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Should I Stay or Should I Go?

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3yearlie posted 10/9/2013 17:06 PM

I found out about my fiance's affair in June. It's now October and I question every day if I'm making the right choice.

My Story: I met my fiance almost 3 years ago (late 2010). In fact, this weekend is our anniversary and I think that is what is prompting a lot of this questioning. I'm so sad because he's all excited and wants to celebrate and I don't see what there is to celebrate. This year is a lost cause to me.

Not long after we first started dating, my now-fiance, then-boyfriend logged into his facebook account on my phone and I guess forgot to log out. Hours later I was bored and opened facebook and saw that I had unread private messages. I pretty much immediately realized that I was logged in under his account and that most of the messages were from girls--an alarming number in fact. I told myself it would be wrong to read them, but if I didn't there would be no way for me to sleep that night. I decided I would open up just one to put my fears at rest. Well, the first message was inappropriately flirty. I looked at another. Same thing. The next one was the same. There were probably 6 messages like that all to different girls before I started crying. He was sitting next to me on the couch and he immediately realized what had happened and snatched my phone away from me and proceeded to delete all of the messages right in front of me while simultaneously saying that those weren't sent by him, but by his "friend". I'm not stupid, but he acted like I was a complete idiot and should believe that obvious of a lie. I completely lost my shit and after him FINALLY admitting that he had sent those messages, he apologized and promised it would never happen again.

Our relationship was fairly new at this point, so I didn't know about his family dynamic until this point. He broke down and told me that the reason for his parents' divorce was because of his father's multiple affairs. His father ended up leaving to marry his favorite whore and left my boyfriend, his mom, and his brothers to start a new life (and a new family) halfway across the country when he was in 4th grade. I KNOW that was a devastating and life-changing experience for him. He expressed how much he hates his father for what he did to him and his mother. I took that into consideration when I decided to forgive him for the messages he sent. And when I say I forgave him, I really did. I completely trusted that he wouldn't do that to me again. I was his first long-term girlfriend (we were 28 and 29 at the time) so I gave him the benefit of the doubt that he just didn't know what was expected of him in a committed relationship. I didn't even mention the transgression when we would get into unrelated fights. I never used it as ammunition against him.

Spring 2011: My world comes crashing down on me when I get a call at work from my Mother. She was at the Doctor's office and she is barely able to get out between sobs that she has just been diagnosed with inoperable Stage 4 cancer. If you aren't familiar with cancer stages, there is no Stage 5. My Mother is the person I am closest to in the world. At this point I am now preparing to enter the long and heartbreaking process of dealing with the slow and inevitable death of my mother. She has been on Chemotherapy from the week after her diagnosis until present day. The cancer has now spread to her brain and her liver. There is no hope anymore for a recovery. All we are able to do is try to prolong her life at this point. 2 years of Chemo has wrecked and ravaged her body and it has been the most difficult experience of my life. I hope NONE of you have to ever go through this.

Shortly after the diagnosis: I get a message on Facebook (on my account) from a girl whose name I don't recognize. She told me that my boyfriend had been messaging her and trying to flirt with her. To this day, she is the ONLY person who has ever come to me with any information. I thanked her for the information and left my office and broke down. My Mom is dying and my boyfriend is cheating on me. At this point I was so hurt that I absolutely saw red. I waited until I went to pick him up from work to tell him I knew. I said it was over, and I meant it. I had come to terms with my decision that day that he couldn't do this to me, especially NOW, and claim to love me. He cried and SWORE that it would never happen again, that it was only that one girl this time, and that it was a drunk mistake. I KNEW I was being foolish to take him back. I told him that if I was watching this from the outside, I would tell me to RUN and not look back. I will admit I should have just left at this point. I wish I could go back and do just that, but I didn't want to go through a breakup while my mom was dying. I was honestly afraid that she would die, and I would be left with nobody (my sister moved across the country and my father is emotionally absent). He convinced me that he was really trying and that he was getting better.

