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moblee316

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I'm having a really difficult time getting over something. I found out in July that my boyfriend began an extensive online friendship with an actractive woman half a world away. While the lack of proximity makes me sure that there was no physical relationship, I'm still incredibly uncomfortable. For some back story, they met in a FB group that centered on a Netflix show (a guy he went to school with was the focus of an episode). They met in this group in March when he was laid off due to the coronavirus, I was still working full time and was required to work at the office.

 

During that time, we decided that he could stop contributing to the shared bills since there was a lot of uncertainty about how long the extra unemployment benefits in the US would last. I was under the assumption that he was spending his days "helping around the house" (I can count on one hand the number of times he did the dishes in those two months, let alone anything else of substantial help), playing video games, and napping. Come to find out he was actually splitting his days between playing video games and talking to her. All. Day. When he let me see their conversation, I couldn't even concentrate on content because of the sheer volume of messages, there were hundreds if not THOUSANDS over a few months time.

 

I became aware of her when she responded to a post he had made and he "liked" her response. I know that sounds weird, and I don't usually get like that when random girls I don't happen to know "like" his posts (except for with his not-quite ex, separated but not divorced but that's a whole other post!), but this was different. She responded with something that I knew would make him roll his eyes in real life, so seeing that he liked it, I figured it was more about the person than what she said, and boy was I right. When I checked out her FB page, I saw that's where they were doing their "public" interacting, including an incident of public flirting (which he denies that's what it was) on our one-year anniversary, which he forgot.

 

When I tried to casually bring her up in conversation one day and ask about how he knew this woman from across the world, he mentioned the group in which they met and then went on to talk about the group and effectively shut down the conversation on her. The next morning I called him on what I'd discovered (the extensive interactions on her page, the flirting, avoiding the subject the day before) he claimed that he didn't tell me because he "knew I would be jealous but that it wasn't like that".

 

We've now had multiple fights about this. He asks me what I want him to do but then doesn't do it. I asked to see the messages again, and he said no, that it would just send me into another spiral. I asked him to be more open with me about their friendship, now he just mostly avoids FB and is on who knows what other apps instead (I only recently found out that he has had a Tumblr account for years). I've asked him to try and normalize his friendship with her, i.e. talk about it without me having to bring it up. All that resulted in was me accepting a friend request from her and still no more real insight. After an initial group messaging session, in which I aired some of my feelings and he defended her, there has been no more group communication. He has said that he would unfriend and block her, but I don't want to control who he's friends with, I just want to be able to trust that he wouldn't do something that would hurt me like this. I thought that we had committed to trying to have a healthy relationship but I don't see how secretly talking to some random woman for hours a day for months constitutes a healthy relationship! Am I being completely absurd here? Or does he need to do more to help regain trust? I hate that I can't let this go, but I don't know how. Everytime I see that he's been on FB all I can think is "was he talking to her again?"

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Sorry to hear this. How long have you been dating? How long have you lived together? You need to stop supporting him. It doesn't matter if he bags groceries, pumps gas, cleans toilets.

 

You need to stop enabling this. Stop paying for his phone or his access to internet. If he wants to chitchat and play video games all day, let him earn his own money or move back to mom and dad.

 

This is not about some remote female chitchat this is about allowing yourself to be taken advantage of.

we decided that he could stop contributing to the shared bills since there was a lot of uncertainty about how long the extra unemployment benefits in the US would last. Come to find out he was actually splitting his days between playing video games and talking to her. All. Day.
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Sorry about all this.

 

Can I ask how things were, between you guys, prior to all this? How long had you been together? Would you have described the relationship as a solid one, a secure one? Would you have described your connection as continuing to expand, to get more vulnerable and close? You made an offhand mention of him being separated, but not divorced, and I can't help but see that, potentially, as evidence that these waters weren't exactly calm before this woman, before the pandemic.

 

Curious for more context, in short, before I go into the peculiars.

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He went back to work in June and has since been contributing again. The phone is out of my hands and he pays for internet, that'sthe only shared bill in his name. My job pays for my phone and he is still on a family plan with his ex and their son. While I don't love that they are all still on a plan, it is cheaper.

