How do you define cheating or an affair?
My BH and I were together in a monogamous relationship for 8 years before we were married and we were young. During that time, he was often depressed and flirted with girls to make himself feel better. He would flaunt this in front of me at times, especially through college.
A few of these girls he had even been more risky with, two he "made out" with (one the night before her wedding), one he "touched" once (originally telling me he had "fingered" her and then recanted that story a couple years later saying it was only "feeling her up" through her jeans), and several were just inappropriate situations that were close to the fire but never quite in it. He shared a bed on a trip in college with a girl who kept trying to get him to have sex with her; he talked dirty on the phone to one. I had one indiscretion during those 8 years, phone sex with a guy friend in college. And that's one too many.
So during our discussions about my A, when he gets mad and says "I have always been faithful", I can't help but get mad too. And if I try to point out that he wasn't always "faithful" he blows up completely. The other night he said "that's it, I'm sick of this s#!&. I want a divorce." He didn't mean it and said it in anger, but he will not at all see that he has a pattern of skirting just close enough to the line, but not crossing it.
My A was 12 years ago, nearly 2 years into our M (last 2 1/2 mos) and since then I've been completely NC w/AP and have not so much as hinted sexually towards another man. But a few years ago, my H had a very sexually explicit conversation with an old female friend (the one he "fingered"...no wait, I'm sorry...just touched through jeans) who he had reconnected with. When I confronted him about it he also confessed to an inappropriate relationship with another girl he worked with that he said had already ended. He said that they had been very flirty and somewhat sexual in their conversations. They would see each other at the gym and he had had a "crush" on her.
Now if those two girls are mentioned he says "don't even try to compare those two to what you did. I didn't F@#$ someone else!!" And he now says that neither of those two girls would have happened if it hadn't been for my A. He says he has had low self-esteem ever since we had our issues back then (12 yrs ago he suspected something, confronted me, I lied about it, ended it and completely hid it away until 1 month ago).
So I'm finding our discussions completely unproductive unless I allow him to just berate me or cry or whatever he feels like doing and I say nothing unless it's "I'm sorry" or just cry too. I'm trying to be patient. I know what I did was horrible and I lied about it on top of it. Should I just "take it" for now?
Is it wrong that I consider what he did when we were dating to have been cheating? And to consider what he did after my A to be cheating too? Maybe not on the same level. I told him I'm not trying to compare and I fully understand that what I did was on a bigger scale. But for him to say he's been completely faithful like he's always worn a halo and I'm some she-devil temptress who is just so horny and broken that I can't control myself is not fair either. I guess nothing is fair in this situation, right?
And here's my other concern: we are "separated" according to him. But we are still living in the same house, eating together, watching tv together, etc. We just have separate bedrooms, he is not wearing his ring (I'm wearing his ring for him I said until he decides if he is ready to wear it again) and are not being intimate. But he is talking to at least two girls that I know of (and guess who one of them is? yep, old jean fingers herself). Pattern?
Thanks for your input. I'm a big girl...I can take it.