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I cheated on my wife but not alone.

I have been married for 3 years and 6 months. I have known my wife for 6 years and am sad to say that she is seriously considering divorce. If there were a way to write this in a couple of paragraphs, I would. Please bear with me.

My wife was my first love and first girl to have sex with. Prior to my wife I had dated a girl for 3 months where it never got passed kissing. I was also my wife's first love and first to have sex with. Both of us had beautifully dived into a pool full of curiosity, excitement, and forbidden encounters due to our religious beliefs. Not too long after my wife and I got married she informed me that she was seriously reconsidering our faith. It was a massive blow because she I had met at church, she had baptized me and most of our friends were church folk. The months leading up to my wife's newfound questions about our faith was spent arguing. I now REGRET it so much. Don't get me wrong, there were times that I TRIED to be supportive but that was often outweighed by my disappointed and often condescending tone. I also spent a lot of my time working and not being around my wife. All the while, because of our lack of financial stability, we lived with my parents. This became chaotic to our relationship. I was learning very quickly that marriage was a battle field. Finally I got a job that allowed us to move into our space. (I should also mention that my wife is a very angry human being. She would often physically harm me during our fights because I would block the door from getting into our car and driving off angry. So to move me out of the way, she would punch me often bruising me)

During the first 4 months of having our space we spent fighting even more. I spent my time working a lot and still not spending a lot of time with her. It was during May of 2012 that my wife left to visit my in-laws. It was then that I engaged in a conversation with a woman online. The conversation was not explicit nor with the intent of hooking up. I was only trying to add some excitement in my life. During that conversation the lady asked me if I was married, and I of course said that I was NOT married. Immediately after that happened, I remember calling my wife that night crying to her out of guilt and telling her that I missed her a lot. My intentions were to tell her what had happened but since she was visiting my in-laws during their early stages of a separation, I felt that waiting for her to return would be more appropriate. I am not sure if this was fortunate or not, but the lady with whom I was chatting up on facebook, contact my wife informing her that a man was talking to her that had my wife's last name. My wife was devastated and angry. She would call me angry telling me that I was a cheater. Telling me that I had disowned her and that she wasn't sure that she wanted to stay in the marriage. I pleaded with her to not make rash decisions but that I would set up a counseling appointment. The day of her return, things were a lot less hectic. She and I decided to not worry about anything until we saw our therapist. That night after she had gone to bed, for some strange reason, I had this gut feeling to check her computer. I first found craigslist ads and then I found an email address that I couldn't get access to. I woke her up and confronted her; not screaming nor angry, I ensured her that whatever I found in that email that we would find a way to work it out. What I found were 2 distinct emails addressed to 2 different men. Both emails were of sexual content. She wrote saying (paraphrasing) : "I am looking for a one time thing as I love my husband and plan on not leaving him. I just need some excitement in my life and I am looking for a man to sexually please me in ways my husband can't. I prefer to not meet at my place. I like white, hispanic, and black men. I prefer some one who is about 9-10 inches and hung."

It destroyed me in ways that even as I am typing this out it still pains me. In addition to, I found that she was watching porn and used our back massager as a vibrator. Her story was that she was doing a test on craigslist to see how easy it was for a woman to find sex. While I wanted to believe her, there was something in me that just didn't buy it. After our counseling session we decided to give this a try. I told her I would try to forget what had happened as I am sure she would do the same for me. I know we were both at fault. But what hurt me the most is that I have always had a problem with lying. It almost ended my relationship with my wife during the first several months of our dating relationship because I had embellished stories about me playing basketball for a college basketball team. I remember that the reason she wanted to give me a second chance was because she felt that I had a problem with insecurity and that is why I lied. But that never got worked on as a couple. I never pushed her to be with me. She made that decision on her own and I figured that she would help me get through that together because of her love for me. It lasted a few months after that.

It was obvious that my wife was sexually unhappy with me. I had also gained about 60 more pounds. I have tried to loose weight for my wife, but that has become a trial. Nonetheless, I got her a vibrator and I have used it ever since this occurred. It was such a challenge because she was hoping to achieve orgasm without a vibrator and with a more experience man. But I kept my promise.

Even till this day I use that vibrator to help her get off. But what about me? Before we were married I used to finger her, have sex in our car, in a parking lot, and had random morning sex. Now there is none of that. She nows said that she hates being fingered - which is okay and I respect it - but she would still push me away. I always compliment my wife. I always initiate sex. She's always very mean to me and tells me I smell. I know its up to me to be clean and smell good before sex but she NEVER does anything for me just because. Okay, never might be not accurate, but very rarely.

Our fights got worst because she recently dropped another bomb telling me that she was an Atheist. Again, nothing wrong with that but it threatened me because every time we had a discussion about it she would always talk down to me. She tells me how wrong I am and that believing in a god is foolish. Despite all the new arguments I felt like I had kept my promise of pleasing her sexually even though she didn't keep hers. This made me feel insecure and not wanted so I then again searched for validation from an out side source, POF. None of my conversations were of sexual nature. It was more like flirting without having to worry about sex. It just made me feel wanted.

