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Am I a mad hatter?

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Chinadoll30 posted 7/21/2014 13:46 PM

This whole experience has brought to the forefront of my mind an inappropriate relationship that I had while dating WH. It was a heavy workplace flirtation. And some physical contact/touching. It ended (not sure how/why) and I went on to marry WH. So this was 15 years ago. Somehow, I Hadn't thought of it in years. But now I am. Because I was wrong. 100% over the line, wrong. I never told WH. Now it is on my mind, though, and while generally my outlook is that one should tell the truth at all times, I am hesitant to tell WH. I'm not sure if I am bringing it out just to hurt him. Or if there is real healing to come from it. I have IC tomorrow and will broach the topic, but she is not the type of therapist to give advice. Thoughts?

authenticnow posted 7/21/2014 13:53 PM

Chinadoll,

You have a PM .

Alexisk17 posted 7/21/2014 14:35 PM

Before bringing it up with WH I would spend some time exploring why it is on your mind now and your intent to bring it up. Obviously I would avoid it if you were doing it just to hurt him.

I guess the biggest question is, have you spent time figuring out why you engaged in this flirtation?

In my own personal experience, I had a brief but intense flirtation just after WH and I were married. There were several occasions where I could have cheated on WH easily and I was very tempted to. I'm so glad that I didn't and stopped spending time with this friend as I knew we were walking a thin line. Shortly after I became pregnant and that was the end of my party days. It came out in MC that this had occured and WH was compeltely unfazed by it. He just shrugged his shoulders and said that he was glad that I didn't cross that line. While I'm glad that I told him I don't think it was really that important to our healing...

Hopefuldad468 posted 7/21/2014 15:06 PM

I would agree with above...what is intention of bringing it up..

Personally I would ask myself, was there a physical affair or an emotional one? If not, then are you trying to hurt him or ease his guilt? Don't give him an excuse to ease his guilt..he will have enough excuses on his own to do so himself.

authenticnow posted 7/21/2014 15:27 PM

I believe that true R can't happen until there is 100% honesty on both sides.

I think exploring it in IC is a good idea, and you can think it through and make a decision when you're ready.

Chinadoll30 posted 7/21/2014 15:30 PM

I am not looking to assuage his guilt. If anything, I worry about what telling him would do to him. I don't know if I am looking for a sick way to relate? Or if it is to punish him. I truly do not believe what I did compares to his betrayal. I do know that I am tired of being the one who holds everything together.

seethelight posted 7/21/2014 15:35 PM

Chinadoll:

Because this flirtation appears to have taken place prior to your marriage, and it was not sexual, I do not think it qualifies as an affair.

Were you engaged at the time? Had you both promised to be exclusive in the dating relationship?

If so, then it may qualify as an emotional affair.

Still, IMO, it likely will help you understand why you had an interest in another, if it is brought up in MC.

Lark posted 7/21/2014 16:47 PM

I think you should talk it out in IC and go from there.

I do think that a key to R is full honesty. Which means open communication.

I do not think it matters if you were engaged, married, or had yet agreed to an exclusive relationship. If you kept this from him at the time and have kept it from him since, it is one of those things you do need to be open about. I think what does matter is that you were in a relationship with your (now) husband and had a secondary relationship going on that you did not disclose to him.

If I were in those shoes, I would have wanted to be told about those kinds of situations - even if we were not engaged or married. It is still a breach of trust.

(sidenote: I never casually dated, my husband and I did not start with casual dating. So the idea of secondary or tertiary relationships may be a complete given in some dating scenarios where it's just assumed people see others until there are spoken words.)

I think introducing it quickly can go one of two ways - either it helps open up that painful full communication and honesty. Past and present. Or it could go that it shifts focus from your husband's actions to your past. That'll depend a lot on him, how he's doing with remorse, and how he processes it and is affected by it.

[This message edited by Lark at 8:06 PM, July 21st (Monday)]

SI Staff posted 7/21/2014 17:01 PM

Please note that Chinadoll is a madhatter according to SI's definition.

Let's continue to respond in support of her instead of focusing on the label.

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