Help/Insight/What am I?
My post is very long. I'm going to cut it in half and post the second half as a reply because I ran into this limit with the fourm.
"The text that you have entered is too long (12588 characters). Please shorten it to 10000 characters long."
This is going to be VERY long. Sorry!!! Please excuse the length, I donít know how to portray the situation honestly in less words.
Ok, so I've been in a monogamous relationship for 12 years. I recently learned that my girlfriend and I had a lack of communication about certain things in our relationship. I used to have amazingly bad mistrust issues (even amazes me now). She didnít really know how bad though. I always had the fear she might cheat on me or leave me for another guy. I should specify that I do not have self-esteem, self-worth, or physical appearance problems at all.
Well, I caught her cheating on me as I read some texts on her phone. She left the phone in the car to charge while we were at her sisterís house. It went off and lit up and I was in the car first. Thinking we had nothing to hide from each other, I was going to read it and pass on the message to her, since she didn't have the phone. Well I found out it was sexual discussion with a co-worker that I'd never met.
No need to get into direct details of what they did or when. Long story short, she says she was not looking to cheat on me. It was a surprise to her that she had feelings from their conversations that started at work. She says he is the only one she has cheated on me with. She says that it was only going on for about 2 months before I found out. She started the job 3 months from that time, so she started talking to him 1 month into the job.
After discussing it with herÖ I found out that she was unhappy with the relationship for several reasons that I did not realize. We are high school sweethearts. I was always loyal, but I managed to give her the impression that I would not always be. She would see me noticing other girlís beauty. While that is exactly what I was doing, I thought I was a normal human for it. She even told me it is normal. However, she has had every boyfriend before me cheat on her (all in high school). She always told me that if I ever wanted to be with another girl to simply tell her first and leave her. She always said that she could never understand how someone could cheat on someone else and be ok with it. Well, now that she became a cheaterÖ She still isnít ok with it. She apologizes all the time, she is seeing a psychologist. She isnít in a good place right now emotionally.
She says that nothing in the relationship is my fault. I tell her that half of the fault is in fact my own. I was always really possessive and Iíd worry about things like her shirt exposing too much cleavage and ask her in a pretty harsh way to change clothes and stuff. Back then (many years ago), the thought of any other guy having any sort of pleasure from even looking at my girlfriend tore me to shreds emotionally. Her wearing revealing clothes (without realizing) used to hurt me as bad as her cheating on me when we were in high school. Yeah, I told you I was bad about it then.
Well, she eventually (within the first 3 years) told me that she loved that I cared so much about her that I would voice concerns. She didnít always agree with my concerns, but respected them and was happy that I would be honest about it with her. So for a long time, I didnít recognize an issue in this form of controlling possessive behavior. A huge mistake.
So 12 years go by and I think we are both extremely happy (before I read that text I mentioned). She has always had a view that marriage is a bad idea. Everyone in her family is either divorced or lives together with children and no marriage. She views marriage as an SOís way of tying a partner down and then acting the way they always wanted to before... As if people act different to lure someone into marriage, then apply the ball and chain and turn into assholes. I could never convince her that this was not the case with me. I am explaining all this to provide insight as to why we did not marry within 12 years. I never felt like she didnít want to marry me specifically, just that she didnít like the idea of marriage ever. I was fine with it. I felt we would always be together and had no issues.
Well, now that she has cheated on me, she has told me about all sorts of possessive things I have done that she always hated. She only blames herself for never voicing her concerns. She never truly believed me 100% that I loved her because of how I would look at other girls that walked by from time to time. I should point out that I never saw it as a problem because she told me within our first year together that she is bi-sexual. She looks at girlís beauty too. However, she has only recently been able to show me that her being bi does not mean she wants a boyfriend AND girlfriend at the same time. Merely that she is open to a monogamous relationship with either gender. Well, me being an idiot, I never recognized this. I used to always give not so subtle hints that MFF threesomes would be fun. She even liked the idea for a time. We never did it. Neither of us complained that we never did it though.
Ok, so for a while I was heartbroken over her cheating. I felt like I wasnít good enough for her and that she wanted to drop me. She said that I was always good enough for her, but that her mistrust with marriage and me looking at girls made her feel that she was never good enough for me. I believe her. She has never been a person to lie (just hide things and never mention them). She has such a huge amount of niceness, respect for strangers, charity and courtesy that Iíd dare compare her to Mother Teresa before what she did to me. She feels terrible for what she did. We still discuss the situation all the time. Iím trying to get over it 100% because I recognize my fault in the situation as well as hers. I want to help her get better too. I know that only then will we both be able to consider how the relationship will progress from there. She is far from better though.
I wanted to come here because I find that if she and I are both agreeing that I am normal for looking at girls and whateverÖ. Well, maybe I deep down wanted to be non-monogamous or poly or open or something. I never thought it was an option. I have only recently discovered these concepts existed in the real world within the last week. Iíve been reading about it on Reddit and OkCupid profiles and stuff like that.
I have been able to completely get over her cheating on me. I managed to do that by feeling relief from personally being able to blame myself partially for her life leading to this outcome. I recognize how terribly possessive and controlling I used to be. I will never ask her to do anything like that again. Iíve told her all this. She just says it is her fault for not speaking up and letting it happen. I prefer blaming myself for ever asking in the first place, and she knows this. She is such a nice person that she feels I should not blame myself, because I donít deserve what she did. I think we are both partially right. My conclusion is that we both did wrong with not communicating. She did wrong to be with someone else, sureÖ But I feel it wouldnít have ever been possible without me being such a terrible SO to her.
Part of the way I got over what she did includes learning about non-monogamy. I am not saying that being NM or Poly is at all equal to cheating. Honesty is the cornerstone of poly and I get that. However, if I tell myself she was just exploring urges to be NM/poly (since it isnít a secret to me now) that I am now ok with what went down. I no longer picture her in bed with him combined with notions of suicide and physical mild heart attacks. Now, if that image is in my headÖ Iím excited for her to explore things that she enjoys in the world. If we donít end up togetherÖ I would probably end up in a relationship with someone who is already open to the ideas this forum is for.
-See first reply to continue.-