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Phone Use and Trust Issues with Girlfriend


Moof
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I (34) experiencing trust issues with phones by (33) girlfriend

Hello in a bit of a rough spot.

I have been dating my girlfriend for about a year. Earlier this month, my house caught fire and I have been displaced. My girlfriend was kind enough to let me stay with her this month. I’m moving into temporary housing beginning of next month.

Since I’ve moved in, we have been encountering issues living together. I know this is a traumatic and not ideal scenario to abruptly move-in with your girlfriend, temporarily. 

Most nights we end up bickering about minor things, who left the bathroom door open, who got breadcrumbs on the tables. But one thing that has been a big issue is phone use.

When I moved in, I had been using my phone frequently to talk with my insurance company, lawyers, contractors, real estate agents. In addition, a lot of friends have been reaching out to show their support via text, email and calls.

All this phone use has become an issue with my girlfriend. She had been making sly commentary on the usage. Mind you, she uses her phone frequently, maybe more so than me. Immaturely, I started throwing it back at her when I noticed she was on her phone. But after a few instances I realized this was unhealthy and expressed that we stop jabbing each-other on phone use.

The criticism continued, even as I laid of the phone time, to the point where I tried to avoid this commentary by not using my phone in her presence. When she would use the rest room, I would use my phone and et..

Naively, this has back-fired, she has become convinced that I’m being shady and hiding something with the “secretive” phone use. I get that appearance but I’m not cheating or being dishonest, I even understand it. Not the best call but I really wanted to avoid the criticism.

To solve, I agreed to not do this behavior. The other night we were hanging out on the couch. She got off the couch to do some stretches and foam rolling. During this, I was bored, and checked my phone (she was just a couple feet in front of me).She was aggravated and told me that I’m not changing my behavior and being shady.

I was annoyed and told her that it was purely coincidence and I had jumped on my phone briefly to check my email, not to be malicious and did not mean to do it behind her back. She then asked why I didn’t do it on the couch while she was still sitting next to me. I told her it was just an impulse. 

I then presented her with my phone and told her to look through it so we could settle the fact that I’m not doing anything behind her back. She refused and threatened to kick me out. This morning, I tried to be understanding and that I work to not give that appearance but we also needed to work on trust since it’s clearly not there and I didn’t do anything to prove untrustworthy. 

She was unresponsive and now I feel stuck. I’m in a position where if I get criticized if I use my phone in front of her and even more so when she is not present. I feel silly arguing about this and I’m trying to be empathetic.

The worst Part is the constant threats to kick me, I do know that’s her right and I would respect it, but it makes me feel powerless.

Any advice on approach.

Edited by Moof
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16 minutes ago, Moof said:

my house caught fire and I have been displaced. My girlfriend was kind enough to let me stay with her this month. I’m moving into temporary housing beginning of next month.

I then presented her with my phone and told her to look through it so we could settle the fact that I’m not doing anything behind her back. She refused and threatened to kick me out.

Sorry this happened. Hope you get reimbursed and find good housing soon.

 As far as bickering. Wow. Talk about kicking a guy when he's down.

Maybe as soon as the trauma wears off and you're relocated, reconsider what a witch she is under pressure.

Edited by Wiseman2
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Sorry about your house fire. I can't imagine how traumatic that must be.

But, it's time to change your living situation. She obviously is just looking for something to kick you about. No matter what you do, she'll find something to get on you about because she enjoys it.

Yeah, it's not nice to believe this person you probably feel like you love has an ugly side to them, but she does. She likes to make you feel bad and she likes having the power to get you to do ridiculous things to try to make her happy. News flash, she never will be satisfied because happiness is not her goal. Her goal is to beat you down and make you cower and leap to do whatever she commands.

Can you stay at a long term Air BnB or efficiency hotel until you can get more permanent housing?

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Holy crap!
She's horrible. You don't need, or deserve this in your life.

Nit-picking, allegations, unreasonable, demanding, controlling - NARCISSISTIC behavior.

1 hour ago, Moof said:

constant threats to kick me

Is she serious with this sh*t?

Take this as a blessing that you did get to move in, and clearly see her for who she is.

