Trust issues

I’m dealing with trust issues at this moment. I just recently found out that my husband cheated on me before we were married. He finally came clean. However, I now see him watching other women and secretly wanting them instead of me (Mostly in my head, I know). I really don’t know how to trust him now. We have a family and I love him dearly, but I don’t know if I can forgive him. Any advice?

You never even look at other men? Never even think about George Clooney?

Looking and doing are two completly different things. Don’t let the looking bother you.
It’s normal that you would feel this break in the trust after you found this out and it will take time to heal. He has been faithful since the actual wedding? How long is that?

Well it happened about a year before we got married. And he’s been faithful that I know of. He’s lied to me before, obviously, so I have difficulty believing him when he says that he’s been faithful. I found out about 2 months ago that he cheated that one time.

The whole looking thing wouldn’t bother me if he didn’t stare at the women. A moment’s glance is okay, but this is a full mental undressing. Or at least that is what I see.

Also, I’ve been fighting the urges to pull the whole guilt trip on him. I don’t like those anyways. I just want him to know how much he’s hurt me, but I don’t think there are any words that can express that. We’ve had numerous conversations which makes my blood pressure rise. Very little yelling, but a lot of emotion.

Are there tell tale signs that he is faithful or lying to me?

Did you notice this ‘full mental undressing’ before you found out about the affair?

I have always suspected it (the undressing), but I figured the insecurities were linked to my past. I had trust issues before him and I became a couple. I just figured I could trust him more than others because he was a friend beforehand.

My wife is a cheater. She was a cheater when we were in high school, she played the field when I was in college and not around to pay attention to her, she cheated at least once (that I know of) after we’d been married for 10 years. You will never know. Never. You will be able to forgive, and to eventualy pack the memory away so deeply into dust & cobwebs of the irrelevant past as to almost forget, but you will never really know. I don’t know either of you two, but take this for what it’s worth:

Somewhere in his makeup he is able to accept what he did as “ok.” He may feel bad that you’ve been hurt by it, but when it comes right down to it the idea of being with someone else behind your back–betraying your trust–is not sickening to him. You would be naive to trust him any more than you should trust a pet dog that savaged your face once. “CHEATING” under the right circumstances is acceptable behavior in your guy’s mind. It’s a respect thing–he’s played you for a fool once, there is no reason he won’t do it again. None.

Forget the guilt trip, it will be useless and ineffective as a training strategy. Anyone who has not been in your position can NEVER know how this is affecing you. Unless you know how to describe “blue” to a blind person, you may as well put this incident behind you. Whether or not you’ve noticed the “FMU” before you were married, you beleive that you perceive it now. And (this is important) it doesn’t matter if that is what he’s really doing or if he’s just staring at a loose thread on a shirt or a bird in the distance–you now understand that you do not know exactly what is going on in his head. You now understand that the only person you can trust is you. You’re realize just how alone you really are in a world of potential predators who will take what you give for their own comfort, and give only enough in return to keep you giving.

Try not to let this make you paranoid. But henceforth, for you, everybody else are pod-people who move to a muse you no longer know.

Men look at women. They think about them naked, they undress them in their mind and have wild monkey sex with them. Any man who says he doesn’t is lying.

Despite this, the vast majority of men out there have happy, monogamous relationships with their wives. That doesn’t stop them from thinking about wild-monkey-sex with other women all the time. They can’t help it; this is the way the male human mind is wired. So far, it’s done pretty well in the whole proliferation-of-the-species thing.

So, as a woman, your choices are:

  1. accept that men look at other women and think about having sex with other women


  1. find a man willing to lie to you about it and decide you’re going to believe the lie

Now, actually doing something with another woman is quite a different thing. But honestly, if the cheating happened pre-marriage and he’s been happy with the marriage so far, it seems like it’s something you will eventually work through if you want to. But I’m just sayin’ that looking isn’t the same as touching, and he’s going to look regardless of if he’s the most upright faithful guy in the world or a scoundrel who chases everything female that he sees.

Inigo, that’s a pretty dark interpretation. And that’s quite a feat of mind reading.

I’m not saying that it’s not true. It very well might be. But that’s not the only possible interpretation. Let’s not forget that that was before the wedding. He may have been working out some last minute doubts at the time. He may have just made a one-time mistake. Hell, for all we know, he may have been abducted by space pixies and forced into it. Unlikely, sure, but it’s not impossible. (Space pixies. Right.)

Shamrock, I think your best bet is to talk to him about it and explain exactly how much you were hurt by this revelation. Let him know how little you trust him. Instill him with some empathy.

My wife cheated on me repeatedly before we met. How can I ever trust her after that?

Really? I was holding back, actually. :stuck_out_tongue:

What was so mind-readingish about it? You suggesting he totally forgot about Shamrock and actually believed there was nothing to betray by potting the other woman? Or maybe his soul was crying out in horror as a succubus dragged him into her chamber and ravished him? Nuts–I’m only saying that his morality is flexible enough to accept that kind of thing as ok sometimes. Aparently Ms. 'rock anticipated a little more “rigidity” in her guy. Dude’s a lemon IMHO.

VT, you’re silly. That’s not the same and you know it.

You explained that to him, cheating is no big deal, and implied that he’s never been on the hurt end of it. You don’t know that for a fact. It’s absolutely possible, of course, but I wouldn’t treat it as a forgone conclusion.

I’ve cheated before. I’ve also been cheated on. I know the hurt. I’ve lived it. Remembering that hurt has kept me honest in later relationships. I was also far less tempted when relationships got more serious.

Shamrock- how did you find out? How long had you been going out? Is there any chance he and you were perceiving your relationship differently (i.e. mroe or less seriously, though I guess the fact that he never mentioned it means he knows it was wrong).

I don’t think cheating always spells the end of a relationship, but I think it’s pretty shitty of him to head into marriage with you without all his cards on the table. Was it a panic-induced ‘sowing his wild oats’ thing (which I’ve seen both men and women do)? Has he apologized for doing it and then keeping it from you?

I’m curious as to how long the engagement was.

tdn: Fair enough. Also implied is that this sort of thing rolls off some people and crushes others.

Were you engaged when the cheat took place?

Did you have children before the cheat took place?

How long have you been married now?

Yes, but what the OP is describing is a little bit more intense than that. At the very least, the OP’s husband is completely ignorant of what Shamrock and Roll is seeing. I can assure you that if I check you out, you will barely notice, and if you do notice I will be embarassed and pretend I didn’t.

Not knowing your personal situation Shamrock and Roll, I have no useful advice. Just make sure you are happy with your relationship. Unless there are childeren, then do what’s best for them.