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jl21378 Offline OP
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Hello everyone,

I want to write this for some advice. The girl of my dreams and the woman I've loved for over three years now is currently staying with her friend and putting in her two week notice to move back to her home. I love her more than anything in the world. We haven't had an easy relationship from the beginning. In fact, due to circumstance we had to spend much of the relationship long distance (well over three quarters of it at this point) and we dealt with nothing but problems and set up a very make-shift way of dealing with being away from someone we love. Well, recently (a couple months ago) she moved here after dropping her entire life in her home town and I admit having someone so important to me who had been away for such a long time scared me. I still felt like I was trying to deal with issues from my past that lead to me having a very poor self-image and almost being resentful of the things that had happened that I didn�t like. When she showed up I was very much caught up in actively rebelling against my situation in life and I completely did not give her the relationship that she had come to expect and put years of hopeful love into.

The problem right now is infidelity on my part. I decided I wanted to experience life as a carefree guy without a problem past so I spend about two weeks talking to a girl. I admit we messed around once (within the first 36 hours) and after that it was reduced to simply chatting. A few weeks later the girl of my dreams and I got married. At that point I had already completely broken things off with the other girl. I did sit her down and tell her about my new wife and made an attempt to reconcile. For weeks since being a husband I have put nothing but a full hearted effort into my relationship with my wife. However, a couple days ago she dug up some of the chat conversations I had had with the other girl. I wasn�t hiding or trying to delete them, I did say I felt they were too damaging right now and I wanted us to work on some stability first before we delved into them, but, either way she read them and feels very betrayed by things I said to this girl I knew for a couple weeks. She feels that I said things that should have only been for her ears and took away her position as the person I want to be affectionate with and care about. I left for school with a �Have a good day� and she stopped receiving my calls. I turned around and came home to find the entire place empty of everything I loved.

It is hard for me right now because I feel like I did realize the other girl was a problem and I did stop it before we got married and I feel like it has come back to haunt me even though it hasn�t been very long. I really can see that the physical distance in our relationship has fostered some maladjusted ways of dealing with issues. I feel like I have been incredibly too hard on her own mistakes (even ones of a similar nature) in the past and I feel like I�ve contributed to such a punishing way of dealing with mistakes your significant other makes. I should have never got on her so hard for doing things like I just did. I should have been a supportive lover and worked through it enough to really fix the problem. I can tell I never did that well because there is still resentment for other guys even two years later. Those types of mistakes, especially ones she made when she was just lonely and heartbroken at being away from me, should never have followed her.

We are so close to having everything that we�ve ever wanted. We are not even a week or two away from getting our own apartment. We found her a great job she loves and got her in school here and we haven�t done a very good job at getting our social circles back on the same page (especially since I do a very bad job about including her in mine) but this is the relationship we�ve dreamed of and wanted for so many years. We finally get a chance to be together and my own mistake and inability to deal with the hardships of the past has hurt her to such an extent that I can feel her slipping away through my fingers. I�ve suggest we go to counseling to try and find some help with dealing with the rough start we�ve had in our relationship. I feel like we are so much better at dealing with disaster and hardship and being apart that we are both scared of being happy. I can honestly say I�m done with being a bad boyfriend and I�ve been really proud of my vows to her and that I�ve gotten a chance to be a good husband even for the short time she�s let me. I feel like now there is nothing I can say to her that will show her that I�m the same lover I�ve been since the first time I saw her, and that I�m sorry for being unfaithful, especially in such a fake and self-serving way as to just use someone else to try and make myself feel better.

I guess the advice I�ve come to ask is how do you fix a mistake like this and truly show the person you love more than anything in the world that you want her to be your one-and-only and that you yourself really are worth it even if you made some mistakes before you got married. I don� want her to be the bad guy at all. I fully accept that I�m sitting alone in an empty room right now because of my own actions. It�s devastating to me to see that the person I love so much has been so hurt by what I�ve done and has struggled so much to see our relationship past the bad times and to come all the way out here to just be met with me having been caught up in the past and not giving her my full and undivided attention that she deserved. True love is just something I feel can overcome anything and I�ve tried to tell her that.

