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I saw a text and said something about it. I need sanity checks.


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I'm 32/M, and my girlfriend is 42/F. We've known each other for a couple of years, but just recently started dating. We've had a few false starts and the most recent was about her ex-boyfriend from a couple years ago. I knew of the guy, but didn't know who he was. Once we started dating, she revealed that the friend that she goes camping (sharing a tent), plans trips with, and spends 3-4 days a week hanging out with - either out or at his apartment is her ex-boyfriend. She says that there's no physical or emotional relationship between them, and that it's strangely comfortable for her. I want to believe her, but even if it's true, it still makes me extremely uncomfortable and jealous. She explains that he hurt her badly and she's got some kind of lingering attachment to the bad feelings that she's working on. I tell her that I don't think I can do the relationship as a third-wheel to her and her ex, and that I'm going to need to step back from things. About two months later she tells me that she's stopped seeing him and would like for us to give it another try. We get back together, and I make it clear to her that I need to know about any contact between them for my own sanity. She says she hasn't seen him in weeks, and doesn't intend to because she knows he's bad for her, and because she wants me in her life.

 

She and I went out last night, and came back to my place at the end of the evening. We stayed up really late (7AM), and I got up before her this morning around 10. I went to the living room and was sitting on the couch smoking a cigarette (yes, bad for me, I know). While I was sitting there, I heard a phone vibrate and I looked down at it. Her phone was face-up on the table in front of me and it automatically turns the screen on and shows the contents of a text message when it comes through. It was a text from her ex, making reference to something at 4AM. A couple of minutes later, he sends another text that says something about the place that she and I went out to last night. I'm upset because she and I had just rehashed the conversation about him the previous night. She promised me that she would neither lie about contact with him nor omit any information about it. I consider waking her up to ask her about it, but think that maybe I should calm down first. I still have her phone in my hand when I go back to bed, and I sit it on the night stand. I fall back asleep, and we get up at noon when her phone buzzes again.

 

I hand her the phone and she turns it away from me and looks at it. She says "The ex just texted. He wanted to wish me a Merry Christmas." I say "Yeah? When was that?" She says "This morning. It's the first time he's texted in a long time. I don't think I'm even going to respond to it." I tell her I was sitting on the couch and I saw the texts come in at 10, and they looked like a continuation of a conversation from last night. She shuts down immediately, starts getting dressed, and demands that I take her home. I tell her I want her to talk to me, and she says she'll just wait outside and call a cab. I take her home, and about half way there she starts telling me how she can't believe I violated her privacy. She proceeds to berate me for the next three hours over text about how I crossed the line by going through her stuff. I explain repeatedly that I just happened to be sitting there when it went off, and I looked down at it. She never addresses why she lied to me about the contact with the ex.

 

Sanity check 1: If a phone goes off on the table in front of you, and you look down at it, is that snooping/prying/violating privacy boundaries/etc.?

 

Sanity check 2: Am I crazy to feel jealous about this guy?

 

Sanity check 3: What should I do about her lying to me about her contact with him the same evening that she and I had a conversation where she promised not to omit information or lie about it?

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I don't see that as snooping...if I heard a phone buzz and really just happened to be standing there, I'd have done the same thing. And once you saw the ex's name...well, can she really blame you for reading the rest of what was on the screen? Maybe she doesn't believe you and thinks you actually went through her phone, which obviously would be snooping.

 

Either way, the real issue here is that she said she broke off contact with him when she didn't. It's natural for you to feel some jealousy towards him; he is her ex, after all. But I dunno...if she'd lie to you about something like this, who's to say she wouldn't lie about it again or lie about something else? Obviously you know this girl better than any of us would, but that kind of lying in my book is unforgivable. How can you continue to have a relationship with her if you can't trust that she's not going behind your back and seeing her ex?

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She's deflecting everything on to you so that you take the focus off her.

She lied to you and that's all you need to know.

This is either a boundary for you or it isn't. You're only as good as your word. If you stay with her you're letting her know you don't really have that as a boundary and you're willing to take responsibility for things you haven't done wrong. And endorsing her boundary-less relationship with her ex.

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Chicago,

 

Thanks for the rapid reply. I actually did something that turned out to be remarkably detrimental to my conversation with her, in hopes of letting her know I wasn't digging through her phone. I don't know what possessed me to do it, but I took a picture of her phone about 2 minutes after the texts came through. In my mind, this was a way for me to prove that I really was just there when it happened. I told her that I had taken it, and told her why. That got all turned around and was brought up repeatedly as proof that I was intentionally violating her privacy. She said that I shouldn't be looking at her phone for any reason, and she can't believe I don't see anything wrong with what I did. I don't have the password to her phone, so I couldn't have been going through it even if I wanted to. Frankly, with as upset as I got when I saw the texts from him, I probably would have looked to see the rest of the conversation if I could have.

