I'm glad I found this forum, because I have scoured the web for situations like mine, trying to find some sort of answers to the questions lingering in my head. I feel like my situation is a tame one in comparison to many, but my life has been very shaken by it.
About three weeks ago, I came home from work to find my wife crying uncontrollably. She asked me to sit down, and told me about an infidelity in our relationship that happened about a month before we got married. We have been married for almost four years, and she had kept this from me all this time. She entered into marriage with this betrayal hidden from me.
We had dated for a little over a year and had a long-distance relationship. I was her first, and I know this for sure. In fact, she was very inexperienced when we started dating. Although we lived in neighboring states, our ways of life were similar: fairly old-fashioned, traditional Christian upbringings. So the thought of infidelity had been completely out of the picture for me. Our marriage has always felt very solid to me, especially when I see the issues involved in other marriages.
The boy she cheated with had been someone she had feelings for intermittently through school, and I mean since 3rd grade. Nothing serious, never even kissed before. But during our relationship he had started texting her, often about his current relationship or other issues, but his texts had gotten more aggressive. She had told me about his texts several months back, and I had gotten mad, and she never mentioned it again. I assumed, and still feel, that through all his advances she had been true to me in every way.
But one night she contacted him though text. She claims it had started innocently. Since so much time has passed, she says she can't remember details anymore. She says she doesn't know why she texted him. She claims it had nothing to do with me. But apparently the text conversation progressed, and at one point she sent him a picture of her from the back, wearing nothing but panties, apparently to tease him, telling him he could never have her.
Again, the details have been scarce from this point. She doesn't know what led her to sneak out of bedroom window at her parent's house, but she did. She walked down the road and met him in his truck. They had sex, but she claims he didn't cum, which seems strange to me. She says she started realizing how much of a mistake this was during their encounter. She is of course incredibly apologetic and remorseful.
We still live together, though I have been sleeping in our spare bedroom. What is difficult is that, due to the traditional Christian circles we are a part of, I feel like I have to keep this to myself. I don't want others to know, and I know that if I leave others will find out. Our social/religious circle is very tight-knit, and my dad is a very important member of it. I don't want to bring shame to my family, and I know that if her family finds out they will react with great anger and judgment to say the least. Her parents are also visiting right now, so I feel like we need to pretend everything is just perfect for the next week while they are staying with us. I feel like a prisoner in my own life.
My main questions are:
-Can I trust her? What she did seems so out of character with who I thought she was. I want to believe that what she did was an isolated incident, but I've been having my doubts. I believe this is the only time she's cheated, but I'm afraid that if our marriage ever hits a rocky patch in the future, that she is capable of cheating again.
-When can I let myself and our life together return to normal, without feeling like I've let her off too easy?