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Should I forgive him(44 Posts)
Here's a hard one. I know my partner looks at porn on the web. I'm sure a lot of guys do but just over a week ago I noticed he had looked at a 'find a sex partner' website and even worse, signed up for a month on his credit card. When I confronted him he said he sort of got sucked into signing, which sounds like a poor excuse except that he is one of these people who doesn't read the fine print and often gets silly mobile phone subscriptions etc.
I have never in 7 years doubted his faithfulness but I thought his excuse was pathetic so I decided to test him. I created a profile and then started messaging him with stuff I knew would appeal to him. At the same time, I was making myself physically sick each time he replied so I told him that I thought he was up to something and he said he had been chatting with someone and promised to stop. This was all good for 3 days but then he sent a final message to 'becky' before cancelling his subscription. His last message to her had his mobile phone number in it.
I honestly believed he would never follow through with anything with another person, so I sent a couple of text messages asking him to meet 'becky'. I thought/hoped/prayed he would ignore or say no thanks. But he didn't. He not only arranged to meet her but he then dutifully showed up at the location she suggested. I was so upset that I quickly sent him a message saying that there was no 'becky' - I had to know whether he would cheat or not and now I knew.
I think the worst thing about this is that while pretending to be someone else, I was working my butt off at home to make him happy so he wouldn't ever feel like he needed to be with another person. When I say working my butt off, I actually did things I have never done before to please him so I really did make a huge effort.
So now he wants me to forgive and forget - he knows he was wrong but he argues that he was always going to cancel his membership but then this temptation came along.
I don't know what to do or think. I know I played with fire. I really did because I made the deal seem way to good and 'becky' was based on what I knew he would love. As I said before he has always been faithful. I have no doubt that he's never done this before. Do I forgive and forget or not?
I should mention that we have a young family and he's a great dad.
Any advice would be great.
He turned up to meet another woman. Albeit a woman who didn't exist - if she was real do you think he would have been sexually unfaithful to you?
Given that 'becky' worked at a hotel and this is where she arranged to meet him in a vacant room, I'm sad to say - yes.
I would say, if yopu have a clear conscience about your behaviour in your relationship, get rid now. He sounds like the kind of tit who will do whatever the fuck he wants, adn think it'll be ok 'cos he can always apologise if you find out, adn you'll forgive him. He's no use to you, but the sharp dose of reality when you dump his ass may make him a better man for the woman in his next proper relationship.
That's what I've always told myself, anyway.
So, you wanted to know if he would cheat on you, and now you know. He would. In a heartbeat, with a stranger in a tacky hotel room.
You ask if you should forgive and forget? I guess the answer to that lies within you. I would have kicked his arse right out of my house, and we would be going to relate or something before I even THOUGHT about forgiving him. (As to forgetting? I never forgot my XH's infidelity)
It's interesting to me that he is defending what he's done (?) NOT the best route to reconciliation in my experience!
You're right about the defending what he's done thing. He keeps saying that he felt bad doing what he was doing but it was my fault for pushing through with the messages etc. He is also saying that because our relationship hasn't been great for the last year or so (mostly due to me being unhappy him not being very financial) he felt unloved. Then he states that by treating him the way I have the last week, he has felt great and knows that he would never want anyone else. It's so contradicting but he's very convincing.
Oh, the joys of relationships. It may also help to know that my first husband was a sex addict who cheated on me numerous times without me finding out until the very end - when I promptly left him.
You would think that if you loved someone and knew they had previously been through something like that, that you would never do it. Or am I just being naive?
He will do it again. This was not a drunken one night bit of physical stupidity (not that I condone that either) but he purposefully went out to cheat on you. And that is NOT forgivable.
I'm so sorry for your heartache.
oh god. What a guy. Look, I believe you he's a good Dad and he still can be. People often think divorced equals no Dad. Live close to eachother.
I saw somebody recommend a book to a woman in your situation on another forum, it was called "how to catch a man and keep him". I kid you not!!!! Luckily, the general consensus was that if it's that much bloody effort than just be single.
