How to confirm whether boyfriend is cheating without creating a shipload of unnecessary melodrama?
December 10, 2011 1:46 AM Subscribe
I think my boyfriend is cheating on me, or at least looking for opportunities to do so. The problem is, if I can't trust him not to cheat, then I also can't trust him to tell the truth if I confront him. So how do I deal with this? (details below)
posted by myShanon to Human Relations (48 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
About 6 weeks ago the boyfriend and I moved in together. Just a few days after signing a 12 month lease I borrowed his computer to check my work schedule online and when I started to type the website, several items popped up as recently visited pages. Several of them were Craigslist "casual encounters" ads from crossdressers and transgendered seeking encounters with men...
I was upset by this (as I would have been even if he was looking at women seeking men ads) but already aware that he is curious about that sort of experience. It is something we had previously discussed looking at fulfilling somewhere a year or more down the line, if we feel our relationship is secure enough for something like that. However since we are nowhere near being stable in our relationship, I asked him to set aside this search for at least six months (then we'd discuss it).
I told him what I found on his computer. He claimed that he reads the ads "for fun". Less than 24 hours I hopped on to check something else and again, when I went to type the web address I was looking for... found that he had been looking at craigslist ads that morning. Curious, I checked the History and found that he had been looking at transgender porn and erotica (so obviously its more than "for fun").
We had a long talk about things and he agreed to completely set aside his search, promised not to look at CL ads, etc.
Then this morning I got an anonymous message on another website from someone who claims to be 'a friend' with links to 2 craigslist casual encounter ads that they claim were posted by the boyfriend. They claim to have responded to both ads and gave me the email address he replied from (I asked for copies of the messages, but they haven't responded yet).
I'm trying to stay calm. I have a tendency to react emotionally and irrationally, especially when it comes to broken promises, lies, and perceived betrayal. To say that I have "trust issues" is putting it lightly.
The last time we talked about this, he said that although he has posted ads in the past he's never had an encounter... if thats true, then he hasn't cheated yet... but if these ads were really posted by him, then I feel that I should consider the intent to cheat the same as cheating... as the only thing preventing him from following through is lack of opportunity. Which, to me, means that he is willing to cheat on me if he gets the chance, and its only a matter of time.
Obviously I don't want to be with someone who is willing to sneak around behind my back, and I definitely don't want to be put at risk for STD's that he might pick up by having sex with strangers he found online...
To make one thing clear... other than being insecure about him having a kink that I'm physically incapable of participating in, the fact that its a "shemale fetish" doesn't bother me any more than if he were looking for a woman. Infidelity is infidelity regardless of the plumbing involved.
I've confronted him before about this and he made excuses and empty promises... How can I trust any response he might give this time?
I've considered responding to the more recent ad from an old email account, but worry that even if he does reply... isn't that some kind of entrapment? Or is that a reasonable course of action? It feels wrong, but at the same time if I can't trust him to admit to it, how am I supposed to be sure (not to mention, I don't want to accuse him if this whole thing is just someone screwing with my head..)
After the last time I found something on his computer, he started clearing his history and logging out of his websites and emails... so even if I were willing to do so, snooping isn't an option. Of course, the fact that he does all this, when before we moved in together he used to leave everything logged in and never cared if I looked around, its kind of a red flag for me..
I'm sure there are other, more reasonable ways to go about finding out the truth without having to choose between blindly trusting someone who may be lying, or invading his privacy... but my head is so spun by the situation I can't think of anything else.
DTMFA isn't a necessary response. I'm aware that my inability to trust him means that the relationship is likely over regardless of how this situation is handled... I doubt things will last much longer, but I generally like to keep ex's as friends, so would rather not have it go out in a blaze of drama... Not to mention having just signed a year lease on a one bedroom apartment, so there are technical issues to figure out regarding the potential break-up.
I just need some perspective, or suggestions on how to approach this situation... or maybe a wake-up call, as its entirely possible I'm putting too much effort into a situation that I should simply walk away from.
Yet... as much as I feel I cannot trust the boyfriend... I also don't want to throw away a relationship on the word of a stranger who refuses to tell me who they really are, and has yet to provide any kind of proof (other than links to CL ads that they could have written themselves).