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Girlfriend of 7 years told me that she cheated less than a year into our relationship


whitestone
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My girlfriend of seven years told me last night that she cheated on me with her previous ex. 

Some backstory: She had been dating her ex for about 10 years- started in high school and continued in college. They broke up after she caught him sneaking out with another girl. I wasn't aware of the timing or history when I first met her but we began dating only a couple of months after their breakup and became exclusive a couple more months after that. Around 8 months into our relationship I noticed she was texting the ex a lot and discovered some lewd messages. I confronted her and it took a big toll on my trust, but she decided to seek therapy to figure out the issues. I wasn't aware of this at the time, but after that confrontation she had a one time sexual encounter with the ex. After the encounter, she told her ex she wanted to be with me and blocked him and hasn't spoken to him since. 

At the time I discovered the sexting, my thought process for staying was that if I broke it off and we reunited years later (kind of our age now) would I give her a second chance? I figured the answer to that was yes, so I stayed. And to be completely honest, I am glad I did. Its been a wonderful seven years with her. We've traveled the globe together, have moved in, and gel together so well. Which is why I'm so conflicted now. 

We recently attended her high school reunion and her ex was there. I was feeling weird about it during and after the event. Afterwards, I asked her for clarification on the whole sexting affair at which point she dropped the bomb on me. Not sure where to go from here. She wants to make this work in any way and will do whatever I feel is right. It feels weird because we have built this trusting relationship over the past six years and I believe her when she tells me that it was a one time thing and it will never happen again. I know the response to that will be "omission is lying, so she lied to you for six years." I understand that point of view and am considering it. 

Not sure if I'm seeking advice or just wanted to rant. Kindness and compassion is appreciated.

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Why did you ask her again? That to me shows a lack of trust on your part and if you never believed her why did you stay? She did lie to you way back when.  Do you trust that it has never happened again?

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12 minutes ago, whitestone said:

I don't think it was a lack of trust thing. I was asking how she feels about it now, if we'd successfully moved on, etc.

I do trust that its never happened again. 

So then she volunteered the information -sort of to unburden herself? Also why did you need to ask if you successfully moved on from her sexting with her ex all those years ago? Just an odd pandora's box to open.  

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We were talking about how we were feeling about seeing/ being at the same event as the ex. I was saying that I felt like we've moved on but its still a source of pain for me. 

We've been talking about getting engaged more recently so maybe she wanted to tell me in relation to that. 

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2 minutes ago, whitestone said:

We were talking about how we were feeling about seeing/ being at the same event as the ex. I was saying that I felt like we've moved on but its still a source of pain for me. 

We've been talking about getting engaged more recently so maybe she wanted to tell me in relation to that. 

So I'd dispense with the vague "source of pain" -either you have moved on or you haven't.  It's one thing to feel a little twinge now and then especially if it's contextual (like watching a movie or seeing a photo from the past) but if it's a source of pain that triggers you to ask that sort of thing I think it's a fairly strong influence still.  Why are you not engaged yet? Do you think she's trying to sabotage the future for the two of you?

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2 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

So I'd dispense with the vague "source of pain" -either you have moved on or you haven't.  It's one thing to feel a little twinge now and then especially if it's contextual (like watching a movie or seeing a photo from the past) but if it's a source of pain that triggers you to ask that sort of thing I think it's a fairly strong influence still.  Why are you not engaged yet? Do you think she's trying to sabotage the future for the two of you?

The twinge came from seeing him at the reunion, in person. It's not something that I think about or that we talk about very often. 

Seven years seems like a long time but three of them were in college, then trying to establish our professional careers, and then the pandemic. I don't think she is trying to sabotage our future. I think she wanted to make sure I knew everything about her past and let me make a decision from there. Also probably to alleviate some guilt.

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14 minutes ago, whitestone said:

The twinge came from seeing him at the reunion, in person. It's not something that I think about or that we talk about very often. 

Seven years seems like a long time but three of them were in college, then trying to establish our professional careers, and then the pandemic. I don't think she is trying to sabotage our future. I think she wanted to make sure I knew everything about her past and let me make a decision from there. Also probably to alleviate some guilt.

The timing is interesting -right when you're thinking to deepen your commitment she reveals her dirty secret.  I mean you already knew she acted inconsistently with being in a committed relationship so what real difference does this make -this new information?

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4 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

The timing is interesting -right when you're thinking to deepen your commitment she reveals her dirty secret.  I mean you already knew she acted inconsistently with being in a committed relationship so what real difference does this make -this new information?

A sexting affair that never escalated into a physical one (what I thought happened) was easier to swallow then physical cheating.

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Personally, I would be upset and dump her. But I am really one of those people who will never tolerate any kind of cheating (emotional or physical).