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Sorry, totally forgot the other questions. We've been together a little less than a year and a half and will be living together a year as of October. Yes, it was a rushed move in. He had gotten laid off (different job and way before COVID) and asked him to move in. We also have his son 50% of the time.

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In the beginning the relationship felt stable and solid but things really seemed to change when he moved in last October. I understand that it must have been difficult for him, having lost his job, but I was left feeling like this was a choice he HAD to make instead of one he wanted to make. I also don't feel like what I've done and continue to do is really appreciated. Anytime an issue comes up with his ex, he never sides with me, he instead just doesn't want to engage to make HIS life easier. For example, the three of us (me, him, his son) have a movie night on Fridays. A few weeks ago his ex text him that the son really needs to get all of his homework finished before a movie. Totally understandable. The kid has had issues focusing on online learning and she was the one with access to his assignments so she knew what was and wasn't getting done. But the following week when we told him no movie until homework was finished he tried to pull the whole "mom said if I finished X I could do Y after the movie". Now, the kid may have been lying to get to watch a movie early, but my boyfriend wouldn't even text his ex to see what the situation was. I told him after they moved in that I didn't want her making rules for OUR house. She doesn't live here, has never lived here, and will never live here so she doesn't get to make the rules. So it really pissed me off that he wouldn't even try to address this. He just claimed "I'm sure she was just trying to help" and then wants me to drop it. I try to be sensitive to the power imbalance in our relationship (I make more money, pay more of the bills, and I bought this house well before I even knew him) so I don't want to throw around the "my house, my rules" trope, but I'm really sick of feeling like I have LESS say in my own home than his ex does! But of course he doesn't see it this way.

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I’m sorry to hear this, to me it sounds like an emotional affair he’s created with her. If I were you I wouldn’t tolerate this at all. I would leave the relationship! I think once someone strays emotionally or physically you know there’s deeper issues in the relationship that need to be addressed. It depends if you want to keep enabling his behavior.

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Sadly you've taken in a user. Why doesn't he have his own place? You should not have to be a spectator of his ex/child relationship and his affairs in your own home.

 

Can he move back in with his ex?

I make more money, pay more of the bills, and I bought this house well before I even knew him
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Sadly you've taken in a user. Why doesn't he have his own place? You should not have to be a spectator of his ex/child relationship and his affairs in your own home.

 

Can he move back in with his ex?

That was the other option before he moved in here. This is just so crushing. I thought we had such a great connection and were on the same page and then he flipped it on me. I'm so sick of this happening!! I really wanted to make this relationship work.
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In the beginning the relationship felt stable and solid but things really seemed to change when he moved in last October. I understand that it must have been difficult for him, having lost his job, but I was left feeling like this was a choice he HAD to make instead of one he wanted to make.

 

This is telling, to my eyes. Seems that from the moment he moved in—a moment that occurred not all that long after you two first met—you stopped trusting his intentions. Whatever the source of that distrust—accurate gut read of yours, poor communication together, whatever—something like that is like a little spark waiting for the right gust of wind to become a fire. Enter a random on a Facebook, and the fire starts.

 

The most generous read on the Facebook stuff is that, during a low point in his life, he reached for the lowest hanging of fruits for comfort: video games, random chitchat with a random. Never a good look, as it shows you that someone does not handle low moments very well. Trouble is, all that gets compounded when you zoom out a bit and see that a lot of your relationship is built on him not handling low points with a whole lot of grace or vision. If he did? You guys wouldn't be living together under the circumstances in which you live together.

 

I'd say that if you're truly interested in making this work, which is not a path I'm advising, you have to accept that this is who he is and that he doesn't have a whole lot interest in being someone else. You sound like you've got a whole lot going for you, in that you make good money, own your home, and so on. Maybe, going from your comment about this happening "again," it's time to figure out why you've been reluctant to find someone who brings something similar to the table? I can understand how he's someone you could sympathize with, in that he sounds pretty lost, but that's different than someone you can trust, admire, and respect.

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Moblee:

 

I am having great difficulty in trying to imagine what you could have seen in this individual.

 

"I was under the assumption that he was spending his days "helping around the house" , playing video games, and napping. Come to find out he was actually splitting his days between playing video games and talking to her. All. Day."

 

As Wiseman says: "You've taken in a user".

