Dear Miss Emily:

My boyfriend of ten years and I have halted, and he said it is me and my accusatory ways of his cheating, and my jealousy of every woman he speaks to.  He cheated on me 6 years ago, and I have never really gotten over it.  Now he said he has things he has to work on himself, and that I won’t understand.  He needs me to leave him alone so he can have time to miss/love me if that is possible.  I dont understand, and I am so confused, and hurt.  How is it possible for him to love me, then not, and tell me he can make no promises?  I am heartbroken.
Heart Like A Wheel

----------------------Miss Emily’s advice---------------------

Dear Heart:

Once a partner cheats, it’s a long road back to trust – if it’s even possible. Have you entertained the idea that there might be someone else in the equation now?  That he’s met someone and is leaving so that he can pursue this woman without having to cheat?  I am not a big advocate of hounding someone once they have cheated – to never let them forget it.  It gets old, fast and, in their mind, you’ve given them a excuse for cheating  “She’s a bitch and insecure.  No wonder I strayed into the alley!”  Love is an emotion.  It can be maintained -- grow stronger, or fade away. You are going to have to let him go on this journey and, meanwhile, hang on to your dignity.  If you beg and scream that he should love you, you’ll look foolish and it’s degrading.  Nothing’s worse than the expression on someone’s face who thinks you have sunk to pond scum.  A better tactic would be to look him straight in the eyes and tell him, “I love you, but if going off to find yourself is what you have to do, go ahead.  I can’t promise I will be here if you want to return.”  And you know what?  You shouldn’t be in a position to wait for him the way a dog does with its owner.  It’s possible that your relationship with this man has run its course.  I am so sorry for you, but you cannot ruin your life over this.  The healing is not easy but, if you believe in yourself, there is life after this man.