I am sorry. Learning that he's broken trust with K and then the women he filmed without their knowledge and you... that's a blow.
I guess I'm just incredibly confused since I can't seem to reconcile the absolutely repugnant person who did that and the person I fell in love with.
When faced with mixed messages? Words say one thing and actions another? I go with actions. Anyone can be a smooth talker who lies. How they behave is how they behave. You either did/did not do a behavior. What you SAY about what you did/did not do -- that doesn't have to be real. Best if talk and walk line up, but if not? Believe their walk.
And really, why cheat when you know your gf wants to be poly ?
Because he's not able to be honest?
Or because he enjoyed the "thrill" of "getting away with something?"
Was the person I knew just a facade?
you had of that person was wrong. The person was still him -- a smoothie talkin' trust breaker. The veil has been lifted.
How do I begin to forgive him? I know I'll never think of him in the same way I used to and that makes me so incredibly sad.
To forgive? That's a decision in your brain. Mental health bucket. Could postpone making that decision a bit.
Could get STD screenings to take care of your physical health. That's seems more immediate.
Could give it some time and air out to trusted people to vent the feelings and take care of your emotional health. Could not talk to him. It JUST happened.
Could do whatever it is you do to restore spiritual health. You took a ding there -- yoga, meditate, journal, play/listen to music, attend your tradition's worship (if you have one), nature walks -- whatever it is that feeds your soul? Now's the time to be doing some of that.
One you have those in a better space? THEN could deal with mental health -- from a cooler head. Then could make the decision to forgive him. It is a choice you make. "I've decided to forgive ___. So I can move on with my life and leave this behind."
I do not mean welcome him back into your life, date him again, or allow him a chance to make amends. All those things could happen after forgiveness in some cases. But they don't come AUTOMATICALLY as part of the "forgiveness package" to me. Choosing to allow person to make amends and to reconcile the relationship? That part is separate from "decided to forgive" to me and entirely optional. That's part of the "Reconcile package." And some relationships I don't want to reconcile because severing ties serves me better.
I mean decide to forgive to ease your own
mental health burden. To not give him more brain space than he deserves. Let it GO so you do not carry anger, sadness, resentment (and anything else this triggered) around as a new mental burden "gift" he's brought you. Some gifts you can trash. You don't have to carry around his baggage for him. You don't even have to tell him you forgave him. He can deal with his own discomfort in his mental health.
as I told him, there are a few transgressions that are simply unforgivable. Cheating being at the top of the list for me.
He crossed a line then -- with you, with K, etc.
We are free to choose. We are not free from the consequences
of our choices. This is what he chose. He can own the consequences.
If this is a hard limit for you -- keep it as such. Don't get sucked back in with smoothie talk and insincere apologies where he's just sorry he got caught if he tries any of that.
Focus on taking care of YOU.
Hang in there.