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Online Cheating

Community Member
I've known my wife for 10 years and married for three of those. The marriage is a lot like others in that it has had its share of ups and downs. There has been more downs this year where not a week has gone by where we don't argue about something, usually something minor, but still love her dearly and dread the thought of ever having her out of my life. Anyway my Mother and her never saw eye to eye and unfortunately died last year, 2018. Mothers Day this year was my first without her, and a week prior would have also been her 80th birthday , so naturally I was feeling quite down around that time. That was not acknowledged by my wife. Around the same time a property she was interested in buying came off the market . The place was around 100km in the opposite direction to where we currently live. I wasn't keen on the idea because of the extra travel to/from work among other things but she was adamant she's moving with or without me if another place were to come up for sale. Anyway feeling down and certain she was considering leaving me I joined up on a dating site to see what life would be like if I was single again, and got to chat to women online, probably more out of loneliness than wanting anything romantic or sexual. Anyway, a friend of hers not known to me, noticed me on the site and informed my wife . To make matters worse I had sent a "hello" to this woman. Now my wife wants the marriage over. I'm the "scum of the earth" , "a loser", "a cheater"….Fair enough I did the wrong thing and will be my biggest regret I've ever had. I never meant to hurt her and would do anything to get her back. I know I'm not going to get much sympathy on here, and I don't expect it. But interested to hear of others in a similar situation.
17 Replies 17

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome,

Ok, yes, you are right, no sympathy as you should have waited until she left you.

But, that doesn't help at all and lets leave that aside.

Trust is one of those issues that once breached is almost impossible to regain. To top it off your wife seemed half out the door anyway as she wasn't acting as a team in a marriage, i.e. no compromising on that property. So I think it is rather safe to say she has taken the opportunity to focus on your breach as a way of laying blame. Sometimes people do this so they feel better and they have much less guilt. Pointing the finger at, is easier that towards themselves.

I can only suggest what I would do under similar circumstances and hope it helps. I would now back off a lot of my communication on the basis that I'd say "I want our marriage to work so having said that please consider that and lets make an effort". Once I'd said that - the ball is in her court. The damage is done, it is entirely up to her.

Then I'd wait. Pick a period of time that you are reasonable in your mind that you have given her. For me that would be 3 months maximum. If she hasn't put the matter aside and indicated her desire to remain together I would make a move to live as a single person.

Ten years is a long time. I suggest if it doesn't work out that you take precautions while separating with her to look after your health. Return here if you think it will help. Talk. Many of us have gone through this, myself 3 times (all over 7 years). We also all make mistakes and the one thing gratifying here is that you own them, you have taken responsibility- that takes courage.

All the best


Thanks very much for that Tony. I really appreciate it

We're both in our mid 50's and this is a second marriage for both of us. We've gone through our marriage generally very close, despite some downside, and always wished we could have had kids together.

Her first marriage ended via her ex walking out to be with another woman and mine ended through my ex having an affair, so we both know the hurt an affair can bring. The difference is , however, I stopped dwelling on the reasons for my first failure many years ago and moved on whilst she seems to still be harbouring anger towards her ex, despite splitting 12 years ago. It's still occasionally brought up in conversation about how much of an xxxxxxx he is.

My feelings are now of huge loss, despair, loss of identity and as if our dreams are instantly shattered. Despite living in Australia 35 years (orig from NZ) I don't have family here apart from my 2 Aust born sons who live close by. The friends I did have I haven’t keep in touch with since meeting my wife, and the only friends I've met since are really her friends so it can get difficult chatting to someone about it . Its easier being at work I guess amongst people.

Again, thanks Tony

Community Member

Hi Tony,

As I have just recently (6months ago) experienced being "cheated on" I say that in quotations as there was nothing physical it was all online, similar to what you were doing I feel I can possibly share some insight to how she is feeling and maybe some options or points of discussion.

First off now you have to be totally open and honest with your phone - no pass codes, letting her pick it up and go through it whenever will help establish trust again - as you should no long have anything to hide.

Two - sitting down and discussing what you both would like out of the relationship - this will include admitting you were wrong in your actions, how sorry you are but also being open about your feelings on loneliness and how you would like the relationship to be/change in the future. Obviously give her time to speak about how she feels as well . Another factor is to not try to justify your actions because you were feeling lonely as a step before the online chatting would have been to talk to her about how you were feeling.

Three - Time is the only thing that will build trust back in the relationship - let her have time to process and think about the relationship, answer any questions she has about the online chatting even if they are the same ones 100x times over.

I am in no ways saying that your feelings should come second now but give some time to her and stress the importance of communication. As tony has said - let her know you would like the marriage to work and what are the steps that you can BOTH work together on to get it back on track.

Hope this some what helps/makes sense.


Hi Peppa

I really appreciate your input

She won't talk to me at all, so I sent her a note this morning outlining my desire to stay together, make it work, and expressing unreservedly how much I do love her.

Since the discovery , 4 days ago, she doesn't appear to be emotionally upset, but quite angry and abrupt. I've been called every name under the sun and some . From what I've seen of her she hasn't broken down in tears like I have (numerous times) but I guess everyone handles things differently.

I'm just hoping the anger will soon subside to a point we can have a rational conversation about it.

At the moment she just wants me gone, but I somehow don't think she means that because the anger may be getting in the way of how she truly feels.

Also Peppa, are you and your husband still together and working things out, or did you decide to separate?

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Shockwave,

welcome to beyond blue.

My understanding is that property was for sale and for whatever reason was not purchased. And you wife said the next time a property was available she would go with or without you, which you interpreted as the breakdown of the marriage (vs long distance marriage). And because of your assumption, then joined a dating site, only to be found out.

Now it is not for me to say whether you going on a dating site was smart or not. There are plenty of pages on the I'net that can tell you how to get your wife back. In your wife's mind she might think that if you are lonely will go to a dating site again? Whether that is true or not, it will likely be sometime before you can regain her trust. Except that behaviours have consequences (both good and bad).

If I did have one question it would be what made you decide to go to a dating site rather that confide in your wife how you were feeling?

And were you able to have a full and honest discussion on your reasons for what happened?

One of the key features of marriage (to me) is communication and I have not been in the position you are in; but I can listen and chat with you.


Shockwave , we are back together working things out - we did take about 1 month break to just miss each other I guess .

The reason i stress the time thing is that it’s been 6months since I found things on my partners phone and still occasionally I get over come with feelings of hurt and worry that it might happen again.

im not saying your situation is the same as ours but when I first found out I was furious !! He was called all the names and kicked out of the house. After about a week I calmed down enough to think about the 10years we had been together and not to just throw that all away . That is when communication became huge for us. We met up and a neutral but some what private location (park) to talk about what we each needed in the relationship and for me to open up to him how my trust had been broken and the steps needed to re build it. In doing this is found out things that he was thinking and feeling in/about our relationship that I had no idea about .

We are now still having our ups and downs but it really is about talking in the moment about how you feel not bottling it up or making assumptions.

I feel like you letting her know that you want to make it work and are sorry is a step in the right direction but acknowledge the ball is in her court right now as it was you that made the mistake.

I do feel for you as I know my partner has said over and over he wishes he could take the hurt away.


Thanks Peppa. I'm still living at home but wondering if I should just move out for a month and cut all contact to give here the breathing space she needs. Id do anything to have things the way they were.

Maybe just get an air bnb for a few weeks