Dear Dr Victoria... I am desperate for some advice. My fiancé of five years sent the following text message to a girl he knew for five hours: 'I'm going to tell my girlfriend that I have met someone wonderful who I'd like to get to know better. Will you go out with me? I'm not asking you to marry me as yet'.
I'm totally devastated he was my whole world. Should I give him a second chance?
Dr Victoria says... It really depends on the situation as it stands now. Presumably you love him and you want to be with him but you're understandably hurt by what has happened. You probably want to forgive him but you're questioning how he feels about you now, whether anything like this has happened before and whether he'll be able to stay faithful to you if you do get married.
Have you confronted him about the text? It could be argued that you shouldn't have been looking at his phone in the first place, but perhaps you had reason to be suspicious at the time and it's done now anyway. Whatever led up to it, you definitely need to come clean with him and have an open and honest discussion with him, even if you end up finishing the relationship.
If he is apologizing and desperate for a second chance with you then you've got some serious thinking and discussing to do. Only you can decide what's right for you. Many people would say walk away. But real life isn't quite like that. He's someone you've spent years of your life with and walking away if he's truly sorry is easier said than done.
When it comes down to it, I think many people would forgive an infidelity in a long-term relationship if it was a one night stand or if the affair was definitely over. What's harder to forgive is the fact that he may have been confused about his feelings for you and that he may be having big doubts about the relationship.
Open communication is the key here. You now need to be totally honest with each other about what you're dissatisfied about with the relationship as well as what you love about each other. No matter what he says, there's always a possibility that either of you could be unfaithful in the future. Being aware of this possibility and always being honest about the relationship, even if it means telling each other things the other person doesn't want to hear can go some way to preventing feelings of boredom or frustration and keep you both working towards a satisfying relationship.
If he's still unsure, doesn't know if he can make a commitment to you or doesn't feel able to communicate with you honestly then you probably have your answer about whether he's the one for you or not.
Dr. Victoria Lukats is a psychiatrist, agony
aunt and dating and relationship expert. As well as working as a
relationship specialist for Parship, Europe's largest
compatibility-based online dating service (www.parship.co.uk), Dr.
Lukatis is a Specialist Registrar in Psychiatry at Sussex Partnership
NHS Trust in Brighton, UK.