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One year later - There is hope

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Arden posted 7/29/2014 12:06 PM

Hi everyone. This is my first post here. I came hoping to share my experience and find some advice or words of encouragement. My fiance and I have been together almost seven years, engaged for six. We're both 30.

My Story
One year and nine days ago I waited excitedly to pick my fiance up from a five week field class he was taking to finish his degree. We were both in school and had become a little distant (we're both science majors - not easy!) but I had always felt we had a generally happy and strong relationship. I was so excited to see him again. When I picked him up I knew something felt "off" but I couldn't put my finger on what it was. He gave me a kiss and I could smell alcohol on his breath. He said he had been drinking in the van to celebrate coming home. Fine I thought - he's entitled to that. We argued that night when he told me he had been drinking heavily throughout the trip to deal with the stress. He had tried to hide this from me when we talked while he was gone. I slept on the couch that night.

The next day he said he needed to take a walk to "think about things" and invited me to come. I just thought he felt bad about drinking and lying and was prepared to hear him out - I was wrong. I so clearly remember exactly where I was standing when he told me. "There was a girl" he said, "She kissed me one night while we were drinking and I didn't stop her." Time stopped. My stomach dropped and my heart pounded. I was in shock. I never thought this would ever happen to us, and this was only the beginning.

In tears, I ran home. I paced around our apartment frantically as he sat on the couch watching me break down. I asked a million questions - who was she? how did this happen? what else happened? He said it only happened once and there was nothing else to it, and that he was sorry. At one point I am sitting there in tears, practically shaking with stress and he says he's going to take a walk to call his brother. He was leaving to call her, and I knew it. I somehow convinced him to give me his phone and I locked myself in the bathroom (not my finest moment). I called a number under a man's name I didn't recognize and a girl picks up. I calmly spoke with her, apologizing the whole time for the "awkwardness." She told me it had happened three times, but it never went beyond kissing. She claimed to be extremely drunk.

Time was blurry after that day, but we stayed together. He always claimed that he only wanted to be with me. The problem is, he lied about everything. He texted her the day I found out, met her the next day when he was supposed to be meeting me to talk it out. A week later he told me "things just don't feel the same" and we spent the night apart to think things over. He instead sent her an email saying that he missed her. Over the last year the truth about his trip slowly trickled out, after a million lies and arguments. They had spent a lot of time together on the trip. Many nights drinking and talking. Three times (that I know of) this lead to them kissing. He held her hand on the van ride home. She told him she loved him. She was only 21, also had a long-time boyfriend, and a history of cheating. She thought he was married, and I think, wanted to boost her self esteem by seducing a married man. He wanted to feel good about himself and a younger, attractive girl showed him attention.

We have been in counseling for most of the last year. Nothing has happened with her since the two weeks following the trip. He wrote her an email telling her he regretted their time together and that he was deeply sorry for hurting me. He is working hard to make things right and we are slowly repairing the damage. His confusion has lifted, but my pain is still there. I still wonder if their emotional affair was physical as well, though he swears it wasn't. I still feel like I can't believe it. How can I ever? I wonder if it even matters, but I know I can't move on without knowing the full truth. The problem is, there is no way to know for sure. He can't prove that nothing happened, and I can't yet trust what he tells me. Has anyone found a way to overcome this?

Thanks for reading. Sorry for the length. Such painful experiences are hard to condense.
I truly believe that there is hope if you are both committed to each other, to learning, and growing. If you are reading this and unsure what to do, I urge you to look at your time together and consider giving your partner a chance. If you do, take care of yourself, but try to see the world from their shoes and give your love a chance to recover.

littlemiss1 posted 7/29/2014 13:38 PM

I'm only 3 months out and I have no words of wisdom to give you.
I'm hurting too and needed to know the truth however badly it hurt me however there does cone a time when I now feel I need to let go.
Sadly im stupidly positive most of the time.
Don't forget he chose you,he could have gone with her.
But he didn't he chose you and to work on your relationship.even though the last year has been very tough hes still there willing to's worth having a chat ans saying lets get it all on the table as of today no more secrets lies etc try to talk it aol out but then draw a line.
I've spent 3mobths question ing and arguing it all out.last week I decided I had had enough of it.
I'm not doing it for him but for me I want to be happy.
I've been so hurt I deserve to be happy. Of ot ever happens again in out ,I'm strong and I've learned never to be so niavr and I won't trust so blindly again .
I think husband is sorry and hurting too, so time to work on us. Not advice just what I'm doing. Sometimes you have to take a chance ans believe again xx

painfulpast posted 7/29/2014 13:46 PM

Don't forget he chose you,he could have gone with her.

Um, what?

I'm all for reconciling if that's what both people want, but this comment is, sorry, but insulting. My H chose me when he married me. Choosing to cheat later, but not actually leaving, is NOT a victory for the betrayed. It sounds so, well, defeated. Like, 'at least he didn't leave me' when the reality is he SHOULD have left before cheating.

For OP - you were separated for 5 weeks, and he found someone else. I'd work on the why there. If that little amount of time apart is all he needs to go looking elsewhere, there's a problem that he needs to be working on. That doesn't mean it can't be worked through and the two of you go on to have a happy life together, but that's something within him that seems to need someone to cling to.

Good luck in the future. If you both want it, it absolutely can work.

Arden posted 7/29/2014 15:10 PM

The 'why' is definitely the hard part. It is even more hard to talk about at first, when the feelings are so raw. Everything we talked about seemed to come back to me - either something I did, or some way I was treating him. As time went on though, and with counseling, we've been able to identify some of the issues we had prior to the affair that may have lead us down that road. We've both made mistakes and we both know that. I of course take no responsibility for his actions and still find it disgusting and disrespectful, but always feeling like the victim just seems to breed resentment.

Arden posted 7/29/2014 15:23 PM

littlemiss1 - I was naive too. Now I think we just need to walk that fine line where we can eventually trust again, but not blindly. Trust needs to be earned and constantly maintained, not be dished out freely. You're right though, sometimes you do need to take a chance and try to believe again. If we never again take that risk, then I think we are truly defeated by betrayal.

littlemiss1 posted 7/30/2014 00:52 AM

Trust definitely needs to be earnt and it will take years I'm sure to get it back .

There was an incident yesterday for me where I had to choose to believe.
Wh was due home around 8.30 pm and he works outdoors.
He sat down to watch his livestock and fell asleep come home at 9pm.
I did wonder where he was as he now always txt to let me know of he's going to b late.
He came in explained and for a second it hit me I could believe what he said or not .
He looked tired and we have a baby and he starts work 5am so pretty sure it was I chose to believe.
Sometimes it comes to things like that.

I think if ur wh is truly sorry and dojbg all he can to change and earn ur trust.u have the foundations to work on r. If he's still insistant after a year nothing else happened maybe u need decide whether to believe him or not.
It's a hard decision to make.

I didn't ever mean my post to sound insulting to anyone
I completely get ur response. It wasn't really meant the way I put it,( I was writing as feeding baby so fuzzled)
Yes wh chose me and cocked up big time.
But he's truly sorry,and he's chose to work it out with Me work on our marriage because he's loves me and made a huge mistake.
An easier option would be to bolt and not work through these amazingly hard tines.
He picked the rough ride ahead the hurtful painful road to try to work things through because he loves me.

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