Summer 2011: It happens a third time. I found out because, like the last time, I had forgiven him and gave him the benefit of the doubt that it wasn't going to happen again. I was angry one morning thinking about what had happened throughout our relationship and decided that I needed to know right then and there if it was happening again so I took his phone while he was sleeping and found LOTS of texts to and from all of these fucking slutty girls talking extremely explicitly back and forth. I confronted him, completely emotionally beaten down, and he lied half-heartedly about it to try to get me to stay. He threw himself at me and begged me to stay. He did everything I asked of him and truly seemed remorseful and disappointed in himself. I admit, I've given him too many chances because I honestly believe he does not want to be like his father, but can't help himself. He describes it as a "dark thing inside of him" that he tries to control but can't always do it. I made it clear this time that this was SO out of hand and cruel to me at this point that the next time this happens there will be no questions asked--I will just leave and he will never hear from me again. He swears up and down he's a changed man and he is, as far as I can tell. I still feel stupid every time I think about it though, I have nobody to talk to about it.

Summer 2011-Fall 2012: He is wonderful. I check his phone without warning every once in a while and there is NOTHING inappropriate. He seems truly changed and completely remorseful for everything that has happened. I am depending heavily on his support as I am watching my Mom get weaker and weaker. He cooks meals for us, cleans the house, helps me out in every way while I work full-time and try to care for my Mom. I'm so relieved.

Fall 2012: At 30 years old, I realize my lifelong dream of buying my own home (by myself, he is not on the mortgage or the loan--our finances are not combined in any way). He moves in with me and we are happy. We are both doing great things in our careers and I am continuing to care for my Mom, although we are getting late into the disease process. I check his phone infrequently and find no evidence of cheating.

July 2013: I check his facebook not expecting to find anything--just to reassure myself that everything is still fine and I find ongoing messages from two FUCKING C***S he's working with. One of them is 21 (I'm 31 at this point) and has a boyfriend. She seems to get off on the fact that my now-fiance is messaging her while I'M ASLEEP NEXT TO HIM. The other one is 19--A FUCKING CHILD. It's obvious that they've gone out on several "dates" and they have been telling eachother that they love one another. This has been going on for several months by the time I found out. The last message between them was that she was moving away and goodbye. The affair stopped because she left...not because he stopped it.

I may get in trouble for this, but I feel like it's pertinent. I blacked out with rage. I felt NO sadness--only that I was going to fuck him up. I couldn't stop pacing the floor until he came home and I hid in the shadows of our entryway and as soon as he came inside I started pounding on him. I took him by surprise and he was so afraid that I actually felt sorry for him for a moment. I punched him in his smug face outside on the porch and dragged him inside by his hair. I'm screaming that's he's been cheating on me, that he's a fucking liar, look at what he's turned me into, etc. AND HE'S LYING TO MY FACE. I busted his lip open for saying that. I told him to get the fuck out of my house and out of my life. He refused to leave. I threatened to call the police to have him remove him even though I would go to jail.

Eventually I fell to a heap on the floor. He slept on the couch that entire week with me yelling at him to get out. I threw all of his belongings on the front lawn and he picked them up and continued to sleep on the couch and apologize.

At this point though, he hadn't admitted the whole truth. I KNEW something more had to have happened with the girl he was actually going out with (the 19 year old). I took 2 MONTHS of me screaming at him for him to come out and admit that they would go into the walk-in freezer at the restaurant where they worked to make out and who knows what else.

I broke into his iphone after taking it from him and he had deleted everything of course. There is an easy way to find deleted text messages that have either phone numbers or email addresses in them that I can tell people about when I'm able to access that board. Anyway, I got her email address and phone number and decided to call her to corroborate the story he was giving me. She did admit that they had been going out, she KNEW he was engaged, and they had been making out at work for weeks. The smug little c*** never even offered an apology.

Now it's October. He has been promising me that it's never going to happen again, going out of his way to be transparent, reading relationship books and articles on how to help your partner heal from an affair, etc. etc. etc. He is completely remorseful (or at least does a VERY good impression of someone who is). We are about to enter couples counseling.

The thing is...I just don't think it's worth it anymore. I don't feel like I can ever truly trust him to not do this to me again. But... I know he's sorry, I know he WANTS to change. I just don't know if it's even possible for someone as psychologically damaged as he is. I just know I can't do this again. My mother is dying. He decided to betray me in the worst possible way WHILE MY MOTHER IS DYING. I don't think I can get over that. I don't think I SHOULD get over that. I've given up the dream of getting married in time for my mother to see it. I was planning our wedding when I found out this last time.

