|LONG-TERM IMPACT OF INFIDELITY
DEAR MIDLIFE BACHELOR: Hello, I’m a 33 year old and lost my virginity to my now wife at 21 years old.
|We’ve been married for 8 years. She was very sexually active prior to our getting together and I suspect she continued seeing other people after we were together but she has only admitted to one sexual encounter she had 3 years intoour relationship, although she only told me about it years after it happened and after we were married. I’ve tried for years to not dwell on her past and my lack of partners. However it is increasingly wearing on me and I feel depressed frequently, I don’t have it in me to cheat but feel frustrated in our relationship and am not happy. When I’ve asked her about our early relationship or her infidelity she gets very defensive, although she is a wonderful wife I sometimes feel very angry towards her and I know it is because I don’t feel she’s ever told me the truth of her past. I don’t think I’ll ever fully trust her and need some advice. I’m going crazy thinking I’ve spent the last 12 years of my life with someone who was not truthful with me and I’ve missed out on opportunities to be with other women who would not have been dishonest. Ben||
MLB RESPONSE: Hi Ben – the discovery of infidelity is always traumatic for the person who has been cheated on. It sounds like you think that your wife may have cheated on you more than just that one time – and even if that was before you were married, it still occurred after you were together. The reason she becomes defensive and clams up on the entire subject is that she doesn’t want to hurt you any further. The question you have to ask yourself is – do you really want to know everything? I mean – what good would that really do? My guess is that “everything” would first seriously piss you off, then further depress you. Now you say that she is a wonderful wife … and that should probably count for something. Really there are two things for you to consider:
1) Does she continue to cheat on you? If so – then cut your losses now.
2) Will you ever be able to get past her cheating on you before you were married? If not, then the long-term outlook is that you won’t be happy … which will lead to her being unhappy … which will lead to either more cheating and/or a divorce regardless.
The answer to “will you ever be able to get past her cheating on you” is a very individual question. No one can answer that for you, and different people would answer it differently. For example, if you had been very sexually active prior to being with her, you might have an easier time getting past her infidelity. But that is not your situation – so you have to decide if you can ever be happy with her. If not, then cut your losses and leave her in your rearview mirror. There are plenty of really great women out there who won’t cheat on you, you know. Before you do anything, you might check out the section in Dating Advice called Reaching Midlife Bachelor Equilibrium … and consider whether you can reach equilibrium in your current situation. If not – then it is time to make some major changes. Good luck – let us know what happens! Oh – by the way … if someone reading this is considering cheating, you should check out the Midlife Article here called Is Cheating on Your Wife or Girlfriend Really Worth It?