OH’s Deceit Cuts Deep

It’s with a heavy heart I’m writing this … but sadly my new year hasn’t started the way I would have liked.

To make a long story short, I stumbled across a message my wife sent to another man.

She sent it over 11 years ago, to a guy she used to work with. About 16 years ago I moved to another city for work and my wife eventually followed me 9 months later (when she found a new job).

During our time apart she would get a ride home from work from this particular colleague. I knew he’d stop in for a drink every now and then. My wife admitted at some stage she thought he was keen on her too.

She has always sworn nothing happened between them. I’ve always believed her … I still do.

But she messaged the guy when he appeared on Facebook … not as a response, she messaged him first. She started by saying she hadn’t expected to see him on social media. But then went on to say she wondered at times how she had managed to not sleep with him at some stage, and ended the message saying “I hope your girlfriend isn’t reading this. Or my husband”.

He replied saying he wondered how they hadn’t too. She replied saying “I shouldn’t assume you would have let me”. He said “assume I would”

I found the messages a few days ago and confronted her. She’s been nothing but apologetic, and I really do want to forgive her and move on.

But it’s really cutting deep.

I’ve struggled to get my wife to flirt with me, or be sexually suggestive for a long time. Knowing that she was flirting with a guy she obviously thought about having sex with has really hurt me.

I do trust it was a silly flirtatious thing. I think my wife was just trying to solicit a sexy response to boost her ego. There were only 4 messages in total … as soon as she knew he was keen, she dropped it.

It was my wife’s birthday yesterday and it was honestly just a really shit day.

I understand we’re all human and make mistakes. I also understand it’s nice to know you’re wanted. She has no idea why she did it, other than she was an idiot and fucked up.

I’m just struggling. It’s hurt so much. The fact she ended saying she hoped I’d never read the message maybe hurts the most. She knew it was wrong, but did it/wrote it anyway.
Anyone been through similar?

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Well this is a shit situation, I can’t relate specifically to this, but I have been put in scenarios where I’ve lost trust. It doesn’t matter how long ago it was, it still hurts and I’m such an overthinker that it would be really hard for me to not analyse everything over the past 11 years and the next 11 years.

If theres any comfort to be had from this, its that she didn’t reply to his ‘assume I would’ message and it stopped there. And I’m guessing that over the last 11 years you had no reason to doubt her loyalty. She had this opportunity but chose not to take it. She absolutely was flirting and it does sound like she wanted the attention, but she didn’t follow through. We’ll not congratulate her for that, but she can and did prove that she can restrain herself. That is a small something.

You’re allowed to be hurt by this, you’re allowed to be mad at her and to not want to speak to her until you know how you feel about it. I’m sorry you’re going through this.

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@JoCat thx JC … it really is shit.

I haven’t really had any reasons to doubt her. I do believe it was one of those ‘moments’ where she was just wanting to feel desired and maybe excited.

With everything I’ve been battling through (trying to inspire my wife sexually etc), and everything I’ve been doing to make myself more desirable, it’s just a real kick in the teeth.

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Sadly, loss of trust is one of those genies that won’t go back into the bottle, at least not willingly. I see a long hard road for your OH to regain your trust, if it’s possible at all. I wish you the best of luck with it, though.

How do you “stumble” across a message sent 11 years ago?

@AJ82 OH had forgotten about the msgs. They’d been backed-up to our laptop’s drive years ago. We’ve never hidden things from each other (we both have open access to each other’s phones etc) … I guess it’s largely why I’m finding it easier to believe she feels badly (she’s been devastated and incredibly apologetic which has helped.)

@Lucas04 Like you said, we are all human. Human and we make mistakes, human and we feel hurt and betrayed. It’s ok to feel the way you do, just keep talking and communicating. I have been married for forty years but we were separated for a time and I know, things hurt and it’s hard to get over sometimes. But if you love each other keep communicating honestly and you will get past this. Some good may come out of this, I know it did for us.

@JMS55 thx for that. I think part of me knows I’ll eventually be able to move past it. She’s been a wonderful wife in so many other ways and isn’t one to act maliciously. I possibly just needed somewhere to vent :man_shrugging:

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Well, on one hand, her message seems to confirm that nothing DID happen. So, that’s good news, right?

On the other hand, reaching out to somebody from the past isn’t a good sign. Something made her feel lonely or wistful or wondering what might have been. Don’t talk about the messages with her! That’s not the answer, since it was long ago, and women don’t find insecurity or suspiciousness attractive. But your feelings are valid! You deserve to explore what they mean and to seek resolution. You might take the messages and your current discontent as a sign to explore improving your relationship. Go positive, not negative.

For starters, you can just ask her some questions leading in the direction of how she feels right now, and what she’d like to improve. Hint at it a bit, and do it gradually. Maybe you’ll get some insight, maybe you won’t. If that doesn’t work, you might look into some marriage counseling. Can be expensive, but the love of your life is worth it! And its not always couples in trouble who get counseling - it can be a good idea even for relationships that are mostly healthy to occasionally get the opinion of an educated 3rd party. You can also begin that process solo if you feel like it, just to get some peace of mind.

@awkward-yet-sweet appreciate those comments a lot. There’s definitely been an inward-looking aspect to how I’ve felt. I’ve been more calm than I’d have expected too.

We actually just spoke about it … and I weirdly found myself thanking her for not going further. It would have been so easy to, yet she didn’t. I’m extremely thankful for that part!

Dude sorry to be blunt it was 11 years ago nothing happened you need to move on or it will eat you up and cause issues. Why even read it to start with? Have you ever chatted/been flirty with someone when out on your own? Hope you work things out

Some really mixed views already from people.

Personally having lost trust from someone who cheated with a work colleague on me.

