How to move forward after my fiancee kissed her coworker?
I must begin by apologizing in advance for the length, but I currently have no idea what to do, where to begin, or what details to take into consideration as I make my decisions about how to move forward, so I have included them all in hopes that somebody with more wisdom than me can help me out.
My fiancée and I have been officially together 2 years now. We met at work, so our actual relationship extends roughly another year that we were together unofficially. We have known each other for a grand total of almost 4 years now. We have essentially lived together the full two years that we have been together, although from a technical standpoint we have only officially lived together about a year and a half. We got engaged a month ago. We have both moved into new jobs since we began dating, but about 4 months ago she returned to the original workplace where we met. She works days, I work nights, during the week there are typically only a couple of hours that our time at home overlaps but we get to be together as usual on weekends. Everything had been absolutely perfect since our engagement. It seemed too perfect, and I began to get an ominous sense that something was going to come up to break the calm. I even began to feel some worry about what she was doing when I wasn't around, but wrote it off as paranoia since I had never been given even the slightest reason to think such things.
The night that this happened, we had a fight regarding drinking. My fiancée was concerned that I was drinking too closely to falling asleep, as she had heard of issues where people became dependant on alcohol as a sleep aid. On a normal day I would have simply talked to her about it. Although I drink more often than she does, I do not do so as a form of a sleep aid (or, for that matter, regularly enough for such issues to arise), nor do I experience sleep issues. Since it is very rare that she drinks, I can understand why it would worry her and why she wouldn't know that it wasn't an issue. It was a simple matter of reviewing her concerns and settling them in a civil manner. Unfortunately I did not do that. I was tired, grumpy and only half-awake (she had woken me up, it was around 5 in the afternoon so I had only been asleep for maybe 3 hours. This was on top of a week where schoolwork had been limiting my sleep to between 2 and 5 hours the three nights prior) so I snapped at her "Don't you have somewhere you can be?" She replied that she did not, but followed up with a malicious "You know what, I do actually." I should have seen it for the red flag that it was, but figured she was just going to go to her sister's house and her tone was due to the argument. I was so tired I fell asleep immediately.
I woke up at 10 for work and she was not home yet. I tried calling her a couple of times and she did not answer, so I got in the shower. When I came out I heard sobs in the kitchen, where I found her taking shots of whiskey and crying uncontrollably. I tried to find out what was wrong but all I got was severely intoxicated rambling about how we needed to talk, but not right now, because she was drunk and didn't want to say what she needed to say wrong, which then launched into more uncontrollable crying mixed with statements about how I was everything to her, how she absolutely needs our life together, how beautiful her ring is and how she never wants to have to give it back, and how much she loves my kiss. At this point I was alarmed but my employer has a very strict attendance policy so I had to go. She also said that she had been drinking Jaeger but it was only a couple of sips. This was particularly concerning to me because she almost never drinks, and she absolutely never drinks outside of the house without me around. On my way out I gave her my usual goodbye kiss and she pulled me back in and told me that she "needs to feel it" before kissing me quite aggressively. She was still crying as I left so I tried to call her on my way to work but she did not answer.
The next morning when I got home she told me we still needed to talk. I had been bracing for impact all night at work, but had forgotten to come up with a response plan. She explained that the night before she had gone to somebody's house and they had kissed. Her uncontrollable crying kicked in again while she told me she would do anything, anything to keep me. She reiterated that she needs our life together and she wished she had never done it. She stated that she regretted it immediately. I asked her if anything else had happened, to which she said "We didn't have sex, if that's what you're asking." I asked her to take me through the night so that I could understand, and her answers were very vague, which I think is contributing to my difficulty in moving forward. The guy was a coworker from another department. She went to his house, they watched Dexter, he put his arm around her and she let him, they held hands and then they kissed. She said she left immediately after and came home, which is where the last paragraph begins. She doesn't know why she did it, but we eventually reached the conclusion that she did it to get back at me for the argument the night before. She categorically denied having any physical or emotional attraction to him and says she didn't feel anything at all. Although I felt that I wanted to know much more, I was hesitant to push for more details. I feared that if I overreacted and something of a similar nature were to happen again that it might push her to hide it, which I definitely did not want. I also wanted the responses to be hers and did not want to risk putting words in her mouth as I did when trying to establish a reason for her actions. Additionally, I didn't feel justified in pushing for more information when I had absolutely no clue what I was going to do with it anyway. As a consequence of my efforts not to overreact I feel that I may have downplayed the situation too much.
I don't know whether I should take this into account, but there was a time a couple of months ago that she was extremely late getting home from work. I tried calling her several times but never got an answer. I was panicking that something had happened to her when, somewhere between 1 and 2 in the morning she came home. I could tell she had been crying. She said she had been in the parking lot at work having a mental breakdown, that she feared that I was too good for her. She thanked me for letting her have the time to herself so that she could get her mind straight. I don't know if I should read into this or not, but at the moment I'm involuntarily calling virtually everything that has happened in my recent life into question.
Although I felt unsettled, I proceeded to forgive her. With the circumstances I thought it was something I could get past. We are both young (23 and 20). As such, it is the first time either of us has been in a relationship of such a serious nature and we progressed very quickly, as can probably be seen by how we were almost immediately living together once we made our relationship official. The fact that this environment could lead to a higher likelihood of some straying crossed my mind more than once, but like I mentioned before I had never once been given a reason to believe it would actually happen and reasoned that it was just unfounded insecurity each time it crossed my mind. She has always maintained a very, very aggressive policy against cheating because her dad cheated on her mom, which led to their divorce. Our relationship almost ended after only a couple of months because she found porn in my dropbox, which sent her into hysterics. I'm fairly certain the only reason we made it past that was my refusal to let her leave until she calmed down and we talked about it. Anyway, the point here is that her strong opinions against cheating in any form combined with the strength of our relationship left me confident my worries were just that, and so I never entertained them for long. Her regret seemed genuine and I felt comfortable that it was a one time thing.
