My wife continues to lie about her past despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary

This has some layers to it so I'll try to list the bullet points
1 before we got married my wife had a lot of guy friends but said she NEVER crosses the line
2 so I never asked her about her past upon that knowledge and we ended up getting married
3 shortly thereafter a friend of mine relays some information to me about my wife and someone or some people from work (it was a little vague but he got it from a guy who used to work with her)
4 I confronted her
5 she then starts spitting out all of these names of guys that she had contact with in the past
6 she limits her contact with them saying she just "kissed" them at various times
7 so now we know that she lied about a lot of people - because at one time or another I did ask her if she had any history at all with most of the people she mentioned (most of them her friends)
8 sensing this is now a window into much more than she is revealing I start to press
9 keep in mind I know about and could care less about her past relationships i.e boyfriends - but I have a real problem with one-night stands and lying. They are virtual deal breakers
10 after some discussion she reveals more of her past. A one- night stand with a friend a long time ago and a fling
11. I'm pretty pissed at this point but we move on
12. Since I now know she is a liar I continue to press from time to time and she continues to deny any one-nighters wih any friends from work or any of her other friends
13 her story doesn't pass the smell test so about every 6 months I bring it up and she denies it
14 finally I am absolutely sure there is more than she is telling and I press real hard. she finally reveals that she did sleep with one of her friends that I had been badgering her about. (Oh and in the same breath she tells me she didn't even like him) - which made it worse from my standpoint
15 so now we know she is a staunch liar and kind of a slut if you ask me
16 long story - short (although that ship has probably sailed) the situation becomes a disaster. A complete disaster.
17 we go see a therapist #3
18 not to bore you so I will just say that during this period I find out that her stories about anyone else still smell
19 but now she tells the therapist that there is no one else - end of story
20 I believe this to be complete and utter BS because of information I have gathered over time as well as admissions or semi- admissions that have come out of her own mouth
21 most of the dilemma centers around one particular person that she use to "kiss" on several occasions. Since I've known her she has continued to hang out with some of those other people in question and this particular one. To the point that we've gone into business with him, she's gone away on a business trip with him, and she stayed over his house one night when she was too drunk to drive home.
22 I am almost positive she slept with him (before we were married but wouldn't put it past her to have cheated on me)
23 she continues to deny anything else with anyone
24 if she comes clean it will be armageddon
25 if she continues to deny I will never believe and will go around thinking of her as a slut and a liar
26 if she's telling me the truth it will probably be survivable but barely
27 she's admitted to enough already to be a deal breaker for me (if we were single)
28 I don't want to break up the marriage because we have kids
29 but going on like this is not an enjoyable way to spend the rest of your life as a married couple
30 I can't get past it and have no real solution
31 wiser-now hit it on the head! That's exactly how I feel as pertains to this subject
32 She's dug herself too big of a hole to get out of and since this crap has been going on for 10 years I'm not really in the mood to give her an out
33 I carry around so much anger towards her it's off the charts!
I'm all ears to any suggestions. Thanks!

Asked May 03, 2013
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In order for a relationship to survive, both people have to feel they are getting more benefit from it than what it costs them emotionally. That is obviously not the case here. If you can't accept her as she is, your only choice is to get away from her. Otherwise you will spend the rest of your life trying to prove what you already believe, whether it's the truth or not.
Answered May 03, 2013
Rob appreciate the thoughtful response. You're pretty accurate on every point, I wish I could eliminate this cloud that hovers over us. If we were single it would probably be for the best but we have young children and I don't want them growing up in a broken home. I'll continue to try to suck it up and move past it. Haven't had a lot of long term luck so far. Thanks for your input.
If the two of you can get through this without the children hearing it, what you say may be worth it but it's my opinion that kids are better off dealing with one happy parent at a time than growing up in between two parents that are constantly doing battle.
Rob May 04, 2013
I agree.
Thanks guys. Agreed. We actually don't fight about this in front of the children. We actually only fight about this every couple weeks/months. It's not a constant thing although I have trouble letting her get close to me because of this. There's like a major wall between us that needs to be removed. i'm absolutely miffed at this situation. It was a pretty big shock to the system and it's kind of a turn-off in addition to fracturing the trust I had in her. Honestly it would probably be a disaster if she did come clean but the other side of it is moving on knowing she is still lying. Really a no win situation for anybody. I'll keep plugin' but it is very disappointing on all fronts. Thanks for the input guys.
If you don't want to leave her -- and if she isn't cheating now -- then really the only thing I can think of that you can do is learn to work through it. If she feels like you hate her, she may reach a breaking point of her own. If you're going to stay with her, neither of you can survive for very long in an environment filled with anger and distrust. If those two things don't go away, the marriage will probably end anyway.

