If They Didn’t Apologize, They Got Away With It

Whether it’s a physical affair or an emotional affair, does not matter.
If in the aftermath there has been no consequence great enough to make them apologize, they are getting away with it.
There will be no meaningful progress toward healing until they apologize.
The initial screaming wailing sobbing fit when you catch them red-handed doesn’t count. That’s just so you don’t kill them on the spot. They need to be not currently in a state of panic when they apologize.
You can try moving forward without their apology, but that’s more to do with your hope that everything will get better than your actual chances it will.
Sometimes there is nothing that will make them apologize.
 

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Comments

  1. Sam says:

    This is pertinent to something I've been mulling over for the past few days. Here's my deal:

    I am engaged. Hot girl, great sex, wife material. We've been together for just over two years. There was a will-they/won't they dynamic for about ten months before we got together. During this time I went on dates/had sex with five or so women and kissed a load more. My fiancee was always 'the one' during this period, with part of her attractiveness being her good-girl image, but I was too beta and not enough alpha in our interactions until I took control and got the relationship started.

    A few months ago she revealed that she had sex with someone I didn't know about during our will-they/won't they phase. I realize what I did wrong from a game point of view during that period but it still hurt as it affected my perception of her. According to her it happened not long before the date we take as the start of our relationship but to make things worse I have niggling suspicions it was after. We hashed it out and she groveled as you would expect but I now see her a apology back then as an act of self-preservation rather than a contrite repentance (you can tell I'm religious can't you?).

    Four months later how do I get a proper apology with out seeming like I'm dredging up the past or being over sensitive?

  2. Anonymous says:

    WTF? You want an apology from her for having sex ONCE during your "maybe" phase when you fucked 5+ chicks?

    Explain this a little better and then maybe somebody will have some empathy for your religious little white ass.

  3. Sai says:

    Anon 2:18 PM –
    "My fiancee was always 'the one' during this period"

    I think this is him explaining it (in case you missed it). Not saying it does, but to each his own hamster.

    Sam -
    If you're so suspicous, you need to confront her about it and deal with it one way or another.

  4. Sam says:

    Thanks for taking the time to craft that considered reply anonymous. If you didn't come over so much like a trolling doofus you'd maybe get some further explanation from me.

    Sai, you're right of course, it has to be confronted. It's just that returning to a four month old dispute feels counterintuitive and if not approached in the right way could come across as, to borrow lexicon from other game-bloggers, kinda gamma-esque.

    As I'm sure Athol Kay would agree, alpha traits are not always what are required for steering relationships. I'm just struggling to find an approach to the situation that won't put me in a weak position.

    Don't get me wrong, I will deal with it. As I said in my original comment it's been on my mind for a couple of days, actually since a friend's relationship ended because of past infidelities coming to light. What I seek here is advice on how to do it best.

  5. Anonymous says:

    "WTF? You want an apology from her for having sex ONCE during your "maybe" phase when you fucked 5+ chicks?"

    This.

  6. Lainey says:

    To be honest, I don't know why she apologized at all. You two were not committed at the time. She slept with 1 guy, you slept with 5 girls. You have "niggling doubts." Sorry, I don't buy that. Have you come clean and apologized?

  7. Sam says:

    Lainey there is zero chance that I was with anyone after we got together. For what it's worth yeah I have apologized to her for pursuing other girls instead of putting more focus on getting things right with her.

    Also, as a single guy I almost felt that if I didn't have some kind of sexual rep then I wasn't going to be attractive to her. I understand better now that sexual conquest is a very common result of, but not necessarily a precursor to, male sexual attractiveness.

    As I said though, part of her attractiveness to me lay in her perceived purity, not that that's a dealbraker but it definitely activated my commitment circuit back in the day which was a driver in my pursuit of her. Not only that but my mistakes were in the public domain whilst hers was a secret.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I rarely comment and this was somewhat of a reactionary response. You sounded like such a pussy wanting an apology and all hung up on details.

    You can't expect her to apologize if you have no proof that she had an affair after you were an official couple. Assume she's telling you the truth since she took the initiative and shared it with you.

    How do you consider other relationships to be "mistakes" when you weren't an official couple?

    Your perception is messed up. Pull yourself together, let bygones be bygones, and move forward with confidence. …If you truly want it… I'm not convinced.

  9. Sam says:

    'How do you consider other relationships to be "mistakes" when you weren't an official couple?'

    Cos I was banging hoes when I could've been directing my energy into getting things right with her.

    It's a perfectly reasonable inquiry.Would nobody else see it as kinda sucky that their fiancee got jiggy in some dude's van right at the time you were getting to the bf/gf stage and possibly after?

    The crux of the dilemma relates to the date issue. She knows fine well I might've had different feelings towards her if I knew what she done which is why it was such a secret. Maybe I'd have banged her in my own van and moved on to someone else I saw as wife material. I know it's a hang up but to get past it I want to get to the real truth behind the response put out by the self-preservation instinct.

