What I have gathered by the responses in this thread is we (humans, that is) become shaped by our own experiences and how we might respond to them ourselves.
It's kind of like pot smokers. The person who is actively smoking generally believes that a huge more % of people smoke than people believe and that it really has no effect on daily life. Non-smokers obviously tend to believe the opposite.
I appreciate all the sincerity in this thread, with all the varying views.. I believe the range of responses carry a direct correlation to the life experiences of those sharing. Not necessarily jaded or damaged, just opposing ways of looking at life.
As much as I respect One Brow, I believe his life experience (both in relationships and academia) has formed an opinion that is far removed from my own belief system. Which is right and wrong? Who knows? Who cares? There's no one size fits all answer, anyway. The main thing is not everyone is a cheater. Not everyone needs multiple partners, some do.. as much as OB said it's "unfair that you expect her to monogamous" it is also unfair that you allow anyone to pre-shape your world. If you want a completely monogamous relationship, you can, millions of other people have one. Whether it's this girl or not, I have no opinion.
My advice is once you've gotten all this feedback, forget it, dig deep, search your soul for what YOU want, and just do it .. looking forward, and not behind.
E.J. Wells vs. NAOS
Pre-season mock (7/13/13) - page 111
The real problem that I see if you stay with her is what will you be thinking when she is late coming home? When she goes out to lunch with a "friend"? When she wants to have a girls night? Are you going to be sitting at home worrying that she is out cheating? Or can you really just forgive and forget? If you cant truly forget then your relationship is doomed to fail.
Allow me to offer one more one-liner of mine that has helped many relationships over the years. When things get rocky, when they're tough and you think about calling it quits, remember;
"You're only trading circumstances."
There is no 'perfect' person out there. You give up on one gal who cheated on you once 6 years ago for another girl that nags you daily and makes life hell.. that may have not cheated on you, but on her last boyfriend. We're all flawed, yes, even us JazzFanz. It's important that you find true love, because dissecting what you don't like about your spouse everyday for the rest of your life .. would suck.
E.J. Wells vs. NAOS
Pre-season mock (7/13/13) - page 111
My only advice is forgiveness of things like this is really, really hard. It requires making a difficult decision to trust your significant other over and over again. Everytime one of the questionable circumstances that Hartsock pointed out, happens you have to decide to trust. In time it becomes easier, but don't expect it just happen on its own.
In your particular circumstances, I would be inclined to move on. However, it sucks to be alone. So as a bunch of others have said your might be right and you might be wrong. You need to have a clear communication on how your relationship is going to work and discussion needs to be ongoing.
Build a man a fire; keep him warm for a day. Light a man on fire and he will be warm for the rest of this life.
Repeating the same actions and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.
I think sometime apart will allow you and her to evaluate the relationship... If after sometime she is still wanting to be with you that's a good indication that she has learned from her mistake from years ago and is committed to you.... Just my opinion!!
"I'm a moron for thinking the Browns could even sniff 10 wins in a division where the other three teams (two of whom almost always make the playoffs) made the post-season last year. Gyp Rosetti's thee God of football knowledge." - Brown Notes
I agree with much of what One Brow has said.
A little addition:
A little psychic theatre of problems and norms is created every time monogamy is implicitly or explicitly accepted. There are powerful feelings that emerge from these problems and norms -- powerful enough to cover over other issues that come with being in a relationship. Personally, I'd rather make the relationship about other issues. The older I get, the more bored I become over monogamous strife.
To the OP:
The fact that she lied about the details could mean a couple of things. First, she probably didn't want to hurt you. Second, she was probably ashamed of herself. I'm a little troubled by the fact that you both have been living amongst this shame for so long... you might want to think about what that means for your relationship as you make your own decision. Best of luck.
Regardless of whatever cultural norms exist I believe jealousy and security are biologically driven emotions. I think people can try to take a rational view and I think they are often sunk by deep-seated emotional reactions to someone we are in a relationship engaging in sexual activity with a rival.
monogamy is definitely not an institution borne of women's desires alone. it is, maybe, the male-dominated institution par excellence.
(Graeber's book on Debt would be very interesting for you on this and many other levels.)
And the thing about the history of relationship's is that until very recently they were mostly matter of utility, necessity and duty. I don't think we gain any great insight into what makes for a good standard of relationships and marriage by looking backwards. Only now that most people have enough food to eat and shelter and the social liberation to pursue relationships that satisfy their romantic desires are we learning about what works and what people really want and are really capable of dealing with.
There's no excuse for cheating. If I was ever cheated on, it would be a no brainer to me what to do. I believe too much in a thing calledy loyalty. Cheaters believe in a thing called, "I don't care if I **** up my reputation of a human being and my partner's life."