My (30M) wife (31F) of 5 years cheated on me last year with her friend when she was out with her friend group. She used to go out with these friends often, but always came back at around 12:00 am. But this time she came home very late (at around 5:00 am) and drunk, and I didn't press the issue that night.
She was distant, and didn't talk much to me afterwards the next few days, I only found out a couple days later when she confessed to cheating after I kept asking her why she was so cold to me.
I was shocked, I never liked the fact that she went out to bars and clubs, but she never gave me a reason to distrust her, until that night. I immediately grabbed a bag, packed some stuff and left. She was begging me to talk about it, but I wasn't in the mood for it. I was angry, upset, sad. I know that I wasnt in the right head space for this kind of talk, so I stayed with a friend.
Fast forward to a few days later, and I agreed to talk to her. She said she was so sorry and it would never happen again and that she would do anything to make me stay. I spent the time I was away thinking of staying or leaving and hating the fact that I still love her. We don't have kids together, but part of me still wanted to stay.
I gave her certain conditions if she wanted me to stay. The first one is to never see the man she cheated on me with ever again. The second was that I could see her phone or computer any time I wanted without having to ask. The last one was that she could no longer go out to bars or clubs without me. She agreed to all of this.
Over the last year, she's been estranged from her friend group because she can't go out with them without seeing the man she cheated on me with, and she hasn't really made any new friends.
I haven't checked her phone or computer either. I know she likes to go out, so i try my best to go with her when I have time, the bar and club scene was never my thing, but I try to enjoy it with her. Things haven't been the same as before, and I've thought loosing the "she can't go out without me" rule, but I keep thinking of what she did.
I've explained this to my friend, and she said I should just divorce her if I can't trust her anymore. I've thought about it, I wasn't as happy as I used to be, she says she's happy with me around, but she isn't as energetic as she used to be. So, AITA?
Sorry, but your friend is right. Sounds like all trust is gone and you're just diminishing each other now. Let her go. NTA.
This. Straight up. This is a 'simple' problem with a simple solution. Roll out while you're still young. Last thing you want to do is have a kid with someone you obviously resent and don't love anymore.
NTA. Your friend is right though. No kids, the relationship has changed, and she's 30 and still clubbing? Personally I'm way the fvvk out.
Your mistake was not immediately moving forward with a divorce.
Thank you all for responding, it was a little overwhelming how much attention this post got.
To clarify some things that were asked:
Our relationship before seemed pretty good. I was never the club and bar kind of person, but me and my wife enjoyed going out to different places. We were both very outdoorsy, we often camping, climbing, hiking, among a lot of other things. We also liked taking trips around the country, and sometimes abroad.
We also had date nights once or twice a week. We both work from home, so we often had a good amount of free time. We aren't rich of anything, but we do fine. Also, to clarify something, we don't have kids and we don't want kids.
When it came to our love life, I think it was decent, we made love 3-4 times a week, and often tried new things (never with another person though.) The only thing we didn't share was her habit of going out to bars and clubs.
And now to her friends.
Some of you were under the impression I told her to see NONE of her friends. I only told her to stop seeing THE MAN SHE CHEATED WITH. At first, I didn't know exactly why she became estranged with the whole group. (They were all part of the friend group.)
I met all of her friends, including the man in question, from what I know about him, he was a man whore. Nothing happened between him and my wife before, but I never liked the fact she went out so often with this guy, even if it was in a group setting, especially with alcohol involved. I did bring this up to her, and she told me there was nothing to worry about, and that this was just insecurity talking.
Our relationship now.
We've gone out hiking a few times, and gone out together on dates, but not nearly as often anymore. I just haven't felt the desire to.
Our sex life is pretty barren as well. She's tried to initiate plenty of times, but I rarely want to.
I've talked to my wife, and we both reflected on our relationship. She still claims she wants to stay with me, and would respect my conditions no matter what. I asked her what she would do if I let go if the conditions. She told me she's truly ashamed of what happened, and she said she probably wouldn't go to a club or bar alone anymore.
I asked about her old friends, and she told me that she doesn't want to be their friend anymore. She told me that they thought she was being unreasonable for not wanting to see the guy anymore, and that's just how he is.
Basically, they refused to cut the guy off and they didn't like that my wife had a problem with him. I never asked her about this before, because I didn't care about how my condition was met. All that I cared about was that it was met.
I've opened up a bit more about how our life now is pretty dull. She said she's aware our relationship isn't the way it was before. I asked her if she wants things to change, but she said she doesn't feel that she has the right to ask me for anything. She said she's aware it's her fault our relationship is like this.
I mentioned couples therapy, and she immediately said that it was a good idea. I still resent her, but from what I can tell, she does want to make this work. I can't fully trust her yet. I still remember when she first said that there was nothing to worry about.
We decided to start couples therapy. I'll be honest though, the only reason I'm willing to do this is because she has followed my conditions for a year, but I don't think this is gonna help me trust her ever again, if therapy doesn't work, then I'll leave.
Trying to be helpful, so customary, you should leave is the best advice. If you do stay, though??? Google "regret vs remorse in infidelity." It sounds like she has mostly remorse but you need to judge that for yourself.
If you google that, several amazing articles pop up. The real question though is can she become a person you both trust and desire? You won't ever get your old relationship back. That isn't what reconciling after infidelity is really about. It's about can they change enough to build a new relationship and person you think was worth the effort? So can she?
Thanks for your info. She has definitely shown signs of remorse.
I guess I'll just have to see if there's anything new we can build then.
This post is an excellent example of how infidelity is like mold on a cheese. You can cut that piece of mold off, but you’ll always know it was there.
ETA: I cannot believe that this comment is the comment that is my most upvoted comment of all time. 😂
Broken trust is like a broken mirror. You can repair it but you can still see the crack in the reflection.
I'm still just not getting why he didn't just divorce her. He said he doesn't feel the same, their sex life is gone, he doesn't feel very strongly about her anymore...just rip the bandaid off and divorce her, dude. No amount of counseling or therapy will fix what happened.