DEAR DEIDRE: AFTER cheating on my lovely boyfriend with a stranger, I despair at myself.
Two weeks ago, I met this younger guy in a bar. I was there with a group of friends but we managed to sneak off to have sex in his car without anyone noticing.
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I wish I could say I’ll never do anything like that again but it wasn’t a one-off.
’ve had sex with random men throughout my two-year relationship.
I’m 36 and my boyfriend is 37.
I was raped when I was 13 and since then I have repeatedly let guys take advantage of me.
I was married for 11 years to a man who cheated on me.
He didn’t love me and didn’t care that I slept around.
Then, two years ago, I met my boyfriend and finally realised what love is.
He is the first man to treat me well. He is such a gentleman.
He doesn’t force himself on me and has never hit me.
He is the best thing that has ever happened to me but I risk losing him.
When I’ve cheated, I tell him over and over that it was just sex and no feelings were involved.
I know deep down my head is messed up and it makes me think I have to reach out to other guys because I have been abused so much in my past.
I guess I don’t take my boyfriend seriously because I have given my all in previous relationships, only for them to fail.
But my boyfriend is different. He means all the lovely things he says to me. I don’t deserve his kindness.
I know he is one of a kind and I don’t want to lose him.
I want to make him happy and treat him like a king.
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But then I get with other men because I feel I’ve got to keep other guys on the back-burner in case me and my boyfriend don’t work out and I’ll have someone to turn to.
My boyfriend is now talking to other girls and I only have myself to blame.
He says he’s just flirting and doesn’t sleep with them, so he’s not doing anything wrong.
But I worry he’ll fall for one of them. Is it too late to make things right?
DEIDRE SAYS: I am so sorry you were raped as a youngster. But as you know, having sex with random men is risky and dangerous.
You are giving out signals to them that you don’t expect to be treated with respect. But you can get help to break this pattern.
My e-leaflet Can’t Be Faithful? will help you understand and change your behaviour.
Contact Rape Crisis for understanding support (rapecrisis.org.uk 0808 802 9999).
Tell your boyfriend you love him, you plan to be faithful in future and want him to commit to that too.
If you struggle to avoid cheating when you are out, change your social life.
Don’t drink, avoid bars and find other ways to enjoy your leisure.
Try volunteering. It can help raise your self-esteem and help you realise the struggles other people are facing in life.
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