An almost beautiful love story

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-12-2007
An almost beautiful love story
Wed, 01-22-2014 - 3:56pm

Good Afternoon.

I've never written anything in a group before and sort of stumbled across your group about 30 minutes ago. When I woke up this morning I didn't realize I was so hung up on my situation. Now I see how much it is affecting me. Let me explain.

I have been in a relationship with an ex for the last 5 months. Before you say "Exes are exes for a reason" let me say my situation is a bit different. As a couple, we got along fine. We were very young and made the best of being broke and in love. And we were good at being in love and at making love. We are a great example of opposites attracting. Everything was going well. My ex is a charming person, outgoing, talkative and interesting as well as attractive. I had worried the whole relationship that my ex would or was cheating. And then it actually happened.

My ex just up and left. There was no mention of cheating, just that the relationship was over. It was blamed on something silly I suggested we try in bed once. My ex never admitted there had been infidelity at that time. It was always just something I had assumed and the assumption consumed me. The assumptions also led to me feeling worthless in a lot of ways. I knew my ex didn't have a problem with my body type and yet I blamed myself for not being prettier. Or funnier. Or more likeable in general. I blamed myself for everything just as a way to justify us not being together.

I got together with someone else and we dated for over 7 years. We married for almost 2. Over the years I couldn't stop thinking about my ex and my ex wondered about me as well. I wondered if I could have ever been 'enough' for them. My then-partner and I broke up for our own reasons. And the first thing I wanted to do was find my ex and talk. I still thought I just wasn't enough for them. That had to be the reason for the break up because in the very few times we'd spoken over the last 12 years there was no further explanation as to why the relationship ended. 

Twelve years later (this past August) my ex contacts me through Facebook. We were both single. We decided to try again. My heart and my mind and my soul were on cloud nine. We started talking again, there was finally admittance of the cheating, but no reason. It was just 'their problem'. My ex, now current again, still doesn't know what to tell me to make it better. I am terrified to ask for details. I know it only happened once and I'm pretty sure it happened within a few days of our break up. My ex says "I left to avoid hurting you anymore, I knew this would hurt you so much". I feel like knowing any more than what I already know would only allow me to nit pick the differences between myself and the other woman which is not healthy and would only perpetuate what I've already been doing for 12 years. What wasn't realized until now is that it didn't just hurt. It broke me. I had viewed myself in a particular light over the last 12 years because of that relationship. And nothing, not even my ex-now-current could undo that negative and self-harming thought pattern. They are trying, but I'm struggling with it.

I have had 5 serious relationships over the last 17 years. In every one of those situations my partner cheated. That will get to a person. My ex-now-current was number 2. And that hurt has stuck with me more than anything else.

I realize that I have issues I need to work out on my own. Those belong to me and originated in me and only I can help them. But as much as I've dreamt about being back together I'm terrified it will happen again. Even typing that sentence has brought me to tears. My ex-now-current is doing everything they can to make me feel secure and to apologize. I am told when and where they will be, I'm texted when they're home, I am told constantly that I am loved. I'm not saying it's not enough. But I don't know what to do from here. For 12 years I thought I had done something, said something, been something that had drove them away. Now I find out the truth about the whole situation. My ex was always in love with me. Yes there was an affair, once. We broke up directly after. My ex hasn't cheated on anyone else. My ex didn't ever try to be in love with anyone else because they knew they were in love with me. My ex wanted me to be happy so there was little contact between us over the years. Now my ex wants to be together and wants to move forward with our lives as one. But I still struggle.

How can you be in love with someone and cheat on them? I don't understand that. I'm not saying it's impossible, I'm just saying I don't understand.

How could you cheat on the person you're in love with and never cheat on anyone else you're not in love with? Again, I just don't understand that.

I appreciate anyone who has decided to read this post. I also appreciate those who are willing to offer sound advice. I have been scouring the web today looking for advice on how to let go or if I will even be able to move on.

If we hadn't broken up due to an affair, we would have a beautiful love story. Instead it's just almost beautiful. There is that blemish. Does it ever go away?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 01-22-2014 - 4:21pm

You don't mention how long you & your ex were dating before he cheated & broke up with you.  You do mention that you were young.  Yes I agree that it was wrong to cheat on you but you also weren't married. Do you really think it would have made you feel better if he broke up with you for another reason or no reason at all or if he didn't cheat but broke up because he had met another woman that he liked better and left you for her?  I just can't get over 2 things:  first of all you said you spent the whole relationship worrying about him cheating on you--why?  Was it just because your first BF cheated on you?  Frankly that is not normal.  I have been cheated on in the past but I wouldn't start off a new relationship assuming that the new guy would cheat.