Advice: ask your support system if they can take you in for a while, or if they can suggest/offer solutions of where you can go in the meantime. ANYTHING is better than this abusive behavior.

GET out of this rel'ship!

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After people move in together, dynamic changes. You need to adapt, because you got used to living alone or with somebody else and new person means new rules. So, who does what, do you put the toilet seat down, and stuff like that, it's something that happens. However, if you are thinking about the future with that girl, you are quite incompatible as far as far as living together goes. You are just not a good match. Its something to think about. 

Also, this

2 hours ago, Moof said:

The worst Part is the constant threats to kick me, I do know that’s her right and I would respect it, but it makes me feel powerless.

 

comes in as abuse. For example in abusive relationships, often abuser needs to have some kind of control over abusee. So, her threats are that, form of control over you. Just another thing to think about.

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She is treating you horribly! I mean even about the bickering stuff -you are living there very temporarily and you even have new housing set up (good for you!) - so can't she manage to play nicely in the sandbox temporarily?

Please don't let her look through your phone.  Unless you want that dynamic forever. I never lived with anyone other than a few months with a fiancee (we didn't get married then -we did many years later) and we had some adjustments but nothing whatsoever like this and our issues were because we weren't getting along generally.

I lived with my husband officially after we married. We were 42.  550 square foot apartment with a newborn.  We did argue about certain things to do with being new parents but not about the living together part if that makes sense.  Why? Because we were 100% committed to each other and loved each other and we were not going to let the details/adjustment of living together get in the way.  And we were taking turns getting up every 2-3 hours to feed our newborn.  Sleep deprived to the max.  We'd spent tons of time together for days and days at a time just had our own places. So it was our first place together (and it had been my place).

We're Type A/Type B so it's not because we're (I mean because I'm) easygoing - it's simply because two adults who want to make this work -pick their battles, approach it with a foundation of commitment and caring and love - and make it work, the end.  

If it's this volatile in a temporary situation where you are there because you were the victim of a tragedy (I'm glad you're physically ok!!) - I'd call it quits, honestly.  I'm sorry.  

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Get out of her house immediately. Who the hell threatens to kick people ? That is crazy as hell. Move to a friend’s house today and then break up. 
Is it kick you out ? Or kick your body? If kick your body that is insane . 

Edited by Seraphim
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3 hours ago, Moof said:

I (34) experiencing trust issues with phones by (33) girlfriend

Hello in a bit of a rough spot.

I have been dating my girlfriend for about a year. Earlier this month, my house caught fire and I have been displaced. My girlfriend was kind enough to let me stay with her this month. I’m moving into temporary housing beginning of next month.

Since I’ve moved in, we have been encountering issues living together. I know this is a traumatic and not ideal scenario to abruptly move-in with your girlfriend, temporarily. 

Most nights we end up bickering about minor things, who left the bathroom door open, who got breadcrumbs on the tables. But one thing that has been a big issue is phone use.

When I moved in, I had been using my phone frequently to talk with my insurance company, lawyers, contractors, real estate agents. In addition, a lot of friends have been reaching out to show their support via text, email and calls.

All this phone use has become an issue with my girlfriend. She had been making sly commentary on the usage. Mind you, she uses her phone frequently, maybe more so than me. Immaturely, I started throwing it back at her when I noticed she was on her phone. But after a few instances I realized this was unhealthy and expressed that we stop jabbing each-other on phone use.

The criticism continued, even as I laid of the phone time, to the point where I tried to avoid this commentary by not using my phone in her presence. When she would use the rest room, I would use my phone and et..

Naively, this has back-fired, she has become convinced that I’m being shady and hiding something with the “secretive” phone use. I get that appearance but I’m not cheating or being dishonest, I even understand it. Not the best call but I really wanted to avoid the criticism.

To solve, I agreed to not do this behavior. The other night we were hanging out on the couch. She got off the couch to do some stretches and foam rolling. During this, I was bored, and checked my phone (she was just a couple feet in front of me).She was aggravated and told me that I’m not changing my behavior and being shady.

I was annoyed and told her that it was purely coincidence and I had jumped on my phone briefly to check my email, not to be malicious and did not mean to do it behind her back. She then asked why I didn’t do it on the couch while she was still sitting next to me. I told her it was just an impulse. 

