Serial Cheating in a long term relationship

  • Dave_StMtn

    Posts: 36

    Jan 21, 2014 5:03 PM GMT
    My partner and I have been together about 14 years. We both come from marriages with children, now grown. He's been cheating off and on for the bulk of that time. After the first confrontation, he tried to project that it was all in my mind. The second time he did the same thing. The last time I told him that he needed to get his self together in so many words, or that it was over. Every time, he did the usual addict response of being angry and trying to sidetrack the conversation, and only begrudgingly apologized at the very end. The last time, he bought the book Cruise Control, and I actually believed he was going to work this out. That lasted about three or four months.

    He took a job that a friend offered in Nashville at my prodding, because he needed there were no opportunities here in Atlanta, and it's been great for him. He and the friend, whose partner also stays here, commute to Nashville Monday morning and return Friday. Since this job has helped his esteem so much, it has got him into his cheating full force. He's already texted me this morning that he needs to work next weekend, and I already know that he's lined up his affair partner to come out to Nashville. Our mutual friend will be in Atlanta that weekend, so they have the place to themselves. A part of me wants to ask him how he's able to lie and deceive me as well as our friends, but after years of this, I just don't see that conversation going anywhere. I can't control what he does, and I have to come to terms with that. Not having grown with the gay community and not having any close friends, I don't even know how talk about this with anyone.

    I love him, but but this takes a bit of the joy out of everything for me, always second-guessing anything he says. He lies so well and is so gregarious and charming, I'm sure none of our friends will still talk to me if I do break it up, because I'm the introvert and he's the extrovert. I know he loves me. He puts up with my weirdness, and is currently reading a book on being in a relationship with someone with Asperger's (me). Clearly I'm not perfect either. I've tried sleeping with someone else periodically to see if it'd make me feel better (like less than once a year), and I always feel worse afterwards, regretting the whole thing.


    But the lying, the not understanding of how he can do this, erodes my trust, my ability to have fun with him, and my self-esteem. Should I suggest we do an open relationship? Is that even possible where there is no trust? I need advice, if anyone has been through anything like this.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 21, 2014 5:14 PM GMT
    I'm sorry man, I've been cheated on before but I never realised it. This must be a terrible situation ..sorry I'm no help but I feel for you
  • Crepuscule

    Posts: 723

    Jan 21, 2014 6:02 PM GMT
    As your relationship is now, with you knowing what he's doing and him denying it blatantly - do you think you will feel better if it's open? If you "give your blessing" to him fucking outside the matrimonial bed?

    Do you think he would be able to be upfront with his affairs? Would you want it to be all cards on the table - him telling you about every time he's with someone else; or do you want it to be more don't-ask-don't-tell-just-keep-it-tidy?

    I really can't give you any answers, just pose more questions.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 21, 2014 6:33 PM GMT
    14 years.
    Out of straight marriages.
    Did either of you take some time in the candy store or lock it down with each other right away?

    Would appear to me that having an open relationship is your best bet, if you can't; Can Not, leave him.
    In this you take back some control as you'll set the boundaries.
    Have you tried to "play" together?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 21, 2014 7:48 PM GMT
    You have an open relationship now, or at least a "partner" who thinks it is. Honesty is your friend, tell your partner that its time to have an open relationship and then just deal with it.
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    Jan 21, 2014 8:04 PM GMT
    Yes, I have. After a dose of crabs, and a dose of scabies, (I'll stop there) I walked away. The problem was the lying. Mine was only 2 years though.
  • lgg5819

    Posts: 141

    Jan 21, 2014 8:50 PM GMT
    If it were me there's no way in hell I'd put up with that. I'm going through a similar situation--was cheated on throughout the entirety of our relationship, and finally got him to admit it after I got the proof I needed. It's a mess, and there's still a lot to deal with, (we bought a house, joint bank account, dogs, etc.) but I have spent the last couple of weeks dating other people and having a damn good time and realizing there are plenty of other people out there who can make me feel just as good and just as desired as my ex did. And they don't have a ton of baggage like him. Despite the fact that I fell in love with him and truly care about him, he destroyed our relationship by cheating and lying. If there is no trust in a relationship, then there is no relationship, and you are doing yourself a disservice and disrespecting yourself by staying with him. It'd be one thing if he cheated once and admitted it and it never happened again, but a serial cheater is incapable of changing his ways until he deals with it, and as far as I'm concerned, it's not something I'm willing to deal with along with him.

