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Confession: I Gave a Cheater a Second Chance

Wed, Apr 22, 2009

Confessions, Personal Post

bill_clintonphoto by dbking

Our contributor, who wishes to remain anonymous, has a confession to make.

I always thought cheating was a deal-breaker. I imagined if my boyfriend so much as kissed another girl, I would dump him without an ounce of regret. There would be no “get out of jail free” card for my boyfriend or giving him the benefit of a doubt. It would be, “Sayonara sucker. You just ruined the best thing in your life.” I always thought I would stick to my guns if he cheated.

And then he did. And I didn’t. Because it turns out it was so much more complicated than I had imagined.

I’d had my suspicions for a while, and I finally confronted my boyfriend, telling him that if he loved and respected me at all then he would admit to his infidelities. I told him I needed the truth because I wasn’t able to live with the insecurities my suspicions had created. And he told me he had slept with four girls over the past two years of our relationship.

I spent hours struggling to come up with a solution. Do I dump him like I always promised myself I would, or do I give him another chance? Part of me believed cheaters didn’t deserve second chances.  Once a cheater, always a cheater, right?  But when I put myself in his, the cheater’s shoes, I realized that I would want a second chance too, a chance to prove that I could change. And the chance to change, I thought, is something everyone deserves.

It definitely helped that I didn’t find out about the cheating by walking in on him and another girl in the act. Call me crazy, but I admired him for coming clean even when he knew it might jeopardize the future of our relationship.  I could tell as he talked that he felt terrible.

Still, I was extremely confused by how understanding and empathetic I felt toward him. I felt that my love for him rendered me weak, and a strong woman wouldn’t think twice about kicking such an insensitive jerk like him to the curb. And my empathy certainly didn’t derive from similar experiences — I had never cheated on him nor had I ever been tempted.

Unable to understand what felt like an irrational response, I looked to my relationship with someone I love deeply: my mom.  For years I lied to her — about everything from money to my whereabouts — knowing that it broke her heart. But instead of giving up on me she tried even harder to help me understand that lying is a terrible quality for someone to possess.
I still lie from time to time, but when I do I am now able to take responsibility for my lies and admit the truth.  I feel guilt and remorse when I lie.  I didn’t before. By not giving up on me she taught me what unconditional love really is. She was able to overcome her anger in order to help me. And now I wanted to help my boyfriend.

The following weeks were difficult. To be honest, three months later, it still is.  On a daily basis he told me how sorry he was, how he wished he could take it back, how much he loved me and despite what he did, always has, and how he would do anything to prove to me he was changing. I told him I didn’t want to hear it until we got an STD and HIV test.  We did and thankfully everything came back negative.  After that, I felt a lot better.  We hung our test results on the fridge and spent a lot of time discussing how he was going to change.

The more we talked, the more I felt confident about my decision to give him another chance. But I couldn’t help but ask questions like, “What were their names? Where did it take place?  Did you enjoy it? Did you orgasm?” And of course, there was always the, “Why?” In retrospect, none of the details mattered.  Hearing his answers just made it more painful.  The more details I received, the more elaborate my visions of him with the other girls became. Our sex life was quickly affected and ceased to exist at one point.  It felt meaningless now, knowing he had been equally intimate with other girls.

There was something missing and I soon realized it was trust. The funny thing was, I still loved him, just not like I used to. I didn’t trust him anymore, and trust is such a large part of love. I was terrified we would never be able to get back what we had, no matter how much effort he put forth to show me he was changing.

I finally decided we would not be able to mend what he had broken on our own.  We needed help — professional help. I gave him an ultimatum after a month of crying spells and mild depression: He was to see a therapist on his own to discuss his compulsive lying and  cheating or we were done.  On top of that, I demanded that we see a couples’ counselor together.  He agreed.

If he does cheat again, I am confident that I will be able to walk away from this relationship with my dignity intact, knowing that I gave this relationship everything I could.  Despite the criticism I have received from family and friends, I know in my heart I have made the right decision…I am doing what’s best for me, and as far as I am concerned, that is the only thing that matters.

I’ve watched too many of my friends run away from relationships because they were hurt by their significant other.  I’ve listened to too many of their significant others, also my friends, yearn for a second chance. They’re all victims of the belief that if a relationship isn’t perfect then it isn’t worth being in. Well, I’m not ready to run away, and I refuse to force myself to fall out of love just yet. Relationships take real effort, and I’m ready to get to work.

Tune in two weeks from now to find out how the couples counseling goes…

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55 Responses to “Confession: I Gave a Cheater a Second Chance”

  1. Beth Says:

    I really appreciate this piece.

  2. Mrs. Shiva Says:

    It’s so easy to utter black and white statements (cheating = dealbreaker) until you’ve been there. I’ve lived through an infidelity and agree second chances are crucial. I’d want one if I messed up. What I did NOT do was ask specific questions about the affair because I felt going visual would be too much for me to bear. Sure, I wonder, but at least I don’t know for sure.

  3. Kim Says:

    Taking someone back after cheating once is one thing, taking back someone after cheating FOUR times is a different story. This wasn’t a momentary lapse of judgment.

  4. Elizabeth Says:

    I have also taken back a cheater. I requested that we both do counseling – together and seperately as well, and he agreed. It was an incredibly painful healing process. Currently, He and I are still together and he has not cheated. It’s been 2 years. I still sometimes have problems with unwarranted suspicions, but I have also learned to deal with them in way that does not damage my heart or our relationship. I really appreciate reading about someone else who chose to do the same thing.

    And Kim, I am pretty sure that the author realizes it was not a momentary lapse of judgment. She said that she wanted him to go to counseling for his issues with compulsive lying and cheating. And with therapy, compulsive lying and cheating can be overcome… assuming the person WANTS to overcome them.

  5. beenthere Says:

    Good luck to you! It sounds like your guy is doing exactly what he needs to do in order to win you back: admit he was completely in the wrong, no ifs ands or buts; apologize frequently and sincerely; cut off all contact with the other women; and get counseling alone, with you, or both. Don’t accept anything less! Also, please know two things: 1) His cheating was in *no way* your fault. No matter what’s going on in a relationship, the only thing that causes cheating is one person going out and cheating on the other person. 2) Don’t blame or wonder about the other women (you don’t seem to be, but let me say it just the same) because they weren’t thinking about you and most importantly they didn’t owe you a thing–your partner did. Truly, I wish you the best of luck. Your relationship can be repaired, but he needs to take the lead and show you what he’s really made of. –Been There.

  6. Hillary Says:

    Damn, I don’t think I could go through this situation :(
    Good luck girl! You seem to be really strong.

  7. flick Says:

    this piece is amazing! i rarely ever hear people go through the same thought proccess i do, and even though i have never cheated, i too understand the want for a second chance. I hope things have worked out well. I’d love to hear from you, and from Elizabeth about how you delt with the paranoia and suspicions after taking him back successfully.

  8. Sarah Says:

    You are so strong. I don’t know how I would deal with that type of situation. I truly admire this piece.

