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Thread: I cheated and I can't seem to fix it.

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    Unhappy I cheated and I can't seem to fix it.

    I don't know where else to go or who else to turn to. I have tried getting advice from others, and I can't. All I get is judged. I'm tired of being judged. So please, no judging. Advice only please...

    I am currently living with my boyfriend of almost 5 years. Together, we have raised my 3 1/2 year old daughter from an affair, and now about to have a child of our own. I love him more than any man on earth, but I haven't been the best girlfriend. Like I said before, my first child was from an affair. This child I'm pregnant with is not, but I did have another affair when I was 5 months along (I am currently 7 months). I'm not proud of it. I'm very ashamed. I have been flooded with guilt. And I tried to forget that it happened, so I pushed it to the back of my mind and didn't tell him. How he found out sucks. He was looking through my email trying to find something from a friend of ours, and found a conversation between myself and the man I had an affair with. I didn't delete the emails, which was a big mistake. So of course, he woke me up and asked me about it. I admitted it, and nothing has been the same. We fought for two days, he doesn't say I love you anymore, there is hardly any passion, and he keeps saying that he doesn't know if he could ever trust me again. When we finally stopped fighting, I thought things went back to normal. But, apparently, while at work, he has been having thoughts of "Should I find someone better?", "Do I deserve better?", and looking at other girls, and it hurts. I found this out a few days ago. I have been really depressed since.
    Now the reason for what I did.. For a good while, we have gotten into swinging with other girls. I'm guessing jealousy played a part in my reason, because only girls were allowed in the play, but guys weren't. He has a problem with other men being involved. So he got to experience the new pleasure, and I really didn't. Another reason is loneliness. He started playing video games again right after I got pregnant. He spent more time on them than with me. I would beg him to pay attention to me, and he would beg to play his games. I was so frustrated for attention, both emotional and sexual, that I looked for it elsewhere. I really wish I hadn't. And, as of two days ago, he has been thinking of inviting a girl over while I am home and possibly having me stay in another room while he has sex with her in our bed. He said that would be his way of getting revenge.
    I have tried to do everything right since I cheated. I haven't talked to any strange guys or asked to meet up with them for sex (the only guys I talk to are my best friends from high school), I haven't browsed, I haven't had sex wtih anyone else, I have kept myself busy with other things like setting up the baby's room, I have been completely honest about everything I do and who I talk to, I don't delete my emails, I let him look through my email, phone, and facebook... I want him and only him. I want things back to the way they were before, I want to hear him say I love you again, I want the passion back, I want the trust back, I want to go one damn day without crying.. I am so determined to fix it, but he acts like he doesn't want to..

    Please help me!!!!!!

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    Hello Jolynn and welcome here.

    In all fairness, i'm going to try and stay away from judgmental attitudes, but some of the things i say, even if they might sound that way, have different morals behind them then simply playing moral high ground.
    I'm one of the guys who when hearing a cheating story always believes both parties are guilty...it's just a matter of who gets the dominant percent of guilt and in most cases figuring what really happened gets reduced to "what was first? the chicken or the egg" types of dilemma. One good personal example that comes to my mind, is a couple of friends of mine, married, both in their 40s, with a child that turned 18 last year - out of the blue, the guy leaves home and starts having an affair with another woman-> as you can imagine, the world parties with the grieving wife, pointing fingers at what a human face wearing beast this guy was, how he could do that, the usual bla blas.... I was retained in voicing my opinion, mainly because knowing the guy, something felt off his normal behavior chart and also some coincidences didn't quite felt right to me (guy goes cheating exactly after his daughter turned 18).

    Meeting with the man, we sat for a little mature chat and he acknowledged most of my suspicions: his life as a husband has been hell for the last 10 years and it included:
    - sex about twice a year and even when it happened, it was the type of sex that made him feel guilty for asking
    - constant lack of respect from his wife that got worse when he was jobless for a while and never improved when he regained his social status

    The guy never cheated on his wife, he waited till their daughter turned 18, then said he had enough and pushed the brakes. It might surprise some, but they are still together now, after his cheating spree, and working on improving their relationship. I took this little detour to showcase the fact that in my opinion, sometimes it is possible that a partner's inactivity/lack of involvement/habit of taking things for granted, can push the other towards a cheating stress release valve -> hence, my "chicken <-> egg" dilemma: would he have still cheated if his wife didn't pressured and turned him into a insignificant house slave (i didn't use "pet" as that would involve some affection)? The same applies to your case, in my opinion : would you have still cheated on him, if he stopped the one sided swinging at the "curiosity" stage instead of turning it into a habit?

