- 4 years ago
- Wedding: December 1969
Regular bee going anonymous. This is going to be a long post but please bear with me.
My boyfriend of almost 4 years proposed to me 5 months ago and we’ve been happily engaged since. Wedding planning has been coming along with a few vendors secured, and we were about to put down the deposit for a few more.
Last weekend, I was staying up late to address our save the dates. My fiancé, let’s call him John, already went to bed but gave me his phone for the addresses his friends sent to him via text/email/facebook etc. Going through the phone, I noticed he was logged into a foreign email account (in addition to his regular account) and I got curious. After seeing the inbox, my heart started pounding so fast I could literally hear them. Yet for a brief moment, I simply couldn’t piece together what I was seeing, it’s like my brain refused to process the information. When it finally sunk in, I realized there were exchanges between my fiancé and various escorts on backpage. There were responses to the ad he posted on craigslist soliciting for “on the side” NSA sex. There were automatically generated emails from various hookup sites. The oldest email I could find dated back to 4 months before the proposal. And there had been no signs of activity after the proposal, until this one email exchange about 3 weeks ago.
Completely in shock, I woke John up and confronted him. He was obviously caught off-guard, but admitted to me right away that he had slept with escorts twice since we’ve been together. When I asked why, he said he succumbed to his own temptation and wanted to “get it out of the system” before the marriage. He said they were just sex and meant absolutely nothing to him than just a transaction (even used the comparison of buying a burger). He told me he was planning to stop it altogether before the marriage (how convincing) and he never meant to hurt me (of course), how I would never find out. No harm, no foul. Moreover, he ensures that the exchange 3 weeks ago was not followed through (not that it matters at all to me because just the fact he was seeking it is devastating). He knows none of that is an excuse, and admits that he really fucked up. Then, like any caught cheater would, he was very sorry and swore that it would never happen again.
We both took the next day off and talked all day. I bawled my eyes out, got angry and yelled at him, became completely apathetic. The cycle repeated over and over. He also broke down in tears, told me how sorry he was, how shitty he felt about what he did, and that he is willing to do anything to fix this and earn my trust again. He told me how much he loved me (I know, I know) completely admits that he fucked up. He doesn’t want me to call things off, suggested couple’s counseling and even booked a session for next week.
To summarize his point of view, he’s always known that I was “the one” and never doubted our relationship even when things were rougher (nothing crazy, just small fights here and there). He made the decision on his own to propose (there was no pressure from my end) and even shared the news excitingly with his family in advance. He thought our relationship is rock solid and sex is great, but was unhappy with the decreased frequency in the past year (due to my lack of desire). He felt like the “man” part in him was neglected and overlooked. Then he started to watch more and more porn, and one day one of those pop-up advertisements got him into hookup sites, and when he found out those are mostly scams, he ended up at backpage. It all snowballed quickly and he was surprised how “easy” everything was. It was just that easy.
The thing is, we might’ve been having less sex, but we still cuddled, kissed, hugged all the time and he would give me massage almost every night before bed. So it’s not like we had zero intimacy. Also I’ve always got a feeling that he was “ok” with the lessened frequency, for example when I turn down his advances, he might jokingly complain right then, but he’s never sat me down to discuss the issue. Had I known it was bothering him so much, I would’ve most definitely worked on it with him.
I also admit I’m kind of high-strung, fiery, and at times not the most approachable. So I could see why it was difficult for him to discuss this with me. Doesn’t justify any of it, but just some perspectives. But we’ve always been very comfortable talking about anything in our relationship including sex, so I don’t know. And everything else in our relationship while he sought out sex elsewhere seemed perfectly fine. We were house shopping, we were going on date nights, sending each other silly texts. He was attentive to me. He planned the most sweet surprise birthday for me. Of course there were fights here and there, but nothing so major that I can even remember the cause of.
I’m completely crushed, bees. I don’t even know what to think or who he is anymore. Never in my wildest dream had I see this coming. If anything, John is the wholesome, sappy, romantic sweetheart in the relationship and I’m more of a cynical, foul, sarcastic brat. John’s parents married young and they’ve been together throughout the good and bad, still going strong. I know John looks up to that, idealizes that, and family/love/relationship are very important to him. I, on the other hand, come from divorced parents and always had more grim views, like all love is somewhat conditional.
I admit that I haven’t always been faithful in my past relationships (but never with John), and I actually understand the compartmentalization of sex, that sex doesn’t always equal emotion. I just feel so deceived because John’s obviously presented himself to me one way, but the whole time (at least for the past year-ish) he was not who he claimed to be. John says he’s not happy with the person he’s become, he’s ashamed of his degraded moral compass, and that he needs to work on himself. There were some external life factors that contributed to this, his career taking off and such. Some kind of sick power trip maybe? But I can’t help but to feel that my cynical, less wholesome thoughts have eaten into him. I just always believed that he was so sure of who he was and my views would never affect him.
Right now I don’t believe anything that’s coming out of his mouth in regards to the instances of cheating (i.e. I never went through with it that instance 3 weeks ago, I was going to stop after the marriage etc) but I do believe that he never intended to leave me, what he sought out was sex and not affair, and he still wants to be with me. I’m so confused, embarrassed, humiliated, and feeling lost. Part of me can’t imagine my life without John, and a part of me just doesn’t see how I can ever forgive him. I’m hoping counseling will help. But in the mean time, I just wanted to vent somewhere since I don’t have anyone to share this with. I don’t think I can handle any criticism at this stage so please be kind? My heart is already crushed. Bees who have survived infidelity, any advice or thoughts?