  9. Dave W Says:

    I admire you for the success you’ve had in dealing with your own compulsive lying. I imagine that it didn’t come easy. And now offering someone else the same chance at redemption that your mom offered you is, I think, evidence of further progress. I hope the next few months go well, and that you stick to your guns. That said, I wouldn’t judge your friends too harshly for breaking up. They’re probably making the mistakes a lot of people do in their early 20s, and hopefully learning from them. They’ll have a chance at redemption too, just maybe with a different person.

  10. Figs Says:

    The words ‘I refuse to force myself to fall out of love just yet.’ really touched me. I admire not only your strength but determination to make your relationship work. Best of luck.

  11. Johnny Says:

    You’re fighting the tide. As long as you’re both in therapy, why not work toward minimizing the emotional importance of a lil’ outside play for both of you?

    I think most people cheat, and a world of honest open relationships would be a better place.

  12. nic Says:

    I think it is too simplistic to judge another’s decision not to continue in a relationship where the other person has cheated by suggesting that the decision to end the relationship stems from a desire to “run away from relationships” because the relationship isn’t perfect or because the person isn’t willing to put in “real effort.” In my opinion, that is the same kind of judgment that the author doesn’t appreciate receiving.

    The reality is that for some people, infidelity is a deal breaker – it is a breach of trust, demonstrates a lack of respect for the other person and can completely destroy the intimacy that once existed. There is nothing weak or cowardly about deciding that the fundamental precepts upon which your relationship was based no longer exist and you can no longer continue in the relationship. It doesn’t mean you are not capable of unconditional love or that you are not as emotionally strong as someone who elects to work on the relationship.

    I think the most important thing, which is perhaps being lost in concentrating on the result of her decision, is that the decision to stay or go cannot be reflexive based on preconceived notions of what is acceptable or right. The decision is the right one if it is the product of a careful examination of the relationship, your feelings and needs and what you and the other person are prepared to do to heal the damage that has been done. That should be the lesson.

  13. Elizabeth Says:

    Flick, the way I dealt with my issues with paranoia and suspicion was kind of complicated, I guess. At first, my guy suggested that I was allowed to look at anything I wanted – emails, phone, etc. So for awhile we did that. Over a time period of about 8 months (and yes, I know that is a really long time), he built back up the trust, so that most of the time, I have no reason to question him. To this day, we still know each others’ passwords to everything, and still have the understanding that either one of us could look through the others’ phone. However, I rarely feel the need to check, and fight it if I do – because I am making the choice to trust him. Over 2 years since the incident, he has chosen to consistently prove to me that I have nothing to fear. When I have suspicions now – because I won’t lie, it does happen – I really just work through them on my own… I try to sit down and figure out exactly why I’m feeling that way, like was I feeling he was too flirty with another girl, or neglected in the time spent with me, or whatever… If it is something that needs to be addressed with him – like flirting, I explain that what was hurtful to me, or whatever and communicate the problem. If it is something that is in me – such as my own issues with trust stemming from childhood, I talk with someone, like my mom, about my fears… and she can generally get a good idea of if I should be worried, or if I am being crazy. And if that’s the case, I just distract myself. :)

    It doesn’t work for everyone, but it’s what I do.

    And Johnny, no offense, but an open relationship is not for everyone. I think it is incredibly judgemental for people who do the open relationship thing to fully criticize all monogamy. Yes, it is difficult…but that is still the choice of some people. Why is it not okay for some people to view sex as a sacred thing for a relationship? Also, I would like to point out, that for the author, she might not have issues with extra-relationship sex, as long as it is consensual, agreed upon and open. The hurt from cheating does not arise from the actual sex act, but from the fact that you were decieved, lied to, and made a fool of. Well, at least that is where most of the hurt for me came from. And yes, some of it came because I believe sex is sacred and should be kept within the relationship. And I won’t apologize for that, and I have no desire to change it. Monogamy is a good thing, even if it’s difficult.

  14. jim Says:

    2nd chances only happen once, if they’re lucky.

  15. Caroline Says:

    It’s a brave thing you’re doing – willingly making yourself vulnerable to someone who has betrayed you so terribly. I’ve been there too and hope the counseling goes well for you.

  16. KJ Says:

    Sorry but what the heck can you talk about for 30-45 minutes EVERY night on the phone? LOL maybe Its because I’m a guy but I can’t see that happening. If I really needed to talk to someone for that long about something I would suggest we meet up and do something together. Talking on the phone to me is for just keeping basis, relaying some information, or arranging a time to get together. I would never just sit on the phone for small talk. You know that costs money right? Why on earth are you willing to pay someone to do something that you can do for free??

  17. Rachel Says:

    How could you ever live with yourself if you take back a cheater, they hurt you, they wanted sex with someone else, even kissing someone else that is not you means there is something wrong in the relationship. When you commit to someone, and pour your heart into them and they cheat on you, get rid of the filth and find someone who wants to be with you, and only you. It seems to take too much work to keep a relationship with a cheater, going to counseling, and seeing professionals all the time.

  18. Rachel Says:

    Oh, and I think monogamy is only difficult for the weak people; the same weak people who cannot keep a relationship because their eyes wander, and cheat. It takes real strong people, good people to have a solid, loving, worthwhile relationship.

  19. Kat Says:

    You sound like one tough cookie. Hope everything works out!

  20. Jessie Rose Says:

    this was an amazing story.
    I admire you so much and i applaud you for staying with him.

    Well, I have a similar experience. I have been dating my boyfriend for 3 years as of this upcoming June. He had been in a full time touring band that was is big all over the state and Europe and Mexico. He was out on the road for 9 months out of the year and when he was home, we only had a couple weeks to a month at the most.
    I found out only 3 months ago, that he has cheated on me 8x since the beginning of our relationship.
    Crazy as I am, I took him back. I knew he wasn’t the person that the band had made him become. I gave him the benefit of the doubt and told him he owes it to me to step up to the plate and prove that he really truly loves me and wants to be with me.
    He ended up quitting his band at my request and he is fully working on his christian faith again, to that which he had lost.
    I cannot tell you how much he has changed. Although I wont be able to trust him for a long time and I’m willing to deal with that, He is really trying to change and be the man he knows he can be.
    I can honestly say this has been the worst and most amazing experience of my life.
    People think I’m a fool, but I know the man I feel in love with is still inside. I’m just waiting for him to come back.
    Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you are stupid for staying with a cheater. Everyone is different and you don’t owe them any sort of explanation as to why you took them back.

    If you ever need someone to talk to, I am always here.