    I don't want to hijack your thread, but just know there are other people out there who can make you feel good and wanted and loved even if you don't believe it right now. I know it took me a long time to believe it. If you ever want to talk feel free to message me.
  • Dave_StMtn

    Posts: 36

    Jan 21, 2014 8:59 PM GMT
    pellaz saidafter 14 years all you get is an open relationship? sweet.

    one or both of these men in this relationship, who are old enough to have figured things out, have to to be insane.


    Yes, or at least a little neurotic.

    dustin_K_tx said14 years.
    Out of straight marriages.
    Did either of you take some time in the candy store or lock it down with each other right away?

    Would appear to me that having an open relationship is your best bet, if you can't; Can Not, leave him.
    In this you take back some control as you'll set the boundaries.
    Have you tried to "play" together?


    We did, but I've never been a cruiser or player in any sense of the word. At this point, I don't think having an open relationship would solve the issue, since he gets his jollies having secret affairs. We've played together twice, I think.

    Crepuscule saidAs your relationship is now, with you knowing what he's doing and him denying it blatantly - do you think you will feel better if it's open? If you "give your blessing" to him fucking outside the matrimonial bed?

    Do you think he would be able to be upfront with his affairs? Would you want it to be all cards on the table - him telling you about every time he's with someone else; or do you want it to be more don't-ask-don't-tell-just-keep-it-tidy?

    I really can't give you any answers, just pose more questions.


    Not really, I don't think it would help. The only time he's upfront is when he's confronted with irrefutable facts, and frankly, I'm done with that codependent confronting the addict game.

    pellaz said
    tell him your fears about the weekend and "how he could help you get over it". Could he and you video phone skype or google your selves a few times through the day if you cant be there with him.


    if this is allowed to continue at some point you guys will to start counting the kitchen knives.

    before that point is reached i hope you quietly preparing your life to be with out him. Dont tell him anything but:
    -setup a solid employment situation.
    -go through the bank accounts and the title on the house. -hire a lawyer and a locksmith.
    -have a supportive circle of friends ready for the support and love you deserve.
    -be cool and dont escalate the situation but have a list of outcomes you expect out of the conversation Generate an action list both you and him. Express this up front at the start of the discussion and write it down at the end.

    good luck / love



    Thanks, but I don't have fears about it. I know it for a fact. I think your last points are probably the most solid advice. I have zero interest in escalating it.
  • Dave_StMtn

    Posts: 36

    Jan 21, 2014 9:06 PM GMT
    lgg5819 saidIf it were me there's no way in hell I'd put up with that. I'm going through a similar situation--was cheated on throughout the entirety of our relationship, and finally got him to admit it after I got the proof I needed. It's a mess, and there's still a lot to deal with, (we bought a house, joint bank account, dogs, etc.) but I have spent the last couple of weeks dating other people and having a damn good time and realizing there are plenty of other people out there who can make me feel just as good and just as desired as my ex did. And they don't have a ton of baggage like him. Despite the fact that I fell in love with him and truly care about him, he destroyed our relationship by cheating and lying. If there is no trust in a relationship, then there is no relationship, and you are doing yourself a disservice and disrespecting yourself by staying with him. It'd be one thing if he cheated once and admitted it and it never happened again, but a serial cheater is incapable of changing his ways until he deals with it, and as far as I'm concerned, it's not something I'm willing to deal with along with him.

    I don't want to hijack your thread, but just know there are other people out there who can make you feel good and wanted and loved even if you don't believe it right now. I know it took me a long time to believe it. If you ever want to talk feel free to message me.


    As Clinton would say, "I feel your pain." We have a joint mortgage, dogs, the works. For years, I could forgive, but your're right about the trust. It's like an pseudo-relationship. I appreciate your comments. You certainly nailed it.
  • Apparition

    Posts: 3515

    Jan 21, 2014 9:19 PM GMT
    two things you can do.

    1. dump his ass
    2. have the 18 yo pool boy move in and if your cheating partner asks what is going on...say...oh...I thought this is how it was now. I can't help it if you fucked some old guy.



  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Jan 21, 2014 9:21 PM GMT
    pellaz saidafter 14 years all you get is an open relationship? sweet.

    one or both of these men in this relationship, who are old enough to have figured things out, have to to be insane.

    Unfortunately, one person doesn't get to call the shots. Both people have to agree to their vows and commit to them, and that may take compromising, not being monogamous, or breaking up.

