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Is it possible to get over a one time cheating incident?

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LCC18 posted 5/4/2019 18:30 PM

I feel like a lot of posts on here are about long term affairs. I am in a different situation where my significant other and I were in a dragged out fight that lasted about a week. We are not married but have been together for 3 years now. We really don't even fight... this was our most serious one. We threw out there the idea of calling it quits because we just couldn't come to a consensus. I am under a lot of stress at my job, so I think that contributed to me being able to throw the idea out there of us ending. We were supposed to get together one night to talk things out but he bailed because he was "tired". It turns out that he downloaded a hook up iPhone app and drove an hour to meet a girl that night to have sex.
I caught him because he never turned off his location status on his phone. He admitted to it and claimed that he thought our long fight and me mentioning us ending meant that we were going to be over. And he was very pissed off that I would call it quits so easily.... so he decided to "act single". But now is claiming that he highly regrets it and would do absolutely anything to prevent us from ending. He is even offering to not hook up or go on dates with any other girls for a year if it means he has a chance at us working out. He has sought out a therapist to figure out what led him to make such a rash and selfish decision.

My question is---- is it possible to regain trust after a one time event like this? Does that excuse seem legitimate? Was I wrote to throw the idea out there of ending when I really had no intentions of ending things? Or was he wrong to not talk to me about our situation first like we had agreed before downloading an app and driving an hour soberly to fuck someone?

Marz posted 5/4/2019 18:53 PM

Anything is possible.

However, you now know the capability to cheat is there.

Which means it could happen again.

If it were me I'd take a good long time and evaluate before committing further rather than find out 10-15 years from now with mixed finances, kids, etc.

Plu id insist on him getting some IC to figure out why he did such a destructive thing.

1Wvgirl posted 5/4/2019 20:14 PM

I was married for nearly 30 years. My husband had sex one time with one woman. I found out 7 months ago yesterday. He did all the right things and I believe he is genuinely sorry. Some days I think we can put it behind us and move one. Some days I'm ready to leave him. I've decided that I don't have to make that decision now. Just because I am with him doesn't mean I have to be tomorrow. Takes the pressure off

Lolow posted 5/4/2019 20:50 PM

Hi LLC18, sorry you find yourself here.

My WH had a Ďone time incidentí there are quite a few of us ONSers on here, but I agree that longer term (weeks, months, years) are more prevalent on this forum.

First things first, one time or multiple times, the hurt is still profound either way and is still a betrayal against your relationship, it is not somehow less of a betrayal because it only happened once and you should not be expected to feel like you are over exaggerating because Ďit could have been worseí or Ďit only happened once.í You should also not accept ANY blame shifting, you are not responsible for his decisions or his actions and you certainly did not Ďdriveí him to it. He knew it was wrong, he knew it would hurt you, he still CHOSE to cheat. That is on him.

Now to your questions;

Is it possible to get over?
Yes, but it depends on the people involved and the work put in reconciliation. There is no quick fix, true R takes a lot of hard work and it takes years. It is not easy...... at all, ever.

Yes, you can regain trust, but it is a long road and a hard one and it doesnít come back easily, trust is earnt and once broken is a long, hard road to regaining it. You first gave trust easily and freely, he gave you no reason to doubt him or his loyalty, but now he has broken that and you have lost faith in his loyalty, actions and processes. Coming back from that is hard, he has to put a lot of hard work in and make sacrifices to try and regain what he broke.

No, his excuse is just that, an excuse. You did not contribute to his cheating, there are any number of things he could have done. Cheating is never an option and is not something a healthy person does. What he has done is shift some of the blame onto you, that is wrong and also not something a healthy person does and it is also not something a person who is excepting responsibility for their actions does. That is not real remorse, real remorse does not say ĎI am sorry I hurt you, but you bought it on yourself.í It is much easier to say itís someone elseís fault or that other people contributed than to look at the real reason he did what he did. To go to IC and explore the reasons for poor coping mechanisms or poor boundaries.

We often say things we regret, we should learn and grow from them. In my experience, if you donít mean it, then donít say it. In this case I suspect you said it in an attempt to hurt and shock your partner, but it was a lie and a manipulation and not a healthy tool for use in a relationship. Perhaps you need to work on effective communication skill? While what you said was not okay and you need to take responsibility for your part in that fight, it had nothing to do with his cheating (though he used it as an excuse) and should be treated as a seperate issue.
Of course he was wrong to blow you off, head to another town and cheat. Has cheating helped your situation? Was it ever going to help your situation? No, itís much much much worse now isnít it. Thatís because itís not the choice a healthy person makes in a relationship. I am concerned that the first time you have a major fight, that your partner off and cheated. It really points to poor coping at the very least. What happens when he gets stressed in the future? What does he do then? In short, this issue is painful now, but if he doesnít address these issues than I am concerned that in the future you may find yourself in the same position again.

