My boyfriend cheated on me and it's destroying me inside. I've been with my boyfriend, XXXXX, for a little over a year. About a month ago we were watching tv and he got up to go grab a beer from the kitchen. While he was up his phone went off and I glanced down at it. No, I wasn't trying to snoop, just an FYI. Someone named XXXXX had sent him a dick pic. His phone was locked, so I couldn't see if this was the only message or not, but I was instantly upset. When he came back into the room I asked him what the fuck was going on. He grabbed his phone and said it was just a joke, that it's one of his friends from work and means nothing. I asked why I'd never heard of the guy's name before and he said that he was new and it wasn't a big deal. I told him I wasn't ok with it and then let it go because he denied that it was anything. We never talked about sending or receiving naked pics, but I just assumed that it was something we weren't doing since we're supposed to be monogamous. I didn't bring it up to him again, but I kept thinking about it and it was really bugging me. A few days later, I woke up and he was in the shower. I grabbed his phone and decided to see if he was still talking to this coworker or if he had sent more pics. I found way more than I thought I would. There were tons of messages, this guy wasn't a coworker and there were tons of pics. I was furious and stormed into the bathroom screaming. He was mad at me for going through his phone, but then he admitted he had been seeing the guy behind my back for a couple months. I freaked out, started crying and demanded he stop. He told me that he doesn't know what to do and that he doesn't want to stop. This was two weeks ago and I've been going crazy since. I have a ton of anxiety, I can't sleep or eat, and he still won't make up his mind about who he wants to be with. Sometimes he is late coming home and I know he's probably out with the other guy, but I don't ask. I don't know what to do. I really love him and I want things to work, but I don’t know how much more of this I can take. Please help me figure out what I can do to make him stay.
Just because someone cheats once it doesn't mean the relationship has to end, but you're not talking about once. You're describing lying and a continued relationship when it isn't what you want. I'm going to have to be blunt with you- cut the cord. You're in your early twenties and its only been a year. It's clear this guy either doesn't want the same things as you, or just doesn't care about you enough to stop what he's doing. You said you have a lot of anxiety and can't eat or sleep because of this. Unless he's a total idiot, he must see how this is effecting you, and his decision to not stop or to end things himself just shows how little he must actually care about your wellbeing.
Although you didn't say it explicitly, it sounds like you're living together? Are you able to move out? Do you have friends you can stay with? If you want your anxiety to go down and be able to go back to eating and sleeping regularly, you need to get out of the situation and away from it as soon as possible. I'm not suggesting that the moment you leave the house you're going to feel 100% better, but it's a step in the right direction. You need to take back control over your emotions and one way to do that is to be active decision maker instead of waiting for him to make up his mind. This isn't his choice, it's now yours. Don't listen to him when he says "I don't know what to do." The fact is, he does know what he wants and he just doesn't want to do it. So, the question now is, what do you want? Do you want to wait around with anxiety and hope he picks you and never does this again? And even if he says he will never do it again, can you believe him? Or do you want to take control and move on? You're so young, and this is not going to be the last person to ever care about you. Break ups are rough, but the toughest part is pulling the Band-Aid off to begin with.
Best of luck,