After reading through other posts on here I wanted to share my story. I don't expect sympathy, I know what I've done is very wrong and absolutely hate myself for it but I really need help to move forward as I'm really struggling to live with my actions right now.
Yes, I have cheated in the past, with other boyfriends but always at the end of a relationship which I've then ended as obviously wasn't happy. My husband knows this and because of this has never trusted me, I've always told him I would never cheat on him and these other times were always at the end and I knew I couldn't carry on with the relationships afterwards as I felt so bad.
I've been with my husband for 2.5 years, we got married 7 months ago, I've known him most of my life but only got to know him properly when we started dating. He's such a great bloke and I know he would do anything for me. We've had issues in our relationship, a lot to do with his ex who lived very near to us who wouldn't let go and I did resent him for this but I don't think he ever did anything wrong, other than not stand up to her. He also went through a phase of being extremely grumpy and not speaking to me for days, turning his back in bed etc. which really hurt me.
I started a new job in April of last year and spent a lot of time away from home, I was so excited about our forthcoming wedding (last Sept) and couldn't wait for him to become my husband. In May I met someone at work who I clicked with and found myself really attracted to, I'm a terrible flirt at the best of times but for some reason with the wedding coming up I found myself flirting with everyone! After a drunken night out in June this guy confessed that he'd like to kiss me, to which I categorically told him that he couldn't and that yes, admittedly I could see there was some attraction between us, nothing could or would ever happen between us because I was getting married and there was no way I could do it. After many conversations the following week, drunk again I kissed him. I did stop this halfway through as I felt too bad and then spent a long time telling him why nothing could ever happen between us, which he seemed to accept. But as I was still working with him a lot I still saw him and still flirted with him, although kept reiterating how nothing could happen. He was in a position of power and i'll admit I was attracted to that and we spent a lot of time talking about work issues. One weekend in July I went away with my fiance and things were really bad between us (had been for a while), I'd almost had enough and wasn't sure I could carry on with the relationship as I felt completely unloved and unvalued (I realise now that my hubby had work issues and house stresses but we didn't communicate this at the time) and we even talked about splitting up at one point but I thought that we should still get married so didn't want to say much incase he changed his mind so close to the big day. Anyway, we got through this weekend but for whatever reason things were very up and down over the next few weeks, my fiance went away a lot with work and told me he preferred to be away from me and I again went away with work colleagues (including this guy), got very drunk and asked him to comfort me for the night (we never slept together as there was still no way that was going to happen) but we did share a bed stupidly. I told myself we were good friends and I wanted to feel close to someone again. He then went away on holiday (with his family!), I realised I didn't miss him at all and things got back on track with my fiance, we moved house (away from his crazy ex and it felt like a whole new relationship) we got married 6 weeks later and had the most perfect day and I vowed that from that moment I would be the best wife in the world. I felt so guilty on our honeymoon that I almost told him but I was still working with this guy, my hubby knew we were 'close' and I knew he would worry everytime i went to a meeting with him or spoke to him. I still worked with him until recently and in Feb I even met him for lunch and he was trying to flirt with me again but I made it crystal clear that I wasn't interested in the slightest and I felt soooooo guilty for even having lunch with him. I think it was because of this that it all came to a head a week or so later when this guy left the company and I just couldn't live with myself anymore and confessed all to my hubby as I couldn't live a lie any longer and we'd started getting on better than ever. He was understandably upset but as yet hasn't gone crazy and we are trying to work things through, we are actually getting on really well but I know he's feeling really let down (as I am also feeling of myself). I've been a complete wreck over this, stopped eating, didn't want to get out of bed, crying all the time and just cannot believe I've been so stupid. I still feel as though there's a huge dark cloud over my head and I just can't move on from this. I told my hubby I'd leave but he accused me of running away. I betrayed him, I spent a lot of time talking to and flirting with another man when I should have been talking to my fiance/husband.