I know I'm an idiot for trusting him. I know I've given him too many chances. He calls and texts me to check in constantly to tell me where he is and who he's with. He's doing everything he knows to do but I'm worried it's just for show. Then I lose my temper at him and he starts crying and hitting himself. It's these times that I believe he is changing.

I don't even know what kind of advice I'm looking for at this point. Seeing it all written out like this...I would tell me to run away.

3yearlie posted 10/9/2013 17:08 PM

Well...I guess I've probably won the award for longest rant, most messed up relationship, most sociopathic partner, and more. Bless anyone who decides to actually read all of this mess.

StillLivin posted 10/9/2013 17:23 PM

If he is not in IC, and not giving transparency, and doing none of the things YOU need to heal. Run like hell! Run fast and hard.
If he is doing the things you need, maybe a separation, and definitely putting off the wedding for several months/year.
I grew up in an extremely physically abusive home. Hitting and hurting are still my first want to go to reactions.
Hitting doesn't make anything better, I don't do it....though STBXH almost got the a$$ whooping of his life when I first found out.
Leave the physical abuse behind you. It may feel good while doing it, but you only feel worse about yourself afterwards. Maybe put the salt in the sugar dispenser.
So sorry about your Mom. My Mom is a cancer survivor, I don't even know the strength it must be taking to deal with that alone.
Love yourself. You deserve better!

lieshurt posted 10/9/2013 17:24 PM


There is a lot to be said here, but I'm going to get straight to the point....If I were in your shoes, I'd end it with him. He's a serial cheater. His behavior has escalated each time and gotten worse. He even resorted to being with a teenager. What will be next?

Crying and hitting himself isn't remorse. It's him being melodramatic. It deflects you from the issue at hand.

Also, do not resort to violence again. You will be the one to go to jail and that's the last thing you need to happen.

3yearlie posted 10/9/2013 17:36 PM

I should have mentioned before: I am NOT a violent person. Or...I guess I wasn't a violent person. I've never hit anyone before this. That's what I meant about "what he's turned me into". I NEVER would have thought I would ever be in a situation where I would hit someone. I was actually worried that I would hit him and it would be like a mosquito bite to him. It didn't end up that way. I'm 6ft and strong, apparently. I still can't believe it happened. I've never blacked out before this but now I understand when people say they blacked out with rage. It's like you're watching yourself from far away and somebody else is controlling your body.

I know it doesn't sound like it, but I was a happy, free-spirited person before this. Now I'm a paranoid, angry person all the time. I don't recognize myself when I look in the mirror.

sparklezombie posted 10/9/2013 17:48 PM

Honestly and gently, I would go. I'm on my umpteenth dd now and I wish I left years ago. Now we have a mortgage and a baby and I feel trapped. You deserve way better than this and I honestly feel like it's very unlikely that he will change. So if I were you, knowing what I know now, I would go. Run like the wind

heartache101 posted 10/9/2013 17:49 PM

First honeyn I want to give you a big cyber hug. Watching your mother go thru the cancer and literally fight for her life should be enough for one person.
I did this with my mother a year after my spouses infidelity.
When someone repeatedly shows you who they are sit up and pay attention. He is showing you he can not be who he wants you to believe he is or can be. Walk away from him for 6 months. Don't date anyone just be. You will realize you are better then what he is letting you be. You are his doormat stop him from wiping his feet on you.
He can use this time to go too counseling and see why he cant be monogamous/ faithful.
Right now you need you not all this drama.

selkiescot posted 10/9/2013 17:58 PM

Welcome.I know your WF quite well. I have been married to someone just like him for 35 years. It is not going to get any better and might get alot worse. He is a serial cheater possibly SA. He need to do alot of work to fix his brokeness.
First and formeost you need to get checked for STD's.Yesterday. if he has had sex with any of these women he might have brought you home a present that no one wants.
You need to draw a clear line in the sand. He needs clear and defined consequences for his behaviour. You cannot give him ultimatums and then not follow through. He cheats you threaten and then he turns on the charm and you say ok this is YOUR LAST CHANCE. How many last chances has he had?

LeopoldB posted 10/9/2013 19:54 PM

The reason they have so many curbs is so
that you can kick his ass to the nearest one.

cantgetup posted 10/9/2013 22:02 PM

My H had his A when my mom was dying from leukemia. I found out about the A and my mom died 2 months later. It is a special kind of cruel. It messed up my grieving for my mom. I feel like one day the double grief will hit me out of no where. There are many wonderful women here whose H cheated while they (as BS) were in treatment or terminal with cancer and other illnesses. Makes me very sad. Honestly, I think your relationship is in deep trouble possibly irreparable. If your asking--- I would not stay.

headdesk posted 10/10/2013 00:38 AM

So sorry that you have gone through all of this.