 

I can understand the desire to avoid a hard conversation, or downplay contact that he initiates with her. Especially considering that she knows how much it bothers me. For some reason, I thought she and I would have a reasonable conversation about it, and she would tell me what had actually happened, when I told her I saw the texts at 10. I really wasn't expecting to be berated for 3 hours over violating her privacy. One of the things she said during that time was that she's given me absolutely no reason not to trust her. Not telling me who this guy was from the start, especially considering how much 1:1 time they spent together at his place, and then lying to me this morning about what may have really just been benign chatter both seem like reasons to me.

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The issue here is not that you looked at her phone. she is just trying to push the guilt away from her onto you so she does not have to answer your questions. She is just trying to avoid explaining herself bcoz she knows she is in the wrong. Dont fall for it and stop defending yourself. You did nothing wrong. Her reaction as a whole is a HUGE sign or guilt.

 

Get rid of this woman already. It is blatantly obvious she is still emotionally involved with her ex and completely unwilling to cut contact with him. Send her a text saying "we are done-I do not want to hear from you again" and move on with your life. You are wasting your time on her

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Savingnon,

 

Thank you for the perspective on that. I'm normally a fairly sane and logical person, but sometimes this woman gets in my head. I was almost starting to believe that I had actually done something wrong, even though it was all just circumstance. I stepped away from this relationship previously because of her ties to him. I still want to believe that she has stopped seeing him, and that she was just trying to protect my feelings this morning. The fact that she replied to him on the same night that she and I discussed that I require full-disclosure about her contact with him, presumably while I was in the bathroom since she was at my house at 4AM, and then lied right to my face about it the next morning is a tough pill to swallow. I want to think the conversation really was harmless, and the lie was just a silly reaction to being surprised. The jealous monster inside me takes this to mean that she's probably just been lying to me about not seeing him.

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Shelty,

 

Thank you for the advice. I agree that she was likely just deflecting the blame so that she wouldn't have to tell me why she lied to me about her contact with her ex. I appreciate the affirmation that I didn't do anything wrong. I have somehow managed to let myself get emotionally invested in this and would really like for it to work, but you're probably right. If I don't cut ties now, this type of thing will probably just haunt the relationship until I can't take it anymore. I hate it when my heart and mind can't come to an agreement.

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out or at his apartment is her ex-boyfriend. She says that there's no physical or emotional relationship between them, and that it's strangely comfortable for her. I want to believe her, but even if it's true, it still makes me extremely uncomfortable and jealous. She explains that he hurt her badly and she's got some kind of lingering attachment to the bad feelings that she's working on.

 

This is when you should have walked away. She is not over this guy, I"m a woman and I can tell you it's a load of crap she's feeding you. She isn't over the guy, she still jumps whenever he says jump. You are either a rebound or a way for her to try and make him jealous. Women who've been mistreated by an ex and are over them want nothing to do with them. They do not, I repeat do not, continue to text and talk about how the reason they are still in contact is to try and work on lingering attachment to the bad feelings etc. Right, because people don't get attached to bad feelings unless there is some sort of reward behind the "bad feelings" or they are a masochist. Neither of these things add up to an emotionally healthy available partner. Her reaction now is because you've found out that yes she is still contact with him and wants to be and is upset, because you caught her at it.

 

I'm sorry, but I think she isn't over him at all. I blocked my ex and tell my current SO whenever the jerk tries to contact me, because I do not want the ex even beginning to get between us which he's previously tried to do. That's the reaction you should be getting, not this.

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Paris,

 

Thanks for the reply. I did walk away from things when I found out who he was and how often she was seeing him. To me, this screamed that there was still something between them, or that she wanted there to be. I tried to take her word that there wasn't, but it just kept digging at me. I actually had trouble sleeping some nights because I couldn't clear the jealous thoughts from my head. My intuition is normally pretty spot on, but I really wanted the things she was telling me to be true. When she came back 2 months later and told me that she had stopped seeing him, I wanted to think it could work. She has some problems, so do I, everyone does I suppose. None of them seemed like a thing I couldn't live with, except this attachment to the ex.

 

The fact that it appears to still be going on, and that she is lying to me about it is pretty rough. I want to make myself believe that last night really was the first time he'd texted her since we got back together, and that she hasn't seen him. I want to believe that she was just trying to downplay it to make me feel better - since it really was harmless and unwanted by her. Considering that she sneakily replied to him, while she was with me, last night... makes it tough to believe that. It seems much more likely that they have stayed in touch the entire time and that maybe (a weak maybe) she just hasn't been physically seeing him. Knowing that she would lie to me about what could have been a perfectly benign conversation makes me think that any amount of contact or continued involvement is still possible. I would like nothing more than for her to tell him to stop contacting her, block him, and let me know if he tries anything. You're right though, it doesn't look like that's going to happen.

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You didn't do anything wrong- but she's obviously not over with him & is lying.

 

What SHE needs to to take some serious time AWAY..from you AND him.. and think about this all and what she wants.

She should also be 'dealing' with the break up she had here, before you.

Is is NOT good to go running from one relation into another like that. As you can see, she hasn't dealt with anything re: him.

Therefore, she's not stable nor ready to move on in a healthy manner.

