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'My fiance slept with my sister. I'm heartbroken and devastated. I can't move on.' UPDATED 2X

'My fiance slept with my sister. I'm heartbroken and devastated. I can't move on.' UPDATED 2X

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There's nothing quite like deep and abiding betrayal.

"My (26F) fiance (28M) slept with my sister (32F). Heartbroken and devastated. I can't move on."

My fiance (let's call him Jake) and I have been together for 7 years. I don't know a life without him. I met him at university, we stayed together past graduation, and moved into a flat which we bought together 2 years ago. He proposed last summer and we were set to wed in July 2017. We have had very few problems until now. My sister (let's call her Sara) is an extremely volatile person.

Growing up, I doted on her completely but she had a lot of personal issues that made our home life turbulent. Her childhood was very different to mine. My parents had very little money, they were on the brink of a divorce, my dad was physically violent on a number of occasions. Whilst things improved drastically in the years after I was born, she has an abundance of problems that stem back to this.

My parents feel a lot of guilt about Sara's upbringing, and used to let her get away with some shocking behavior. Sara had the same boyfriend for as long as I can remember (they dated from when they were 16), and their relationship was toxic. They habitually broke up and got back together; when they were good, they were crazy in love.

But more often than not, she would have these insane arguments (sometimes physical) with him then take out her frustrations and despair on myself and my parents. I remember spending many nights lying by her side in bed while she cried so hard she would retch. After their arguments, she would throw plates and glasses at the wall, h*t herself. Sometimes she would hit me and my parents too.

It was like he was a dr#g to her, and she was emotionally stunted and didn't know how to see anything past their relationship. Two months ago, her boyfriend called things off for good. I don't know what gave, but after nearly two decades together, he finally had enough.

He booked a one way ticket to another country, changed his number, deleted all social media profiles, and essentially disappeared from Sara's life. To this day, she still won't explain what caused this, but it was long overdue. To say Sara was devastated is an understatement. She moved out of their shared rented apartment, and in with my parents.

I would visit her most days after work, where she would flit in between explosive rage to an almost catatonic silence, staring at the wall with tears streaming down her face. At one point, we were all extremely worried she might seriously harm herself and organized for her to see a therapist (something I had suggested for years).

Of course, she backed out days before her appointment, and there were no consequences. She is, after all, a grown woman. She just hasn't changed emotionally in the entire time I've known her, and still acts like a teenager. Two days ago. I went to visit Sara, who was in bed in her darkened room. I let myself in and attempted to speak to her, telling her about my day at work.

She immediately expl*ded, screaming at me, throwing her pillows across the room, crying uncontrollably. She told me life was unfair. That I had everything and she was left alone to "rot". That everything wrong in her life was because she was a bad person. She hurt her boyfriend, she drove him away, she's ruined our family, she f#$ked Jake and didn't even feel guilty at the time.

I initially thought I'd misheard her, but then she said it again. It was like she had poured a bucket of ice water over me. I silently left, shaking. When I got home, Jake was there watching TV. It came out of my mouth the second I saw him, and I could see in his eyes it was true. He broke down, and told me it had happened 3 years ago.

Sara had had another blazing row with her boyfriend and decided to drive round to Jake's looking for me. I was at our parents at the time and Jake attempted to pacify Sara. He comforted her while she sobbed in his arms, and one thing led to another. They had s#x.

I packed an overnight bag while he followed me from room to room, sobbing and telling me it was the worst mistake of his life, that he still has no idea how it happened. That he felt unbelievably guilty the second it was over, that it feels like it wasn't even real. I left him in the doorway begging me not to leave.

I've checked into a hotel and have switched my phone off. I don't know what to do, who to tell, where to begin. I feel sick, like this is a bad dream. My heart feels like it's been ripped into a million pieces. For all of Sara's faults, I love her more than anything. It's the two people who are more to me than anyone else in the world.

How the f#$k do I move on from this? I feel like I'm in a bubble. I don't know what's going on in the outside world. All I do is cry and sleep in this room. Someone please help me make sense of this.

TL;DR: My volatile sister recently went through a break up after a 16 year relationship with the love of her life. She is severely depressed and almost catatonic; I went to visit her one day only for her to explode and tell me she slept with my fiance 3 years ago.

He admitted it was true and I haven't spoken to a soul since. I have locked myself in a hotel room with no plans of ever coming out. My heart is shattered into a million pieces and I don't know what to do.