Thanks for your time and caring, if you have anything that might help me regain the love from the woman I care about more than anything, I�d be greatful.

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Quote
I feel like I have been incredibly too hard on her own mistakes (even ones of a similar nature) in the past and I feel like I�ve contributed to such a punishing way of dealing with mistakes your significant other makes.

Curious as to what this means, sounds like you're saying you were a jerk to her when she did something wrong. Is that right?

What is it that you want from us? Absolution? Understanding? You cheated on your wife just before marriage, and are still trying to justify it. She left you, as is her right to do so. You said sorry and it didn't work. Perhaps if you tell her that you'll do whatever she wants, give her access to all of your passwords, always account for your time, etc, she may think about trying all over again. But she may not, after all, why should she?

If I just married someone and found out they were unfaithful, I'd get an immediate annulment.


The one constant through all the years has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It's been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is a part of our past. It reminds us of all that once was good, and it could be again.
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Give her a copy Of surviving an Affair By Dr Harley and ask her to read it. Read everything on this site and offer her compensation and extraordinary precautions.


Divorced 11/5/2013
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Couple of quick thoughts:

You rushed into marriage. I question the true and solid foundations of your professed love for your wife given that you were cheating on her just before you got married.

The other major problem with your relationship is that you spent so much time apart. You can�t really have a good relationship when you live so far from each other. Much of your relationship is based on fantasy ideas of the other person versus the reality.

How old are you?

I ask because I sense a bit of naivet� on your part regarding relationships. There�s tons of good women out in the world. Learn from you mistake in case your wife doesn�t come back.

But to get her back you must follow the principles here and the advice given, but don�t expect her to return. It�s her call to make on forgiving you, but cheating just before getting married is a huge sign that getting married in the first place was a huge mistake.

You have, at a minimum, to do a ton of soul searching to figure out why you did it, then get yourself to a point where you�re emotionally and mentally healthy before you can enter a relationship in a healthy mindset.

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jl21378 Offline OP
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I would love to share books like Surviving an Affair with her but I don't know how to ask for that when she won't talk to me at all really. I realize she says she needs space but I just feel it is overly damaging to simply walk out on someone who would never do that to the other person. I feel like I'd stand there with the book and my heart in my hand while she just drives away and never comes back.

As far as compensation I've tried everything I can think of. I've made a husband book to write in to share with her how I think and feel so that I won't be distant from her anymore. Writing is always something we've done well. I've worked on the tattoo design she wanted, I've devoted my whole week and whole summer to her and her alone and fixing our problems. I�ve called places and made arrangements and even if she doesn�t want to respond I�ve written her e-mails (she said I could) and I even wrote the person I talked to for that couple weeks and told her that my wife is the most important person in my life and I was wrong to ever leave her out of anything I did.

I guess what I�m getting at is my compensation doesn�t seem like much when you feel like a total ingrate and worthless in the eyes of the person you want to make it up to.

As far as precautions I�m not sure what I can offer other than my new position as her husband being one that was earned through learning from my mistakes and understand how I should and should not be her lover. I�ve done my best to keep our long term plans stable and show her especially since we�ve gotten married that I really want to make things work. I�m not saying I don�t deserve her mistrust, even if I never meant anything towards her with my actions, but how can I assure someone of precautions that doesn�t trust me, or what it feels like even wants to understand what I did wrong?

I am reading over everything I can here. I�m just not sure the best way to approach it.

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jl21378 Offline OP
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Well. I'd like to address your concerns.

As far as rushing into marriage, I don't feel we did. We had been together over three years and our marriage was based around us taking steps forward in our lives together. We wanted the solidarity of knowing we could share things and help each other with financial burdens. I wanted her to have my health care so we could get her stomach check out and make her happier. I feel like the marriage was real, also the fear of finally being with the person I have given so much of my life to was also real.

