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Man ends 20 year marriage when he learns wife cheated on him when they were dating. AITA? UPDATED.

Man ends 20 year marriage when he learns wife cheated on him when they were dating. AITA? UPDATED.


When this man ends a long marriage over something potentially small, he asks Reddit:

"AITA for ending a 20 year marriage because I learned my wife cheated on my while we were dating?"

My wife (44F) and I (43M) have been married 20 years. We started dating in high school when I was a junior and she was a senior. We were long distance for her first two years of college while I was in high school and did one year at community college, then we went to college in the same city for a year, and have lived together since.

We got married the summer after I graduated college. Our marraige has been pretty great so far, but I initated a divorce after I discovered that she was sleeping with multiple other men for the 2 years we were long distance.

Just after Christmas, we got together with a few friends of hers from college to catch up, have dinner, and hang out. We talked about a lot of stuff and my wife mentioned that we met in high school (not that we dated, just that we met).

Her old college room commented that it was crazy that we met in high school, had a few wild years in college, then ended up together. I played along and commented that I didn't know if my wife was as crazy as I was. The roomate started to tell a story, but my wife cut her off and said she was uncomfortable about it.

I sensed something was up, so I said that we actually started dating in high school and were together for my wife's entire time at college. All of my wives friends got real quiet and the rest of the dinner was awkward. On the way out, one of her other roomates took me aside and said I should have "an honest conversation" about what happened at college.

I asked my wife on the way home and she kind of blew me off. I told her it was important that she was honest with me and again she said it wasn't important. When we got home, I told her I was going to stay at my brother's house until she was ready to talk about what happened in college.

The next day she came over and admitted to sleepting with "several" men during her first two years at college. She said she didn't consider it a big deal at the time because we were long distance and she didn't think a high school romance would last.

I pressed for more details and she said it was at least 10 different men including at least 3 guys she introduced to me as friends when I came to visit on weekends and 1 guy she was still in contact with. I told her that I wanted a divorce and would be starting the paperwork as soon as I could (which I did on January 2nd).

Her family and most of my family is telling me I shouldn't throw away my marriage over a few mistakes. I've stood by my belief that cheating on me with multiple men for years is unacceptable no matter when it happened and the fact that she continued to maintain relationships with these guys right in front of me was an unacceptable amount of disrespect.

We have two children, but they are 17 and 19 and I believe they will understand why I need to end the marraige. Am I wrong for leaving? I feel like I'm going crazy with the amount of people telling me to over look years of infidelty and decades of lies.

Then, OP offers these fascinating updates.

UPDATE: WOW. I'm glad I did this with a throwaway because the response here is unexpected.

I obviously can't answer every question/comment, but I wanted to provide some detail for common questions.

- The reason I posted this is that my wife and a few friends have been saying it's common to sleep with other folks when you're in an long distance relationship and that I'm kind of the odd one out for not sleeping around. I felt like I was being gaslit, but I wanted an outside perspective.

We live in a state with a waiting period to finalize a divorce, so I felt it was a reasonable idea to get some insight before things are finalized. After these comments, I see a handful of folks saying it's normal to sleep around during a long distance relationship, but it seems to be a significant minority.

- We saw each other a couple of weekends a month during the two year college period. I lived about 3 hours away from her college, so it was long distance but not like cross country. This was not a situation where we went months without seeing each other.

- The 3 guys I met while she was in college were meetups that happened during parties. The subject of me being a boyfriend didn't really come up, so I honestly don't know if these guys knew anything.

- The one guy we're still in contact with married a mutual friend from college. This is not some guy she secretly messages on the side, it's somebody we've talked to regularly for years. I've talked to him a few times since I've learned about my wife. He's said he didn't know we were dating at the time and has since blocked my wife on social media.

- Some folks have asked how the roomates didn't realize at our wedding that the timelines didn't work out. The main reason is that my wife and I had a very small ceremony with just close family in Texas, then went back to the East Coast to have a big party with friends.

The typical reception/sharing details about how we met stuff didn't really happen, so her roomates didn't realize we started dating before college. It sounds like they thought we only dated for the year we were both in the same city, then moved in together.

- I was open to therapy or some kind of attempt to save the marraige, but her insistence that this whole thing is common and I'm the one who's out of line is just too much for me.

The only time she showed any remorse or even offerred to reconsile is when I started filing paper work. In the last week she's gone back to saying she's right and I'm overreacting. This is also why I feeling like I'm being gaslit. It seems obvious that this is a major issue, but I've got my wife and others telling me it's normal and I'm overreacting.

- I'm not getting a paternity test unless my kids want to get one. I don't have any doubts that they are biologically mine, and no test will make them not my kids. I love them more than anything in the world and my wife's infidelity won't change that even if one or both of them is not biologically mine. They've been my kids for 19 years and they will be my kids until I stop breathing. AITA?

Let's see what readers thought.

wornbluecarpet writes:

So, first of all, the number could easily be 15. Second, the different means that she has Fed some of them - or most of them - multiple times. Some of the guys she probably let OP shake hands with were regular F buddies, and she let her boyfriend hang out with them and went to get plowed when he went home from the visit.

Edit: Or the number could have been 20 or 30. She was introducing her boyfriend to dudes she was F without so much as a twitch of her eyes. Why should OP believe that 10 is anywhere near the real number?

She came up with 10 after some time to think. She thinks 10 is a low number that OP will think is no big deal after 20 years. But here's the thing: Without knowing they were dating, her college friends called her "wild" in college. Would they call her wild for having had 10 one night stands in the span of 2 years?

That's nearly two and a half months between each. We all know that in this day and age, a single college girl who hooks up with a guy every 2.5 months wouldn't be considered wild. The real number is much higher, and some of them were regular F buddies.

Also, she has just acted as if nothing happened for 20 years. In a comment from OP, he says that she thinks he's punishing her for "normal behaviour", and she shows no remorse for what she has done.

Whatever she means with "normal behaviour", the fact that she fucked guys left and right and even introduced her boyfriend to some of them and now genuinely thinks she's the one being wronged makes me think she's a borderline psychopath.

How can she do all that to someone she supposedly loves, and then think SHE is the one who is done wrong? No person with any normal amount of empathy would do that.

alexdelunar writes:

Yeah that's the part that stuck with me most as well. My marriage ended primarily due to my ex cheating on me. The part that hurt most was that it was with her coworker, someone she made quick friends with, and someone who was trying to be friends with me too. We had him and his wife over to hang out, and just him over on multiple occasions.

Cheating sucks either way, but to be so brazen about it by waving your affair partner in front of your partner's face is something else. Certainly made me feel like a tool.

I wish you the best OP. Don't let anyone tell you it's not so bad because it was a long time ago. She chose to keep it a secret, and would have continued doing so. I guess she didn't feel that guilty about it. That's not someone you can trust.

What is YOUR take on this situation?

Sources: Reddit
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