  21. dora Says:

    u r a fool me for one i’d never give a clown another chance without given him a run for his money i’d get him back and i’m not talking about cheating i’m talking about getting into them pockets and finding me a new man after i’ve gotten paid lol

  22. Ann Says:

    Jesse and Elizabeth, it was reassuring to learn that you have given your spouses another chance. I thinking about giving my husband of 20 years another chance although I know it is an unpopular decision. After a lovely Mother’s Day where I was treated so well, I learned he was cheating on me. I recently noticed he was becoming rather attached to his cell phone, which was not like him. He used the phone for business and has been telling me how much extra work he’s putting in. He also increased his travel – all part of business. A few incidents in a row finally piqued my curiosity. When I borrowed his car and he called to say to turn around and drop off his cell phone because he needed it; the fact that the cell used to be on the kitchen table at night for all to see, and now has moved to his nightstand, and that it vibrates that there’s a message some nights when he’s asleep. When I mentioned someone tried to call him at 11pm, he said it was a guy he works with from the west coast.
    All the time, our sex life seemed great. With a young child, it’s sometimes difficult to find time, but we managed to fit it in. The day before Mother’s Day is when I finally started to wise up. Our child was napping and my husband was working outside. We have a secluded property, so I thought I’d surprise him with a sexy outfit to let him know we had some alone time. He didn’t notice me for five minutes as he was looking very serious and intently texting someone. That is when I made a mental note to myself to check his cell next time it’s on the nightstand. The next evening, my child and hubby were asleep and I remembered I wanted to check his cell; I felt guilty for not trusting him as he’s always been a wonderful man, his eyes never even strayed towards another woman. I snuck upstairs, took the phone off the nightstand, took it downstairs, thinking I’d take a quick look, be embarrassed for even thinking such a thing and would promptly return the phone. He had a new text on there, but I didnt’ want him to realize I looked at his phone, so I hit “view later” and went to his inbox to view the 60 or so old texts. Wow! What a surprise when the first one I read said “I love you”. then I read many more with sordid details, then I checked her latest email, after they told eachother how wonderful they were and she said “Oh my God, I could just hop on a plane and see you right now!” When I looked at his messages to her, I put the timeline together and realized he was texting her constantly – in fact about 7 times on Mother’s Day -even before and after we had sex that day. I don’t know what’s worse, knowing he cheated or that his texting was so intermingled with our personal life. In one message it asks “how’s your wife, still sexy”. When we spoke later he claimed she thought I was sexy looking; I said “how dare you show her my photo or your child’s, which he probably did as well”.
    Well, I responded to her message about hopping on a plane to see him. I said “why don’t you hop on a plane; I’ll be waiting for you, signed the sexy wife”. I then proceeded to call her cell, which she did not pick up as she realized the wife now had the phone. I left a very threatening message about ever coming near my husband again and that I’d hop on a plane…
    I then forwarded all their text messages to my email account, so I had proof for the lawyers. I had every intention of taking him for every penny he had. I then confronted him. I’m not saying this makes it any less wrong, but he CLAIMS they never had intercourse – that they became S&M buddies; that they met at a conference, had too much to drink, she came onto him, played on his ego because she is half his age and propositioned him. I knew he liked S&M a little. Apparently, I wasn’t getting his signals that he wanted much more. Although he claims he was happy with our relationship, he said he’s always had this desire in him and kept it suppressed his whole life, including the 22 years we were together (dating and marriage). He said he didn’t want me to think he was sick so he didn’t tell me what he felt. I told him I’d rather have known than to later find out he acted out his fantasies with another woman. It happened on 3 occassions over a 4 month period when he would travel to her town. I moved a couple of our bank accounts from joint to my name (he hasn’t realized it yet); I contacted a lawyer, threatened him with a giant knife, called him every name in the book, used him as a punching bag, but after all that am considering trying to make it work. The first thing I said is that he had to call her and break it off regardless of whether I decided to let him stay. He did that and apparently pissed her off greatly – too bad. He has shown much remorse, saying he never wanted me to be hurt, thought he could act out this fantasy that’s been in his head all these years, that it would eventually end and I’d never know. He actually said he was looking at it as separate from our lives. There have been days of talking, confessions, soul searching, screaming and tears. I know it’s hard to believe that after giving into what he said was such a strong urge that he could just stop after all that. He says he suppressed it for 22 years while we were together and could suppress it for 22 more plus – that it was fit punishment for what he did to me. I haven’t told anyone we know about this, as I know what they’ll say, that he’s scum of the earth and I should leave him. That’s what I’d say. I still love him although I hate him too. I watch him with our child and see what a wonderful father he is. I keep thinking back on the many years when we had a good marriage – we went through good and bad times – this is the worse time of our lives, since it was self inflicted by him vs. an act of fate.

  23. Che Says:

    What a sigh of relief I have just exhaled upon finding this blog. It is comforting to know that there are others who are going through the pain and are getting through it okay. I have been dating my boyfriend for 2.5 years and found out last night that he kissed one of his friends several times within the last month. This girl is messed up and I worried she would get her claws on him…I even told him that even though I can’t demand he end the friendship, he has to put certain boundaries in place. I feel so jaded that she won. The worst thing is that he is traveling in Japan right now and I am in Canada. He has been gone for 2 weeks and I am supposed to meet up with him in 3 weeks. The flights were booked months ago. I don’t know what to do. He is not only my boyfriend but my best friend, all my eggs in one lone basket. I told him that he has to choose between her and me. If he chooses me, he can’t have any contact (texts, Facebook, phone calls, visits) etc…she would effectively be banished from his life and that I would make a decision on what to do once I knew what he had decided. I told him in no uncertain terms that just because I’m allowing him to choose, it does not mean I am going to forgive him or work it out. I should get the call in about 8 hours. I am so hoping he will choose me (we were supposed to move in together later this year & I’m practically part of the family. His mom has a giant family portrait in her living room – who wants their son’s ex in a family picture?!. We also had plans to go with his family to Hawaii next year. So much invested here) but I honestly don’t know. I don’t know this person he has become and the fact that he cheated seems so surreal. It feels like I am stuck in a dream. He is a good person – he is better than that. I will refer back to this page to read your responses when I forget what I should be feeling or need assurance that what I am feeling is okay. Thanks for sharing your stories.

  24. susan Says:

    Wow-I am amazed at how many people stories like this touch. The kind of pain felt by that type of betrayal is hard to understand unless you have personally felt it. My boyfriend of 11 years betrayed me and it was one of the most devastating experiences I’ve ever had. Honestly, there’s nothing that comes close to that type of pain other than a tragic, unexpected death of a loved one. Fitting when you think about it: it’s essentially the death of the relationship you thought you had.

  25. Ann Says:

    Thanks for your responses. It’s three weeks to the day that I discovered my husband’s infidelity. We have talked and talked. He has done everything right – shown remorse, answered all my questions, listened to my ranting, has been the “perfect” husband. We are getting along better than we have in a long time, but I didn’t think we were having any real problems before.
    They say time heals all wounds and I hope it does. Now, instead of consuming 100% of my time thinking about this, it’s only consuming 90% of my time. I’m obsessed with the 22 year old bimbo he was with – looking up info on her online, wanting revenge for what she did to my marriage, although I know it takes two – he could have and should have turned down her proposition. BUT I still love him and I love watching him with our child. I have only confided about this to one friend who won’t tell anyone and won’t judge. She was very supportive – told me to remember that I am stronger than this incident and the love my husband and I shared for all those years is stronger than this incident. My Mom said something insightful today. She said that since my Dad’s death she only remembers the good things. She said it’s funny how the good times even seem better now than they were and she doesn’t ever dwell on the bad times. She doesn’t know about my husband’s infidelity – I know that if I wanted us to have a shot at making it through this, my family could not know. “We” can’t survive with them hating him as I know they would. I merely said to my Mom, “does that mean when my hubby passes, I will dwell on the good things and and not the bad?” She said “maybe you shouldn’t wait; you should start dwelling on the good things now”. Moms have a way of understanding even when they don’t know the whole story.
    Well, good luck to all of you. You are in my prayers.

