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You Asked: We Both Cheated

Dear Sugar,

After dealing with serious strain in our marriage, my husband and I decided that a separation was the best thing. During that time I met someone new, and shortly after meeting "PJ," my husband found out he was very sick. I knew that I couldn't divorce a dying man and chose to stay and take care of him, while seeing PJ at the same time.

By the time I had fallen in love with PJ and him with me, my husband was getting worse by the day and ended up passing away at the age of 34. It was obviously very devastating. After leaving where my husband and I had lived, I moved in with PJ and we attempted to put my broken pieces back together — on the rocks or not, I deeply cared about my husband.

During this time, I found out that PJ had cheated on me with his ex, and it completely broke my heart. A lot of time has passed, and I've since forgiven him and we've made it work. I know that I essentially did the same thing when I decided to stay with my husband and still continue my relationship with PJ, yet I still can't get over the pain of him cheating on me. How can I feel so upset about something that I myself have done to someone else? I'm ready to let this go, but I don't know how.

— Devastated Deb

To see DearSugar's answer,


Dear Devastated Deb,

Let me start off by saying that while I never condone the act of cheating, I also believe the elementary school saying that two wrongs don't make a right. Meaning that just because you had an admittedly inappropriate affair with PJ before divorcing your husband, it doesn't make it OK for PJ to cheat on you with another woman. You obviously have a lot of sadness and guilt surrounding your relationship with PJ as well as the death of your husband, which seems to be manifesting itself in your inability to move past this.

Because there are so many complex layers here, I think it might be a good idea to consider talking to a therapist. Not only could it help you get through issues with PJ, but it's also a good opportunity to dig into some of the issues that came with your husband's death. It sounds like your problems with PJ's infidelity are less about trust, and more about your own fears. By working through your own guilt, it's likely that you'll be able to move past this pain.


krys786 krys786 9 years
I definitely agree with what dear and most of the sugarladies said. You need a fresh step away from your relationship with PJ, see a therapist, then in the future, if you still have feeling for him, build a relationship based on love and trust with PJ, rather than cheating and lies. Good luck girly!
lemassabielle lemassabielle 9 years
I think with the current relationship aside you need to deal with past issues. The loss of someone that was important in your life is devastating but to move on with another man after that loss only to have him cheat on you? heartbreaking. I really think you should try therapy for a few weeks and just really evaluate your feelings. Take a break from the relationship and really get to know yourself. I used to date this guy who cheated on me and started to think, maybe it can be forgivable. I have now been dating this new guy for almost three years and he would NEVER cheat on me or make excuses for it. The whole dynamic is so different and peaceful. I now can't think of any excuse to cheat if you love someone because when you really love someone and feel confident about the relationship - you stay true to that person.
evenxstarx evenxstarx 9 years
I understand you were and still are in a very difficult and complex situation. You went from being separated and trying to move on, to being pulled back into your marriage by simply trying to do the right thing. And I think you really did .. This person who you cared for needed you, and despite being in love with someone else and separated from him, you chose to be there for him. Maybe PJ felt a little jealous or insecure and decided to go to his ex for some kind of support. At this point, I think you either need to forgive him or move on. Your relationship started on such rocky ground .. try to start over fresh with him. .. Have a long conversation about what each of you wants and go from there. Good luck :)
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
I don't think that you could say either of you were cheating. If you were with your dying husband he completely is justified in being with his ex as well. I'm sorry for your loss of your husband that must have been terrible. You and PJ need to start over with a clean slate. Let him know in the future you will not be with other people and that your previous affairs were because of special circumstances. Again I wouldn't say that either of you cheated because he knew you were with your husband. You may not have known about his ex until after but that doesn't mean that he had to tell you either because you were with your husband too.
K-is-For-Kait K-is-For-Kait 9 years
I don't think you can really blame PJ. Though you were "dating" him, you wrer still with your husband. I can understand why he would get into another relationship while you weren't willing to be with him exclusively. Honestly, I think he'd have more reason to distrust you than you do him. Either way, you both need to work out your insecurities in order to make things work.
Silverlining10 Silverlining10 9 years
I totally agree with jillerin457. He is obviously okay with cheating, and thought if you were going to cheat on your dying husband, he thought you wouldn't mind if he got some extra on the side. I wouldn't trust a guy that thought it was okay for me to cheat on my husband, then went and cheated on me. Maybe, you need to step away from this situation and truly analyze whether this man is a one-time cheater or a pathological cheater. You need time away, so you don't get confused by his sweetness, sex or any other tricks.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 9 years
I don't think you have an argument here. You were married and remained with your husband while still pulling in this guy. It's alot to ask someone who's single to stay faithful to someone who is by no means single and available to date.
jnnyvox jnnyvox 9 years
you sound like a selfish person who only stayed with your husband out of guilt. what goes around comes around, you should've known that. you'll get over the pain of your boyfriend cheating eventually, but that's not to say he won't do it again.
jem2 jem2 9 years
i agree with lambsauce this may be a good time to sort through your feelings with a professional. there is a lot happening here! take care of you i am not sure p.j. is the one for you!
Marci Marci 9 years
I'm finding the timeline a little unclear. Did PJ hook up with his ex while you were back with your sick husband for was it after he died and you and PJ were back together? Those details make a difference in my thought process.
shernic82 shernic82 9 years
I think you should take some time away from the relationship and also, like dear sugar said, see a therapist. Then, you can reevaluate the situation after dealing with your grief.
shernic82 shernic82 9 years
I think you should take some time away from the relationship and also, like dear sugar said, see a therapist. Then, you can reevaluate the situation with a much clearer head.
Lambsauce Lambsauce 9 years
I agree with DearSugar... this is a huge, multifaceted issue, and you really need to see a therapist. A problem like this, you're better off getting to see someone who will be able to get to know you and your problem, and help you work through it, then just taking advice from a bunch of anonymous strangers.
jillerin457 jillerin457 9 years
PJ is obviously comfortable with cheating - he did it to you, and he helped you do it to your husband. Some people are just programmed to be unfaithful, and he sounds like that type. I agree that seeing a counselor might help you work through this, as well as the grief from losing your husband. When you are in a healthier place, I bet you will find a more suitable man to move forward with.
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