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Fiance cheated at the start of relationship - now what?

(160 Posts)
blindsidedme Thu 05-Sep-13 20:14:07

Long time lurker, first time poster here - Please give me some advice, I literally have no idea what to do next.

Background: DP and I got together three years ago. Only the month before that he'd come out of a tempestuous 4 year relationship with a woman who cheated* on him and he was feeling a little burned, so perhaps understandably, he was a little cautious at first, but the relationship went from strength to strength. (*I'm certain this is what really happened, not just his version of events - we work in the same field and she's well known to be a nightmare!)

Fast forward three years, and DP proposes - I'm overjoyed, it feels right, and I can't imagine spending my life with anyone else. Last night, we threw an engagement party for family and friends. At the end of the night, I'm in the toilet cubicle, when my fiance's brother's wife walks in with her best friend - they're drunk and talking about me, obviously thinking I've already gone home, and the conversation goes along the lines of: "Do you think we should tell her?"/ "I'd want to know if it was me" / "I don't know, I don't think we should get involved,", etc.

I come out of the toilet, asking what the hell's going on - they're mortified - anyway, I eventually get it out of them that DP cheated on me 4 months into the relationship while on a lad's holiday in Barcelona. DP's brother's wife has known about this all along and was disgusted by it, but had not met me at the time it happened, our friendship has grown since.

I confront DP about this and eventually he admitted it (like he had a choice!), insisting it was just a one night stand, he was drunk, etc. He's begging me to forgive him, saying he'd never do that now, that this was at the start of our relationship, when he still had his guard up - he daren't believe that what we had would last and he feared I'd break his trust just like his ex did, that he's an idiot, etc.

I want to believe him, but this wasn't just a few weeks into our relationship - it was 4 months - we'd had the conversation about being exclusive, we'd recently said the big "L" word, he was talking about introducing me to his family, which he did a couple of months after his holiday.

I've told him I need space to think - he's gone to stay with a friend. Our relationships been wonderful, no other red flags whatsoever - at the back of my mind I've often thought "this is too good to be true"! - well yeah, it was! Now I feel like the last three years have been a lie.

I still love him, and part of me wishes I'd never found out. Another part of me thinks: he's kept this from my fir 2 1/2 years - how can I ever trust him again? I feel foolish, livid and completely dumbfounded.

Has anyone out there been in this situation before? How did you cope? Did you end it or try and make it work?

Thank you x

cloudskitchen Thu 05-Sep-13 20:26:59

Hi there. I can understand how totally hurt you are by this. I know I would be to, and angry to. That said if he can tell you honestly and truthfully that he has been faithful ever since then (if it were me) I would put it behind you. It was a long time ago and your relationship was on a different footing then. I would definitely be having a conversation to make sure all skeletons are out of closet though.

ALittleStranger Thu 05-Sep-13 20:30:38

I'm not sure what advice to give, but I think you're right not to let your DP minimise this. When I clicked on it I thought it was going to be another poster complaining that her DP had been dating someone else when they met. But as you say, you were firmly in a relationship by this point. "It's just a ONS" is no excuse - a ONS is still cheating.

I do think it's possible to seperate this from how he felt about you when your relationship was more serious and he proposed. It's messy and it means you're now always going to dislike your "love story" but he has chosen to make a commitment to you and as long as his behaviour has been beyond reproach since I think you could rationalise this to yourself if that's what you want.

I'm sorry you're going through this OP, I really don't know what I'd do in your situation.

blindsidedme Thu 05-Sep-13 20:33:53

Thanks for reading Clouds. I do truly believe he's been faithful ever since, but then until yesterday, I believed he'd been faithful full stop!! The wedding venue is already booked for next summer - I feel sick at the thought of going through with the marriage right now. But if I cancel, what am I supposed to tell everyone? I couldn't bear for them to know the real reason.

blindsidedme Thu 05-Sep-13 20:35:41

Alittlestranger that's exactly it - he's completely ruined our "love story" hasn't he?

I'm so mad I can't think straight right now.