  26. Jazmin Says:

    First let me say thank you to all of those that have been brave enough to post their feelings. As I go through this difficult time, it does help to know the decisions and perspectives of others.

    Rachel – I would be very surprised if you were married or in a relationship for any long length of time and even more surprised if you had children. You may not even have ever been cheated on. One thing I know for sure is that your views are certainly those of the above. Someone who doesn’t understand how complicated things become when there are children involved or doesn’t take into consideration the way it came out, the remorse the person has, the amount of time and energy you’ve already spent together (for me 16 years). You’re also very narrow minded about monogomy. It is for some and isn’t for others and still for others there are “open” relationships. Everyone needs to make the decission as to which relationship they will have, individually. As for it not “being worth all the trouble to be with a cheater”. Well, that decission should be up to the person that got cheated on and judgements don’t help with that painful decission. The decision to leave or stay is a painful one. Staying is more work, yes. But, what about all of the work you’ve (or we’ve) already put into the relationship. MANY men cheat. What is the guarantee that someone else won’t do the same thing.

    I so appreciate your “confession”. I have been with my husband for 16 years and married for 8. He recently got caught having an affair which apparently lasted for two months before he was busted. Unlike you, I was not smart enough not to ask details but after reading it, and my current emotional state, I realize that it was a mistake and one which I will not continue to make. My revelation is fresh as it’s only been three weeks. I have two little girls that adore him and frankly I love him whole heartedly. I think it’s unfair that someone said “something is wrong with the marriage” because I think people cheat for many reasons but ONE person cheated here, not both of us. In our case there were things bothering him that he never communicated. How can I help to fix a problem that I don’t know exists. I certainly don’t blame myself but it is hard to not wonder what if. What if I would have lost the weight I needed to and been more sexy? What if I had a job that allowed me to dress nicer? What if I was a better cook or cooked everyday? What if I kept the house cleaner – because he hates a messy house? So many questions and SO much pain. Like Ann, it wasn’t even the fact that he was with her but all of the deceit that it took to be with her. Unlike her though, my husband admits to having sex with her beginning two weeks after they met and continuing through the next six weeks. He never had any messages on the phone from her but after suspecting something one night, I went online to his wireless account and hit view full bill. There it was. Every phone call, every text message sent and received. They talked everyday, sometimes for hours, sometimes while I was home, sometimes right after he dropped off my daughters and before he got back home, on the way to and from work. He text message her after my daughters birthday party. We had such a great day, we were happy – or so I thought- and then it all came crashing down as I read the details of when they talked and he text messaged her. It was like he couldn’t live without talking to her or texting her. He text her on the way to work at 4:30am and on the way home at 2am. She works only one block from his job and while passing one day they had a conversation. She told him where she worked and he “courted” her. HE courted her as if I didn’t exist. After several days he told her he was married but they continued to see each other, him driving her home two or three times a week and leaving early so that he could see her on his way home on days that he couldn’t. Their relationship was so intertwined with ours and although knowing that he had sex with her hurts, it is compounded by the pain I feel because of all of the sneaking around. I have vowed to try to work on our marriage. He has agreed to individual counseling, couples counseling and to a vasectomy. Every day is such a struggle, and some days I think I won’t be able to make it and maybe it would be best to just put him out so that I can heal from this pain and he’ll never be able to do this to me again. But, for today at least, while he sits in the waiting room for his couseling, I keep my word to try to work on it.

  27. Ann Says:

    Jazmin,
    Thanks for your inspiring message. I know how you feel when you say his calls to her were so intertwined with your life. So many days that I thought were special during that time now have bad memories only. Even when he took me to my favorite restaurant for my birthday (that he missed while he was away on business where he first met her and started planning his meetings). That night, we discussed our lives and he told me how happy he was with me and with our family. How he could separate these two lives as if they were not intertwined is scary. When I viewed the texts and compared the dates to things in our lives, it hurt even so much more.
    It’s good to hear your husband is doing all the right things to make amends at this point. Although we are getting along wonderfully now (except for my emotional setbacks), I will always be alert and looking for things. I look back at the signals leading up to my discovery and think if only I had checked it out sooner, I could have stopped it sooner. But what’s the point, it happened and it can’t be changed now.
    This week he traveled to another state for business for one day. It was nowhere near the state that she lives in, but I reminded him I needed a copy of his flight itineray. I used to just trust that he was where he said he’d be and that I could call his cell if I needed him. He seemed surprised that I wanted an itinerary since he wasn’t staying overnight. I said “how am I supposed to know you really are going where you say?” and reminded him that you can’t regain 20 years of trust in 4 weeks. It took 4 months of lies and decept to lose it and could take many years (if ever) to regain.

  28. Ann Says:

    Jazmin, after I read your note about how your husband admitted to having sex (unlike Ann), it got me thinking again that if he could lie so well before how can I believe he is not lying still. I confronted him again and not only did he say there was no sex, he had the nerve to say no kissing, no oral sex, just this spanking sensation and using hands. Well, like you said about just suspecting something and finding his secret email account. Well, I found my husband’s! Turns out, he’s lying about meeting her on a business trip; he found her on an s&m website! Then sought her out and planned his affair. She was one of about 15 people he had communicated with, but I don’t know the password to check out that site. When I found his secret email account, I did some legwork to hack into it and did! There are only about 2 months of his 4 month relationship with her in emails. I really went to see if he was emailing her behind my back since he knows I can now access his phone at any time. Well, there’s no sign of emails since my discovery, although it doesn’t mean they’re not communicating another way or through another account. Here are all the lies I caught in reading through their emails: they did kiss, they did have oral sex, THEY DID HAVE REAL SEX (at least they used a condom the first time; I don’t know about the other times); he did sleep over; he did buy her expensive gifts although he straightfaced told me NONE of those things had happend.

    We were getting along so well for the 5 weeks since; I felt like we were having an affair with eachother, sneaking in time when my child was at school; more than ever. I thought I could overlook his discretion based on the things he said and did. Now I don’t even know if he was with any of the other women he met in the chat room. He travels a lot and like he said to his lover in an email “where there’s a will, there’s a way”. We were rebuilding our lives again, spending a lot of time together and with my son; he only traveled once since and for a day although he said he can only put that off for so long. We were fixing up the house, making plans together. I just don’t know what to do. Unfortunately, I fear the person that said “once a cheater, always a cheater” is correct in my case. Although everyone’s situation is different. I do realize that for my husband “once a liar always a liar” is definitely true. When I confront him, he’ll give me the same crap about how he didn’t want to hurt me. BULLSHIT!
    Thanks for listening.

  29. Elizabeth Says:

    Ann… I’m so sorry this is happening to you. That is completely heart breaking. I was just reading what you wrote about how that affair of your husbands was so intertwined in special moments in your lives, and I feel exactly the same way. There are memories that used to bring such happy thoughts for me that now only bring pain because of all of the deception. It’s something that I am having to work through on my own. Maybe, someday, for you those memories will become positive again. I really hope they do, even if you decide not to work things out with your husband. It’s a very hard road to travel, especially after finding out about continued contact. There’s no way to keep constant watch over someone and sometimes trust is completely destroyed.