It will eat away at you for a while and that’s natural, because it’s hard to see that side of someone you love and trust , but never thought would do something like that.

The crucial part is you will either move on , get stronger, re ignite things through open discussions about problems etc or you will let it eat away at you and it will slowly damage your relationship.

Personally I think there has to be acceptance you will never get 100% trust back as it’s happened and you will always doubt, wonder , think when away from your partner, phones ping , your perception thinks she is been secretive etc.

I know a similar couple who have worked through this and still together 10 years on , but acceptance that the trust is fully not there. But it has to be locked away after the initial dealing with it as constant accusations/mis trust will break down the relationship over time.

For me I tried for another year or so, but couldn’t get over it. However new partner , married , 13years , lovely family and extremely happy , never looked back. Partner who cheated , we wasn’t married , lived together and was only 3/4 years relationship to give context.

But it’s ok to hurt , it’s ok to need time and take one step at a time.

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@Lucas04

We are so sorry to learn about your situation - especially at this time of the New Year.

As difficult as it might be at the moment (and from what you have posted it certainly appears to be so) you will have to confront the situation at some point and accept that this hurtful deceit happened and move on - when you feel that are ready to do so.

From what you have told us, your wife is mortified that her deceit all those years ago has come to light. She genuinely appears to be remorseful (and regretful) about her flirtatious behaviour in years past. As others have pointed out, she didn’t sleep with this colleague, and it was she who decided to end what could have been a much worse situation. From this, I’m of the opinion that, given her remorse, she deserves to be heard … just as you deserve to let her know your feelings and how hurt you are feeling.

The sooner you sit down and discuss with your wife, at length, what your feelings are for each other and how you want your relationship to continue going forward, the better.

Please do not be too hasty in arriving at a decision where you feel that you no longer are able to trust her and that your marriage is irretrievably lost.

This is an excellent opportunity for you both to discuss each others’ needs (especially your own). You have not disclosed whether you have aired your needs and frustrations a on matters sexual, but having this discussion will be an important step forward in reconnecting after this rift and building your mutual trust.

I sincerely hope that you will soon be able to renew your trust in your wife and that your own needs (as well as hers) are successfully met.

Good luck!
H.

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If you both have access to each others messages she was not trying to hid anything and it was 11 years ago and nothing happened. I think this shows the trust between you both. You need to work together on sorting the relationship.

@steevo68 the bluntness is fine mate. I appreciate the honesty. I think I’m already starting to be on that wavelength.

We’ve been speaking openly since - last night I told her she didn’t have to worry about me holding it over her. I actually thanked her for not taking it further (she’s gorgeous, and it would have been so easy for her to have made a far bigger ‘mistake’).

We also spoke about flirting, being desired etc … I found myself asking if she wanted to do more things like it (msg guys etc) to help inspire/explore her sexual side. It’s weird how ok I’m starting to be about it.

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@steve19 umm, she was trying to hide it. She messaged behind my back, and told him she hoped I wouldn’t read it.

… but the fact she’d forgotten about the msgs says to me that she wasn’t serious at all, and was looking for an ego-boost from someone she knew would respond positively.

I’ve also found myself apologising that she felt the need for a boost outside of our relationship back then. You’re right Steve - it was a long time ago, and I haven’t felt like it’s burned my trust like others have suggested.

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Some good advice already given by others.

Only you can decide whether you can get beyond this point. If you cannot partition it off from the rest of your relationship, then it as others will say continue to eat you up and will be brought out at every argument you have going foward.

If you are able to partition it off and over time forget about it then there is a future. You will never totally forget but it will be easier to live with and will not invade your every waking moment.

This is a watershed moment in your relationship and you will either come together to get through it, or unfortunately it will signal the end.

Good luck.

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@Himeros1 thx so much for taking the time to comment so thoroughly and thoughtfully… I found myself nodding my head plenty while reading your thoughts.

We spoke last night, made love, she was playful, we snuggled this morning before I had to leave for work. Oddly, I think her vulnerability - and how safe I’ve made her feel through it - has helped her see me in a different light.

She’s the love of my life … so I guess that’s why it’s hurt just that little bit more. But I’m also starting to see it as a great opportunity to grow our bond even more and become stronger from the honesty.

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@Lucas04

We are so pleased to learn that you:

You must both be feeling some relief that your bonding has brought you closer. Despite your wife’s transgression all those years ago, your discovery and disappointment, it is a relief to discover that you accept that you both still love each other and are staying positive and making tentative streps towards re-kindling your loving relationship.

:clap::clap::clap::two_hearts:

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I’m not sure if I write updates to my posts so people can read them, or if it’s just cathartic for me. Anyhoo:

Some of you may have seen me reply to others having similar intimacy/trust issues … and talking about the progress my wife and I are making.

It’s real.

My wife’s emotional ‘betrayal’ has become a catalyst for deeper conversation.

I’ve realised that, while my intention has been love, I’ve been an oppressive personality when it comes to intimacy, and haven’t always allowed my wife space to be her own sexual being.

She has also realised how she’s held me at arm’s length a lot due to her own insecurities and hang ups, and is trying to break free from them.

Last night our communication around sex and desire hit a new high. There was warmth, understanding and no guilt or shame.

I could write so much … but I just hope that by me being honest and vulnerable here, that it might help others who are battling a difference in desire, are struggling with communication, or just don’t feel heard.

There was a way past it. It was hard to find, and some of it has hurt. But love is winning the battle. Kindness is triumphing over finger-pointing.

Accepting our own failings is helping us be better partners to each other.

We aren’t having more sex, but we’re talking about it more, and I’m feeling more connected to my wife when we are physical.

W.I.P. But it’s worth it. 1000 times worth it.

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