I screwed up big time. My fiancée and I have been together for 5 years and have an 18-month-old daughter. For the past few months I’ve been feeling increasingly isolated (I’m an at home mom and he’s gone with work or projects). I’ve tried speaking with him and asked countless times to spend more time with him and let him know how sad I’ve felt. He’s always shrugged this off and noted that he has “to get things done” around the house and at our rental properties, etc.
After nagging him for some time I decided to seek emotional support from friends and began going out more often. In the past few weeks I’ve gone out three times and each time I drank too much to drive home. The first two times I stayed at my girlfriends house and he didn’t seem to mind much but the last time I went out with all guys. They were friends of mine but one, by my own assertion, “was a male whore”. I made a ridiculously stupid decision and decided to stay in a hotel room with the “male whore”. I also lied about where I was staying to protect myself and claimed I had stayed at friends. He called to friend and just about everyone else I knew and found out that wasn’t true (my phone had died). When I arrived home he was waiting for me and I continued to lie through my teeth to save myself when all I did was make it worse. I eventually admitted what had happened and have apologized profusely. I acted selfishly and have offered to end all communication with everyone and never go again if he would agree to work on things in the relationship but he’s flat out refused. He’s told his entire family and is making preparations to move me out of the house. I’ve begged for counseling but he says a counselor can’t get him to trust again. He just keeps reiterating what I said, what I did, what I should have done, what I could have done and I wish to God I had thought of those things before I made such stupid decisions. I’ve stopped eating in an effort to hurt myself the way I’ve hurt him and I really don’t think I can live with this guilt the rest of my life. I know I’ve screwed up and maybe there’s nothing I can do but I’m still willing to try. Any advice to save my relationship and my family would be greatly appreciated.
A: I deeply appreciate your question and concern. Bu this is an opportunity for a more nuanced evaluation, not simply having to “save the relationship.”
Your actions speak volumes about how poor of a partner he has been. You tried to talk with him and explain and the best he could do was shrug it off. The truth is you were massively dissatisfied in the relationship.
You chose a male whore for a reason. The only purpose was to create enough of a dysregulation in the relationship with your fiance so that resentment over the relationship issue would come to a peak; now it has.
Your fiancé didn’t get the message that you were not happy and that he needed to change, or talk, or something to preserve the relationship. While there might have been other, better choices in how you dealt with this, the truth is your fiancé was unresponsive and doesn’t realize his role in this.
His actions following this, which also leave him out of the formula for change, are also telling. My guess is that he wanted out of the relationship too, but did it passively, not wanting to deal with the dissatisfaction directly.
For you I would begin going to therapy to understand more about the reasons you deal with your dissatisfaction the way you do. Offer to go to couples therapy to work on the relationship, but this would be something he would want to fully engage in to be fruitful.
Finally let me recommend a book, After the Affair by Janis Abrahms Spring and Michael Spring. It is an excellent description of both sides of this coin.
But this is a learning opportunity above all else. Learn what your other options could’ve been, what allowed you to tolerate such an unfulfilling relationship, and what will happen when those feelings inevitably come up for you in the future.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 23 Apr 2012
Tomasulo, D. (2012). Fiance Won’t Trust Me. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 21, 2013, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/04/23/fiance-wont-trust-me/