I don't even know where to start my story, so I guess I'll just go chronologically. About a year ago, my girlfriend(?) of now almost 3.5 years went on an exchange trip to China and made a new friend who I'll refer to a J from this point out. I did not know about J until she was back in the states and started spending an uncomfortable amount of time with him. At the time, she was finish her final year of college and Pittsburgh and I had moved to LA for a job. Our plan was that she'd finish school and move out here since the area since we could both find work.
Jump forward a little bit of time, and we start to have fights about how I am uncomfortable with the type of friendship she has with J. I was a little surprised by all this since when we first got together, I was very open about how the last major relationship I have been in ended when she re-connected with a childhood friend and one thing led to another and she wound up cheating on me and that was the end of that. Like I said, I made my history well known early on and she we beyond resistant to my complaints/issues with her new friendship.
We have a few visits during the long distance thing, and things seem ok. I ask if I can meet J a couple of times since I'm trying to become more ok with her having a really close male friend, but he's always out of town or something. Now that I'm writing it down, I feel beyond nieve.
I have to break time line and explain a few things quickly now. The gf assumed that the entire time we were apart I was cheating on her/she kinda assumed that the moment she moved out here I was gonna meet her at the airport smile, and say "so long kid, you're on your own" after how hard long distance was on both of us. She assumed wrong, and I waited and was faithful the entire time, regardless as to how bad it got.
Continuing, more time passes, and we have a bad fight during May (I pick that month because that's when she said the incident occurred) and (her words) she wanted to hurt me and make me as miserable as she was that night. One thing leads to another, and her and J sleep together.
Around this time, I begin to get really suspicious, but it was less then a month until she moved out to LA so I sucked it up. According to her, sleeping together all but destroyed the friendship, but she spent her remaining time in Pittsburgh trying to fix things.
So flash forward to two nights ago: We have a giant fight and almost break up. Suffice to say, we're not transitioning from long distance well regardless. Ever since she's arrived, it's felt as though she's been keeping something, and that was the crux of the fight.
On to last night, we doing a little better. We seem to have worked some things out. She uses my laptop to check her email and forget to log out. She leaves and I go to use my laptop and she's still logged in and (not proud of this next part) I see an email chain between her and J about the fight we had the night before. I can stop myself and I read the email. I then start digging and find other emails, nothing incriminating, but beyond friend stuff. I at this point know somethings wrong and call her to call her out.
She says she doesn't want to do this over the phone so I head to her place and it all spills out. She breaks down, I'm furious, and I get the full story. I know I'm on the younger side to be thinking about how permanent I think a relation ship is, but we've been through a lot in 3 years and I was beyond convinced this relationship had staying power. Enough staying power that assuming we could adjust back from long-distance, I was going to ask her to marry me.
So 7 hours ago now we talked, and talked, and talked. She admitted it was malicious, it was intended to hurt me, and that nothing had happened since and that it was the one night. And I, found myself pre-pared to attempt to fix thing. People make mistakes I guess, I know I sure as hell have, and based on how she acted last night I believe she's sincere and it was purely a mistake.
Like I said, that was 7 hours ago. I've now had 7 sleepless hours tossing and turning and eventually giving up on sleep and I don't know where I am anymore. Like I said, I feel bad post this along side stories about families being torn apart, but I had no where else to turn I guess.
Am I crazy for wanting to reconcile? Does reconciliation ever really work? Am I just better ending this and moving on? I just feel so follow and confused. I feel like I should be furious, but at the same time I care about her so much the fury just wont come. I don't know if I've even hit the stages yet.
You are in the right place your pain is not insignificant because you are young or the two of you are not married.
The most important thing right now is that you take care of you . Try and get some sleep.
It is not wrong that you want to R. But, she sounds like she may have some self esteem issues so I would suggest to her that she face them before you do.
You don't have to make any life decisions right now. Take things one day at a time. Perhaps instead of jumping right back into a relationship with her now you could remain friends and see where this road takes you.
