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This question is for guys and gals in relationships-others welcome too

For those of you in agreed upon exclusive monogamous relationships, headed toward long term if everything goes well..

If you are work chatting (online) with a woman you are on a team with (one other lady, but notice, she’s not present) and this conversation happens:
“I used to have a work husband and he doesn’t want me to cheat on him at my new job here lol”
Him: “my real life gf has forbidden me from having a work wife, but I have lots of work best friends “ (I cringed at this)
Him:”but you and me and *** will practically be a work thrupple since we’ll be bouncing between meetings so much together lol.”
Her : “I’ve never been in a thrupple before lol”
Him:” I’m confident we can be a thriving work thrupple lol”  

The question is…Is this flirting? I can provide a lot more context.  To keep it short for now, let’s say you have been unfaithful in the past, even stepped out in the relationship specifically by asking former coworkers for nudes (and gone much further with people you don’t work with) while with your current lady. You have had a conversation recently with your current who took you back and has admitted to you she struggles to trust now, where she stated work flirting as a clear boundary she wasn’t comfy with due to your past. You even addressed the idea of a work wife/ husband dynamic as one of those things. She also stated that she doesn’t want a mother son dynamic between the two of you where you’re telling other women “my gf won’t let me and wouldn’t like that or this” and was open to hear your thoughts. You agreed that those conversations arent appropriate or respectful and told her she didn’t need to waste energy thinking about it, all of this prior to thrupple conversation. 
Thoughts? I’m open-minded and want to hear different perspectives, but please be nice 🙂

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9 minutes ago, ABrick said:

let’s say you have been unfaithful in the past, even stepped out in the relationship specifically by asking former coworkers for nudes

How long have you been dating? How old is he? How long has he been in this workplace? Do they work from home or does everyone go to the workplace?

How did you come across this dialogue?

Asking a coworker for nudes is sexual harassment. 

Who asked for nudes from a coworker and how did you know?

That was the first incident to walk away. Sexting others is a deal breaker. 

As far as flirting goofing around about work-spouses that's nonsense compared to sexting others.

If you are policing the relationship and monitoring communication, it's already over and not "exclusive monogamous , headed toward long term".

There's no trust and no trustworthy behavior here.

 

Edited by Wiseman2
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Don't participate in those conversations, period. It's usually meaningless workplace banter amongst coworkers who see each other on a regular basis. 

You, however, do have a history of cheating on your spouse or partner so you're wondering if any of this carries any weight. It doesn't and if you're faithful to your spouse or partner going forward, none of this matters.

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Excuse me, I should have more clear

12 minutes ago, Rose Mosse said:

Don't participate in those conversations, period. It's usually meaningless workplace banter amongst coworkers who see each other on a regular basis. 

You, however, do have a history of cheating on your spouse or partner so you're wondering if any of this carries any weight. It doesn't and if you're faithful to your spouse or partner going forward, none of this matters.

He was the one who cheated, not me. I was saying you in the perspective that “you” are him. He has a history of cheating on me, in this relationship. I’ll follow up with a post in more detail.

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26 minutes ago, Wiseman2 said:

How long have you been dating? How old is he? How long has he been in this workplace? Do they work from home or does everyone go to the workplace?

How did you come across this dialogue?

Asking a coworker for nudes is sexual harassment. 

Who asked for nudes from a coworker and how did you know?

That was the first incident to walk away. Sexting others is a deal breaker. 

As far as flirting goofing around about work-spouses that's nonsense compared to sexting others.

If you are policing the relationship and monitoring communication, it's already over and not "exclusive monogamous , headed toward long term".

There's no trust and no trustworthy behavior here.

 

Responding below. 

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24 minutes ago, ABrick said:

Excuse me, I should have more clear

He was the one who cheated, not me. I was saying you in the perspective that “you” are him. He has a history of cheating on me, in this relationship. I’ll follow up with a post in more detail.

