Can Relationships Survive Infidelity?

HomeForumsRelationshipsCan Relationships Survive Infidelity?

New Reply
Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • Author
  • #67090

    I’m on a path of self-discovery and could really use some words of wisdom and optimistic thinking!

    I was engaged to my best friend for two months. We’ve been together for six years since college. But there was a huge bump in my road almost three years ago: I cheated with someone at work. This other guy was much older, geo-bachelor, legally married but told me he was going through a divorce because his wife admitted to an affair (little does she know that he’s been cheating on her for quite a while). Eventually, I ended up changing jobs, he deployed with his family, and thought this was a secret I could take to my grave as I realized what a detrimental mistake this was, how stupid/immature I was and that it took me until afterwards to have the ramifications sink in and to realize how much I truly loved my ex-fiance and that I did not want to lose him. And so in my head, with that rationale, I kept it from him because the other guy was meaningless, it would never happen again, that I knew he would’ve walked away if I told him right away and knew we were meant to have a future together.

    Silly me. Karma exists without a doubt. Couple weeks ago, being newly engaged and feeling euphoric, the wife stalked out my home address and wrote an angry letter to my fiance, exposing me. From the letter I confessed, which resulted in my ex-fiance being completely livid, breaking glass and overturning our dining table, grabbing all of his stuff, taking the dog and storming out of our place to go back to his parents’. Through a mutual contact, I found out that this other guy was caught sleeping around (surprise surprise) and his wife went ballistic. I don’t know if she went after all or just me because I knew that this other guy had genuine feelings for me at the time (but I didn’t).

    The next day, since my ex-fiance is known for having a temper and spiteful, he sent some angry emails which could’ve implicated careers/income/kids of the other guy’s family and other innocent people’s families. At that point, not being able to comprehend the caliber of the situation, my mind knew no other direction but to not move forward and felt suicidal. There was no point in living if I lost the love of my life, having the love of my life hate me, for being exposed for something unforgivable, and for losing the wonderful happy family future I had mapped out in my head. So I forced myself into a mental hospital and stayed for four days.

    It’s been three weeks now since the incident. I’ve written my apology emails to my ex-fiance and his mother/family. I answered all the questions my ex-fiance had about what happened, why it happened and how he knows it wouldn’t happen again. I tried my best to convey how regretful, guilty and ashamed I am. At this point, he confirmed the wedding was off, demanded his name be released from our apt lease, demanded all utility/cable bills be transferred to my name, and overall being removed from everything financially. He said he has not made a decision yet about what to do as he’s still trying to get past it and still in shock at how deceived he was, thinking that I was the one person who could never hurt him this way.

    Up until now, I’ve always led a “normal, quiet, comfortable life.” I’ve never cheated nor lied. I used to stand proud that I was a “good person” and that I take pride in being honest, faithful, compassionate and have integrity. I am that “quiet, sweet girl” that is perceived as someone who is friendly and lovable. My loyalty’s never been doubted before because I am naturally a monogamous person. I’ve always stayed close to my man, held his hand, only looked at him, never flirted with others, and typically rejected other men’s advances. I was perceived as the person you can bring home to mom. I used to advocate that I would never cheat because my mom had an affair and divorced my dad (and came running back). How could she hurt him? I was so angry at her and vowed I would never do that. Yet here I am…

    I committed the crime and am paying the consequences. This is so foreign to me, having to royally fuck up and owning up to it.

    Do you think a relationship can survive infidelity?

    I am ready to be completely transparent. I told him I would do anything for him, check in everywhere, share my FB/email passwords, etc. But I am wondering if he is willing to change himself as I understand it takes effort from both of our ends to make it work. See, he is a self-righteous man and to him, the world is black and white. If you do something wrong, you need to be punished. And with his natural way of being angry and resentful, he doesn’t know how to forgive. I just don’t know. I tried looking for movies that show love can survive infidelity but learned Hollywood thinks infidelity is the way to go 🙁

    How do you forgive yourself for doing something so selfish that ended up hurting yourself, the one you love, your family, his family, and friends? I don’t want to be this way. I never want to cheat nor be deceitful ever again.

    How do you face his family if he does want to work things out? I didn’t really realize but breaking up with someone also means breaking up with his family. Six years of bonding down the drain. His mom and brother defriended me. I was once the girl they felt “was too good for their son.” And now I feel the most hated. Do you have any stories/advice on how to face the family after deceiving and shaming them?

    How do you fix your image? We shared the same circle of friends and I feel like I can’t even face them. I feel like Hester Prynne from The Scarlet Letter. There is a scar that everyone can see. I am no longer the “nice girl everyone loves.” Instead I am a “cheater, fake and a liar.” How could anyone remain friends with me? I feel I’ve lost my friends just as much. I go through work now feeling like my eyes are lowered and my head is down. My self-confidence is shot and devalue myself.

    How can I help fix him? I’ve emotionally damaged my love… and am afraid I’ve scarred him to think he can never trust again. I’m afraid I’ve made him forever angry, resentful/spiteful and lost trust and faith.

    And if he ends up deciding this is the end, where do you go from there? I lived the last six years of my life with someone by side. We built a home together and now the future is bleak. I had everything planned and this uncertainty scares me.

