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Can a cheat ever be trusted?

Tagged as: Cheating, Faded love, Marriage problems<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (10 August 2010) 12 Answers - (Newest, 12 August 2010)
A male United Kingdom age 36-40, *loverfield writes:

I suspect I’m setting myself up for something of a beating here, but such is life....

To sum up the situation, some time over the next couple of months I will be leaving my wife. There are numerous good reasons for this, her lack of support, and her continuously undermining behaviour (over the 16yrs we've been together), and many, many others. However, don’t get me wrong, she is an amazing, brilliant, and beautiful person. We're just not compatible… regardless of how hard we both try (I recognise the ridiculousness of what I just wrote).

The problem is, I’ve basically been having an affair over the last 4 yrs. My wife and I split-up 4yrs ago for about 6mths, and I fell in love with ‘L’. Circumstances, however, went against us, and eventually me and my wife decided to give it another go, even though I knew I was doing it for the wrong reasons. Now, for some reason ‘L’ despite being heartbroken, didn’t hate me. After a while we met up to discuss what had gone wrong, and things progressed, little by little, from there. Now, I do love this girl, I’ve never felt anything even close to what I feel for her, she’s utterly challenged my world in every way since I’ve known her….. but I don’t think we can be together. Before I met ‘L’ I’d never even contemplated cheating on anyone. My dad was a substance abuser, who gambled and cheated on my mum, and my main motivation in life was to not turn out like him….. but I have. Now I’m convinced that if me and ‘L’ do try, that we would be doomed to fail anyway. How could she ever trust me? I’ve managed to keep her a secret for 4yrs, I’ve lied, successfully, and betrayed my wife in the worst way. I remember telling ‘L’ when we first met that the men of my family were poison , and as it turns out, I was right. Should I just let her go, for her own good? Can a cheat ever be trusted? I’m sorry for the rambling non-question, but I appreciate any comments anyone would like to make.

View related questions: affair, fell in love, heartbroken

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A male reader, Cloverfield United Kingdom +, writes (12 August 2010):

Cloverfield is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Cloverfield agony aunt"i can understand that ur confidence is shattered but uve also ruined both of these women's lives. so make sure ur committed and be sure wen u take the next step.. try to take a step that hurts everyone in the least way possible."

Many thanks for this comment. Sometimes it takes an outside voice to bring clarity to a situation.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (11 August 2010):

People cheat as long as they search. But once they find what they seek, they usually stop. It is this nature of "searching" selfishly that makes cheating bad, because it disregards the feelings of others. But searching for what makes us happy is not bad at all. It is good. Ultimately, and this will sound strange, but in a way cheating is good because it forces those that seek to find a way, and those that have found what they seek, absolution. The real question is why do we seek, and is it reasonable to do so all the time?

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (11 August 2010):

"There are numerous good reasons for this, her lack of support, and her continuously undermining behaviour (over the 16yrs we've been together), and many, many others. However, don’t get me wrong, she is an amazing, brilliant, and beautiful person. We're just not compatible… ........."

"The problem is, I’ve basically been having an affair over the last 4 yrs."

just read the above. full of inconsistencies. you berate your wife and then admit you have a mistress.

no wonder you have problems in your marriage.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (11 August 2010):

you're asking us if you will cheat on her? you want us to tell you ull not cheat and encourage you to do the right thing?

you're asking us to tell you if u can be trusted?

i think u know the answer.. and the question is are you ready to make that commitment.. to promise not to cheat on your partner again.

i can understand that ur confidence is shattered but uve also ruined both of these women's lives. so make sure ur committed and be sure wen u take the next step.. try to take a step that hurts everyone in the least way possible.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (11 August 2010):

my father was a cheater and although both my brothers tried to be different they are not. in fact i recently told my brother he is a bigger bastard than his father! the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. both L and your wife are victims of your cheating. i think in your heart of hearts you know that your relationship with L is doomed. i think both L and your wife ( your wife especially ) are better off without you. i do not have any respect fro mistresses and L is no exception. she knew you were married and giving your marriage a chance yet she took another womans husband. i will forwarn you, life is a bitch and Karma will catch up with you. you have messed around on your wife for 4 years and you are used to the forbidden with L. if you both tried to maintain a "normal" relationhip it will not work. mistresses almost never transend into a "wife mode" as for cheating husbands they almost never turn into faithful men just because they leave their wives for their lovers. if you are thinking you will be different ,think again. my mother only found true peace and happiness only when my father died. what a waste of her life! think about what i am saying. you need to have the moral convictions to tell your wife that another woman is involved and that you ar leaving her for the lover. do not let her blame herself and beat herslef up because you are divorcing her. allow her the opportunity to live her life without you but be decent and learn to speak the truth.

