I don't know how to make this shorter. I am a woman with a husband and I can't get over his lies. We've been together for 9 years, married over 2.5 years. He is 31 and I am 27. Early in our dating we had many threesomes with multiple different girls over time, mostly always influenced by drugs and alcohol although they were (mostly) fun and drama free. I consider myself bisexual but have only ever loved or been emotionally attracted to men. We started hooking up with my "best friend" and had a few threesomes with her over time—she lived in another city so it was whenever she was in town over the course of a few years. He and I become engaged and the threesomes slowed down but did not stop. Eventually, this "friend" visited one trip, no threesomes between us. Things got weird between me and her. Apparently, they were hooking up behind my back that trip while I was at work and she was crashing on our couch. My mom had just been diagnosed with breast cancer at the time so looking back I was probably not "putting out" as much as he would like.
So this "friend" leaves, a few weeks go by, and my then-finance tells me he thinks I should get checked for STD's because his "dick was itching." Turns out we both had chlamydia. We had had a threesome with a different friend about eight months earlier and that was the only explanation for how we got it—although it seemed weird because the threesome was eight months past. I don't know what I was thinking but I think it was cognitive dissonance. I told myself he couldn't have cheated on me and I made myself blind. I had also had an IUD placed recently by a new(er) doctor and he blamed that for the STD. (Crazy, I know.) Anyways, he made me pick up two packs of the antibiotics so he didn't have to go into the clinic. I asked him point blank if he had sex with anyone else and he looked me in the eyes and told me no.
In the midst of this we also finally decided on a date for our wedding so planning had begun and I distracted myself in that and my work. (Crazy, I know.) As open as our relationship was, with the threesomes, our rules were always clear that we both had to be there and complete honesty was paramount. So I trusted him when he said "no."
Fast forward a few months and the wedding is a few weeks away, this "best friend" comes to town and tells me about the summer before where she and my then-fiance had sex three times when I was at work and the pieces fell into place in my head. "Oh, that was only a few weeks before I got chlamydia wasn't it?" But at this point, my family already had purchased plane tickets for our destination wedding and we were leaving for it in a week. I kicked her out of my home and screamed at my man for about an hour. I eventually gave in and went forward with the wedding.
Then fast forward two years to this past fall, drugs and alcohol have been playing a bigger role in his life. (I'll be honest: our life.) One night when I was sleeping for work he got drunk with a bunch of friends and ended up getting crazy in our hot tub with one of my friends and a friend of hers that I had never met. The hot tub moves to the living room and he had unprotected sex with my friend's friend. I find out about this a week later from my friend cause she wanted me to know. He says he was so drunk his judgment was out the window. After a dramatic and exhausting week, I eventually gave in again and got back with him, on condition of his sobriety.
Now we are here in the spring and I can't get over any of it.
Also, I have reason to believe that was not the only incident earlier in our relationship where he cheated or lied to me. Another different friend has said he fingered her under a blanket late one night after going out before we were married too.
I'm sure if he told you the story he would mention all the ways I've hurt him over time and why what he did wasn't so bad. (I'm not a perfect angel, that's for sure.) But I've never given him an STD or had sex with a stranger while he was upstairs sleeping.
After all this our relationship now is actually okay. He has curbed his drinking and partying (for the most part) and is clearly making an effort to be a better husband. But any time I think about the whole story I get so angry my chest gets hot and I almost cry. I am 27 nearly 28 years old and I feel like I still have time to start over with someone who doesn't lie so easily to me.
Am I unreasonable to leave him now? Especially now after the dust has settled and he will say, "But haven't the last few months been great?" In a lot of ways they have, but I keep carrying this resentment towards him. If I had known about the cheating and source of chlamydia sooner I'm not sure I would've gone forward with the wedding. I felt immense pressure the week before my family boarded planes for a destination wedding. I honestly don't know what I would've done.