Therapy is a helpful step. Hopefully, the therapist can help her learn to re-earn your trust, and help you learn to trust her again.

Otherwise.... you're kids would still be in a "broken" home. They'll learn that marriage looks like anger, distrust, and contempt. I would not want to teach my kids that that's what married love looks like.

I agree that not being truthful in the beginning was not stellar on her part. I can understand why you feel betrayed. But... as a marriage counselor once said to a friend of mine: "Do you want to be married, or do you want to be right?"

If you need someone to chat with you can try I like them for when I need to talk out family issues with someone who doesn't know me and who is outside of the situation. They have an anonymous feature, and it's free.

Also, I agree with Rob.
Answered May 04, 2013
Edited May 04, 2013
Appreciate it sky dancer. Just to be clear there though there are no interrogations and no more questions are being asked. That ended a long time ago. I don't press any more I'm just angry that she lied to me. And it bubbles over every few weeks for one reason or another. I carry it with me and would love to let it go. But it's hard when I know she still chooses to lie to me. We see a therapist and she lies to her too. What's the point of going to a therapist if she's not going to tell her the truth either. Believe me I'm not exactly chomping at the bit to hear more from her past. But I'm not real happy the other way either. It's frustrating because there's no real good solution at this point where everyone can walk-away in one piece, heal up, and move forward. Sucking it up seems to be the only option I'm left with. The kids are too important. Thanks again!
I don't know if you've seen this, but here is a similar question from another guy who was/is in the same spot:

