I cheated on my partner. I don't know if I should leave

Katiekat

New member
I've been with my poly partner for 6+ years. We've always been transparent. No real rules about who and how we conduct our sexualloving relationships save one: no lies. We have one single rule and I broke it.
I slept with an old lover and lied by omission. Told myself some bs about how it was ok if I didn't do it again. But I did 2 weeks later. So I said ok no more but still lie.
Then, it ate at me. I told my partner a couple weeks later , of course, life's been kinda hell ever since.
It's been a month and half now since I confessed. We don't communicate like we used to. Our fights have become often and circular instead of leading to conclusions and peace.
I'm posting this as a new member. (Hopefully this is the right subforum to post something like this.)
I would please like some help.
I love my partner. I feel so stupid and selfish and he's so hurt and angry that he's not the same. He's much less compassionate and reasonable. I realize some may think I deserve this. I get that. But it's not something I can live with. And I'm kinda thinking he shouldn't live like this either. We're both seeking individual and couple's counseling. But I wonder if I should do him and myself a favor and stop. Just leave. Let him heal and move on. Let myself go and live with my consequences.
Just not sure. There's still lots of love between us. But I just don't know if we can or should try to survive this as a couple. He's willing. But I worry that he might be too stubborn and blind to realize we shouldn't go on with trying. That he might not realize he's hurt in this relationship beyond repair.
I want to try... But I'm not sure it'll be a healthy thing for me or him.
I appreciate any feedback. I can't figure this out alone and I can't rely on myself to be unselfish in my contemplating my future choices regarding my relationship with him.
 
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Katiekat

New member
He proposed to me last Fall. I've never been married. I've been scared of losing my freedom and individuality. I've had a number of reasons besides that bubble up to the surface since I did it. I think initially, I believe I wanted something to myself - something my partner couldn't take from me- something he couldn't know. The other was a thrill - stupid cheap thrill. Part of me wanted to be mean because my partner makes choices with our household and money and such that effect me that I can't control and that scares me because I have control issues.
I think the worst was wanting to hurt my partner to test him and see him prove he could accept the worst of me. I used to cheat and lie to my partners years ago in my early adulthood. I stopped that years and years ago. I believe I lied and cheated recently because deep down I believe I'm a piece of S" and wanted to show that - to see if my partner could prove he still wanted a p.o.s. like me. I also have problems appreciating what I have right in front of me until it's gone. I also took him for granted.
I could have told him right after and it wouldn't have been "against the rules" we had - he just would have been annoyed that I did it while we were arguing over money - while I left our home to cool off. But he wouldn't have felt I was untrustworthy.
I think I wanted to sabotage my relationship because it was too good and I didn't deserve it. Which sounds like psycho-babble bs but it's the best I got for raw real reasons.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hello Katiekat,

I guess the big question here is, can your partner trust you in the future? Sure you broke the rules the two of you had in the present, but would you break the rules the two of you have in the future? What would need to change in order for you to become trustworthy from now on? You mentioned that he has control over your household and money in areas where you have no control, and you seem to have some resentment about that. Would he be willing to give you a fair say in those areas, or is he determined to maintain control? I think if he maintains control, you will eventually break the rules again, and he will be all the more hurt and angry. This would be true even if the two of you changed the rules; the point for you was that you wanted to break whatever rules you already had.

You also mentioned that you wanted to test him, to see if he would still love you even at your very worst. Well the test has been done, and you can see whether he still loves you. He is hurt and angry, but as you said in your first post, "There's still lots of love between us." So you now know what you wanted to know, he still loves you even at your very worst. That's one less reason to cheat in the future. You won't need to test him again, right?

You also seem to be lacking in self-esteem, in that you don't believe you deserve to have him, and this is how you felt before cheating. Part of why you cheated was to drive him away, to punish yourself for being unworthy in the first place. Where do you think this lack of self-esteem is coming from? Why do you believe that you don't deserve to be loved?

You do see now that there are consequences for cheating, so in that sense, you won't be able to take him for granted in the future. His love, yes. You can take that for granted. But his compassion and reason can be damaged, and to repair that damage, you'll have to find a way to show him that he can trust you from now on. Right now you are trying to decide whether that's even possible. At the least, I think it will involve some hard negotiations.

Is it possible you still have a lingering aversion to getting married? Maybe marriage isn't right for you. You mentioned losing your freedom and individuality. Have you shared these reservations with him? How important is marriage to him? Could he let go of that prospect?

Such are my thoughts,
Kevin T.
 