 

It sounds like she needs to 'accept and let go' of them. Fact if they're done now. She hasn't done this yet, I feel.

It can take a while to get over someone and this is what happens. Neither have let go yet... and she's done this running to you- which can be high chance you'd be a 'rebound'.

 

So- what's probably best is for YOU to move on out of this. Let her deal with her crap and figure herself out for a while.

 

tc

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She shuts down immediately, starts getting dressed, and demands that I take her home

 

You should've responded with "Ok no problem...and hurry it up so i never have to see you again." Simple as that, you played right into her hands when you went all mushy and wanted to talk as if you were the one who is messing around on her with an ex. So instead you let her spin her bs about you "violating her privacy" and tried to explain youself...

 

Have some balls man and drop her to the curb and never speak to her again. She's having fun with you and her ex, going out with him and spinning this story about being emotionally attached to him but wait...she's not having sex with him so it's ok....BS 100% guaranteed they're sleeping with each other and there you are believing her lies and letting yourself get strung along. Move on man, this is going nowhere with her.

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You should've responded with "Ok no problem...and hurry it up so i never have to see you again." Simple as that, you played right into her hands when you went all mushy and wanted to talk as if you were the one who is messing around on her with an ex. So instead you let her spin her bs about you "violating her privacy" and tried to explain youself...

 

Have some balls man and drop her to the curb and never speak to her again. She's having fun with you and her ex, going out with him and spinning this story about being emotionally attached to him but wait...she's not having sex with him so it's ok....BS 100% guaranteed they're sleeping with each other and there you are believing her lies and letting yourself get strung along. Move on man, this is going nowhere with her.

 

He's right. I'm a woman, and also agree with this approach.

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Sanity check 1: If a phone goes off on the table in front of you, and you look down at it, is that snooping/prying/violating privacy boundaries/etc.?

 

No

 

Sanity check 2: Am I crazy to feel jealous about this guy?

 

No. It appears that he is not done with her nor is she done with him.

 

Sanity check 3: What should I do about her lying to me about her contact with him the same evening that she and I had a conversation where she promised not to omit information or lie about it?

 

Stop dealing with her. She wants to deal with him, so let her. Never allow a liar to remain in your life--they will continue to lie to you.

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I took a picture of her phone about 2 minutes after the texts came through. In my mind, this was a way for me to prove that I really was just there when it happened. I told her that I had taken it, and told her why. That got all turned around and was brought up repeatedly as proof that I was intentionally violating her privacy. She said that I shouldn't be looking at her phone for any reason, and she can't believe I don't see anything wrong with what I did. I don't have the password to her phone, so I couldn't have been going through it even if I wanted to. Frankly, with as upset as I got when I saw the texts from him, I probably would have looked to see the rest of the conversation if I could have.

 

That is still not violating her privacy. She is deflecting onto you when the fact of the matter is: she said she was done dealing with him AND SHE LIED. That is all that this is about.

 

She's a bald faced liar.

 

Never allow a liar to remain in your life.

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You should've responded with "Ok no problem...and hurry it up so i never have to see you again." Simple as that, you played right into her hands when you went all mushy and wanted to talk as if you were the one who is messing around on her with an ex. So instead you let her spin her bs about you "violating her privacy" and tried to explain youself...

 

Have some balls man and drop her to the curb and never speak to her again. She's having fun with you and her ex, going out with him and spinning this story about being emotionally attached to him but wait...she's not having sex with him so it's ok....BS 100% guaranteed they're sleeping with each other and there you are believing her lies and letting yourself get strung along. Move on man, this is going nowhere with her.

 

I am a woman and also agree with this. Women (and men) do not RESPECT or value someone who tolerates their BS over and over again. It sets up a total sense of entitlement and a relationship cannot exceed where one partner is known as being the more valuable/important one.

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I don't think you did anything wrong - it's not like you were snooping, but if the message just pops up like that on the screen while you are sitting there, i can hardly call it snooping. Anyway, like the others said, she obviously has something still going on with the ex. I think you should find a new gf.

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It's going to be up to you to decide what you do, but you know what's there in spite of what she says. If it had been innocent she would have told you straight up then blocked him from contacting her, not answered him then tried to hide it and get defensive. Or she would have been falling all over herself apologizing and crying, not getting angry and accusing you of snooping after being told how you found it. I can tell you though from a woman's perspective who still has an ex contact her and try to stir things up that's not what was going on here, sorry no.

 

I think you're going to find yourself in this unwanted triangle until the day you show her to the door. I wish I could tell you otherwise, but I can't. Good luck and I hope you do decide you want a good relationship with someone you can trust at some point.

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  • 6 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

She WAY over reacted. Glancing at a phone is not invasion of privacy. I know exactly what you mean when you say that the phone lights up and the text content is shown. It's happened to me with my boyfriend's phone on the table, and it's happened to me with my co-workers phones near the cash register. When something lights up and beeps it's just human nature to look.

 

Sounds like she put on a show to try and confuse you and make you forget what the real issue is here - - she lied to you.

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