The internet poured out all of their opinions.

fractalfray wrote:

To me, the most important part of this story is that she chose to tell you. Right now. Not three years ago, right now. Why? Because her relationship is over, and so she wants yours to be over too, so you can both be miserable together.

Now think about her breakup. He didn't just break up with her: he left the country. He didn't just leave the country: he disappeared. You are currently holed up in a hotel room, hiding from her. He moved away, to hide from her. Why is no one calling this person on her s**t? Why are the people most in need of therapy the ones most resistant to going?

In your situation, I would do this: tell your parents, matter-of-factly, what happened. Tell them you don't feel comfortable returning to their home until their draw a harder line with forcing her to seek some kind of counseling. If she did this to you, she did things that are much worse to her ex-boyfriend, and stands to do even more horrible things to your parents.

They need to act now. She may be an adult, but she behaves like an adult with a profound personality disorder. She may never admit this, but with a little luck she might find a counselor who can help her contain it. Your boyfriend is a separate issue. This happened three years ago, and it doesn't seem like he ever had any plans to tell you.

This second part is far more problematic. So the question is: do you think you can ever trust him again? Be honest with yourself here. I do think it's possible to recover from cheating, but it's a double-whammy when it also involves a mentally disturbed sister. So the discussion becomes: what, if anything, can he do to earn your trust again?

If you know deep down that answer is nothing, then you have to begin the miserable task of moving on. And it is a miserable task. Heartbreak on this level is the worst. You might consider seeking counseling or a support group, not because there's anything wrong with you, but because you are having totally reasonable reactions to being betrayed on this level.

For me, I find that sometimes the greatest gift a counselor gives is telling you, "yes, that was awful. Go ahead and be in pain." With a support group, you get that plus the companionship of people suffering similar hurt. They will get it in a way few others will, regardless of whether your decision is to fight for the relationship or let it go.

yun-harla wrote:

Your sister lashes out at other people when she's feeling upset and vulnerable. I'm seeing a pattern: she fights or breaks up with her usual emotional-regulator/enabler/punching bag, she is crying and upset, she looks for you (or you are accustomed to going to comfort her).

She sees a reminder that someone loves you (in a way she doesn't feel loved or lovable, probably?), and she takes that person away from you. She did it when she came to Jake's looking for you.

She did it when she told you -- twice, to make sure you heard -- that she'd slept with him. You are enormously justified to be feeling everything you're feeling. It's okay to be lost right now. It's okay to be reeling. Your life has been bound up in these two people for so long, and it's hard to know who you are when this has happened. But you're the same person you always are.

You have always deserved stable, good, giving, loyal love from the people around you. What they did has nothing to do with you -- you were just there when Sara needed a victim. And you were just there when Jake was going through whatever made him cheat, which, again, had nothing to do with you, because you can't control someone's choice to cheat or not, just like nothing you could do could deserve cheating.

I am so sorry, but your sister is dealing with some serious, malicious psychological patterns (undiagnosed personality disorder, maybe? She sounds a lot like my mom, who has borderline, or her mother, who had narcissistic personality disorder, but obviously I can't diagnose -- I just think a book like Stop Walking on Eggshells could be useful for YOU, being on the receiving end of this behavior).

She is ill. She will not get better on her own, and nothing you can do will make her better, either. She needs to choose treatment, and she needs to make that choice freely, and you can't even persuade her to do it. And if she seeks treatment, she won't get better for years. Maybe in the future, way way way down the road, she can be a sister to you again.

But right now, she is dangerous. She always has been. And she's made you shoulder the burden of keeping her emotions in check, but the thing about that is -- it's emotional ab#se. And physical, in your case. She was making you responsible for her choice to ab#se or not ab#se you and your family, but then regardless of what you said or did, she would find some excuse to blow up if she wanted to.

It was an illusion of control and of responsibility, including moral responsibility, which you're feeling right now. But I promise you, hand to my heart here, that Sara is not as fragile as she has made you believe. She's not as fragile as SHE believes. She's got something called "learned helplessness," but she's not actually helpless. She is in control of her own behavior.

And she needs to accept that control. Talk to your parents, if they will validate your feelings and not tell you what to do. Find your own therapist. (Therapy is the best way to overcome familial abuse like this -- my mom and I have had a very similar dynamic to Sara and you, and it took a long time for me to feel good about being my own person outside that dynamic).

