Ghosts of girlfriends past

I got an email from an ex-girlfriend today:

Hi Sean,

I know you’ll know who this is by my email.  I would appreciate it if you didn’t post my name though.  I am writing to you for two reasons:  The first, to apologize if I ever hurt you for the way we split up.  I know it wasn’t on the best of terms-in fact, I would be surprised if you even read this whole email, knowing it’s from me.  The second reason is to ask for some advice.  You seem to be really good at that, which also surprises me that I didn’t see that quality in you while we dated.  Then again, I don’t think we really look at those things when we are in our early 20’s.

Anyway, I have been married for 5 years now, to the guy I ended up dating after you.  We have two kids, a house in the burbs, and things have been good up until about 6 months ago.  My husband has a sales job and travels about three days a week, but he started being gone for 4-5 days a week, which put added stress on our home life because I felt he was rarely home and with the kids and I.  When he was home, he was constantly checking his email and phone, so he wasn’t ever really “home” home.

I became more and more frustrated as our sex life also dwindled down to almost nothing (sorry, I am sure you didn’t want to know that).  After a particularly bad argument one night in which I vented about him never being home, he left the house and left his phone behind.  Naturally, I checked it.  I know, it’s a huge trust violation, but I did.  I found out he’d been cheating on me with an ex girlfriend.

We had a huge..HUGE blowout, he moved out, and said he wanted to work on himself so we could still be together.  We settled down and started talking, working on things and seeing a counselor.  We went on a second “first date” about three months ago and things have been progressing nicely.  He even moved back in about a month ago.  He’s been great..better than ever actually. 

The problem is, is now that he’s back in the house, I’m having some issues trusting him.  When he says he’ll call and doesn’t, when he has to come home later than normal, I get so stressed.  He has a different job now and is home every night, but I am still having trust issues and I don’t know what to do. 

So there it is.  I don’t know if you even read this far or if you’re willing to help someone that didn’t end things on good terms, but I thought I’d try.  I hope all is well for you. 


Well GoGP,

It was nice to hear from you.  I am glad you were able to find happiness (to some extent) after we ended, and I am sorry things turned sour for you and your husband.  I know things with us didn’t end well and from what I remember, I said I’d never talk to you again, but here you are, and here I am.  I’ve come a long way since then, and I am all about preserving connections I make in life, so I hope to be of some assistance with your dilemma.

That said, I don’t think your husband is cheating again.  Just the fact that he is home every night and made the attempt to go to therapy with you, to move back in, and to actually improve the relationship between the two of you, shows me that he isn’t just stringing you along again. 

I hate cheating.  I have been cheated on and have 99% of the time ended the relationship immediately without looking back (you can attest to that), but as I am maturing, I have begun to realize that people do make mistakes, and as horrible as they may be, there are some situations that require forgiveness rather than a closed door, especially when someone is willing to make an attempt to correct their issues.  Abuse is still a 100% “end this now” situation, but I think you know what I am getting at. 

Maybe it’s time you stop looking for problems and move on with making the relationship productive again.  Not only for your sake, but for the sake of your husband and children.  Hopefully things work out. 

I wish you would have responded to my email last year when I emailed my exes.  It would have been nice to see your take on everything.  If you still have the email, see what you can do about getting it sent my way.  Thanks again for writing.