    My selfishness has impacted my love, his family, me, my family, and our circle of friends. Any words of wisdom, stories or advice would be appreciated. I am now trying to learn more about myself, understanding my behavior and thoughts, and how to now be by myself.


    One thing I’ve learned in my forty plus years on the planet is that:

    1. Ain’t no one perfect. You are feeling shamed. But just remember that all of us have been not-so-great in our past. And those that have been? They haven’t been there yet or they haven’t lived a lot of life. Half the people who react to you in horror have done just as not-nice things ~ only they haven’t been caught and they would never admit it.

    2. Does everyone (and I mean everyone) know? If they do, a strong offence is a good defense. I would write a mass email/message and say, “Mistakes have been made, but not to the degree that this hysterical woman has led everyone to believe. I have sent out a restraining order to (INSERT HER NAME – do it!!) and hopefully she has stopped her misguided vendetta. If any of you is contacted by her, I apologize, and please let me know immediately. Let’s pray for this woman who has mental health issues and send her white light and love.” Since you have always been perceived as good, sweet, loving, etc., they will support you. When they ask what exactly happened, tell them that you don’t want to give any more energy to it. You will get a lot of written FB support that everyone will see.

    3. The sheer anger of the fiancé worries me. Is it possible he’s been tempted himself, resisted temptation and is now having a tantrum? I can see getting hurt, crying, withdrawing, a sullen, simmering anger, but breaking things, etc. I don’t know. Maybe I haven’t been there.

    4. Only time, time, and more time might fix this.

    Good Luck!!!!


    Edit: Maybe don’t do #2 if your fiancé already went on an email rampage. But do let people know that you are being targeted by a crazy woman. You don’t have to name names, but everyone will still support you if they see your life is being smeared. Maybe: “I’ve been targeted by a woman who is currently unstable. I just want to clear up any rumors without giving more energy to it. Thank you everyone for all the love, support and care!” This way everyone will give it because they think everyone else is!!!

    But you’re not alone. The Wife always but always goes ballistic. An old friend was convinced her lover was free and clear only to have a wife pop out from nowhere (years later!) and write her parents about what she did so she could be scolded like a child.


    Thanks so much Inky for the thoughts. At this point, our families and friends know. I thought at first it would be kept under wraps but my ex-fiance was pretty open telling our friend that he got a letter from the wife of the guy and so at that point, I reached out to our friends to express my side and my guilt/shame so they at least know how I feel. I feel like the woman IS crazy. This is actually her third time threatening to expose me and the reason why I’ve ignored her in the past was because 1) the other guy told me she was harmless and not to worry and 2) believe issues like this should be dealt between husband and wife. It’s scary that she found out my information but she lives across the country so I am not TOO worried that she’s going to kill me in my sleep…. Unfortunately I feel like I can’t use her as the basis of my apologies/offense because I understand this all would not have happened had I not made the “wrong” decision (I put in quotes because I’ve been told there is no such thing as wrong and right in life, just experiences).

    Her letter was also at the worst timing possible. It was the day before our parents were supposed to meet and when I was supposed to say yes to the dress with my mother and mother-in-law. The next balance for the venue was also due. I’m agnostic but the timing here is uncanny. I cannot help but wonder if someone upstairs is sending a message here.

    Re: #3, yes…. he is known to having a temper and doesn’t know how to forgive (perhaps this is a lesson for him to learn the act of forgiveness? i dont know…). He’s said he’s had temptations himself but he’s always remained strong and faithful. He did end up apologizing for the way he acted but said if it happened again, he knew he would’ve reacted the same way knowing he does have a temper.

    Thank you for sharing the story of your old friend. I mean that is definitely tragic and reminded me that this wife also did threaten to tell my mom what a whore of a daughter I was. I hope your old friend’s parents were able to just ignore it and protect their daughter instead.


    Also remember that if someone’s, say, blackmailed, 9/10 of people will show more compassion towards the sinner than the blackmailer. If you go back to your friends and ask for their support, they WILL give it to you! I still think of my old friend highly, only that she made a mistake. So do her parents! And as time goes on, instead of being “That Girl” you will be “that poor girl” and finally just “Melissa” with no taint of judgment surrounding you.

    And NO, this was NOT The Universe sending you a message. It was the crazy wife. When women are obsessed we become more canny than the FBI, CIA and any other alphabet soup organization you can think of. This was no accident, my dear. She knew exactly when you got engaged, who the family was, when the wedding will be and maybe even when the parents were to meet.

    Now… Are the wedding invitations out yet? If so, then implore the fiancé to go through with this. If they haven’t been sent out yet, then swallow the $$$. We know couples who did that and we don’t think any less of them, either.

    Tell fiancé that this woman is dangerous and the husband is fixated on you, and clearly you won’t make THAT mistake again and you are frightened.

    THEN, have a lawyer (or friend) cobble up a stern legalese written registered warning that you AND(!!!) your fiancé (united front) will press charges if she doesn’t stop with the antics AND(!!!) defamation of character.


