- Wedding: August 2020 - Racine, WI
Lots of helpful advice on this! And it will help you hang in there for now. But ultimately I believe counseling/therapy would be most what you need. Definitely no baby, no engagment pictures, nothing “future” planned till this is sorted out. And have an exit strategy you can put in place if you need to.
I have been married now five years in October. We have a little boy who is three. My situation was similar … but seemed worse. I tried working things out with him on my own. We were already married at that point, and had our baby before I found out – so there were definitely reasons for me to take a good hard look at whether I should give it up, or reconcile – if he made things right.
We have been in couple’s counseling for almost a year. Things have been improving not just with getting those issues resolved, but our relationship as a whole. I decided to give him the chance, and seek counseling for my own conscience’s sake – to know I tried everything I could before I left.
Why counseling? Because you need insight from other people outside your situation – you realize that, that’s why you’re on the forum posting this. Because you need someone else to see it and fight for you; you’re emotionally exhausted. I was. And it is hard to fight for your relationship and fight for yourself and try to convince your partner he needs to fight for you! Having the counselor to do that gets better responses and helps you know you’re not alone.
While your fiance doesn’t seem to have done as much, this is what you know about. Make sure it doesn’t go any deeper. And yeah I would get the confession – whole confession – all at once. In pieces over time is not the way to go.
When it came to me, I decided since I had doubts whether to stay or leave I would take every other step that came first to reconcile for my own peace of mind. (The problem was when he started to follow through not being resentful at my own choice to give him that chance). It’s not easy. I’ve been in your shoes. I got the lying “Because I was trying to protect you,” “Because I didn’t want to hurt you,” “Because it wasn’t a big deal – means nothing.” If she’s not a big deal, then you should be more important and he should let her go.
Everyone has the capacity to mess up, to do wrong. The people we love the most we are most often hurt by, because we make ourselves most vulnerable and trust them. He chose to use his capacity to hurt you this way. And it’s your choice what to do about it. If you don’t know what you want to do, explore that in counseling. Give it time while you see what happens. You can make a decision to work on it, to see if he will work on it, without saying yes or no to the relationship right now. In fact right now is not the best time to make decisions of that nature.
My spouse also right away after confessing – when I confronted him and told him to come clean – volunteered to give me everything and leave my life. Guys sometimes want you to stay and be happy and shut up, or for separation to occur. I chose a different alternative – counseling, see if it’s worthwhile, and work on it. Then I chose to stay as long as progress was being made, and so long as nothing else happened after we’d gotten professional help.
For right now, take care of yourself. Have a plan in place you could leave – that means you are keeping your options open and have alternatives, which make you feel more confident and you know you’re making the decision whether to leave or stay based on other things than the house.
It’s not too late to leave. But it’s not too late to fix this and build your forever with him either (provided this is not a fatal character flaw, which counseling can help determine). Oh – and he should be the one to pay for counseling.