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So I’ve posted on this site before when I was in a bad place and everyone has helped me a great deal. Sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees so I’m hoping for some clarity.

 

I can’t talk about this with my friends because it may change the way they view my gf. Basically over a year ago before we were dating she was in a bad spot emotionally and had a flirty text and pic exchange with her first cousin. She told me this early on in our dating. How it was a huge mistake, how he hurt and ghosted her, etc.

 

Anyway, it’s been a sore spot for me and brings me some feelings of insecurity. The dude is whatever, but it’s more about the fact that they grew up together and that there’s a closeness there. I’ve always felt that she’s been less than honest about him. About her convos with him, the subject matter, etc (he kind of drifts in and out of her life so it’s not like she’s been talking to him this whole time).

 

Anyway, I worry about it, she says not to, and around we go. It hadn’t come up for a long time and suddenly he’s going to be in town for some cousin dinner/ get together. I worry, she says not to. I express my concerns in a clear and healthy way and she responds with the same.

 

So I messed up. I violated her trust. The dinner was a week ago. And I always told myself that if I ever got to a point where I felt like I needed to check a phone, then trust is already broken and I’m gone. It’s harder than I thought. I checked her texts. Kind of flirty stuff about them thinking about each other, her saying “I guess we just have to trust that it won’t lead to that” (meaning trust that them being around each other won’t lead to “involvement” again). There’s more... I won’t get into all of it.

 

Seems to me that she’s got some flirty tendencies behind my back and has tendencies to lie about it (I’m betting if I ask if she’s been in contact she’d tell me no). It also seems that I’m a piece of crap for going through her phone.

 

How do I navigate this? Do I walk away? Do I confront her? Do I bother trying to work this out?

 

It’s also important to know I suppose that we work together at a small company. It doesn’t bother me but if I dump her she will be miserable having to see me there.

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Sorry to hear this. Is it that she keeps sexting guys or that she is sexting her cousin in particular? Both are strange in themselves. Unfortunately you can not keep her from family get-togethers. Have you met her family, including this 'kissing cousin'?

 

It sounds like you've had enough of her immaturity and bad judgement.

Kind of flirty stuff about them thinking about each other, her saying “I guess we just have to trust that it won’t lead to that” (meaning trust that them being around each other won’t lead to “involvement” again). we work together at a small company.
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Oh, I would definitely walk away from this.

 

Like it or not, a cousin is someone who will always be in her life in some way. Weddings, funerals, family reunions, etc. This is not a situation that will fade away or fix itself in time.

 

... and then there is the “ick” factor of it being her first cousin.

 

... and she’s still flirting. This is not something that was in the distant past when they were kids and didn’t know better.

 

Nope, nope, nope. Not unless you are ok dealing with this issue for the rest of your life.

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He hurt her, and it was relatively recent, so you don't even know if you were a rebound. If your relationship was really strong with the best motives, I'd say flirty texts can be worked on, because it can just be an old habit with him that she can break. But I don't think that's the case here.

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Yeah, it's time to just walk away. I don't think you need to tell her about going through her phone—just let her know that you're not feeling the kind of trust and security you need right now. Or something.

 

I mean, it's her cousin. That's just...too much. End of story.

 

I say this as someone who doesn't think the occasional flirtation is out of bounds in a relationship, so long as you can acknowledge it, be open about it, and both be comfortable with it. That's case by case, not for everyone. But with a family member? Um, no.

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I should be clear that her current convos with him aren’t sexting by any means. Just flirtatious. And exhibiting a “fondness” for what they had (which was sexting at the time). We’ve been together for about a year. I know she would never physically cheat, but lying about convos and maybe emotionally cheating is more the concern.

 

But yeah the cousin thing is pretty messed up. She was pretty unstable when she entered into a sexting relationship with him about a year and a half ago. That I could understand to some extent. But still? Yeah it’s weird.

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"Flirty and pic exchange with first cousin" Yuck. I would have run the other direction . That's like a brother.

 

Dude, I cannot understand how you can stay with this girl? Not only the ick factor, but also the fact that she is emotionally cheating. Wake up!

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But yeah the cousin thing is pretty messed up. She was pretty unstable when she entered into a sexting relationship with him about a year and a half ago. That I could understand to some extent. But still? Yeah it’s weird.

 

This “unstable” excuse of hers is pretty flimsy, btw.

 

Was he unstable too? Is he still unstable? Or is she saying he was/is a predator praying on his unstable cousin?

 

If she was unstable and regrets it, why is she so fond of that connection/memories?

 

I think she just said that she was “unstable” so that you wouldn’t judge her. She doesn’t seem to be acting like it was an embarrassing and regrettable moment of her past...

