My girlfriend and I are both twenty-seven years old. A few days ago she confessed that on three occasions she kissed a guy who works where she does…. I am devastated because all of this time we have promised to be faithful to each other as if we were married…. She is sorry. She says it was a mistake… that she doesn’t know why she did it, and that she has settled things with the guy so that I won’t feel badly and I will be able to trust her again….

I can’t eat and I can’t sleep…. She says that she’s going to show me that she has changed, and will let me know everything she does and all of her conversations. What should I do? Should I continue with her and trust her again, or break up with her? I love her and would like for her to be my wife, but this has broken my heart.

Dear Friend,

We are very sorry to hear about your distress. You say that you can’t eat or sleep, but we wonder whether that is because of your indecision about what to do next, or because of the grief you feel for the potential end of the relationship.

You say that you promised faithfulness to each other. Those promises are most important for answering the questions that you ask us. If you made your promise to be faithful “as if you were married,” then it is understandable that you feel like a betrayed husband. That is much more serious than if the promises had not been made. If you are certain that your girlfriend promised to be faithful to you and that she understood her promise to mean the same as your promise to her, then you definitely have cause to reconsider the relationship.

It is troubling to hear that your girlfriend says that she doesn’t know why she kissed the other guy. While it is common for children not to know why they do something, adults who say they have no reasons for their actions may be immature and blind to their own motivations and character flaws. She may very well know why, but won’t say (maybe because she’s afraid of your reaction), or she’s subconsciously sabotaging your relationship because she’s afraid of making a lifetime commitment.

Whatever the reasons, this situation is a warning that you should not progress to the next level of your relationship until more time has passed. It might be best if you tell her that you still love her, but under the circumstances you are withdrawing your promise to be faithful to her. You can tell her that you will no longer take for granted that you will marry her some day. Explain that both of you need more time to explore your feelings about what happened and your readiness for a lifetime commitment. After that difficult conversation, we recommend that you continue seeing her if you want to, or stop seeing her for a while if that feels better. Either way, it would be a mistake to proceed as if this situation never happened.

Our Heavenly Father understands when we are in emotional anguish. Can you even imagine the emotional anguish He experienced when He watched His Son Jesus Christ suffer on the cross for our sins? Ask Him to help you recover from your grief. You need His help and wisdom.

We wish you the best,