The reason why is because I would feel like not only did she lied for 7 years, she wasted 7 years of my life, because I would not be/put up with a cheater- ever. Too much pride for that.

So it's up to you. You've already forgiven her for sexting him and maybe you can look at it that it was something that happened long time ago when she was "young and misguided."

But truth is, she was selfish and horny.

 

 

 

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It seems you are putting the onus on yourself on what to do instead on her.

The question I would ask her is this: "Why did you have sex with him while dating me?"

Her answer will help you decide.  I don't know is not an answer so don't accept it.  She needs to explain her thought process back then, what she was feeling about him and about you.

The next question would be: "How was it so easy for you to deceive me for seven years?" 

I am not saying dump her and move on but you should know her mind set back then and also her moral character and how easily she can lie and cover it up.

  My question for you is if you had known she had slept with him back then would you have continued the relationship?

  No matter what you do it needs to be addressed and then put to rest forever.  If you stay together then you cannot hold this over her head and if you break up you cannot mistrust every woman you date.

This sucks to be sure but it is on the plate in front of you and you cannot ignore it, it must be faced and dealt with right now.

 Love is holding you to her right now but there cannot be true love without trust.

 Lost

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Dump her. Oh it was 6 years ago with her 10 year ex? Yeah, that doesnt matter, dump her.

Somebody with that kind of thinking, who could do something like that already far into relationship with you, wouldnt even flinch to do it again after the situation in a relationship doesnt go exactly how she wanted. Or just when she is horny. People with low moral compass dont change over night. Today its the ex. Tomorrow its a work buddy. You can never know with people like that. You giving her a pass now, would just confirm her thinking how its OK to cheat as long as she keeps you in dark for at least some time until you find out yourself.

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Break it off with her. This lie is probably only one of many.

(also anyone who thinks you shouldn’t be bothered is strange)

She will fight tooth and nail to keep you, so be prepared for that…

But you can’t change a deceptive person they will only get a bit better at either not lying so much or hiding it.

Peace of mind is everything. You won’t have that with this person.

 

Edited by mical
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So the truth is she chose D over you. She chose D over her commitment to you and over your feelings.

Moreover, she proceeded to lie about it for 6 years. She probably omitted the truth because you're such a great guy and she didn't want you to dump her bad. So she new with "sexting" you would come back to her. And you did.

Now that you're at a pivotal point in the relationship, she carelessly drops this bomb thinking you're probably hooked way too much to leave her.

 

Honestly, you don't deserve this. The audacity of her lie. How could she even keep a straight face while telling you? Please have enough self respect to walk away from something you want but that has betrayed you. There's zero trust here. She put you through pain for her own D pleasure. If you forgive her on this one, she'll think that despite whatever she'll do in this relationship you'll stay. A few ILYs and I'm sorry blablabla and you'll be back to be her puppy who follows her everywhere.

My advice is for you to leave. She lied in your face for years, betrayed you for some D, and who knows what else is going on with the ex. I'm sorry.

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I would not trust her, nor would I trust it was only one time.

Sadly, you have learned she is not the woman you thought she was. And she was darn good at hiding it, for years. That is precisely why I would not take her word that it was only once. 

She is not an honest woman. Up to you if you want to sign up for a lifetime of that. 

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11 hours ago, whitestone said:

A sexting affair that never escalated into a physical one (what I thought happened) was easier to swallow then physical cheating.

Is that your standard -"easier to swallow" in someone you're thinking of forever with? I agree one is technically adultery if you're married and one isn't and certainly couples can agree to sexting being ok with both of them - the problem is she snuck it and lied to the extent that years later all you had to do was see her ex in person and you were triggered.  My husband had dinner with his ex years after they broke up (they'd worked together in the past).  She'd wanted him back when he and I - also exes! - got back together.  He said no, years later he met her for dinner.  Why was I ok with it? He told me about it in advance. 

But more importantly, I trusted him - there were professional reasons for him to see her and they lived in different cities.  She was involved in a serious relationship.  It never once occurred to me then or after to ask anything about the dinner other than what you'd typically ask if you saw someone you hadn't seen in awhile.  It never occurred to me to check up on him or ask him to call when it was done.  Never. 

Why? Because trust is the foundation.  I've never once checked his phone or computer in the almost 17 years we've been together this time -same with him.  In fact sometimes I see his screen as I walk by and if it's his computer and if it's a work email I might glance to make sure it's not essential.  Marry someone where you don't get triggered in this way or feel the urge to monitor or check.

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It was a long time ago...she told you so she can finally put it behind her, and so should you. let it go. Maybe try some premarital counseling. 

A note: you were a rebound back then. Two months after a 10 year relationship breakup is pretty fresh and she was in no way emotionally ready for a new relationship. 

Edited by smackie9
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