Relationship Help Forum: Fidelity Issues

The relationship help forum is a regular element here on the Relationship Blog. I take a letter from a woman with a real relationship crisis (sent to me on a relationship forum elsewhere) and edit all the identifiable details so she can't be identified. I know that highlighting these issues here will help this blog's readers who're facing the same situations in their lives, as I also include my answer to the original letter. 

Today's real life relationship story reminds us of how important it is to stay true to ourselves and what we know is right. Sally's (not her real name) story illustrates how we can sometimes allow relationships to make us second-guess even our own conscience. You can see other relationship help forum stories at this page.


Dear Anne,
I have been dating *Tony for over a year now. We were set up by a good friend of ours. It started off pretty casual in the beginning. I’d just started my own business (with little spare time on my hands), and he had gotten out of a pretty long relationship. Also, I knew he was seeing another woman too.
After a few months we both realized that this could be IT. I made time for him from my schedule, and he seemed 100% completely into me. He even made jokes like ‘You should marry me’ (being cute of course). Neither one of us had been married because we take marriage seriously (at least, that’s what I thought).
I come to find out that the other woman he was seeing happened to be married. Not only was she married, but she and her husband were good friends of his. I met her and her husband at a party Tony threw. After finding this out, I had a hard time respecting and trusting him. How could I fall in the love with someone who could do this? I felt disgusted with him and her. I wasn’t shy in telling him how I felt either. I was outright mean. We started fighting a lot and couldn’t seem to trust each other. 
I know my fault was over reacting and causing arguments about the infidelity. After a lot of over analyzing, I realized that everyone has a past and I love him. I am in a place to forgive him and get over it, however, I fear he has giving up on us.
I feel like I’m in a desperate position and am wondering why I ever reacted the way I did. I miss him every day and hope I didn’t ruin everything. Please help! I will practice your advice daily. You have the best advice.

Relationship help forum: fidelity issues - answer

Dear Sally, the distrust and disgust you felt when you found out what this man had done was your inherent reaction. It was the right way to feel as a decent, trusting person. Why then would you back-step and doubt what is truly natural for you to feel? I don’t think you overreacted at all.

The fact that he does not want to proceed with the relationship says something, not about you, but about his intentions towards a life alongside you. Maybe your outburst made him realise that you were seriously into a committed relationship with him. Maybe it made him realise that you were reading much too much into your monogamous relationship. It could be that he saw this as a good escape route.

If you said things about fidelity that he had no intentions of honouring, maybe he took the kinder way out and left you alone. Listen, if he really is in love with you, a long talk with him should clear things up. You found out such an awful thing about him and you’re prepared to forgive him. Why? Simply because you love him. If he loves you just the same, he would forgive the things you said to him because to him, this would be better than having to live without you.

Have another chat with him. Find out where things stand and where they’re going. My guess is that he’s scared of the type of committed relationship he had no idea you wanted (until you spilled your guts).

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Harleena Singh September 18, 2013 at 9:53 AM  

Hi Anne,

I completely agree with you. Such people are not worthy enough and should be set free - let them go.

She should realize that this man isn't really committed towards her, of he had been in the first place this wouldn't have happened. Even later he isn't willing and wanting for things to work out, which is a clear indication that he is not at all serious.

Yes, talk out and define what you want or expect from your relationship and see what his response is to you. I don't think this should carry on further because he isn't actually keen.

Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week :)

Anne Lyken-Garner September 18, 2013 at 10:35 AM  

Thanks for stopping by, Harleena. You have a great week too. And rightfully said, this guy isn't keen on the relationship.

Jeremy Norton October 10, 2013 at 2:10 PM  

I totally agree with you, Anne. If the guy is really into Sally, then he will clear things up and explain his side of the story. But I guess, the guy isn't man enough to face her and have a serious relationship with her.

Anne Lyken-Garner is a published author, editor and freelance writer. Her specialities include relationships and confidence building. You can find her inspirational memoir here.
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