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Does infidelity have an expiration date? Man considers divorcing wife who cheated 20 years ago.

It happened so long ago. Should he just let it go?

divorce, infidelity, am i wrong

A man considers divorcing his wife after learning she cheated 20 years ago.

Is there an expiration date for infidelity? If you learned your spouse cheated on you 10, 20, or 30 years ago, would it be any more or less significant than if it happened last week? Is it easier to forgive something that happened years ago or does their silence over all these years make the indiscretion even worse?

A Redditor recently posted that he’s divorcing his wife after learning she cheated on him 20 years ago and the commenters overwhelmingly support his decision. Why? It wasn’t necessarily that she cheated, but how she handled the situation.

“My wife (44F) and I (43M) have been married 20 years,” the poster wrote. “We started dating in high school when I was a junior and she was a senior. We were long-distance for her first two years of college while I was in high school and did one year at community college, then we went to college in the same city for a year and have lived together since.”


The poster later clarified that they were “long-distance,” but they were only about 3 hours apart and saw each other a couple of weekends a month.

The couple has two children, who are 19 and 17 years old. The poster says that their 20-year marriage had been “pretty good” until he learned the truth about what happened during the 2 long-distance years in college.

divorce, infidelity, ami

A group of friends having some drinks.

via Lisa Fotios/Pexels

The couple got together with some of the wife’s college friends after Christmas when the conversation strayed into some very sensitive area. “Her old college roommate commented that it was crazy that we met in high school, had a few wild years in college, then ended up together,” the poster wrote.

The problem was they were together the entire time.

“The roommate started to tell a story, but my wife cut her off and said she was uncomfortable about it. I sensed something was up, so I said that we actually started dating in high school and were together for my wife's entire time at college,” the poster continued.

When it came out that they were together during his wife’s “wild” years, the old college friends got really quiet and the rest of the night was extremely awkward. When one of the roommates was leaving, she told the poster to have an “honest” conversation with his wife about their college years.

The next day, the wife admitted to sleeping with at least 10 men during her first 2 years of college when the couple was in a long-distance relationship. She also admitted that she introduced her future husband to 3 of them as “friends.” But she didn't think it was a big deal because it was a high-school relationship she didn't think would last.

infidelity, divorce, reddit

A couple having a heart-to-heart conversation.

via Mikhail Nilov/Pexels

The wife is still in contact with one of the men.

Now is where the husband has a real dilemma. Can he forgive his wife for cheating on him with a significant number of men while they were in a long-distance relationship and never telling him? The answer was no. The big reason was that she showed a complete lack of respect by parading the men in front of him.

“I've stood by my belief that cheating on me with multiple men for years is unacceptable no matter when it happened and the fact that she continued to maintain relationships with these guys right in front of me was an unacceptable amount of disrespect,” the poster said.

On January 2, the man filed for divorce from his wife. Five days later, he posted about the situation on the Am I Wrong Reddit subforum and the commenters overwhelmingly took his side. Some could understand a little cheating happening while they were long-distance, but no one could abide by the way she introduced her future husband to the men she slept with.

"I actually came into this thread thinking, ‘Well, I could understand him getting divorced over cheating in the past, but if it's a 20-year happy marriage and a one-time mistake while they were in the very beginning of dating, I'd try to work on it.’ But the continuous humiliation of having your girlfriend cheat on you while you're getting introduced to those men and still know one of them? Man, how do you get over that," Candy Puppet wrote.

“It was 20 years ago, but that amount of savageness would be hard to look past, especially when she still associates with the other men. That is just a continual slap." Thanos13 added.

They also praised the friend who told the poster to have a conversation with his wife.

"Honestly, her friend who took OP aside is a good human. Could have let it slide & let him go on clueless about the wife's past." Likeapuma wrote.

The post goes to show that there are no hard and fast rules to deciding how to deal with infidelity and some people are okay with forgiving an indiscretion that happened years ago. Getting carried away and sleeping with someone while in college is one thing, but few could forgive the way the wife seemingly shoved it in her husband’s face without him being aware years later.

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