FabricQueen Thu 05-Sep-13 20:38:42

I'm afraid under those circumstances I would leave him. I know it's horrible, and a shock. But you have to accept that you don't really know him sad

I think you'll probably want to stay and work it through, but this will niggle at you and it won't ever be the same again. 4 months in is bloody ages! I would be livid, and incredibly hurt with my trust in the person shattered - and quite rightly so. I don't think I'd be able to find a way back from it, it doesn't matter how he wraps it up; it was a shitty thing to do and should make you question his whole character.
So sorry, OP. At least postpone the wedding indefinitely if you do decide to stay with him. But I'm really hoping you don't.

blindsidedme Thu 05-Sep-13 20:42:28

FabricQueen I fear you're right, that it will niggle at me and I just won't be able to get past it.

I really thought I'd found the man I was going to spend the rest of my life with. I just can't reconcile the man I thought I knew and what he's done sad

Xales Thu 05-Sep-13 20:43:55

Nothing more to add to the sensible posts apart from to advise that you both go for a complete STI test. You have no idea about this other person and some things don't always have symptoms but can cause a lot of damage. Even condoms don't protect 100%.

Take as long as you need to sort yourself out.

If you cancel as some already know the real reason there is no point making up another as you don't know how many people know. Lads holiday = a few? They all know, they may have told others.

Cancelling doesn't mean you won't get married eventually. Just now/next year may not be the right time.

Attackofthefiftyfootwoman Thu 05-Sep-13 20:47:09

I don't post often, but this post really got to me, if he told you he loved and THEN cheated that for me is a big thing. Ask yourself what would you have done at the time if you found out then ?

Maybe he should have come clean when he proposed (assuming it was him who asked) that would make it a slightly better scenario.

He should be making BIG steps to reconcile this. If he puts in less than 150% to sort this out I would be leaving him tbh.

Attackofthefiftyfootwoman Thu 05-Sep-13 20:48:56

Oh and I went through with a wedding that I should have postponed/ cancelled because I was worried about what people would think. This is about you ... what other people think does not matter.

cloudskitchen Thu 05-Sep-13 21:00:21

You should only go through with the wedding if its totally what you want. Please don't worry about what other people think. Its how you feel that's most important. This is a life decision. You need to be happy with it x

Doha Thu 05-Sep-13 21:15:05

It's obvious that you were the last to know as people have been talking about it--it was a secret only to you.That in itself is quite humiliating.

You really need quite a bit of time and space to digest and process all this.
He is not the man you thought he was.
In fact he is as bad as his ex. Bottom line he cheated on you!! Being drunk and having his guard up is no excuse at all.

However only you know if this is a dealbreaker for you. You trust has been shattered, can you forgive if not forger. it is a big ask.
Good luck with whatever you decide

JoinYourPlayfellows Thu 05-Sep-13 21:21:15

It will be so much easier to walk away from this man who lies and cheats this side of marriage and children.

Having children with a man makes you very dependent on him.

You need to pick someone you can trust with your life.

He's not that guy.

He told you he loved you and then went and found someone else to fuck on a lads holiday.

You only know because someone else told you.

You have no reason at all to believe this was the only time.

Men who have ONS on lad's holidays tend to make a habit of casual cheating.

JoinYourPlayfellows Thu 05-Sep-13 21:23:28

And also, the fact that he was happy to cheat on you so publicly and keep it a secret from you while so many of your friends knew says nothing good about him.

A man who truly cared about you would not have been happy to have you humiliated like that to save his own hide.

He is a selfish, dishonest man.

You can't rely on him.

WoundUpWanda Thu 05-Sep-13 21:29:19

A weeks in, you've just met..maybe you're just some lass he's texting- doesn't know where he stands.

But 4 months? 4 months into a relationship should be honeymoon period, enjoying and learning about each other, not getting balls deep in other women on 'lads' holidays.

I'm really sorry and it's not what you want to hear, but I would have to leave. I couldn't enter this marriage knowing this, nor would I want to stay if I had just found out.

Now you know this, every holiday away from you or night out where he comes back late, you will be tearing yourself apart with that horrible niggling feeling and questions of what he is doing. I wouldn't like that feeling when I had two kids, are a bit older and more financially dependant on him in terms of paying a mortgage.

I am so sorry though. But please have some respect for yourself. The thought of everyone who knows discussing it boozily at the wedding reception is making my stomach churn.