    If you decide to stay I would encourage you to get counseling as a couple. I personally would insist that he figure out some form of employment that doesn’t involve travel, and insist that you have complete access to any computer he does… and then put a child blocker or a key logging program on all of the household computers. NOT permanently, because eventually you will have to trust him again, or there is no point in saving the relationship. Basically, he should be willing to do whatever it takes to make you comfortable.

    And if you don’t stay in the relationship, well, no one would blame you. Betrayal is very hard to handle. Again, I’m sorry that this is happening to you, and I will keep you and your family in my thoughts.

  30. Unknown Says:

    i highly appreciate your decision!! i must say without a bit of doubt that your man is indeed very very lucky to have the love of someone like u. i sort of cheated with my ex-boyfriend…but not even a bit of what your man did with u. i confessed that to my ex and also attempted suicide as i felt terrible… and also helpless because i couldnt come back from the new person who was actually emotionally blackmailing me. so i was stuck! my ex left me and it has been 1 year 4 months now..and i am still waiting for him and will do it forever.

  31. Lady Tarrant Says:

    I am so pleased to find such an outreach of support of/for those who have had to endure the trauma of being cheated on. I greatly appreciate the support and honesty of each of you.

    I am one who has also given a cheater a second chance. It’s amazing how destructive text messaging can be. I, however, didn’t find out from his phone, I was contacted by the other woman via MySpace. She sent me a two page e-mail full of half-truths and details beyond what I ever wanted or even needed to know. I confronted my fiancée with it, and he did confess to sleeping with her once while we were together–which I know to be the truth from other sources.

    Choosing to give someone who has so violated your trust a second chance can be one of the most difficult decisions, if only because of the extreme sense of vulnerability it invokes and necessitates. My fiancée and I have been in counseling for over a month, and in many ways it’s helped us become closer and understand one another better. Somehow my love was right when he begged that I not let this destroy us, he said that it will make us stronger because we’ll be able to work through it together. We’re learning to work more as team, towards the best interest of the relationship and not just ourselves. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not easy, and it certainly hasn’t been pleasant. It’s been painful, heartbreaking, and frustrating. His actions shattered my trust and faith in him. That’s not easy to recover from. And even now he sometimes feels hurt by my distrust, because he just can’t relate. But we keep trying to be open and communicate. As horrible, awful, and painful as this time has been, I must admit I have learned quite a bit about myself, him, and just what our relationship means to us. Though, I cannot deny there are still times when I question if there’s any point in still trying. There are times I feel I cannot give anymore, and am resentful that I must. But I try to take those times in stride, because I know that the happiness he brings into my life is worth the work.

    I have to say to anyone who finds themselves faced with infidelity, don’t look for the details. Don’t. It doesn’t help, it won’t make you feel better, and not only will it not clear the confusion in you mind and heart, it will only make you feel more confused and frustrated. Trust is a choice. At some point we have to decide when to trust and how much of it to give. What it’ll take for him/her to regain your trust is something personal between the two of you, because each relationship is as unique as the people who make it up.

    It’s difficult, but if they’re worth it, well, then it’s worth it.

  32. Marius Says:

    I’m on the other end of the stick. I cheated.
    I have cheated in my past relationships, and it was
    nothing else but the sex for me, how strange it may sound.

    I met my former fianceé (The Ex from now on) while i was in a relationship. The Ex was someone iv’e had fallen deeply for earlier, many years past. We met up again, and i fell for a second time.

    We spent a lot of time talking, and we had sex, before i found it right to end the relationship i was in, to start another one with The Ex.

    I didn’t tell the girl i broke up with that i had fallen for someone else, and that there had been physical intimacy, just that i didn’t have the same feelings for her.

    The Ex and I had a great time together. Turbulent at some times, but we were there for eachother… but.

    Right before she moved in, i cheated. Not because i was in love with someone else, but because i was at the wrong place at the wrong time, and did the wonr thing. Could have something to do with commitment fears as she was moving in, could have something to do with me stroking my ego as a ladies man, could have been loads of different things combined with the fact i did something i shouldn’t have done.

    For a long time i didn’t view sex and love as something that belongs together. I still don’t because of events in my childhood, coupled with a “free-spirited” (slutty) way of life.

    Up to that point i didn’t even see what was “wrong” with it.

    Six months later, The Ex heard it from someone else. she gave me the chance to be the first to tell her, but i cowardly chose not to say anything out of fear of loosing her. After she had gotten to know the fact, i told her the rest.

    Begging and crying for her not to give up on me did of course not do anything. I have never felt more miserable in my life sa when i saw what it did to her.

    The very next day she took all her belongings and left, leaving only the engagement ring behind.

    Five months on, and she still hasn’t agreed speaking to me. We have not had a single conversation to eachother in person since she left.

    I would have given everything for a second chance.

    I have gone to councelling, seen doctor and psychologists, had so severe depressions i have almost killed myself (long time bipolar) and tried in the least intrusive ways i knew to contact her just to talk.

    I still tell people i’m not ready to think about new relationships, and she is still the woman whose child i would’ve fathered.

    I messed up, and it ruined everything.

    That doesn’t mean i didn’t love, or couldn’t change.

    If someone cheats on you, you’re absolutely free to leave forever, but leaving without having a talk, is not healthy for either of you. And cynical as it may sound. If a man spends 3 days with someone else, and the rest of the year with you, he may have invested some feelings in you as well, even if he didn’t do it perfectly.

    Talk it over first, no matter what you decide to do.

  33. Ann Says:

    Hi,
    I haven’t been on this site since the night I discovered the additional lies from my husband. A part of me didn’t want to log in, because I didn’t want to hear you say what an idiot I am for staying with him. Instead, I read many encouraging words and appreciate everyone’s support and insight based on their experiences – even the “cheater’s” viewpoint :-) I could really relate to what many of you said, especially Elizabeth. I even gave this writer an imaginary hug (thanks for that).
    I wanted to let you know we’ve now made it through almost 3 months – the last 6 weeks being very open in discussions. That night I did force the truth out of him (and yes he denied it for as long as he could). I have since become a detective and have not found any sign of cheating. He cut back on work travel and I insist on getting a written itinerary and lots of check-ins. I know he could hop a plane from one city to another or get a pre-pay phone I’d never know about, but as some of you have said, if I’m going to stay with him, I’ve got to start trusting somewhere. He understands he has no right to privacy at this point.
    If not for the terrible thing he did and for the lies, I’d say our marriage was the best it’s been in many years. We communicate better than ever and our sex life has been awesome. We are both now very open and looking for every opportunity to be together. We’re also more affectionate day to day and more patient with eachother over the stupid little things that sometimes get couples fighting. We now have a better perspective on things. I still have my “blow up” moments – talk about mood swings, but the bad moments and the negative thoughts come a little less every day and that’s all I can ask for.
    I hope you are all well and working through your issues in whatever way is best for you.