    Here is the kind of judgmental part : the biggest problem i see in your story, is the fact that after you cheated, you willfully agreed on taking all the blame on yourself. Sure, i've seen the total opposite in my life, where the person that got cheated on, took the whole blame and trust me, that didn't lead to something nice. But taking it all on yourself, distracted the focus from "there is something wrong with our relationship" and put the spotlight on "there was something wrong with you", which, let's face it, didn't solved none of the things that bothered you in the first place and pushed you towards cheating: the guy still feels (even worse now) entitled to "swing" with other girls, while you doing the same thing would be frowned upon. To me, that's the genesis point of this whole story and as long as it's not properly addressed, the situation will just continue to spin out of control. There's a reason some sayings as old as time, still hold a crushingly amount of truth no matter how modern the context might be. Most people know this from the Bible, but " "Do not impose on others what you do not desire others to impose upon you." has an older history than Jesus himself, being present in :
    - Confucius, The Analects. Roughly 500 BCE.
    - Hindu sacred literature: "Let no man do to another that which would be repugnant to himself." (Mahabharata, bk. 5, ch. 49, v. 57)
    - Zoroastrian sacred literature: "Human nature is good only when it does not do unto another whatever is not good for its own self."
(Dadistan-I-Dinik, 94:5; in Muller, chapter 94, vol. 18, p. 269)
    - Buddhist sacred literature: "Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful." (Udanavargu, 5:18)
    - Greek: -Herodotus: "If I choose I may rule over you. But what I condemn in another I will, if I may, avoid myself." 
(Herodotus, The Histories, bk. III, ch. 142. Roughly 430 BCE.)
    -Isocrates, the Greek orator: "What things make you angry when you suffer them at the hands of others, do not you do to other people."

    Apart from the short history lesson, my point was to present to you the fact that, to me, as long as him screwing other girls was ok, but you screwing other guys wasn't, the whole story was doomed to fail and honestly, it looks more like a selfish guy getting all the goodies than an partner that sees and respects you as his equal. I'm sorry Jolynn, but until this problem is properly discussed and his future behavior towards "swinging" isn't settled, you won't get a normal relationship out of this guy. I don't see an easy resolution to this as it means taking some ground back for yourself and holding it really tight, re-opening the "why i cheated" story, making him acknowledge some of his contribution to this, and only after that, talking future plans. As you can see, it's no easy task as he's got so used with his one-sided swinging and even feels more entitled now based on the fact that you "cheated" (served him the cake he was serving you if you ask me). Problem is, i don't see any other way out...you already tried everything there was to try and the best you got is what? him going the same route he was walking when the whole story started?

    Cheers, Mike
    "What you won't let die, won't let you live "

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    Hey there, and welcome.

    I also see two sides to the guilt on this. Cheating is never something I encourage, but at the same time, I also know that people generally don't cheat for no reason whatsoever. People cheat when their own relationships start losing stability, warmth, respect, and any number of other things that healthy relationships are supposed to have. Essentially, people who are happy in their own relationships don't find a need to cheat on their partners. People who feel as though they've been lacking something in their relationships are far more likely to go seek it elsewhere. Relationships are a two-way street...you need BOTH people contributing to the happiness of the relationship in order to stop it going sour.

    Slick has pretty much nailed it here - there's definitely a double-standard with you and your boyfriend. He can have sex with other women, and you're supposed to continue to trust him and be okay with all of it, but the second you stray, he suddenly feels justified in taking "revenge"? Love does not involve revenge. His attitude is childish - having sex with another woman in your home while you're made to sit in the other room and hear it? How is that love? How is that respect or affection? How is that indicative of a desire to mend the broken parts or your relationship?

    Look, you cheated, and yeah, you already know it wasn't the greatest thing to do, given that you feel guilty about it. But I agree with Slick in that taking 100% of the blame here is unnecessary - you didn't just wake up one morning and decide to do what you did on a whim. Something was/is wrong in your relationship, and this is how you ultimately coped with it. When a man prefers playing video games to spending time with his girlfriend, there's a problem. When a man feels totally justified in swinging with other women but barring you from swinging with other men (I don't know much about the swinging culture, so forgive me - but I always assumed that couples involved with swinging were doing so for MUTUAL enjoyment...not just letting the guy get his jollies and leaving his girlfriend/wife unfulfilled), then there's a problem. It sounds as though he's far more interested in his own desires and expects you to accommodate him. Forgive me, but what he's suggesting to do for "revenge" sounds like something a spoiled sorority girl does in some teen drama. This is not growth - this is regression. This will not mend your relationship...it'll simply make him feel like he has the upper hand again - in my opinion, that's the crux of his problem with this.

    Healthy relationships do not involve power-play. Healthy, mature people aren't constantly needing to assert themselves as the ones "in power" in a relationship, because healthy, mature people are generally capable of leaving their egos out of it (we all slip up on this from time to time, but most of us will make an effort to act like mature adults instead of playing childish games).

    You have mentioned that your boyfriend is questioning whether he wants to remain in a relationship with you, but let me ask you this: do YOU want to remain in this relationship?
    "Are tangerines really just oranges that didn't want it enough?" - Random Greeting Card

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