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A female reader, Gabrielle Stoker United States + , writes (11 August 2010):

Gabrielle Stoker agony auntAny advice I give is only based on what you've told me, so it's possible that a lackof knowledge may bias my judgement, but it seems to me that you're being unduly defeatist.

I'm not going to comment on your cheating. Yes, cheating is wrong and you should not have done it, but that does not mean that you will neccessarily do it again. What's that disclaimer that financial companies always put out for new funds? "Past performance is not to be considered an indicator of future returns" or something like that?

If L is the woman you love, and you and she both strongly feel that you can make it work, why not give it a shot AFTER you are divorced? After all, whether to be with you or not should be a decision she has to take.

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A male reader, Cloverfield United Kingdom +, writes (11 August 2010):

Cloverfield is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Cloverfield agony auntMany thanks for your answers.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (11 August 2010):

Sad. Both these women are screwed either way. If you are already doubting what role L will have in your life - and yet you've never felt this way - then I can pretty much say that you will cheat again. As the first answerer said as well, I think it's a bit too neat that you blame your family. A choice is a choice is a choice. And marriage is so much more beautiful than just lust and sex; sex is bonus and a way to express the closeness you already have with the other person. Stop what you're doing, take some time off after your divorce and get to know YOURSELF.

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A female reader, Practical  +, writes (11 August 2010):

Practical agony aunt

Yes.. your lover went willingly into the relationship .. IF she has any doubts she would NEVER go on with the relationship after you leave your wife ..

if u really love this girl .. do what u believe is right .. if cheating is something "u do" whether with L or someone else.. then no, u won't trusted.. if it was one time with one woman that u really think is right for you and is "the one" then go ahead ..

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A female reader, Lotsalove. United States +, writes (10 August 2010):

Lotsalove. agony aunt'If he cheats with you, he'll cheat on you'

I always go with this theory. You've cheated on your wife, If you and 'L' got together, why wouldn't you cheat on her when times got rough?

Firstly It sounds like you've already left your wife, maybe not physically, but definetely emotionally. 4 Years is a long time, you can't love your wife that much. Plus you went above and beyond to lay out her bad points before her good, so your mind is set. Secondly, you dont have a future with 'L' either. When people leave their partners and evolve their affairs into a relationship, it cant really be serious and strong, because like i said above, you've cheated with them, why wouldn't you cheat on them?

My advice is to go ahead with your first instinct of leaving your wife, you already sound like your heading there anyway. And to cut off the fling with 'L'. Find someone brand new. That way you havent cheated with or on them, and they aren't part of this triangle.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (10 August 2010):

My response is: Love is a choice not a feeling. The affair is empowering your (genetic ego). You eventually probably go through the same thing with "L" not because it's your destiny...but because those feelings are unique and virtually non-existent in a marriage...because marriage is about more than feelings. It's about faith, commitment, joy, trust, friendship. All by themselves these things seem boring but when you CHOOSE to love your wife and do the right thing, I think you will experience the intensity you are longing for. Good Luck!!!!!

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A female reader, aphexinfinite United Kingdom +, writes (10 August 2010):

aphexinfinite agony auntok all i see was my family this i was right blah blah blah not to be rude but seriously! if you do not want to be the very thing you hate then change it dont go oh well im doomed anyway i may as well act the part! my dad used to drink alot not every day but when he did he got drunk! and i did when i was younger too but as soon as i hit 20 i hardly drank! that was my choice and will! so if im not like my father then why should you be! i think you let your marriage continue even though in your mind it was over then since you marriage was over in your mind you started cheating! i dont believe that you and L could be happy as you said the trust issue would come in but then again i could be wrong. just depends if you want to invest alot of time into something that could be very negative. im not trying to be mean but all you have given me is excuses why your not better than what you could be! rome wasnt built in a day but if you dont atleast try then you will fail! i think once your obviously divorced and things are settled with your wife spend some time on your own to better yourself so no only when that lady if L comes along then you can give her her best and know you yourself is the best you can be for yourself! not someone whose minds is a bit sketchy! hope this helps good luck aphex

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