Personally, with hindsight, if my WH was a WB and there was nothing other than affection tying us together than I would have left. We are over 2 years out and heading towards desperation. I donít trust he wonít do this again, he isnít really putting in the work to having proper firm and healthy boundaries or why this is was his reaction under stress and how to develop new mechanisms for coping that donít involve using someone else to feel good. Every story has its nuances, the people are different, the setting is different, but the main plot line is depressingly the same. You said something mean, so I cheated. You donít love me so I found someone who does. You donít understand, we are soulmates, no one has ever understood me like they do ect.

pureheartkit posted 5/4/2019 21:48 PM

If you stick together you must both go and learn how to talk through tough situations. Nobody should be taking calling it quits unless they are seriously ready to quit. Marriage is hard. You have to learn how to fight fairly and with respect. There will be hard times ahead. There always are.

Everybody's unique. Some can't forgive any infidelity, such as just kissing. What's in your heart? If you forgive, he must step up and change. A few hasty words don't allow anyone to step into infidelity. Please look at John Gottman's marriage videos and read in our healing library here. Don't rush to move past this, you need to work through the hurt.

standinghere posted 5/4/2019 22:58 PM

Regardless of what was said, what you did, what he did, in the week leading up to this, what you just witnessed was the best example of worst behavior in handling stressful relationship issues.

he downloaded a hook up iPhone app and drove an hour to meet a girl that night to have sex

Just that action is very dysfunctional response to a stressful situation.

Marriage, or LTR's, married or not, is full of stress. Marriage or a LTR with children involved, even more stressful. Add jobs, job losses, aging, illness, etc on top of that.
I don't know how old you are, but dysfunctional behaviors tend to escalate under those pressures, not ameliorate.

My wife, now a FWS, admitted in our lengthy MC a bunch of pre marital stuff that represented this exact type of behavior historically before she met me. Her affair, regardless of all the other issues involved at the time, was a replication of prior behaviors that she thought she had put behind her, but had not understood or learned from.

was he wrong to not talk to me about our situation first like we had agreed before downloading an app and driving an hour soberly to fuck someone?

Yes, the issue is bolded. If you said it was over, and he did this, it would be "OK" relationship wise, because the relationship is over. However, even if it was over, the behavior is still dysfunctional "I'm stressed out so I am going to fuck a random stranger" behavior.

Don't mix that behavior with marriage or family because it is explosive in both cases.

bookworm19 posted 5/5/2019 02:10 AM

It's possible, but not very likely you will get "over it" just like that. At every argument you will have from now on you will ask yourself what will he do, who is he going to f...k... And his excuse is really poor. If this is his coping mechanism I would be very worried in your place.

Justgetitoverwith posted 5/5/2019 02:42 AM

Yes, it's possible. I got over a ons, but have found out years later that he went on to do much worse, not long after. All the usual shitty excuses - thought he may have been uncomfortable with the increasing commitment, wanted to see it he could get someone else (ie wanted someone else to want him), didn't intend to but let it go too far, poor impulse control, etc. Now I don't know if he's done other things I just didn't find our about, because he's had plenty of opportunities and obviously no integrity. Much like your partner kicking off after an argument and immediately going out to have sex with someone else.

Tbh, and this isn't what I think you want to hear, but three years together is nothing. If he's this untrustworthy over *an argument* alone, you can't trust him with bigger stresses down the line. He had plenty of time yo calm down and choose a different course while driving there, but he didn't. Because he wanted to have sex with someone else, and this was as good an opportunity as he'd get. If I were you, with the benefit of the hindsight I now have, I'd leave him and go looking for someone more trustworthy, who respects your relationship. Because he obviously doesn't. Sorry.

The1stWife posted 5/5/2019 04:05 AM

Yes you can recover from this one night stand.

But please understand your relationship will never be the same.

Itís like the analogy of a piece of paper. You get the paper and it is smooth and flat. Once you crumble it up the paper will never be smooth and wrinkle free again.

cocoplus5nuts posted 5/5/2019 08:32 AM

We were supposed to get together one night to talk things out

This does not sound like you saying you guys were done. If so, why talk? I think any mature adult would understand that.

but he bailed because he was "tired". It turns out that he downloaded a hook up iPhone app and drove an hour to meet a girl that night to have sex.

He bailed on the possibility of saving your relationship to hook up with a stranger.