  10. Orig Anon says:

    Sorry, every single past sexual partner is a negative for a woman. Sam thought she was a "good girl" and now he's worried that she was actually an easy target. An easy target doesn't magically become a one-man-women just because she gets married. Finding out about another guy while they were dating is a red flag. Only question is how big. And, yes, there is a double standard, since women have to spread their legs while men have to work for it; get over it.

  11. Orig Anon says:

    Every single one.

  12. Athol Kay says:

    My feeling is she is telling the "trickle truth" here. The sex quite probably happened after the relationship started, but she said it was before the relationship started to slowly leak the truth out.

    It's fine to reveal sexual history from before the relationship, but there's no reason to have an emotional breakdown over revealing it. That's what makes me think she's only telling part of the truth.

    That being said, she's at least trying to come clean rather than sticking to the lie forever. That's a gift that she's doing that before the wedding. She doesn't really have anything to gain from doing it either, and everything to lose.

    She may not have respected you when she did it, but maybe she does now.

    I think you just have to go back and ask the question if she was 100% truthful. Maybe you want to check with the guy in question about the timing.

    It may be quite possible to move forward even if she did cheat. However the stipulation should be she shall never contact him again, and as far as second chances go, she's used it up.

    And I gotta… banging five girls and you're religious? lulz. :-)

  13. Orig Anon says:

    And I gotta… banging five girls and you're religious? lulz. :-)

    Agreed. And to bring some balance to the force ;) I would be scared if I was your fiancé's brother/father. Still, you can't change the past.

    Best of luck to you two, Sam.

  14. mgwk says:

    Sam –

    If I get this right, you took 5 girls to bed while you were interested in your fiancee ("Alice"), but before you and she officially started dating.

    She knows that and is ok with it.

    After you proposed and Alice accepted, she confessed that she had gone to bed with a guy before you two became an item. She apologized for that, grovelled actually. That was four months ago.

    But now you suspect she slept with the guy after you two started dating. You've pushed her on this, but Alice is sticking to her story. You suspect she's not telling you the truth, and it has you riled up: is she really the one you want to marry?

    FWIW, I'd say "don't worry about it." You sowed a lot of wild oats, she sowed one, as far as you know this is ancient history.

    But if that was the right advice… you wouldn't have commented at this post.

    Going forward, I see two possible outcomes.

    1. You press her some more, and she finally fesses up — she did sleep with the guy after your first date. She'll grovel some more, but from what you've written, this is a deal-breaker. She's not wife material. You gotta dump her.

    2. You press her some more, but she sticks with her original story through the tears. There's no way for her to prove the timing, and from what you've written, in your heart you can't trust her. You don't want to tie the knot, knowing that the doubt is going to eat away at you. You gotta dump her.

    Seems to me that the only shot you and Alice have as husband and wife, is if you react to #2 with a horrified "Oh no!" and rush to explain why it isn't like that, at all!

    But that doesn't seem to be where you are.

  15. Anonymous says:

    "WTF? You want an apology from her for having sex ONCE during your "maybe" phase when you fucked 5+ chicks?"

    Me, too. This!

    Sam, you're a bleeding hypocrite.
    Good luck with all your religious posturing.

  16. Sam says:

    'And I gotta… banging five girls and you're religious? lulz. :-) '

    Yeah, I know (shrugs). No healthy people checking into hospitals right?

    Thanks for the response Athol Kay and thanks for the kind words too Orig Anon.

  17. Sam says:

    'Good luck with all your religious posturing.'

    Ok this isn't the place but I'll bite. What religious posturing?

  18. Anonymous says:

    This is precisely why women can not let go sexually, why they are "uptight". We get judged so harshly, no, we get crucified when we take the same liberties men have taken for centuries!
    Yes, it's unfair that it's so easy for us to get laid but that's not going to change anytime soon.
    Sam, if I were you I would tell her that you've been with other women. When you come at her with honesty she might do the same.
    Honesty is a good foundation for marriage or am I way off?

    Katherine

  19. Sam says:

    mgwk

    I appreciate the reply and to be clear:

    I am marrying 'Alice' regardless.

    It's like Athol Kay said, she respects me in a totally different way now than she did back then. The dynamics shifted drastically once I started throwing some alpha in with the beta (not that I was aware of the terminology at the time).

    Besides which, a lot of relationship has happened since then which has created a bond strong enough, I believe, to survive even if this grows legs and it transpired that she saw him a couple of times during our early days.

  20. Sam says:

    Katherine,

    I agree wholeheartedly. Thanks.

  21. mgwk says:

    > I am marrying 'Alice' regardless.

    OK, I wasn't seeing that from what you wrote.