    Your sarcasm comes off as insensitive, btw.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 22, 2014 11:49 PM GMT
    meninlove said Yes, I have. After a dose of crabs, and a dose of scabies, (I'll stop there) I walked away. The problem was the lying. Mine was only 2 years though.


    You're kidding! You're supposed to know everything before it happens. You should post this on Facebook.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 29, 2014 5:41 AM GMT
    Dave_StMtn said
    lgg5819 saidIf it were me there's no way in hell I'd put up with that. I'm going through a similar situation--was cheated on throughout the entirety of our relationship, and finally got him to admit it after I got the proof I needed. It's a mess, and there's still a lot to deal with, (we bought a house, joint bank account, dogs, etc.) but I have spent the last couple of weeks dating other people and having a damn good time and realizing there are plenty of other people out there who can make me feel just as good and just as desired as my ex did. And they don't have a ton of baggage like him. Despite the fact that I fell in love with him and truly care about him, he destroyed our relationship by cheating and lying. If there is no trust in a relationship, then there is no relationship, and you are doing yourself a disservice and disrespecting yourself by staying with him. It'd be one thing if he cheated once and admitted it and it never happened again, but a serial cheater is incapable of changing his ways until he deals with it, and as far as I'm concerned, it's not something I'm willing to deal with along with him.

    I don't want to hijack your thread, but just know there are other people out there who can make you feel good and wanted and loved even if you don't believe it right now. I know it took me a long time to believe it. If you ever want to talk feel free to message me.


    As Clinton would say, "I feel your pain." We have a joint mortgage, dogs, the works. For years, I could forgive, but your're right about the trust. It's like an pseudo-relationship. I appreciate your comments. You certainly nailed it.

    Yep. That was really good advice. The specific action steps you got from pellaz were also really good advice. Now, the question is whether you are going to do it.

    Obviously, it's very difficult to extricate yourself from a situation that has such a long history and deep roots. You can expect a lot of wrenching changes, and you may need a new group of friends. But, if you do it, you'll be able to respect yourself again.

    Good luck, and let us know how it goes.
  • Dave_StMtn

    Posts: 36

    Feb 04, 2014 5:50 PM GMT
    [quote]

    Yep. That was really good advice. The specific action steps you got from pellaz were also really good advice. Now, the question is whether you are going to do it.

    Obviously, it's very difficult to extricate yourself from a situation that has such a long history and deep roots. You can expect a lot of wrenching changes, and you may need a new group of friends. But, if you do it, you'll be able to respect yourself again.

    Good luck, and let us know how it goes.[/quote]

    I confronted him about it this week. He cried. I cried. I said that I have to know you are committed to this relationship, and he said he was. When he returned home last weekend, we didn't really address anything. We visited his brother in hospice with his family, ran errands, but his daughter was always with us. I saw that he changed a password on an alternate gmail account, that he called one of his boyfriends on Friday at some point.

    So now I'm coming to terms that he can't or won't change. He's an addict. He surfs porn on the same couch where his daughter is sitting three feet away from him while we're watching tv. That's the nature of his sickness.

    I'll be saving my money, as much as I can, and make plans to either move out or have him get his stuff out of this place and find a place for his daughter, not that I want to have her out so much as I want he and I to not have to share a bed together again after this is over. This is months away, because I won't be able to afford getting another place until my child support ends in June.

    Today I searched for a counselor or psych, someone objective that I can talk to, because the weight of all these things is affecting my ability to function as a normal human being. I'm super low, to the point that I see nothing ahead for me at times, and while walking and hiking would normally help that, I have a bad sprain that has me grounded.
  • lgg5819

    Posts: 141

    Feb 04, 2014 5:52 PM GMT
    Good luck man. It's not easy, but I think you are headed in the right direction. I would definitely make sure to follow up on talking to a professional. That will give you so much clarity and strength.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 09, 2014 11:58 PM GMT
    I'm quite conservative on these matters, I would never ever cheat on a partner and if he tried that crap with me he'd wind up bloody and alone, probably at the bottom of a well ;) seriously though, you need to consider your relationship more and ask yourself if its worth the pain. If it is then you should try and make your partner see what his cheating is doing to you, if he loves you he will stop.
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    Feb 09, 2014 11:59 PM GMT
    I forgot to say that I'm sorry for the crap you have had to deal with. You are in my thoughts, good luck.