 

Another question is why is he still there, today. Surely you do not intend to continue in this futile entanglement. What possible benefit is in it for YOU?

 

I bet if you look back to when you first encountered him there WAS something there you chose to overlook. There always is.

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I bet if you look back to when you first encountered him there WAS something there you chose to overlook. There always is.

 

I really feel that was probably when I gave him the benefit of the doubt on being separated but not divorced. My patents divorced when I was 15 and hadn't had a good relationship for at least a decade before that. His story sounded so similar to theirs that I overlooked that glaring red flag. Maybe now I'm just holding on so I don't have to admit I was wrong. And so I don't have to go back to being alone..

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So, you've only been together for roughly a year-- and you feel insecure. :/

If together just around a year.. and you are living together?

 

 

Did you ever think that you are just concerned for nothing?

Both sexes are allowed to have opposite sex 'friendships'... So, are you possibly a 'little' upset that they seemed to have hit it off and are talking now?

Maybe that he is kind of 'confiding' in her?

 

When I tried to casually bring her up in conversation one day and ask about how he knew this woman from across the world, he mentioned the group in which they met and then went on to talk about the group

- IMO, this should have been enough.

 

I've asked him to try and normalize his friendship with her, i.e. talk about it without me having to bring it up

- Why?

 

He has said that he would unfriend and block her, but I don't want to control who he's friends with, I just want to be able to trust that he wouldn't do something that would hurt me like this.

- Sorry, but I am not sure, how he is hurting you?

 

Stand back... look at the whole thing... Are you just overhtinking things?

She is half way around the world.. So, are YOU feeling something is lacking between you and him?

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Please, Moblee. Don't!

 

Don't hold on to this millstone which is dragging you down. There is nothing wrong in admitting that were wrong, or that perhaps you wanted something to work out a way that it would never work out. It happens.

 

What's so awful about being alone? Will you put up with ANYTHING rather than be alone. I am betting, again, that he has got wind of your apprehensions about being alone, thinks you won't boot him out and hence can do what he likes.

Surely that is not the existence you want. I feel it would be beneficial for you to be alone for a while, examine yourself, and work towards finding a suitable partner. You won't be alone forever!

 

To quote Wiseman yet again: " "You've taken in a user"."

 

What you are describing here, OP, I couldn't stand for even 24 hours.

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So, you've only been together for roughly a year-- and you feel insecure. :/

If together just around a year.. and you are living together?

 

 

Did you ever think that you are just concerned for nothing?

Both sexes are allowed to have opposite sex 'friendships'... So, are you possibly a 'little' upset that they seemed to have hit it off and are talking now?

Maybe that he is kind of 'confiding' in her?

 

When I tried to casually bring her up in conversation one day and ask about how he knew this woman from across the world, he mentioned the group in which they met and then went on to talk about the group

- IMO, this should have been enough.

 

I've asked him to try and normalize his friendship with her, i.e. talk about it without me having to bring it up

- Why?

 

He has said that he would unfriend and block her, but I don't want to control who he's friends with, I just want to be able to trust that he wouldn't do something that would hurt me like this.

- Sorry, but I am not sure, how he is hurting you?

 

Stand back... look at the whole thing... Are you just overhtinking things?

She is half way around the world.. So, are YOU feeling something is lacking between you and him?

I am insecure, and this is something he has known since the beginning. And I'm not saying that he can't have friends of the opposite sex, what bothers me is that she became a HUGE part of his day for months and he never once mentioned her. I found out later that he sent me videos and other such things that she had sent him, and all without saying a word about where it came from. If this was someone he liked posts or sent a few messages back and forth, that wouldn't be a big deal but they were talking all day every day, except the weekends because I was home. From what I saw when I got to see their conversation, he was waiting until I left for work and then immediately getting on FB to talk to her. Yes, this bothers me.
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Anytime an issue comes up with his ex, he never sides with me, he instead just doesn't want to engage to make HIS life easier. For example, the three of us (me, him, his son) have a movie night on Fridays. A few weeks ago his ex text him that the son really needs to get all of his homework finished before a movie. Totally understandable. The kid has had issues focusing on online learning and she was the one with access to his assignments so she knew what was and wasn't getting done. But the following week when we told him no movie until homework was finished he tried to pull the whole "mom said if I finished X I could do Y after the movie". Now, the kid may have been lying to get to watch a movie early, but my boyfriend wouldn't even text his ex to see what the situation was. I told him after they moved in that I didn't want her making rules for OUR house. She doesn't live here, has never lived here, and will never live here so she doesn't get to make the rules. So it really pissed me off that he wouldn't even try to address this. He just claimed "I'm sure she was just trying to help" and then wants me to drop it.