    Sweetheart, everyone makes mistakes, and this is one that you have made and you are now facing the consequences. You need to forgive yourself, learn from the experience, and move on from it. One thing you mentioned “How can I fix him”, you can’t fix him, you can only make changes to yourself. It must be extremely humiliating for you facing people, but that’s exactly what you must do, face your fear and humiliation, you will find out who your true friends are, if it means that they do not stick by you and support you, then perhaps they were never really your friends in the first place. Everyone on this earth makes mistakes in life, we can’t go back and change the past, but we can use those less than perfect experiences to move forward positively. It is quite normal and natural that your ex is angry and feeling hurt. Give him time and space, let him know how much you love him, but give him the opportunity to grieve for what he thought he had. If only life were black and white, but it isn’t. Even good people make mistakes, but don’t keep beating yourself up. I truly wish you good luck, and remember, one way or the other, things will turn out for the best. Take good care of yourself. XX


    A man without compassion, whom you describe as spiteful and temperamental, is not a man I would want to spend my life with. The universe just did you a huge favor in the only way that would save you from a life of. Living with a sanctimonious self righteous shamer.
    You did wrong. You asked for forgiveness. You are contrite and that is all you can do. A mistake should never define us and it definitely shouldn’t be something someone who loves us is violent or degrading to you about. This wedding is off and in my humble opinion, it is a good thing. I have no doubt that you will never cheat or lie ever again in this manner.


    No one on here knows you personally so what we may suggest is purely based on our personal opinions and what information you have provided so please don’t get offended or think my advice is right for you or that I’m judging you because I’m honestly not and just want to help. I sincerely hope things are going better for you and I’m sorry this has happened and hope my advice can help your personal situation.

    To answer the question you posted, well that’s a yes and no. I personally know a man who cheated on his partner and they are now married and have two children. But there was a difference in the fact that he told his partner straight away (that week) what he had done, as it was a once of event. I’m not saying it can’t happen because it could but that will really depend on your x and if he can ever learn to forgive you.

    Trust me, I understand people make mistakes, in fact everyone does so please, what happened is in the past and we can not change the past, we can only accept it and learn from it so we do not repeat the same mistakes and you really do sound like you have learnt this lesson. I am proud of you for accepting you have made a mistake and trying to better yourself because of it. That takes a lot of courage because I think every person knows it’s not easy confronting personal issue’s.

    I also understand it is hard to have everyone you knew and thought of you as ‘good’ turn there backs on you but you also need to remember you made this choice, knowing there would be consequences. I understand you might be angry at your friends, this is not to be ashamed by, it just reminds you your human but this is a good time to learn and practice the very compassion you yourself would like.
    Firstly compassion for your friends – it sounds stupid but you have also betrayed there trust and put them in a hard spot to choose. I don’t think it’s that your friends do not like you anymore or even hate you but if you and your x were friends with all of them, then they may feel they have to choose to side with your x, as they may feel morally obligated to do so.
    Compassion for his family – you say you wasted 6 years of your life bonding with his family but you also have to remember they may feel they have also wasted 6 years of there life as well as there son’s life, which let’s be honest most parents will choose there children’s well being over that of someone else. You may have shattered there dreams for grandchildren and there son being married so please understand why they may not be able to forgive you.

    Compassion for the wife – I apologise in advance if maybe I interpreted what you wrote wrong but it seems you feel angry at the wife for exposing you but please remember this wife has every right to know the women who slept with her husband, I’m not saying how she handled it was the best, but put yourself in her shoes, she may have given up a lot to be with this man who she loved and he has betrayed and deceived her almost every chance he has gotten and she most likely took her anger out on you as she had no way to take it out on her husband (he could be financially supporting her, or they have children ect). Please be grateful she has not done anything more extreme, and just exposed the truth. Maybe this is divine timing and you were not meant to marry this man.

    Compassion for yourself – I know a lot of people will judge you and I am sorry for that but unfortunately sometimes our bad choices may haunt us. Please realize you made a big mistake but it doesn’t define who you are as a person or that you have to punish yourself for the rest of your life because you still deserve to be happy. Relationships, especially love is complicated and think of it as a blessing. If you had got married and your x did not know the truth that kind of burden/secret would eventually of worn your self esteem down and could of even escalated into suicidal thoughts, which no one deserves to suffer.

    Compassion for your X – If he can not forgive you, he has every right to choose what is best for him. It does not make him a bad person for not forgiving you, it simply makes him a person who is hurting. He may not be perfect in his thinking but his opinion is still his and you must accept and respect that and for the benefit of both of you guys, move forward.

    I know you still love him and you will probably always think about him but judging by what you have written of his opinions it would be best to start a new chapter in your life and cut all contact and move on. If he wants to contact you in the future he will do so but for now concentrate on yourself. I’m pretty sure you have but if you haven’t already done so, maybe ask your self the question of why you had an affair, even though you loved your X. Maybe this will help you to gain insight into any self destructive thought patterns, so you can learn to love yourself again.
    But please don’t fall into the victim mentality that you were wronged or that you deserved to be punished. ( it sounds silly, but it is sooooo easy to do when times are hard, I know this from personal experience, because it will only make it harder on yourself)

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic. Please log in OR register.