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My Wife wants me to forgive her for cheating?

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So I have been with my wife about 13 years now and married for 10. We have 2 kids. she has just revealed to me she wasn’t faithful on multiple occasion’s 7 years ago. This was only found out as I had confronted her about something related to an incident that happened around that time.

My wife went out one night. My Mum's BF was there and he tried to kiss her. My Wife pulled away and being so upset about the situation instead of coming home to me, she got a lift from a guy friend. This guy friend tried it on with her and there was kissing and then an oral act happened. She said she didn’t want this and then ended up staying in his bed and was dropped off in the morning.

I didn’t know this amount of detail at the time but it was this that led me to confront her again recently about it. Anyway, it turns out that my Mum's BF kept contacting my Wife and even came around a few times while I was at work. and at one point he tried it on with her again. I don’t understand why she would let him come over after everything that happened.

During this time in the same year, she went out with some friends and one guy tried it on with her and kept trying to kiss her and she kept sort of saying no until he gave up. There was another time she went to a gig and some guy she didn’t know apparently forced her to the ground and tried to kiss her, she pushed him off and he walked away.

Then finally, she went around a friends house of who she was working with and apparently he made a move on her, but she didn’t want to, but she kissed back anyway and then apparently gave him hand/oral. but said she didn’t want it? This was a one off and it didn’t happen again with him but it makes me sick even more as he did the catering for my sons 3rd birthday after this incident happened.

She was struggling with mental health at the time for sure, she was struggling being a new parent and wasn’t coping so well , but she tells me that she didn’t want any of these things to happen, these people came onto her, but yet she engaged in some sexual activity with them. She says she never had actual sex with anyone.

I wasn’t aware of any of these until now and its a very hard thing to take, especially as one of the people involved is close in the family.

This all happened in 1 year but then a few years later she was started getting close to someone else over the internet and I caught her messaging him very flirting texts like "wish i was in your bed" etc. she stopped this immediately and I ended up forgiving her and she said it was due to her mental health this had happened again.

Now in the past couple of years, we have definitely got closer as a couple and we have been a good functioning and loving family which makes knowing this news even worse.

I feel like I am in an impossible situation, do I leave her and then completely mess up the family? I can’t bear the thought of causing chaos to our kids lives, but at the same time, if I stay with her I will always be unhappy due to this. We struggle financially as well, so no idea how any of us will survive, I can’t exactly move to a flat or something.

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30 minutes ago, James29 said:

She said she didn’t want this and then ended up staying in his bed and was dropped off in the morning.

Why would your wife stay in the bed a stranger if she didn't want to - all night long?  Why was she over at his house in the first place?  It seems to be a series of these events surrounding her.  If she was having mental health issues why didn't she discuss that with you and seek help through therapy instead of hanging out at bars and getting into these situations with strange men?  Anyway, glad all is well between you now.  Maybe she should refrain from going out to bars at this point so this doesn't happen again.

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hey, thanks for replying.

Sorry if I didn't make it clear but things aren't sorted between us unfortunately, as all of this has only just come out. We are keeping things civil and acting normal pretty much around the kids. I am struggling to get my head around all of this still so its taking time to process. 

She said she craved the attention of someone and a fatherly figure which she knows was wrong. I said she could have dealt with all of this with me but she said at the time, I wasn't emotionally available. For example, I use to be really busy at work and not make the time to call her at lunch, that kind of thing. I admit we weren't at our best then but I don't think its an excuse to cheat? or allow this kind of stuff to happen. 

The crux of it is, I have a decision to make, to forgive her because it was a different time and we are different people now, or take this as what it is, a betrayal and leave. If I had found out at the time, we would have definitely split so I just feel like why this should not be the case now because she withheld the information all this time.


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Your wife had a real span of bad luck there. You sure she wasn't suffering some kind of mental health problem during this time? The chances that this many guys would be coming onto her physically ... sounds strange ... and it hasn't really happened since? Come on now, that sounds like she had a condition during that time. Any chance your wife was assaulted as a young people? Sometimes people who were assaulted have a hard time setting strong boundaries. 