Don't leave. Don't give up. We all make mistakes. What you did was not right but trying to punish yourself is not the answer. Your not a POS..your human. The fact your conscience drive you to tell him is good. Tough conversation is a must in this lifestyle as you know. I tell my wife..just say it even if it's hurtful to me or her. Sometimes my heart skips a beat when we chat but we always tend to land on our feet strong and secure. He will need time to heal from this and it will always be in his mind when you walk out the door but time will ease that. Just don't give up honey. Love is hard to find and if you have it hang on. Hope this all works out for ya. Take care, JeffnTasha
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I am sorry you struggle. FWIW, here is how it sounds to me, a stranger. Maybe it helps you to see it like this. Blue just to visually block it off. You correct me if I get anything wrong.

RECENT PAST

He proposed to last Fall. You have never been married.

There was a fight over money and you left the home to cool off. And that's when you had a fling with old lover. It wouldn't have been against the open relationship agreements if you you told partner about it right away. He just would have been annoyed but ok with it.

But you didn't tell.

REASONS FOR NOT TELLING RIGHT AWAY


  • You don't like it that partner makes choices with the household and money and such that effect you without you having a voice in it.
  • You think it will get worse in marriage, and that scared you.
  • You have been scared of losing freedom and individuality in marriage. Like you would now be the shadow person known as "Spouse of Partner" and where would individual YOU go?
  • Things that you can't control (<-- what?) that scare you because you have control issues/want some independence.
  • If you do get married you want it to more equal.
  • You want some space to make your own choices, so you chose this fling and instead of telling, you kept it to yourself.
    • Because you wanted something private to yourself that your partner could not take away and couldn't know. Something that was just for individual you.
    • The other reason for not telling was the thrill of it. Maybe marriage sounds like giving up on excitement and "settling down" and that worries you.
REASONS FOR TELLING EVENTUALLY

To hurt you:

  • You think you are a p.o.s. and don't like yourself much. And desevere to be "punished."
  • You don't think you deserve a good relationship.
    • To support these beleifs, you self sabotage.
  • You also don't appreciate what you have til it's gone.
    • Maybe cuz that's easier from "arms distance away" when you can romanticize it than when "being in it all real"
To hurt him:
  • You want partner to prove that he still wants this p.o.s you
  • You also wanted to hurt partner to see if he could take you at your worst and accept all of who you are.
    • (Because you haven't been authentic in this relationship for him to know all of you already? You haven't been speaking up?)

AT THIS TIME

It's only been 6 weeks since you told about the fling. You both are still healing from the affair.

  • You don't communicate like you used to.
  • Fights have become often and circular instead of leading to conclusions and peace.
  • He's hurt and angry.
  • You feel stupid and selfish for having done this.
There is still lots of love between you.
  • He's willing to try to get past this hump and work on healing
  • You want to try too, but you also are scared to lean into this.
    • You kinda want to bail because being here like this is not comfortable.

Is this where it is mostly at?

If so? I could be wrong but you seem to "run away" a lot rather than dealing with things head on.

I think you could give it some more time and try to work things out. It's still fresh. It takes time to heal from cheating. 6 weeks may not be enough.

Could take it as a chance to talk about the things that led to the fling in the first place. What kind of marriage this would be. Maybe you want something more equal and you want a voice in household decision. Maybe you want your own separate checking account and not everything in joint because you want to retain some independence.

Like yes, you are still both individuals AND a married couple, not becoming the Married CoupleBlob.

You can't keep "running away" from that conversation or trying to use the fling as excuse to skip having it.

Like if you just don't want to be here or want to say "No" to the marriage proposal? Be honest and up front about that. Rather than taking this long way around.

Or if you DO want to marry him, but with some agreements to address issues first? Talk it out.

If you want to know that he loves you authentically? Start being authentic you then. BE PRESENT. Be radically honest, open, and vulnerable even it it feels sucky because you aren't used to doing that.

Cuz really what do you have to lose? You were thinking of dumping him anyway. Here's your chance to try changing your old patterns and see if something better emerges. Or if the original plan emerges -- you and him broken up.

Lean INTO it. Rather than trying to lean away.

That would be my suggestion.

The other suggestion would be to work on yourself. Stop being your own self bully calling yourself p.o.s and things. Whatever internal radio station that originated with? Parents or other relatives putting you down or friends, or whatever else? It is ok change the channel. Who wants to spend their life listening to old tapes on bad radio?

You have inherent worth and dignity. It is ok to treat yourself so.

