My husband and I have been together for five years, just married this past summer. We have a daughter who is almost 4. We had a very tumultuous relationship for the better part of the five years, all leading up to right before the wedding, his bachelor party. When he left for the party, our relationship was in bad shape. Neither of us felt loved or cherished, and we had sex, kissed, and cuddled out of obligation. But never did I think he would cheat on me.
During his bachelor party, his friends started hanging out with a group of girls. My then-fiancé, met a girl (who had a boyfriend) and told her some details about how our relationship was troubled. They really connected throughout the night. He ended up kissing her multiple times, but nothing else happened. The next morning he flew home and confessed almost immediately. He was sick for days (as was I), crying and missing work. We spent a lot of time discussing the things that led up to that night, understandable feelings that he was experiencing. He said he didn't know how unhappy and drained he was until he spent the weekend away with his friends.
I actually could've seen myself doing the same thing, given the same set of circumstances. We decided we wanted to stay together and fix what was broken (long before the cheating episode). Things are 180 degrees different and better. We are both happy and have made some amazing life changes – we've married, moved into a beautiful house, and are talking about having more children. But I can't fight the nagging feeling that no matter how bad things were, cheating is never OK, and he didn't feel bad in the moment because it happened multiple times in the night. Is it just my bruised ego? Please help.
Every detail you provided in your letter explains why your husband kissed another woman. He did it because he was unhappy. He did it – and confessed – because he wanted to force you to acknowledge the state of your relationship. He did it because he couldn't marry you if it meant preserving the status quo. You can say that "cheating is never OK," but marrying into misery isn't OK either.
Had you written to Love Letters before the wedding, I would have told you (maybe in all caps) to postpone, to give yourselves time to grow the relationship all over again. In December, I still think you need to hit pause on big plans. Instead of thinking about more kids right this second, get used to your new arrangement. Figure out what makes the happiness last. See if you begin to forget the cheat over time.
Your stress about this might have something to do with your pace. Please don't rush the rest of your lives.
Readers? Is this about pace? Should she forgive the cheat?