Opinions on recovering from a betrayal

Reply Wed 18 Aug, 2021 11:33 am
I'm writing this because I'd like some impartial opinions and ask that people please try to avoid flaming. There are always 2 sides to every story and I can only give mine.

A few months ago my partner and I found ourselves in a position where she had to move to the other side of the country for work. We spoke regularly and we supported each other throughout the process. I know it's hard to settle into a new place even if it's only a new job in the same town. I encouraged her to make new friends and spend time with them. This meant that between work and our new social calendar, our conversations were mostly limited to late nights. Although this was difficult I thought we managed well.

This changed however when her relationship with a certain coworker became more and more predominant. At first, she would tell me what she was doing and I would feel included in what was going on. Sometimes it was hard to see her spending so much time with this other guy and of course, there were feelings of jealousy. We spoke about these feelings and she assured me that nothing was going on and that she was happy with me and our relationship. I was being jealous and paranoid. She didn't look at him that way. He was just a friend.

Things started to take a turn for the worse when she started to stay out later and even stay at his house. Our time for talking was also invaded as she "couldn't talk to me and be present with her friend" at the same time. Although I understood I still felt hurt and now I had alarm bells ringing in my head. "I would never do this to her," I thought. When we spoke about this new circumstance, I told her how I was feeling and that I didn't think it was appropriate that she stay in his house, that it made me feel uncomfortable and jealous. I asked her how she would feel in the same circumstances to which she replied she wouldn't have any problem with it.

After promises (broken) that she wouldn't stay at his house, there came a revelation. The other guy had tried to kiss her and had confessed feelings of love towards her. He suggested that she have 2 boyfriends, one in each place. He would have no problem with it and wouldn't try to come in the way of her relationship with me. I was shocked when not only did she get angry about it, but that she liked the idea.

This is when I drew the line, or more accurately, I asked her to draw the line. I never asked her to stop seeing this other guy as a friend, but I did ask her to set boundaries. I never said what those boundaries should be as that was up to her and I would have to decide if I would accept them or not. She promised me that she would do as I asked and (after staying at his house again "talking" she said) told me that boundaries were set and understandings had been reached and seemed to be (for the most part) respected. She was always honest with me about her feelings and that he was much more than a simple friend. He was a confidant and a really important part of her life there. She denied any physical attraction but she felt very close to him at an emotional level.

When Christmas arrived, she came home for the holidays and we had a great time. It was one of the best Christmases I've ever had. We were so thrilled to see each other. We talked about everything, including the situation with the other guy, and things seemed to be balanced. That's when she dropped a bomb. There had been a kiss with the other guy. She confessed to having strong feelings for him (this was no surprise as we spoke often about it). Instead of getting angry, I tried to keep calm and to enjoy the time we had left together before she went back to work. I was not happy about the confession but she seemed deeply sorry for her error and wanted to fix us. She promised that it was a one-time thing and that it wasn't going to happen again.

As time went by I saw no sign that her relationship with him was lessening, she talked about him more and more. It seemed like they spent all their time together, eating into our time together. I felt that there was more going on than she was telling me and I felt betrayed no matter how much she reassured me that she loved me, and I firmly believe that she did, but I felt like he was more important to her than I was. I ended the relationship in a fit of rage, calling her a few names I'm not proud of in the process.

For the next month or so she was now with him. I felt crushed. I felt that she was waiting for us to break up so that she could be with him. I was so angry and depressed that it was affecting me drastically. My performance at work was affected, my relationships with my friends took a blow. I felt utterly alone but it was me that broke up with her. I shouldn't be bitter that she was happy with him but I was. During this time she was posting a lot about polyamory, supporting it as a fantastic idea she identified with.

She came back home a month later for Easter and asked if I would see her to which I agreed. We went for coffee and talked about what happened. It's true that she had been honest about how her feelings were growing and how important this other guy had been to her in her new job and life apart from me. She told me how she had never stopped loving me or even felt a dwindling in how she felt. I was still the person she loved and saw in her future. We'd talked about getting married and having children, she still saw me as the person she wanted to do that with, but she loved the other guy too and was not going to give him up.

After thinking about the idea of polyamory and investigating, I finally agreed to try it. I thought it had many positive things to offer. I understood that it could also be very challenging and at times heartbreaking. I agreed and entered into this new relationship with her with some fundamental rules:

We would be honest about our feelings and intentions
We would only consider being with other people with whom there is a real connection
No hookups or friends with benefits
Take it slowly and talk about what's going on so there are no surprises

I talked with my family (I have kids from another relationship too) and explained that things have been resolved and that this person was coming back into my life. I felt hurt but I love this girl who had always been so honest with her feelings

After Easter, she went back to work and to the other guy. It destroyed me inside if I'm honest, but this was the new relationship. When she arrived it turned out that the other guy was now having second thoughts too. He finally broke up with her and she was devastated. I was there to support her, and against my better interests, I gave her advice on how she could talk with him and suggested how they could work through their problems and emotions. In the end, he said she was like a drug to him and he was only interested in her for the physical part.

She was obviously devastated and she leaned on me a lot. This was a curious feeling. On the one hand I was happy he was gone and on the other I know he was important to her. I don't have the vocabulary to explain how I felt having to be there to support her whilst at the same time I wanted to tell her, "You deserve this", "Now you know how I felt". I pushed down these negative emotions and gave her a shoulder to cry on and all the support I could manage.

Sometime later she changed her "best friend" for a new one. This time it was a group, this made me feel more secure as they mostly did things together. Out of the group there was one guy she became much closer with. I actually met him, he was a good looking guy with a good sense of humour, a standoffish attitude and from the same town as her. I understood the connection. History, however, slowly started to repeat itself for me.
Staying out late and skipping out on "our time", not reading my messages or telling me what's going on. I felt like a jealous controlling psycho. It was a huge personal effort for me to get these emotions in check and her attitude made me feel dismissed and taken for granted. I spoke with her several times about my feelings and each time we seemed to come to an understanding. I was never really happy with her behaviour but she assured me nothing was happening with this new guy and that there was no interest in him.

