“I don’t want to meet the guy she cheated on me with”

She cheated on him 15 years ago, and they’ve moved on from it. But now, they’ve been invited to a dinner where the guy she cheated with is going to be in attendance. How should they handle this invitation? Here are their sides of the story …

Moite says:

When my wife and I were going out before we were married, she cheated on me with this guy she liked before we got together. I forgave her and moved on. Now — many many years later (like 15 years) — we have a party with one of her friends, where the guy she cheated on me with is going, too.

I’m upset about it. I have never had to meet this guy and obviously have no interest in doing so. I get it was a long time ago, but there is nothing like having to go meet the guy face-to-face to open up an old wound. I’m hurt because it was her mistake, and she should have protected me from being put in this position where I will feel humiliated.

She didn’t even tell me about it. Her friend throwing the party did the asking if I minded. It will be embarrassing and humiliating to have to go to this, but would be more humiliating saying I can’t go. It’s her friend’s party. I found out he is going from the friend, not her. She should have not let this situation occur and protected me from this humiliating experience.

Frieda says:

I made a mistake and cheated on my husband when we first started going out. It’s a big occasion for my best friend, and I found out this other guy is going to be there. I didn’t want to bring it up as it was a long time ago, and I thought we would have all moved on now.

I knew he would probably not be happy about it, but surely its not the end of the world, and we can get on with our lives. He sees that I chose him, married him, and this guy doesn’t mean anything to me. How long do I have to pay a price for this?

I think he is actually upset because he recently found out I also slept with this guy I cheated on him with a couple of years later when we had broken up and not gotten back together yet. I was single then and did nothing wrong in that.

It’s my bests friend’s special occasion — I can’t tell her I can’t go because he will be upset over something 15 years ago!

6 thoughts on ““I don’t want to meet the guy she cheated on me with”

  1. Dennis Hong says:

    This was the response posted by a friend on Facebook:

    Yes, she made a mistake. He forgave her. That doesn’t mean an old wound still can’t hurt.

    Some people can completely move on and not be bothered by seeing the person their spouse cheated on them with. Some people can’t and that’s okay, too.

    Sounds like he falls in the latter category. He forgave her and gave her a second chance. I feel like she needs to take his feelings into account and not go. He’s her husband. Yes, her best friend’s feelings matter also and this is a special day for her but, personally, if my husband felt this badly and this strongly about it, I wouldn’t go. I’d explain to my best friend about how MY fuck up in the past put everyone in this shitty position.

    If I were the cheating wife, I would not reasonably expect people to have to accommodate for my mistake. The guy I cheated with shouldn’t be disinvited (don’t know his relationship to the best friend). My best friend shouldn’t be put in the position to have to choose between me or the guy and uninvite one of us.

    My husband shouldn’t have to feel humiliated by seeing the guy I cheated on him with.

    My best friend also shouldn’t have to feel badly that I don’t attend because of my desire to protect my husband’s feelings.

    There doesn’t seem to be any winners in this situation.

  2. Rebecca Sullins says:

    Honestly, I would ask the husband if it’s really just about his humiliation. If he’s really over the cheating bit, maybe wife can go and make an appearance to support her friend solo, then cook husband a nice dinner.

    Now, if husband says he’s uncomfortable with that, wife doesn’t go. Sorry. But it was her mistake that did this, and she needs to support the wronged party here, which is the husband in this case.

    I really feel for the husband here, and understand while he would feel the way he does, but I also wouldn’t want to put everyone in an awkward situation, and not be there for an important event.

    Now, I will add that the wife not telling the husband that side dish would be there is really shitty, and never should have happened. The husband finding out from the hostess has to be adding to the fire here…

  3. Anonymous says:

    Frieda was wrong not to tell Moite about the guy being there, but really, why doesn’t he have enough confidence and security to proudly go and show he is the bigger man? Why feel humiliation? The cheaters should own the humiliation not him. He did nothing wrong and he ended up with the prize. Well I hope he feels like he got the price, and if he does he should act like it. He has nothing to hide.
    As a side note, why didn’t Moite tell the friend yes it bothered him the guy would be there? The problem may have been solved immediately. The friend would then be ready to make a choice. The cheaters or the innocent husband.

  4. Dennis Hong says:

    Alright, here are my thoughts:

    Moite:

    I sympathize with your situation, but I feel like you’re trying to paint this scenario into a no-win situation for both of you. First off, you have every right not to want to see this guy. That’s fine. On some level, I agree with anonymous above that you can always “be the better man” and show up, anyway. But I get how difficult that would be, so I wouldn’t encourage you to attend.

    At the same time, there are elements of your writeup that smack of “neediness” to me. Yes, Frieda messed up big time, but it’s not her responsibility to “protect” you. Sure, she could be more compassionate (more on that when I address her), but what exactly is she supposed to “protect” you from? Any semblance of residual hurt or insecurity that you feel? That just seems a bit too much to ask.

    Also, creating a false binary of 1) you don’t want to go, but 2) not going would be humiliating is not protective. Neither is focusing on what you think she should have done.

    Instead, let’s talk about your options here. If you don’t want to go, don’t go. But then let her go, and you stay home and enjoy your time alone. There is nothing “humiliating” about choosing not to attend a party. If you feel humiliation, that is something you yourself will have to accept.

    Frieda:

    You asked how long you have to pay a price for this. The answer is that there is no statute of limitation when it comes to love. You will pay a price for this for the rest of your relationship.

    Deal with it.

    You’ll notice that I pointed out to Moite above that he needs to let up on the neediness. I stand by that. For your part, though, exercise a bit of fucking empathy for your husband, will you?

    Please reread what you wrote. All I sense is disdain and dismissal. He absolutely has some valid points, and while I wouldn’t go as far as to say that you need to “protect” him (see above), you absolutely need to be more considerate of his feelings when it comes to the guy you cheated on him with. And to be clear, this will last the rest of your relationship.

    There is a caveat to all this, though. And I’ll open with a question: Do you still love Moite and want to be with him? Because the above only applies if you do. Your write-up doesn’t indicate at all that you actually care about him, so if that’s the case, why are you with him?

    To both of you:

    At this point, it seems clear to me that this incident is only a symptom of an unbalanced dynamic in your relationship. Moite, it seems like you’re a bit on the needy side (which is fine), and you seek a certain level of validation from Frieda. Frieda, I gather that you’re more of the cold, logical, rational type, and because of that, you don’t offer Moite the emotional validation he craves.

    I could be wrong, of course. The tone of your write-ups could simply be due to the heated nature of the situation. But if I am correct that this is only a symptom, then my suggestion is for both of you to make an effort to meet in the middle. Moite, try to find validation for yourself, instead of relying on Frieda. And Frieda, actually show your husband that you care about him.

    • Dennis Hong says:

      Oops, the sentence above should say: “Also, creating a false binary of 1) you don’t want to go, but 2) not going would be humiliating is not productive” (not “protective”).

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