Stay Strong (((Mordak)))
You are the only one who can decide if you should move on or not. Wisely? Do not let GF off the hook easily. This was a huge, HUGE betrayal. Don't forgive & sweep this under the rug. Forgiveness is good. ACCOUNTABILITY is good. She need to become more accountable in the relationship she has with you.
The thing is Mordak, you had a problem with their relationship & spoke with her, she wasn't respectful in her response. At all. Then she sleeps with BFF. Why is her BFF a guy she met after you?
What was her behavior before? Is she just an ok girlfriend? I know you loved her. How much did she really love you back? It's a question you want to ask yourself & be honest. Anytime dishonesty is applied, it shows up.
I know you are hurting. Screaming in your gut & your head. I am very sorry for your pain. Hang in there & don't rug sweep k? Duffy1958
Listen, there is a HUGE difference between making a mistake (I put on a mismatched pair of shoes today, whoops!) and an INTENTIONAL act to hurt someone else in the most personal and damaging way possible. She had sex with this guy INTENDING to hurt you, that is a whole level of cold heartlessness that can't be ignored. Many, if not most, wayward spouses (WS's) don't INTEND to hurt their partner, the pain is a side effect of their own selfish actions rather than the intention of the action. That is a huge thing. What happens next time you two fight and she gets so mad that she wants to hurt you back? Will she go get pregnant by this guy to hurt you? From the sounds of it, it's not out of the question.
I want to also let you know, from years of being on this site and reading thousands of stories and posts from thousands of people, you have most likely not heard the truth. The ONS story is often the easiest one to tell because the WS often thinks that they can get away with that lame story. Later on, the trickle truth (or TT) occurs and the BS finds out that the infidelity was much greater than just a ONS. The WS will be very convincing, crying, sobbing, swearing on their parents lives or their childrens lives or their dog or their (insert whatever else the WS holds dearest to them), they will offer to give you the moon if they are lying because they are swearing they are telling the truth, and all the while they ARE lying. It's really disgusting how they swear on all that is holy and then still lie. So be prepared for more truth later on (may even come months or possibly years later).
Many of the BS's here who have stayed and even attempted reconciliation (R) with their spouse have only done so due to obligations, like children, mortgage's, lack of employment, etc. etc. Not all stay for those reasons, but many do attempt R for those reasons initially. Many will also say, if you don't have those obligations, then cut bait and take off while you can before you get ensnared with all those obligations that make leaving harder. It's totally up to you. I know that if I didn't have kids and over a decade of history with my H when he cheated, I would have been out of there faster than he could sneeze.
Over the course of our relationship, my WH has been by his own description "emotionally retarded". I would attempt to discuss our problems in an adult, reasonable manner and get gaslighting, blameshifting, screaming, threats, shunning and a complete withdrawl of affection.
He would even walk out and abandon us for weeks at a time.
His A? Punishment because he thought I was not showing him enough love. Just like your WGF.
Why am I telling you this? Because Mordak, if I were you I would run far and fast from this girl. This kind of emotionaly stunted reaction is a learned response from childhood. It is an INTENSE self-defense mechanism.
My WH went on anti anxiety medication, twice a week IC and once a week MC. And I saw gradual improvement in his behavior. I had hope.
MC fizzled out after 4 weeks. IC fizzled out after 10 months. Now? I see him slowly slipping back in to the same behaviors. It took a lot of effort for him to consciously not respond to "threats" the way he learned to as a child. He could do it for a while. But it is a massive reprogramming of the brain.
Like my WH, your WGF's reactions are not normal.
In a committed relationship it is not normal to assume your partner has cheated while you were away and thus it is okay for you to cheat.
In a committed relationship it is not normal to go sleep with another person just because you had an arguement with your partner.
Cut your losses Mordak and go find a divine girl to love who has less baggage.
Just out of college? No children? No assets?