If it's your husband who's having this dialogue and he's cheated in the past, I can see why you're feeling edgy and distrustful. He has a history of this behaviour so you might want to re-evaluate the marriage.

I don't put a price on my peace of mind. It's absolutely priceless. If you have to wonder about what goes on when you're not looking in regards to anything your spouse does, it isn't a marriage, in my opinion.

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He is 35, I am 32.

I have been with my significant other for 3 years, and In that time I found out he was cheating on me in a variety of ways with many different people. When I first found out all these dots snapped together. So many strange feelings I had about him and his behaviors and people he was “friends ” with added up. I knew in my heart I wanted to stay with him but would need time to forgive him and feel safe with him and that could take a while. He began therapy immediately and unloaded a whole bunch more info soon after… the woman he has flirted with asked for nudes from was some one he was “friends “ with, so it happened over social media or texting, after she has met me in real life. She turned him down, but the conversation came up because she was sending selfies of her make up to him showing cleavage. I guess that’s why he thought he could go further ( not excusing him at all, just giving clarity.) after finding out, I felt like there was suddenly an entire universe that was a threat to our relationship, when before he had told me that he lost interest in other pursuits because he was with me. I questioned everything about myself, him and our relationship. Sadly, I have not come to terms with the answers, and many questions are still unanswered for me. When I try to talk about my insecurity, he is very put out and will show annoyance immediately, and if I press the issue further to try to seek comfort, he escalates to anger and rage over the fact that “we have talked about this so many different times.”  Which brings me back to the unanswered questions. Giving him the benefit of the doubt that we may have a different view of what flirting with coworkers is, I wanted to let him know where my boundaries were and let him voice whether he agreed or not. I had been feeling uneasy about something he had told me. He works online with about 18:1 ratio female to male. He often private messages with people throughout the day, and some more than others. Naturally he becomes closer to some than others.  I have a hard time having the trust that it’s all work, jokes are jokes and don’t go any further, because I have the anxiety over how they might actually go further. So I’m trying to understand that things are different now, while also having a mutual understanding of what we’re comfortable with.  I told him that due to what I experienced in our relationship, I would be uncomfortable if he was were private messaging a female coworker on a regular basis about things unrelated to work, if he was friends with some one I didn’t know about, if his coworkers(almost all female at the time )didn’t know about me and have a clear view that he was attached and unavailable, and that if there were any one he ever referred to as or had the work dynamic of “work wife-work husband” it would upset me. I also told him I didn’t want the dynamic of “you do as I say;mother son” between us, or my girlfriend won’t let me , you’re cute let’s flirt until the edge is reached and then it’s too bad I have a gf mentality.  Recently, he obtained a new position where he is making about 3x as much money, he got a new car, he is feeling more confident and I have been pouring a lot of energy into supporting him and listening to him. He mentioned he had been emailing back and forth with one of the women he is on a team to work closely with (there are 2, this is the younger one) and he had sent her photo of his car. At first I was surprised he would tell me that he was bragging and showing off his car. He had never spoken about her before, though he’d talked about the other woman on his team. I asked him about her, where she was from, what she was like, because he had told me these things about his other new coworkers in an excited way. He said he didn’t know much about her at all just that she said she’s never heard of his car. i felt odd about the conversation, beat myself up for being suspicious, talked myself down, and then the feeling came back the next day as I saw him typing and smiling to himself. When he was not home, I opened his work phone screen. I was surprised I could get in, and even more surprised that there were his teams chats all there and opened,. I scrolled to the woman he had sent the picture to, and saw a very long chat log from a previous day (before the car photo) of them exchanging personal info, him asking her where she was from, saying brb chat soon.  Then telling her about his lunch and what he had. Now I’m thinking that he’s been talking about how packed and busy his days have been, and that he has barely communicated with me and responded to messages hours later. Then I’m telling myself, that’s different, he’s got a new person on his team, he’s got to forge some kind of connection. I get to a part in the convo where she says she had a work husband at her last job that doesn’t want her to cheat. He then says “my real life gf has forbidden me from taking a work wife, but I have lots of work best friends.”I cringed. “Forbidden.” That’s exactly how I didn’t want it to be. Then she comes back with another lol, and he says “although , you and me and +*++ will be bouncing back and forth between meetings together so we’ll practically be a work thrupple.” She says “lol I’ve never been in a thrupple before.” Now I’m thinking, oh no I shouldn’t have looked then the convo moves on and he comes back to it and says “I’m confident we can be a thriving thrupple.” They continued to laugh and send emojis. I looked at the “thrupple “ chat that they had as well, to see that he had told them “we should get jerseys” long story short, that’s an intimate line that we say to each other, comes from a song “we should get jerseys because we make a good team.” I know he needs to be a team with them, but why take a phrase that was ours from our personal romantic life? It made me feel like the phrase was meaningless or that he gives the same affection at work that he does to me. So, I’m wondering if this constitutes as flirting to the average person ? If I’m wrong for being so hurt over it I want to know, just be nice please:) my main issue is that we had talked about this topic specifically, he didnt respect my boundaries, and there’s no way for me to talk to him about it without him getting angry at me for looking at his messages (he has a temper.) also, I know if our relationship was good I wouldnt be looking, and that I shouldn’t. I was trying to prove myself wrong and it backfired. I don’t know what to do to be taken seriously. I tried to think about how I can be ok with him flirting like this, even thought maybe it’s just his personality and he can’t be expected to change. But I feel like it’s so specific that it’s like a micro betrayal, like he’s cheating all over again by crossing clearly defined boundary. he didn’t have to make those comments and he did knowing that specific thing bothered me, and I feel like he set a tone for their entire work relationship and the joke will come back up. And how am I going to feel sending him off on business trips with her knowing the company likes to go the bar after? Is the thrupple thing gonna come up then and be taken further?  It’s a mess in my mind.  I know I set myself up by looking, but I can’t help feeling angry at what I saw. I felt like a jerk when I began to look, but I really wish that there has been nothing, so I wouldn’t feel the way I do now and be more confident in trusting. I don’t want to sound pathetic and I want to look at this in a level-headed way. I don’t want to confront him about it, I don’t think that would do any good. I want to know if it’s worth accepting.

