She Still Cares for Cheating Addict

Q: I have been in an on-and-off relationship with my ex for five years now, due to his addiction. It started with heroin, but now he takes methadone. We were dating for almost a year again when I recently found out he's been with another girl, living at her place, telling her he loves her, etc.

A couple months ago he went to jail for four days, came out, and realized how much I do for him and how much he really does love and care about me. Then he met this girl at the methadone clinic, but he told me she was strictly a friend. But she has told me everything. Finally, he called me on speaker from her place, telling her he loved her and was going to be with her

I don't understand. Did I not do enough? I visited him every week and more. Why would he do this after claiming he could never cheat after being cheated on? Why not just let me down when he found this other girl? I love him, with all the love and care in the world. We had a relationship like no other, a special bond. Did he mean it when he said he loved me? Will he crawl back? Help, please, with more than just telling me to walk away and let it go. I know that, but I just don't know how to at least find closure for myself. — Claire, 25

Dr. Susan: Somehow people have gotten the idea that closure is something you can make happen if you just know the right way. But, in fact, closure, if you get it at all, takes quite a bit of time. All you can do now is let go of this cheat. Then learn all you can about relationships so you'll understand this was his fault, not yours. Then maybe understanding and a little wisdom and some closure will take place.

Your relationship wasn't so different from a million others in which one partner cheats and lies. You're asking if you did enough, and, if so, how could such a terrible thing happen? The hard truth is that love and lust are flighty things. Your guy might not have been lying to you when he said he "loved" you, right before saying he loved HER. He enjoyed keeping you both on a yo-yo string and being physical with both of you. Whether he's at all capable of true intimacy, I doubt. People seldom fall in love or stay in love just because someone was good to them.

He might indeed come crawling back. But he's a terrible bet for a long-term relationship. Do you want to go through this all over again?

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