My boyfriend and I have been together for about four months. When we first got together and were beginning to get to know each other, I asked him if he'd ever cheated on anyone, and he admitted that he cheated on his ex girlfriend of 10 years. The woman he cheated with is someone he communicates with on a semi-regular basis and considers to be one of his closest friends.
Since learning about his history with this woman, I've asked him a few questions about the circumstances that led him to cheat with her, and what has changed in their relationship since then. I've asked him what he's learned, whether he's remorseful, if there something that he needed in his past relationship that he wasn't getting, etc. When answering these questions, he says he doesn't know. As a matter of fact, I've asked him about this particular subject twice, and on both occasions he became very defensive and irritable and actually cursed in a hostile way in our conversation. I just don't know how to move forward from here.
– I Don't Know
He might not know the answers to some of your questions. Or maybe he doesn't have any you'd like.
He doesn't owe you an apologetic, pleading speech where he tells you he's full of remorse and that he'll never do this to you. But ... he could do a better job telling you how he feels now. He could give you a simple answer like, "I've changed a lot since then, and it's not something I think about much anymore." At the very least, he could acknowledge why his history with his friend might make you uneasy. If he went straight to hostile cursing, that's not great.
Of course, if he tried to come up with an answer and it didn't satisfy you, that's something else. Did he shut you down immediately? Did he have questions for you?
You didn't mention the good stuff about the relationship, and there's nothing in your letter about how this man communicates about other issues. If this failure to communicate is a pattern, that's your answer. If the hostility was too much, go with your gut. If you want more information, think about how you've been able to talk about everything else.
Readers? Is the problem the cheat or the failure to communicate?