What happens with Jake is up to you and Jake. Some couples can get over cheating, with honesty and counseling. Some can't, or don't want to. Somehow, he's going to have to earn back your trust, if he wants another shot.

And he'd f#$king better be good to you right now. But find other people to lean on. Do you have other friends? Do you have a trusted mentor or religious leader or something? Do what is right for you. Don't stay stuck with someone you can't trust. Don't stay just because other people can't handle their own feelings, the consequences of their betraying you.

The healing process, if there is to be one, has to be about YOU. Not Jake's guilt. Not Sara's dramatic extremes of emotion. You will figure out what's right for you, at your own pace, and you'll work this out at the right time. It's going to be okay. It's awful right now, and I am so sorry, but you will be okay. And until you heal your broken heart, it's okay to be not okay. Sending you my love.

parasitic_spin wrote:

No matter what you do about Jake, you should consider telling your parents. Your sister needs significant help, and your parents need to see the damage their enabling has created.

Serefina wrote:

If it were me, I be done with both of them.Your sister betrayed you big time and she's lived without consequence for too long. I'd cut myself off from her. Delete her phone number. Delete her from social medial. Don't answer her phone calls. Don't hang out with her. Don't confide in her and don't listen to her troubles. She lives with your parents so you will see her, but she's officially an acquaintance from now on.

Your boyfriend slept with your sister then proceeded to hide it for three years. It's not all your sister's fault, although you may be inclined to feel that way since she is so dramatic. He was there and he was stone cold sober. There is no "it just happened." Whether he feels guilty about it, it doesn't matter. He not only cheated on you, but he cheated on you with the worse person he could cheat on you with.

Two days later, OP shared an update.

It has only been a day or so since I made my post, but it feels like I'd been in that hotel room for weeks, crying in the dark buried under the covers. At some point this morning, I decided to draw the curtains open and let the sunlight in. I went and sat on the balcony and switched my phone on for the first time.

It started ringing within 30 seconds. It was my mother, who burst into tears as soon as I answered. Her and my parents had obviously been desperately worried (this is the longest I have ever gone without contact) and had even contemplated calling the p*lice had I failed to contact them by this evening.

My mom informed me that as I was walking out of Sara's room, down the stairs, and out the front door, Sara was screaming and wailing that she's sorry. Funnily enough, I didn't hear this. I don't know how. I think I was in such a state of shock that I couldn't process anything around me.

Honestly, I can't even remember the drive home. After I shut the door behind me, my mom (who was the only other person at home) rushed into Sara's room to find her trashing her room and attempting to slash her wrists with a blunt lino cutter of all instruments (Sara used to do a lot of art).

Obviously, this barely caused a scratch but jump started my mom into action. She drove Sara to the hospital, where I understand she underwent some sort of assessment and was kept overnight. She has, incredibly, agreed to undergo treatment for whatever it is that is wrong with her.

My mom was surprised she was so complaisant on the drive down, willingly entering the car and saying nothing other than asking where I am. Sara seems resigned and completely deflated; my mom spoke to me at length for the first time in my life about the hardships they had undergone during Sara's childhood.

I am unwilling to go into detail and am still in shock about some of the things I heard. Sara is not devoid of responsibility; she has long surpassed the age where she can blame her childhood for her behavior, but my mom admitted through tears that not sending her to therapy at an early age was the biggest regret of her life so far.

I asked my mom if she knew why I had left; she admitted that she had known SINCE SARA'S EX LEFT TWO MONTHS AGO. At this point, I had to struggle not to hang up and I suddenly felt myself going back into that pit, but she begged me to listen.

After her ex Harry (I am too drained to invent a name...hi Harry) left, Sara told my mom exactly what had happened. It was not the reason for Harry's departure, although he did know about it. Rather, he had had enough of being Sara's carer, and years of begging her to seek help had fallen on deaf ears one too many times.

When Sara informed my mom, my mom told Sara I have to know immediately. Sara refused to tell me, and I still don't know why she changed her mind in that moment. My dad doesn't know for anyone wondering, and thinks I've left as I've also finally had enough of Sara's behavior. Now here is where the home truths came out. I asked my mom if she knew the details.

She was reluctant to tell me anything, stating that it had happened and that was all I needed to know. But I told her I refused to step foot in the house until I knew everything. She then proceeded to tell me that a few months before they slept together, Sara and Jake had kissed at my dad's 60th birthday party. It was a large family gathering with a lot of alc*hol involved.