Being apart might have been a problem to some. What is really did was help us with our communication skills. We have learned to talk and to listen. We share thoughts and ideas and really got to know each other. I feel like I�ve talked to her more than anyone on the planet. I think it is because we had such a good relationship (even through the times she was with other people, even though that wasn�t the same) I feel that I really do understand the level in which I bashed her beliefs in love.
As far as fantasy versus reality, I don�t think we ever had a fantasy view of each other. Our relationship hasn�t just been some dream we did a crash course into and realized the feelings weren�t true. Her being here and us being together is a dream based on the reality of us loving each other and going through some very hard things together while we were apart. We survived that and came out as a couple that is very good at handling bad situations and talking to each other.

The problem is now she�s here. The playing field has changed. We aren�t bound by being apart anymore. I messed up and didn�t transition into my life with her very well at all. Like I said she left her entire world behind to come out here for a new identity which I fumbled and didn�t fully deliver to her.
As far as soul searching I�ve feel I�ve done a pretty good job (if that�s possible) of identifying why things happened the way they did. The biggest problem is me being in social situations in which she isn�t included. She isn�t part of my friends and the people I know don�t know her or about her. That is a big mistake and it only ever leads places that I should never go. She is the most important person in my life and has every right to be in my social settings and especially the right to have ME make sure I keep her there to protect her and myself.

I�ve also seen that I�ve been focused way too much on trying to �make up for� my past and the things that have been hard on a selfish level. I wanted �me� things to make �me� feel happy and different and be the person I wanted when the answer was very obviously her and working on the relationship that she was offering me with all her heart and hope. It isn�t my own selfish pretending that I can escape my problems that will ever see me through to being the good husband that I want to be, it is just being her good husband and letting that man be who I am and want to be (which I do.)

As far as how old I am, I�m 26 in a month. I�m a military veteran and nearly a college graduate. I�ve been in plenty of relationships and am well aware of the �many fish in the sea� idea. I love my wife. I�m with her because I�ve fought for our relationship and I believe that being good to her is the best thing I can do with my life. What I haven�t done very well is earn that position, because just fighting for it isn�t enough.

I know it is her choice to forgive. I would always forgive her of anything. I think (hope)she knows that.

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Okay. You're 26. That is the age I was when I got married. My DH and I dated long distance for 6 and 1/2 years before getting married. We were really good at communicating as well since we talked every night on the phone and saw each other once a month. Just sharing this so you see the similarities in our lives. But he didn't have an affair before we got married. That took 17 years. And his A happened for the same reason yours did: poor boundaries.

You may think you are a good communicator, but the one most important thing you forgot to share with your girlfriend was that you were freaked out by your girlfriend moving locally and pushing your relationship to the next level. Instead of telling her that in the many words you obviously like to use, you confided in another woman. You shared a part of yourself that should have been hers alone. Your wife then entered into marriage without all the information about you and she feels like the whole relationship is a sham. I would have run, not walked away.

You see, my DH and I had a wonderful marriage even with the long distance courtship. We truly enjoyed one another and got along beautifully. He comes from a messed up family and probably could've used the same excuses you have made in your post about why you were selfish. But he was faithful throughout our courtship and open and honest about what he felt throughout that time. The A happened when we got lazy in our relationship, took each other for granted and started investing in other things over our spouse. But because it happened later in our marriage, we had a history of commitment that allowed me to forgive him, and a knowledge of what our relationship could be like again. Your wife doesn't have any of that.

She may come back to you. Invite her to this site and ask her to read just for her own healing from what you did to her.

But you need to get to the real issue here and stop making excuses for yourself. You wanted your wife but you didn't want to change your life either. She gave up everything and you gave up nothing. This is evidenced by your comment about not incorporating her into your social circle. When you get married, there should be ONE social circle!