I then presented her with my phone and told her to look through it so we could settle the fact that I’m not doing anything behind her back. She refused and threatened to kick me out. This morning, I tried to be understanding and that I work to not give that appearance but we also needed to work on trust since it’s clearly not there and I didn’t do anything to prove untrustworthy. 

She was unresponsive and now I feel stuck. I’m in a position where if I get criticized if I use my phone in front of her and even more so when she is not present. I feel silly arguing about this and I’m trying to be empathetic.

The worst Part is the constant threats to kick me, I do know that’s her right and I would respect it, but it makes me feel powerless.

Any advice on approach.

Sorry for any confusion. I meant "kick me out" not physically kick me. 

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Sorry about all this, especially the fire. I can't begin to imagine the blow that's been for you. 

I agree with the general sentiment already expressed here already by others, namely that she doesn't seem to want this resolved so much as that she wants some kind of leverage and power over you. She showed you that pretty clearly this morning.  

Curious to hear you answer some questions: Prior to moving in, did you feel the relationship was strong, solid? Were moments of tension and friction common or rare? Over the past year, has she ever questioned your integrity, expressed fears that you're in some way shady? Would you describe her generally as a trusting person or prone to suspicions? 

Just trying to get some context here.

All in all, I would start looking for an alternative place to stay. Just knowing there is an option might help you process all this a little better, including have some time to really reflect on the whole of this relationship. From what you've described here it is very hard to see you two as compatible.

This is likely one of the hardest moments in your life so far, with the house, and this is the kind of support you're getting? How can you trust her in the wake of all this? 

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I would exit to friends or family, and I'd use my phone to arrange that.

Or, I'd use my phone to contact Red Cross or other forms of emergency reimbursement or subsidy to get Into a hotel until I can land housing.

I'm very sorry for your loss of home and belongings. That's enough stress, you don't need some self-important twit policing you and adding even more stress.

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She seems to distrust you quite a lot. How did losing your home to inviting you in escalate so fast to thinking you’re shady and threatening to kick you out? Did an ex recently contact you or try to come back into your life after hearing about your house or is there any info you’re leaving out? How did you both meet each other? 

You’ve been dating for only a year and there is this amount of distrust and hostility. 

I’d look into staying with family and rethinking this. To me, the story doesn’t add up. I’m sorry about the house fire. 

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Thank you all for the advice. I moved in with my parents this morning.

Last night we tried to talk and she mentioned that I’m acting differently. I explained that I’m still traumatized by the fire at my house and I’m trying to process the stress, and apologized for any odd vibes or energy. And that I hoped to be in a better place soon.

I’m starting to think that she isn’t being empathetic to my situation.

She became upset when I used the restroom this morning and questioned whether I was on my phone. Which I was for a brief moment… I was checking the news and the hours of my vet because my dog had become under the weather. 

Upon leaving, I mentioned that we had been setup to fail to a degree with the way the incident (fire at my house) happened and led to our cohabitation. I said that perhaps some time apart, with cool heads, we could take a breathe and reconnect soon and see if we can work things out. She basically said “I’m going to assume that we’re broken up”, I mentioned “I’m not closing the door but it is apparent we both could use a little space, and I will reach out in the next couple days”. She replied “go be on your phone and party with your friends”

To note. I’m not a party guy. My friends and I are computer nerds that hang out once a month or every month to play video games. Occasionally we will go to a metal concert but that is rare especially during the pandemic. I had even brought her to the last one where she was visibly not having a good time (which is fair).

We know each other  from high school and shared similar interests such as gaming, camping, fitness and dogs.

We both can be a little hot headed and have introverted qualities. Things had been seemingly going well through the holidays. I took the initiative to introduce her to friends and family and planned camping trips and a recent vacation in Vegas.

This trip to Vegas was when the tone changed. We had experienced some delays and set backs during the trip which added stress. I got the impression that she was not into vegas, as she (and myself to a degree) are introverted. The attitude was very negative from All the walking and people. I totally understand it, Vegas isn’t for everyone.