Second, I can't believe that you let this fester for 12 yrs--he was one guy.  You managed to meet and marry someone else so why does this guy's opinion of you carry so much weight?  And why did it affect your self esteem that much?  You were obviously attracted to other men and one at least wanted to marry you.  I think that you need to explore that in therapy. 

I do think there is some risk that a person who cheated on you in the past would cheat on you again, but it you are going to let that fear consume your whole relationship then you might as well not be together.  It seems like he is being transparent currently.  But what you should keep in mind, and many people on this board will say this, is that when someone cheats is has nothing to do with you--the issue is with the cheater.  Someone could be the perfect partner and do everything for their BF or DH and it doesn't mean that the person wouldn't cheat if he was so inclined.  So you have to get that idea out of your head right now that he cheated because of some fault or lack of yours.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Wed, 01-22-2014 - 5:20pm

Everyone can make bad choices, and end up with a bad relationship or two.  Just like everyone can make bad job choices, and get fired once or twice.  But at a certain point, learning and common sense should kick in.  And if you get fired from EVERY SINGLE job, or your partner in EVER SINGLE relationship cheats on you, the problem is NOT them, it is you.

If EVERY partner cheats on you, you are causing it.  With your insecurity.  With your obsession over your ex.  With your suspicions and jealously.  YOU are driving them to it, because eventually, if you keep suspecting them of cheating, or EXpecting them to cheat, THEY WILL SAY, "If I've got the name, I'll play the game". 

And as for your ex, you say "If we hadn't broken up due to an affair, we would have a beautiful love story."  That's ridiculous on the face of it.  If the relationship was "a beautiful love story"  he would NOT have cheated.  And even if he hadn't, the relationship might have foundered anyway.  Many relationships can survive a one night stand--if that is indeed what it was.  Your bf LEFT YOU.  You are living a fantasy.

You need counseling.  You need to fix yourself, before you can have a lasting relationship.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2010
Thu, 01-23-2014 - 1:37am

I would urge you to get into therapy to help you deal with the issues all the cheating you've been through has caused you.  As musiclover said, you have to realize the ex-now-current BF who cheated on you and all the others did so because of a flaw in THEM, not you.  I absolutely do NOT agree with the poster who said if you were cheated on in your relationships that you are the cause.   YOU did NOT make ANYONE cheat. THEY made that choice because of their lack of morals and character, NOT because of something you did or did not do. If someone has a problem with their relationship they can choose to work it out or walk away; they don't have to cheat but they made a conscience decision to do just that.

I will say this though: You worried about the ex-now-BF cheating all those years ago. And now you find out that he did cheat but chose to leave rather than own up to it and try to work things out, even though you say he loved you and didn't love any of the others. He took the coward's way out.  You say what he did left you broken and you suffered the consequences of that then, all though the years to follow and are suffering now that he admitted he cheated. You were left to wonder and your self esteem was destroyed. He says he never cheated on anyone else but you don't really know that for certain, do you? Of course, he's not going to tell you if he ever cheated again on anyone else as he knows that would reflect very badly on him. It sounds as though if he had actually told you he cheated again after your relationship, it would be easier for you to take.

He left you with no explanation and now 12 years later he shows up, admits he cheated on you all those years ago and that this was the reason he left you. So once again you've taken a 'hit' from this man. He may be doing all the right things now but if this is the man who 'broke' you and caused you so much heartache for so many years, and currently is with his admittion to an affair many years ago, why would you want to put yourself through it all again? The damage he did affected you deeply. Will you ever be able to trust him again? There's no way I could.

He had opportunites over the years to come clean with you and tell you the real reason why he left.  That might have made all the difference in the world to heal you and help you move on.  You lost 12 years of happiness in your life because of what he did. Honestly, I wouldn't give him one more minute. He didn't 'try' to be in love with anyone else because he was in love with you? I'm going to be brutally honest with you~IMO it sounds like he's trying to come off as some kind of character in a sappy romance novel : " I left you because I loved you so much and couldn't bare to hurt you more with my cheating. So, I deprived myself of love all these years, pining away for you. But we're both single now and I'm lonely and longing for something familiar and I'm coming clean now for our last shot at the perfect love."  I'm sorry but I have to agree with the other poster; this is not a beautiful love story.  Its the story of a woman who was emotionally damaged by a man who took 12 years to tell the truth....or at least some of it...and because of his deception, it more than likely took a toll on your other relationships along with your self esteem.  Again, I'd urge you to get into counseling to deal with all the hurt. Too much of your life has been wasted because of the actions of others. LOVE YOURSELF enough to get help and heal. Until you get the help you need, IMO you're setting yourself up for more hurt and confusion with this man.