WoundUpWanda Thu 05-Sep-13 21:31:43

Everyone knew before you did sad

How humiliating.

And he let you be humiliated like that.

That's worse.

WipsGlitter Thu 05-Sep-13 21:37:43

Something similar happened to me. I forgave him. We have two children now and are very happy. I don't worry about it happening again. I don't think our months in is that long in the scheme of things.

WipsGlitter Thu 05-Sep-13 21:37:58

Four months

msrisotto Thu 05-Sep-13 21:49:24

Wow. What a horrible revelation for you. If it were me, i'd cancel the wedding. You can get married any time, when you are 100% sure and right now, you're not. Understandably so. I would certainly be reconsidering spending my life with someone like that. He lied to your face, told you he loved you when he slept with someone else. Awful.

blindsidedme Thu 05-Sep-13 21:51:53

Thank you so much for all your responses.

I need to postpone this wedding at the very least, don't I? (Second only to having a STI check!) My parents have paid the deposit for the venue - telling them the truth feels like the beginning of the end - they're never going to forgive him for this.

Just spoken to DP's brother's wife - apparently she and her DH have just had a huge row about her letting the cat out of the bag. I asked her who else knows about it - she claims only her, her best friend and the lads he was on holiday with, who are from his old job and who we weren't planning on inviting to the wedding.

The irony is, I was never the clingy girlfriend - DP went on several long weekends away to visit his friend overseas and I was happy to socialise with my friends in his absence. Perhaps I was naive, but I trusted him - I never had any reason not to. The last thing I want is to turn into the woman who's a nervous wreck every time her OH comes back late - I can't live like that.

Playfellows you're right - it would be easier to walk away this side of marriage and children. Thing is, marriage and children was exactly where I thought we were heading - I can't quite get my head around having to start again.

Oh god, I think I need wine

Quiltcover Thu 05-Sep-13 21:55:36

This isn't a lost cause. How he manages this situation now will say a lot as to whether the relationship can be saved. You have every right to be angry and hurt. He had behaved appallingly.
But you have said apart from this incident he has been faithful since. He wants to marry you and loves you. Once something is lied about it us very difficult to come clean and there has probably been no real opportunity for him yk tell you.
If he displays every sign of remorse, could you move on? Do you want to throw away your future with him (genuine question?)

Doha Thu 05-Sep-13 21:56:43

I know that is all the people you think that know, but l wonder how many lads told their partners etc- just like his brother did. Secrets take legs and can run fast sad

blindsidedme Thu 05-Sep-13 22:03:38

I don't want to throw away the future I thought we had until yesterday...I genuinely don't know if we have a future where I can get past this and be the same calm trusting person I used to be.

If I'd have found out about his ONS at the time it happened there's no question, I would have walked away, but our relationship's grown so much since then. If the cheating had happened recently, again, there's no question - I'd end it immediately. The situation as it is - I really don't know!!!

JoinYourPlayfellows Thu 05-Sep-13 22:03:47

"But you have said apart from this incident he has been faithful since."

A few days ago she thought he had always been faithful.

Given that he has a roped all of their mutual friends into lying to her about his activities when they are apart, it's very far from certain that this is the only time.

blindsided - marrying this guy now is a massive risk.

It might seem safe because it is the status quo and what you have been expecting, but you didn't know what kind of person you were dealing with.

This is a man who had your entire social circle lying to you so that he could get what he wanted.

That kind of selfishness is not what you need is a spouse. It really isn't.

Stropzilla Thu 05-Sep-13 22:18:06

Oh no that's horrible. Don't make any decisions now. Take a few days to be able to think clearly. My personal feeling is 4 months in isn't long. Maybe like you he didn't realise how far you could go together and didn't want to throw away what you had for the sake of a stupid mistake? Admitting cheating would have finished you so best to keep quiet over a ons. I think people deserve one second chance but only one. But that's my opinion and if in a few days you still can't see a way through don't postpone the wedding just cancel.

I will say someone came on here admitting to a ons and asking if they should come clean. The general reply was no. If it was a genuine mistake and they loved him telling him would only help her guilt and hurt him. This is no different. Forgive if you want to and you think he can earn back your trust.

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