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I cheated on my girlfriend twice and the guilt is killing me inside – how can I save my relationship?

DEAR DEIDRE:  I CHEATED on my girlfriend the last night the pubs were open.

It’s the second time I’ve done it and the guilt is killing me.


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I am a 28-year-old guy. My partner is 25 and we’ve been together for two years.

It was a long-distance relationship until about six months ago.

A year ago I cheated on her for the first time with a mutual friend’s ex. I was lonely and in town alone one night, feeling really sorry for myself before I bumped into this other girl.

We got chatting and had a good catch-up and we ended up sleeping together.

I thought no more about it, but my girlfriend found out when she got suspicious and checked the messages on my phone.

Lying to her only made things worse and we had a huge row but, thankfully, she took me back.

When the first lockdown arrived I moved to be with her, though it’s a three-hour drive from my family and friends.

I started a new job and we got a flat together, but things didn’t turn out the way I had hoped. I hate my work and I miss everyone terribly. Having to be here has made me resent her.

We agreed to go out together the last evening the pubs were open before lockdown. My girlfriend started complaining of a headache as it was very noisy.

I suggested we both go home but she insisted I stayed out to enjoy the last of the fun and I got talking to another woman.

Stupidly, I agreed to go back to her flat. We started to have sex but I soon stopped, as I knew I was making a massive mistake.

I have just told my girlfriend all of this and now I don’t know what to do. How do I save my relationship?

And how do I reassure her it’s not because of her, but because I’m so unhappy here?

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DEIDRE SAYS: Explain it all to her as you have explained it to me. It does not excuse you cheating but she may be reassured to hear you are not blaming it on a fault in her.

These are difficult times to be uprooting and starting over.

Yes, you and your partner are together. But so much else of normal life is unavailable, and it could be you are blaming low spirits on the move, when you might have felt pretty miserable back in your home area.

Ask for her forgiveness and commit to making this new life work.

Put fresh energy into your relationship and research some activities that you can get into in the area when restrictions lift. This will help you make new friends.

Best to stick at this new job until you have been in it a year so it looks better on your CV.

You can try to change jobs then if you are still unhappy.

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