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Do you live together? Is it difficult for you to afford appropriate housing?

If not just end it clean and simple.

He is abusive, contemptuous, disrespectful and yet, you are clamoring for morsels of his affection. 

See a physician for your physical and mental heath. Get tested for STDs. Discuss the abuse and cheating.

Ask for a referral to a qualified therapist to help you extricate yourself from this.

Talk to trusted friends and family about the abuse. You're wasting your time spying on his work conversations. 

Edited by Wiseman2
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1 hour ago, ABrick said:

He is 35, I am 32.

I have been with my significant other for 3 years, and In that time I found out he was cheating on me in a variety of ways with many different people. When I first found out all these dots snapped together. So many strange feelings I had about him and his behaviors and people he was “friends ” with added up. I knew in my heart I wanted to stay with him but would need time to forgive him and feel safe with him and that could take a while. He began therapy immediately and unloaded a whole bunch more info soon after… the woman he has flirted with asked for nudes from was some one he was “friends “ with, so it happened over social media or texting, after she has met me in real life. She turned him down, but the conversation came up because she was sending selfies of her make up to him showing cleavage. I guess that’s why he thought he could go further ( not excusing him at all, just giving clarity.) after finding out, I felt like there was suddenly an entire universe that was a threat to our relationship, when before he had told me that he lost interest in other pursuits because he was with me. I questioned everything about myself, him and our relationship. Sadly, I have not come to terms with the answers, and many questions are still unanswered for me. When I try to talk about my insecurity, he is very put out and will show annoyance immediately, and if I press the issue further to try to seek comfort, he escalates to anger and rage over the fact that “we have talked about this so many different times.”  Which brings me back to the unanswered questions. Giving him the benefit of the doubt that we may have a different view of what flirting with coworkers is, I wanted to let him know where my boundaries were and let him voice whether he agreed or not. I had been feeling uneasy about something he had told me. He works online with about 18:1 ratio female to male. He often private messages with people throughout the day, and some more than others. Naturally he becomes closer to some than others.  I have a hard time having the trust that it’s all work, jokes are jokes and don’t go any further, because I have the anxiety over how they might actually go further. So I’m trying to understand that things are different now, while also having a mutual understanding of what we’re comfortable with.  I told him that due to what I experienced in our relationship, I would be uncomfortable if he was were private messaging a female coworker on a regular basis about things unrelated to work, if he was friends with some one I didn’t know about, if his coworkers(almost all female at the time )didn’t know about me and have a clear view that he was attached and unavailable, and that if there were any one he ever referred to as or had the work dynamic of “work wife-work husband” it would upset me. I also told him I didn’t want the dynamic of “you do as I say;mother son” between us, or my girlfriend won’t let me , you’re cute let’s flirt until the edge is reached and then it’s too bad I have a gf mentality.  