I'm a new member in the club nobody wants to be in. Bear with me, I'm part of the walking wounded and this is my story:
I have been in a serious long-term relationship with my boyfriend for 10 years. Six months into dating, there was another betrayal, not cheating and not a break-up, but something happened(I don't feel that I can talk about it here, but just know, it was really bad.) He was so remorseful and seemed so genuine at the time, I really believed it was all due to a miscommunication, amd I let him back into my life. Our relationship continued to grow for 10 more years.
D-Day was March 7, 2023. It was the second day of my workweek, so I was busily plugging away. The night before, a notification appeared on Facebook messenger that someone was trying to send me a message. I initially ignored it because I've gotten these messages in the past from hackers. During the next afternoon though, when I was taking a lunch break, something made me take a look at the message and I couldn't make heads or tails of what I was seeing. A woman had contacted me to tell me she had met my boyfriend back in July 2022 and had not been aware of me until the past Sunday(I think it was March 5). She wanted to tell me she was devastated as she didn't know about me, had been struggling with reaching out to me, but felt that I should know "about finding out he was a pathological liar and opportunist." My first reaction was one of disbelief, this had to be someone who was just a whacko who had some prior connection to him. I felt sure my boyfriend would tell me he had no idea who in the world this was either, I was that trusting. When I called him, he didn't answer, so I texted him to call me as I had gotten a disturbing message. When he texted me back asking me if I wanted him to see me to talk about it, my heart literally sank all the way from my chest to the floor of the car. I called him back immediately and this time he answered. I went right into asking who this woman was. He repeated he wanted to sit down with me, and I told him no, he was going to tell me now! He finally admitted to meeting up with her. I had to push him to get the truth out, asking, you met her and then what? He had trouble answering so I continued to push. You met her and then what? Did you do more? He said he did more. I finally came right out, and said, did you sleep with her? He said yes. My heart started beating a million miles a minute and I just started shaking. I couldn't believe what I was hearing, it was like suddenly I had tunnel vision and a loud roaring in my ears. Then he started in with the excuses, telling me how he had thought I had broken up with him last July. The story with that: half of my family was going on a cruise this April 2023, which I was reluctant to tell him about right away, and he found out during my mother's 80th birthday dinner. I pulled him aside that night and told him I was sorry I didn't tell him right away, explaining that he wasn't being excluded, most of my family was actually not going on this cruise as well as him. He had also been okay 4 years ago when my mother and I went on a vacation by ourselves. Also, the two of us were actually going on a cruise in a couple of weeks ourselves. After we talked, he seemed to accept this, and everything went on seemingly normal. We did go on our cruise and had a wonderful time. During no time from then on was there any indication of a problem.
Back to March 7. I don't remember the drive back home.And somehow or other, I managed to show up for work the next day, and the next. I told myself I would not wallow in self-pity. But on the inside I am screaming. I honestly feel like I'm going crazy at times. I have been scouring the internet in between working and when I'm at home, looking up every article on infidelity, even digging to see if he is on secret dating profiles. Nobody would suspect I am a functioning human being, but at my very core I am wretched. It feels like a million tiny knives are sticking into my heart. I go back and forth between being grateful that the other woman reached out to me, she was an unsuspecting victim herself,telling me she had been cheated on 10 years ago by her ex-husband who had an affair when she was giving birth to their first child and had no desire after just getting into the dating world to be "the other woman", to hating her and ruminating over and over just how many times the two of them dated, how many times were they in bed together, when my boyfriend was with me, was he secretly texting her, just every scenario you can think of. What adds to the mess is he and my brother had become very close friends over the past few years. My brother is stepping back right now to process everything. Right now he is away on business, but indicated to me that when he returns and is ready, he will "deal" with him."(No, not beat him up-my brother is not like that!) The unspoken implication is, he will break all contact with him. For my sake. Because his(as well as my whole family's) strict loyalty is to me.
This man was with me every holiday, has sat down with my family, was friends not only with my brother, but my sisters as well, and I don't know how he had the audacity to look them in the eyes when he was betraying me behind their backs. He gave me some story on the phone March 7, again how he had thought back in July for the trip he wasn't included in, that we had broken up, he loves me, but we should have been married by now, I was starting to see him less and less(this has been true for a few months, but I just started a new job while working on the side for my previous job, and I was exhausted all of the time, in between trying to be there for my mother. I also had some real upheavals in the past three years, being laid off from a job I had for 15 years, then 4 days after that my father dying, changing jobs a couple of time until I found the right fit, and my mother's aging process.)
My sister-in-law said a few days after March 7, he reached out to her, telling her he made a "terrible mistake, and I would never trust him again." I almost felt like laughing. He "loves" me, yet the minute a problem came up in our relationship, he made the conscious decision to go out and seek another woman claiming he "thought I had broken up with him." I also wonder if EVERYTHING in our relationship was a lie. Was he seeing others? If so, how many? What else besides infidelity was he keeping from me? There are also the practical things to consider, like did he expose me to a potential STI or STD? My feelings are going up and down like a rollercoaster. One moment I feel calm, then the next suddenly I'm shaking and feeling like I'm going to throw up. It got so bad yesterday that after lunch at work I called my manager to let her know I wasn't feeling well.(She is a very nice person, and said not to worry, just go home and rest.)I am so full of anger, sadness, disappointment, you name it. The proverbial knife has been stuck in my back. I feel like it was all jokes on me, the trusting fool, and am a sad loser who is now doomed to be alone for the rest of my life.