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The root of your question seems to be “is infidelity always wrong?”. I don’t think it’s terribly helpful to view it as such a binary right-or-wrong issue.
In rare situations, an affair might be necessary to stay sane in an otherwise happy relationship. This might be your mother’s situation. In my book, both of your parents lived happy wives. Your mother got what she needed for sexual fulfillment, your father got the illusion of fidelity and every other relationship need filled.
In other situations, an affair might provide the necessary push needed to end an otherwise unhappy relationship and move on to find their own true happiness. In that case, is an affair really wrong?
Now, in both of these situations, it would probably be better for everyone if they could just discuss their issues openly. In the first example, your mother could probably have been much happier if she could have just had other sexual relations with your father’s blessing. In the second example, it would have been better to just end the relationship rather the push it off a cliff with an affair.
But life is messy, and luckily, it’s generally not a crime to have an affair (though weirdly, here in Minnesota it is) and sometimes an affair ends up the best=worst-case option. It’s not always an issue of right-or-wrong or good-and-evil. It sometimes just is.
I think reading some Esther Perel might do you good. She’s a clinic sex researcher who has done a lot of studies on infidelity and takes an interesting approach and viewpoint. “The State of Affairs” might be a good start.
On the chance that Kate’s suspicions are correct and this story is just a kind of bizarre way of bringing up more discussion…
Look – if you’re fine with your now ex-girlfriend have sex outside of your relationship, that’s totally fine. There are a lot of resources on how to navigate opening a relationship, including one-sided open relationships.
If you want to start fresh with your ex, you need to lay down clear rules and expectations. And these can be whatever you want to be. You can ask for a don’t-ask-don’t-tell open relationship, and you can just pretend she’s not sleeping with anyone else. You can ask for total transparency and honesty. You can ask for openness yourself.
But no matter what you do here, if you get back with your ex, things are going to be different, and you can expect her to continue having outside sexual relations with or without your consent.
I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt here and assume this is a really, really weird coincidence. That said, I share some of Kate’s skepticism. Few parents like to talk about their sex lives with their children.
This is between your parents, and it was wrong of your mother to bring you and your sister into the loop on this. You did not need to be burdened with this information.
Was your mom wrong to do this? Maybe. If she knew your father could never tolerate an open relationship, and the only way the two of them could stay otherwise happily married was to have outside relations and she was able to do so 100% discretely and safely, then in my book it’s not the most terrible thing.
But to be clear, this is not what happened with you and your ex-girlfriend. You were not married to your girlfriend for decades. Your girlfriend didn’t cheat on you discretely. You did not die never knowing what she did. Your girlfriend cheated and then blamed you.
So what your mother did here is totally irrelevant.
I have a very similar situation to you – my ex-wife and I are on very good terms, generally agree on most things and have a healthy mutual respect for each other’s overall parenting skill. But we also have pretty big areas where we disagree with the way the other handles things.
Honestly, as long as you trust the other parent to keep the child safe, healthy and fed, it’s best to just back off and let them handle it themselves. You will never be in 100% agreement with the way the other parent does all things, and they’ll never be 100% in agreement with the way you do things.
Any time either of us has tried to influence the inner workings of the others household has at best been ignored and at worst caused unnecessary conflict and resentment.
Keep consistent with your own household rules and you will be fine.
I wonder if this might be a cultural thing. Here in the midwest kids get dropped off at parties all the time and nobody cares what the parents do, but the parents certainly don’t expect to be entertained. But my Texas friend tells me children’s birthday parties are big affairs and it’s expected the whole family is invited.
“Should I stay with my boyfriend?”
You should have broken up with him when he said “it was a super troublesome (practically abusive) relationship and he had been trying to end it.”
How did he try to end it? Did he try using the words “we’re not together anymore”? Or maybe “I’m breaking up with you”? Did he try to break up but accidentally proposed to her instead? “Oppsie-doodle now I’m engaged and all over instagram!”
C’mon girl. Open your eyes here. Don’t put up with this nonsense no matter how good the sex is.
Peggy is pretty dead on.
The only thing I’ll add is this: You should ask for the things you want. If you want to break up with him, just break up with him. Don’t cheat on him in the hopes that he’ll break up with you. That’s pointlessly mean and causing you more distress than you need.
The general advice: Break up and drink less.November 29, 2021 at 3:34 pm in reply to: Do People Agree With Parents Advice, Given To Me Pre Marriage #1100492
No, I don’t agree with your parents advice as it is presented here.
Marriage is sometimes hard, sure. Sometimes monogamy is hard. But just because you put in hard work to stay together doesn’t make it more valuable.
If you are constantly struggling to stay together, that’s a bad sign. Not every relationship is worth saving. In fact, most aren’t. Most relationships end.
I agree. Just let her stay, but you’re not under any obligation to entertain her. Just let her be. Be polite but focus on the things you need to worry about. And if she insists on hanging out with you put her to work.
At the very least, you can get a doctor’s note about the eye strain being caused and they have to give you accommodations under the Americans With Disabilities Act. Assuming they follow the law (which seems unlikely)
But overall, I agree with everyone else: you should head for the hills. No one did work for a place that doesn’t respect it’s employees or their health.
I’m usually the one around here who is like “yeah, an open relationship could work” but fuck that idea in this situation.
She’s basically told you that it’s your fault she cheated because you aren’t good enough at sex. That’s some psychological jiu-jitsu there turning what she did around on you.
An open relationship can work but it has to be started from a place of honesty. The time to have the “hey, I love you and want to stay in this relationship but need additional sex” conversation is before cheating happen. It requires consenting partners and you didn’t consent from the start.
You deserve better than this. Unless there are serious entanglements like children and property, it doesn’t seem like this is a relationship worth saving.