Post # 1
I’ve had a very upsetting day and need some advice. SO and I have been together for 6 years, living together for 3. We have a strong, committed, happy relationship.
Today I was using his computer. I went to gmail, and the computer automatically loaded his gmail inbox screen. Staring right at me was an email from a girl I’ve never heard of, with the subject “My dream.” I opened it and saw a series of about 6 emails back and forth between my SO and this girl. The emails were very fliratious. The girl signed off with kisses. I know my SO well and could tell he put a lot of thought into the emails, they were very carefully crafted.
I felt sick and took some deep breaths. SO was out and when he came home I spoke to him about it. Whilst this isn’t technically cheating, I feel very hurt. They are flirtatious and he would not have written them if I was sitting beside him. He hasn’t told me anything about this girl or the emails, so he’s sort of hidden it from me. I consider this kind of behaviour to be completely unacceptable in our relationship. I certainly don’t send other men emails like this, and i have no desire to, as I’m happy with SO. This is not a sudden new rule, he has known the boundaries of our relationship all along and certainly knew that this would hurt me.
SO was very apologetic, told me he’s sorry, he loves me, he won’t do it again, and is very guilty and upset that he’s hurt me. He said he met the girl overseas years ago and kissed her once but has no desire for her.
I’m not sure what to do. I love him and this hasn’t changed that, however, I’m extremely hurt, disappointed and shocked that he has done this, especially as he knew it would hurt me. Whilst I love him and can accept his flaws, I can’t accept this behaviour. I don’t know how I can trust him that he won’t do something like this again.
Sorry for my long post, thanks for reading. Does anyone have any advice on how to handle this? I looked up the girl on facebook, which was very silly as she’s gorgeous and it just made me feel sick in my stomach.
Post # 3
Oh this sucks! I’m wondering why he started emailing her in the first place? And why did he hide it from you? You are so right that this is unacceptable! I don’t know if I could ever trust my BF again if he did something like this.. If you want to give him another chance I think it’s necessary you guys really talk about this, even when you think there’s nothing more to say. The only way to build up that trust again, is to have him explain exactly why he did it and to have him understand just how much he hurt you! love
Post # 4
Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.
I think you need more details. Was it just someone he “met” online, or someone he knows outside of digital fantasyland? If it is just an online flirtation, I think it takes some serious discussion, but I wouldn’t give up on the relationship over it. It is unbelevably common for people to take fantasy to their computers. It’s easy, it’s free, and it is not technically cheating. It would be nice if our SOs did not fantasize about other women, but that is extremely unlikely.
All men have fantasies and computers have made it easy to connect with people (and honestly, it might not even really be a girl- a photo is not the same as live and in person, and lots of men go online and fake the female thing). Could also be a woman who is sitting home lonely and pretending she is someone else. Again, for a lot of people, it is just a fantasy, or way of taking fantasy a step further, but it CAN be someone harmless and doesn’t mean he would cheat on you.
You can read articles online about this activity.
Now, if this is someone he knows, or someone that he planned to meet, that is a whole different ballgame. Fantasy is one thing, but actually setting up meeting timees, or communicating in this manner with someone in “real life” those are different issues altogether and you shouldn’t tolerate that.
Post # 5
Thanks ladies, it’s great to be reassured I’m not overreacting.
@menobride, the girl is someone he knows. He met her before we started dating, when he went to the UK. He told me he kissed her once but they didn’t date.
Oh, i feel sick every time i think about it! We did have a good long talk about it and I feel satisfied with the conversation, but I really think he’s damaged my trust in him and am not sure how to react. If I just kind of forgive him and get over it, I’m worried he might do it again. I don’t want to be suspicious of him all the time. Eurgh!
Post # 6
Argh, different story totally.
I believe in second chances…but tred carefully for awhile. When this happened to me, my SO was so very obviously remorseful, said he had no idea how much damage he would cause, and opened up his compnter for me to look at at anytime. It took a little time, but I did get past it. You will too, as long as he stops and is sincere about not doing it again.
Post # 7
ls18: sorry this is happening to you.
His behaviour is, in my opinion, just as cheating, because it was more than one email and he put a lot of thoughts in these flirtatious words – it wasn’t just a “spur of the moment” thing…
While he may be sorry and intend to never do it again, I can understand that your trust is shaken right now, it’s completely normal.
I tend to think that, when forgiven easily, people tend to go back to their behaviour (not everyone, but in general) because they just don’t get how much you’ve been hurt. If it were me, I would tell him that I am beyond hurt right now and need to think, and that I can’t do that with him there. Then I’d leave for a few hours or days.
Not to hurt him; not to play. But to really give myself some space to think, and to give him some space to think as well about how much his behaviour is unacceptable and that there are consequences to his decisions/actions. Something big like that is not solved through one discussion only, and he needs to really understand how much he’s hurt you.
When you think, think about what has to happen for you to be able to trust him again. Then discuss that with him when you’re through thinking.
Post # 8
I’m with @egb.
You need time to think and he needs time to be remorseful. I can’t see why he would do something like that? Are they similar to love notes? I would be just as confused and upset as you. It’s definitely something he needs to either end, or open himself up to you about everything he’s done and will do (as in allowing you to check his gmail although he could always create another alias). He needs to build that trust back.
Post # 9
My concern is if he’s being honest with everything and not still hiding stuff. You really need to have a honest to heart talk with him and see how best you both can move forward.