Recently, he obtained a new position where he is making about 3x as much money, he got a new car, he is feeling more confident and I have been pouring a lot of energy into supporting him and listening to him. He mentioned he had been emailing back and forth with one of the women he is on a team to work closely with (there are 2, this is the younger one) and he had sent her photo of his car. At first I was surprised he would tell me that he was bragging and showing off his car. He had never spoken about her before, though he’d talked about the other woman on his team. I asked him about her, where she was from, what she was like, because he had told me these things about his other new coworkers in an excited way. He said he didn’t know much about her at all just that she said she’s never heard of his car. i felt odd about the conversation, beat myself up for being suspicious, talked myself down, and then the feeling came back the next day as I saw him typing and smiling to himself. When he was not home, I opened his work phone screen. I was surprised I could get in, and even more surprised that there were his teams chats all there and opened,. I scrolled to the woman he had sent the picture to, and saw a very long chat log from a previous day (before the car photo) of them exchanging personal info, him asking her where she was from, saying brb chat soon.  Then telling her about his lunch and what he had. Now I’m thinking that he’s been talking about how packed and busy his days have been, and that he has barely communicated with me and responded to messages hours later. Then I’m telling myself, that’s different, he’s got a new person on his team, he’s got to forge some kind of connection. I get to a part in the convo where she says she had a work husband at her last job that doesn’t want her to cheat. He then says “my real life gf has forbidden me from taking a work wife, but I have lots of work best friends.”I cringed. “Forbidden.” That’s exactly how I didn’t want it to be. Then she comes back with another lol, and he says “although , you and me and +*++ will be bouncing back and forth between meetings together so we’ll practically be a work thrupple.” She says “lol I’ve never been in a thrupple before.” Now I’m thinking, oh no I shouldn’t have looked then the convo moves on and he comes back to it and says “I’m confident we can be a thriving thrupple.” They continued to laugh and send emojis. I looked at the “thrupple “ chat that they had as well, to see that he had told them “we should get jerseys” long story short, that’s an intimate line that we say to each other, comes from a song “we should get jerseys because we make a good team.” I know he needs to be a team with them, but why take a phrase that was ours from our personal romantic life? It made me feel like the phrase was meaningless or that he gives the same affection at work that he does to me. So, I’m wondering if this constitutes as flirting to the average person ? If I’m wrong for being so hurt over it I want to know, just be nice please:) my main issue is that we had talked about this topic specifically, he didnt respect my boundaries, and there’s no way for me to talk to him about it without him getting angry at me for looking at his messages (he has a temper.) also, I know if our relationship was good I wouldnt be looking, and that I shouldn’t. I was trying to prove myself wrong and it backfired. I don’t know what to do to be taken seriously. I tried to think about how I can be ok with him flirting like this, even thought maybe it’s just his personality and he can’t be expected to change. But I feel like it’s so specific that it’s like a micro betrayal, like he’s cheating all over again by crossing clearly defined boundary. he didn’t have to make those comments and he did knowing that specific thing bothered me, and I feel like he set a tone for their entire work relationship and the joke will come back up. And how am I going to feel sending him off on business trips with her knowing the company likes to go the bar after? Is the thrupple thing gonna come up then and be taken further?  It’s a mess in my mind.  I know I set myself up by looking, but I can’t help feeling angry at what I saw. I felt like a jerk when I began to look, but I really wish that there has been nothing, so I wouldn’t feel the way I do now and be more confident in trusting. I don’t want to sound pathetic and I want to look at this in a level-headed way. I don’t want to confront him about it, I don’t think that would do any good. I want to know if it’s worth accepting.