You don't sound like someone who is ready to commit; that's okay but be honest about it and don't hurt someone else because of it.


ME: 45 FBS
FWH: GloveOil 43
D-Day 1/7/09 (A: 10/08-1/09)
DD: 16
DS: 12
Married: 19 years
In love for 24+ years and counting!
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jl21378 Offline OP
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Well. I thank you for your words. I can only heartily disagree that I am not ready to commit. I was scared but since we have been married I've done nothing but commit and we worked on the issues that had been causing us problems and the chat stuff she found was from before we got married. I had already ended that.

I totally agree that I was unfair in her giving up her life while I was being selfish and not honoring that. It greaves my heart more than anything I have ever known. She tells me she wants to decide if I can be her one and only. I want that more than anything. I try to tell her that I was a bad boyfriend and from that I have learned what it takes to want to be an amazing husband. I�ve written her and tried to fix our photoalbums and done everything I can think of. I�m more ready to change and commit and accept what I�ve done now than ever.

She tells me that everything would have been much better if I had just told her everything from the start. I felt like telling her and trying to work on it while keeping our relationship stable (but never forgetting about it or covering it up or hiding it) would give us a chance to deal with the problems when we were both stable enough to handle them. Instead, she dove into chat logs from before we got married and saw things there she didn�t like. They weren�t things I liked at that point either, which is why I had already stopped it. I knew it was wrong. I wasn�t going to let it tarnish our marriage. I know I can be an amazing husband to her. I got too caught up in myself and the past.

What I don�t see is how someone can be so devastated and trying to come to grips with their faults and still be turned away. I guess I would just never do that to her.
You�re right in that she is my life and I only want one social circle with her. She deserves to know everything and I want to tell her everything. I don�t want to ever do anything I can�t share with her. I communicated many things and never what I should have because I was ashamed at feeling scared and acting in ways I never should have. I�m devastated that I could ever do anything to go astray from the woman I see next to me in these pictures I�m looking at.

I guess it�s hard to hear that she should leave me. I seem to have gotten it a couple times now. I don�t think there is anything she could ever do to be diminished in my eyes. If there is something I�m supposed to do now that I haven�t, I don�t know what it is.

You spoke about having a past. I really hope that she can see all the amazing and great times we�ve had and how, even with a stupid mistake like this, that my heart is still hers and if she could find it in her heart to give me a chance to be a good husband I know I would never let her down like this again. Even if I did, I would make sure like I am now to show her every single way in which I love her and, well, I guess just try and have hope.

Thank you for your time and response. It is always comforting to hear from people who have made it past the obstacles we currently face. I really hope one day that she and I can say �we�ve been there� and made it out also. I just know in my heart that I can be a good husband and I never want to be that bad boyfriend again.

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I�m sorry to tell you this but if I was her father I�d tell her to annul the marriage, learn from it, never date long distance again, and be more careful in her choices in men.

You sound very immature, but that�s not to be taken as an offense. I was extremely immature at 26.

Here�s the thing about love and relationships: it takes work but it doesn�t and shouldn�t feel like work when it is good and meant to be.

The problem with dating from a distance is that it doesn�t really give you day to day interactions with that person and creates an artificial scenario for the relationship. So problems which would become readily evident don�t really arise.

You really have little to save. You have no kids and haven�t been together long or married for long. So there really is very little incentive for her to return.

Learn from this no matter what.

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Like I said she left her entire world behind to come out here for a new identity which I fumbled and didn�t fully deliver to her.

Can you please give a little more detail about this? Was she married? Did she come from another country? Why would she "leave her entire world behind"... "for a new identity"?


Widowed 11/10/12 after 35 years of marriage
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In a sense now, I am homeless. For the home, the place of refuge, solitude, love-where my husband lived-no longer exists. Joyce Carolyn Oates, A Widow's Story
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Originally Posted by jl21378
What I don�t see is how someone can be so devastated and trying to come to grips with their faults and still be turned away. I guess I would just never do that to her.

