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She’s a good wife and a good mother, but did she break me too much? Will I ever forget what she put me through?

Tagged as: Big Questions, Breaking up, Cheating, Dating, Marriage problems, Sex, Troubled relationships, Trust issues<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (8 August 2018) 4 Answers - (Newest, 8 August 2018)
A male United States age 30-35, *ontmatter writes:

My current wife and I dated from 2011 till now. I never had any reason to think she was ever unfaithful, but she talked a lot about ex boyfriends, and she had cheated on a number of them.

We got engaged in 2014. And were supposed to get married in October 2016. But she ended up calling off the wedding a few months before. We had been in a funk for a few years and neither of us really addressed it. I had gotten depressed and became distant and constantly lethargic. I stopped trying and so did she. A few weeks before she called off the wedding she asked me if I thought we were making a mistake and I got upset at her. We were going to have a destination wedding and I told her it was too late and that we could work on things after it was over. I didn’t want to go through cancellations and the embarrassment of telling all our family and friends. It all seemed so painful. And instead of trying to fix it, I denied that there was a problem.

Well, then she did it. She called it off and broke up with me. It was devastating. So for the next week or so, I stayed at some friend’s houses and tried to stay out of her way, while also trying to win her back. (I got her flowers everyday, with cards, left food for her, promised to try harder.) After that week to 10 days she texts me and says, “I slept with someone.” I asked her how many, and how often and she said one guy, all week. She claimed she had been staying with a female friend and cane up with some detailed lies.

Literally the day after calling it off, she was fucking her boss, all week. Them decided to tell me became she she, “felt bad about lying all week.” But she was also upset that this new guy was mean to her that day, and I believe that’s what truly prompted the confession.

Anyway, we reconciled that day, but a few days later, she ultimately decided she wasn’t ready to try again yet. She said she needed space and time and whatever. She ended up seeing that guy for another few weeks. This time she didn’t lie about what she was doing. We were two single people and had no reason to lie. All the while I was trying to show her I could still be a good partner.

She says she thinks there was a “feelings transfer.” That what she felt for me turned to him. And she said she thinks she tried to make it more than it was because she felt horrible about how trashy she was.

Eventually we got back together, and got married, and recently had a baby. We’re coming up on 2 years of marriage. And we are happy.

But I can’t shake this incredible feeling of anxiety. And I still think about what happened all the time. I still see the guys name and face and I have days where I obsess over it. My wife and I have hammered out every detail of what happened. Even the painful times that led up to it. She tells me everything, and answers all my questions. She allowed me gps on her phone and takes pictures everywhere she goes. She never actually cheated on me, but I’m so afraid of it happening. It consumes me. And I can tell she’s growing tired of my insecurities.

She’s a good wife and a good mother. But did she break me too much? Will I ever forget?

View related questions: broke up, cheated on me, depressed, engaged, flowers, got back together, text, wedding

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A male reader, Billy Bathgate United States + , writes (8 August 2018):

I feel so sorry for you. Yes you are broken and you need professional help to fix yourself. Your problems are deeper than anyone can fix here. You really need a good therapist. One that can help you get over the pain you are feeling as well as the anger you are clearly carrying around.

Seek out professional help now before this destroys what you have.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (8 August 2018):

[EDIT]:

Corrections:

" He got a pass, because I based it on his efforts to regain my trust. I have a forgiving-nature; obviously, not to the point I'd allow it to happen again."

"Who begged whom to comeback???"

" Holding them hostage to be my psychological whipping-post; until I can deal with their betrayal."

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (8 August 2018):

You insisted on taking her back and marrying her. Therefore, your feelings and your post make absolutely no sense.

I know what it feels like to be cheated on. In-fact, I walked in on it while it was happening! We were five-years into a relationship, that began when we were both 16.

It took me time to learn to live with it, but love prevailed! I've never seen anyone so diligent, and so determined to regain trust. It lasted another 20 years; until he died of cancer. My choice to forgive was more than justified. I'm not the kind of person to live in paranoia; people can only push me so far. I don't sweat the small stuff. I stick by my decisions. If they prove to be wrong, I admit my mistake; and try to make better decisions.

Was forgiving him easy...to put it truthfully, HELL NO! That scene replayed in my mind over and over and over. I was very young, and all I knew was how much I loved this guy. He was kind, a brilliant attorney, he was heavily involved in politics; so his life was dedicated to improving the life of others, and seeing that they receive justice and restitution for their suffering. He was very good to me!

As I've spoken of this relationship many times on this site; I forgave cheating this once; but I would never allow anyone else to cheat on me and stay. I would still forgive them, in order to move on; but they would have to go. I am older now, and I value loyalty and trust. I go out of my way to earn and maintain it. I've been tested and tempted many times.