One activity we did in Vegas that we both enjoyed was going to a gun range. At the gun range we took pictures with the guns. I had posted a picture of myself with a weapon at the range on Instagram. Several people commented, including a couple female friends that she hadn’t met. And that I haven’t talked to in several years. Another thing to note is I don’t post frequently and have posted pictures with her both at Vegas and over the holidays prior to this post. 

During one of our recent arguments, she had pulled up one of these girls instagram accounts and pointed out a picture that I liked from 2017… long before we started dating and said “I know you were probably single during this time but can you tell me about her”. I replied that it was a friend from a while ago that I’m not in contact with and lives now in New York.

I was kind of alarmed by this to a degree as I replied “so are you going through my instagram now?” She replied “I know more than you think”. 
 

Again, while we have been dating, I have not talked to other girls, cheated or lied to her. This particular incident seems to be the genesis of this behavior. 
 

In addition, she did ask me randomly one night recently if I “talk about her to my friends” which I definitely do not. I keep things in house and respect her enough not to.

 

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Moof said:

I moved in with my parents this morning.

She became upset when I used the restroom this morning and questioned whether I was on my phone. Which I was for a brief moment… I was checking the news and the hours of my vet because my dog had become under the weather. 

Your house burns down and her concern is you're messaging women on the toilet?

Good call to move out and stay with your folks until things are better.

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She's not going to stop this behavior. No matter how much you feel you two have in common or what excuses you try to make for her accusations and threats.

Think about 10 more years of this constant interrogation, threats and invasion of your past. Ten years of having to defend yourself from baseless accusations. Does that make you feel warm and loved? Or does it seem more like a prison sentence?

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41 minutes ago, Moof said:

I moved in with my parents this morning.

So very happy to read this. 

As for the other parts you described; made my stomach turn. Her behavior is reprehensible. Something is terribly wrong w/her. YOU DON'T DERSERVE this treatment.

49 minutes ago, Moof said:

I’m starting to think that she isn’t being empathetic to my situation.

Starting to? It's clear from the moment you moved in. This is not a supportive partner, to say the least.

Please, reconsider your reasons/excuses for staying w/her - you're only doing yourself a disservice 

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Imagine another 10 years where you can't go to the "office" (bathroom) to go poop without your phone without behind made to feel like you're a cheating dirtbag?  You don't need a break...you need to break up.  She sounds like the biggest basic drag.  Maybe she's deflecting because she's cheating, or she's a up straight up unempathetic jerk.

Edited by tattoobunnie
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Why on earth would you even consider hanging on to a woman you can't live with for even a month? Someone who has hounded you with unfounded accusations at the worst moment of your life to the point where you had to pack your bags and leave???? Does this sound like a healthy relationship between two compatible people to you? Strangers could manage a month of cohabiting with more grace.

Come on, OP, this is not about being introverts, or being hot headed, or needing to cool down. This has nothing to do with your Vegas trip either or Instagram pics. Hate to tell you this, but when someone so suddenly starts making these types of wild, unfounded accusations and persists with it to the point where you are afraid to look at your phone (this is also abusive), what you are dealing with is someone who is both projecting and using the "best defense is a good offense" strategy against you. While you are busy defending yourself, walking on eggshells, and otherwise feeling disoriented and shocked with her behavior, you are not able to pay attention to what she is doing.

I would bet good money that if she isn't riding a new pony behind your back yet, she has pulled one out of the stable and saddled it up. Your situation is a flaming case of projecting. Nobody is more paranoid than a cheater.

Please get rid of this mess of a woman. Even giving her the greatest of the benefits of the doubt, you can't have a relationship with someone you can't spend 30 days in the same house with without fighting and bickering constantly. This is beyond incompatible.

 

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2 hours ago, Moof said:

I’m starting to think that she isn’t being empathetic to my situation.

Ya think? 

I'm really sorry you're going through this and happy to hear that you've moved to your folks' home. They will likely 'parent' you less than this woman, who is entirely self-interested and controlling.

Take a step back and refrain from contact with her for long enough to view her through a healthier and less dependent lens.

I rarely try to convince a person that someone is not good for them, but in your situation I can appreciate that you have too many stressors to see the person you have loved clearly enough.