If you're looking for a stoic, classy, gentlemanly man, this is far from one, OP. While he isn't doing anything like cheating a lot of his work banter sounds superfluous, unnecessary, even a bit dumb. He makes jokes that aren't funny and uses inside jokes with a new coworker that he uses with his SO. How much lower than low class and unappealing can a person get. 

I think you might want to take a good look at why you're with him if you're questioning his intentions or need to watch your back like this, read his conversations or overall worry about whether you're mothering him. 

If he has a temper also or is emotionally abusive, denies his inappropriate behaviour or tells you that you're imagining things or gaslights you, no amount of couples therapy is going to work. Try asking yourself why you're with a man like this or why you're putting yourself through this time and time again.

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1 hour ago, ABrick said:

I found out he was cheating on me in a variety of ways with many different people.

What the heck are you still doing with him after this? 

This recent chat with his coworker is borderline, but not the primary problem. The primary problem is that you know he's a serial cheat, and there is no way you should trust him. 

When you choose to let weasels stay in your life, this is the result. You deserve better, and you won't get it with this person. 

 

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2 hours ago, ABrick said:

So I’m trying to understand that things are different now, while also having a mutual understanding of what we’re comfortable with.

It doesn't sound like things are different, though. He's still chatting (flirting) with women at his job:

3 hours ago, ABrick said:

Him: “my real life gf has forbidden me from having a work wife, but I have lots of work best friends “ (I cringed at this)
Him:”but you and me and *** will practically be a work thrupple since we’ll be bouncing between meetings so much together lol.”

Even though he's not overtly trying to hook up with her, his intent seems pretty clear. He's obviously testing relationship boundaries. If this woman decides to send him nudes, then what?

2 hours ago, ABrick said:

I guess that’s why he thought he could go further

He should take the opportunity simply because he can? Oops, she sent me nudes. I can be unfaithful.

2 hours ago, ABrick said:

I don’t know what to do to be taken seriously.

The main thing you have to do is take yourself seriously.

The other thing you absolutely must do is get rid of him.

Let go of this mentality:

2 hours ago, ABrick said:

I knew in my heart I wanted to stay with him

He will never take you seriously.

He'll just dodge and weave your every attempt by playing games with words and throwing temper tantrums. When you do finally dump him, he'll beg and grovel until you take him back.

But he'll never take you seriously.

2 hours ago, ABrick said:

I can’t help feeling angry at what I saw.

You should feel angry. That's taking yourself seriously.

2 hours ago, ABrick said:

I want to know if it’s worth accepting.

No. It is absolutely not worth accepting.

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2 hours ago, ABrick said:

I knew in my heart I wanted to stay with him but would need time to forgive him and feel safe with him and that could take a while.

Have you actually forgiven him?

I'd also ask myself if you feel like both made any progress in your relationship and then assess why you're so committed to be in a relationship that seems to be bringing you more confusion, uneasiness rather than joy.

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You still don't trust him and you're playing detective -sounds exhausting.  People who want to be professional at work.... are.  And we all blurt something out we didn't mean or use a word that unintentionally has a double meaning, etc - that can happen especially in a fast paced work environment but overall - the intent has to be professional and yes, men and women can be friendly at work with no flirting whatsoever.  I've done it and seen it many times.