Galagirl
 
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Katiekat

New member
Hello Katiekat,

I guess the big question here is, can your partner trust you in the future? Sure you broke the rules the two of you had in the present, but would you break the rules the two of you have in the future? What would need to change in order for you to become trustworthy from now on? You mentioned that he has control over your household and money in areas where you have no control, and you seem to have some resentment about that. Would he be willing to give you a fair say in those areas, or is he determined to maintain control? I think if he maintains control, you will eventually break the rules again, and he will be all the more hurt and angry. This would be true even if the two of you changed the rules; the point for you was that you wanted to break whatever rules you already had.

You also mentioned that you wanted to test him, to see if he would still love you even at your very worst. Well the test has been done, and you can see whether he still loves you. He is hurt and angry, but as you said in your first post, "There's still lots of love between us." So you now know what you wanted to know, he still loves you even at your very worst. That's one less reason to cheat in the future. You won't need to test him again, right?

You also seem to be lacking in self-esteem, in that you don't believe you deserve to have him, and this is how you felt before cheating. Part of why you cheated was to drive him away, to punish yourself for being unworthy in the first place. Where do you think this lack of self-esteem is coming from? Why do you believe that you don't deserve to be loved?

You do see now that there are consequences for cheating, so in that sense, you won't be able to take him for granted in the future. His love, yes. You can take that for granted. But his compassion and reason can be damaged, and to repair that damage, you'll have to find a way to show him that he can trust you from now on. Right now you are trying to decide whether that's even possible. At the least, I think it will involve some hard negotiations.

Is it possible you still have a lingering aversion to getting married? Maybe marriage isn't right for you. You mentioned losing your freedom and individuality. Have you shared these reservations with him? How important is marriage to him? Could he let go of that prospect?

Such are my thoughts,
Kevin T.
Kevin. You sure gave me a lot to think about. I think the hardest question for me to ask myself is do I really want to get married.
I'm gonna go ahead and be honest and annoying and say I don't want to do any of thee above. When I think of getting married- I'm excited to do it my my partner. We have great plans. But I'm also really scared because it locks me into a future. And I have always been a bit wild and feel most safe when the unknown future is mine alone. But then I think of that alone path and I'm also scared of the lonely-ness and I cry when I think of being apart from my partner. I considered, today, after reading your comment- what if we just didn't get married? And part of me liked it and part of me didn't. So very "poop or get off the pot" or sitting on the fence. I'm annoying myself* with this kind of thinking. I feel it's time to make a choice. And the cheating was a way to bail out when things looked like they weren't going to be easy because of my control issues.

To directly answer you about his control over house money- he really doesn't. It's not a struggle at all with him for me to negotiate stuff like that.
And I must say- the more I get this out in this forum- feeling the words as I answer your post- I'm just like "dude, this relationship I have with my partner is like a dream come true. I don't* have to worry about him over-controlling things and he is totally easy to deal with in matters of negotiation."

You did however, sniff out a problem: I make way less money than him. He pays for my life. He doesn't complain about it. He isn't resentful. He's only shown his resentfulness lately because of the cheating and how is plunged him into pain and swing with me in a circular fashion because he doesn't want to play fair. And I get that. It's hard but I get it.
I really don't respond well to it. I hate the circular fights where I kinda think he's hurting me back in the only way he feels comfortable doing- ungrounded communicating.

But yeah - I really need to change my income situation. I've relied on him for our life and money and it's made me lazy as well as resentful that I'm not trying harder to follow my own dreams.

The biggest question- can he (and I) trust me in the future?
I have to say I'm not sure due to this cheating. But I also must assert that if I continue to be with him- I will not lie lie again. It hurt too much. Holding it for fit a few weeks and justifying the lie as time went on just kept me ungrounded and stole the joy from good moments. And I have that fresh in my mind. It aches. And the aftermath of coming clean is just horrid. A low key walk of pain that flatlines the fulfillment piques if our domestic life. I'm so full of regret. And the distance he expresses pains me every day. I'm this case, pain is definitely a very effective motivator for committing to being trustworthy.
I just worry that we'll not heal and get a relationship space between us that is fulfilling again. I don't expect us to ever be the same as before. But I do expect a relationship to be fulfilling at the very least.
I fear the immediate times ahead. The pain-walk as we try healing. The dread of time spent only to find he can't do this with me any more. That he tried and couldn't.
 
