My name is Adam and this is my first post here.
First a little background.
I fell in love with a beautiful woman about 6 years ago and eventually my feelings were reciprocated, i was/am the luckiest man alive. I used to work for a well known banking firm (only a call centre agent helping with bank accounts and transfers) and everything was going strong. My long term partner (i refer to her as my wife because she may as well be) fell pregnant (planned) and a few weeks later i lost my job (it was an agency thing so not overly stable) and she left me. For 9 months we went through hell, but eventually 2 weeks after my son was born we got back together and everything was fine again. Then she fell pregnant with my daughter (unplanned but wanted) and everything went downhill again, we started fighting a LOT and sleeping in seperate beds/rooms. This time i was at the birth and i felt so in love with my wife, son and daughter that i could have cried (in fact i did cry). However once again things took a turn for the worst, and everything went down, we would fight over every silly thing, and her expectations of me as a human being were becoming more and more unreasonable (for instance, she gets angry when i take off my socks and fluff gets on the floor, but if i pick up the fluff she says my hands are filthy ((even though as a guitarist they are washed enough to take the skin off)) yet she spot cleans the bathroom floor with toilet roll and spit and clogs the toilet expecting me to fish it out). We barely ever have sex, and even then (it always has been) stiff and cold (save for rare occasions after a drink... and i mean RARE). We spend very little time together, but because of the atmosphere and treading on eggshells the last thing i want to do is go to dinner with her and the kids to the same place we always go... which then causes an arguement, and if it's not that then something else will come along.
I'm sorry for the long post but it is needed to inform the outcome.
A few days ago, i was added on skype by a girl i have never met who wanted a song of mine (a friend had circulated a couple and had apparently sent out my contact details), eventually after talking, we started flirting with each other. Quite dodgy stuff was said, and she flirtingly said "you cant go anywhere till you say you love me" and i said it back, with no sincerity only flirty.
After the conversation i felt really guilty about it so i cleared my cache out on my pc and just wanted to sweep it away, however i didn't count on the android app not being cleared, so after she asked for my phone to use as an alarm... she saw everything easily.
She is rightly hurting, and i can't believe i could hurt someone i cared for (even after the ups and downs) so much. It has exacerbated her insecurities about herself, and her trust in me has been shaken to the core. She is cycling through anger and sadness almost constantly, and so close to christmas has just made everything worse.
My additional concern here though, (including the above) is that, she was warey of going to counseling before and now she is flat out refusing. blaming me for everything, which is understandable but i wish for our relationship, our world to stop being fractured and be healed, but it needs both our work right? or is it only me that needs to sort stuff out? will she ever forgive me? can i be forgiven? can anyone shed any light on it? i cant stand to hear my children being told that i'm a prick but i cant explain my side (not that i have the right to) to defend myself, especially to my son, (because he's older)
This is coming from a hard-core atheist so it may come as a shock: I completely agree with you, Todd Serveto. Actually faith-based counselors are probably the way to go here as I've known a few and in my experience they are very practical and reasonable about exactly this kind of stuff. If you don't believe in god, judgment, or biblical laws and the people who do believe in the aforementioned end up telling you that you didn't cheat and you're the one getting used and you need to get away from this woman and possibly pay child support and leave her to make the best end of this for all concerned, then you KNOW there is no other way out. Christian counselors will hold you to the highest possible standards of doing right by everyone involved even if it harms you, so if they tell you to get out, boy, you'd better get out because they're only saying that as a last option.
We on AoM are not marriage counselors and we don't know the OPs complete situation, but I do trust a faith-based counselor, in all seriousness, would probe into it and figure out what's really going on. You could be misrepresenting this woman or yourself subconsciously or consciously but they'll never let you get away with that. By going to a counselor, you're not just taking our advice -- based on our assumption what you tell us is all the relevant facts. You're getting advice from someone who is going to dig deep into the all the falsehoods with you and see where true blame and true solutions may be found.
I have been in 2 very successful open relationships (one in which both partners were allowed to and did have sex with other people). Imagine for a moment how ridiculous it sounds to me that saying "I love you" jokingly to a complete stranger through Skype qualifies as cheating.
