Post # 1
Hi group! I am newly engaged to a man I have been with for 4 years (living together 2 years). I was never the type to dream about a wedding or even marriage, but when we met I knew I wanted to be married to him.
Prior to meeting him, I was in a verbally abusive relationship. Prior to that, I was sexually assaulted twice. I engaged in extensive therapy after my abusive relationship and I felt that this was all resolved and I was as healed as I could be. Now that we are engaged, I am terrified. Because of my past, I worry that I am missing signs or red flags. One night, I was on the computer and saw his email. I looked and noticed that he was emailing a co-worker. The emails didn’t appear to be flirtatious on his end, but did on hers. I have never heard of this co-worker – he typically talks about his friends at work. I am paranoid that he is cheating and can’t talk to him about it. Obviously, I wish I never looked. It was a weak moment when I was feeling particularly vulnerable and was looking for reassurance. There are no other signs of cheating-he is either at home or at the gym that we both go to; no texts or phone calls; no unusual absences. Everything else seems status quo.
I have called my therapist and am planning on returning. In the meantime, I have been miserable.
Has anyone else with history of trauma or abuse have similar fears? Aside from therapy, any advice?
Post # 3
@Lanalin: What was the content of the email? What were his and her responses like?
I’m not trying to get you worked up at all, but until I have a little more info I’m not going to tell you I think you’re losing your mind and it’s 100% all in your head. You mentioned you’ve never heard of this co-worker, and that could mean nothing at all or it could be significant. It’s just hard to give an assessment of risk without all of the pieces 🙂
Post # 4
@badabing88: Unfortunately, this is about all I know. She is married (I believe) and he is trying to build relationships with work as he is being considered for management. According to the emails, they have met for coffee during work hours. They do email outside of work hours and the emails consist of “how’s it going”, “what are you up to tonight?” “how was your weekend”. Her flirty emails were “at the beach in my bikini” and “going to get a haircut, hope it’s cute”. They are all very short and don’t go into much detail.
Post # 5
@Lanalin: The past shapes us whether we like it or not. My dad left when I was 13 – a pretty vulnerable age. I also had a bad relationship (emotionally abusive) for five years in my early 20s. So yes, I am sure that these experiences have something to do with my current insecurities.
I think most of us have those irrational panic moments at one point or another. Usually there are logical explanations, though. It doesn’t sound like your FI is cheating or doing anything wrong at all. I would talk to him about it, though. Last time I had one of my irrational paranoid moments, I was scared to talk to my SO, but once I talked to him I felt 100% better and felt so silly for even being worried.
You’re about to get married.. that’s a huge change. It would be bad if you didn’t have ANY concerns/doubts/butterflies etc. It means that you’re using your head and not blindly jumping into something that will affect the rest of your life.
Post # 6
@Lanalin: Ok, I personally wouldnt like that very much, thought it’s not like you can say anything because that would give away that you were snooping in his email. I’m not sure who appears to be initiating the contact, him or her, but if it were me, i’d keep an eye on it. Now, before everyone else flames me, here’s why:
I met my SO working together. I was a marketing rep and he was a manager for another department. When I met him, I thought he was very cute, and since I was single, I started persuing him. We would flirt at work and email back and forth, and I’d stop into his office for BS reasons just to be able to smile and walk away.
This went on for about a month before he asked me if I’d like to grab a drink with him one night. We met at a bar and had a couple drinks before going our seperate ways. It wasnt flirtatious or anything, and I was totally bummed out. A week later he asked me to meet him and some of his male friends out. Figuring I was securely stuck in the “friend-zone”, I met up with them. When I arrived, his behavior was totally different: he bought me a drink and danced with me and put his arm around my waist a few times. I ended up staying the night where we had our first kiss (that was it). I left the next day on cloud 9, but halfway home he texted and dropped a bomb on me: he was seeing someone and had been for 6 months.
I was floored. Never, at any point in our time as friends or coworkers, was I aware he was seeing someone. He told me that it was very very casual (maybe saw eachother once a week or once every 2 weeks) and it wasnt exclusive, but he still didnt feel right about continuing anything with me unless they parted ways. I was disgusted with the whole thing and started giving him the cold shoulder both in and out of work. Somewhere in the next month or so he broke things off with her and we eventually started dating.
My point: from what I found out, that girl had ZERO idea I existed. She didnt find out something was amiss until a month after they split he checked us in somewhere on Facebook. She saw my name and remembered seeing my name in his phone and email.
I say keep one eye open. I dont believe “ignorance is bliss”.
Post # 7
@Lanalin: ask him who this girl is. I don’t see the big deal with that. I’m not saying to be accusatory but being inquisitive is ok given that you and he are engaged!
Sorry about what’s happened to you in your past. Everyone has some baggage. Don’t beat yourself up. Sounds like you are handling it by contacting your therapist. What we go through in life makes us the unique people we all are.
Hang in there.
Post # 8
Thanks for the comments and support. I ended up talking with him-not about the emails, rather my vulnerability and concerns about cheating/infedelity. It’s funny because we have been together 4 years and I never thought or worried about cheating, but now that we are engaged, I am so afraid. He assured me that he is faithful and his focus is on our relationship. I do trust him and I think I might be confusing fear with intuition about this situation. He always comes home, is never unaccounted for, several of his co-workers have met me and know that he is engaged, we share a phone account and there are no strange phone numbers or texts, and there are no other signs. It’s only the emails!! There are moments where I feel overwhelmed and worry that he is cheating or thinking about another woman. I am refusing to read any more of his emails, it’s not healthy for me nor is it fair for him. The last time I did check, she sent an email asking if his dog swam and he told her “we take her to the lake, usually lake _____”, so he is mentioning me. I guess I need to trust him until he proves otherwise. Some days will be better than others, but I refuse to let this destroy our relationship unless there is evidence that I truly should be concerned about.