Ahh, man. I really hoped you’d make a different decision. I mean I thought I knew men, but then you’ve always been so articulate about your experiences and I thought you might be the one man to surprise me.
I’ve been in your girlfriend’s shoes. I have lived alone, having made a leap of faith I had been pressed to agree to, just waiting for my married lover to make a similar leap and join me but then watching him vacillate and choose – by his actions if not by his words – his wife and daughters instead, again and again. It’s utterly soul destroying, particularly as I’d already prioritised him over my children.
But then I have also been in your shoes. I’ve been the married person who, after cheating and even after leaving, was eventually offered another chance and who has happily rebuilt a loving, solid marriage and family over time (with a lot of soul searching and therapy and talking and openness).
I’m here to say that both your girlfriend and your wife deserve better for you to wallow for long in self-pity. You’ve made your choice, which you were free to make and which you must deep down believe to be the right one. Your girlfriend needs and deserves to heal now, and your wife and children deserve your effort and attention. They’re giving you a gift, the gift of a fragile new trust, and it’s not fair to be anything less than 100% committed to rebuilding that. If you aren’t, then you shouldn’t say you will. Nothing could be crueller.
Of course, I don’t know any of you, but I have read your pieces and that’s my genuine advice from having experienced slightly similar heartaches in the past. I hope you can all get past this to a happier time.