Eventually, the work ended and she came back to stay. Things seemed to settle back to normal except for the new "poly" dynamic to our relationship. We went to group meetings together and talked a lot about what it meant to us, how we should confront changes and revise the "rules" now and again and not assume things unspoken.

One day we got a phone call, her sister had contracted covid on vacation on the other side of the country. Her parents had not been vaccinated and are in a higher risk group. It was decided that she would come and stay with us, as we were vaccinated, until she was over it and the quarantine period had passed. I had to juggle things at work and ask for favours but we managed it and went to collect her sister.

It was a nightmare! There was squabbling, complaining and immature behaviour from them both. Their parents didn't help either. They would call and generate more stress.

It was during this period that my girlfriend decided that it was time to confess.

She told me that she had been sleeping with the other guy for about a month before I'd broken up with her. My world crumbled for a second time. This person who I'd believed, who'd persuaded me that I was being irrational and paranoid had just confirmed that I was right all along. Not only that, our new relationship based on the honesty I valued so much was built on a lie. It took her 3 months to finally confess. I was literally trapped in the house with her and couldn't stand to look her in the eyes. I was also trapped with her sister who knew everything. She told me because she was afraid that her sister might slip up and let the cat out of the bag. I've never felt so angry and hurt. One day her mum came with some food for us, she started with the same instructions as usual, causing stress and anxiety in what was already a volatile situation. I ended up flipping out on her mum and even punched the wall. I know I was taking out my frustration and anger on someone who didn't deserve it. (She deserved the words but not the tone)

During the quarantine, we had several conversations. I still love this girl and want to make things work. I can forgive even if I can't forget. But I need time and understanding. After the quarantine, we decided to go away for the weekend. We went camping and beach crawling. We had a good time but it was there in the back of my head constantly. Comments like, "Oh! my ex-crush lives near here" really made me angry. On the way home, she started to do the money calculations so we could settle up the finances. She was nitpicking over 5 euros. I told her it wasn't important and she was starting to get on my nerves. I said she was being stingy. She took it badly and stopped talking to me for half an hour. I calmed down and tried to smooth things over, I touched her leg and tried to hold her hand. She responded with an icy look and shrugged my hand away disdainfully. I couldn't take it anymore. I kept silent with a storm brewing inside until we stopped for fuel where I let rip with all my anger.

I told her to go home to her mum's house and take her things with her. This is not what I really wanted though, what I truly wanted was to talk about what happened but I couldn't articulate my feelings into words because of the rage I was feeling inside. We finally went to bed as it was already 3 am. The next day I went back to work and when I got home she was gone, so were all her things. I felt alone again.

A week went by and my youngest daughter (14) came to stay with me. My girlfriend asked if she could do something together with her. She came by and picked up my daughter and they spent the day together. When they got back she stayed the night and we talked until late. I told her I felt alone and abandoned. I need to talk about what happened and about how I can get over these feelings which consume me. At one point I cried as I've never cried before. I couldn't breathe and felt choked by the emotion.

The next day she was gone again. She went away with her sister on vacation. I felt abandoned again. I could talk to no one. The person I needed to talk to was posting pictures of beaches, cocktails and her being happy. We spoke via messages but rarely and only superficially. She was too busy having a good time for anything else. On her second to last day, she went to see a show and then for drinks. I asked her what time she got home and she told me 5 am. She was on the beach with her sister and some friends until 5 am after the bars closed. I asked her if there were any guys and she said yes. I asked her if anything happened with any of them and she freaked out. She refused to answer the question. I told her she's abandoned me when I most needed to talk things out. She says she didn't and that there's no obligation to talk to me every day.

Since then we haven't spoken.

I feel like I did everything I could do in this relationship and have now accepted that it's over. My heart still loves her but my head tells me she's bad for me.

I feel alone, humiliated, betrayed, abused, manipulated and emotionally numb. I can't sleep, I can't eat and don't go out of the house. I feel like I'll never trust again and that something is fundamentally broken in me. This is the 3rd time I've been cheated on but by far the most traumatic. I don't know how to bounce back again.

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Type: Discussion • Score: 3 • Views: 1,058 • Replies: 4
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Reply Wed 18 Aug, 2021 12:47 pm
Cold, I know, but i used to worship 'women' too.
I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.
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Reply Wed 18 Aug, 2021 02:40 pm
AnonoMo... I'm really hearing your pain and I'm so sorry you're going through this.

She has been telling you who and what she is since she took the position. You thought she was honest and upfront, but it turns out she wasn't. She got interested in another man, likely had an affair with him, didn't want to lose you so she lied to you. She spent less and less time with you over time. If she valued you at all, she would have made time. Then she finds another guy and carries on with him.

You loved someone who wasn't who she said professed to be.

What advice would you give someone who told you this story?

You need to move on. You're likely mad at yourself for going along with all this nonsense, but the best revenge is to be happy. You can trust again.

She's not worth the head space, believe me.

Again, I'm sorry you're going through this pain and grief, but you still have your friends, family, and job. Move on.
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Reply Wed 18 Aug, 2021 08:52 pm
There’s no way this girl would have accepted this behavior if roles had been reversed.

You are very naive and she is all- self. Bad combination.

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Reply Sat 21 Aug, 2021 06:54 pm
This might sound trite, but, you just get over it. It takes awhile. Some relationships take more "getting over" than others. Do things that make you happy. There are many diversions in the world. Pick one and have a good time.
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