Friday Free For All

Posted on | January 7, 2011 | 4 Comments

Welcome to another edition of Friday Free For All! This post just about broke my heart. Dear writer… I don’t know who you are but I hope you get some good advice. I’m thinking about you… whoever and wherever you are. -LM

We had been married three months when the phone buzzed next to me on the sofa and I picked it up on reflex. It was a reflex that would alter my existence and change everything I thought I knew about my husband.

It was a text message which I normally wouldn’t read because I believe in privacy and I trusted my husband. But for some reason I read that text message and everything changed. I didn’t recognize the name or the number. I didn’t even recognize the area code. But I recognized the words. I recognized the tone of the words and I felt my heart shatter into a thousand pieces. This person on the other end of the phone was flirting with my husband.

He had gone to the bathroom and when he returned I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know how to even begin to say anything. My hands were shaking and I could feel my heart pounding in my chest. Part of me wanted to know and the rest of me wanted to run and hide beneath the covers of our bed and pretend it had never happened.

At first he lied. He pretended it was a wrong number but when I asked to see his phone and he reluctantly gave it to me, it was clear that it was not a wrong number. We had been married three months. There were dozens of flirtatious text messages between my husband and this person on the other end of his phone. It wasn’t possible. We’d been married for only three months. How could he do this to me? How could I have married someone who would do this to me? How could I live with him any longer? He said he’d never met her. He said they “met” in an online chat room. He promised he’d never do it again but I didn’t know if I believed him. I still don’t know if I believe him.

I thought about leaving. I thought about packing my things and taking the cats and the Nemo fish he gave me for Valentine’s Day and just leaving. But where would I go? And how could I leave? I didn’t believe in divorce. I believed you could make marriage work. But I believed that the only cardinal sin in a marriage was cheating and my husband was a cheater.

Just writing that out makes me very scared and nervous and want to throw up. My husband is a cheater. And we’re still married. We’ve been married just over a year now. And I don’t know how to forgive him or if I even should. How do I know if he’s doing it again? How do I trust him to use his computer or his phone or anything?

How do we get past this? Can we? Should I want to get past this?

I don’t know what to do.


4 Responses to “Friday Free For All”

  1. KLZ
    January 7th, 2011 @ 3:11 pm

    Oh God, that’s just so awful. I’m sorry you had to go through that. Talking about it – however you can, even anonymously like this – I think that really helps. It helps to figure our your feelings and find the path that’s right for you, whatever that is.

    Good luck. You’ll get there.

  2. anon
    January 7th, 2011 @ 4:00 pm

    A friend of mine stayed with her husband, even though he cheated. It was tough, but I admire her for that decision. Like you, she believes that marriage is forever (for better or worse). She made the effort to work through it, and I think it has been worthwhile. It was a very brave decision by her – and a lot of WORK for both of them.

    Good luck with your husband, whatever you choose to do.

  3. Just Jackie
    January 7th, 2011 @ 8:58 pm

    This is tough but I’m going to give it to you straight up. I’m all for “Marriage is Forever”, “For better or for worse”, etc, etc, but that doesn’t mean you = doormat while you’re husband is not living up to his vows. It’s a partnership and both partners have to feel the same way about the marriage or it will never work. I’m not saying he can’t get there and good for you for sticking with it but are you both “working on it” or has the issue been dismissed and not discussed again? Only you can answer this.

    I’m going to make a very unpopular blanket statement and it may or may not apply to this situation but I’m going to say it anyway:

    Happily married men don’t cheat on their wives.

    Mull that one over for a second. I don’t necessarily think that he’s cheating on you-on the surface, it sounds more like it’s an emotional thing. You do need to consider how quickly this was discovered after you were married – three months is a pretty short amount of time. It’s not like you were married for three years and then this started.

    Is there any possibility that he wasn’t ready to get married?

    Do any of the following apply to your situation:

    Ultimatums were issued to get him to propose
    He had/has no interested in your wedding/honeymoon or life planning after the fact
    He seems distant and doesn’t really want to talk about your future together or long-term plans
    You barely do any activities together or have any common interests
    He doesn’t make an effort to include you in any of his plans

    Some may apply, some may not but the purpose of this exercise is to try to uncover some of the reasons he may or may not be happy with your marriage and then determine if it’s worth it to carry on.

    I think you should ask him directly if he wants to be married to you and if he’s willing to work on it. If so – see a marriage counselor or a trusted pastor to help delve deeper into these issues, especially how you and he can work towards building trust in your relationship again.

    Speak with your husband about his expectations regarding your marriage and your life together. Find out what he needs to feel loved and cherished and work towards those goals. Tell him what your expectations are as well. Tell him what you need to feel loved and cherished and come up with mutual solutions together.

    Now the hard part – if he’s not willing to work on it or won’t really acknowledge the problem then you need to decide how to move forward. It’s kind of like sending a drug addict to rehab – it won’t work if they don’t want to change. The same is true in this case as well.

    Please keep us posted through Law Momma how this all works out.

    Good Luck!

  4. Katie
    January 8th, 2011 @ 1:55 pm

    Wow what a tough situation. The last commenter I think hit the nail on the head. The only thing I would add and I might be off on this but I would have to believe based on your statement that “marriage is forever” that you are also Christian. If so then I would recommend you seek marriage counselling through a pastor, mentor, priest, or whoever. It is especially important you find a counselor, who can identify with your attitude of marriage is forever, and can help guide you in creating a Godly marriage. Hope this helps and I’m a first time commenter!

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    Spilled Milk (and Other Atrocities) by Law Momma is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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