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Katiekat

New member
Don't leave. Don't give up. We all make mistakes. What you did was not right but trying to punish yourself is not the answer. Your not a POS..your human. The fact your conscience drive you to tell him is good. Tough conversation is a must in this lifestyle as you know. I tell my wife..just say it even if it's hurtful to me or her. Sometimes my heart skips a beat when we chat but we always tend to land on our feet strong and secure. He will need time to heal from this and it will always be in his mind when you walk out the door but time will ease that. Just don't give up honey. Love is hard to find and if you have it hang on. Hope this all works out for ya. Take care, JeffnTasha
Thanks. This made me cry and hope. Thank you. I'm grateful you believe it can get better and that I'm not a pos. Thank you <3
 

Katiekat

New member
I am sorry you struggle. FWIW, here is how it sounds to me, a stranger. Maybe it helps you to see it like this. Blue just to visually block it off. You correct me if I get anything wrong.

RECENT PAST

He proposed to last Fall. You have never been married.

There was a fight over money and you left the home to cool off. And that's when you had a fling with old lover. It wouldn't have been against the open relationship agreements if you you told partner about it right away. He just would have been annoyed but ok with it.

But you didn't tell.

REASONS FOR NOT TELLING RIGHT AWAY


  • You don't like it that partner makes choices with the household and money and such that effect you without you having a voice in it.
  • You think it will get worse in marriage, and that scared you.
  • You have been scared of losing freedom and individuality in marriage. Like you would now be the shadow person known as "Spouse of Partner" and where would individual YOU go?
  • Things that you can't control (<-- what?) that scare you because you have control issues/want some independence.
  • If you do get married you want it to more equal.
  • You want some space to make your own choices, so you chose this fling and instead of telling, you kept it to yourself.
    • Because you wanted something private to yourself that your partner could not take away and couldn't know. Something that was just for individual you.
    • The other reason for not telling was the thrill of it. Maybe marriage sounds like giving up on excitement and "settling down" and that worries you.
REASONS FOR TELLING EVENTUALLY

To hurt you:

  • You think you are a p.o.s. and don't like yourself much. And desevere to be "punished."
  • You don't think you deserve a good relationship.
    • To support these beleifs, you self sabotage.
  • You also don't appreciate what you have til it's gone.
    • Maybe cuz that's easier from "arms distance away" when you can romanticize it than when "being in it all real"
To hurt him:
  • You want partner to prove that he still wants this p.o.s you
  • You also wanted to hurt partner to see if he could take you at your worst and accept all of who you are.
    • (Because you haven't been authentic in this relationship for him to know all of you already? You haven't been speaking up?)

AT THIS TIME

It's only been 6 weeks since you told about the fling. You both are still healing from the affair.

  • You don't communicate like you used to.
  • Fights have become often and circular instead of leading to conclusions and peace.
  • He's hurt and angry.
  • You feel stupid and selfish for having done this.
There is still lots of love between you.
  • He's willing to try to get past this hump and work on healing
  • You want to try too, but you also are scared to lean into this.
    • You kinda want to bail because being here like this is not comfortable.

Is this where it is mostly at?

If so? I could be wrong but you seem to "run away" a lot rather than dealing with things head on.

I think you could give it some more time and try to work things out. It's still fresh. It takes time to heal from cheating. 6 weeks may not be enough.

Could take it as a chance to talk about the things that led to the fling in the first place. What kind of marriage this would be. Maybe you want something more equal and you want a voice in household decision. Maybe you want your own separate checking account and not everything in joint because you want to retain some independence.

Like yes, you are still both individuals AND a married couple, not becoming the Married CoupleBlob.

You can't keep "running away" from that conversation or trying to use the fling as excuse to skip having it.

Like if you just don't want to be here or want to say "No" to the marriage proposal? Be honest and up front about that. Rather than taking this long way around.

Or if you DO want to marry him, but with some agreements to address issues first? Talk it out.

If you want to know that he loves you authentically? Start being authentic you then. BE PRESENT. Be radically honest, open, and vulnerable even it it feels sucky because you aren't used to doing that.

Cuz really what do you have to lose? You were thinking of dumping him anyway. Here's your chance to try changing your old patterns and see if something better emerges. Or if the original plan emerges -- you and him broken up.

Lean INTO it. Rather than trying to lean away.

That would be my suggestion.

The other suggestion would be to work on yourself. Stop being your own self bully calling yourself p.o.s and things. Whatever internal radio station that originated with? Parents or other relatives putting you down or friends, or whatever else? It is ok change the channel. Who wants to spend their life listening to old tapes on bad radio?

