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25 years on... ?


Infidelity In an affair or suspect your significant other? Share your experiences and concerns here.

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Old 18th September 2017, 11:04 AM   #1
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25 years on... ?

Hey all,

I'm not sure how I got here, but I suppose many could say the same!

Some background: Married my high-school sweetheart 26 years ago, after she finished up grad school. Let's call her "Rose". We had the normal on-again/off-again relationship that you find in that age group, but finally got together for good when Rose was a senior in college. 3 children - 2 grown and a teenage daughter currently.

Details: The summer of 89 I packed up the then soon-to-be fiance and her roommate and deposited them in a far-off city, where they would be grad students. They rented a 2-bedroom condo in a not-so-great area, being poor students and all. Roommate was from NYC, and very promiscuous, as in would come home with a random guy every time they went out. In contrast, Rose was small-town girl.

Fast forward to near present day. The family is in crisis over the actions of our eldest son. The three of us are having the sort of stressful talk along the lines of "You cannot continue to live here unless you stop doing...". It got pretty heated, and suddenly Rose blurts out that she was raped during that grad school period. Why then, in front of our son, I cannot say. I had no idea, and was completely blind-sided.

The brief story she told involved the two girls becoming somewhat regulars at a local bar, meeting and befriending another regular, a guy who reminded her of her older brother. One night they all had too much to drink, and she insisted this guy stay at their place (walking distance) instead of attempting to drive home. Says she deposited him on the couch, went upstairs to the bathroom and when she went into her room he was in her bed. She "resisted", he smacked her, she was raped and then slept on the floor. Kicked him out the next day.

So now what? I'm sure the story is not completely true, but in what world would accusing my wife of lying about being raped turn out well? She may well have been raped, but there was surely something more going on there. I'll outline why I think that in a follow-on post. In the meantime, I don't know how to deal with this. Our marriage is not great right now. Nothing specific - just cooled off over the years. She claims she loves me and wants to stay together, but doesn't seem too interested in doing the actual work required. For my part, I'm not sure how to deal with the fact that our relationship has had a huge, gaping hole in it since before we even got engaged.
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Old 18th September 2017, 11:30 AM   #2
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As to the rape claim

I realize this is a bit like trying to juggle old dynamite, but here is why I think there may have been more going on than Rose acknowledges. Let's stipulate at the onset that human nature has each of us trying to portray ourselves in the best light possible when recounting any situation, and especially so when the events are in the past where fact-checking is impossible.
  • Rose has mentioned this guy in passing over the years, always in the context of "reminded my of my brother". Never once were those accompanied with anything resembling "but he turned out to be a real #$%#$".
  • At the time, there was no sign that anything was wrong. No teary phone call, no roommate reaching out to me, no police report, no sobbing in my arms when I arrived for one of our frequent visits, and no meltdown as we made love in the very same bed where this was said to have occured.
  • I've never seen any hint of reaction over the years to the constant "date-rape" reports on network news, 20/20, etc. Am i wrong to think those things might bring back such a traumatic event? In fact, Rose being a scientist always gravitated to forensic-type shows, and those are full of rape and other violence against women. She never seemed repulsed by any of it.
  • Rose claimed to have confided in her mother, who advised "You can never tell Bozo. It will kill him". This does not make sense to me. I understand not telling me at the time, as yes I would have hunted and killed the guy, but hearing my future wife was the victim of a crime would not have killed ME.


So, this admission was a while ago, and my attempts to elicit why Rose kept this from me were met with indignation, along the lines of "I don't have to explain myself to you. I'm the one who was raped". What guy can respond to that?

