A note: I have an extra copy of the beautiful book put out by the Museum of Broken Relationships, one of my favorite places. It makes an excellent gift – or a perfect coffee table read. I'm giving my extra copy away. You can enter to win it (before the book is released) here. There are a few Boston-area breakup items that made it into the book.
I have been with my boyfriend for five years. The past three years have been rough because they've been long-distance – he's in the military. I'll save you the boring details of the start of our relationship, but we met in high school.
This year has been our hardest year – three years apart is really hard, and I think it's finally catching up with us. There was a drunken accident really recently (about four months ago) where he went out, got drunk at a bar, and kissed another woman. The saving grace is that he called me the second after it happened, crying about how sorry he was.
I think I have forgiven him, but now every time he calls drunk, I get really uneasy. I knew the trust part of forgiveness was going to take a long time, but I hate feeling this way. Especially since he just told me that he's been thinking about proposing. I really love him, and he's my best friend. But I can't stop feeling conflicted about everything after the kiss happened. I don't really know how to deal with this, as we have been together forever and nothing like this has ever happened.
The trust part of forgiveness does take time. More than four months, maybe. You must be patient as you figure out the how that kiss changed your relationship and what it says about the state of things.
There are no deadlines for this, by the way. Just pay attention to how your feelings evolve.
Also know that marriage must off the table right now. Maybe he's thinking about proposing to prove that he’s all in, and that his indiscretion was meaningless, but that's not a good reason to make a big commitment. You're supposed to think about marriage when you feel confident. That's not where you are right now.
Let your boyfriend know that you can't pretend you have answers right now. Also tell him that before getting married, you'll need to assess your relationship without the distance. You need to know what life is like when he's with you (as opposed to calling you drunk from a bar). Even if that's years away, you'll have to wait.
Readers? Can they make big decisions while doing long-distance?