She found out and now is again talking about calling it quits. This time I feel like she is more determined to make it happen. My question to the community is this : Is it out of line for me to ask her to recognize her fault in all of this. If its not out of line, how can I help her see that she had a hand to play in all of this. If this was a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship then sure she's not entitled to feel any kind of way about it except how she wants to handle it. But being married makes us both equally responsible of sustaining our happiness together. Something I feel she has failed to do. The truth is that I LOVE my wife. There are times that she makes me feel so secure and sure of my self. I love her when she plays with my nephew and niece. I love her smile and I specially love her willingness to always want to spend time with my sisters to spend quality time as family. I love her perspective on raising a child and respect her for being so bold and willing to question her methods and seek professional help. I love her because she was a gift from my God and now I am on a verge of loosing that.

Thank you so much for any light you guys can shed my way.
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replied October 23rd, 2013
Extremely eHealthy
Being an atheist isn't a bad thing. People with a brain between their ears who have been brought up or indoctrinated in a belief system should question their faith and although many return to that faith or another later in life when it seems to make more sense lots of people lapse or become atheist.
Being an atheist doesn't prevent a person from adopting a code of high ethics even though the moral values could be different from those attached to a spiritual belief system.

There are few really spiritual people on this planet of ours but we all have one common belief system and so we can all find common ground. There is hardly a single individual who is not first and foremost a pagan whether they realise it or not or whether they acknowledge it or not; everyone's first thoughts turn to the matter of physical well-being and the things that can be seen, felt or touched.

Marriage is often a war for a few years and sometimes longer as each discovers things about the other that irritate or cause dissatisfaction and they try and change each other. The war at home usually has many memorable battles for no particular reasons and a few for real reasons, some uneasy periods of peace and some periods of contentment and even happiness.

When there is sexual incompatibility or sex isn't satisfying it does tend to magnify those other dissatisfying things. When there has been little or no previous sexual history, married people often become curious and feel they have missed something important by not having previous sexual partners.

I think your wife has been influenced greatly by anecdotes from other women which are often exaggerated and by porn which isn't real and probably by the popular media and the romance it portrays.
You didn't name her particular dissatisfaction but you seem to strongly imply she feels your penis size is insufficient and your technique doesn't provide her with orgasms?

People, especially women, often because of upbringing and the exposure to the above influences, seem to believe life should be like a fairy tale full of princes and princesses and the marriage bed like a porn film and become disenchanted when they discover people aren't perfect and either don't see what they think should be obvious or don't learn fast enough.
The reality of a world that stinks of metaphorical excrement is too great a shock for those who have been led to believe the world is like an advert for air fresheners.

You both clearly have a lot to learn about each other, about sex and love-making and about the world and its people. Some of this comes with age and experience and some comes from communicating with each other. Being ignorant and inexperienced is nobody's fault but staying that way is definitely somebody's fault...

"My question to the community is this : Is it out of line for me to ask her to recognize her fault in all of this. If its not out of line, how can I help her see that she had a hand to play in all of this. If this was a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship then sure she's not entitled to feel any kind of way about it except how she wants to handle it. But being married makes us both equally responsible of sustaining our happiness together."

You are definitely thinking along the right lines even though I feel you both need a reality check and an injection of humility, even though your wife clearly needs a somewhat larger dose.
Being married is a contract to co-exist and to provide each other exclusively with sex for life and a contract agreeing to be provided with sex for life by the other. Being married does not guarantee happiness and married people should not expect happiness except as a bonus for lots of hard work at making lots of compromises.

Divorce should be viewed as a safety net for dire emergencies and for those who have discovered they can't continue to live together in spite of lots of hard work.

It is at those times when the war becomes bitter or the peace too uneasy the contract is needed to hold things together...

I hope you will both learn fast and I hope your therapist will help you to do that. If your wife's curiosity proves to be too strong or her dissatisfaction is too great it might be better if she does go and sow those wild oats she missed in her younger days, but hopefully not before you have both given your marriage more time and more effort...

Good luck!
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replied October 24th, 2013
I can't thank you enough for your insight. I completely agree with most of your points. I should emphasize that while I made my wife's newfound perspective a bit of a challenge - today - I stand firmly supportive of her beliefs. My point in bringing up that chapter in our marriage is because I don't think my wife realized - nor does she still - how extremely private and confidential she requested I kept her questions regarding our faith. Today I am able to understand and accept why she requested such terms. Perhaps she felt outnumbered or threaten that my family would look down on her and judge her; something I can't see my family capable of doing. But at the same time she failed to realize that I was unprepared to deal with such experiences on our own. Whenever I told her I would go to a pastor about it, she made sure it was a pastor that didn't know her personally. In the end I never went to seek any counsel on the issue because most of the pastors we knew were the only pastors that I would feel comfortable talking to and in turn knew her very well.

I wish I had done things differently during that time in our lives but unfortunately that is not the root of the issue. I am an insecure man and I am working to fix that. The truth is my wife is an extremely attractive woman. Sometimes I am in awe that she decided to marry me. And it hurts so much to know that instead of seeking approval from her and her body, I went to find a CHEAP and non-sexual solution that has broken the trust just the same as if I had actually had sex with someone else. Will she ever realize that she has done equal damage to no only my trust but my manhood?

I hope that we work this out. I can't see myself loving someone else. When she and I spend quality time together, our world is filled with pure joy. Again I want to thank you for taking the time to write to me!


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