Putting it to a vote: Do I call him out on his cheating?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-04-2012
Putting it to a vote: Do I call him out on his cheating?
3
Sun, 11-04-2012 - 12:16pm

Hello, Im new here and I need advice, lots of it!

I will try to be short but I have an awful lot in my head right now. Firstly, I should say we are broken up. Thiis is not about forgiving or staying with a cheater. The relationship is done. Here are the facts: We were together for almost four years. We had a great relationship, very loving and trusting until two months ago. I was fully in love with him and we both thought marriage was just around the corner. I spent the first three years supporting him emotionally so he could find his career path and be happy at work. He finally finished school to become a teacher. The only teaching job he was offered was in a city very far from where we lived. We drove to the city and checked it out. Neither of us liked it and we struggled to decide if he should take a job somewhere we did not like and far from all friends and family. I had a very bad feeling about it. We eventually decided we had to accept the job and the move would not be forever. I spent all of my money moving there. Things were fairly normal at first, then he began to distance himself from me. He worked stupidly long hours and stopped returning my call/texts. I grew suspicious. I gave him space but nothing improved. We finally had a talk in which he told me he thinks of our relationship had turned into more of a "brother and sister" relationship. He said we could go to counseling. A week passed while I tried to get in with a counseler. The next Friday he dumped me. He was not willing to go to counseling anymore just saying that his feelings changed and he doesnt know why. I asked him multiple times if there was someone else he had bonded with (I was suspicious of her from the get go) He denied it again and again. He acted very sad and sorry but said it could not be helped. I packed up and moved back in with my parents 10 hours away from him.

Since I have been back, I have been in agony wondering what happened. I know it is wrong, but I got into his email account and found out that for weeks he has been having at least an emotional affair with his co-worker. Possibly physical too, but no absolute proof of that. Since I left town it seems they are together every day and they were meeting up before I left town.

Here is my dillemma: Do I tell him that I know that he's a cheater and a liar? I know good advice would be to take the high road and move on because it is obviously over. But at this point, it makes me sick to think that is getting away with this and thinking that we can be friends still. It would mean admitting to him that I read his emails. I know he will hate me for it. But he is the one who lied to me over and over and cheated. I feel as though to ignore this and not tell him I know how horrible he has been will make me feel like a doormat. I think the anger is justified of course. I dont know if sending him a letter saying what I know will do anything for me: I dont want it to make mye feel worse, but at the same time I feel like dying knowing he is there laughing it up with some new girl and that things are all right between us. If I dont tell him what I know, how will I ever respect myself or be able to carry on a casual conversation with him in the future without blowing up? The scary thing is, Im afraid to do it because that would mean we could never reconcile. Its ridiculous, and my head knows I should never ever consider that. But my heart has not let go of what we had, so to know for a fact there is no going back would be difficult. But perhaps I need to know that to find closure??? Please let me know what you think. Right now I feel I must tell him I know he's a cheater. I am trying not to make any rash decisions though. Once it is said, I cannot un-say it. Help!

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007

Dinah, as painful as this discovery may be, you need to let it go.   But don't be friends - and remember that you don't owe him an explanation as to why you won't be friends.

Yes, he may get away with cheating.  But by letting it go, you get away with hacking into his email.  Which you must remember is illegal.  

Just consider this discovery a great way of letting him go easily.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-29-2002

Dinah,

As therapeutic as it may seem.  Confronting him about his actions will only make it harder on you.

What you need to do is write out how you feel, for yourself, and then work on moving forward.

More likely than not, if you were to call him out, it will make things worse for you.  His reaction will either be indifferent or vindictive.  His new love interest will probably be aware, at least to some degree, of who you were.  And gauranteed, you will not get the closure you are so much wanting.  In fact, it will just make the wound on your heart even bigger and harder to repair.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-09-2012