As you said, sorry is only sorry if it doesn't keep happening. Until then it's more 'shhh, so it's easier for me'. If he hasn't done any healing/worked on issues that are causing him to be this emotionally implosive, he's not going to change.

You have enough crap on the go right now. Pack his stuff while he's gone, change the locks and/or call the police if you need to.

Thessalian posted 10/10/2013 00:52 AM

I don't know if I'm the right person to give you advice, but my WH serial-cheated for 2 years. I didn't know about any of it while it was going on, so it's not like I busted him and then he made promises and then broke them - we have only been through that process once.

Now we are in R, and I really believe he's not going to do it again, because when he was doing all that he was so self-involved he didn't consider the ramifications.

But I can tell you this: he knows what the ramifications are now. He knows what it looks like to hurt me that way, and what happens when he does, and there is no more wiggle room. And though I do believe we're "soulmates" (whatever that means), if I get the slightest, smallest, tiniest whiff that this is ever, ever, ever going on again, I will walk without another word. It will hurt like hell and I will miss him and I will know he "wants to change" and all of that, but it's just. not. worth. it.

If I was in your shoes, I'd get out out out.

Bobbi_sue posted 10/10/2013 01:40 AM

The thing is...I just don't think it's worth it anymore. I don't feel like I can ever truly trust him to not do this to me again. But... I know he's sorry, I know he WANTS to change. I just don't know if it's even possible for someone as psychologically damaged as he is
He may be sorry and "want to change" on some days, but when he is involved with all those women, what he really wants is for you not to find out. I think he will continue to find ways to hide it better because he wants you...and he wants to be who he is...a serial cheater.

I really believe the odds of a serial cheater like what you described ever being remorseful enough to "fix" that are low. I filed for a D two days after the last D-day with my XH who was also a serial cheater. But don't be like me. I will say I didn't know he was like that when I married him, but he cheated in the first years of our M, on through the whole 13 years. We had 3 kids together.

You said yourself you don' think it is worth it and I agree with you. It is time to stop feeling sorry for HIM, and put yourself first. You can do better. Put him out. Also, as far as him "turning you into a violet person" you need to look at that. He didn't turn you into anything. You allowed him to stay in your life too long already, and your anger over the whole situation is what turned you into a violent person. Don't purposely keep yourself in a situation that has the potential to make you that angry. If you do, you really will have nobody to blame but yourself IMO.

silverhopes posted 10/10/2013 02:25 AM

The thing is...I just don't think it's worth it anymore. I don't feel like I can ever truly trust him to not do this to me again. But... I know he's sorry, I know he WANTS to change. I just don't know if it's even possible for someone as psychologically damaged as he is. I just know I can't do this again. My mother is dying. He decided to betray me in the worst possible way WHILE MY MOTHER IS DYING. I don't think I can get over that. I don't think I SHOULD get over that. I've given up the dream of getting married in time for my mother to see it. I was planning our wedding when I found out this last time.

I think you should listen to your own gut. It sounds like you want to end it, and I personally think that's a good idea. What he did just might be a dealbreaker. Also, there's no guarantee he'll change. That you feel there are things you don't know probably means that he's hiding things from you. If you feel strongly you should leave, then this sounds like the right decision to make.

Take time to take care of yourself, and take the time to grieve and focus on the things with your mother. That is really cold-hearted of him to cheat on you and lie to you anyway, but even more so since you are facing a VERY difficult situation with your mother. This time, above all other times, he should be by your side, supporting you, and he isn't. He's sucking away your energy instead and destroying your relationship and sense of stability when you need it more than ever.

If you feel this way, cut him loose. He's not mature or healthy enough to be in a relationship, with anyone.


[This message edited by silverhopes at 2:26 AM, October 10th (Thursday)]

hard_yards posted 10/10/2013 05:04 AM

I'm years down the track. Years...

R isn't for everyone, and not everyone has it in them to try, it's really hard work.

I think there are very few who really effect change in themselves, especially when it has become an ingrained behaviour trait, like your WS. Most of the rest "white-knuckle" it through, not a comfortable place to be.