You have inherent worth and dignity. It is ok to treat yourself so.

Galagirl
Thanks for this Galagirl. So thorough.

God I really do avoid the conversation about what the marriage will be.
And you're absolutely right- I totally run. I romanticize it big time. And it feeds my need to self hate.
I had a childhood parental experience that gave me those internal voices of self hate. My father especially was very mean and demeaning. I think my idea of marriage is that long suffering thing my parents had because mom wouldn't let go and dad just used and abused.
I think I model either folding over like my mum or being a tyrant like my dad. I have his temper, selfishness and impatience. I wanna just be done with the pain and run. He never faced stuff. And mom was left to deal way to much in a vacuum. I think I fear this will be me.
I honestly didn't think I'd get married or be asked because ... I dunno ... I'm weird and promiscuous and don't like to deal with traditional or even non traditional poly rules. And so meeting my current partner... Kinda "never should have happened" so when we made a go at being committed- we agreed that simple was best and one rule was all we really needed - no lies- otherwise we deal with the emotional stuff that comes with being open and celebrate it when we have no jealousy or imbalance. And I gotta say- first year or two was bumpy but we hashed things out. And we been smooth ever since. Until I was like "I will now lie because ... *Explained above*"
I can't help but feel so very ashamed and selfish. I explained to you and the other folk on this post that I have an awesome relationship and I'm like wow geeze wtactualF was I thinking?
So I'm glad it has become obvious that it is me who is trying to hurt me in this situation. That I need to take some time to look at myself and do some work on these mean things I think of myself and mean ideas about what I believe about long term relationships and marriage. Because I don't think I really ever worked on that. I think I have corrupted ideas if marriage that came from my childhood and my parents v and that's why I want to run from my partner he's no perfect man. But he's not a bad or unreasonable person. I want a life with him. I don't think that is ever going to not* scare me. But I think I can do some work on processing my parent's marriage and how it messed up my ability to see my own prospects of married life correctly
 

tdh

Active member
it locks me into a future
Just to note, marriage does not lock anyone into anything. It does provide legal rights between partners which is important to understand. The future is unknown and you can define it on your own terms if you choose so. But to do that, you have view yourself worth a damn. Why would you treat yourself worse than the want you might want a friend to be treated?


because of the cheating and how is plunged him into pain
You also made a bit of a power play. You said to this partner and your power dynamic, "I still have control!" by acting wild and alone. Basically you went to familiar spot of repeating an abuse cycle by defining your worth by not being worth anything to others.


And it feeds my need to self hate.
This is probably stemming from something long in your past. I can only surmise an abuse cycle here based on patterns of other people I know/known. You were treated horrible so if something is good, you have to prove it isn't really good. In that you don't run, you actively try to destroy yourself and possibly others around.


my parents had because mom wouldn't let go and dad just used and abused
This is probably why cheating felt right at the time. Repeating the cycle you were most familiar with if not another cycle that may have gone beyond just them.


I can't help but feel so very ashamed and selfish.
When you find yourself saying this stuff in your head, try yelling, "Stop being mean to my friend!" back to yourself and see what happens.


The biggest question- can he (and I) trust me in the future?
While your partner is important, I think the "Can I trust me in the future?" is actually the more important question. Here why.

This is all about you. Your personal struggle of self is the real fight here and your partner is collateral damage. You do not think you are worth anything. Even if he trusts again, you will try to keep proving he is wrong because you believe he is wrong. And that will be true for any other partners too until you find only partners that reinforce your view of the world.

Now you are worthy of care, love, partners, stability, excitement, wildness, and all other spices of life. The struggle you face is finding those while building yourself up (pre-lie) instead of tearing yourself down (taking back the power by burying the world down with you in it).
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Glad it helped some.

When I think of getting married- I'm excited to do it my my partner. We have great plans. But I'm also really scared because it locks me into a future.

What future is marriage gonna lock you into? Cuz there's such thing as divorce. You can leave. And it's not like you are "destined" to be copies of your parents.

Maybe you feel better entering marriage if you have a separate account. My mother gave me the start of mine when I moved out of the house. I gave/am giving each of the kids their "fuck off" fund. Because people who can pay their own way don't have to be "nice" so as not to be homeless. Putting up with BS in a cohabitating relationship. They can say "Nope. I'm out. Fuck off." And they have the money to leave and start over at a new flat with.

I never put that money in joint. It's still separate. And DH has his fund.