  34. Lady Tarrant Says:

    Thanks Ann, I’m glad to know I’m not the only one. I, too, noticed that after my forcing, with evidence, my fiancée to come clean about his one-time betrayal, our relationship seemed to improve despite the obliteration of trust. We, too, communicate better, are more open, fight less, and are less emotionally volatile. Our relationship has actually stabilized. Not that I’m going to thank him for putting us through this, but I have to admit the aftermath has brought some enlightenment to our lives. I suppose there’s nothing like devastation to prompt people into really finding out just how much their relationship means to them, and having to work together and fight to not loose something of value that seems to deepen the commitment to it. Unfortunately, there are scars to bear and a high price to be paid for surviving such an ordeal no matter the outcome. However, we can be survivors and not victims, such is our choice.
    I am just amazed by, and proud of, how well people can come together to support each other. This is great.

  35. lisa t. Says:

    Before i got married, my boy friend and i were a a keg party and i was completely shit faced. Any way i stumbled outside to have a smoke and i caught this black guy peeing on the side of the house. We made eye contact and for whatever reason i walked over and started stroking his cock. I guess i was curious to see how big he would get. In any event after a couple of munutes he came and when he did i got it on my blouse unbeknown to me. When i wentback inside, my boyfriend was coming through the kitchen and told me i had something on my shirt. When i realized what it was i quickly cleaned it and played it off. Had he come through the kitchen a minute sooner, he would of caught me in the act. Ive never told anyone this before. I feel better.

  36. Ann Says:

    Hi,
    I’m back. I don’t come on this site often because I guess it reminds me too much of what happened, but I appreciated Lady Tarrant’s response and am glad to hear things have improved for you and your finance as well. It’s funny you said that you are not going to thank him for the pain he brought into your life, but it did enlighten you. I can certainly appreciate that. Also, the fact that you chose to be a survivor vs. a victim is important. There are survivors that leave their cheating spouse and those that stay with them. I think both have rough roads ahead and give those who stay and those who leave credit for dealing with the situation in the way that seems best for them. My husband and I both agreed that in some ways it would have been easier for us to both walk away, but we recommitted ourselves to the relationship. I think that decision really depends on where both parties’ heads are at the time of the discovery along the other factors.

    As for Lisa T’s statement, I’m not sure how to respond, but will say that I don’t know how old you are, but know that I did some stupid stuff when I was young and “shit faced” as you put it. If you feel it will remain isolated incident, just be happy that you didn’t get caught and try not to get in a situation like that again.

    Take care, everyone.

  37. undecided Says:

    Wow,
    what a great blog! Good insight into deciding wether or not to keep a cheat around.
    My situation seems a bit less severe than many of the stories here, but I must admit, I’m absolutely torn up about it.
    On Sept 7th, I found out my girlfriend had cheated on me. According to her (and I believe her about 75%) there was no kissing or sex.
    She met up with a guy who was back in the country for a short stay. They have been close friends for many years and she always had a thing for him before we met. They spent the whole evening together. At one point the other guy held her in his arms for over an hour periodically kissing her neck. Eventually they went back to his hotel and watch some of the video of his… get this “ministry work in Africa”. During this time he was very forward with her. He would grab her and throw her down on the bed and they would wrestle and he would trace her body with his fingers going over her breasts and face. Eventually, she felt she HAD to leave when she FELT how aroused he was getting.
    I was driving home that night at 12am when she called. After about 2 minutes on the phone I new something was up. After I got home I began to press for more info until I got the whole story above (again I believe it 75%).

    Here is where I struggle.

    1st. what she did. Unbelievable. Seriously if you knew my girlfriend you would never think this possible.

    2nd. She would have NEVER told me unless I had DRUG it out of her.

    3rd. We have had issues before, nothing as big as infedility, but big stuff nonetheless. She has repeadetly shown an inability to honor her word. I don’t believe out of malice, just out of ineptitude.

    I have explained to her before this event, how important fidelity and trust are to me in our relationship.

    I went through about 1 /2 weeks of the most up and down, close to vomit inducing (no joke) emotions I’ve experienced.
    I take trust and communication VERY seriously.

    I feel like I have ZERO trust for her now. I’ve been continually let down by her empty promises on the small stuff for the past 4.5 years and now she drops this nuclear bomb.

    I’m just f-n tired of the whole thing. Its too much like babysitting. I don’t want to be in a relationship where I have MONITOR my PARTNER. That is not PARTNERSHIP.

    On the flip side, I love this woman more than anything I’ve ever felt and previous to this incident would have done anything for her.

    GRRRRR…. It all so damn confusing.

    I hate her.. I love her.. I want to forgive her.. I want to broom her.

    Any comments? I usually don’t need anyone advice, but this has got me all screwed up.

    Thank you.

    Sincerely,

    Undecided.

  38. Ann Says:

    Hello Undecided,
    Forgive me for giving advice, because I am indeed no expert. After all, I took back my cheating husband. I realize you have invested a lot of time and energy into your relationship, not to mention heartache. However, because she is your girlfriend and not your wife and I don’t mean to make light of this, but because of that and the fact that you only 75% believe her, not to mention that she has not been true to her word at other times, I think you should seriously consider moving on. I also don’t know how old you are, but I cheated on on a long-term boyfriend when I was young (in fact, I wonder if what I’m experiencing now is karma 25 years later); I remember I loved him, but was not in love with him. If I did not finally break up with him, we would have ended up in an unhappy marriage. You also stated your girlfriend said there was no sex and no kissing. When I confronted my husband with my initial discovery, he swore on his mother’s grave there was no sex and no kissing, until I later found his secret email account to her talking about the sex and the kissing. When I later asked how he could lie after I already learned of the affair, he said he felt my knowing would only hurt me further and not resolve anything, blah, blah, blah. Again, everyone is different and your girlfriend could be telling you the truth. You say you really love her, so if you stay in the relationship, just be sure it is with “eyes wide open”, because if something more is happening, you will figure it out eventually. Try not to act as if you don’t trust her as that will hurt the relationship more; just be more aware of signs than you may have been in the past.
    Good luck to you.
    Ann

  39. Lady Tarrant Says:

    Undecided,

    Firstly I’d like to point out that severity, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