Lately I've been feeling like we aren't going to make it. We're in our 50s now, so that is not a fun thought, but here we are. I'm not sure what if anything else has been withheld over the years, and I'm afraid my imagination is getting the better of me.
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Old 18th September 2017, 11:33 AM   #3
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Polygraph.
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Old 18th September 2017, 11:44 AM   #4
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From your story it sounds like she wasn’t all that upset at the time. At the very least it may be that the guy took liberties when they were drunk or she never overtly told him yes. Whatever happened I think she has convinced herself over the years that she was raped. That's the only way to explain her outburst. She may have rewritten history to make herself into a good girl but now, in her mind, she was raped. If you challenge that she will rip you a new one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BozoDeClowne View Post
So, this admission was a while ago, and my attempts to elicit why Rose kept this from me were met with indignation, along the lines of "I don't have to explain myself to you. I'm the one who was raped". What guy can respond to that?
A poly is a good idea but it sounds like she would tell you to go f@ck yourself and you would be the bad guy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BozoDeClowne View Post
Lately I've been feeling like we aren't going to make it. We're in our 50s now, so that is not a fun thought, but here we are. I'm not sure what if anything else has been withheld over the years, and I'm afraid my imagination is getting the better of me.
I would drop the "rape" subject for now. If you do divorce don't use it as a reason. Just get a divorce for other reasons. If you bring it up even as one of many factors you will be so screwed.
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Last edited by Buckeye2; 18th September 2017 at 1:06 PM..
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Old 18th September 2017, 1:49 PM   #5
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I can believe her mother said that. Things were different 20+ years ago. Unless a woman was beaten up by a stranger and forcibly raped by a stranger, what happened was her fault. I was sexually assaulted on a date when I was in college. I never told anyone. I didn't report it because it happened in his apartment.
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Old 18th September 2017, 2:30 PM   #6
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How does one get raped and sleep in the same room on the floor with the guy still in the room the whole night ??

She stayed with a friend .one would At the very least go to the friend room and stay there to feel safe .

As one would think with the guy still in the room chances of the rape re occurring would be high .

This story does not make sense ...but I was not there .
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Old 18th September 2017, 2:41 PM   #7
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Why not tell you?

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Originally Posted by BozoDeClowne View Post
She may well have been raped, but there was surely something more going on there.
Because you would not believe her and that is incredibly humiliating and disrespectful.

Can't think of a better one than that.
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Old 18th September 2017, 2:55 PM   #8
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I can't say whether she's lying or telling the truth, because I really don't know. I don't know her, you or how have would hand something like this.

I will say that her story sounds like it could be true. I say that as someone who has been there, done that, don't want the t-shirt.

If she s being truthful, is it possible something is going on that has brought all this to the surface? Some women ( and men) push things like this way down so they can pretend it never happened. It's easier, but it still eats away at you.

Is it possible for you and your wife to get some marriage counseling together? That way, she might be encouraged to open up a bit more ( and if she is telling the truth, I will warn you right now, it could be very painful for both her and you, to go through that recounting).

To be honest, and maybe I am naive, but I can't imagine why she woudl lie about that, especially when you would never have found out. This is why I think she's being truthful.
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Old 18th September 2017, 2:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BTDT2012 View Post
I can believe her mother said that. Things were different 20+ years ago. Unless a woman was beaten up by a stranger and forcibly raped by a stranger, what happened was her fault. I was sexually assaulted on a date when I was in college. I never told anyone. I didn't report it because it happened in his apartment.
this is true enough.

the reporting process is, quite frankly, hell. Add to that the idea that some people wouldn't believe her, and she may well have wanted to keep it a secret.
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Old 18th September 2017, 4:12 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by OneLov View Post
Why not tell you?



Because you would not believe her and that is incredibly humiliating and disrespectful.

Can't think of a better one than that.
It's a fair point, but I had at that time and really never have given Rose a reason to think I didn't believe her, in pretty much any matter. I can believe the attack occurred as she stated. It is the circumstances of the guy ending up in the apartment and the almost fond references to him over the years that I don't quite "get". Alcohol could explain the former, but the latter?

When we did talk about it, I asked "How could you not tell me?" and the response was essentially one of indignation, like how dare I even ask that question. Not that she was ashamed or didn't want to hurt me. It was a deflection, more like "I won't be made to feel bad about my decision". I did not press the question, but obviously it bothers me. It may have happened in the distant past, but I was just hearing about it for the first time.

Regardless, my purpose for posting here wasn't really to try to determine the truth of that particular night. I just feel like if she chose to hide something that significant from me for a quarter century, how can I trust that she hasn't done the same with other things? I posted in this forum because with this new revelation, I find myself going back and analyzing things that have happened over the years that had me going "Hmm.." Probably just a result of the shock, but it doesn't seem as easy to discount those things now.
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Old 18th September 2017, 4:30 PM   #11
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What was the issue with your son that relates to your wife being raped?

What problem are you specifically trying to get advice for?
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Old 18th September 2017, 5:13 PM   #12
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The way she coped with this heinous crime is extremely common. Most rape cases do not get reported, especially when it is friend or someone the victim knows. Repression is very often employed because of the extreme trauma. The way repression works is that it DID NOT HAPPEN. That is why she never changed her tune about him or had any reaction to hearing news stories. It did not happen.

