I am 50 years old, I lurk on this forum as I have a couple of my children getting married in the near future, and I come on here just to read different topics, mostly DIY information and vendor stuff for ideas (plus how to be a decent MIL, but that’s another topic for another day).
I realize you don’t have any reason to believe me, or even think about anything I write, but for some reason, I felt compelled to join/register for an account after reading your post. Maybe telling my story will help you – and a few other women too, who unfortunately have to go through this.
My husband and I met and started dating in 1990 – all of this happened before the personal computer/mySpace/FB/era-generation. I worked 3rd shift at the front desk of a hotel, plus tutored, plus carried a 4.0 at college, and for the first 2 years we lived together, everything was perfectly fine. Until I found some of his “club clothes” bunched up in a corner of the closet. I KNEW he was going out, but he denied it. Well, one night I don’t even remember now why or how or whatevers, but I just “felt” like I had to follow him. I tried to, but didn’t know which club he was going to. I ended up going to work, but I was shaking, sick, upset all night, it was one of the longest nights of my life. When I got home at 7am, he still wasn’t home. We had it out, he said it wouldn’t happen again. I stayed in the relationship.
In early 1993 then, I started upping the pressure to get married. Yes, I really did. He said he wasn’t ready, didn’t matter, I was tired of playing house, I wanted to get married. I had already been married before. Our wedding was set for December 1994 – I had dreamed of a Christmas wedding.
In July 1994, with just a really weird feeling for a few months – and especially after he just took me to a freakin’ Denny’s for my birthday and totally ignored me, and after I had a car accident on the interstate; when he came and picked me up, I just asked out of the blue “who is she this time”. He didn’t deny it, he told me he didn’t love me any more, he was tired of the pressure, tired of the money, tired of the no sex, just everything.
I was devastated. We are talking suicidal, Baker Act me. Yes, the cops came to the house, yes, I was taken away in freakin’ HANDCUFFS. I was a total mess. (oh, and I also got laid off of my job at this same time/day!).
He was seeing a STRIPPER. He was dumping me for a effin’ stripper??
Well, after some friends came and bailed me out of the “mental home” or whatever they are called back then, I stayed with them for a month.
Around August 24th, he called me. I didn’t know what to think. He wanted to see me. Why? Didn’t he already put me through enough heartache?
He wanted to apologize. In fact, he came on bended knee with a ring and told me how absolutely awful he was. We talked, and then on August 31st, 1994 we got married.
By December 1994, I was doubting everything. I didn’t know why I was there, I told him I didn’t know if I wanted to stay married. I was doing EVERYTHING in my power to hurt the hell out of him the way he hurt me. I kept telling him how I didn’t want him or rather “I don’t know if I want to stay married to you”. (oh yeah, I was vicious with my taunts) It was a way to make me feel “better” than him, that I was the “righteous one”. (and I wasn’t, looking back, I can be honest now, I wasn’t).
In January 1995 he cheated again – WITH THIS SAME STRIPPER. The ONLY way I was going to find out was because she wrote me this “he came to see me, you can’t hold your man” type of letter. I had fun with that letter, I corrected all of her spelling and grammar in red ink and mailed it back. My husband also told me I hit very hard.
We stayed together. We never had counseling.
The first TEN YEARS were rough. Every January I would have a horribly depressing day as to the day he cheated on me. Every January I would rip him a new one – for about 7 YEARS. I would make snarky nasty comments, you name it.
Until finally.. it stopped hurting. Until finally I realized the only person I was hurting now was myself. What good did it do to bring up something in the past, something that really had no place in OUR future? For about 3 months in 1995, believe me, I would check his wallet, I would clean out his truck and look at papers. This was of course, before massive tech/internet usage/personal computers, etc.
This August we will be celebrating our 17th Anniversary. If I had to do it all over again, yes, I would still marry him. We have grown together so much, we have gone through ups, downs, deaths, cross country moves, good times, bad times, laughter, tears – but I know, when I walk into a room, regardless of how many other gorgeous women are there, my husband really truly does love me. He has worked out of state for probably 5 of the years we’ve been married, but he NEVER cheated again.
I trust him with my life – could I have done so 17 years ago? No, I don’t think so. But without trust, there can’t be a marriage. We made it work, through everything, because we made the choice to do so.
It has to be the choice of BOTH people involved. And when he understands how much he has hurt you – and ONLY when he understands and feels the depth of your pain, will you two manage to make the decision that is right for you.
Best of luck to you.
I apologize for the length of this, as I said in the beginning – I just felt in my heart to post this story of my experience.