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I should be clear that her current convos with him aren’t sexting by any means. Just flirtatious. And exhibiting a “fondness” for what they had (which was sexting at the time). We’ve been together for about a year. I know she would never physically cheat, but lying about convos and maybe emotionally cheating is more the concern.

 

But yeah the cousin thing is pretty messed up. She was pretty unstable when she entered into a sexting relationship with him about a year and a half ago. That I could understand to some extent. But still? Yeah it’s weird.

 

What this looks like to me is you're rationalizing/justifying her behavior at the expense of being honest about how it's making you feel, which is most important. You're on edge, not fully secure, not fully trusting, and now you're officially in a relationship where you're getting information not through warm and open communication but through snooping through her texts.

 

Look in the mirror: Is this really who you want to be? Do you think being in this relationship is bringing out your best self? There are other, far less anxious, ways to exist inside of romance, you know?

 

If it wasn't her cousin, I'd say: hey, either you're cool with this or you're not. I'm dating someone right now who is open about still wanting to occasionally swipe around on apps—we're new, she's a flirt, doesn't want to jump into things with me even though it's clear to both of us that we're super into each other (and a bit scared). I get it. I'm a flirt too, so I can relate, and I've loved getting to know someone while also being able to be honest about things like this. We sometimes show each other people we've matched with out of boredom, ego-gratification, and other nonsense. Then we open a bottle of wine, giggle, chat, whatever. Maybe that seems "weird" to someone else, or maybe someone else would be on edge, but for me it works, hence I'm not on here asking people what it means. If I felt on edge I'd be out...

 

But, again: her cousin. This "unstable" time was, in the scheme of things, five minutes ago. As Wiseman said, she doesn't sound super stable today, or at least someone you think of as stable. Do you really want to be the only stable one in a relationship? That gets very tiring, very fast.

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I should be clear that her current convos with him aren’t sexting by any means. Just flirtatious. And exhibiting a “fondness” for what they had (which was sexting at the time). We’ve been together for about a year. I know she would never physically cheat, but lying about convos and maybe emotionally cheating is more the concern.

 

But yeah the cousin thing is pretty messed up. She was pretty unstable when she entered into a sexting relationship with him about a year and a half ago. That I could understand to some extent. But still? Yeah it’s weird.

 

Wait so let me get this straight even though you say you know that when it gets to a point where you have to snoop and violate privacy is best to just walk away you do it anyway and now you're on here just having what? a bashing session?

 

Newsflash! you're staying with a woman who is sexting her cousin. But she's weird?

 

You found your evidence and you're still not leaving so at what point are you gonna take some responsibility here? You're no different than these women who stay with cheaters and just keep trying to find evidence and find evidence and find evidence but they never leave

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Yeah, you definitely lost me at "first cousin"...I totally understand why you wouldn't tell your friends. You didn't mention her nationality and whether or not this is an acceptable practice to her or you, but regardless she doesn't appear to be trustworthy....no need for a big confrontation....but you should walk away.

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I’m not having a bashing session and I don’t appreciate you boiling it down to that or your judgment. I plan to leave her. I guess I just needed to talk to someone. To have some additional input, to KNOW that I’m making the right call, and to seek advice on how to best deal with the situation. It’s hard when your head isn’t in the right place because you’ve been slighted. If I wanted to have a bashing session I’d go ahead and tell my friends (who she also works with) about this. And I’m not going to do that. I don’t want to ruin her life.

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The first cousin stuff is more common than you think and not illegal. I know of people who have married their first cousin. I'm not agreeing with it, but it happens. But that isn't the issue, it's her not being up front with you about her feelings for her cousin. He was the one that ditched her, so she has unresolved feelings for him. It comes down to how she handles it...she hasn't out grown her instability, or immaturity. Simply put, she's not emotionally ready to have a committed relationship. It is unfair for the both of you to stay together...no one is helping the situation, especially her.

 

You will be making a healthy decision to end the relationship. Hopefully she will get her head straight, learn to be honest with herself and snap out of it.

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Even if you put the degree of cousin aside, this woman set you up from the start to 'accept' that she has a sexual 'ex' in her life who will never become past-tense.

 

She was either stupid or manipulative enough (or both) to tell you about her secret dealings with cuz in the first place, but instead of heeding that as a problem that will follow YOU into this relationship, you chose to position yourself to take this on.

 

My own private rule is that I won't involve myself with anyone who still has an ex in the picture in any way, shape or form beyond shared children. You're learning why. So now you have a GF with an 'ex' that will never quite be an 'ex'. Are you okay with living with this, or not?

 

Head high, and judgement of GF aside, decide how YOU want to live.

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