I’m a man who deeply regrets having cheated, especially since I had a great girlfriend at the time. I did it because the opportunity was presented to me. Maybe I was just flattered by the other woman’s attraction to me.
But I knew her husband, she knew my girlfriend, we’d even gone out as a foursome and the women were in contact often.
That one fling came close to breaking up both couples. It did end any further friendship between us.
It happened one summer two years ago when her husband was at a cottage for the weekend with fishing buddies. I was alone with work to catch up while my girlfriend was visiting her mother in another town.
I was surprised when the wife called and said since we were both alone, we might as well enjoy a couple drinks together. She was in the car and would come over.
It happened quickly, because her intent was obvious, and I got turned on. The next few weeks, we got together three times. I used my brother’s house, because he was travelling with his family.
My girlfriend sensed something. She said I had to tell her about it or she’d leave immediately. I confessed. She phoned the woman, saying to tell her husband or she’ll do it. The wife confessed.
Things were tense for us for a few months but we talked it through a lot and finally put it behind us. The other couple have kids and I heard that the husband was shocked/angry but didn’t want to split up his family. They had counselling but still have ups and downs, I’m told.
I learned the hard way that cheating hurts everyone.
Your girlfriend fought for you by going right to an ultimatum. It woke you to what you have with her and what you’d lose.
The husband had a double emotional jolt - his wife’s infidelity, and potential fallout on their children.
There are good reasons why cheaters could’ve done differently. Eg: Not being the “bad one” who breaks up a marriage but instead talking openly with your partner about what’s missing between you. Both can then decide for moving on separately, or getting both marriage/individual counselling and trying to refresh the marriage.
FEEDBACK Regarding the man who ogled other women when out with his wife (August 16):
Reader #1 – “From a woman: Ogling women is a sign of immaturity and disrespect for all (unknown females, his girlfriend and guests).
“While it may be a one-off and your advice was somewhat sound, be a champion for all girls and women and call the person out.”
Ellie - “Sound advice” often works better than overreacting immediately.
Once home (I should’ve added this) she could tell this “good man,” that his ogling of other women hurt and humiliated her. That’s where and when a “champion” should be confident and call him out.
Reader #2 – “From a Man: Attractive females will always attract men’s eyes. Concern only arises if looking moves into any type of action.
“How will he know how lucky he is if he doesn’t see what’s out there?
“PLUS, this does happen both ways. The letter-writer is hypocritical if she says that she NEVER checks out other guys.
“Window shopping’s OK as long as you don’t sample the merchandise.”
Ellie - This quote ignores the hurt and humiliation felt by a partner who’s focused on another.
FEEDBACK Regarding the father lying to his son about his ex-wife having had an affair (August 17):
“Reading this column, and others like it, makes me sad.
I read somewhere that people who do this type of stuff “hate their exes more than they love their children.”
“If people understood, and acknowledged the harm they are doing their children (I have first-hand knowledge from several examples of what has happened in our extended family), many would rethink how they behave.
“On the other hand, a couple of others, who should have been bitter about how their exes dumped them and left them in dire conditions, never said a bad word about the dirt-bag-ex to their children.”
Ellie - Most disturbing are those who go to extremes - eg. a mother so insulting to her ex’es partner of now-many years, that her teenage children chose to live with their stepmother and Dad.
Tip of the day:
Cheaters are either too cowardly to leave the marriage that’s not working or too arrogant to not realize they’ll be caught.