I think she reacted that way because the statement you made, though not your presumed intent, implies that you are the victim of her dishonesty. It makes it about what she did to you and not what happened to her. Like she deceived you when frankly, she is probably trying to cope with the mixed feelings that now, 25 years later, are starting to bubble to the surface. As hard as it is to believe, she may be experiencing a lot of these feelings just now too. Again, you have to understand repression--this is not deception.

If you are suffering in silence, the last thing you want to do is be criticized for not handling a traumatic event better. The last thing you want is someone to suggest is that you could've or should've done something different.

I do not have the time right now to articulate my thoughts coherently. I will try later. But I will say, it is totally normal to feel the way you feel. This is such a hard subject. Like wmacbride suggested, therapy would really benefit you both; it is critical for both of your well-beings.

I think this analogy is the best I can use:

Blaming a rape victim for rape is like blaming a BS for a WSs choice to cheat. If you talk to people, they will usually not directly say it, but you often see it implied that BS must've did something(s) to cause the WS to step out. There may be factors that influenced the decision by the then current state of the marriage/relationship, but upon finding out, no BS wants that s*** thrown in their face.

Last edited by OneLov; 18th September 2017 at 5:23 PM..
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Old 18th September 2017, 10:07 PM   #13
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I guess maybe I don't understand the whole repression thing. I mean I get consciously trying to move past a horrific event and getting on with your life but isn't it always right there, affecting everything. This just arrived with a boom and was seemingly gone again. To me, it does feel like a deception or omission - like "I don't trust/love/whatever you enough to see if you can help me through this". We built our relationship on being a team, sharing everything and having no secrets. I thought.

Chaparral - I have no idea what caused the outburst in the midst of the other situation. Our son has lifelong medical issues that will result in a shortened lifespan. Not imminent, but he is in his 20s and will live to be 45 with luck. That's just the way it is, barring the inevitable medical advances between now and then. He is aware, and had trouble dealing with that for the past couple of years. Doing better now, but the situation is still very stressful for all of us.

As to my specific question/issue. It occurred to me that those who have experienced infidelity have had the same sort of moment where you find out that the person closest to you has not told you the whole truth, and you start questioning everything you thought you knew. Not completely the same situation I know, but similar from the trust/faith aspect.

How do you deal with that loss of trust and the feeling that your partner found you somehow inadequate?

How do you move on and avoid going down the rabbit hole? For my part, I feel like I should have picked up a signal at some point that something had happened. In my mind, failing to do so means I was not the partner she needed at the time, and where else has that been the case? And down the rabbit hole we go!
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Old 19th September 2017, 12:08 AM   #14
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I guess I'm the only one that finds her frequent fond recollection of her "rapist" as odd? Equally as odd is if is wasn't rape why would she say it now after two plus decades?

Only explanation my brain can logically come up with is explanation of iffy fatherhood. Was one of your kids concieved around that time?

On the other hand, not all human behavior is logical.

If I was a betting man, I would say that your wife had an inappropriate relationship that this man and was forced to go farther then she wanted. Yet the speaking of him fondly since creates a great of doubt about that scenario.

I have no clue on how to proceed...sure would hate to see you ask for a poly and than she passes, don't know that you could come back from that.
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Old 19th September 2017, 1:31 AM   #15
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There may be some ways you could flush her out though doubtful any of them would give you a definitive answer. One way might be to enthusiastically encourage her to seek therapy since the random way she revealed the assault may imply continuing trauma. Then maybe you could tell by how she takes to that idea. But that's hardly evidence.

I figured out many years after it happened that I was date-raped. I didn't have any reaction, however, because I didn't realize it at the time. But I do know that I would have bitten my husband's head off and eaten it for dinner if he'd challenged my assertion. Instead, he took his cues from me and treated it as seriously as I needed him to, then left it because I left it.

I tend to think you can't win for losing on the matter of did it or didn't it happen. Since it sounds completely unprovable one way or the other, to me the worse offense would be for the rape victim's veracity to be challenged, worse than the possibility of infidelity 25 years ago when she wasn't even engaged to you yet. If it did, what an incredibly unsupportive thing to do to insist on a polygraph. Worse than unsupportive. If that is the case, then your days truly are numbered as a couple because of the damage you're doing to each other by not having trust in the first place. There's so little give and take, understanding and good will that no one knows how to talk about anything. To me, the question really is why you two are so unconnected now that you read and respond to each other so poorly. It may be too late, in fact.
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