    Don’t take it personal that you had to drag it out of her. People in general don’t like to admit to mistakes, even ones far less sever than infidelity, so of course they really wouldn’t want to admit to something that could hurt their own opinion of themselves. She’s not the first, nor will she be the last, that will give only part of the story at first and have to have the rest pulled out them. HOWEVER, pulling that kind of information out of a person is a tedious and arduous task at best. Even though it hurts more and is definitely something you won’t feel like doing, you need to be gentle in your prodding. Pulling out the full story of infidelity from someone who wants to keep their relationship is like pulling thin glass shards out of your feet. It’s painful, you don’t know where all the shards are located since they aren’t easy to see, you don’t know how deeply embedded they are, it’s difficult to tell if you’ve gotten them all out until you try to walk again, and it’s a slow, painful, and delicate process. But they have to be taken out or else you’ll not walk again no matter who’s holding your hand.
    You are not alone in your feeling of having to babysit. You are right that having to constantly monitor your partner is not a partnership. I, too, felt this way. My love was awful at following through on his word for things big and small. Unfortunately, one’s follow through on one’s word is what people tend to use as building blocks for trust. I had to sit down with my fiancé and our counselor and explain this concept slowly and repeatedly to him (some people are shockingly socially inept). I found the best approach is NOT to lecture (we’re well versed at how to tune our parents out, it’s easy to transfer that to our other half), but instead to continually use questions. That way you’re not only keeping the other person engaged in the conversation but you’re forcing them to think, hence pay attention. And if you’re lucky, and don’t have a partner like mine who cannot empathize, your partner may be able to empathize with you and thus be more understanding of your hurt and sense of betrayal. Ask them things like, ‘if I did (insert issue) to you, what would you need me to do to regain your trust?’ Then use that as a building block for the conversation of what you need to regain trust in her. As far as the babysitting issue is concerned, I can tell you this with full conviction, if you continue to feel like that way, you will tire of it and it will ultimately decide the fate of your relationship. It was that issue that decided it for me. I had to make a choice as to whether I was going to trust him or leave him because I simply no longer had the time nor inclination to continue constantly monitoring him—I wanted my equal not a child. I chose trust, because we had spent months in counseling and months with me holding his hand and showing him each and every point where he was hindering my ability to regain my trust in him. It’s a lot of work, and yes sadly enough, you really are training them.
    Should you stay? No one can decide that but you. As part and parcel of that decision you must also decide if she is worth the effort. If you can answer the latter you’ll have your answer to the former.

    Be calm, stay strong,
    LT

  40. vivian Says:

    after my husband cheated on me all the raw fellings are on my heart and mind. I had questioning him so much, i cried and cried, i want him to leave but i still love him every time i look right into his eyes and said “i love you, i will be better” After all we are giving our relationship a second chance is hard to trust again, we are humans, we are not perfect and we all make mistakes and if i change the picture i would like to have a second chance. It’s hard to live in a world where there is womens that chase, attract, or likes to make the life of a women so miserable, WHY? when there are so many single mens that can meet their needs and after all the evil they have done they tell you that they did nothing wrong except be attracted to your man and screw him.

  41. Sheila Lyall Says:

    Get a grip, it is not all the other woman’s fault. Your husband is capable of saying: “NO, I am married and I don’t do this sort of thing.” After all, that is what you took vows for. This has happened to me twice now. I am not saying that I am not without a certain amount of guilt in what happened to our marriage but I was a willing participant in sex and I NEVER would have strayed outside my marriage for ANY reason. Your best bet is to get counseling and insist he is truthful with you or he is gone. Trusting him will take more time.

  42. Johhny Says:

    To Undecided:

    Yours is a very simple case. She is no good, and you must dump her. It’s not a one-time infidelity thing. She has shown herself unable to keep her word across the board, for years.

    It sucks to move on, because you’re facing a dry spell. That’s what’s keeping you in the relationship. Not love.

    Move on, and get a woman who treats you right.

  43. Spes Says:

    Wait a minute. I may be mistaken, but since I can’t seem to figure out a way to access the old comments under ‘Writer Defends Adultery…’ I can’t be certain this is the same Johhny. But I do distinctly remember there being a Johhny that stated that everyone ends up cheating, and that it’s okay as long as it’s kept ‘discreet’. If you’re the same Johhny, then WOW you are the biggest hypocrite for judging that girl who didn’t even go as far as you seem to condone, and for telling that man that he should leave her for doing what you say everyone will eventually do. If you are the same Johhny, you really need to make up your mind as to which side of the fence you’re on. If you’re not the same Johhny, my apologies, I’m just appalled by hypocrisy.

  44. JenJen Says:

    Ive been married to a cheater for 18 years. Ive known, pretended, cried, seperated, and finally turned 40 and realized I was different. He changed me. And although I love him as the only one that I truly ever loved because he is great in every other aspect (even though people say he is such a great dad…really?? What great dad fucks other women besides their mother) but I still cant bring myself to leave him because I love everything else. The only way I have decided that it helps is that I have now had my own revelries after all of these years. One being a good friend of his…just for the pure fact of exciting fun and having my own “secret”. I dont think I could now ever be faithful, yet am not ready to leave. I am different and was never into being unfaithful. But it works for me. Gives me what maybe he wanted….if I was still in my 30s or even 20s I would have never considered it. Now in my 40s, and younger guys find me attractive, Im not going to pass up a good thing. I only have a few more good years in me….him too. So thinking this is the only way I feel that I can make it work for now. WHo know in the next few years. But not waisting time now…esp with his friend. Sorry. Please dont judge. Its my relationship and I have been through so much at this point.

  45. Spes Says:

    JenJen,
    The tone of what you posted screams that you are hurting. This arrangement isn’t healthy, and you don’t seem happy. You seem to be trying to convince yourself that this is the best, or perhaps only, recourse that you have. It’s not. I would seek a counselor soon, before you allow yourself to be damaged further.

  46. Lady Tarrant Says:

    Just an update. Even though there still much work to be done, much progress has been made. In two days time, we’ll be getting married. I feel apprehensive and scared, but I also feel like we can make this work if we both continue to put in the effort. It has been an incredibly difficult road, and even now there are times when thoughts his past actions crowd my mind. During sex is the worst. I find myself suddenly wondering if he’s really there with me, or if they did it in this position, or if he’s just treating me like another one the girls he was screwing for the moment. These sorts of things take time to overcome. Beyond saying my name and letting me know that he’s aware of who he’s with, it’s an issue can has to be tended to by me. I think that may be the hardest part of healing. Oh sure the trust issues are HUGE, but being able to stop letting the past intrude on one’s thoughts is quite the hurdle to face. No one knows where our weakest, most sensitive points are better than our unconscious self. But, one painfully slow step at a time, we persevere. Most importantly, for us to have come so far, we had to do it together as a team, and had learn a lot about communication and commitment.

  47. SRN Says:

    I don’t know if people are still using this blog as it seems to have ended last October.

    I am going through an extremely painful experience in my marriage.

    I met my wife whilst working as an officer on a cruise ship, she was a dancer. We had a whirlwind fairy tale first year together, travlelling the world, meeting eachothers families mine in England hers in Canada, it was awesome.

    We then settled into a relationship where we lived in a very small cabin together on the ship, and basically learnt to be extremley tolerant of eachother, and I am sure much closer than most people can imagine who haven’t lived in an 8 foot by 12 foot cabin on a ship together for 4 years. There was nowhere to go to escape, nowhere to take a time out, just us the cabin and the ship.

    I used to go and watch her dance in every one of her production shows, and even though I had seen every one a hundred times, tears would well up in my eyes at different parts, it made me so happy to see her dance (even though I am a guys guy, and have zero appreciation of arts and dance and stuff like that – prefer football!)

    Anyway we had been married for 2 and half years when we decided that if we were to have a succesful, comitted, settled relationship we should leave ships and try a life on land.

    I was offered an awesome job at the cruise lines head office in the States, and we both moved extremely excited about a new start. Unfortuantely she had to do one more 8 month trip to get out of her contract, and that would be that.