I wish you the absolute best,


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-16-2008
Thu, 01-23-2014 - 8:44am

I disagree with Sabrthooth, the cheater is always at fault there are those of us who have integrity and could not be forced to cheat

those of us whom would be honest and end it or not plant a kiss and not tell

there is no excuse for victimizing and betrayal

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-12-2007
Thu, 01-23-2014 - 10:15am

Thank you to those who have offered their honest and yet friendly opinions and encouragement. I appreciate that. I don't know what I'm going to do. I know my ex didn't tell me how they felt for all the years because I was with my xh and appeared to be happy. My xh and I are better friends than anything. We know that now. I feel like the break up with my ex shaped my thoughts because I like to know why. And yes, I realize we can't always know why, but I like to try and find the why in situations. When I didn't have a reason for our break up, my own insecurities told me it must've been me. I thought about my ex a few times over 12 years, I wouldn't consider that obsessed. However, during other relationships I had I couldn't compare that love to the love I felt for my ex. It's just different. And now, I feel that deep true love from my ex fully. I am first in their life. I am well aware that I have my own insecurities that are brought into my relationships. That's not right, I have talked about that with my ex. I am trying now to learn NOT to do that.

The reason I worried my ex may cheat from the beginning was because I was never made to feel first in their life the first time. I was always in the same category as their friends, male and female. I didn't feel anymore special than any other girl therefore I didn't think my ex saw a reason to be faithful. My ex is also very outgoing and talkative, to literally anyone not just the 'cute girls' but like old men or random little kids, and some girls take that as flirting. Then they would flirt thinking my ex did first. And then my ex flirted back. That's something we have talked about at length and my ex no longer does that. I do not truly feel my ex will cheat now, but yes it creeps into my mind at times. I'm working on this, I'm not perfect. And I've only been grasping the entirety of the situation for about 5 months. I was under the impression all those years ago that my ex just wasn't interested. And while I still felt love for my ex I just put it aside, a love lost. We all have that at some point in our lives.

I say our story is almost beautiful because we dated for a year, broke up for 12, and then got back together. We both feel we are meant to be together. It just sucks that we broke up over that so many years ago. I wish we would've had the last 12 years together, although we are both grateful for the life lessons we've learned while apart too.

I don't expect anyone to reply further to this message and I'm a little bit sorry I posted my pain on here. I should've kept it to myself. For those who want to bully and blame me, do your worst. Perhaps you should take the time you're using to tear me down and take a good look at yourself. Or perhaps that's why you're so critical of my life; you're avoiding your own.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2007
Thu, 01-23-2014 - 12:14pm


I don’t think anyone is trying to hurt you.  We all have been there/done that and would like to spare anyone the pain we have been thru.

I am a betrayed spouse.  I have been with my BF almost 4 years.  He is a betrayed spouse x2 (So he says)..

We had a whirlwind romance, also.  The only issue we had was our trust issues, accusing each other of cheating here and there.

A little history that I have not shared with anyone on this board: 2 years (In October) into the relationship he upped and left me.  No reason why.  Said he didn’t love my anymore and it was over…A week after we had a nice time with him telling me how much he loved me and how lucky he was to have me in his life. 

I refused to believe it was over and convinced myself it was because he was involved in a family lawsuit that dragged on for years.  I kept “bumping” into him and telling him I was here for him in his bad times.  He smiled and went upon his business but would try to avoid me. 

Rumors swirled around the hospital that he was with another woman; to which he denied.  The story is as follows:

People were talking about construction around the hospital when one person mentioned BF “Jim”

My friend to this stranger: “I know Jim, too.  His GF is a nurse here and hangs out with my wife.”

Stranger to my friend (Very perplexed by the way): “Jim’s GF isn’t a nurse here.  Jim’s GF lives in Cambridge.”

My friend brought the news to me but I did not believe it. BF denied it.  I could not find any evidence of this rumor, and we (Me and his friends) chalked it up to getting him mixed up with his brother (Whose GF lived in Cambridge)…

I would not let go and I do believe in signs (Goofy I know)…Anyway, we shared a pet that was originally mine and he would not let me take her.  I thought maybe he is going thru a hard time and the fact that he won’t let me take the cat is a definite sign that he still loves me and wants to be with me. 

Shortly he called me to say the cat was sick.  I took her to vet where I was told that she had cancer and we put her to sleep.  I thought this was a sign that it was over to I told BF the news and had nothing to do with him.  He would send pics via text of the cat but I did not respond.  Fast forward a month later he began blowing up my phone begging for a second chance.  He said he loved me, was sorry, that he left cause he could not handle life; the lawsuit etc. (The lawsuit was now over). 

