Had a hunch about my SO's texting, followed it up and found I was right. Tried to make it right but I'm not sure if I have succeeded. Feeling like I might be crazy, insecure, a door mat, or all three. I know I'm not alone out there with this type of situation, wondering how others have handled things and what the outcomes were. Thanks in advance for taking a minute to read/answer (okay a of couple minutes, it's on the long side!)
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (79 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
So….a couple of months ago my boyfriend started acting oddly. He was texting more and became sort of protective of his phone and the texts were sometimes late at night or early in the morning. I didn’t want to become that jealous prying type of person so I just let it go at first. He had mentioned a girl that he works with a few times in passing as anyone mentions coworkers during the course of conversations at home and I did know that he went over to her place to help her with a car repair so she wouldn’t have to pay for a mechanic. In turn her brother gave him some old equipment he didn’t need. A trade of sorts. He does that kind of thing for people all the time so I thought nothing of it. Then a few more things happened that started to make my brain tell me ‘um, something is not quite right’.
He started talking about going to a few work events when previously he avoided them like the plague. So while we were visiting friends one day a couple weeks ago, I grabbed his phone to look at his texts because I just had to know if it was this girl from work that he was texting all the time, I couldn’t take the what-ifs going on in my head (when I did casually ask “hey who are you talking to?” he’d say “oh it’s just (fill in name of male friend here)”).
My hunch was correct. There were texts from this girl from that whole day although he had obviously deleted the previous days’ file. There was also a text from a male co-worker saying ‘hey I asked Chelsea if she likes you and she told me she’d totally go out with you if you were single’ and a reply from him saying ‘hey dude you are going to get me into trouble lol’. He grabbed his phone back right after that but I said “oh so she likes you hey, how nice for you”. He said “oh ya Derek was just fooling around, it’s no big deal”. I tried to have it be no big deal, I really did, but he became even more protective of his phone (obviously because I looked at his phone and saw the messages).
He started charging it in odd places in the house and sleeping with it. I got up early on a day he was going out of town and saw the phone had fallen next to the bed so with my heart pounding and feeling like a giant loser I again looked at the texts and found a message asking if he was still coming by on his way out of town. The logical thing my brain told me was that she was still wanting him to fix the other thing on her car that he didn’t have time for when he was there the first time, but the not so happy part of my brain said you giant a**hole why are you lying to me unless there is something you want to hide?!
I let it go for the day feeling hurt and dejected and very sorry that I read the phone but not wanting to have a serious conversation over text or phone about how I was feeling. By the time he got back 2 days later he could tell I was ticked and asked what was wrong. I thought, I’ll give him the chance to tell the truth and said, “I have a feeling that you might have been other places than at work while you were away, is that the case? “ He got angry and said he didn’t know what I was talking about, told me a story about stopping to scan some documents quickly and then hitting the road. That’s when I lost it because that was a lie right to my face!! I said,”I’m going to come clean here, I read your phone and I know you were at Chelsea’s house, what I want to know is why you are lying right to my face!” He looked shocked and said, “well, yes I was there, but it was just to fix her car for 15 maybe 20 minutes and I was back on the road”. I asked why he felt he needed to lie, if it was helping a friend out then there shouldn’t be anything to hide. He insisted that nothing had happened and but that he didn’t tell me because he didn’t want to have a fight about going to her house since I had reacted badly to the text messages a month or so before.
We had a long talk about being truthful and he mentioned he was worried I wouldn’t be able to trust him again and I said I’d try as hard as I could because I did believe that he was faithful but that he would have to tell me the truth from now on. Previously he has said that men and women don’t make good friends because usually one person ends up attracted to the other but he maintained that he is not attracted to her other than as a friend.
I felt really good about our talk, I thought we had cleaned the slate and were getting back on solid ground. Then last week he got a text just before 1 am and I looked over, could see on the phone that it was Chelsea, but when I said oh who is that texting so late he responded “oh it’s Derek”. I had a huge presentation at work the next morning so again I just let it go until there was a better time to talk.
When we talked the next day he insisted at first that he hadn’t been texting her at all lately because I had gotten so upset the last time. He again looked shocked/chagrined that I knew for a fact that what he just said to me was a big old line of BS, explaining that I saw the text from her come in seeing as I was SITTING RIGHT NEXT TO HIM AND HAVE GOOD EYESIGHT (FYI the text was saying she would love to give him a massage).
I kind of lost my s**t at this point and said I was tired of thinking the worst, that he may think they are friends but she obviously has more on her mind and he is doing nothing to discourage that. I know it feels good to have someone be attracted to you, to feel like you are still a desirable person but there is a LINE. He asked what is it was going to take for me to believe there is nothing going on between them and I think I very clearly explained that I don’t think there is a physical relationship, however, I do think that in her mind things may be a bit beyond friendship and that what I NEED is the TRUTH! At all times!!
If I ask who is texting every so often (which we both ask each other occasionally just out of curiosity) just TELL ME THE TRUTH. He asked how that would have gone over on the 1am text and I said, in all honesty, not well, as I do not feel it is appropriate for a female co-worker to text you about a massage at 1am on a night off as you are in a committed relationship, but at least if you’d told me the truth when I asked we could have talked about my concerns then and trust wouldn’t have been an issue (again). I know you can’t control what someone sends to your phone but he could have shut it down with, um hey you know my girlfriend saw that text and it didn’t go over well or words to that effect.
So we had another great big talk where I explained why I feel she is interested in more than friendship and that I believe he should think about that and perhaps put some distance between them for awhile (which is fair for her too because if she’s hung up on him she could be missing other opportunities to meet people), but regardless of that, to be honest to me so that my brain doesn’t go into worst case scenario mode as I have lost enough sleep to this stress already. It took about four days for the texts to start again, he is still texting her/getting texts but I haven’t asked him who it is because I am trying to tell myself that I obviously can’t control this and I don’t want to be an obsessive insecure person as that isn’t really who I am.
As a side note this is only my third significant relationship and the only one since I lost my husband in my 20's. We are both in our 30's have no children together and have been living together for four years now.
So, my questions are:
For the people out there that have been through this: What did you (or your partner) do, how did it work out?
Am I doing the right thing by letting the texting go or am I just being a doormat?
How can I calm my negative thoughts about the situation that swirl around in my head every time his phone beeps?