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SuitsFan359 posted 11/4/2013 08:44 AM

My husband and I were recently married. W have been together for years, since our teens. Part of this time has consisted of me being away at college for four years, which has been difficult. We were engaged for part of this time, and--long story short--during this time, one night when I was out with my friends, I was a victim of sexual assault. I didn't drink too much but I was drinking, and the next morning I was in a strange house, naked and bruised. I left, not remembering what had happened. I should have told my fiance, but he was hours away and I was so afraid he would think I had cheated or blow the situation up and get himself in trouble while doing so. Most of all, I didn't want him to have to live with the pain I knew would plague me... because I knew it would be worse for him.

Long story short... we were also having some issues with his insecurities, the stresses of being away, and infrequent visits at that point. He is a wonderful human being, probably the best person I know, and it really wasn't relationship-breaking stuff... it was mostly about distance and loneliness. I was ashamed after what had happened, I was lonely, and I was terrified that I would never be normal again--suicidal and depressed, really. I began to have doubts about the future of my relationship... if I would ever be normal again. There's no way to sugarcoat it: I ended up doing some unfaithful things with a few guys. I felt like I was another person, in another world from my fiance. I needed my insecurities and everything else wrong with me after the event "cured," and I went about it the complete wrong way. And all this time, I was forbidding him to visit me but putting up a perfect act like nothing was wrong. I got tested for STDs many times because I was obviously terrified to give him anything, and all the other hookups had protection.

I eventually got help and I have come to terms with what happened to me. I got married and have been incredibly happy ever since. Now all that stands between me and total bliss is the question: do I tell my husband? He is incredibly sensitive, incredibly invested in this relationship, and I believe it will hurt him beyond words. I don't want to lie to him, but I don't want to tell him the details--he will want to know them all and he will relive everything. I am 99.99% sure he will not leave me, so that isn't my fear... my fear is that he will be tortured by the information for the rest of his life. I wasn't justified in what I did, not at all, so please don't think I'm making excuses. Believe me, it will never happen again, and I hate myself every day for every moment I was less than perfect to my then-fiance. Is it wrong for me to transfer this guilt and make him miserable, or is it worse to have this hidden from him? My guilt isn't interfering with our relationship, but it hits me in waves and is doubled by uncertainty in how to handle the situation. Please, if anyone can help me, I would be most grateful.

pointofnoreturn posted 11/4/2013 09:31 AM

Well like you I was in an LDR when my infidelity happened. You do have options.

1. Tell him openly and honestly about what happened.
2. Wait for him to ask you, then tell him.
3. Have someone else (intentionally or not) spill the beans about your affairs.
4. Get caught.

I assume you are over cheating on guys since distance isn't an issue, so we'll rule out 4. 3 could happen at when you least expect it, so if you go with 2, you could risk 3 happening.

So I guess it comes down to do you want to have an open and honest relationship, or do you want to keep your mouth shut for the sake of his heart?

Just from me, I ended up confessing. It didn't get rid of any of my guilt. Well, maybe the guilt of him not knowing. You should tell him not to make yourself feel better, but because he deserves to know so he can decide if reconciliation is right.

Generally speaking, R seems to go better when you confess. It's still very shitty, but at the least, you can say you started R with one right step: you were open and honest about the infidelity.

Before you confess, get down a timeline. Remember everything and anything that happened. Dates, kisses, sex, etc. Then when you do confess, you will have your story straight and will avoid trickle truthing.

Yeah, it hurts, but if your SO was suffering with a bandaid, would you rather just yank it off in one big pull and get it over with? Or would you gradually pull it off over time, increasing the overall pain he feels when it just seemed to get a little better before you tugged on the bandaid again.

I advocate confessing, but it's up to you.

SuitsFan359 posted 11/4/2013 09:40 AM

Thanks, point of no return. Your advice is excellent.

I guess I should add that none of the encounters I had were anything but physical... all happened when I drank too much (which is, again, not an excuse) which is why I ended up attending a few AA meetings. I'm not an alcoholic, but I was on the path to it. That just doubles my shame, and I'm afraid it will make it worse for my husband: I threatened everything we have for a few nights of physical "comfort" and nothing else.

Further question: do I tell my husband about the assault first? Later? Never?

[This message edited by SuitsFan359 at 9:42 AM, November 4th (Monday)]

pointofnoreturn posted 11/4/2013 10:03 AM

It should probably be mentioned at least. I'd add it to the timeline. I had suffered from sexual abuse, an told my SO about it. My only difference is that I told him before my infidelity. If you feel this would help him get a better picture of the infidelity as a whole, I'd say go for it.

How are you with alcohol now? Going out to bars any? If you tell him, it might be best to quit these if its still going on.

SuitsFan359 posted 11/4/2013 10:13 AM

I think it would. I know that I would have never done what I did if the assault didn't happen... the therapists I have spoken with agreed it was my way of coping. HOWEVER, I am afraid that if I do tell it will sound like I'm using it as an excuse and validating my actions through it. While I wouldn't have made those decisions under other circumstances, I had the freedom all along not to make those decisions... that's going to be hard for me to navigate.

As for alcohol... I don't ever go out to bars. I am never without my husband outside of work hours, and I make him 100% aware of where I am and what my alcohol use is at all times. I may have a beer at home without him, but that is the maximum I do. Luckily, being home and away from the lonely college environment has done more than any therapist in getting me over the sexual and alcohol abuse.

pointofnoreturn posted 11/4/2013 11:05 AM

I guess there's a difference between a reason and an excuse. Regardless of whatever reason, cheating is cheating. I'm still trying to come to terms with what I did but it gets a little easier as I go.

We all like to think of ourselves as "not like that". I'm usually so nice and generous! I would never! ...wait, but I did.

After finding this forum, I became a little more comfortable. At least I know I'm not the only person in the world that has done such a shitty thing.

I know that I shouldn't be solely defined by the worst thing I've done in my life. And I don't think you should either. However, what you do to amend that wrongdoing should be a true judgement of your character.

I hope you confess and stick around.

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