He showed up with $1000 earrings that he claimed he hawked all of his jewelry for.  We got back together and once again had a whirlwind romance.  All of my friends and family were steaming mad but did tell me they would support my decision to go back to him…

We took kids house hunting this past summer.  Told the kids he was their future stepdad.  Knew they had issues with my XWS ruining the marriage for OW. 

Everything was great…Then WHAMMO…Two years later he started acted funny again (In October no less) claiming he was distraught over his dead sons.  He finally admitted that he met a woman and took her bowling while we were split up but denies that he met her while we were together.  I originally believed him but now I think he left me for someone else.  In reality he was on a dating website looking for his soul mate.  HIS SOULMATE….I confronted him and he denied it yet said that the fact that I work weekends (I work at a hospital I guess ppl don’t get sick on the weekends) and have kids is a deal breaker for him…HE SHOULD HAVE REALIZED THIS AFTER FOUR DATES NOT FOUR YEARS… My friends and family are my rock (And also the ppl on this board) and NOT ONE PERSON HAS SAID I TOLD YOU SO!!! (Even tho I think they want to!!!!)

If you feel he won’t cheat and you are willing to give him a second chance, I will support you.  But please be careful and don’t let him do what Jim did to me…. I wish you the best and hope everything works out for you….We are here for you so please post here if you need to J

Hugs and support, Christy

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2010
Thu, 01-23-2014 - 5:57pm

Please don't take to heart  the comments of one person (which none of us agree with, nor does any knowledgeable counselor) regarding that you are to blame for the betrayals you've experienced as a reflection on or on the board . YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY OTHER PERSON'S ACTIONS.  I'm so sorry that their comment caused you further pain. It was very insensitive and offensive, no doubt.

Keeping your pain to yourself  won't help.  Talk to a therapist or counselor to help you deal with these issues. You can't figure this out on your own and neither can your ex-now-current BF. He isn't able even now to tell you why he cheated because HE doesn't know. He can't fix what he broke all those years ago by being attentive and doing all the right things when he doesn't know the root of what caused him to cheat.  That's like having a mechanic tell you he doesn't know what's wrong with your motor but he painted the car for you so that it will look good.  That doesn't fix the problem, it just makes it look good on the outside.

Perhaps therapy and couple's counseling would be a good idea for you both. We can offer support and advice as we've all been through betrayals. But if what you were hoping was that we could give you the solution to magically forget and get past this all overnight, I'm afraid you won't find that here. How I wish that one of us had the power to take away the pain of betrayal with a single word but that's just not the case.  It takes work and an honest look at the situation we find ourselves in. We have to separate fiction from fact, fantasy from reality. Its not fun and its not quick but its the only way to heal.

Wishing you all the best,


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Fri, 01-24-2014 - 12:36am

Well, you've had a lot of answers, and a lot of opinions......and most had a grain of truth.  You aren't responsible for all the men you've ever been with cheating on you.  What you ARE responsible for is picking men who will cheat on you.  And since you seem to go into a relationship with that fear, it's likely you voice that fear frequently.......and most men feel that if they're being accused wrongly, they might as well do it, because if they have the name, they might as well have the game, too. 

You say in every relationship you've had, you KNEW they would cheat on you.......and they did.  So, why did you pick them, or why did you stay with them?  You picked them and stayed with them because you don't like yourself, and you feel that you're not worthy of a GOOD man.  Your looks have NOTHING to do with a man cheating on you either.  There are ugly women, fat women, stupid women who all have men madly in love with them, and completely faithful to them.  That's because those women have self confidence, and will not pick men who will not love them and be faithful to them.  Without self confidence, you make poor choices......probably get with the first man who smiles at you because you're thinking no one else will.  If you learn to love yourself more, and be confident enough to know that you don't NEED a will also learn to be more selective about the men you allow into your life.  A confident woman doesn't worry about her man cheating.......but if he does.......she kicks him to the curb.  And she doesn't worry her man about THINKING he'll cheat.  Work on yourself, and you'll attract decent men who will not cheat on you.

Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
Fri, 01-24-2014 - 1:34pm

 After reading your post and the answers there is one constant.  It revolves around you.  I suggest therapy to get to the bottom of this issue.  People are going to do what they feel is best for them.  It means being human mistakes are going to be made.  From committing too soon and living a fantasy life devoid from reality.  It is for you to find out.    Get some therapy and understand what it is that is going on with yourself.