Join Date: Apr 2010
| | Coping with One-Night Stands
My name is Chris - I'm a twenty-three year old male. My other personal details are, at this moment, irrelevant for the purposes of this post.
My girlfriend - Sara - and I have been in a monogamous, committed relationship since July 7 of 2009. I say "monogamous and committed", though since I am posting here, there have obviously been a few obstacles in the way of that. I'll try to keep this initial post from being too drawn-out and rambling.
Near the end of January of 2010, we were at a local bar with a handful of friends. Sara, at one point, found herself fairly inebriated, while I remained fairly sober - as per my general rule, one of us has to be able to drive home.
During the night, we wound up in a spat that, fueled by the alcohol, turned into a blowout fight that ended when she told me to stay at a friend's house for the night, and she'd stay with a mutual friend - my best friend, Brandon. I pulled Brandon aside and said to him, "Dude, she's pretty smashed. Don't let her do anything stupid," to which he replied, "Man, you know me. I'll keep an eye on her."
The next morning, after Sara called me, I picked her up from Brandon's. Two days later, she confessed that she "thought" she had engaged in some sexual activity with Brandon, but she was drunk enough that she didn't remember. I confronted Brandon, who confirmed that they had "fooled around".
I told Sara that I was willing to give her a second chance, and work on things, if she would work on things, too - such as keeping an eye on what substances and what amounts of them she ingested, to which she agreed. We began working on the issue, and I'd hoped it was all past us. On Valentine's Day, actually, I proposed to her, and she accepted.
A couple of months later, same story: at a bar, with a group of friends. Sara's drunk, AND under the influence of one of her prescription medications that, as she puts it, is her "don't care pill" that lowers her impulse control.
She starts making out with a female friend of ours - which, she has always been aware, is not something I'm comfortable with, having been dumped for a woman in a prior relationship. I told her, "that's NOT okay. You know it bugs me."
It turned into ANOTHER blowout. This time, she gave me the engagement ring back, and told me "she was done."
She left with another of our mutual friends. The next day, when she was sober and calm, she told me she slept with him.
Here's where she and I have a disagreement on the issue. By her reckoning, she never "technically" cheated, because she had informed me the night before that our relationship was over.
My reckoning, on the other hand, dictates that the ending of a serious relationship - an engagement, no less - is not the kind of event that makes one WANT to have sex with someone else, unless the act is simply an effort to hurt the other party. Regardless of how I can intellectually process the event, emotionally, I see it as: she broke off the relationship strictly so she could have sex with someone, but not have to feel the strings of guilt pulling at her for committing infidelity - which, in my mind, IS infidelity, since we were "back together" in less than twenty four hours.
I've been criticized for it, but I'm giving her a third "strike," for reasons which are my own, and it is her final chance, I've decided.
At this point, it's been about a month since the last incident. She has expressed deep remorse for hurting me, and a sincere desire to correct the issue.
I've dealt with being cheated on before - by my ex-wife, and by my partner immediately prior to Sara. This time, though, coping just seems so much harder than before.
I inexplicably am hit with mental images of Sara and either of the two former friends of mine involved sexually, generally as I am trying to fall asleep. Often these images occur while I am asleep, thus resulting in a nightmare for me. On one occasion, these images have manifested during sexual intimacy between Sara and myself.
My search for this forum, in fact, was spawned by a three-hour toss-and-turn session in bed as a result of my inability to dispel these images in my head. The result of seeing these things is insomnia, generally; severe depression fairly frequently.
So, I suppose what I'm looking for specifically are methods to cope with or eliminate the generation of these thoughts and mental images, if there are any such ways; or, otherwise, to just be reassured that, in time, they'll pass.
EDIT: Other information pertinent to the issue:
(1) I have remained fully faithful throughout the duration of our relationship.
(2) She has agreed to permanently break off all contact with the other two individuals - Brandon and Dave.
(3) She sometimes seems irritated by my insecurity and lack of trust in her, which I feel is only natural given the circumstances.
Last edited by OneWingedAngel; 04-04-2010 at 05:47 AM.
Reason: Forgot a little information