It has now been over a week and I feel that not only have I not been able to move forward but that I've regressed in that time period. School and work have kept me busy, so my chances to try to process what happened have been few. When I do try to think about it and figure out how to move forward, my anxiety shoots through the roof. I start shaking and get so dizzy and naseous that I feel like I'm on the brink of passing out. I have never experienced anything but the most mild effects of anxiety in the past. Writing this out has been the first time I've been able to actually review everything from beginning to end since it happened, and even now I'm shaking so badly it's making it difficult to type. I can't settle down enough to sleep. When I do sleep, it's cut short when I'm jarred awake by the same thoughts and sensations that made it impossible to sleep in the first place. I find my mistrust taking over my mind like a runaway freight train whenever she goes anywhere. I picture her at work flirting with the guys and engaging in various covert affairs. She has been coming home later than scheduled, which isn't unusual at all and never has been with that employer, but now when it happens my anxiety amplifies even more and my thoughts wander further and further each time. I can't focus at work or at school because I'm thinking about what she might be doing at home while I'm gone.
It's tearing me apart inside. From, quite literally, the moment that I forgave her she has behaved as if everything is back to normal. Her previously uncontrollable emotions were immediately replaced with our typical playful banner. I feel like her casual continuance of life in the face of my implosion is only making it worse. Just for the record, I do not blame her for her demeanor as I have not communicated just how much of a toll it has been taking and I have always been talented in masking my emotions, however I am finding myself feeling distant and detached when I am with her. I just can't win.
This past week has left me feeling like I mentally boxed Mike Tyson. I find myself wondering how just a kiss could cause such a ridiculous reaction on my part, and I still don't know the answer but the fact is that it is and I need to find a solution. I wonder if it really was just a kiss or if I'm only getting a portion of the truth, which then leads me to wonder how I can know for sure that her story is true. I am left unsure how I can rebuild my trust in her. I wonder if this is the only time it has happened, and then I wonder if she has felt enticed to do something like it at any other point, and then I wonder if those details even matter. I wonder, even if it was just a kiss, whether she had intentions of doing more that were interrupted by her guilt, if she might have done more had she gotten more than a couple of sips of alcohol in her, if next time she will not stop at just a kiss, if there will even be a next time, if next time she will tell me or try to cover it up, if my failure to respond effectively is enabling her, if her casual response is a sign of relief that her mistakes didn't cost her dearly or a sign that her regret was not as sincere as it seemed. These are just a few of the many, many questions that have gone through my head recently.
I know that I can't keep all of these things internalized, but I also don't know how to talk to her without overwhelming both her and myself. I need help figuring out where to start. Quite frankly, I don't know what is and isn't important in this whole picture. I believe that my inability to sort things out in my own head has turned a bump in the road into a mountain, but I still think I can get past it. I just need some input from somebody who can think more clearly than I can right now and maybe help me put things into their proper perspective. Any ideas?
This was a revenge and leverage 'affair-ette'. So you don't have to worry that she'll do it again any time soon because you seem to have bought her 'poor wickle me' act and switched to a conciliatory climate.
It's quite simple: she's not used to anyone getting one over on her and will scrape the bat-it-back barrel if she has to. And that night she felt she had to. She's the type that, if she needs something to hit you over the head with but the only lift-able object in the room is a baby, she'll hit you over the head with that rather than nothing/not hit. Basically. Desperate is as Desperate *does*, and using as a tool (cosh) what is supposedly sacrosanct thus should never be used proves desperation.
Maybe not normally. But she'd just for the first time found herself having hit a critical point in her dad's shoes in terms of a serious relationship, hadn't she. Still having lack of understanding (about, HOW COULD HE!? (- dad)) still weighing heavy around her ankles, this fight seemed like the perfect opportunity to finally go stand in those particular pair of shoes of his... to 'be' dad. If, you see, you don't have the type of intelligence and realistic imagination to put yourself into the transgressor's mindset in your head (and from there, work out 'how could he'), you'll actually re-enact their crime instead rather than remain forever faced with that mystery. Or at least *dance around* the periphery of the full-blown crime.
She has issues.
 She needed to re-enact.
 Nobody scores what she sees as a point against her if SHE has anything to do with it.
 Things are scarily intense lately (going too well = what comes next? - MARRIAGE, EEEK!)
Regarding point 2, you and she were in the midst of a fight when you ended it by closing your eyes and going unconscious. (Normally, I'd call that passive-aggressive but not in your case because you were just plain exhausted.) So she took the fight outside....and then brought it back in again ready for when you'd awoken. Match point, she won, Game, Set & Match!
....followed by, 'Shit, what have I done!!!!!'.
Hmmmmm. Wouldn't you have thought 'Shit!' at the *thought* of it as would have been enough to stop you?
Not in her case because - note the order of priority.
Meet your counterpart: http://www.peoplesproblems.org/showtopic/6800/She-Cheated-But-I-Still-Want-Her-Help-
Have a good read and then we'll (all of us) take it from there.
Meanwhile - relax, you're in safe and very experienced hands where being whatever 'size' of cheated-on and the advisers on this forum are concerned. You're actually in a hugely powerful position right now. And the details only FEEL like they matter (because emotions are veeeery good at passing themselves off as reality). They *don't* matter. Only the CAUSE of the details matter. But, for peace of mind's sake, the details - all of them - still follow a script. Same play, different co-stars, roughly same dialogue and movements - BERBOM.