After 15 years of what I thought was a happy marriage, I was

After 15 years of what I thought was a happy marriage, I was devastated by learning my wife was cheating on me. For sure there were some ups and downs in our marriage, no more than any other couple I'm thinking, but nothing that would ever have me believe that she would be secretly seeing someone else. After 8 years I am still very afraid of getting too close with a partner in fear of being hurt again. Are their others out there who have suffered the same pain and struggling to trust again? I feel very fortunate that I have found a way to forgive my ex and I am friends with her and her newest boyfriend however the hurt is still there. She at one time asked that we get back together...I could never go back with her as trust is everything to me in a relationship and I could never trust her again. She was very good in many ways allowing our son who was 13 at the time to live with me full-time. She has always been a loving mother to our son and when he was very young and she was at home raising him while I was at work, she always did so many wonderful and creative things with our son which is great and I think has helped make him the amazing 21 year old he is today. When I look at the bitterness between other spouses who have had infidelity a part of their life, I realize how lucky I am but again...I just can't seem to get serious with another partner and yet want a close companion so bad. Was just wondering if others could offer any hopes for me in that I will be able to trust again someday. Thank you for reading this lengthy segment.

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Trying to reconcile the timeline. You have been married for 15 years. What is the reference to 8 years? Was that a prior marriage? Trust is key. You have to get to the bottom of it and decide if you can trust again. Either your wife or another one. I was pretty hurt early on in a serious relationship and it took me awhile to trust. But was eventually able to. However maybe I was too trusting. Found out 2 months ago my wife cheated. If I was a little less trusting maybe I would have sensed/figured some things out. I don't want to live scared or in fear, so not sure about that. I am a very trust worthy person and expect the same. I do agree that trust is the foundation that makes us all feel safe. Guess that is why it hurts so bad when it is betrayed. Hang in there man. Long road.

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Thanks for reading my saga and for your comments MJK. Sorry, I wasn't very clear in explaining that I had been married to my ex for 15 years and then learned she had cheated. I separated from her shortly afterwards and we both sold our home and moved into our own new residences. My son chose to live with me which I am most grateful for however I encouraged him to go and visit his mother and stay with her frequently on weekends. It has been 8 years now since our separation. I am sorry to hear of your similar pain. I have always been fairly tough and stable when faced with emergency situations and crisis but I can tell you, learning my wife was cheating on me brought me to my knees and I am really hoping that I will be able to enjoy another close relationship with someone I will be able to trust and not constantly be paranoid she too will do the same to me. Thanks again for writing MJK and all the best to you as well moving forward!

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@Afraid_To_Try_Again there’s no time limit to your healing. although dating in 2015 is a bit scary but you have to take a first step. You might meet someone amazing and you’ll regret not meeting them sooner. Good luck.

Got it. Take some "you" time. Find something new to do. I hear cross-fit is all the rage. But seriously trying something new has all kinds of benefits. You might even find someone in whatever new you take up. Giving it time is also a good idea. Heck, check out the dating scene. I hear it is scary, but at times I kinda find it tempting. I work in NYC and there are so many beautiful women. I have contemplated what things would be like if I left and while scary, this is a big world. Best of luck man. The trust thing is a wound that heals slow. Sadly I know from two experiences now and can tell you it does re-heal.

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@mjk6479 I’m right across the water from you in NJ. Dating in NYC is a whole different ball of wax, I would think.

I just work in the city. Live in NJ too. I have two girls (7 and 4). If I left I have no doubt I woudl get custody. I did not immediately think about that. Forget about NYC, I think the kids make it hard. You dont' want to just bring anyone home and explaining that you have parental responsibilities to a date that has no kids would be hard. Still I think there are plenty of people out there that do and would understand. Heck rejection in the dating scene can't be nearly as painful as finding out about my wife...

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Dear Afraid To Try Again, I'm no expert, but it sounds to me like you are still in bereavement. i.e. the death of your marriage, the death of trust. I wonder if the book "Grief Recovery Handbook" would be helpful. Or the book "How to Survive the Loss of a Love." Blessings to you.

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I'm right there. Been divorced for 5 years. Been dating someone but having the hardest time with trust. I'm ruining the relationship because I don't know how to trust him. :/
Not sure how to move forward.
I keep thinking one day I'll just wake up & feel better. Ha ha.
I honestly don't know how to trust anymore.
That's kinda why I'm on here - maybe chatting with others in my same place will help?
Looking for the "magic pill" that makes it all better! I'll let you know if I find it ;)

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I'm hoping that when I start dating again, (Seems strange to say that at 54) That she will start with a clean slate. My first wife cheated on me but when I started seeing my second wife I trusted her until she cheated the first time. Everyone deserves a fair chance until, if or when they prove they can't be trusted. The people on this site have been hurt beyond any imagination, but we can't let that jade our view of what true love can really be like. We have just gone through our practice runs and have learned valuable lessons. Don't let it stop you from finding the one you are meant to be with. Here is a quote I like to re-read- “Watching you walk out of my life does not make me bitter or cynical about love. But rather makes me realize that if I wanted so much to be with the wrong person how beautiful it will be when the right one comes along.”

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