Here's what I said about finding out about my husband's past:
"I can understand how you feel. My husband is an actor who used to hang out with pro ball players. You can just imagine what that lifestyle was like. He literally doesn't even know how many women he slept with when he was wild. I, on the other hand, can count my partners on one hand and have left over fingers. He was by himself for 6-7 years before we met, and in that time became a completely different person. He regrets his past so much, and never wants to talk about it. He told me after we'd been together a couple of years. I was shocked because it was like he was talking about a completely different person, not the solid, decent, dependable, moral, spiritual man that I know... And so that's where I decided to leave it. It's as if it was a man I don't know did those things, so it doesn't bother me. We have a strong marriage. I'm glad he trusted me enough to tell me."
I really feel this way. I don't have a problem with what he did before we came together, and it didn't think of him differently after. I was definitely surprised, but I really did/do feel like someone I don't know lived that way, as opposed to feeling like I married someone who hid his "true" self from me. I didn't get angry at him. It might sound weird, but I actually felt better knowing that he felt like he could come to me with anything and be completely vulnerable with me. I can understand why he didn't tell me when we first started dating; it would have been a deal breaker, and he obviously felt too afraid to risk losing me. Anyway, now, I'm just happy that we've built this beautiful life together. We have a happy home, cool kids, and a very strong marriage... but we have that because we live in today, not 15 years ago.
Wow, I have a very similar experience with my wife as well except that it is much worse. My wife and I dated for 8 years before we were married and I was told by one of her friends she cheated on me with one of her close friends numerous time a couple years into our relationship. Asked her numerous times over the years about our and denied anything to do with the guy. About 2 weeks ago told everything about what happened that long time ago and was obviously a huge shock since we have 3 kids and have been married for 6 years. I completely understand where you are coming from in regards to the trust issue. Being lied to, no matter what it is, is unacceptable in a relationship. You start thinking about what else she or he could be hiding, you feel you married someone you really don't know, you dig and prod until you find something else to prove the other person is hiding more. In the end it destroys the relationship if you let it. I have chosen the path of forgiving and moving on. My wife is a different person now than she was when we were only a couple of years into the relationship. Her honesty now helped me move on from this thought in the back of my head and for you solution you can do this as well as long as your partner is being brutally honest with you and answering all of your questions. I hope things work out for you both but there's really 2 options here forgive and move on, about the dishonesty, or divorce and find someone else. I chose to stay and work hard to make my marriage work and I hope you do the same, we need more hard work in marriages and less easy ways out like divorce.
Answered Sep 12, 2013
Don't listen to those indivuals who say your behaving like a jack ass. They have absolutely nothing at stake. She alone destroyed both of your futures and no one else. It is sad that we allow people's bad behavior to be displaced on others. It is soo pathetic that our society accepts infidelity as no big deal. I personaly found out my wife cheated on me while we were living together. Before we got married I asked her if she ever had been unfaithful to me. She stated never once. After being married I caught her off gaurd one day and she did state a friend (she had gone out with while we were together)wanted to sleep with her. Before we were married she said they were just friends. Later she was caught in more lies about men. I did stay with her for the sake of our children but now I am 60 years old and the kids have moved away. Essentually at this point of my life it is too late to start over. She took the best years of my life but some how there are those who would say I am wrong. My advice is to get out now and do the best for your kids as a single dad. In the long run if you stay married the children will know something is wrong and also be greatly affected. Let her deal with what she knows while you find happiness before it is to late.
Answered Mar 08, 2014
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Answered May 23, 2019
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Answered Feb 24, 2020
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Answered Mar 31, 2020
You seem kind of shallow. I'm not trying to be hateful. If you fell in love with her, then who cares what she did before she met you. You had relations with other women. As did she with other men. Unless you believe deeply that she has cheated on you since you've been married you should just let it go. You're behavior in not knowing how to forgive and let go is what ruins marriages. You don't need to know about everything she did before she met you. You can't control what has already happened. And you calling her a slut, makes you look like a pathetic jackass. I'm surprised she hasn't already left you. If anything, treating her like this, will push her into someone else's arms. Bringing up things that happened before you, and using them against her is messed up. You must have the mentality of a 15 year old boy.
Answered May 03, 2013
As for kad16 did you actually think before you wrote the above. First of all you ARE hating so at least own up to it. Secondly you are basically telling me to not feel the way I do. I did not choose to have this vulnerability. Believe me if I could just let it go and look past the lying and the deceit (which is actually the crux of my issue with her) I would. Why don't you go tell a gay man that he should get over having an attraction for other men and go straight because everyone will be happier that way - and oh by the way it's the right thing to do. Homosexuals don't choose to be gay. They were born that way and feel the way they do. I can't turn off how I feel like a switch or I would. That is why I asked for suggestion and your help. Instead you resort to name-calling. I think you have the "mentality of a 15 year old boy" thing reversed..
A real man can forgive and forget. You may not be able to help how you feel, but that's not her fault either. You don't have to put your insecurities on her.
Kad16 May 04, 2013
If I were her, I'd refuse to answer any more questions about the past. Whether she answers or not, they both lose anyway. What's the point in going through more Q&A? It just produces more pain.

My advice to No_solution1 would be not to ask her anymore questions... just assume you know enough to know you don't like the way things worked out, and concentrate on how you can move forward, either as a married man or a divorcee. If you're going to stay married, you have to find a way to forgive and trust her, and she has to earn that trust. If you two can't do that in counseling, it's attorney time.
Kad16. You're making me laugh because you still don't get it and now you're just embarrassing yourself. Do you always have this much anger inside of you? It usually means you are unhappy with who you are. I'm not the bad guy here. She never gave me the opportunity to decide whether I would still want to marry her despite whatever past she has. Marriage is a huge deal and a lot of work as we all know. It's important for everyone to feel comfortable and secure moving forward. Truthfulness, faithfulness, and thoughtfulness are the foundation of a marriage. The truth has been breached here. That's a big deal to me. You seem to act like it's not a major issue whatsoever. You'll get humbled at some point and realize what a jack-ass you sound like with your responses.
Oh by the way a couple of you have suggested that I forgive and try to trust her again. Ok. That's fine. But how do you do that when you know she is still lying?

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