  For example with certain coworkers I sign off on an email with "Best" while others it's "Best regards" or "Thank you, [my name]."  Yes I think about this and not just related to gender.  I prefer to err on the side of being too formal.  I match what the other person does (where appropriate!).  This way the chances of being even unintentionally boundary-crossing are slim to none.

Your boyfriend simply doesn't care how he comes across -he's willing to stretch the boundaries with female coworkers -he's amused, entertained by it and maybe turned on.  And you're stuck monitoring him - how exhausting.

Without trust there is no healthy relationship.  I like the suggestion above to show the convo to your therapist but of course in the context you've provided here -his history of being disloyal and cheating.

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I do have trust issues. I do want to make sure before I throw the towel in after three years that I have done what I can to overcome it because I do love him very much and have a not giving up mentality. I don’t want to wonder what might have been. 
 

I also recognize that playing detective is not ideal and that trust is needed. In those moments, it feels like I’m trying to sooth my fears and reinforce that even when he thinks I’m not looking he is loyal. 
 

I want to laugh off this behavior as “normal work playfulness,” but now he is being called into Tampa out of town for a week to work closely in person with the women he referred to as thrupple. I am almost ashamed to say my heart sank, and it feels terrifying to me. I am torn up about this. I know it is no way to live, and seeking counsel on the internet kind of makes that an obvious fact.  I don't know how people rebuild trust after cheating, I thought I was strong enough and here I am all this time later realizing I’m just not.  With life’s struggles, a best friend and grandfather passing away, the most stressful year of work all happening during this relationship, it’s hard not to hold onto what good feeling I have with him. But I don’t want to spend 3/4 life looking over my shoulder and feeling paranoid, drowning in sad feelings and memories and the rest of it being his support and his audience. I want to know if I can fix the way I feel about this, and it’s really hard.

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I’m also frustrated and angry that this is a sign that we may not be able to move forward, because up to this point I was very proud and happy and supportive of him getting this new job.  After I unwittingly  made the self fulfilled prophecy of seeing he was starting work relationships out with flirtation, I am choking back sadness and mistrust about the prospect of him going out of town with them. I wish I could see it a different way. I guess I was hoping that my sign that he was carrying himself differently and acting in a trustworthy manner was going to be in his communications.  I can’t unsee it, and it’s feeding my mistrust; I’m angry at myself. And I’m disappointed that I’m not able to look at his work trip and communications as professional, necessary, beneficial dealings.  I feel like if I can’t trust him in this small way not to flirt at work and push boundaries and just be a friendly guy instead, then I can’t trust him with anything and I will always be wondering. I also feel like if I try to walk away I will cave in and panic and we will be back together, only worse than before and me even more disempowered.  I am aware of havoc this relationship has made in my life, yet I’m terrified over being alone and losing him and the relationship. 

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26 minutes ago, ABrick said:

I do love him very much and have a not giving up mentality. I don’t want to wonder what might have been.

But you're giving up on yourself and your standards.  We all wonder what might have been at times -it's part of life  - but we have to balance that against the risks of staying in an unsafe or unhealthy situation.  

Being terrified of being alone is separate from being afraid of breaking up a healthy relationship.  What is terrifying about not being in a romantic relationship -how does that mean you're alone -do you have friends and family? People who are not coupled off are "alone"? 

He doesn't have to go to Tampa to cheat or act in an untrustworthy way.  He can do that when he says he's running an errand, while running an errand, at the gym, etc.   I used to get borderline inappropriate emails from someone I dated who was then married.  I kept my responses appropriate and always asked after his wife (who I'd never met) and family.  That way if she saw my emails she'd know I wasn't responding to his implied invitation to discuss more personal and potentially inappropriate matters (I am married too).  

I know it's hard.  Often doing the right thing is so very hard.  I'm sorry.

Edited by Batya33
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27 minutes ago, ABrick said:

I do have trust issues.

