in Civilian Success Skills. She has served as product spokesperson for Hallmark, Harlequin, Sprint, Cottonelle, Galderma Pharmaceuticals, Match.com, etc. She is a keynote motivational speaker, Management Consultant, Professor Emerita, and author of 17 books, including “Don’t Bet on the Prince!” (test question on “Jeopardy”) and “How to WIN When Your Mate Cheats” (literary award winner from London Book Festival). She wrote the weekly “30-Second Therapist” column for the Today Show, the “Ask Dr. Gilda” column for Match.com, and she was the therapist in HBO’s Emmy Award winner, “Telling Nicholas,” featured on Oprah. She hosted MTV Online’s “Love Doc,” and was the TV host for Fox’s “Dr. Gilda” show.