The readjustment will be hard, but I think you have the potential to live a much happier life if you get rid of this guy who makes YOU feel you're not enough. HE'S the one who's not enough.
Becoming a single mum is a shock to the system at first but you do get back the spring in your step and you can enjoy small freedoms again!!
"he felt bad doing what he was doing but it was my fault for pushing through with the messages"
Attack is the best form of defense. He has no defence does he? Not really.
I'm sorry you're going through this, but it really is not a question of brushing it all under the carpet and forgetting it. You must insist on complete transparancy from him, AND he must take responsibility for his actions. I can't see a way forward without that at the very least.
i just dont know how you could forgive that kind of thing. so what if he was 'always going to cancel his subscription'?
who is to say he will never be tempted again? especially if he knows you can forgive and forget it afterwards?
if this was me, i would need some head space at least before i could made any decisions about my future.
honestly - who wants to be with a person who can do that to you? it makes me sick.
so sorry x
Why did you go to all that trouble to find out what he was like? So you could act on it. You found out he has no morals. Don't even think about forgiving him.
"Then he states that by treating him the way I have the last week, he has felt great and knows that he would never want anyone else. It's so contradicting but he's very convincing."
He's raising the bar awfully high for YOU and for any potential relationship you have going forward. YOU have to make so much effort to keep him happy and be enough for him.
I think you could be Paula Yates in the bedroom, Nigella Lawson in the Kitchen, Supernanny with the children, Debra Meaden for bringing in money and it will still never be enough. One slip up, and he'll feel vindicated if he has strayed.
It's all about HIM and how you are meeting HIS needs. He has no comprehension of how you might be feeling. Inadequate, rejected, confused, upset, scared of the future..... How many ways is he letting YOU down? I bet he hasn't given that much analysis.
How long could you keep it up for anyway? The Super Efforts of last week.. Would it be worth it? Sounds like it would be a bit of a life's project, trying to be your superself non stop so that he didn't stray!
And meanwhile what's he doing for you? Making you feel bad about yourself...
Please don't be afraid to be single. People are terrified of it. And if only they knew, it is so much easier than being in a bad relationship. HOnestly. It's ONE big emotional BOMB splitting up with somebody who doesn't value you, and then as soon as the pieces have landed it gets better.
So you tested him and he failed....
surely you must have thought about what you would do if he failed and turned up?
I would get rid of him, asap.
I do not give this advice lightly - and I am so sorry you are going through this, but I would ask him to leave. Anything less and he might view this as a bit of a scare, but no real harm done.
Ask yourself why you "discovered" his use of this site? You must have had suspicions and a feeling of discomfort. He would have betrayed you unthinkingly and was actively seeking an affair - this is really bad news, in my opinion. He would have put your sexual health at risk, too.
I have completely changed my view of porn and just lately, this site has been full of men who start looking at fairly "normal" stuff, then move on to more hard core and then escort sites and dating sites. No-one parts with their money on a dating site without any intention of getting something in return - and I think you knew that too.
Tell him it's over - by all means insist on relate and possibly individual counselling for him as well while you are separated, but separate now. Forgive him now though, and the problem will resurface some time down the line. 7 years is not too much time invested in the great scheme of things and you will find someone with higher personal standards and who wouldn't dream of hurting you this way. Your DH needs the biggest, sharpest shock he has ever had.
Reassure yourself of one thing though; this is not about you at all. You probably thought that you were somehow to blame for all this, hence your Stepford wife routine while you were undercover. So now you know, it is about him and not you. If you'd offered sex on tap for 24 hours of every day, this man would still have met "becky" because he could. It's as simple as that - and he is not worthy of you.
When I started doing it, I never thought it would go as far as it did which is probably why I doubled my efforts at home. The one girlfriend I confided in, asked me "Do you really want to know?"