Post # 10
If you do want to stay with him, he needs to earn your trust back. BIG TIME. And WHY was he doing this anyways?! Especially with someone he’s met and kissed before. To me, that’s more than just someone he met online…this is a real live girl he’s friends plus flirty with. You have to respect someone to love them, and i don’t think this is very respectful. It’s sneaky, deceitful, and wrong. He’s emotionally cheating on you, girl.
Post # 11
Oh girly…I’m so so sorry. I’ve been there. Exactly there. Like, RIGHT there. lol
I couldnt decide what hurt me most, the lying or the fact that he was doing it in the first place. I dont know if I should share this all, because I dont want you to not be able to move past it if and when you feel it’s time, but I moved past it. And it happened again. And again. And after a 4 year relationship where I said “one more and I’m done” i had to be done. I didnt want to be, and if I hadn’t set the rule down for that before, but since I said it, I had to do it. For me.
I would say if you do decide to forgive and are able to “forget” so to speak (in that you arent bringing it up all the time, which I think can be damaging as well – its what I did) you should set a boundary for yourself. Like, if this happens one more time, I HAVE to be done. For me. And when you decide that, REALLY decide that. So if, God forbid, you end up where I did…you have the set rule to walk away. Its the only thing that got me to walk away. I think by doing it, my guy showed me, very very clearly, that he wasnt ready for the commitment. He wasn’t ready to be moving forward with me when he was looking back on them. I realized that, and needed to walk away.
I believe people can walk away from this and not do it again, so please dont read me wrong on that! But you have to take care of you and what you deserve. And sometimes we can be our own worst enemies at times like this! Allow him the grace and forgiveness that you need to in order to move forward if thats what you need to do – and I agree with the other girls, give it some time. Not to play games, like they said, but to sort it out yourself and get the peace of mind you need…but to also give him the time to think over what happened and learn you wont simply accept that!
Sorry this is long! It probably hit pretty close to home. Im rooting for you guys! Forgiveness is good, but do please set boundaries!
Post # 12
I totally see your situation and how it can be frustrating. Its hard when someone damages the trust you might have in them. I would say try not to dwell on it if you guys have been together so long and have talked about it and you think you are satisfied with the conversation. But by all means don’t let it go completely unpunished. He has to know that your trust in him is damaged and that he can’t do somehting like this again or you don’t think that you could tolerate it anymore. You just need to be firm with him in knowing that he hurt you and if he does it again then it might be over. I hope it all works out for you!
Post # 13
So I’m not proud to admit this, but I’ve been in this situation, only reversed. Fiance and I were going through a rough patch and I was doing some heavy flirting with another guy and got caught. I’m ashamed of what I did, and there’s really nothing I can say about it except that it happened, there was never any intention of it moving beyond flirtation and when he confronted me I was horribly embarrassed. After a lot of talk we decided to move forward and haven’t looked back since. (This was several years ago)
We are all human and have urges that can sometimes be difficult to ignore. I think it’s important to assess if this is part of a pattern of behaviour or if he maybe just made a (really) stupid decision as we are all prone to doing sometimes.
The only way you can move on from this is if you honestly believe that he made a mistake and are prepared to really move on – you can’t be dragging it up again and again or your relationship will never get past it. If you don’t feel like you can do that, then you guys need to have a serious talk.
Post # 14
I’ve been in your position almost exactly. Except this girl was my roommate (eek). I FULLY understand how you’re hurting, and the sense of betrayal you’re feeling. That was the only time that I have ever screamed at someone in my entire life. We were VERY close to a break up at that point, but after several long discussions and promises, we were able to move on together. He was no longer “allowed” to talk to her, and he allowed me to keep tabs on his mysapce (yes, myspace.. this was two years ago after all.. ha) for as long as I needed. The great news is now we’re happier than ever. We’re getting married in less than a month, and we’re madly in love. I trust him completely. Basically, what I’m trying to say is, there is hope. It will take time to repair the broken trust, but if he’s truly remorseful and quits the behavior, I definitely think you can move on from this and be happy. 🙂
Post # 15
- Wedding: June 2010 - Ceremony - First United Methodist Church; Reception - My parents' house!
Oh my! I’m so sorry that this happened/you found this. I would be really, really, really (x028084234) upset.
Post # 16
You do have every right to be upset, it’s not right at all and you should be hurt and he should have to earn your trust back.
But at the same time, I’m sure he feels horrid for betraying you.
I did the same thing once. I was dating this guy, and we’d been together for about a year. Well we were fighting a lot and it was a really strenuous time in our relationship. I was upset at him for the way he was treating me and the things he was picking arguments about. So I developed a close relationship with this guy I’d been working with for a year or so. He and I would talk about my boyfriend and the stuff going on, and he would always cheer me up, making me laugh and we had such a great time together.
Well my boyfriend at the time was really upset because he knew I wanted to be with Alex more than him and yada yada yada. Well although I had reason to be upset with my then-boyfriend, I also shouldn’t have gone behind his back to be with Alex at work and talk to him about our relationship.
Sooo my boyfriend was really upset and distrusting and all this, and I felt horrible. It wasn’t right.
So anyway, the point of my story is that, yes, what he did was wrong and he should have talked to you the moment they started talking or if she initiated contact or whatever, also look at it from his side. He probably feels awful now for hurting you. So just make sure you don’t act out of anger – by all means be hurt and let him know that he hurt you deeply, but also, let him know you still love him, and you want this relationship – if he’s willing to stop and promise that you will be the ONLY one EVER for him.
just my perspective anyway.. I hope all gets better soon ((hugs))