Is His New Relationship a Rebound?

Kara Pound Kara Pound • 9/25/14

Reader Question:

About six months ago, I ended a nine-year relationship. My boyfriend cheated on me with my best friend, but I forgave him and not her. We stayed in the relationship for another four years, until the resentment filled the entire relationship due to his cheating. I could no longer love this man. He treated me as an afterthought throughout this period.

When we broke up, he immediately started dating a much younger gal. They were together for a few months. In recent weeks, he has been spotted around town with another one of my friends. However, she is not a close friend but a friend indeed. My question to you is : Is this the rebound relationship I’ve read about, or would the first gal be the rebound? The new gal lives in town, and she herself just left a eight-year relationship. She is a few years older than he, and I can’t figure this out.

He has dated two women now, and I’m just not ready to date someone new. I loved him so very much but could not forgive him. He has issues with being alone and likes being in a relationship. I think he needed to spend some time alone and figure out what happened to us. Am I being unrealistic? Has he moved on for good? I still care about him, and I worry about him as well. I need answers for my own peace of mind. Anyone with experience with rebounds or long-term relationships and breakups please help me.

-Camille C. (Louisiana)

Expert’s Advice:

Dear Camille,

You say that after nine years, resentment filled the relationship and you could no longer love him. But you admit that you still care and worry about him. After nine years together, this is understandable. Instead of analyzing which of his latest female flings is a rebound relationship, it’s better exerting energy to take care of yourself.

There are a lot of issues you need to deal with. For example, why did you stay with this guy after he cheated on you? You say that you forgave him (and not your best friend), but it sounds like you couldn’t forget. Forgiving and forgetting are two very different things – forgiveness is empty if you can’t forget.

I know that you really want answers. Unfortunately, no relationship is black and white. Your ex probably doesn’t know how to deal with a breakup after nine years and is looking for instant gratification to ease the pain. On the other hand, he’s no longer your responsibility to worry about.

You say that you think he needs time spent alone to deal with everything that’s happened. It sounds like you also need some alone time where you focus 100 percent of your energy on yourself and not him. My advice is that you plan a fun girls weekend or take up a new hobby you always said you didn’t have time for.

It’s near impossible to move on from a relationship until you fix the things about yourself that you didn’t like while you were in that relationship. Do whatever you have to do – defriend him on Facebook, stop driving by his house, tell all of your friends that you don’t want to hear any gossip – and take care of you!

Good luck!