More than anything I wish so much I could turn the clock back and make things better but I know that's not possible. I know it's what I do from now that counts and I am making a huge effort and my hubby has recognised that and is pleased but told me last night that I'd spoilt things (I know!!) and I know in his mind he's thinking that I was so drunk that night so did this guy take advantage of me. I absolutely hate myself and can't see how I'm going to get past it, i've thought at the lowest points that it would be better if I wasn't here, I never think like that as I love life and am so grateful for what I have but how can I live the rest of my life feeling like this?? yes I know it's my own stupid fault but right now I can't take back what I did. My husband is without doubt the most wonderful thing to ever happen to me and I'm so unbelievably selfish. I can see now that I took him for granted and didn't appreciate him as I should have but that's changed now and I'm doing everything I can to make him feel appreciated. I feel like screaming and just want to go back and change things and stop myself getting involved with this guy.
I dont want to judge that is the last thing on my mind,but you seem like you just cant handle being on your own and you have major security issues,it just seems that you have to put your self out there to prove you have confidence,when clearly you are a very lonely mixed up person,you have admitted you can flirt but there is afine line between this and sharing a bedwith someone,you have to be strong and when you say no it means no,not no then meet the guy,you have admitted everything to your husband and yes things might be tense for a while,but as long as you are willing just give your husband time,he hasnt thrown you out,he wants to work on it,so at least there is that,you have to realize how lucky you are and be grateful for what you have,you are married now all these flirting games must stop before you end up a very lonely person.
Yes, cheshchesh makes some valid points. I think you use men/flirtation in a very unhealthy way. It is kind of your 'band aid" and unless you address this--------- it will always be a threat to your relationships. Your ego, your emotions, so much of you is tied up in this external stuff that you are most likely going to repeat this action unless you find better ways to make yourself feel good.
I think flirting IS detrimental to relationships. Some say they are flirts and can not help that. I don't buy it. We ARE what we present and when we flirt-------- we are telling the other that "maybe we are available". It opens a tiny bit of wiggle room and that is when an "accident" can happen. Why are they called accidents? Because the action was unplanned. So, I'm sure you did not set out to cheat on your husband but it still happened. Why? Because you gave wiggle room saying you might be available in the first place. Had you never given that signal--------- it never would have happened. So, you have to fight the urge to be flirty. And you need to not ever put yourself in this kind of position again. I'd not go out drinking with colleagues. Why? Well, you get drunk (which works against you in most business enviroments) and do dumb things. So, go out but don't drink. Or have only one in the begining of the evening. Why would you need to go to lunch with the other guy? Well, I'm back to your internal need for attention. It fed your ego somehow and that impulse was too great to do what you probably knew you should do (cut off contact socially with him). So------------ you must address this inner need for attention that you have!!
How do you do that? Well------------ you need to work on what you like about yourself that has NOTHING to do with men! Find some hobbies that you can get involved in. When I was 25 I bought my first home. Taking care of the garden was something I had to do then but it became a big interest of mine. It had nothing to do with anyone else but me and it made me feel good about myself. So, figure out what things you can do that involve no one else and make you feel good about yourself. So you can get that "high" feeling without the need for male attention.
And, okay, I'll say it. There were some red flags with your husband prior to marrying him. Moodiness of the sort you mention worries me. If it is used to manipulate------ giving the cold shoulder for example, then you need to talk to him about it. Amp up your communication so that you can become a close couple that really respects and cares for one another (which includes making a big effort not to hurt one another with words or actions.)
I do wish you luck. If the issues of the way flirtation/men have become a habit with you, then I highly suggest a therapist to discuss it. It does get people into trouble. Hopefully you can work all of that out and go on to have a very happy marriage. Good luck and keep us posted!
Thank you both so much, yes I would agree with everything you say.
Yes I can see how my actions would be misinterpreted and that I was very much to blame and certainly not strong enough. Yes I do enjoy attention, that has always been a factor, and has come from insecurities for many many years.
I have seen things in a whole new light lately and woken up to myself a lot more and I think this experience has done that, I'm not condoning it but without it I may have gone on to do a lot worse in my marriage that was not then salvageable.
I can also see how selfish I've been.
Weirdly, me and my husband are getting on very well at the moment and are both making a huge effort to keep things together, I do hope it lasts and because of this I will be able to recognise the warning signals in the future and not repeat my stupid actions. I'm not trying to defend my actions at all but at the time of all this I was at my most vulnerable and I think that had a strong bearing on it. I check myself now when I talk to people, whereas before I may have been a bit flirty, I realise now how that could be interpreted and wouldn't want anyone else to get the wrong idea and try to take things further.
Thank you both for taking the time to read my post and answer so comprehensively.
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