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Discussion Starter #1
I really need some advice. I am 40 and the girl I have been dating for almost 2 years is 41. We have known each other for ten years and had dated many years ago- but after I found out about some of her promiscuous behavior with guys who played on our ball team, I distanced myself from her although we still remained in contact. I ended up moving away and she ended up getting married. Her marriage was not good, she ended up divorcing her husband, and she and I eventually began dating again.

I found that out that she was cheating on her husband almost from the beginning. She was seeing an ex-boyfriend (her first love) for “walks and kisses” during her lunch hours. Then she met another guy who works in her building. They would go for coffee and essentially flirt and talk about sex during their coffee breaks. She accepted this guy’s advances and had him over to her place while her husband was out of town and her 9 year old son was upstairs sleeping. She was honest about this with me which I guess was a good thing. However, she had originally told me she had no feelings for this guy, but when I pushed her on this she said she had wanted more with him and would have left her husband if he also wanted more.

My concerns came after we were dating for almost 10 months and I discovered that she was texting this same guy and sending him naked pictures of herself. These were pics she had also sent me and that I thought were something special between us. She saw him for coffee as well where all he talked about was her boobs and made comments about her body. I broke up with her over this and she begged me for forgiveness and another chance and because I have strong feelings for her, I gave her that chance. I asked her never to see this guy again, to go to counseling and to stop getting in contact with her ex-boyfriends and she has done all this. Still, I am just not so sure I can ever get over this infidelity. To complicate matters further, I have discovered that she was sexually abused as a child. I have read a lot about how abused individuals can "sexualize their identity". She has slept with many men and has always been involved with guys who were bad for her. She says she has no secrets from me anymore and that I am the man she has always dreamed of being with.

I know this situation is a mess and I am fighting an uphill battle. I would really appreciate your thoughts and any advice you can offer.
 

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There are a lot of red flags in there for me. I don't want to say that people can't change, sure they can, but I don't honestly know what to make of your GF. Are there any outside influences that affected her behaviors? ( Drugs, alcohol, etc) How has her counseling been going?
 

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In her past, she did use alcohol quite a bit and it definitely contributed to her promiscuity. She has stopped drinking completely and does attend 12 step meetings. I know this played a role in her behavior but it is not the reason she did what she did since we have been together.
 

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Well, I can definately understand your confusion over whether or not you can forgive and move on with her. Its such a grey area for me, especially since she was sexually abused as a child. I think I will leave all the really smart folks here to it. I got nothing on this one.

On a side note, how is your trust level with her? Would you be willing to spend the rest of your life with her with all that you know? Or is that the question you are here seeking help answering?
 

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I do love her and that is what makes this devastating. She says she has changed and realized what she was doing to herself. I know therapy is helping her understand why she was doing what she was doing and why it is so destructive to her self esteem. I guess I don't know right now....I am giving it time but also taking a step back in the meantime.
 

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why did her promiscuous behavior cause you to leave her the first time, but this time you dont mind? i think something about you must have changed because she sounds the same.
 

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I guess I felt that finally being in a stable, loving relationship would help change her. She had been communicating (i.e. sending pics, sex chats via e-mail, cell) with this guy at her office pretty much the whole time she was married, it became second nature to her. I do think she changed somewhat during her marriage. Yes she had an affair once but she did tell me it only happened once and I do believe her. Now the reason it only happened once was because she knew he only wanted sex and she would want more.

I guess it was silly of me to think that 10 months of a successful relationship was enough to make her change her spots.
 

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"I found that out that she was cheating on her husband almost from the beginning." Yes, that would make for a "bad" marriage alright. One guy (the first love) wasn't enough..she added another one to the mix, and slept with him while her son was nearby (doesn't matter to me that he was sleeping). Tried to minimize all of this by saying that she had no feelings, but it turns out that was a lie. I highly doubt that there was only one encounter as well. And you really can't call this 10 months of a successful relationship, as she hasn't kept to her end of the bargain on that.
I would have major reservations with anyone with this kind of history. I would fear at the first sign of trouble (and ALL relationships have road bumps) she'd revert to what she knows..and that's to run to someone else instead of dealing with the issue. I understand she has issues from childhood...but I would wonder if she's dealt with them ENOUGH, kwim? I can understand your hesitation. I share it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I see progress with her counseling, but yes, I too am very wary of what happens once there is an issue in our relationship. I am finding it very difficult to deal with the sending of naked pics to another man as well, while we were together. She clearly has issues and they may well be bigger than the relationship. It is sad because I have strong feelings for her but I have very strong opposing feelings about her past promiscuity, her lack of regard for her son's well being with her sexual affair in the house while her boy slept upsatirs and poor judgment overall. Do people change or is it simply a lost cause?
 

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It is good that she is counseling. Maybe this will help her with the issues she needs to deal with from her childhood and she will beable to move on from whatever is keeping her from being fully loved by one person. I don't know what to say about the relationship this is a tough one. She seems to have a lot on her plate that she needs to deal with before she is in any kind of relationship.
 

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Yes I have heard the "rescuer" thing before but I don't think it applies for me. I have been letting her go to counseling and get better on her own, no meddling on my part. I do understand that she is messed up but aren't we all on some level? She may be more than others but is it possible that people can change?

I know for me, it will take time. She had plans or hopes that we would be living together/married soon and that has definitely been delayed until I am comfortable with her progress. I too need time to heal and to regain trust. I can forgive a lot of things but I do find the lying to be very difficult to get past.
 
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