My hope is that you'll focus so singularly on putting aspects of your life in order that you won't miss her too much, but even if you do, I hope you'll hold off on contact and try to let that discomfort pass. You'll gain a whole new perspective and clearer vision if you can do that--and once you reach a position of stability in your own life, you'll find it far easier to recognize that you deserve better and more respectful treatment from a partner.

Hold out for someone who can offer that, and you will thank yourself.

Head high, and write more if it helps.

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I'm happy to hear you've found a more stable place to live. 

Question: Does your girlfriend know that you post on this site? Or have you shared with her things that you've shared here?

I ask in reference to your thread before this one, which outlined you having suggestive online conversations when you were unhappy in a brief a relationship, lying in panic about those conversations when confronted, and how something similar happened in a prior relationship.

Seems it was around that point that you got involved with your now-girlfriend, so I guess I'm wondering if she's in any way keyed into that chapter of your life, if she could have spent the past year quietly afraid of meeting a similar fate. Seems, from what you've shared, that she has been mighty insecure in this relationship for a long time, with that insecurity bubbling up periodically and mushroom-clouding now. 

No judgement, mind you. That's the past, you owned it, we're all works in progress. If it's something that's been nagging at her—perhaps the grist of the ominous quip about "I know more than you think"?—she could have chosen a number of different ways to bring that up.

Whatever is fueling her distrust right now, her way of expressing it is, to be frank, the stuff of skull-and-crossbones flags. She has shown a propensity to go on the attack when you are most vulnerable and a complete inability to put her own concerns aside at a critical moment. Unlike the fire that got your home, this is the sort of fire that never quite goes out. Hopefully with some peace of mind restored at your parents house, this is something that only comes into clearer focus. 

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Thanks for the response.

I had not shared information with her about that past relationship. This site was never mentioned.

What is done is done there and I learned a big lesson that I did not repeat this time.

This time, although clearly not a success, I led with frequent communication and honesty. No games or secret online chats.

I’m not sure either what to make of that ominous comment, but I’m more so guessing that she had gone through every female in my IG and combed for my likes, which she would not find anything recent.

 

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4 hours ago, Moof said:

I’m starting to think that she isn’t being empathetic to my situation.

Starting to? 

My guy, this chick is nuts and cares more about imaginary cheating than your very real losses. 

You need to end this, if you haven't officially done so already. It will never get better. 

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Living together is a real test of whether you are compatible or not. A healthy relationship needs compromise and compassion, respect, honest fair communication. You both had none of this. If it's this bad in only a month, I say you know what she is really like/ surely you can see where you might have went wrong...time to jump ship my friend.

Edited by smackie9
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16 minutes ago, smackie9 said:

Living together is a real test of whether you are compatible or not. A healthy relationship needs compromise and compassion, respect, honest fair communication. You both had none of this. If it's this bad in only a month, I say you know what she is really like/ surely you can see where you might have went wrong...time to jump ship my friend.

Given how egregious this is I would be shocked if there hadn't been issues before they shared physical space -certainly they'd had sleepovers etc.  I don't think sharing physical space is a true test generally -depends on why, and also how long the couple has been together. This was a test of how she reacts to you being in a crisis. 

I mean even if you hadn't moved in you'd have seen how she reacted to you not having as much time with her, being preoccupied with your phone to attend to all the issues of your awful situation etc. - you would have seen all of this just by spending time with her. It's odd she asked you to move in and then behaved like a jerk though.

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It seems likes she's chomping at the bit to get out of this relationship, although for whatever reason, hasn't done the breaking up. People are complex. Some are too cowardly too break up and start treating their partner like crap, hoping he/she will pull the plug.                                                                                                                                        

People who are serious about keeping a lifetime partner don't continually threaten kicking out a person. If she was mature and just trying to build the best life possible with her man, she would've said something like: "Can we have a two hour period phone-free while we're eating dinner and watching our favorite show together?"                                            

Many couples after a year of dating sometimes make plans of living together. It seems strange that this opportunity wasn't taken to take your relationship to the next level, although I can see that you two shouldn't be doing this. Like another poster said, perhaps you're too close to the situation to see what everyone from the outside looking in can see: The love and respect required for a satisfying lifetime relationship is severely lacking. If this what you think you deserve, you don't think very highly of yourself.           

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