I'm new to the forums and would appreciate any advice/insight! Thank you in advance.
My relationship with my boyfriend began 3 and a half years ago. We were great for the first 3. We were long distance for the second two years and then 3 years in I went to study in Mexico for the semester (this was about 6 months ago).
1 month into it and I couldn't take the long distance..I was putting a lot of pressure on him to make me happy as I unhealthily saw him as the only thing who could because I hated my roommates and had no friends in a strange, foreign country. I expected too much from our skype conversations and put a lot of pressure on him which caused us to argue. Conversations were also going dry quite quickly - we are a very physical couple who, I hate to admit, are a bit mismatched intellectually (or rather we are intelligent in different ways, he is visual and I am a word person..as this essay will demonstrate!!)
This tension on skype as well as my being settled a bit more in the country a month in (I suddenly made lots of friends very quickly) led us to break up and I convinced myself we were fundamentally incompatible. I also broke up with him on the logic that our relationship was always very intense, in each others pockets so to speak, so much so that I couldn't see it functioning if I were to distance myself from him and have a new life abroad with new friends etc, although this is a healthy way to live I now know. I didn't think I could be with him in the way our relationship 'deserved' (with the amount of intensity and time dedicated to one another) and have friends and live my life over there at the same time. This stemmed from my experience in college in the first 2 years I spent my time travelling to see him and made no friends there (so I figured I could either have a social life or a boyfriend but it's not that black and white I know). Retrospectively this was ridiculous and I am very repentant because I do love him very much, he made me happier than those fleeting friendships and new adventures ever did.
This break up period lasted 3 and a half months during which I slept with someone else a couple of times - nothing more than a superficial fling with no emotions attached - and he was going out to clubs with the intention of doing the same but didn't succeed, although he did kiss several girls. About halfway through the semester my love for him that I suppressed in order to 'get on with my new life' resurfaced more and more every day and hit me like a ton of bricks. My life there gradually became empty and surreal; I had forced all these friendships to have a great 'study abroad' experience that was nothing on the happiness I felt when I was at home with him. I began writing emails to him every day that I never ended up sending(this was about a month and a half before I was due to return home); long ones pouring my heart out and extremely repentant for the fling - I considered it cheating on him because I realized I was still in love with him. We had talked awkwardly online a couple of times and I knew he was devastated and incredibly hurt by me. My draft emails addressed this and I told him I didn't expect forgiveness but it would always be the biggest regret of my life leaving him.
I came home for Christmas and we met. I told him about the emails and he wanted me to send him all of them in one go to show him how I felt which made him very emotional. We were both very emotional - I was so sad and felt horrible knowing how much I'd hurt him and I said I deserve to be hurt and abandoned in the same way because he was so wonderful. He said he would give me another chance but we needed to take it slow/not be so intense for a while because his love for me would never go away. I also cancelled my study abroad for the next semester to be close to him - I genuinely did not want to return to a country that had turned my life upside down for the worse and made me a worse person, disregarding his feelings.
We had sex far too soon, I now know..a couple days in after getting back together because he felt very anxious to 'have' me again after somebody else had (we were each others firsts which makes it more complicated..) Christmas was great, I was so happy and I fitted back with him almost too easily. On his end it was more difficult - he loved me but couldn't trust me not to leave him again so didn't want to get too emotionally invested. After Christmas (earlier this month) he went back to college and we were apart again, although within travelling distance.
He was more and more dismissive of me, being sweet and kind one minute then backing off defensively (which I did understand to an extent) but sometimes it just bordered on being cruel to me, such as inviting me to visit and to go to a concert then retracting the invite saying I don't like the band enough so I can't come with him because he wouldn't enjoy it enough with someone who didn't know the music? And we've been to plenty of concerts where I didn't know the band and ended up having fun... He rarely complimented my appearance or me at all whilst I was overcompensating to make up for my transgression, and he was also blatantly rude about my appearance sometimes (like how I am in the morning..before he never would've insulted me) and he was more demanding sexually, telling me things he wants me to do (before in contrast he would never demand anything..I told him recently that I probably went from being 'Virgin' to 'Whore' in his eyes as he was my first.. which made him think he could make me do anything now)
He was never anything but kind and sweet to me before but I know I broke his heart...afterwards I guess it was hard to get used to this new rude side to him. I didn't mind waiting for his head to be in the right place to emotionally commit to me - I would've waited years. Things came to a head on Friday night. We spoke lovingly at 5pm, had a lovely conversation telling each other to be careful on our respective evenings out, said we missed each other (we had calls like this every night in Dec/January where we did also discuss readjusting and our issues etc but they were always in a loving, caring tone on both sides). I texted him at 3am just to see if he was ok. No response until the next morning.
He rang me to say he had slept with someone. Someone completely random in a car park outside some trashy club out of hate and anger for me, is what he said. I broke down hysterical, I couldn't believe I had been living with awful guilt of 'cheating' on him when we were broken up when in reality I played by the rules and was courteous to him. He has completely broken my trust and I feel sick. He came the 4 hour journey to see me after in tears and incredibly repentant but I just feel so embarrassed as all my friends I was with that day know what happened. I feel humiliated and rejected after I gave up a lot for him. Part of me of course blames myself - I drove him to it saying he should hurt me because I felt so guilty for what I did to him. But this shouldn't excuse disgusting drunken cheating with a stranger.
I am in two minds whether to give this another go or are we too broken to proceed?