dinahlove wrote:
<p>Hello, Im new here and I need advice, lots of it!</p><p>I will try to be short but I have an awful lot in my head right now. Firstly, I should say we are broken up. Thiis is not about forgiving or staying with a cheater. The relationship is done. Here are the facts: We were together for almost four years. We had a great relationship, very loving and trusting until two months ago. I was fully in love with him and we both thought marriage was just around the corner. I spent the first three years supporting him emotionally so he could find his career path and be happy at work. He finally finished school to become a teacher. The only teaching job he was offered was in a city very far from where we lived. We drove to the city and checked it out. Neither of us liked it and we struggled to decide if he should take a job somewhere we did not like and far from all friends and family. I had a very bad feeling about it. We eventually decided we had to accept the job and the move would not be forever. I spent all of my money moving there. Things were fairly normal at first, then he began to distance himself from me. He worked stupidly long hours and stopped returning my call/texts. I grew suspicious. I gave him space but nothing improved. We finally had a talk in which he told me he thinks of our relationship had turned into more of a "brother and sister" relationship. He said we could go to counseling. A week passed while I tried to get in with a counseler. The next Friday he dumped me. He was not willing to go to counseling anymore just saying that his feelings changed and he doesnt know why. I asked him multiple times if there was someone else he had bonded with (I was suspicious of her from the get go) He denied it again and again. He acted very sad and sorry but said it could not be helped. I packed up and moved back in with my parents 10 hours away from him.</p><p>Since I have been back, I have been in agony wondering what happened. I know it is wrong, but I got into his email account and found out that for weeks he has been having at least an emotional affair with his co-worker. Possibly physical too, but no absolute proof of that. Since I left town it seems they are together every day and they were meeting up before I left town.</p><p>Here is my dillemma: Do I tell him that I know that he's a cheater and a liar? I know good advice would be to take the high road and move on because it is obviously over. But at this point, it makes me sick to think that is getting away with this and thinking that we can be friends still. It would mean admitting to him that I read his emails. I know he will hate me for it. But he is the one who lied to me over and over and cheated. I feel as though to ignore this and not tell him I know how horrible he has been will make me feel like a doormat. I think the anger is justified of course. I dont know if sending him a letter saying what I know will do anything for me: I dont want it to make mye feel worse, but at the same time I feel like dying knowing he is there laughing it up with some new girl and that things are all right between us. If I dont tell him what I know, how will I ever respect myself or be able to carry on a casual conversation with him in the future without blowing up? The scary thing is, Im afraid to do it because that would mean we could never reconcile. Its ridiculous, and my head knows I should never ever consider that. But my heart has not let go of what we had, so to know for a fact there is no going back would be difficult. But perhaps I need to know that to find closure??? Please let me know what you think. Right now I feel I must tell him I know he's a cheater. I am trying not to make any rash decisions though. Once it is said, I cannot un-say it. Help!</p>

The truth of the matter is: he already knows he's a cheater... he already knows that what he did was low--which is why he acted sad,despondent, blah blah.  You are not telling him anything he doesn't already know.  You are not telling the chick he's with anything that she doesn't already know. She knows how he came to her.  Both of them already know things are not fine with you.

Your future happiness is a separate issue from him and her.  Your future happiness is what you choose to make it and if you hang it on him, then it will elude you.  I"m not saying don't grieve--far from it. It's not clear from your post when the break up occurred, but I'm guessing it happened by sometime in October, going by the start of the school year.  So within the last 6 week at the very least, non?  It's reasonable for you to still be upset by this event.

Having said that, it is not up to you stop their laughing it up--it's out of your hands now that you';re no longer together and you've moved back home.  Even if you did manage to interrupt whatever it is they're doing, it's only a moment in time that they'll walk on past, while you're hanging your immediate future on it.  That is why everyone is/should/will tell you to let it go--it's over now.  If you can't respect yourself for maintaining your dignity and leaving things be, then there is a whole lot more you need to be working on with yourself that does not touch this infidelity.

It is way too soon for your heart to be considering reconciliation; in fact, you need to put your head in charge of your actions right now.. your heart is going to feel what it's going to feel, but your head is what is used to put your feelings into action and if you do not heed your good sense right now, you may wander into something you are not prepared to handle, which your heart is ill equipped to get you out of.

You find closure on your own, not with any face to face, dramatic denouement.  Very, very few people get their face-to-face closure... no matter what you may think he does not owe you that. You have to get it for yourself by doing a lot of writing, a lot of crying, a lot of being miserable for the foreseeable future; by rebuilding your life and by making a promise to yourself never again to ignore your intuition when it is screaming "danger" at you just to keep a man.  Being "so close to marriage" is not a good enough reason to disregard your intuition.