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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

Stropzilla Thu 05-Sep-13 22:23:08

Joinyourplayfellows you said given that he's roped all their friends into lying means it's not the first time I'd argue that. Its possible he's basically an honest guy who realised his mistake, confessed to get advise and was told if you love her don't tell her. If they could see he was genuinely sorry they might agree to keep it between them. Right or wrong it's possible.

JoinYourPlayfellows Thu 05-Sep-13 22:27:11

Basically honest people don't allow the person they claim to love to live their life based on a lie that is known to most of their friends.

They just don't.

She was utterly humiliated at her own engagement party because he was too much of a selfish dick to share what was common knowledge amongst their friends.

Doha Thu 05-Sep-13 22:30:20

Have to agree with JoinYourPlayffellows

Stropzilla Thu 05-Sep-13 22:34:17

Oh he was definitely a dick. I'm just wondering if he did what he thought was the lesser of 2 evils after. Imo should have told her before getting engaged (not doing it at all would have been ideal) but if it was a genuine mistake and has behaved since is forgiveness that hard to imagine?

littlebunnyfriend Thu 05-Sep-13 22:35:29

Don't make any decisions now, including postponing the wedding. Next summer is a long time away.

He did do an awful thing and deserves to be made to feel horrendous for what he's done. He needs a clear message that this is not acceptable to you and realise the pain he has caused you.

If you love him and he loves you, I do think you can move forward from this eventually though. It sounds like he got involved with you when he wasn't mentally quite ready and made a really stupid mistake. It was horrific but doesn't erase any of the other good stuff that you have shared together since then.

Just give yourself some time and don't put any pressure on yourself - also, be careful of getting too sucked in to the replies on here. You'll get the extremes of emotions from people based on their own experiences.

Stropzilla Thu 05-Sep-13 22:36:42

Agree littlebunnyfriend

Letsadmitit Thu 05-Sep-13 22:39:07

No, you don't need to postpone the wedding, at least not yet, it is so very far into the future it doesn't really matter, you have enough time to think things through, save or end the relationship. If you are going to cancel you do it when you are totally and utterly sure you don't want to marry this guy because you don't love him anymore. Don't let pride do the talking, do things with a cold head.

I'm convinced the women you heard the news from, KNEW you could hear them. At 4 months you are still pretty much a new woman in the view of all his friends, 3 years later nobody cares about the beginning they just care about your present happiness, why did they decide to tell you after all this time is beyond me.

If you love him, give him a chance, he may have fallen in love later than you thought, or he may have been a total drunken idiot who didn't know what he was doing on that night. Not a excuse, but would you write off such an important relationship for a woman whose face/name he might not even remember?

Letsadmitit Thu 05-Sep-13 22:41:02

Yeah, I know is the principle "once a cheater always a cheater" but... it doesn't always work this way.

JoinYourPlayfellows Thu 05-Sep-13 22:42:40

"if it was a genuine mistake and has behaved since is forgiveness that hard to imagine?"

It's had to know that "genuine" mistake means here.

He openly went out and found another woman to have sex with whilst on holidays with people his new girlfriend, who he was supposedly in love with were there.

So that wasn't a mistake. It was something he actively chose to do because he felt like it.

He got them all to keep schtum, because that's what lying cheats do.

The very best interpretation is that he later realised that he actually did love her very much.

But even then he didn't care about her wellbeing enough to give her the heads up about something that he knew loads of other people knew about.

The worst interpretation is that he's just the kind of guy who does things like this (and hangs out with other guys who help him get away with it).

Whichever it is, choosing to tie herself to him for life is not looking like such a rosy option now.

A lifetime of knowing that the man you spend your life with didn't love you enough at the start to deny himself the chance to shag someone else while on holiday.

A lifetime of doubt that he is someone you can really trust and of wondering what else everybody else knows that you don't.

Starting afresh and hoping to do better next time doesn't look like that bad an option.

She doesn't owe him any chances.

Buttercup4 Thu 05-Sep-13 22:44:12

OP, I'm so sorry you are in this situation. I've been there, its horrible.

My DH cheated on me even about 6 months into our relationship, with his ex. It was soul destroying, the pain of it was excruciating. It was the betrayal, the embarrassment, the fact lots of people knew before me, that I felt second best and so many more things.

I decided to stay with him, and 3 years on we are married.

It took a very long time to get over it. For about a year afterwards I would cry randomly at the thought of it. I used to flinch when we had sex as I thought of him doing those things to her.

I'm not telling you this to upset you, I don't regret my decision now, but there were times when it was so horrible, I did regret it. I just want you to know, that in my experience its a very difficult thing to get over. It's not quick and its not easy, you just need to decide if you think it will be worth it.

LoisPuddingLane Thu 05-Sep-13 22:44:39

What's this genuine mistake business?