    > … even if this grows legs and it transpired that…

    I'm not seeing how "this" is going to "grow legs" and how you're going to find that "it transpired that." Too much passive tense.

    You can actively do stuff, such as demand that Alice respond to your questions again. Odds are that her answer stays the same. Whether it's the whole truth or not.

    So ISTM that the issue isn't, Alice this or circumstances that. Instead — what's your plan? How are you going to do right by yourself, right by Alice, and right by your marriage?

  22. Anonymous says:

    I came off hard on you at first, Sam. I do understand how it would suck to find out about something like this.

    Your "mistakes" may be mistakes to you, but it probably wasn't a good way to describe them to her.

    It could seem very insecure to bring up something from four months ago, but it depends on how you handle it. If you bring it up, make sure you posit that you're not getting married to someone you can't trust.

    I agree with Athol, she didn't have to tell you about it in the first place. You need to give her credit for taking the initiative.

    Orig Anon: There's lots of girls in the girl tree (Vox). Sam wouldn't be in this spot if he didn't think she was worth it, regardless of one more sexual partner.

    Sam: You agree with Katherine about girls being judged harshly, but what exactly are you doing to your fiance? You did 5X what she did. (timing aside..)

    Hang in there, Sam. Focus on the important things here and now, not on what may have happened in the past. Move forward with realistic expectations.

  23. Athol Kay says:

    If she was trying to confess to something, and there is something more, she'll probably spill the rest if prompted.

    Just re-ask the questions and get it all out into the open Sam. Like I say, it may be possible to move forward, just eyes open and so on.

  24. Anonymous says:

    If you're going to marry her regardless, then what's the point of asking her again? Set it aside. If she's into you and showing no signs of contacting the other man, run with it. But do what you have to do to keep some alpha in the relationship so that you can maintain her respect and minimize the chance she'll step out on you.

    If you find that this keeps eating at you, keeps you awake at night, etc., then you should dump her. Though I don't think it's justified at this point.

  25. Anonymous says:

    You are going to hold resentment for this woman as long as your marriage lasts – and I don't see it lasting. You'll never trust her; the accusations will never end; the questions, the spying — what a miserable way to live for both of you. She had sex with one guy; not five (ahem!); sounds like you never really defined the relationship; was it fun making her dance?

    Just let her go; move on. The well has been poisoned.

  26. Sam says:

    'Sam: You agree with Katherine about girls being judged harshly, but what exactly are you doing to your fiance? You did 5X what she did. (timing aside..)'

    Sorry, I was unclear. I agree with Katherine that honesty is an essential foundation of marriage. I just want the truth and to know that I received a sincere apology rather than a butt-saving one.

    In terms of the whole Christina Aguilera 'common double standard of societies' schema I actually see a much more complicated picture than: men being given free reign is a good thing and chaste women being more valuable is a bad thing.

    I totally get your point though. Fact is she doesn't hold my past against me and I will not let hers get in the way of the present. I will proceed as per Athol Kay's advice and reassure her that my motive is just to build on the great (awesome, actually) stuff we have and kill the ghosts of the past.

    Thanks all.

  27. Sam says:

    'Kill the ghosts of the past'

    Metaphor fail.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Sam,

    Having more details I understand your concerns a little better. If I have this right, your escapades were prior to any relationship status with her. What is in question is, when was her tryst? As I understand it, your concern is that if it happened prior to you two being exclusive and in an official relationship, it's not as big a deal to you.

    Though it sounds like you are miffed that her having sex in a van with the guy indicates that perhaps she wasn't as into you as you thought at that time. Your concerns with if it happened after you two were officially a couple is that it's cheating.

    Sounds like your gut is telling you there is more to the story so as others have suggested, you should approach the issue again.

    My only advice is that if after you talk again, if you remain unconvinced or if this is always going to bother you, and it sounds like it is since this was two years ago, please do both of you a favor and don't get married.

    If you stopped with other women after you two became official, and then she went ahead and banged a dude in a van after you were official, I would rethink this whole marriage thing.

    Never intentionally set yourself up for fail when you can help it. Good luck.

  29. Stephenie Rowling says:

    "And I gotta… banging five girls and you're religious? lulz. :-) "

    Oh Come Athol he is obviously part of the Cult of the Penis…and he was obviously exercising his vocation dutifuly :)

  30. Bob says:

    It's not that she has a past, it's the nature of it. Is she really a good girl or is it only an image? Was she at least choosy?

    It's not the number, it's the circumstances.

  31. Trimegistus says:

    Katherine: The double standard is simply because women never have to worry about whether their children are really theirs. That's a fundamental imbalance created by billions of years of evolution.

  32. Looking Glass says:

    @ Sam:

    It's really a timing thing, but it goes to character, a bit. Some semi-drunken or high-risk sexual hook up is a *monster* red flag. If she's a "good girl" (let's say low partner count, doesn't flaunt things out there), then a massive step out of character is a legitimate realm of inquiry.