To me, her activities are less terrifying than had she fallen in love and had a consistent affair partner for months or a year. This sounds like I don't know what. 

First step, time for you to up your game here and come out of denial. Does your wife have some serious mental health condition, like bipolar disorder? I'm not just asking if she has been diagnosed. I'm asking you as someone who has closely observed her. You need to cut through fantasy and denial. What is going on inside with your wife? Is she selfish person? Is she out of control flirtatious.  You need to go beyond just "she was bad." Her behavior is strange.

You have the right and duty to be mad right now. But you can move past this. It's not automatic. Won't happen fast. You guys will need to go to couples counseling and open up deeply to each other. But yeah, seems to me this weirdness (happening in one year) is something you can get past easier than if she had fallen in love with someone else. 

BTW: what's up with your mother's bf? Did you step up and confront your mother about her bf hitting on your wife? That's your duty as a husband to your wife. You can't hide in the kid state and treat mom as off limits. No, she brings a predator into your life, you need to confront her and say no. And confront him. Something about the casual way you report your mother's bf's behavior suggests you've been out to lunch in some way in this marriage. Why didn't you stand up? With some real anger. Mothers aren't off limits for confrontation if they're doing something destructive. 


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1 hour ago, James29 said:

I said she could have dealt with all of this with me but she said at the time, I wasn't emotionally available. For example, I use to be really busy at work and not make the time to call her at lunch, that kind of thing

She actually cited this as a reason to cheat?

Oh boy. She is not taking much accountability, is she? She tells you she didn't want any of this to happen, yet she kept doing it. She says you weren't available. She says her mental health was poor. 

What exactly is her responsibility for any of this? And what mental health problem does she believe she suffers from? 

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3 hours ago, James29 said:

 she has just revealed to me she wasn’t faithful on multiple occasion’s 7 years ago. 

What has been going on recently that she decided to confess what went on 7 Years ago?.  What type of incident occured that brought this out in the open?.

It's understandable you're upset. The person you knew and built a life is not who you thought all these years.  Yet you have a family to consider.

Please consider marriage therapy. Maybe with the help of professional neutral outside support, you could start a dialogue about what's happening now and what happened then 

Edited by Wiseman2
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Having a partner with mental health problems doesn't obligate you to get over bad behavior and stick around.  She doesn't need to be demonized, but neither do you have to just accept it.  My experience with those with mental health issues is that there are always going to be difficult episodes.  If this is how she chose to deal with those previous episodes, I wouldn't have a lot of faith in this not becoming an issue again some time in the future.  

There are no easy answers.  You will have to choose the option that you can best live with.  If you stay I think you should make it clear she can't blame you for her being with other men.  You each have to take responsibility for the state your marriage was in then (and now), but only she is responsible for engaging in that behavior instead of finding constructive ways to deal with her feelings.  

Edited by FMW
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So she goes to bars and men try it on with her.

If she didn't want it she wouldn't have engaged in sexual activities.

She wouldn't have spent the night with anyone either (I'm sorry but it's obvious she slept with that guy).

She loves the attention and I don't believe she is going to stop either.

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Ths big question is this: was there an isolated period of time during which these things took place?

If there was, and there's a plausible explanation why she was acting like that, then maybe you two can rebuild trust and be comfortable in the marriage again.

If the incidents stretch out into more recent periods or you can't make a distinction between what she did yesterday and what she might do tomorrow, you would not be able to regain the broken trust and your marriage is essentially over.


I second @Wiseman2's question: was there a specific situation going on in your lives about 7 years ago? This can be anything from the passing of a close friend or relative to giving birth to a baby.


A note on forgiving: I think you should forgive anyway.

Because of this: "holding a grudge against someone is like drinking poison and expecting it to hurt the other person"

But forgiving does not necessarily mean you have to expose yourself to more harm down the line. I think it's beneficial to yourself to forgive, even in the case you get a divorce. The narrative of that is something like "I forgive you for how you have hurt me, I am not staying angry with you, but neither do I see myself living a marriage with you anymore."


Edited by Will am I
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