Thank her profusely - and I mean profusely - for exposing the broken and dysfunctional monster NOW - instead of AFTER getting married, bringing innocent children into the world, buying a house, accumulating marital debt, and wasting many years with someone who will ultimately stab you and your children in the back.
Drop her a thank-you card and move-the-fuck-on.
I think the advice you are getting is pretty spot on. As others have said, thank her for her honesty and run.
A lot of that is based on an underlying theme;
"When someone shows you who they are, believe them."
Just wondering how you are doing, can you let us know. You sounded so sad and broken before. I hope you are working things out and doing what is best for you.
Things are... at best beyond complicated. We're talking, and were using this weekend to give each other some breathing room. I'm trying my best to keep busy which has ranged from an extra shift at work to agreeing to go to a beach (I HATE the beach) tomorrow. I honestly don't know any better where I'm at today then I did when I made the original post. I'm less numb on the topic which I think is a good thing, but my desire to give her a second chance is just as strong as it was. Someone gave the advice to not do anything for a bit, let it settle some, and that seems to be the path I'm pursuing. I just can't quite bring myself to just walk away after three and a half years and all the stuff we've been through as a couple I guess. Maybe it's out of respect for the relationship that I feel I need to try or something. I've definitely fucked up (not quite this bad, but close once or twice) in that time span.
I'm also looking into what kind of therapist my insurance will cover since regardless of what ultimately happens, I'm gonna need someone to talk to. Thankfully I live in the land of mental break downs so it looks like I'll actually have options.
I'm beginning to wish I processed grief or anguish or whatever the right word is for this a little more traditionally. It seems every other day I run the full gambit from denial all the way to acceptance, go to bed, wake up the next genuinely ok, go to bed that night and then spend the night tossing and turning getting through denial again. Least I get a little breather in between?
I know it's a very personal question, but can anyone describe what denial felt like to them? Given what I do for a living and how I was raised, I tend to approach stuff like this in a slightly too mathematically brained way. I'm beginning to worry that my version of denial is this super speed loop I've caught myself in.
Again, thank you all who responded. I saw somewhere on the site some advice to not talk to friends/family about what happened until I'm sure how/what I want to do on that topic since the more people involved the more complicated it all can get. Even though I don't know any of you personally, it's nice to know that there's a group of people out there who know what I'm going through.
Please realize whatever you know right now is more than likely the tip of the iceberg.
It's good that you are keeping busy. Please make sure though, that you are not rug sweeping in the process. I no longer do that (much , I still have much work to do on me). You both are young and she is young enough to change but you have to make her do the work. You need to make her face what she has done. Not just be sorry, but remorseful.
I hope all goes well for you. It is a long process if you decide to R. But, SHE has to put in more work than you.
Post Dday, I think denial showed up as my brain simply not processing bits of info WH had given me that were contradictory. I didn't question some things he said until months later. When it would finally pop into my brain "Wait!!! This couldn't possibly be true..." I would wonder why the hell I didn't ask about it earlier.
I think my brain shut out stuff it wasn't ready to deal with yet. Almost like a filter so I wasn't overwhelmed. I believe it is a protection mechanism. They say abused people experience this.
I found out the truth in April, and went through several stages. At first, he told me that it was only one time. It later came out that it was more than that though. I started out by feeling like you, that I wanted to forgive and give him a second chance. Then I came out of denial, and tried to leave him. He cried and begged though, and it's been a week by week thing since then. I constantly think of leaving, and then he'll say something that makes me stay.
I have good days, and then I have days where I wonder why in the world I'm wanting to marry someone who has cheated on me.
My best advice is to think very carefully about what you want right now. It's easier to leave at the beginning, and the longer you stay with her the harder it is to leave. The feelings of love will come back, but the betrayal doesn't really ever go away. Having sex for the first time will bring a lot of it back too.
I'd also advise to not tell your friends until you know what you want. I told my friends, and now I'm having to deal with them all disagreeing with my decision to stay with him.
Denial for me is wanting to believe that no matter what the objective evidence says, my BF can't possibly be that person.