    Anyway sparing the details, 5 months in things got weird with telephone and email communications and something strange happened. I questioned her constantly and that made her communicate less. Again sparing all of the details, she came home in Decemember, I asked and she admitted to having an affair. She said she was lonely and missed attention.

    I wanted to forgive her and start over, because I know it was the corruption of the ship that did it, and had she been with me she would not have done it. She said she was in shock and needed to get some space and figure out shy she did it and forgive herself.

    She went home to Canada, and sparing a very long story, kept contact with her boyfriend, it has been a roller coaster ride of emotions.

    She explains that she has maintained contact with him because she was sure I would eventually leave her and she would be alone. She says she has no intention to be with him (a married entertainer with 3 kids who is twice our age)

    2 months ago I made up my mind that her continued contact with him meant it was over, but until now I have not been able to (emotionally) call a lawyer and file for divorce.

    She calls everyday and says she is desperate ofr a second chance, and when I forgive her and let her come home, she will of course cut off contact with him.

    I believe she shoudl cut off contact with him whether or not she gets to be with me or not? – but that is a matter of opinion I guess?

    The thing is I cannot accept that the bond we formed during all those years confined to that small cabin, is no broken – can I really not give her a second chance? – is it really over even though i don’t want it to be?

    Once a cheater always a cheater?

    I saw her three weeks ago, and the very very deep bond we have is still there. its just the trust and the knowing that she has the potential to do things I never ever imagined she would ever do that are causing the doubt.

    My family says it’s done and I should cut her off and move on. That is hard to hear.

    Does cheating really mean a relationship has to end, if there is still the friendship and the bond.

    To be honest the fact that she had sex with him bothers me but doesn’t really hurt as much as the fact that he went to watch her dance all of the time, an experience which is one of my most treasured experiences during our marriage. Also they went to many ports that my wife and I bonded in, that hurts.

    I guess the thing is I am a regular 9-5 office guy now (starting out in what is a very promising and secure career) he was an exciting entertainer that drew attaention, she is a dancer that needs attention. I fear that if I don’t satisfy that need she will run back to him.

    All I know is that I miss her very deeply and feel a huge void without her. It is hard that I waited 8 months for her to come home, I ached for her every day and technically she never came home. Logic tells me that, that is why i still feel a void, my heart tells me that I will never be complete without that bond in my life.

    Can I put it down to a ship and distance thing, or does the fact that she kept contact after the ship mean anything.

    Reading the posts on this blog has helped a lot – thanks

    Any help??

  48. Spes Says:

    Just because someone cheats it doesn’t automatically mean that the relationship is dead. Wounded, obviously, but not dead. On the flip side, sometimes even though we don’t want a relationship to be over, it really is healthier to walk away. I don’t know you and I don’t know her so I cannot say to which end of the spectrum your relationship falls. What I can say is this: I know if my husband (then fiancé) had continued to keep contact with the woman he had his one night stand with, we wouldn’t have gotten married.
    I also know that when someone cheats on their partner and wants to be taken back they are asking their partner to take a huge risk. It seems to me, and this just my opinion, that your wife is being incredibly selfish. She is asking you to take a chance on her but isn’t willing to take a chance on you. That’s wrong. Granted, after an affair it takes hard work by BOTH parties to mend the relationship, but the person who has wronged the other and so horribly betrayed their trust has to give extra effort to show their remorse, their willingness to work and sacrifice for the relationship, and their commitment to the relationship. A person can talk all they want about what it is that they want and will and will not do, but once the trust has been broken they need to focus more on proving, with actions, their claims and not just throwing around words that carry very little weight. They need to realize that they gave their word and made a vow and then didn’t keep it, thus ruining their partner’s ability to believe in their words. In your specific case I simply can’t relate with your wife’s need to continue jeopardizing her marriage for a man that she can’t a real relationship with anyway. One simply cannot have a true, committed, honest and fulfilling relationship with someone who is married to someone else. Which begs the question, what’s the real reason behind her clinging to this delusion when she has the real thing (her own marriage) available? Maybe her clinging to this other guy is her attempt to cling her ship lifestyle? I don’t know.
    Finally, she, and you, are going to have to decide if you want to put in the effort to mend this. It’s going to take a HUGE amount of work and dedication to heal this wound. If both of you aren’t fully dedicated, it isn’t going to work, because resolving this and moving on take a massive amount of effort. Now that I’ve probably scared you thoroughly, keep this in mind: if you two do find a way to work through this you can be happy and trust can be rebuilt with enough time, follow-through on promises, and work on both party’s part.

    Just my two cents,
    Tarrant

  49. Johnny Says:

    My attitude is, if she treats me right when she’s around, I don’t particularly care what she does when she’s away.

    SRN, I’m sorry to say this, but your wife is a Class-A bunghole, based on that “she needs time to forgive herself” line. What self-indulgent horse shit. Don’t be a chump man. She’s a freak. You’ll never have peace of mind with her.

    Get back on the high seas, matey, and find yourself a new cruise ship hottie!

  50. Madamoiselle L Says:

    What struck me about your situation is not although you said you were going to give him “a second chance” but that you have, unknowingly given him FOUR chances. He cheated with four different women. One time, with one chick, MAYBE forgiveness, Four chicks, who knows HOW many times? No way.

    Why would you, as well, torture yourself by asking for the details? Did he orgasm? Of course, he’s man! Men don’t have sex with OTHER women and think, “OMG, I feel so bad, I can’t even come.” Maybe the women who are cheated on WANT to think this, but it doesn’t happen. STOP asking questions of him (because you STILL can’t trust him and he’s still a GOOD liar) and think what is best for you in the long run.

    Plus, four chicks in 2 years is a LOT for a man who is supposed to be in a dedicated, monogamous relationship. He didn’t just meet a girl, get drunk, and “accidentally” screw her. (eye roll) He thought little enough about his dedication to YOU to get himself woman after woman, while maintaining a pretense of monogamy in your presence. THIS is not something most people grow out of. He’s a serial cheater. I doubt you could ever trust him again, he doesn’t take your love seriously (exactly WHAT was he thinking? Not with ONE girl, not two, but FOUR, one after the other?)

    Lying to one’s mother is NOT the same as cheating in a supposedly monogamous relationship. The two cannot even be compared. ALL kids lie to their moms (I have a bunch of kids, I know.) MOST monogamous people don’t cheat. You are just trying to rationalize his irrational behavior. Hasn’t HE done enough of that?

    I do think you’d be better of fresh with someone who will think better of you, and not lie SO DAMN EASILY that he got through FOUR women before you even suspected. Obviously, he’s a GOOD liar. How will you know in the future if he’s lying? You won’t. And, if you hadn’t brought it up, HOW MANY MORE women would he have have screwed by now, how many in future years?

    How long before he feels SAFE enough to just do it again? Probably not long. He’ll charm and lie to the therapist, lie to you, gain every one’s trust again, and go along his merry way, screwing anything in a skirt, until he’s caught again, and then cry and say “I’m sorry.” And then start the whole cycle over again.

    You can do better than a serial liar and a serial cheater, honey. Move on. You’ll heal faster not having to put up with his bullshit in the meantime. Take at least THIS into your own hands.


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