I wish I had left him this past fall and looking back I don't know why I didn't. I keep hoping for our "fairy tale" to work out and I'm a determined person but I'm wondering if we are doomed. My feelings of resentment are making me bitter. They also make me a much less patient partner than I want to be but I still feel like he "owes me" and I think I always will. Should I leave him now? Give him a third chance? Please tell me I'm not crazy for wanting to leave this many months and years after his transgressions and lies. Somehow I do still love him, a lot, but I just can't trust him at all. I want to but I can't.
Knowing what you know now, you wouldn't have married him then.
Sobering like he's sober now, he wouldn't have done what he did then.... maybe.
Before we go on, a quick programming note: This is gonna be a long, rambling, disjointed response, GO, as I only read your long letter once... and because I have food poisoning and I'm writing this in between trips to the bathroom to puke my kidneys out. (They're the only thing left in me at this point.)
Your husband sounds like a habitual cheater, a serial adulterer, the kind of person who takes being an open relationship and having (or cultivating) a substance abuse problem as twin licenses to do whatever and whoever the hell he wants. (I don't buy "I was drunk/high!" excuse for this sort of shit, GO, as most people can get drunk and/or high without cheating and some people will get strategically drunk/high and cheat—meaning, they don't break the rules because they're drunk or high, they got drunk and/or high to have an excuse to break the rules.)
You say you're feeling a lot of resentment—and that's understandable, GO. Your husband gave you plenty of reasons to resent him. He cheated on you repeatedly, he looked you in the eye and lied to you over and over again, and he gave you a sexually transmitted infection. He even tried to convince you that your doctor might've given you that STI when you got your IUD! (Thank God you got an IUD during this man and not a kid with him.) If your trust was a tiny animal, GO, your husband stomped it to death a long time ago.
His lies had a corrosive effect not just on your ability to trust him, but your feelings for him in general and your desire to remain in this marriage—and, geez, it sounds like you married him under duress. He wasn't threatening you, no one was threatening you, GO, but you were afraid of losing face in front of all those relatives who'd purchased all those airline tickets to attend your destination wedding. (One more reason why destination weddings are always a bad idea.) If had been at your wedding I would've jumped up when the preacher got to the if-anyone-has-a-reason-why-these-two-should-not section of the service.
Given the general direction of your letter and the acronym your sign-off created, I'm thinking you want to go, GO. If that's the case... then you should go. You don't need my permission to go, of course, just as you don't need his permission to go. Or your relatives' permission to go. You're free to go whenever you want, GO. And don't let anyone (him) tell you few months of semi-good/semi-sober behavior somehow erases the pace or scale of the betrayals that came before. If you want out, get out.
But you say you still love him... and if you're wondering if this relationship is doomed, GO, then you must find yourself occasionally entertaining the possibility that it might not be doomed. So. Seeing as you've invested nine years and at least one course of antibiotics in this relationship, GO, I don't think investing in a half a dozen or so sessions with couples counselor would be a waste your time or money. Even if you do decide to go, GO, a good counselor can help you—what's that annoying term? Oh, right: consciously uncouple. Or stick the dismount, as I like to say.
Here's what you could get to the bottom of in counseling: Why did he cheat when he didn't need to? Does he chafe against all rules? If what he wanted all along was a no-holes-barred, no-questions-asked open relationship, why didn't he ask for that? Not that you would've agreed to it, but still. (Spoiler: he didn't want to be with someone who was sleeping/fingering around on him the way he was sleeping/fingering around on you.) How could he lie to you like that? Why did you put up with this/his shit for so long? And, finally, in what ways—on the booze- and sex-fronts—were you codependent?
Even if this relationship doesn't survive—even if it's doomed—a graceful exit, one that recognizes the pain you both caused each other (his lying, his cheating, his infecting, his fingering, and whatever informed this statement: "I'm not a perfect angel, that's for sure"), the kind of exit that allows you both to honor what you meant to each other and recognize the good as well as the bad parts of the last nine years—that kind of exit will make it possible for you leave your bitterness where it belongs, GO: in the past, at your ex-husband's feet.
But to stick that dismount—to uncouple that consciously—you'll need the help of a skilled couples counselor.