 

- I think YOU really need to tread carefully here and NOT over-step your boundaries between him & the kids mother.

This can cause an uproar- big time.

 

What's between him & her is just that. It is their child. Nothing to do with you.

Is okay to maybe throw in your own 2 cents about something.. but this is their child.

 

You've been involved, not a long time... and if you are not careful this can cause problems for you two.

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I found out later that he sent me videos and other such things that she had sent him, and all without saying a word about where it came from

- I am thinking probably because it was either not a big deal to him- on where it came from..?

But at least he was also counting you in to all of this.

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What Bluecastle said earlier:

 

"but that's different than someone you can trust, admire, and respect."

 

Will you not focus on eventually bringing into your life someone you can trust, admire and respect? Is the fear of being alone so strong that you will continue to accommodate this user?

 

I repeat what I said above:

 

""I was under the assumption that he was spending his days "helping around the house" , playing video games, and napping. Come to find out he was actually splitting his days between playing video games and talking to her. All. Day."

 

The picture is so unattractive.

 

Whether he is talking to one or twenty women is beside the point really. The central issue is that through fear of being alone you won't take immediate action.

 

Please don't do this to yourself, OP.

 

You absolutely need to work on your insecurities and strengthen your shield so that you don't fall time and again into these traps.

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STOP lying to yourself!

 

You already know the truth - emotional cheating IS cheating. This guy doesn't respect you and doesn't value you in the least and a large part of that is that you are too insecure to dump his lying cheating arse.

 

The simple answer to your problems is that it's a million times better to be alone and at peace than trying to police a cheater and a user who is further eroding what's left of your self esteem and self respect. If you carry on clinging to this loser, and I do mean LOSER, you will lose whatever is left of your self esteem and self respect, not to mention your basic sanity. Cheating is NEVER about you, your worth and what you bring to the table - it's always about a disordered loser getting off on lies and deceit. You cannot fix him and it's NOT about you. There is literally no greater mindfck than dating a cheater. Please for the love of....just dump him with extreme prejudice and block and delete him from your life completely. In time, you will see that it's the best decision you've ever made for yourself.

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Was he living with his wife and son before he moved in with you? Sadly it sounds like between his cheating, lazing around and lax parenting, you have sadly realized why he was booted out. Send him back home.

 

You have your own future to concern yourself with and you may want an equal partner who caries his weight, is faithful and who you can have your own family with. The sooner you ask him to leave, the sooner you will be happier.

I really feel that was probably when I gave him the benefit of the doubt on being separated but not divorced. My patents divorced when I was 15 and hadn't had a good relationship for at least a decade before that. His story sounded so similar to theirs that I overlooked that glaring red flag. Maybe now I'm just holding on so I don't have to admit I was wrong. And so I don't have to go back to being alone..
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He has to leave. Both of you are mismatched. His disregard for your feelings and response to your concern over his actions are all very telling - it's lack of remorse and denying that there's anything wrong. Lack of conscience, self-entitlement, disregard for others, poor work ethic, poor morals. For a relationship to work, it takes love and dedication by both individuals and a whole lot of sincerity too in the process. He will continue to use you as much as he can get away with. This goes back to self-entitlement and lack of conscience.

 

If you find yourself dating again, just understand where you went wrong this time around and know the warning signs ahead of time. Start over. Any form of alone-ness or being single is better than this.

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So, Moblee, what's it going to be?

 

A good life ahead of you or remain in the swamp?

 

Have courage and don't let yourself be shackled.

 

This !!!!!!

 

MY ex started an emotional affair that become a full blown one.

The only reason your partner hasnt is proximity!

Boot him out now.

Its so much better to be alone than wondering when he will talk to her again, and what is going on.

You deserve so much better than he can offer.

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