Grieving the loss of trust - Once a cheater, always a...?
It's my first time posting here. I have been married for over three years now, we work very well together in balancing each other out and there is a lot of love in the relationship.
I have always had generalised anxiety, and assisted myself by focussing on the needs of others. The two years leading up to our marriage my husband was 'broken', working through a lot of things, severe depression, bipolar type 2 (with no highs/mania), different medications, hospital stays, I was there through the thick of it, giving my all and walking on egg shells, I did it because I loved him and knew what he could be. It left me ravaged, a shadow of my former self, physically and mentally. He is now a man who works full time, with little-no impulsive behaviours, he is not on medication and most days appears much saner than myself.
Just recently I have called him out on a few occasions I thought he cheated, I was right. Prior to marriage there were a couple misadventures, they were one off things but they happened. He had denied these happening for so long.
I'm not so hurt by the acts themselves, it's more so that he took so long to tell me and the fact that I was giving him everything when these things happened. His explanation is 'i knew I was going to marry you soon, so, it was stupid and I feel disgusted'.
I can't look at photos of us from 4-5 years ago without feeling sorry for myself, I see this 19 year old, 48kg girl who had nothing left for herself because she was giving it all away, and for what? To be disrespected?
I want to stop being untrusting of him, he has told me they were the only occasions and nothing has ever happened while married. But I'm scared because I'm aware he's denied misadventures before now.
Is there anyway to know for sure he won't do this to me again? Any signs I can take as good reasons to reinstate full trust? I don't want to sabotage our relationship by being my own private investigator all the time. I certainly cannot have children like this, it wouldn't be fair.
I just want to trust again and to be able to look at those engagement photos with loving eyes instead of disgust.
Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated,
dear WineLips, thanks for coming to the site and I'd like to welcome you on board.
The question you are asking must be one of the hardest questions that one person in a marriage/relationship could ever ask, although it's something that we could worry about even in what seems to be a perfect marriage, because guys look at other girls and the same happens in reverse.
All marriages /relationships have their ups and downs, there are disputes, disagreements and even verbal fights, and that's when the temptation could happen, and here I am just talking aloud.
After all of what I have said I don't think I can give you an answer, because if my wife (now ex ) had an affair, which I was always worried about, even though I kept on checking on her after a couple of incidents, even we still loved each other, but she divorced me, so in other words I could never be 100% satisfied that she didn't.
I hope others can chip in here, but please get back to us. L Geoff. x
Hi winelips, welcome
I'm with Geoff. Both my wife and I have discussed this. Neither of us could live harmoniously once trust has been broken. It is such a critical need in our relationship.
However, as Geoff eluded, its subjective. I've known married couple that openly have affairs. Even one marriage whereby the guy has affairs and his wife wont and she knew/knows the affairs are taking place. Look at Hillary Clinton? She had the embarrassment of the world knowing about Bill's oval office affair. And although I couldnt do this myself I can understand the ability of some to accept it and remain in the marriage. Because love includes many things and for some its accepting their partner being a loose cannon but the alternative is being without them in their lives and that is worse.
You need to do some soul searching. You already know you cant have children with this man with your feelings and memories so paramount. He obviously thinks you have accepted it all.
Everyone has different standards. For you your standards are messed with mixed feelings of betrayal and loving this man. Time to set your own standards in cement and exercise your right to stand by them.
I do understand that it is a difficult question to answer, there is most likely no real answer.
I guess I'm after coping mechanisms that can be utilised to heal, if I'm going to continue doubting him then that's not fair on him either and I may as well move on. But I don't want to move on, I know what we have is special and I highly doubt us finding that with others.
These misadventures usually happen for people when sex is not going well. That is something I've never withheld and actually could enjoy on a daily basis, I've always been like that.
When I flipped the table and asked him how he'd feel if it was me who had done those things he said he probably would have left me. It's crazy that there is such a double standard, it makes me feel like I'm pathetic for not getting up and walking away. But it's something that happened a long time ago, if it was a recent thing I hope I'd think differently.
I guess I'm interested in hearing from those that have experienced this and continued their relationships and how they let go of those parts of the past so they didn't look back and feel sick.
Hi WineLips (I like the user name!)
Coping mechanisms will, I think, depend on the individual. If you are a strong, confident and forgiving person, then I think you will probably be able over time to forgive and move on. You may however never 'get over it'.
Distraction techniques are a good coping method. Immerse yourself in an activity (e.g. gym, boxing). You will find that when you are alone you may then not dwell so much on what happened, and when your partner is with you, then you may typically be focusing your attention on the both of you rather than the past. A clumsy way of saying that distract yourself from thinking of the past when you are alone, and when you are together focus on the Now.
I could say more, but will leave it for now.
dear WineLips, what you say ' I'm interested in hearing from those that have experienced this and continued their relationships and how they let go of those parts of the past so they didn't look back and feel sick', would only happen in an open relationship.
People maybe able to forget but then what happens when the two of you have a fight/argument, eventually the dirty laundry will come out, just saying. L Geoff. x