If I passionately kissed another girl it wouldn't be "cheating" in my current relationship since under our rules I could have sex with her if I wanted to. Hell, full-on Skype cybersex would be tantamount to a rejection of another girl because that would mean I'm choosing NOT to meet and do it for real.
Let's just say I never have the need to go frantically deleting anything on my computer. I feel very sorry for guys who let girls tell them porn is cheating and that they expect total visual fidelity (what sacrifice is the woman making for you and your needs, considering she's wired for the exact kind of prudish monogamy our culture celebrates? What's the challenge for her? They don't understand the nature of male sexuality, you are just enabling and feeding their insecurity and helping them not grow up).
When couples have issues about puny, pathetic stuff like a flirty text message all I can do is shake my head. Clearly manic jealousy, controlling behavior, possessiveness, and lack of proportion are not going out of style. But hey, I don't have kids. You do. You gotta play by the rules you established with this woman. But you've allowed yourself to let her shame you for something that is so small and unworthy of caring about as a flirtatious comment to a stranger by not establishing a respect for your needs in the first place.
But again, Tom is right: Kids deserve to be raised by stable parents, in a stable home---not in some emotional roller coaster by two adults playing house.
I say Amen to that, and I never say amen to anything.
Consider the Christian voices on here and mine TELLING YOU THE SAME THING -- if that isn't 100% consensus then I don't know what is.
Cheers to JonEdanger also for many good comments on this thread.
Move out, and it's over.
People living together w/o a marriage license do sometimes go for a marriage license. The hurt of breakup is going to be just as horrid on the kids as if their parents were married already, and significant to the two adults as well. If you want to stay with her, OP, I don't think moving out is going to manage that.
Very well written post, while I don't agree that marriage is important I very much empathise with your comments about building a stronger foundation. Well done.
Okay. First off, you didnt cheat. You pulled a douchebag move, but didnt cheat.
Should you feel guilty? Absofuckinglutley.
Should she be hurt? I dont know... never u derstood how the female mind works. But she should be worried.
But heres the problem....
"My long term partner (i refer to her as my wife because she may as well be"
Shes not. Youve been with her off and on for years, But she still just your girlfriend, and she acts like it. And frankly not even a good one.
The relationship is becoming damaging to your kids, and she doesn't care enough to fix it.... even if you do.
Do yourself a favor, cut her loose. Sounds harsh, but I've been where you are, and I was actually married. Now my exwife is happier, as are my kids, and so am I...
Oh come on. Did you even read further than the title?
He did not cheat at all, his girlfriend (who isn't even his wife) is obviously abusive, and his "love" for her seems more like Stockholm Syndrome, than like anything else.
re: I cheated and wish to ease my Wife's pain
You've responded in a very manly, respectable way! I'll be praying for you!
Tough one, not married and your reasons are your own. I can how you feel you cheated in that you were less than faithful in your communications with this other girl. Thought about, talked about, acted out. Everything begines somewhere and there seem to be a violation of trust, thats going to be tough to get over.
I have six kids, I was not there for the first pregnance as i just joined the military and was in training. The second pregnancy she was CRAZY, accused me of all kinds of things, we actually seperated very briefly. Third pregnancy, we figured out it was her pregnancy, this realization coupled with counciling has saved our marriage.
You pulled a dick move, it is going to be hard to bring up the possibility that this could be her pregnancy behavior wihout being insulting. I am assuming that while not pregnant she is a normal person?
You are living like a family without actually being one. It is the bridge to nowhere! My suggestion is move out immediately. Who gets the kids is up to the two of you but regardless, you'll do more harm than good staying together "for the kids." Children are not stupid. They may not have the experience to understand the subtleties but they sure as hell will know you two are a mess.
Once separated, either work on the relationship that is supposed to have already been in place or cut your losses. In either case, be there for the kids. That means you can not be a kid yourself. Counseling could help. Go by yourself or with the mother of your children, but go!
And stop calling her your wife. She is not. Common law marriage laws were created to protect women who over time became dependent on the man in their lives. They were not intended to legitimize the relationship. That should have come from the two of you.