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Relationship Health Message Board

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I have known a woman now for almost 9 years and we have been dating for most of those years. We have had break ups and found drawn to each other again and again. Just recently been back together again for a couple of years which we have taken it slow, things have come out but before I can tell you more on that, let me set the stage up. just a week ago, we were supposed to go to a stock show and it's something we have done every year without fail. As I mentioned before, we had been taking it slow, almost rebuilding our relationship again. As we walk in the grounds she reaches for my hand to hold and I freak out. All of the sudden a million thoughts go through my head but of course how can I explain to her why I'm freaking out about it. I try and choose my words carefully but it didn't seem like I did. I sometimes have trouble with choosing the right words because it feels like my brain and mouth are not connected, or I use the wrong word to express an idea; for example. If I were to say, "he is very tall up there on the ladder", I know this sounds ridiculous but what I actually mean is that, "he is very high up on the ladder"; the ladder may have been a tall ladder but of course I mixed up the two ideas to try and describe that concept. Well, as for the stock show and our conversation, I don't remember everything that I said but apparently I said, in trying to explain why I was so freaked out about holding hands, that it was a sign of things moving in the direction of a "real" relationship. Of course that wasn't what I meant, that everything that we have been through wasn't a "real" relationship. The thought behind that statement was supposed to be a serious relationship and not just real. Maybe my brain couldn't focus and lost track of the thought in mid sentence but that is what she took from it. She stormed out, walking as fast as she could out of the grounds and me following trying to keep up with her. We get into my vehicle and we start driving back...silence for most of the trip until we get closer to home. I keep trying to explain myself but it's just not working. I tried explaining that I cared for her and that I didn't want to hurt her; that I loved the fact that she looked for me and that I always looked forward to seeing her and hearing from her but i was scared. Scared of hurting her again as I have other times before; that I didn't want to hurt her by straying and getting bored in the relationship and get tired of her...You see, the story behind this is that I cheated on her a few years back with a married woman. She didn't know this fact but that was what was running through my head as I'm trying to explain why the holding hands issue freaked me out so much. All she took from everything that I had said was that it wasn't a "real" relationship which was not at all what I was thinking. We arrived at my place where she had her car, collected her stuff, got in her car and just drove away leaving me standing alone on my driveway. The only thing I could think of at that moment was, she needs some time to herself; I don't know what else to say, don't know how to fix things. So this was on a Friday, Saturday came then Sunday and not communication. Work week started and I tried burying myself in work and not think of what was happening until Friday came along and I couldn't take any longer. I had written a letter of how I felt for her, how I missed my movie partner, my drinking partner, my dinner partner and I sent it to her phone. A couple of hours passed with now response so I jump in the shower and sure enough I hear knocking at the door. I jump out and answer and it's her. The first thing she tells me is, "you can't just send me a letter like that!" Told her, I'm sorry, I just had to. I keep trying to explain what my thoughts were the last Friday at the stock show and I told her that I was scared for a reason, I didn't want to be like my dad.--- I lost my parents when I was almost 2 years old but I've heard stories of them and one story in particular that stands out about my dad. He had his wife and 4 kids and as the story goes, my mom was in labor with my little brother but as fate would have it, they both did not make it through labor. After learning about this, my dad went into depression; didn't eat, didn't take care of himself so 6 months after my mom and little brother died, so did my dad. The rest of this story is that my dad cheated on my mom with multiple women during their life together but at the end, those other women could not fill that void that was left by my mom.---So no, I don't want to be like my dad in that respect. I don't want to cheat on my partner so I decided to tell her the truth about what I had done years back. She was upset and rightly so but she continued on to say that she had lied as well. She slept with someone also when we were going through a rough patch in our relationship year ago and she also went on to say that she slept with someone else a few days after the stock show incident between us. She tried explaining that she was trying to get over me, that that night she just wanted to run away from me for saying the things that I said, that she didn't want to think of me anymore....I had no idea that she thought that I didn't see it as a "real" relationship. That wasn't what I meant, that wasn't what I was saying or at least in my head that is not what I was thinking but I guess I couldn't explain myself well enough. I asked her why did she do that, that is not what I meant, why didn't you ask me, why didn't you at least tell me something in reference to the "real" relationship part of what I said. She went on to say that I couldn't hold that against her, that as far as she saw it, I didn't see it as a real relationship so why should she feel bad about it. Am I wrong for thinking that it's wrong for her to do that? Regardless of who it is, it's wrong to just go sleep with someone else to try and forget about a person. It's just wrong and she continues to say, I'm not sorry, you can't hold that against me.

Right before she told me that she had slept with someone just a few days ago, I was apologizing to her for not being as vocal as I should've been with telling her how much she meant to me, how I wanted a life together. So it was certainly surprised to hear what she told me; I felt like I didn't know her anymore. I kept thinking, how can someone that supposedly cares for you go out and do that. I know I'm not perfect, no angel but I have been trying to make up for my mistakes but how can I move past this situation of her sleeping with someone else because she assumed something that I was not thinking at all? How can I even think of even building a life together with someone who I feel will go looking for someone else when she thinks that I'm doing something, or not saying what she wants to hear? I can't stop thinking about her but I also can't stop thinking about the fact that she gave up that intimacy so easily to someone else...I don't know what to do.

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