Can I get past his sexts (to other women)?

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I met a wonderful man at the start of quarantine. We spent a lot of time together getting to know each other and building slowly. We were both developing feelings for one another; we both agreed we were seeking a relationship but didn't have any conversations about being exclusive. However, I made it clear that I wasn't interested in anyone else, that I don't own him, but that I wouldn't be happy if he was interested in others. He met my children casually a few times in April and May. In mid-May he asked me to take a trip with him – something I’d consider a next step in this relationship. We booked our flights two days later.

During this trip (early June), I looked at his texts and found sexts to two different women, the same day we booked our trip. Not just sexts, but actual plans to meet up for sex that never seemed to pan out. I confronted him on the trip. He admitted it, apologized for being a jerk, and professed his feelings for me. That he loves me and only wants me. That he never intended to sleep with those women and wasn't sure exactly why he was doing it, but that it was more for entertainment purposes, even though he has slept with both of them in the past. I ended up leaving him and coming home because the trip was null and void in my mind, and admitted that I never should have looked at his phone. Although I'm glad I did.

I asked him if or when he planned to tell me about these women and he said he planned to ask me to be exclusive that evening at a dinner we planned, and was going to tell me about them then. I didn’t believe that and have a really hard time trusting him. The sexting stopped once our trip was booked, and after I confronted him, he blocked them from his contacts and social media to reassure me. It angers me he was so careless about us and my feelings and met my children all in one breath, while sexting others. Since this, he’s asked for another chance and has been wonderful with getting us back on track, including with my kids. Meredith, I can’t seem to get over what happened even though he’s really stepped up to the plate since we got back from the trip about a month ago. My friends who know me well said I could never trust him again and to end it. He's made it clear he wants me in his life. I want him in mine and I do love him.

Can we get past this? He says yes, but part of me is still unsure. I think about it every day and still get upset.

– Upset

"I asked him if or when he planned to tell me about these women and he said he planned to ask me to be exclusive that evening at a dinner we planned, and was going to tell me about them then."

This is what gets me.

All of his apologies and excuses involve explanations that don't seem true at all. How convenient that he was going to ask you to be exclusive that night! How interesting that he said he had no real plans to see these women, even though he was actively pursing their time - both of them! It sounds like the two of you weren't 100 percent exclusive when the trip was booked, but there’s something about his answers that don’t really get to the heart of how he feels.

It sounds like he was telling you what he thought you'd want to hear, as opposed to the truth, which might have been something more like, "I sensed we were getting serious. I freaked out and wanted to see others while I could." I mean, that's not a great response, but at least it starts a more genuine conversation. I think you'd feel better about this whole thing if you believed he'd choose the truth over whatever sounds most pleasant.

I can't tell you whether to forgive him or if he'll disappoint you again. All I can say is that at the very least, you need to ask more questions and explain why this doesn't sit right with you. Maybe if the conversation is about a conflict that's a month old – and if it's less about accusations and defensiveness – you'll get more information.

If you can't get over it, that's OK. It's only been about four months. I'm not convinced you're at "in love" quite yet.

- Meredith

Readers? Sexts to other women during a new almost-exclusive romance? Could you get over it?