I remember Jake getting very drunk with my cousins. Sara had a crying tantrum prior to arriving as her and Harry had an argument and he refused to come (she called me sobbing before she arrived). At some point during the night, Jake asked her if she was okay and hugged her, and once again "one thing led to another" and they shared a kiss in the kitchen.

Sara told my mom that they were both immediately remorseful and vowed never to speak of it again, but Sara deliberately sought him out the night they slept together knowing he was unlikely to turn her down. She openly admitted she did it to get back at Harry, who had cheated on her during one of their many infamous breaks. I don't think I even entered her thoughts.

At this point, I'd heard enough. We'd spoken on the phone for over four hours and I felt mentally drained and physically sick. Any hope I had of salvaging my relationship with Jake has completely gone. I feel the last 3 years have been tainted by their betrayal, and the many years before that I wonder: did he like Sara this whole time? Part of me doesn't even want to know.

It's worth noting he has made absolutely no attempt to contact me other than a single TEXT stating "I'm sorry. Take as long as you need". As if it's inevitable I will come back to him. Things are still up in the air. I don't feel ready to check out of the hotel as I don't know where I'm going to go next. I feel my relationship with my mom has been rocked by these revelations.

I don't know what's going to become of Sara. I have no idea what I'm going to do about me and Jake's flat, where I'm going to live. I don't even know if I have a job anymore. I just haven't showed up to work. But I know the truth and the smallest part of me is grateful for that. The rest of me is consumed by a pain I never imagined possible.

I guess there's nothing else to do now except wait and see how things unfold. But reading through your comments and messages have been more help than you can imagine, thank you thank you thank you. And for anyone who has have ever experienced symptoms like Sara's, or has been around someone who is so visibly troubled, I beg of you: seek help before it's too late.

TL;DR: I had a four hour conversation with my mom, who not only knew about Sara and Jake, but informed me that they had shared a kiss a few months prior to the event. I am still in the hotel, still heart broken, and have no idea what to do next. The only saving grace is that Sara has agreed to treatment and will not be in my life for the foreseeable future.

The comments kept coming in.

bigmattyh wrote:

I know this is difficult, but hear me on this: One of the best things you can do right now is to stop holing up and get back to normal in the one area of your life this drama fest hasn't touched—your job.

Resist the temptation to call in sick or to think that you'll get back to work once this is over with. You may need to stay in the hotel, but for your own health, you've got to not let this spiral out of control to the point where it takes down everything else in your life.

It's much easier to pick up the pieces when you have some stability, somewhere. Your job is your rock right now. Hang onto it and value it and be appreciative that you do have something else in your life that isn't tied to all this mess.

BearsnLemonCakes wrote:

Ugh, Ugh, I have no words yet so many. First off. I hope you dump that asshole immediately. If he really was so sorry he would have fessed up about the Party kiss the moment he found out. And he was going to Marry you?? What the hell was he on. And your mother, I guess

Sara is partially to blame but how dare she, you've been walked all over for too long, my dear. Move out of your bf's and your family's. Try and piece together your job and if not, then get away. I'd move so far away from them and the family. How does the opposite Coast sound? Your sister is a monster. Whatever mental issue she has is in no way any excuse for what she's done.

Keep her away and if your Gross Fiance can't deny her than he can have her and all the Hellish Tornado involved with it. You deserve so much better. Live a FANTASTIC life and make them all see just how much better you are than them, and if they want you back they can work hard for even a SCRAP of your attention and care.

[deleted] wrote:

I think if there was ever a time to ask your parents for money then leaving and having no contact, now is the time. Your sister is a piece of s**t, your mother is a piece of s**t, your ex is many piles of s**t. You should have zero contact with any of them. Your mother "protected" the fragile child which is so spiteful to you. I hope you have zero contact with your family.

SpicyPepper943 wrote:

Wow. Thank you for sharing. I am sure I am not the first, nor will I be the last to say this, but please, do yourself a favor and talk to a therapist yourself. I grew up with a dysfunctional family, not as extreme but it's f#$ked with my head tremendously.

Your situation is beyond words, and you deserve to have the time and help you need to sort through what you've been through. This situation sounds like the climax of a life of your parents enabling your sister. I can't believe your Mom was going to let you continue a relationship and potentially marry Jake after what he had done.

That really stands out to me and kind of completes the picture of your family life as you describe your sister's behavior over the years. Best of luck to you OP. These may be some dark times but holy shit did you get lucky and find out exactly how shitty things could of been down the road before you were married.