Maybe something to think about. It's not that I am not committed to my marriage. I've been here decades and I am very committed. At this point my nest egg is more for my old age. But when first starting out, and dealing with this new identity of "spouse" and not sure if it will go well or not? Sometimes it's good to know you have an emergency back up plan. And that can be the thing of your own. Rather than keeping secrets that break agreements.

I wanna just be done with the pain and run. He never faced stuff. And mom was left to deal way to much in a vacuum. I think I fear this will be me.

So face this pain. Choose to do different behavior than your parents. You mom and dad are not driving the Katiekat brain bus. YOU are.

I can't help but feel so very ashamed and selfish. I explained to you and the other folk on this post that I have an awesome relationship and I'm like wow geeze wtactualF was I thinking?

Go easier on you. You had a trigger moment with the proposal because it brought up your parent's bad marriage, your only (from the sound of it) marriage model. You freaked out, kinda.

Could apologize, and promise to try to do better in future. That instead of running away doing self sabotage things, you will tell him you got triggered and need time/space to process.

You know you aren't your parents, right? And even if you get married, you can continue with open/poly relationships with others.

It's ok if money isn't 50-50. It's not like men and women make the same wage anyway. Last I checked the wage gap, women make 82 cents on the dollar. If he makes 100 dollars and you make $50, then the house makes $150. He pays for 2/3 of the house things cuz he can afford. You pay 1/3 because you can afford. Each one according to their means. Things don't have to be "equal" to be "fair."

So I'm glad it has become obvious that it is me who is trying to hurt me in this situation. That I need to take some time to look at myself and do some work on these mean things I think of myself and mean ideas about what I believe about long term relationships and marriage. Because I don't think I really ever worked on that.

Well, at least you can name the problem now. And takes steps to work on it.

I think I have corrupted ideas if marriage that came from my childhood and my parents v and that's why I want to run from my partner he's no perfect man. But he's not a bad or unreasonable person. I want a life with him. I don't think that is ever going to not* scare me. But I think I can do some work on processing my parent's marriage and how it messed up my ability to see my own prospects of married life correctly.

My parents are not a great role model. They are codependent and weird. I'm fortunate to see other marriage role models I respect/admire in older friends and family.

You get to write your own story of marriage with your partner. Talk it out, what you do want it to be like, and what you want to avoid.

Really the one you are gonna marry is the only voice at this table with you. Not your mom. Not your dad. They aren't gonna be in this marriage. They have their own to deal with. If you hear their voices in your head criticizing or whatever? It's ok to talk back and tell them to shut up in there.

Because YOU drive the KatieKat bus, not them. You grew up.

Galagirl
 
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Carmina

Member
Don't leave. Don't give up. We all make mistakes. What you did was not right but trying to punish yourself is not the answer. Your not a POS..your human. The fact your conscience drive you to tell him is good. Tough conversation is a must in this lifestyle as you know. I tell my wife..just say it even if it's hurtful to me or her. Sometimes my heart skips a beat when we chat but we always tend to land on our feet strong and secure. He will need time to heal from this and it will always be in his mind when you walk out the door but time will ease that. Just don't give up honey. Love is hard to find and if you have it hang on. Hope this all works out for ya. Take care, JeffnTasha
This is so true - love is worth fighting for, even if at times there is pain and heartache
 

FallenAngelina

Well-known member
I think my idea of marriage is that long suffering thing my parents had because mom wouldn't let go and dad just used and abused.
I think I model either folding over like my mum or being a tyrant like my dad. I have his temper, selfishness and impatience. I wanna just be done with the pain and run. He never faced stuff. And mom was left to deal way to much in a vacuum. I think I fear this will be me.


Was your dad a drinker, by any chance? If so, this fits the very common picture of an alcoholic home. There is a massive amount of educational resources and great communities of health for people who have prolonged exposure to alcohol abuse (which always dovetails with many other types of abuse, addiction and general misery.) But alcohol or not, you grew up in what is glibly called a dysfunctional home - and that always leaves deeply painful and destructive coping skills that usually don't serve us later in life. The good news is that there is a lot of help available from peers who have walked this path and are developing much healthier (and happier) ways of being with people. Nobody is ever truly stuck in the pain of repeating or avoiding the patterns that forged their formative years.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hi Katiekat,

Maybe what your partner needs, in order to trust you again, is time. Time to observe your renewed commitment in action. You could certainly be frank with him right now, and tell him that the consequences of lying are too painful for you to ever consider doing that again. You probably should tell him that, for the sake of transparency. You are trying to be more honest with him. But even telling him that, might not suffice to heal his broken trust. He might simply need time. That and individual and couple's counseling, which you said you're both seeking.