    Now, a lot of this is just near-term jitters, but there's a chunk of serious risk sitting out there. If there's that one-night-stand, is there others? These are always legitimate questions… for both parts of the equation.

    And, that brings us back to that, what were the circumstances that lead to that? People can hide the dark bits of their character very well, shining light on that is a good idea. But it goes for you as well. There is a contrast, possibly to the other girls you've been with, between her displayed character and the character of someone that would hook up in a van. You need to settle that before you're trading rings.

    As to the sexual standards: there are different standards for each gender. It's just the way life is. Unless the only thing important in life is sleeping with as many other humans as possible. And if that's the case, then life is pretty pointless.

  33. Looking Glass says:

    Furthering my thoughts to Sam a bit:

    Do she know your exact partner count? Do you know hers?

    They're kind of important points for a marriage, and given the general lack of deep insight most insist on before a wedding, it does need to be asked. If you're going to marry the person, you're marrying their skeletons. You both need to know everything.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Sam, in lieu of Athol's current post, I apologize for coming off so hard in my initial reaction to your comment.

    Athol, I'll tame down my language and reactions in the future. You have a great site, great following, and you are truly helping to change the current perceptions of relationships in a positive way.

  35. Anonymous says:

    @ Orig Anon said… "And, yes, there is a double standard, since women have to spread their legs while men have to work for it; get over it. "

    Women hide the fact that we sleep with tons of guys all the time. The so-called "good girls" are just better liars (or too homely to get guys). Think about this — we have pretty much the same horniness as men (esp during ovulation). Add to that the fact that since we're about 14 we get hit on constantly. At this point, it's mathematics. It's abundance of opportunity. It's almost absurd that we don't sleep with MORE men!

    Look guys, I hate to tell it to you, but we're perpetrating a myth here. As long as everyone pretends not to see, then everyone is fine. But what Sam's prob illustrates is that little chink in the armor. I truly believe that every man knows that virginal purity is a myth. He'll believe it until he has a reason not to. I don't think that Sam is upset because she slept with ONE guy — I think that Sams's upset because now it opens up the entirely reasonable possibility that 1.) she's horny like him and 2.) she's had more opportunity to bang other guys and therefore 3.)she just may have.

    Men want to be the "best" for their women. If she's slept with other men, then all he has is her word that "he's the best". Men are competitive as well. What is she slept with MORE than he did? She "beat" you. Or what if all of them were better than you? Oh goodness…

    I'm sorry to say that Sam's issue strikes at the heart of the manosphere — the realization that trust is difficult, that men intrinsically know that women and not better or more pure. It's an illustion to make them feel better.

    So Orig Anon — "get over it". Girls "spread their legs"; guys "stick it in whatever". We're human. We have a choice in this — if you really love her (I'm assuming she has a personality, right? I mean, you're not just going to marry her "cherry", are you?)then you suck it up. If you only love the idea of being her only "one", then try your luck elsewhere. Go young. Just remember that the young ones grow older and, just like any other human, crave variety. There's always the chance they'll leave you. What a pickle, eh?

    And this isn't to let the ladies off the hook. It should illustrate that hiding and lying amy not be the best tactic. Just tell the guy "look, I'm human". Actually, what this may illustrate is to just never trust a guy enough to "come clean". On second thought, ladies — just keep lying.

  36. Looking Glass says:

    @ Anon:

    Yeah, girls can hide things, but when you go against your open character, then there's simply legitimate questions that need to be addressed. That's Sam's problem and something he needs to figure out.

  37. Bellita says:

    @Anonymous 3:08
    I agree that there's nothing that makes women intrinsically better or more pure than men, but I think you've set an insultingly low bar for both sexes in the picture you paint of romantic relations.

  38. Sam says:

    Quick update.

    We had a great talk and I am now satisfied that it happened before we were a couple and before we'd ever had sex. I would back up the original post by Athol Kay: Get a proper apology if you feel like you need one. It's good in it's own right but also by recieving a proper apololgy you will be able to properly forgive.

    Someone implied all women are basically uber-sluts even those who purport to understand the value of relative female chastity. I think anyone who expects purity and perfection from anyone is way out of touch, particularly in a sexually anarchic culture like ours. However, that's a long way away from agreeing that all women are incapable of telling the truth about their sexual history. I'm also disappointed for you if you think that no man could handle it if you 'come clean'. I hope you eventually meet a man who will surprise you.

    As a final aside, I understand that, in addition to their stated purposes, internet comments sections serve a very important function as a meeting house for the deranged. However, I was still surprised at the low level of thought and high level of vitriol evident in some comments on a highly-regarded blog like this one. Seriously, a magic 8-ball would've been more useful than some of those comments.

    Thanks Athol Kay and keep up the good work you do.

    Sam

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