My Fiancé Cheated, But We Are Getting Married Next Month—What Should I Do?

Dear Newsweek, I have been cheated on. I found out in August 2021 that my boyfriend whom I had lived with for several years had cheated on me. The other woman's best friend told me. I confronted my boyfriend, and he admitted it but also said that he wanted to make it work.

We started therapy and decided that if we got through the cheating situation, we would get married. Two months after we started therapy, the other woman messaged me and mentioned our therapy visits, which could only mean he was still talking to her. She begged me to let him go so they could be together. I confronted him again and he reassured me it was over. However, the woman kept messaging me and calling me.

In December 2021, I felt again that something was wrong. I caught him on the phone in what I believed were some suspicious phone calls. Then I caught him hiding on the phone talking to the same woman. Then things fell apart between them and it ended after that. I was mad and hurt, as was the other woman.

We are still together. We talk about it regularly and have an agreement that I can check his phone whenever I want. I still have a feeling he is cheating, but with someone else. He swears he is not, but we are getting married next month.

Beverly, Unknown

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Cheating man
Serial cheating. Stock image. A woman has written in to Newsweek to ask for advice as she believes that her fiancé is cheating on her again. fizkes/Getty Images

Once a Cheater, Always a Cheater

Holly Davis is an attorney of Austin, Texas-based Kirker Davis LLP who has extensive experience in high-net-worth divorce cases.

This person is cheating on you, was cheating on you, and will continue cheating on you after marriage. There have been literally no consequences for a person like your fiancé to stop his cheating ways, and so their behavior will continue. The passage of time with no cheating is a factor to consider when trying to take someone back after they have cheated on you, but so far it does not appear like this fiancé has had many consecutive weeks under his belt of no cheating, or at least enough to justify getting married to this person.

Often, people hire me to handle their divorces if they were a cheater, and they acknowledge that they knew they shouldn't have gotten married, but they just did not know how to tell the person that they "should have loved" that they were not in fact in love with their spouse enough to stop seeking love elsewhere, and that is not a person to get married to.

It would seem he doesn't love you enough to remember you when he's having sex with someone else, and he doesn't love you enough to stop cheating after therapy, so the odds are just not in your favor.

Getting married is harder on relationships, not easier. Everyone has to continue working constantly throughout the marriage to make it work. When one or both people quit working on the relationship, it usually ends in divorce, and having sex with other people is the definition of "not working on the relationship." Bringing children into this dysfunctional relationship will not fix it, it will only complicate it. A person who does not love you enough in the beginning of the relationship or marriage will definitely not be able to find the love and empathy to fight for the marriage when things get hard.

If you do get married to him, make it worth your while financially through a premarital agreement. Throw some cheating taxes in there to put his money where his mouth is. Give him nothing of yours because the odds are high that this will end in divorce, and if you saw it coming beforehand enough to write it on the internet, you can see it coming enough to protect your assets from his cheating ways.

A Relationship With Infidelity Causes Low Self-Esteem, Depression and Abandonment Issues

Dr. Jeannelle Perkins-Muhammad is a psychotherapist and licensed marriage and family therapist with more than 15 years' experience in relationship and life coaching.

Anyone experiencing the treatment you have described in your relationship here needs to seek counseling immediately. A relationship riddled with infidelity brings about anxiety and depression and exposes low self-esteem and abandonment concerns.

I would suggest you need to have a think, or seek help, to understand why you feel it's acceptable to be in a relationship, and soon a marriage, with a man you know has cheated on you, and who you suspect to still be cheating on you with another woman. Paranoid, although justifiable, actions like checking his cell phone will not stop a cheater from cheating. There is a lack of trust here, with no reciprocity of loyalty and commitment in this relationship.

A marriage should allow both partners to grow and flourish without the constant threat of emotional, sexual or physical abandonment. You deserve commitment and reciprocity of affirming love and belonging. Without it, this relationship will not work. Regardless of the decision to marry or not, you will need help setting boundaries and assessing your attachment style and behavioral patterns, which is where counseling comes in.

The foundational component of marriage is trust, and you deserve to be loved, appreciated, adored, and thrive in peace.