Sounds to me like he was having a hissy fit and did this for the sole purpose of hurting you.

I agree with standinghear. The behavior is dysfunctional regardless of the circumstance around it. I would be seriously questioning if that's something I would want to try to get over with someone I am not married to and don't have children with.

Brennan87 posted 5/5/2019 09:02 AM


Anything is possible, gently, I don't think we ever get "over it", but rather we get through it.

It will require a lot of work from both of you. You to heal from the injustice and betrayal of it all and him understanding why he went down this path and healing and growing to be a better person.

Prianka posted 5/5/2019 17:26 PM

While it is possible, marriage is a lifetime commitment for most people...if having sex with other women is how he handles a really bad fight, he may not be marriage material.

faithfulman posted 5/5/2019 17:49 PM

I dunno, it sure seems like he had a plan of action locked and loaded!

Almost like he was looking for an excuse to fuck some other chick.

I would be quite suspicious as to whether this has happened previously.

Because for men especially, scoring that quickly and efficiently is rare.

Good luck LCC18

[This message edited by faithfulman at 6:20 PM, May 5th (Sunday)]

babypuke posted 5/5/2019 18:12 PM

Strength, we are here for you, you are not alone. I agree with what Faithfulman said above, I also do not believe that he managed to organize to have sex with a non-prostitute stranger via a dating app in a day to a week, you should verify. Also, only if he is genuinly sorry he may never do it again, and his genuine regret and actions to help you heal are preconditions for your recovery, but you are by no means obliged to take him back and feel free to dump him for whatever reason. Stay safe, and best wishes.

phmh posted 5/5/2019 18:18 PM

Agree with standinghere.

I'll take it a step further and say that the ONS is the least of your problems with this guy.

3 years in should still be major honeymoon phase.

THIS is how he deals with stress? Grab yourself a copy of "The Science of Happily Ever After." You can probably get it from your library. The two of you are just fundamentally incompatible. You are pretty much dooming yourself to a life of unhappiness if you stay with someone who reacts like this.

You will learn to walk on eggshells, as you don't want to do anything to upset him, not knowing what his response will be. You will slowly (so slowly that you don't even realize it's happening) lose yourself until you become a shell of what you are now. What he did is abuse. Please think about what you want your future to look like. I promise there are amazing guys out there who would never even think of acting this way; who work to solve problems in a mature and responsible manner.

Make sure you are with someone whose values are fundamentally compatible with yours. I don't know you, but given his behavior, do you this your values are compatible?

Gunnut posted 5/5/2019 21:13 PM

It is possible, but without being married and no kids, Iíd recommend getting rid of this guy. He failed the dating test. Iím sorry for your pain, you didnít deserve this.

nextday posted 5/5/2019 22:23 PM

My WH has a ONS and, a year later, weíre in a pretty good place. That said, there was 100% ownership on his part from the day after it happened, IC and MC, and he has continued to work on himself since. So itís definitely possible, and I hope you are able to get to a better place together.

pureheartkit posted 5/5/2019 22:48 PM

Saying he was tired was a cover up lie so he wouldn't have to cancel the romp. That lie is a worrisome thing in itself. The woman you want to be with calls to patch things up but you are set on your plan so instead of cancelling it, you cancel on your sweetheart.

How often did you disagree on things? Did he listen to you? Did you ever feel he omitted things or lied about things? These are serious matters to think on.

66charger posted 5/5/2019 22:48 PM

You may not have deserved it, but if it was you who "threw out the idea" of breaking off and he was left with the impression that you were not together, then this is on you. It does not matter what you felt, it matters what you did. Either you broke it off or you didn't. So what was it? Dont call it a ONS if you know a different truth. And he had no obligation to have a reconciliation talk with you. If you broke wanted to talk and he did not, did you really expect him to say "sorry, since we are not together, I have a date" and I might have sex?

If I broke up with a woman and the next week she was advertising as a available, I may not like it, but I am not going to call her a cheater.

That's what I really want to post, but in reality....

Women will play validation games. They will break up/fight/get mad at you for no reason.
You must then chase them down and show them what they really mean to you. It is just the way it is. A reasonable amount of time and effort must be given before throwing in the towel. A mature man should know this.

Hopefully you have learned that playing games in a relationship does not give you a score. It's pass or fail. Did he fail the test? Yes, but so did you. In the future, if you say something you don't mean (we all do) correct it right away.

Gunnut posted 5/6/2019 07:49 AM

Throwing out the idea to call it quits isnít a break up. I think that a call or a text from him asking, ďAre we officially done ?Ē, should have been in order, for a three year relationship, before moving on with someone else.

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