Q: I’m 29, married this year. Once while talking about ourselves during our courtship she shared that she was in a relationship and it was just a casual relationship.
I asked her, “Have you ever been physical with anyone?” and she denied it upfront. I made it clear to her that if she ever had, she could share with me freely and I was ready to accept that, but if I heard about it from elsewhere I don’t know how I would react. Then we got married and went for our honeymoon. We returned two weeks later and the second day after we returned I got to know that she had affairs, and lots of other things which shocked me. When I asked her, she started crying and admitted everything. She was sleeping with a guy for the last 5 years. I was shocked and we both cried a lot. I then asked her to let me know if there was anything else. She denied there was anything else to reveal. I was ready to forgive her.
Two days later, I got to know that she slept with her friend’s boyfriend. When I asked her she swore it wasn’t true. I forced her to show me her phone and then she got afraid and started crying and when I read the conversations I found out about that day she slept with the guy. They were even involved in phone sex. I was broken and couldn’t understand what to do, as it was just 23 days after our marriage.
This was not the end. Some time ago she had differences with a friend. This friend, with the help of his friend, called her to a hotel room and she went there just for clearing things up. His friend remained at the reception and the other friend took her to the room and there she was forced to take off her clothes and have sex with him. After a few days, the other guy blackmailed her into sleeping with him.
After our engagement she met a new guy and started sharing her pictures with him. She even lied to me once and went out with this guy during our courtship and then this guy molested her and touched her intimately. He apologised for that and she was OK with it. She even invited this guy to our wedding. She was in touch with him after our marriage and while we were on honeymoon once he messaged her, “Missing you,” and she replied, “Missing you, too.” She says he was just a friend and nothing else and she never had any feelings for him and this message was just casual.
Now since I have come to know all these stories, she feels sorry and cries for me to forgive her. I am getting stressed and depressed just thinking all these things and I am really confused about what to do. I know I am not happy with her and I don’t know whether I will be able to forget all this. I also wonder what else I am not aware of. I discussed this with my parents, but my wife doesn’t know. My parents don’t want us to separate, saying that this will damage their image in society. If her parents come to know of all this, I am afraid they will break down. I don’t trust her at all now.
Please give me suitable advice on further action. Should I get separated or should I forgive her and stay together? But how, as I am unable to forget all this and don’t even want see her face?
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A: Being cheated upon and repeatedly lied to is the problem here and it can be really hard to deal with, especially after you’re married to each other. I have three things to say to you; first, social or family pressure to do something is never a good enough reason to actually do it, especially if it concerns your personal and intimate matter. You can never make others happy all the time; there are times when you have to put your own needs for emotional and physical health first. The people around you love you, no doubt, but they will have to deal with some of the choices that you make about your life and learn to live with it and hopefully be supportive of you.
Second, your wife, by your account, seems to have compulsive problems with lying, especially about her sexual self. She may not be this evil person who lies to make you feel bad, but someone with such low self-esteem and confidence that she doesn’t think she can face the consequences of telling the truth. Having said that, I am not excusing her lying to you, I am trying to explain it. Understanding the symptom of a problem sometimes takes the sting out of the suffering it causes.
Third, whether you choose to stay in the marriage or leave, do it because you want to and not because you pity your parents or her. If you do choose to stay with the hope of change please seek professional couple counselling.