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Why have I cheated on every boyfriend I've ever had?

Dear Panel,

...I have cheated on every single male I have ever dated. I am, of course increasingly frightened that I won't be able to stop this, ever. I am deeply, deeply tired and gutted at how many people I've hurt because of my inability to remain faithful. I don't want to be like this anymore....

-- TokyoGirl

Female, age 22, Tokyo

[read the entire question below]

Dear Panel,

I am a 22 year old female who is deeply concerned about a personal/ sexual/ relationship problem which I can't seem to resolve. Simply put, the problem is that I have cheated on every single male I have ever dated. I am, of course increasingly frightened that I won't be able to stop this, ever. I am deeply, deeply tired and gutted at how many people I've hurt because of my inability to remain faithful. I don't want to be like this anymore.

Um.. background: I'm sure that the most significant factor is that my father sexually abused me when I was 11 years old. I have, however, worked very hard at overcoming the effects of that time, through a lot of self-analysis, acceptance of the dark parts that exist in people's sexuality and by loving myself enough to become the kind of person I want to be. I slept with my first partner at the age of 15 (my first puppy love) and then no-one until I was 17.

Since then however I've spent 4 years dating guys and cheating on them. At first I used to feel tremendously guilty, and thus would tell them. However after hurting too many lovely, lovely people I don't want to tell my current boyfriend that I have cheated on him.

Tim Is a Wonderful Person

I am going to use a fictitious name: Tim. We've been dating for 9 months. Tim is a wonderful person. (I know, I know – rose coloured glasses). He has a few 'faults' (i.e. things which bother me – such as not learning the local language – we both live & work in Japan at present). However these are only normal issues. Whilst he has a million great qualities about him, I think the key thing is that we get along fantastically (we were friends first).

Some examples (these are important to me and hopefully will make sense to others) We both cackle like geese at the same seemingly inane things. Our backgrounds (children of expatriate parents – raised in various countries, with highly ambitious and argumentative parents) are sufficiently similar for us to understand each others 'quirks'. Most wonderful is that he loves me. He truly, deeply loves me.

BS Reasons To Cheat

I don't know why I do it. When I was younger I used to justify cheating by saying : "well, it was a sexual experience", OR "I believe that you can have a 24-hour connection with someone which won't be there again" (I still believe this). The thing is that as I get older, I realise that these are B.S. reasons to cheat. The reason I'm worried is because I've been aware that I have a problem for almost 14 months now, yet I still can't stop.

Why have I cheated on every boyfriend I've ever had?

– TokyoGirl

Female, age 22, Tokyo

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