He knows it's wrong, he knows it's going to break your heart (again), and he does it anyway. The gain for him is worth more than the destruction he causes, and you trying to cope with the inevitable loss of you mum doesn't even slow him down.

Sure he says he's sorry, sure he cries "never again"... but his actions say otherwise.

What's he like in other facets of his life? Does he think that the normal rules don't apply to him, he's different?

IMHO, let him go honey.

Treasure this time left with your mum, concentrate on making the very best memories that you can with her, you can hold them close forever.

These days with her are worth more than anything, certainly more than you're getting from him.

It might be that he truly can become a better man, but there's years of work ahead for him first, with no guarantees of success.

If he manages to change his nature, you can always reconnect later, but for now save yourself.

Hugs, lots of hugs.

[This message edited by hard_yards at 5:07 AM, October 10th (Thursday)]

nomistakeaboutit posted 10/10/2013 05:04 AM


Smokehouse posted 10/10/2013 05:32 AM

I feel terrible for you. I try to stay away from straight out telling someone to get out of their relationship. Only they know what the other is made of and are they worth it, but, no way do you know your fiancé. He is a con man to the extreme. He has a cold heart to do that to you. Unthinkable! It really is, while your mother has stage 4 cancer! I lost a sister and my father to cancer and even though you know death is inevitable, it's not any easier.

You got it going on, he does not. Throw his sorry ass out!

NoAnswers37 posted 10/10/2013 05:38 AM

My word honey, sending so many hugs to you.

I have known someone very similar to this, and let me tell you that unless he gets some SERIOUS help (and wants it!) this behaviour will be embedded in him for life.

I understand you see him as strength whilst your mother is ill, but we are all here for you and want the best for you. Please lean on us whenever you need to.

He does not have healthy boundaries and so it is a concern that he is in contact with someone so young. And, very gently, you probably only know the tip of the iceberg. I just don't think you will even being to be able to figure out his mind set or try and reason with him. I would let him go. So sorry.

((((3 yearlie))))

MrsDoubtfire posted 10/10/2013 08:06 AM

If he became transparent, admitted everything, showed you all his passwords and let you check the deleted messages and THEN went to IC and sorted his crap out? THEN would be the time I would ask myself " Do I still wanna give this guy a chance?!"

As he is right now? Meh! As someone has so eloquently put it already- that's why there's so many kerbs out there! Pick one! Right now and kick him to it!

The way I see it is he's been let off twice already and seems to me he's probably already thinking you'll let this slide too because you're already relenting. You told him to leave, he stayed. You told him you'd call the police to get him removed but you didn't. He is sleeping on your couch and no doubt still working with the make out girl! There's no consequences for him for what he's done to you- at least not from where I'm sitting at the moment.

I think he's hiding somewhat behind the fact his dad was a multiple cheater. It won't help him to have grown up with that but there's a lot he could have done already to resolve those issues so he doesn't repeat the same awful behaviours.

If you marry this guy AS IS then you might as well accept right now that you will have a life of misery as he will keep cheating unless he does what I said he should do right at the top of my post.

You have enough upset in your life with your mom 's illness and I send you huge hugs to help you cope with the pain and hurt that her cancer must be causing you as well as her..

Your fiancé should be doing everything in his power to help you right now and shouldn't be necking some teen in a walk in fridge!

I am so angry at him for treating you like this. Don't allow him to continue treating you so appallingly. Consequences- kick him to the kerb!

Only IF he can put the work in is when you need to ask; "shall I now take him back? Do I want to?"
((((Hugs to you and your mom)))))

Lalagirl posted 10/10/2013 08:21 AM


I am so very sorry about your mother.

As far as your WBF is concerned, it sounds like you've already made a decision that you want him out. You went so far as to hefty bag his shit and put it out. HE took it back in and sleeps on sofa.


It is your house. Change the locks and if he gets pushy, get a protective order. You need to get away from this man. It's hard enough that you have to deal with your mother's illness; you do not have to deal with a man-child. It's too much.

AFTER he is out of your home, if he chooses to get serious help (IC) and does the work he needs, then maybe there's a chance for R. But you don't need to worry about that now. If he really wants to save this relationship, he will do what he needs to get better. You cannot fix this man.

Sending strength & hugs,


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