She's Cheating but I want to keep her

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Male
Hello, I've read a heap of your sensible responses to similar probs, and just realizing that mine are somewhat typical is disheartening since it seems as though maybe there is no way to transcend these relationship norms.. that said I'd love to find a real solution so.. here goes!

I'm in love with my fiance, and I know that she is in love with me we're both weird, we're both smart, fun, nice, candid, open etc.. and things are going well we're past the first zing of passion and I feel like I'm really good at keep things lively across the board from sex to conversation from new fashions to travel. We talk long term and entertain far flung career aspirations that will allow us to be together.

So where is the problem?.. Well embarrassingly I opened this can of wyrmms, by hacking her e-mail account password.. I know this was wrong to do, but I learned some frightful info about my intended lifemate.. namely that she has cheated on me before (although rather early on in the relationship) with various boys in a circle of friends who she met living in london england in a hostel (well before I entered the picture) she still has a huge level of internet contact with these folks and a few times has flown out to fool around with one.. or another of them, and I know she's off this weekend for the same purpose.. the other girls in the circle are encouraging her to play this cheating on me thing (they havn't met me, so they are cheering for their boys.. and not for me)

I know that she never intends to divulge this info, and she's a careful enough liar it seems to juggle happy times with me, and even more fun with "the other man" it's only this old crew from nostalgic times that I think will inspire her flings so I have some hope, but whoa!?! I need a solution!

Would simply letting her in on my blunder be a good idea!? what other angles can I accentuate to ensure that the results will involve her and I staying together? that's what I really want.. and I think she will too.. If I embarass her too harshly though I fear she may turn defensive or self-riteous, and give up on sorting it out.. I don't want to be trodden upon.. yet I don't want to come across as the honest charity case who guilted her into staying with him as That would drastically change our living and loving dynamic.

Your brilliant I've read your colunm now help.


Without my girl on NewYears weekend 2003 Advice
Shoot this is a tricky one :) Well, you know if you read my other responses that honesty and trust is the key to any relationship. It's what binds people together and lets them last through thick and thin. The fact that she's happily cheating now means that she doesn't have a lot of stock in that - she sees you as a fun playmate but not as someone she has to be honest with. That's a REALLY important thing to get straight. It's sort of like she's treating you like her daddy. You're someone she can have fun times with but also someone she sneaks around on when she wants to have "real fun". In a real relationship you two are *full partners* and lying to each other isn't even something you'd consider, because your parnter *is* your backup, the one who covers for you. In her case it's her *friends* that she's honest with and you're the one she's playing tricks on.

OK, but you love her. And maybe she's young and immature and thinks this is all just fun and games and "nobody is really being hurt" - somehow not realizing that by lying and cheating she IS causing huge harm to the relationship, and that it is causing a serious harm in the 'relationship atmosphere' between you two - that she is capable of lying to you. And by taking time, attention and affection away from you and laying it on these other guys she is in essence neglecting you - you're not getting this affection or attention that is *supposed* to be yours.

So anyway it definitely has to be addressed quickly and she really has to *understand* on her own why what she's doing is so harmful. If she needs you to explain it to her, she's not mature enough to get married. If she stalks off upset because you "caught her", she's not even mature enough to date yet.

One way to handle it is to find a marriage counsellor - lots of them do pre-nup work. Talk to the therapist first and say that you know your fiance is cheating and that you want to have a pre-nup talk about trust and honesty that doesn't directly accuse her, but that sort of has a "third person" talk about WHY it's so key. Hopefully if you three have a serious discussion on trust, she will fess up on her own. You could just tell your fiance that you heard it was a great idea to do a prenup as you go through the wedding preps, so you both have your heads on straight, and then go into this trust discussion.

If she's able to baldly lie to you after that, I'd really worry about her. And if she did come through it and continued to lie I'd tell her you knew. At that point she'd know why it was bad, that she had kept it up and either she stops or the relationship won't work.

It's not just about these guys and cheating. It's about her whole view of you and the relationship. If she doesn't respect you and treat you honestly, it is going to affect EVERYTHING she does. It's part of her "world view" of the relationship - and it will seep into everything. And if you're always being used, it will poison your attitude towards her. And believe me, you don't want to be married to someone that all of this happening around.

Take the steps now. Honesty is KEY. Her lying continually is very SELFISH - she wants to have her fun, and not get caught. She's thinking about HER pleasure and figures her 'leftover feelings' are more than enough for you. You deserve ALL of her, just as she deserves ALL of you. Right now she doesn't care if she leaves you behind and lonely while she uses her happiness and passion on other guys. That is simply completely unfair. You're not her maid to be there when *she* wants you and to just sit there waiting for her when she feels like going and playing elsewhere. That's not love.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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