Partner lied about previous sexual partners & his faithfulness
August 21, 2013 5:23 AM Subscribe
A lie of omission, to be more accurate. When I met my (now) husband he understood that I hadn’t had sex and didn’t plan on it before marriage, and that I was looking for someone with similar beliefs about sex. Because he knew this, he was honest and told me that he had been in a long-term relationship with someone before for 7 years - I was fine with this. But I recently discovered that he had sex with 3 different women right as he was getting to know me, (one of whom I've since met at one of his work parties, and cringe to think I was the only one in the group who didn't know about this), and he didn't feel it was important to tell me about it when he proposed to me.
posted by Zee101 to human relations (43 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Last month, his laptop was on the table next to me and I did a bad, bad thing. I needed a document from his inbox that he had promised me he would send to me at some point. You can see what’s coming next. I looked back to the months around when he met me, years ago. And I saw a few emails with dodgy subject lines and clicked.
Long story short, I discovered he had begun steadily seeing one other woman in the months after we first met and were emailing, and he also slept casually with at least two other women during these six months. He and I weren't seeing each other regularly then, and we certainly weren't boyfriend and girlfriend but we were, (I thought), more than friends. He also had a flirty and sexually explicit exchange with one of the women in the months after he and I began seeing each other regularly, (though I don’t think he actually slept with her during that period). He also saw the long-term ex I knew about a week before he told me he wanted to see me more regularly, (from which I date our relationship), and he admitted in an email to a friend that he had been half-hoping she would want to get back together. He never mentioned that to me either.
I came clean to him a few days later, apologising profusely and admitting that I was completely in the wrong for breaching his privacy but also saying that I was upset he hadn’t told me about any of this. He was angry and upset, but eventually half-apologised, adding ‘I wanted you to never find out’, without seeming to realise that that was exactly what I was most upset about.
He also asked me to promise never to mention this again. We both apologised and I agreed, hesitantly, to sweep it under the carpet for the sake of making peace. He’s very much in favour of telling lies of omission to protect people from being hurt - which I told him I don’t agree with, and he has promised to try to be more honest and open in the future.
Eavesdroppers certainly get what they deserve. All of this left me feeling like there’s a completely different side to the man I married that I’m not familiar with. He clearly has very different ideas about when a relationship is solid enough to require faithfulness and about casual sex - I don’t doubt his faithfulness in our marriage, but worry about the messages he might pass on to any kids we have.
I also feel like the relationship has suddenly become very unequal. He knows everything about my romantic past, (or lack thereof). He knows that he was the first man to hold my hand, and my first kiss, as well as the first & only person I’ve ever slept with, (which only came after marriage). He knew it at the time. All of these woman are so much further in their careers, more sophisticated and successful than me. I feel like such a naïve little idiot - the stupid, simple religious girl he married and lied to when he was ready to settle down and stop sowing his wild oats. I’m honestly not sure I would have married him if I’d known – simply because I’d have been worried our ideas about morality and sex didn’t match up, and that it would be an issue when it comes to raising kids. He knew it was an important issue for me in deciding who to marry, and he deliberately kept it from me.
I want him to talk about all this with me - especially the parenting issue. He made it clear these discussions aren’t an option, that he didn’t want to revisit it, and I feel like there’s a big part of him closed off to me forever.
Any advice on how I can get past this? I’m trying to remain aware of my own fault and issues here. Should I try to focus on the fact that despite our not seeing eye to eye on sex he’s a better person than me, (less nosy about other people’s inboxes for one thing!), and will hopefully be a better parent overall? Should I be less judgmental about the fact that he didn’t tell me about his sexual past, and not worry about the conflict I envision down the line?