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Husband Wants To End A 20-Year Marriage After Finding Out His Wife Cheated While They Were Dating

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wife trying to console upset husband

A man admitted that he feels lost about the future of his marriage after finding out what happened between him and his wife while they were dating.

Posting to the subreddit "r/amiwrong" — an online public forum where people can find out if they were ethically or morally wrong in a situation — he shared that his opinion of his wife of 20 years changed drastically after she confided in him what happened during the early years of their relationship.

He ended the marriage after finding out his wife had cheated while they were dating.

In his Reddit post, he explained that he and his wife first started dating in high school, and for the first two years of college, they were in a long-distance relationship. While his wife was completing her first year of college, he was finishing up his senior year of high school and then did a year at a community college.

They ended up attending the same college for a year, and have been together ever since. They got married the summer after graduating college, and their union continued for the last two decades without any hitches — until he initiated a divorce after learning that his wife admitted to sleeping with multiple men for the two years that they were long-distance.

"Just after Christmas, we got together with a few friends of hers from college to catch up, have dinner, and hang out. We talked about a lot of stuff and my wife mentioned that we met in high school. 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," he wrote.

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He admitted to "playing along" with his wife's friends' jokes and commented that she wasn't as crazy as he was in college. Her friend then interjected and started to tell a story but was promptly cut off by his wife, who he noticed was becoming quite uncomfortable. He sensed something was up, and clarified to his wife's friends that they met in high school and were together for their entire college years.

"All of my wife's friends got real quiet and the rest of the dinner was awkward. On the way out, one of her other roommates took me aside and said I should have 'an honest conversation' about what happened at college," he continued.

The next day, his wife came clean and told him that she slept with several men during her first two years at college. She claimed that it wasn't meant to be a big deal because she and him were long distance and she didn't think they'd last since most high school couples don't.

"I pressed for more details and she said it was at least 10 different men including at least 3 guys she introduced to me as friends when I came to visit on weekends and one guy she was still in contact with. I told her that I wanted a divorce and would be starting the paperwork as soon as I could."

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Their family and friends have been pressuring him to call off the divorce.

He admitted that he's getting a lot of slack from his friends and family, who have tried to assure him that what his wife did while they were dating shouldn't be taken too seriously. However, he's standing on his beliefs and even though it happened years ago, he's still hurt that was cheated on.

"The fact that she continued to maintain relationships with these guys right in front of me was an unacceptable amount of disrespect. We have two children, but they are 17 and 19 and I believe they will understand why I need to end the marriage," he insisted.

In the comments section, people were quick to agree that he wasn't in the wrong at all for being hurt over his wife's deception and seeking out a divorce.

"If she wants to do the work to remain in your life in any capacity, that's up to you guys. You should absolutely do what you need to do to feel comfortable with your way forward," one Reddit user wrote. "She robbed you of your agency for 20 years and then invited people who had violated you into your life. I don't blame you for feeling whatever way you do."

Another user added, "Obviously, the fact that she cheated on you multiple times is a big deal, but the real issue is the fact that the whole start of your relationship was entirely fabricated. She built it on lies. Nobody should judge you for being shaken because of this revelation."

Discovering that your partner has cheated on you hurts no matter whether you found out at that moment or years later. Trust is a fundamental aspect of any relationship, and it's not unreasonable that he feels a level of betrayal by his wife, especially since the entire beginning of their relationship wasn't what he thought it was. 

Their situation proves that no matter what, you should always be honest with your partner, even if you don't think certain past actions won't ever come to light. It's better to be truthful from the get-go, so that couples can work through their issues, instead of finding out later on and having no energy to save the relationship.

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.