A genuine mistake is something like putting salt in your tea thinking it's sugar. A genuine mistake is not telling someone you love them and then going off and shagging someone else. That shows intent - whether he planned to do it or whether it was a spur of the moment thing - you don't just fall into someone's vagina mistakenly.

JoinYourPlayfellows Thu 05-Sep-13 22:45:30

"why did they decide to tell you after all this time is beyond me."

Maybe they know more than they have let on so far?

They obviously like the OP and felt she needed to know something about this guy before she married him.

JoinYourPlayfellows Thu 05-Sep-13 22:47:21

"A genuine mistake is something like putting salt in your tea thinking it's sugar."

grin

Exactly.

Well it either means that or "a man has done something he enjoyed and plans to do again but doesn't want her indoors to get in a strop about"

Stropzilla Thu 05-Sep-13 22:48:53

Join I'm going the best interpretation here that later he did discover his depth of feeling. If there's any doubt of that then yes she needs to finish with him. It is possible to re build however and I just think she needs to consider her next move for a few days rather than do something rashly be that agree to try again or to finish.

Xmasbaby11 Thu 05-Sep-13 22:50:28

You were right to trust him - it is his fault, not yours. I think his behaviour was disgusting.

Take your time to think about what to do. I don't think I could forgive him.

Quaffle Thu 05-Sep-13 22:50:41

They knew you'd overhear them. Make no mistake about that.

JoinYourPlayfellows Thu 05-Sep-13 22:53:33

It is possible to rebuild.

But it's incredibly hard and painful and for many people things are never quite the same.

You put yourself through that when you are already married, when you have children together, when you have a couple of decades under the belt.

blindsided, you have only been with this guy for a few years.

You don't owe this relationship or this man the horrible pain of getting past infidelity and years of lies.

You owe yourself the very happiest life you can make for yourself.

Can this relationship, based on lies as you now know it has pretty much always been, really give you that?

Letsadmitit Thu 05-Sep-13 22:53:33

The theory is that you should leave him, that's the principle. But life is never black and white.

I can assure you that most people say they won't put up with an affair but most of them will be willing to work things through once a situation like this presents to them.

cloudskitchen Thu 05-Sep-13 22:53:54

Agree with letsadmitit and littlebunnyfriend. Take your time. Wedding is a long way off. Don't rush your decision. I also agree with not being drawn too much into opinion on here. Nobody knows every aspect of your relationship except you and (d)P. Horrible revelation, I hope you can find some clarity soon x

SlumberingDormouse Thu 05-Sep-13 22:55:37

I had a very similar situation recently; I discovered that my DP had a ONS three days into our relationship. I have forgiven him, but I took my time and made sure he was really remorseful. I also made him pay - he did a physically taxing charity challenge for a charity of my choice, and raised a large amount of money. To me, that made something positive out of a shitty situation. He also knows that if he ever does it again, it is absolutely game over. I must say that it took me a few days to come to a decision. Don't rush it. I wish you the best of luck.

JoinYourPlayfellows Thu 05-Sep-13 22:56:03

"Nobody knows every aspect of your relationship except you and (d)P."

Stropzilla Thu 05-Sep-13 22:57:41

No join you're right she doesn't owe him anything. Equally she shouldn't just dismiss the whole relationship over one dick move 16 weeks in, years ago. She should do what she feels comfortable doing.

JoinYourPlayfellows Thu 05-Sep-13 23:02:07

"She should do what she feels comfortable doing."

No, not what makes her comfortable, what makes her feel most excited and happy about the rest of her life.

smile

Letsadmitit Thu 05-Sep-13 23:03:00

"you don't just fall into someone's vagina mistakenly."

Having seen many people in holidays drinking until they end up literally crawling on the streets and with no recollections of the night, I have to say that... I don't dismiss the possibility.

Actually, I remember being dancing in a club popular among tourists, when the couple who was dancing next to me, fell to the floor totally drunk and started shagging in the middle of the dancing area... everybody kept dancing and left them to that.

20 years later, I still cringe at the memory.

Tiptops Fri 06-Sep-13 00:10:06

I don't think you should make any decisions right now blindsided. This only happened last night? Your emotions are bound to be all over the place, and shock won't be helping you to think clearly. Give yourself a few days to contemplate everything and make a judgement then.

It's impossible to advise you what to do because you should follow your own gut instinct, which could be totally different to mine IYSWIM. Without being in the situation it's hard to say 100% but I think I would forgive this one transgression, providing it is the one and only thing he has been withholding from you. To me, 4 months is still a very new relationship and the commitment to someone wouldn't be as intense as a long standing relationship. Not excusing his behaviour at all and I have never cheated on someone myself, but trying to see it from the other perspective.

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