It is admittedly possible that the two of you could try to mend this rift, only to eventually find out that it can't be done. And then you will have lost the time (and effort) it took to try. Neither of you will ever be able to get that time back. I guess what you have to ask yourself is, how much does this relationship mean to you? Does it mean enough that you would consider it worth it to try and fail, just to be able to say that you tried? As it stands, you do not know that you would fail. You might succeed. Is the relationship worth enough to you to take that chance?

You do seem to feel, rather strongly, that you would like a little more financial independence. This could mean seeking additional employment, or going back to school, or both. Even if this didn't result in your total income being equal to his, or greater than his, it sounds like you would feel better (about yourself) if you just were taking those steps to make it more equal than it has been. So I think I would encourage you to go ahead and do that. Not because he is unreasonable or resentful, because he's not. But because you would feel better about yourself.

You have a lot to unpack. I hope this forum is helping you do that.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 

Inaniel

Active member
Kevin. You sure gave me a lot to think about. I think the hardest question for me to ask myself is do I really want to get married.
I'm gonna go ahead and be honest and annoying and say I don't want to do any of thee above. When I think of getting married- I'm excited to do it my my partner. We have great plans. But I'm also really scared because it locks me into a future. And I have always been a bit wild and feel most safe when the unknown future is mine alone. But then I think of that alone path and I'm also scared of the lonely-ness and I cry when I think of being apart from my partner. I considered, today, after reading your comment- what if we just didn't get married? And part of me liked it and part of me didn't. So very "poop or get off the pot" or sitting on the fence. I'm annoying myself* with this kind of thinking. I feel it's time to make a choice. And the cheating was a way to bail out when things looked like they weren't going to be easy because of my control issues.

To directly answer you about his control over house money- he really doesn't. It's not a struggle at all with him for me to negotiate stuff like that.
And I must say- the more I get this out in this forum- feeling the words as I answer your post- I'm just like "dude, this relationship I have with my partner is like a dream come true. I don't* have to worry about him over-controlling things and he is totally easy to deal with in matters of negotiation."

You did however, sniff out a problem: I make way less money than him. He pays for my life. He doesn't complain about it. He isn't resentful. He's only shown his resentfulness lately because of the cheating and how is plunged him into pain and swing with me in a circular fashion because he doesn't want to play fair. And I get that. It's hard but I get it.
I really don't respond well to it. I hate the circular fights where I kinda think he's hurting me back in the only way he feels comfortable doing- ungrounded communicating.

But yeah - I really need to change my income situation. I've relied on him for our life and money and it's made me lazy as well as resentful that I'm not trying harder to follow my own dreams.

The biggest question- can he (and I) trust me in the future?
I have to say I'm not sure due to this cheating. But I also must assert that if I continue to be with him- I will not lie lie again. It hurt too much. Holding it for fit a few weeks and justifying the lie as time went on just kept me ungrounded and stole the joy from good moments. And I have that fresh in my mind. It aches. And the aftermath of coming clean is just horrid. A low key walk of pain that flatlines the fulfillment piques if our domestic life. I'm so full of regret. And the distance he expresses pains me every day. I'm this case, pain is definitely a very effective motivator for committing to being trustworthy.
I just worry that we'll not heal and get a relationship space between us that is fulfilling again. I don't expect us to ever be the same as before. But I do expect a relationship to be fulfilling at the very least.
I fear the immediate times ahead. The pain-walk as we try healing. The dread of time spent only to find he can't do this with me any more. That he tried and couldn't.

A counselor that specializes in trauma may be able to help you work through some of your feelings. I have been guilty of sabotaging relationships myself; I know therapy can be expensive but I can say that it was money well spent in my case and definitely helped me create healthier relationships. While there are underlying reasons someone may hurt another person, there are also underlying reasons a victim will stay with someone who betrays them. It may be helpful for each of you to seek out counseling.

Why do you think your feelings about marriage are "annoying"? Is it because you feel pressured by society to be married? It can be so difficult to listen to the inner voice when society is yelling so loudly that you can barely hear yourself. I personally never felt like marriage was right for me, and I was told everything under the sun about why I was wrong about marriage. Even on a website for alternative relationship styles such as this, there are so many proponents of this classic institution. Which is fine; it just speaks to how deep the marriage programming is embedded in the collective consciousness. Far deeper than monogamy from what I have observed... My point is: having a perspective of marriage that goes against the grain can feel really lonely sometimes, and I want you to know you are not alone.

