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I cheated on my partner, and I told him

I (f24) cheated on my partner (m26). I was dating my bf for 2+ years at the time. He is the sweetest and most caring, compassionate, sensitive, and understanding person I had ever MET. We never ever argue and had always had great communication. But we were long distance and we would try to meet up every month or two for a week, he was away out of the country for work for months at a time. So not only were we continuously long distance, but we'd also have periods of even longer distance in different countries.

None of that bothered me before. I'd never have eyes for anyone else. I loved my partner so much because of how much love he gave me.

Until I met a guy through another friend that was the polar opposite of my boyfriend. Hanging out with men or women weren't an issue. My partner was not an insecure type and knew I was very social, so he accepted from the beginning that most of my friends were boys from 2nd grade to college with a few sparse but meaningful friendships with girls. Plus, I have a rule to never date friends, so I was never attracted to any (honest).

But this friend through a friend was new and I had wanted to be his friend since we had many similar interests. I had good intentions of course. I wanted to believe I was a good person making the wrong decisions.

We ended becoming super close since we lived in the same city: going on weekend trips out to other cities to visit other friends, camping trips sharing the same tent, he would help me with everything and be there for me. So, we quickly fell in love.

And I - regrettably - cheated on my partner for almost a year(!) with this man. My partner was oblivious because I had so many social outings with pretty much everyone - but this man was a different type of outing.

I went to therapy. Came to terms with myself. Broke it off with the other man - going no contact since the flame is still there. Told my boyfriend (he forgave me, thank God/every good thing in the Universe!) and communicated to my partner my faults and what I needed from him to feel emotionally secure in our relationships (the distance was wearing on me). I wasn't the same person I was when we had first met - I wanted a partner by my side and the only person I could see doing that FOREVER with was my boyfriend.

We decided that since the distance was going to happen still, for the next few years, due to both of our work, we will *open our relationship*. Which is a little unfair because I am super social, and my boyfriend is very introverted, but I would be happy for him to explore his sexuality/ability a little more. I think it would be a good growing period for the both of us, also knowing that at the end of everything we would end up together. We intend to get married one day but are not looking to that any time in the next few years,

DON'T DO WHAT I DID! Do not CHEAT! The amount of shame and regret and untrust in yourself is immense and required a lot of therapy and communication. My partner is somehow insanely (and unhumanly) nice and is a one-off case.

BUT ALSO - DON'T DO WHAT I DID - the other man was the love of my life. Don't pass up on an opportunity of a lifetime. If you feel you are in love with the other man - GO FOR IT. I think about him every day.

It's contradicting. But when I speak of true love: I cite my boyfriend and what we have. But when I speak of what true love feels like: I think about that man. My life will never be the same. The feelings I had felt, the colors I have seen, the feeling of exploding with desire and the breath that had been taken away has changed my life forever. Life will never be the same again.

I know what I did was bad - but I am not a bad person. These things happen. The moral judgement of others will always happen. If you’re in the same situation, forgive yourself, steady your head, and decide the next game plan (communicate with your partner if you're still with them and without - if you've broken up).

Has anyone gone through this before?

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