Been married 21 years, and late last year my wife was on a vacation with my adult daughter, where she had a fling with a guy which included a sexual betrayal. Flirting by the pool, exchanging texts, eventually getting together for drinks, back to his room, and it turned sexual. My daughter knew none of this, thankfully.
A week after it happened, she came to me and told me of the fling. I believe her when she told me everything. The marriage had problems and I made mistakes, and I wanted to reconcile, and so does she.
The good is that this situation is different than what I’ve read on your website regarding serial cheaters and narcissists, and this betrayal is a one-and-done. She came forward and told me about it. I’ve never known her to lie to me, and we don’t have the deceit.
The bad is that I’m so very hurt, and she is kind of acting like a FW in that after a quick apology she doesn’t want to talk about it, frustrated with me for bringing it up, she doesn’t want to have date nights because I’m no fun to be around, typical FW stuff. Also bad is that I’m in my 50s, our lives and finances are entwined, and this is the only life I’ve known for 21 years. The pain is unbearable.
We’re in counseling and so far I’m not too encouraged but I’m patient and hopeful.
Soooo… am I a huge double-chump for thinking we can reconcile?
Dear Double Chump,
Well, DC, I’m not in the business of recommending reconciliation. It’s like telling me you ate at the rancid taco buffet and got eColi, but only that ONCE, and okay, you had organ failure, but kidney dialysis isn’t forever (okay, it’s forever), but you had 20 good years of tacos (so, maybe they weren’t the best tacos, but they were the tacos you KNEW) and would I encourage you to eat at Señor Vómito again?
No. No I would not.
You could dismiss me as a crabby blogger who consumes a thousand depressing stories each week the way other people eat cornflakes, but consider this, D.C. — she isn’t sorry.
after a quick apology she doesn’t want to talk about it
And why is this about what she wants? Isn’t that entitlement the sort of Stella-Got-Her-Groove-Back pathetic middle-aged cliche that got her into this mess? Where’d the sorry go? Poolside with an umbrella drink? I’m not feeling the remorse.
frustrated with me for bringing it up
I’m sure you’re frustrated with her fucking around.
she doesn’t want to have date nights because I’m no fun to be around,
This is like me kneecapping your shins with a pipe and then complaining you won’t go on hikes. You HOBBLE! Stay home!
It’s NOT YOUR JOB to be Mr. Romance now, for fuck’s sake. She cheated on YOU, it’s HER job to up her game. The fact that you’re willing to do date nights (i.e., pick me dance for her awesomeness) demonstrates you’re willing to eat the shit sandwich and TRY. And she’s rejecting you?
You know what I say next… (class in unison) Is this relationship acceptable to you? As it is? Do you realize you can’t save a marriage all by yourself?
Here’s why I think your union is doomed — it has nothing to do with if she only cheated once (although I am highly skeptical that someone takes up fucking around in their 50s), or whether she fails to qualify as the most sociopathic creep you read about here (bitch cookie) — it’s that she thinks PUNISHING you with an affair is justified.
You see her telling you about it as unvarnished honesty. I see it as an abusive power play.
Now, if she told you and followed that up with a commitment to the marriage and demonstrated remorse? We could go with your interpretation — she told you because she cares.
But she told you and followed that up with fuckwittery and a blatant disregard for your feelings, so we’re going with MY interpretation — abusive power play.
She was unhappy in your marriage? There were issues? She decided to get your attention by fucking another man. And telling you about it. The way other people punch walls. Upset me again and there will be consequences. You don’t dance pretty? You don’t romance her and improve your attitude? Why, she’s only one Sandal’s resort away from hurting you again. So, you better behave.
THAT toxic shit is why should should divorce her ass. You can’t work with that. What happens if you get cancer? Or fail to amuse her on a random Wednesday? Who wants to cater to such a person? Who wants to live with that sort of threat hanging over them?
The pain is unbearable.
Not to her.
And why would you waste one more minute of your precious life with someone who could casually betray you and not care? You aren’t wired the same way and you don’t share the same values. So, game over.
Oh, and watch her “care” the minute you see a lawyer. You want to stay with someone you have to threaten with legal action before they take you seriously?
Put your therapy dollars toward a happier future without this woman.
The world is full of better tacos.