You DID devastate her, too. Maybe you wouldn't walk away from her, but then again, she wouldn't have cheated on you. Why is your devastation more important than hers?

Try not putting yourself, and your pain, first. You caused it.

.

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I completely agree. If you don't understand how she could be turning you away, it means you really don't understand how much you've hurt her, and the depth of your betrayal.

Put her first. You will never--ever--save the shattered remains of your marriage by making demands or minimizing the extent of the damage you've done.

You cheated on her just a few weeks before you got married, and what's more, YOU ARE STILL TALKING TO THE OTHER WOMAN. She has every right in the world to leave you and annul this marriage. If you had any respect for your marriage or your wife, you would cease contact with this other woman immediately and focus all your efforts on your wife.

I guarantee she is far, far more devastated than you are.

Last edited by StuckWaiting; 04/29/11 02:28 PM.

BS: Me, 27
WS: Her, 24
EA: October
PA: 11/22/10
Moved out 12/3/10
Moved back in mid-January.

In tentative recovery. Is that the sun I see, breaking through the fog?
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Originally Posted by helpthelostdads
...The problem with dating from a distance is that it doesn�t really give you day to day interactions with that person and creates an artificial scenario for the relationship. So problems which would become readily evident don�t really arise.
The main issue isn't that they dated long-distance, the main issue is the guy's lack of boundaries. Granted, maybe if she'd been able to come over to his apartment more readily/frequently & poke into his chat-logs, she might've discovered his premarital bad behavior sooner, or maybe not; but the lateness of discovery didn't cause that behavior, nor did the fact that they were a long distance apart. (If being proximate during courtship were so crucial, then we'd recommend that folks sleep & live together before marriage. But we don't recommend that at MB.)

The central issues are commitments & boundaries. This guy's were/are weak, and I'd propose that he keep his focus on that crucial shortcoming. If he fixes that, then he can hope to be a decent husband someday (to his current wife, or to a future wife should his current marriage fail), even if he dates long-distance. If he doesn't fix his boundary problem, then he'll never be a respectable husband, even if every woman he dates & marries lives just down the street.


Me: FWH, 50
My BW: Trust_Will_Come, 52, tall, beautiful & heart of gold
DD23, DS19
EA-then-PA Oct'08-Jan'09
Broke it off & confessed to BW (after OW's H found out) Jan.7 2009
Married 25 years & counting.
Grateful for forgiveness. Working to be a better husband.
"I wear the chain I forged in life... I made it link by link, and yard by yard" ~Jacob Marley's ghost, A Christmas Carol
"Do it again & you're out on your [bum]." ~My BW, Jan.7 2009
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Originally Posted by jl21378
...What I don�t see is how someone can be so devastated and trying to come to grips with their faults and still be turned away. I guess I would just never do that to her.
As for you, jl21378, what you don't see (and what I'm trying to help you see) is just how presumptuous & self-centered you come off as sounding when you say things like that.

Basically, that's going to sound in her ears pretty much like "Gee, honey, if you were to treat me as rottenly as I just treated you, I'd handle it so much better than you're handling it!" In other words, your lousy choices have somehow become an occasion for you to at least mentally criticize her. And that is just twisted & messed-up, dude. I mean, yougottabekiddingme, right?

I guarantee you, she senses that critical attitude from you; if you're typing it here when you've got time to ponder your words, then I guarantee that it's coming across in your conversations with her. Can you wrap your brain around how ridiculous & arrogant that must make you seem to her right now?

Get humble, pal. Instead of viewing her as deficient in how she's responding to your act of emotional abuse, you need to be devoting 100% of your energy & focus to trying to make amends & implement extraordinary precautions to protect her feelings -- in short, by fixing yourself to ensure that, whether she returns or stays gone, you won't ever in the future be guilty of committing such abuse in the first place.


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