You should in this case. he's untrustworthy. Cheating, flirting etc is all part of the abuse. End it before you are a complete wreck. Read up on Abusive Relationships and  Stockholm Syndrome.

Edited by Wiseman2
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35 minutes ago, ABrick said:

now he is being called into Tampa out of town for a week to work closely in person with the women he referred to as thrupple. I am almost ashamed to say my heart sank, and it feels terrifying to me.

I wonder why you are ashamed to admit perfectly appropriate feelings. Do you know why this is? Serious question. 

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Maybe because I have self-esteem issues, or because I feel like some one else might take these as appropriate jokes, and I don’t because of the past and not being able to let go of it, and it makes feel weak. I wonder if another version of myself before all this happening would have disapproved but not been so bothered and taken it with a grain of salt. 
He always says he’s trustworthy and I can trust him any time. That he hasn’t done anything in two years, and it’s all in the past, and I’m the one keeping us stuck there. If that’s true, then I’m wrong?

he is supposed to move his stuff in at the end of March. 

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9 minutes ago, ABrick said:

Maybe because I have self-esteem issues, or because I feel like some one else might take these as appropriate jokes, and I don’t because of the past and not being able to let go of it, and it makes feel weak. I wonder if another version of myself before all this happening would have disapproved but not been so bothered and taken it with a grain of salt. 
He always says he’s trustworthy and I can trust him any time. That he hasn’t done anything in two years, and it’s all in the past, and I’m the one keeping us stuck there. If that’s true, then I’m wrong?

he is supposed to move his stuff in at the end of March. 

Are his actions trustworthy? Why are you planning to live together - I missed that maybe? Are you planning on getting married?

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4 minutes ago, ABrick said:

I feel like some one else might take these as appropriate jokes, and I don’t because of the past and not being able to let go of it, and it makes feel weak.

I think that just about everyone who replied here has said that they aren't appropriate jokes, given his past behavior. Does that help at all, or so you still doubt yourself? If you still doubt yourself, I think you are in a lot of trouble.

You really have to get it out of your head that taking abuse makes you tough. You take his abuse because you are being weak.

Listen:

STANDING UP FOR YOURSELF MAKES YOU TOUGH.

Get tough.

It's a choice, not an inherent quality.

11 minutes ago, ABrick said:

I wonder if another version of myself before all this happening would have disapproved but not been so bothered and taken it with a grain of salt.

If you disapprove of something, it should bother you. And you should respect your own feelings. If you don't respect yourself, you end up with people who don't respect you.

6 minutes ago, ABrick said:

he is supposed to move his stuff in at the end of March.

I hope to god you don't let that happen. And don't let this be a deciding factor for you. You really must draw the line here, or you will be even more stuck!!

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From what I've learned in life, there are 2 different kinds of people who cheat.

The first is people who have poor ethics and even if their primary relationship is great, they want the excitement of forbidden fruit.

The 2nd type of person has lost an emotional connection with their partner, feels disrepected, ignored, unloved, etc. and gradually comes to engage in an emotional affair with someone like a co-worker, who has respect for him/her, genuinely likes them and pays them lots of attention. And that might turn into a physical affair.

In the first case, the cheater will usually continue having poor ethics and the cheating will never stop.

In the second case, the partnership could be salvageable if the cheater has an epiphany, realizes his main partnership is worth fixing, and he'd vow to himself never to engage in anything ever again that would jeopardize his main relationship.

Obviously, he hasn't had any epiphany. He hasn't changed his behavior, showing his lack of care for your feelings and a total lack of respect for the sanctity of your relationship. He doesn't fear losing you--knows you put up with the cheating and are still there, and you're now proving him right.

Yes, you probably ignored red flags from the get-go of who he is, and subconsciously think you don't deserve any better since you admit to poor self esteem. And I'm assuming you're the one with your stuff together financially since he's moving in with you? I certainly wouldn't let him move in when you're not 100 percent confident about this partnership. 

In your shoes, I'd make myself single and work on my self-esteem before entering the dating world again. 

 

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