Home Abuse Is Relationship Cheating Wrong?

Is Relationship Cheating Wrong?

by Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

From the U.S.: I’m a 12th grader in high school, and I’m having a relationship issue. I suffer from depression, with some symptoms of psychosis present. Furthermore, while I do not have an official diagnosis, it is generally believed by family and my school that I have aspergers. My teachers and counselor have been pressuring my parents for some time to seek a doctor, we don’t have the funds.

Since ninth grade, I’ve been dating a sociopath. I didn’t know he was a sociopath at first… I wasn’t into relationships, but he insisted I try it, so I agreed. He presented me with gifts nearly every day, and I rather enjoyed the attention and the fact that he “seemed” to understand me more than even my own family. I wasn’t very affectionate, I don’t like being touched, it took nearly a year for me to kiss him.

In 11th grade, he cheated on me, when I found out, he practically begged for my forgiveness, and he seemed so apologetic that I let him back in. He later told me that he was a sociopath, and that he was seeing a doctor. I didn’t know any better so I paid no mind. I grew increasingly dependent upon him. A month back he suddenly broke up with me. I blamed myself, I always resisted sex or affection despite caring for him, but I soon came to discover I simply couldn’t “function” without him. I depended on him, and I’m not even sure why, but I “needed” him. Still, I kept to myself and watched as he frolicked with his new girl.

A few days ago, he caught me alone in the hall, and managed to pin me against the wall where he began kissing me. I didn’t resist because I felt I “needed” him, and because he was far too strong, and I knew him to be aggressive if I didn’t do as he desired. He informed me that we would be getting back together and he would cheat on the other girl. I have no empathy for her…but it doesn’t seem right. I feel trapped, and confused, and I don’t understand…is this wrong? What can I do? I have to do what he says because he might lash out if I don’t, and because I need him, but I don’t want to be a bad person.

Run, don’t walk, away from this relationship. Yes, it’s wrong. It was wrong of him to cheat on you and it’s wrong for you to participate in his cheating on another young woman. This young man has told you he is a sociopath. I don’t know if that is entirely true, but it is true that he is acting like a potential abuser. He makes you dependent, abandons you, begs forgiveness, then forces you — with the threat of violence just barely under the surface. Yikes! Get away.

You are not a “bad” person. You have been manipulated and psychologically abused. You do need to see a therapist to help you sort out your feelings and to get over the dependency. Don’t let a lack of funds stand in the way. If there is a counselor at school, ask to see her or him. If that person can’t do some counseling with you, ask for information about free or low cost counseling for teens in your area. Many communities have such services. If your parents have any kind of health insurance, they should explore whether it will pay for some help for you.

I’m so sorry that your first experience with love and relationships has been such a bad one. I hope you will get the help you need so that you can move on and find someone who will love you and cherish you as you deserve.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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