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Is this cheating?

Hi All, 
i need an independent voice in this... I am going a bit crazy.
We have a 4mo, 4yo & 5yo. I am working part time so I can look after the baby and household... but I am the bread winner as well... my partner has to work or else will lose promotion opportunities.
Since last Nov he’s been a bit distracted and has struck up contact with someone he admires a lot in Canada... he’s been hiding the contact though more and more, getting up from bed when I come in exhausted to go out and do computer work that he was supposedly doing in bed, voluntarily going to the bread shop (and taking ages), hiding the phone, hanging up when I surprisingly come in... even waking up at night early when never before has he been able to get out of bed to help get the kids ready etc etc... it’s become more and more obvious but I have been busy and trying to not be suspicious.
However, I was becoming more and more bitter, I was doing most of the family work and going to work in between while he was hand writing love poems and sending presents overseas (effectively with my money) to this newfound ‘friend’.
i had to confront it after I saw the poem (I found a rough copy in the dressing gown) - A beautiful love poem pining on not being with someone... saw a text signing off Love you.
so this is the crux... he says it’s ok, it’s not physical (overseas), but that person is a soulmate and they couldn’t believe that they could ever have such a beautiful relationship, ‘They share books and poems’. So I said to show me the conversations - and they were curated (screenshots of only some parts). And my husband wrote ‘I promise we will hide away someday’ with response of ‘promise’... amongst many other things - it certainly is not a book club relationship -
Previous to Covid he had been engineering a trip where they would meet up at a conference and maybe spend a week after travelling... and has weirdly said the ‘next step was to meet up‘ but I didn’t have the full context at that stage.

so am perplexed... I can’t feel secure or comfortable and a little niggle in the back of my head says that I am paying so much for his exams and supporting the finances to get him through this stage and he might just be using me and will leave me first chance he gets to go and live with this other person. He says in an email (I haven’t had time Or energy to think Or talk properly after confronting this situation):
I am sorry if I hurt you - I really love you unconditionally and I know I always will... 

You have been and are everything to me - we have been drifting apart from a communication perspective and I would love if we worked on that... I would love to write you love letters and share poetry with you... I would love to go on adventures together and escape with you anytime... I think we are doing an amazing job as parents - and I am sorry if I am dreaming of escaping sometimes...

What is happening with xxx is summarized best by this quote of Élif Shafak... I am very confident about the future but I understand that we have overstepped boundaries (in texts) and this won’t happen again - but it is true, I do love her - a love that is very different from anything that I have ever experienced before - it is a love without expectation... I did not believe at first that one could love that way.

what can I do, how would you perceive this or deal with this? I have not received it well but am I being irrational to not want this in my life? 

Thank you so much for your thoughts and for reading! 


  • Only going on my perspective if this were me, its absolutely cheating and your not being irrational. I'd be heartbroken that my husband broke that trust not just of our wedding vows but of our whole relationship and everything we'd built together, even if it wasn't physical, I'd feel betrayed and lied to.
     For me I think he needs to make a decision about what he wants because carrying on like this is no good for anyone and just causes more hurt. You need to decide what you want with or without a decision from him, can you get past this? and do you want to? Do you want a separation? Temporary or permanent? Don't stay just for the children, they will be fine whatever you decide and just because you may split doesn't mean it cant work out and be a positive experience. In the end do you think you will be able to trust him again and live a happy life without suspicions and doubt? Or do you think you could build a happy life co-parenting but not as a couple? 
    Big hugs xx
  • Thank you Becky for taking the time... I desperately want to keep the family together, i think It would be so hard with three children and they would suffer - I would have to work full time.
    i don’t know if I could get to that point where it doesn’t eat at me for any suspicious thing, it certainly doesn’t feel that way now....
    thanks for your perspective.

  • I'm sorry your hurting it's a horrible situation to be in and I can only imagine how your world has been turned upside down. 
    I understand the wanting to keep the family together just make sure if that's your decision it's for the right reasons and not just for the children. It would be hard as a single parent, not going to lie, but it is very doable and if you can keep a reasonable relationship with their father you can co-parent successfully. My only experience is being brought up by a single mother, with no imput from my father, and my brother and I had a very happy childhood but I'm not in your situation and it has to be your decision. You don't want to be in a situation where the suspicion and doubt is still there 5/10/15 years down the line and is making everyone miserable, some people can move on and forgive and some can't no matter how hard they try. I think you both probably need to sit down and talk about everything together and maybe separately possibly with a counsellor or someone who could help. Xxx
  • This is such a tough situation, and its very easy to say yes its cheating walk away.

    but in real life its not that easy. The big question is do you love him?

    the trust issue is big, but maybe one of the reasons he has struck up this relationship was it was “safe” they live in another country and he could talk to them without Necessarily following through. 

    May his suggestions of writing to each other may help. I used to write letters to my partner when we lived separated and  I loved it. Taking more time to communicate may hep you trust him

    but you do have to build that trust back up or you will be miserable. It is possible to do it alone with 3 kids, I left my husband do to domestic violence and at the time it seemed an impossible thing to do especially as I loved him. It took time but i managed, i provide my kids with a good life and I dont have to work full time. I now have four children. I am happier and the kids are happy. However I also know some things are worth working through. My current relationship has had ups and downs and it was worth working through them

    the main thing you need to know is that you do not need your partner, you can totally do it alone. Ask yourself that if money was not an issue would you leave? If the answer is yes than you need to consider doing that

    if the answer is no, and actually you really want him in your life its worth working through the issues, giving him a chance and yourself and then you know you have done your best

    whatever happens you will be ok, life will get better and the pain you feel now will pass. 

  • Thank you for your kind and thoughtful words... I appreciate you taking the time! The trust thing is the problem... it eats away at you doesn’t it. You have inspired me with your strength to get through what you have gone through... thanks 
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