No cheating! That is the understanding we have between us, in my current relationship. This relationship is the best ever! My present partner was cheated-on by all his previous exes. Yet he too, forgave them. So he knows what it feels like, and I trust him implicitly. Either of us cheats? GET OUT!!! I won't let grudges and resentment tie me down. I would just move on. There is life after love, Cher! You don't give-up too easily when you have a marriage and a kid!

That's something to fight for!

You married this woman, you promised you'd stick it out in your vows. So you have a promise to keep.

All is going well, and you have now been blessed with a child; so get your head right!

It never went away as far as those scenes replaying in my mind. Some young punk! On my expensive linen sheets!!! I can recall it to this day. Yet something powerful held us together. I love him as much as I ever did, yet he's gone!

That was then, but this is now! I won't tolerate a cheater in my life ever again. He got a pass, because I based it on is efforts to regain my trust. I have a forgiving- nature; obviously, not to the point I'd allow it to happen again.

You are a good man! Few guys come on here, and have a story like yours; and still say: "She’s a good wife and a good mother." You've expressed your feelings clearly; yet I detect no contempt. Only pain! Fight it!

My advice is to run with that knowledge. Focus on that, the love of your family; and don't let the devil poison what you have. Give her credit for making the effort to be open and honest. I think having you track her every move is insane, however. What is the point? If you're going to give her a life-sentence, and hold it over her head? You didn't have to marry her! She went as far as to call it off! Who begged who to comeback???

If you can't/won't give 100% forgiveness; I recommend you divorce her.

Just bear a few things in-mind. She's not only your wife, she is the mother of your child now. You're still holding resentment. Resentment builds into rage. Rage manifests as bad-behavior! Ultimately, that rage will culminate into some form of abusive-punishment. (i.e. tracking her on GPS!) Be it verbal or psychological; and God forbid, for some men violence! Right now, you are using passive-aggressive behavior, and psychological-manipulation. It's cruel!

Stop dwelling on it! You shouldn't have married her just to prove how noble you are. Only to please your ego, by repossessing your property from other men. You should get some counseling; which will allow you to dig deep into the core of your insecurities; because you have to face them, and eradicate them. You have a family now, so you've got to overcome them.

You made a drastic choice, in spite of the situation! This is no time to be a whiny teeter-tottering wimp! DO YOU LOVE HER OR NOT? Your retro-jealousy can be managed. Two years into marriage, you decide to do this? SERIOUSLY?!!

I had to face mine. I'm not super-human; but I know what forgiveness is. Forgiveness isn't just keeping somebody around, to force them to live in martyrdom. Holding them hostage to be my psychological whipping-post; until I can deal with there betrayal. Who the hell knows how long that will be? When your kid is 50?

Spoiler alert! I know the ending...the memory and knowledge of it never goes away! You only learn to live with it; and force it into the back-recesses of your mind. Love will obscure it until it's foggy; and the poison is neutralized.

Allow yourself to be happy! Don't please the devil! He rejoices when there is yet one-more broken-marriage! It is difficult to rebuild trust. I know first-hand!

You're in too deep to be playing this crap! I shoot from the hip, I don't mess around. Get your head on straight, or let her go! There's a kid in the middle, and I put kids above stupid grown-up bullsh*t! Would you be happier with, or without her? There's food for thought!

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (8 August 2018):

Youcannotbeserious agony auntNo, you will probably never forget. The question is, can you forgive? Because it sounds like you are, quite unfairly, putting all the "blame" for what happened at her door.

Given the situation with your depression, and how YOU were not willing to try to sort things BEFORE the wedding, you can hardly blame her for calling off the wedding. All respect to her for not taking "the easy route" and going ahead with it when she knew it was not right for you at the time. Had she gone ahead with it, as you wanted, you would probably be divorced by now because I can almost guarantee you, you would NOT have made as much effort after the wedding as you actually did after she dumped you. You would just have continued coasting along like you had been doing.

The guy she slept with was obviously already on the scene before she split with you. Had your relationship been healthy and secure, I very much doubt she would have turned to him. However, as YOU were unwilling to put effort into the relationship to fix it, and this guy was probably there in the background, supporting her and being strong for her, she turned to him because she could not turn to you. Can you not see that you were AT LEAST 50% to blame for what happened?

Rather than obsessing about this guy, your time and effort would be far better spent concentrating on keeping your relationship healthy and loving, especially as your wife seems to be bending over backwards to reassure you. Do you, for instance, still buy her little gifts now that you are no longer trying to win her back? Do you tell her regularly you love her? Do you spend time as a couple, not just with your child? The way to allay your fears is to nurture a relationship which is healthy and happy, then she will have no REASON to turn to anyone else.

Bottom line: accept that, if YOU hadn't refused to put effort into your relationship, SHE would not have needed to look elsewhere. She is obviously not blaming you for what happened but YOU need to realize that it takes TWO to make a happy relationship. YOU were not an active partner in yours when she needed you to be. Make it up to her by trusting her and working on making your relationship happy - for both of you.

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