Once A Cheater, Always A Cheater?

I have no idea what to do.  I’m seriously stuck for a way forward.  I need help.

How can I trust my husband again? Is it even possible? Can I really hold out any hope for the future? Can I truly trust that he won’t cheat again? How do I recover from this?

It’s been over three months now since he confessed his infidelity to me, and although originally I felt I’d forgiven him, I’m not so sure anymore.  I still feel so much anger towards the women involved, and I feel angry at my husband for being unfaithful.  I blame him for my intense insecurity.  Well, a lot of it anyway.  I know I was already insecure before this happened because I’ve been cheated on in a past relationship, so I’ve always had fears about it happening again, but my husband always assured me he’d stay faithful.  But he didn’t.  So now what?

Can I ever get past this? It’s crushing me, this fear of being betrayed again.  I’m paranoid about every little thing.  I’m often convinced he’s keeping something from me.  I too easily disagree with him if he compliments me.  I think I’m withdrawing, trying to distance myself as a defence mechanism.  I think subconsciously I believe he will cheat again, so I’m instinctively isolating myself, in an attempt to lessen the pain when it comes.  I don’t know what to do.  I sometimes look up a couple of the women he cheated with on facebook (not a good idea I know) and when I see their faces I hate them.  I hate their arrogance.  I hate that they think it’s okay to share sexual fantasies and pictures etc with a married man.  I hate that they think it’s fine to cheat on their own partners.  But most of all I just hate them for what they represent, because they represent something my husband chose over me.  It tears me up.

Some memories fade, but the memory of my husband’s confession to me is still vivid.  We’d had a bad morning, a couple of arguments, and he’d left for work.  Shortly after he left I received a text message from him, in which he summarised his infidelity, apologised, and said he’d understand if I no longer wanted to be with him.  I remember the agony ripping through me.  I remember starting to shake as I looked at the words on my phone screen, willing them to not be real.  I remember crumpling into myself physically and no longer being able to stand.  I remember calling my sister and sobbing hysterically, telling her how frightened I was and how I couldn’t handle the day ahead.  I remember the pain like it happened yesterday.  It’s the sort of thing I don’t think I’ll ever forget.  And when I think of it I feel it again.  And I feel angry that I allowed myself to be taken for granted again.  I feel that I must be repulsive for two men to cheat on me.  Heck, I’ve only been in three or four relationships.  Not a very good ratio.  The thoughts swirl round my head in a battle:

Good grief girl, what is wrong with you? There must be something seriously up for this to have happened again!

No, no it’s not my fault. I’m not to blame.

Of course you are! You must be. You must be falling short somehow.

No. He chose to cheat. He’s in the wrong.

You know what I reckon? You’re not pretty enough for him. You’re not sexy. I mean, can you blame him? Pregnancy and childbirth didn’t exactly do you any favours.

But he shouldn’t be so shallow!

Yeah, but he’s a guy. They’re all like that.

And it goes on. I’m my own worst enemy really. I hate the way I look and I feel like of course he’s going to look elsewhere. I despise all the stuff out there that says men want flawless women and will cheat or get off on porn if you don’t fit the bill. And yet here I am, tarring my husband with the same brush. It’s almost letting him off the hook, saying he can’t help it, it’s all my fault really. It’s a load of crap.

I have no idea what to do. I feel so hopeless. Help me.

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2 thoughts on “Once A Cheater, Always A Cheater?

  1. I can really feel your pain, and I’m so sorry. You just don’t deserve any of this, and I hate to see it torturing you.

    I am in agreement with the thoughts you have that you are not to blame, and that he chose to cheat. It was HIS action, his conscious decision. Please don’t give in to the whispers that you should excuse him, or that it was in some way your fault. That’s not how healthy relationships work.

    But at the end of the day only you know how best to proceed, even if it’s not currently obvious. What I would say is that you do need to make some kind of a decision, and soon, because this lingering uncertainty doesn’t seem to be doing you any favours. Maybe sit your husband down and have a long, deep conversation about your fears going forward, and see if he can help you? It doesn’t matter if you’ve done it before – if you’ve still got fears, you’ve still got something to discuss.

    Hopefully one way or another it’d help you see what you need to do next.

    • Thankyou. We’ve had a few of those deep conversations but I don’t feel much comes from them. It feels good to get it out, but I still don’t know how to move forward, and I don’t think he has much idea either. Plus I don’t like bringing it up because it makes him feel guilty. Ugh. It’s all such a mess xx

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