In my case, I ignored my own feelings and caved to the pressure to marry. I ended up regretting my decision. Not because the relationship failed, I still love and care for my married partner deeply. I regret it because I failed myself, I caved to the pressure, and that makes me feel like crap. When you can walk into something with ease, but face great difficulty walking out of it; that is the definition of a trap... The rest is rose-colored glasses.

Maybe your subconscious is trying to tell you something about your inner-desire. Yes it was hurtful and unhealthy to cheat, but maybe the silver lining is that now you must have conversations with your partner that you were unable to have previously. Write down your goals together, and figure out if marriage is necessary to attain these goals (you might be surprised to find out it is not, people are generally ill-informed about marriage law!). Maybe you can find a way to compromise on the issue. If you do move forward with marriage consider waiting until the trauma has healed... Careful that you two aren't creating a life to re-live childhood traumas... Creating a trauma right before a commitment can set a negative tone that can fester in a relationship for a very long time. You are not a POS, be careful not to set-up a relationship where you are treated like one. Seek counseling.
 

Marcus

Well-known member
No real rules about who and how we conduct our sexual loving relationships save one: no lies. We have one single rule and I broke it. I slept with an old lover and lied by omission.

This "no lies, not even lies of omission" rule is interesting to me. It tells me that it isn't that we should just be honest with each other when an action has direct possible impact on the other, but that we must confess all actions to one another and anything but a full confession is unacceptable. To me this rule doesn't make a ton of sense unless you are in a power exchange (Dom/sub) kind of association.

He isn't injured at all by the fact that you slept with someone else? Have you slept with other people in the past? What I'm getting at is, what is he actually upset about?

I have a rule in my relationships that I will not knowingly endanger someone by omitting critical details. Within the context of romantic relationships, this pretty much only applies to having sex with other people. If I have sex with someone and it is outside the agreed upon safe-sex guidelines, I offer up that information prior to exposing my other partners to it. At that point they can take whatever precautions they need to take. There isn't any chastising or judging, because I live my life exactly the way I want to live it, exactly at the moment I want to live it in that way. No one is entitled to push me around or put me down based on how I choose to live my life.

So in my world your rule wouldn't make any sense. People can feel free to "get angry" about how I live my life, but that's all about them and nothing about me. I recommend taking a look at that rule and make sure that it is right for both of you, and more importantly that you both understand exactly why that rule is in play.

Just not sure. There's still lots of love between us. But I just don't know if we can or should try to survive this as a couple. He's willing. But I worry that he might be too stubborn and blind to realize we shouldn't go on with trying. That he might not realize he's hurt in this relationship beyond repair.

What we say is one thing, and what we demonstrate to be true is often something entirely different.

That aside, I would encourage you to stop trying to protect him from you. What I mean is, you've mentioned a couple of times that you might have to make a relationship adjustment for his sake. I have found that this kind of motivation in making decisions is a total cop-out. You make decisions based on what is right for you, and he will make decisions that are right for him. You guys should have open and honest conversations about where you are and what you want, but every person needs to live their own life according to their needs.

He will need time to heal from this and it will always be in his mind when you walk out the door but time will ease that. Just don't give up honey. Love is hard to find and if you have it hang on.

Love is the easy part, being compatible and minimizing resentment as a relationship goes on is the hard part. Love isn't one of the requirements to makes a complex interpersonal relationship work over the long term, and the more intermingled a relationship gets the longer the list of requirements gets.

Love is one of those things that happens when we get feels because we have a couple of things in common with someone, and they express that they have the same feeling. It should in no way inform whether a long term romantic association can or should continue.

I would also like to add that time does, in fact, not heal all wounds. Resentment is a weed and even though we pluck that shit out of the ground as often as we can, a lot of times you'll need to destroy the whole crop to actually get rid of it. His resentment may be healed over time, but I have seen nothing but anecdotal evidence to the contrary.

Personally I would stop putting effort into wondering if his resentment will be an ongoing problem, and focus on understanding your boundaries, understanding what you want out of life, and getting the balls to do what is necessary to attain it.
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
I have heard and appreciate you sharing your family of origins drama and how it still affects your present-day behaviors.

Similar to Marcus, I don't understand why sleeping with your ex was something that was off limits, or something you believed you needed to hide. You say you're with a poly partner. Are you poly too? Do you choose to spend time with other friends/lovers? Why was it different when you slept with your ex? Why was doing that and hiding it some kind of mini-rebellion to you?
 
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