I think the answer to that was that I had to know. We have had a troubled relationship for some time now (nothing to do with infidelity) and this year he has turned over a new leaf. It was all looking good until this website showed up in his history. So maybe the question I was actually trying to find the answer to was - "Is he worth being with?"
I'm very confused at the moment. I have done the divorce thing, and loved being a single mum to my eldest boy but I guess I was hoping to bring up my two youngest in a family and this is why I have persevered.
I think there are two separate things going on here, and both are individually reasons to get out of the relationship
1) the porn thing and signing up to the site to meet sex partners
2) he is the one who has let YOU down and yet he still seems to be setting the terms .... You have to ADORE him and stroke his ego forever more or he'll be UNABLE to keep it in his pants.
I think the first one alone if in its aftermath the reaction was regret, shame, willingness to accept all the blame, a promise to try and change, serious talks about how he can be a better husband to you etc etc... then maybe you could salvage something. But even then, I think going out LOOKING to cheat is a bad sign. This wasn't a woman he got to know and they were tempted.
Also, being bad 'financially' he spent money on this quest to cheat on you.....
Shhh... you know the answer really, don't you?
Get to counselling and get to the bottom of all of this.
Thank you everyone so much for your advice but for some reason, I still feel like I'm partially to blame for tricking him. I'm quite an intelligent successful woman when it comes to business but I seem to suck at relationships. My ex-hubby and I went through a lot due to his problems and you would never believe what I did when he fell in love with a 19 year old while away at a conference. I'm so embarrassed. I helped him find her when he couldn't get in contact with her. How stupid am I?
This whole thing is sickening. It makes me feel like I must be the worst wife in the world.
Oh I see you've been a single mum before.... Well, you know you can do it. Take some time off men. I think sometimes the worst bit about being single is feeling that you have to look for another man. Stop looking and spend the next few years raising your little family (with the help of your husband from his separate home!). The next 3 or 4 yrs should be about you, make a list of some goals to achieve that were hard with keeping a husband happy! I'd say he was a time consuming person! Very high maintenance!
You're not to blame for tricking him. He signed up to the site. Presumably he was half expecting somebody to text him. When Becky started texting him, he wasn't surprised was he!? He was expecting it. It was the entirely logical and predictable consequence of signing up to a site looking for sex partners. You didn't trick him. HE tricked you by signing up to the site.
You have proof now. If you didn't have proof I bet he'd be telling you you were imagining things.
You aren't the worst wife in the World. You have picked two bad husbands. He isn't worthy of you. End it. Don't be persuaded by his 'reasoning'. If you get into a discussion over it, he'll end up persuading you that YOU have to give him another chance or you'll be the UNFAIR one. Bollix.
Pick ONE phrase that sums up how you feel and can't be argued with such as "I don't want to continue with this marriage". You don't HAVE to say any more. ANy more you do say will be manipulated anyway.
Repeat ad infinitum "I don't want to continue this marriage".... NO matter what he says that annoys you, let it go. Trying to reason with him will feed his delusion that you are being UNFAIR by not buying into HIS version of events.
No, you are not to blame. He is. He is manipulating you now into thinking you are at fault for this. You are not. You are probably a kind, trusting woman who has made some lousy choices. Counselling for you about your former choices might help, but forgiving this now, with no inquest or separation would be the biggest mistake yet, in my opinion. Tell yourself please, that you are worth more than this. That your DCs are worth more than this too.
To have this happen twice surely is a reflection on me. I know you're all saying it's not but I'm starting to think that maybe all men are like this and it's not that I've chosen badly. It's just that I'm smart enough to work out what's going on where others may not find out. If that is the case and this man has other positive things about him (doesn't drink, good family man, well mannered etc) shouldn't I stay or risk wind up being with someone worse later in life.
I must sound like some brainwashed fool but I just don't know anymore. I had over 3 years between relationships and I still didn't get it right.
There's a Jacobean play all about this. Can't remember which.
SssshBear - It is a reflection on you. But only to the extent that you seem to have twice settled for a man who isn't worthy of you.
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