A month later, OP shared another update.

Hi everyone!

I thought I would make a final update (to my original post and update) as I received a lot of messages over the last few days wondering how I am over the holiday period.

Once again, I'd like to thank you all for the outpouring of support I've received over the last month. The number of messages, links to help, and offers for a shoulder to cry on were overwhelming and touching. I apologise if I never got round to replying to them all, the last few weeks have been a blur. But I am eternally grateful nonetheless.

So, after my conversation with my mom (where I found out she had known about Jake and Sara) I went back to square one. I switched my phone off again, and retreated back into my hotel for a further 5 days. From the comments on my last post, I should clear up one thing: my mom hadn't known about Jake and Sara from the very beginning.

Rather, Sara had told her about it at the time of Harry's sudden departure (meaning she had known a couple months before I did). Eventually, I decided enough was enough and decided to call work. My boss wasn't angry, or even surprised, to hear from me. My mom had called him after our conversation and told him there had been a family emergency and I would be unavailable for the forseeable future.

He advised I take to the end of the week, but would have to come to a meeting if I required any more time off work than I had already given myself. So my job was safe(ish) and I'm back at work and trying to get on with things. After this, I went back to my parents. Sara was also home but holed up in her room. I went in to see her and she was up painting.

As a number of you guessed, it is likely she has BPD, although my parents are waiting on a second opinion. She is going to counselling weekly, and seems slightly better. She broke down in tears when she saw me and we had a long long talk, where she spoke to me in depth about how truly consumed she was by her and Harry's t*xic relationship.

She understands it's for the best that it's over, but she describes the pain as "unrelenting: it hurt when he was with me, and it hurts now he's gone".

I know alot of you will feel disappointed that I haven't cut her or my mom out of my life for good.

I still feel resentment in the pit of my stomach when I think about it, but truly, I blame Jake more than anyone else. Jake was with me for long enough to see some of Sara's behaviour. She's not well and he still chose to do what he did. It is a slow process, but she's my sister and I can't cut them out of my life forever. It will never be the same again, but maybe that's a good thing.

My dad, who had been newly informed on the proceedings, drove to my apartment and gathered some clothes and an overnight bag. Jake was not home, and my parents have not heard from him since I left. I have no idea where he is, and neither he nor his family have attempted any contact with me since this came out.

His social media profiles have disappeared, and I have not attempted any contact with him, his family, or his friends. I began the slow process of telling my friends last week. I did not explain what happened, other than to say Jake was not the person I thought he was. They have all assumed cheating, but there is no reason for them to know who was involved.

I have switched back and forth between staying with my parents and sleeping at my apartment. I sleep on the sofa bed as the memories are too painful at the moment. I am in the process of looking into selling the place, however, this means contacting Jake at some point in the near future as the apartment is joint owned. I will cross that bridge when I feel a bit stronger.

Christmas day was a strange and sad one for both myself and Sara. But we spent it as a family, and for the few hours we were sat around eating and watching movies the pain was dulled even a small bit. As we were flicking through the various movies and TV episodes we'd recorded, I came across a scene that stuck with me, a scene that ended with the words: "la familia es todo."

I still spend most days with a hole in my heart, it hurts more than anything I've ever felt in my life...but it's getting better. I know I've got a long way to go, but for the first time I'm confident I'll get there.

Thank you for reading and here's to 2016.

TL;DR: Jake has disappeared without a trace. Sara is in treatment. My heart still hurts but I'm finally starting to get better.

The internet was deeply invested.

MoonGladeLadyBug wrote:

OP has a much bigger capacity to forgive than I do. I would have never spoken to mom and sister ever again.

Born_Ad8420 wrote:

"Family is everything" is the slogan of a LOT of toxic families as they use it to pressure others to forgiving and accepting their destructive behavior. I hope OP got herself into therapy because yeah...she needs it.

thisismybandname wrote:

Ugh. Like, cheating sucks no matter the situation but cheating with a family member is extra gross.

ChenilleSocks wrote:

I hope that hole in her heart isn’t gnawing at OP now, wherever she is. (She’s such a good writer too. Wonder if whatever she does for work involves writing).

knittedjedi wrote:

"I know alot of you will feel disappointed that I haven't cut her or my mom out of my life for good."

...yeah, I'm disappointed.

OP can choose to maintain a relationship with people who betrayed her. But I sure as hell am going to judge the s**t out of them for it.

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