Sorry this has happened. It is not unusual for a man to gloss over past infidelity, attributing it to some bogus outside factor. I did this,mas well. In reality, it is an indication of one's s hubris, to some extent. I rationalized it with my wife and( here's the hubris component), figured she would not do it to someone as great as me etc.father of 4 (54). Got divorced in 2009 after my wife had an affair, and wasn't; in a place to try to work on anything. Her head was somewhere else. I got custody of my 4 kids, and raised them. 2 were 6, and the other two 11 and 12. Shortly after I met or connected with a high school alum two years younger than me. I didn't know her, but I fell in love with her very slowly and cautiously. I know what people are going to say already- boy are you stupid- but here goes. She had told me that she had dated her husband through all of high school and college, never partied and was the valedictorian. All true. She then told me in a round about convoluted way that she got divorced because her husband worked too much, and didn't have any time for her....She had gone away to a family reunion(his side) and her husband got drunk and went to bed. She hung out with his cousins etc...Next dy someone has to drive a cousin to the airport, and she gets elected. Husband too drunk. Have conversation, etc, and "a hug goodbye was not just a hug" She felt something. (I already feel so finG stupid). She continues a phone relationship with him, her husband taps the phones and hears a lot of sex talk and they divorce. SHE ENDS UP dating him, him living in her house for 10 plus years with her 2 little kids a mile from her ex. Horrid story, unless you met her. So sweet, so kind, compassionate, honest...well, maybe not.
I took it very slow. I had been through an ugly divorce. Very ugly, and she both helped me and watched my ex abuse everyone. We vowed to be faithful, but not marry. I gave her a ring, as a promise to stay together. forever She fell in love quickly. We had a great relationship for 5 years. I had dated a lot, been married etc, and when I say this relationship was the best I mean by a MILE. Many miles. after 5 years, She took a new job and worked over 100 hours some weeks, traveling up to 5 days a week, and the relationship cooled, but it was still great and I knew I could always count on her. She was supposed to move in permanently but never did. Always an excuse, when this one goes to school, when that one goes, etc. She did stay over a lot, but this always bothered me.
My kids adored her, but my oldest girl started to get jealous and try to get her in trouble with me constantly. There was always a rub. It grew into a huge problem so when my daughter graduated college and moved home, she left and went to her beach house an hour and a half away. recipe for disaster. she worked a lot and i visited when i could. She rarely came home. We have been together almost 12 years now, and with th twins going off to college this past september, I believed it was OUR Time! Finally. I asked her to go away for her birthday in sept, she didn't want to. I thought that was weird. She has been starting fight constantly for a few months at least, and acting different. I had a scheduled trip to go on this late Oct/early Nov., and what do you know, she started a GIANT fight right before I left. GIANT, about Nothing. For no reason and about the past and decisions we made together she now resents, and she went to the meanest places she's ever gone(my ex). I was floored. She's never been a yeller but has developed this 'Im going to say the meanest sh** I can when Im upset to get you mad. She even said "you want out of this relationship but don't have the balls to do it" I don't I LOVE her to the ends of the earth. That has Never changed. While I was gone all i could think about was her. I sent her messages but she never replied. She sent me a message "I need to get coats from your house when are you coming back". She also texted my son, my best friend's wife, my mom and another friend "when is he coming back" but never asked me. I didn't know any of this, but ghad a serious gut instinct kick in when I was away and immediately came home. I drove from Iowa to RI, to her house and she said this relationship has to end. I said I respect that, but I came here to look you in the eye and ask is there another guy. Her reply "yes but not on that level", then she started spewing a bunch of stuff about "meeting a lot of people guys and girls' and nothing physical, "get a lie detector test". I said no need for that, just go get me your phone. Her reply "Im not going to do that it would break your heart" We talked for a couple hours, she screamed and yelled and deflected from the elephant in the room as much as she could. I stayed calm and when about to leave I said, its been 11 1/2 years, I think you owe me the truth about the guy. she stared into space, her eyes welled up with tears and she said "i don't want this to be my legacy" and stopped. I said like because you did this before? She acted confused and started talking about a ton of other rubbish I redirected her and she pretended to not remember saying it. It had been one minute. She asked me to leave, and I did. A day or so later she sent me a text "I did nothing wrong and I am tired of your insinuations, they are further dividing us". I said you admitted it. She is disagreeing. I have been sick for weeks. I couldn't sleep or eat while I was away, I have lost 19 pounds, had cardiac irregularities, can't sleep..shaking from anxiety...just really sick. I trusted her to the ends of the earth. She won't call, text, or reply. when there has been any communication she Is trying to say I made this mistake or that(and I made some mistakes but not infidelity or stuff like that) for many years and she's angry with me. Also says I am trying to make this about a guy, and it isn't -it is about how much I suck I guess, or what I chose to do for the kids in 2015 or something Don't get me wrong, I have admitted and apologized for my mistakes, lack of judgment, anger, immature handling of situations etc. I am human- and I thought we were in Love.. Funny she just wrote me a long email about "what a great man you are" a few months ago...She says she Needs time to sort it out....with her own therapist, and she isn't communicating with me but suddenly is reaching out to my kids and mom........THOUGHTS TBH, I am heartbroken, truly heartbroken. I trusted her, and I still love her, and I anted our future together. I can't imagine this is just how abruptly our story just ends. Way too much good and way too many years of raising kids together, trips all over the place, vacations, and the best intimacy I have ever experienced. Im sick
After reading thousands of infidelity stories, and speaking with hundreds of other betrayed men, I feel pretty comfortable saying that a history of infidelity of any sort( either a cheating spouse or as an OW to a married or committed guy), should immediately disqualify a woman from consideration as a partner.
But, it is water under the bridge for you and me, and you are already acknowledging the error. As I said, it is not an uncommon one, due to hubris, the KISA deal, and socialization of men failing to educate them to the true nature of women( not all, I know. But hypergamy etc.)
So, you are mid 50's? I am 67. I have had one serious girlfriend since my divorce 15 years ago. It lasted 9 years and we parted as friends. But, once I found out through her telling me she had once had an affair with a married man(she told me this 8 years in), I bailed. We still talk but I lost respect for her.
I think, after the shock wears off, the grief subsides, and the trauma is not so acute, you will be alright. You have 4 kids, and they can be a great source of joy( and pain, too. One of mine is a heroin addict, long term. Just a matter of time etc, but I still have hope for whatever reason).
Your girlfriend, now X, is just not a good person. Simplistic, eh? But , it is true. The recent stuff, which, undoubtedly, indicates cheating plus her history ( and, believe me, you know the tip of the iceberg((cynical, eh?)) ) is a good indicator of who/what she is. Do not doubt yourself on this.
Take it easy. You will not die from this. The trauma is great, and you may not be able to see this, but you can have a good life going forward. Life is never all,easy and happy for anyone. I think life is full of pain and hardship interspersed with times of joy and happiness. It is this way for all of us, despite outward appearances of having it all made.
I feel for you. This is a big loss. But, despite the suffering, please put this miscreant in the rearview mirror.
You and I learned a valuable but painful lesson. Have a meaningful life going forward. Enjoy the parts you can, and accept that life is really hard and seldom fair. Again, glad you have kids.