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Don't want drama but don't want other girls being lied to
August 27, 2012 7:24 AM   Subscribe

I recently broke up with my boyfriend of three and a half years. In the time we were still living together but broken up I found out he was starting several relationships. Should I let these women know?

We broke up after pretty six months. He seemed to be depressed for several months and it caused major problems in our relationship. I tried to work on things for several months with the help of a counselor but little help from him.

After we’d broken up, I saw an email account up on his work computer that wasn’t the one that he used with me. So I started looking. I know I shouldn’t have, but I found he’d started some things with about five different women during our troubled times.

I’m kind of upset he seemed to be lining up other girls during the time we were still going out, but it explains some things. I had my suspicions that something was up before we had broken up because of noticing a sudden increase in texts on our phone. I think he was having an emotional affair if not a physical one at that point.

Anyway, it’s clear from email that some things are developing into a relationship with at least three people. I emailed myself some of the more incriminating stuff.

ne woman is local and it sounds like they’ll soon be dating. One I found a flight to visit her. (Sidenote he told me he’d be hiking, and I’m what is now his dog). One is practically begging him to come visit.

As far as I can tell none of these women know about the other.

I feel I have been lied to for the past four months. All of these ladies seem really sweet and like people I’d potentially like to know. And some have really laid out that they are vulnerable at the moment or inexperienced in relationship. Anyway, if I were in their shoes, I’d like to know before things got anymore serious. But I’m conflicted because I don’t know any of them and really it’s none of my business.

I’m incredibly happy to have broken up with him, especially if this is how he treats myself and others.

So should I tell him I know? Should I let the the other women know? And if so, how should I go about it? Should I still watch the dog I love to bits?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (88 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Do not get involved. Do not bother these other women. Stop invading your ex-boyfriend's privacy. Cut all contact with him unless and until you can stop caring about what he does with other women. At least six months, maybe a year, maybe forever.
posted by decathecting at 7:28 AM on August 27, 2012 [16 favorites]


Your ex-boyfriends relationships are none of your business. It will all come out anyhow. Continuing to watch his dog will mean continuing a relationship with him. Put him behind you.
posted by shothotbot at 7:29 AM on August 27, 2012 [24 favorites]


Don't tell him. Don't tell them. There's no way for you to do this gracefully, and it's really none of your business. You can't talk to him without letting him know you snooped in his email; do you really want to admit to being that person? You can't talk to them without coming across like the psycho ex-gf.

Re the dog, I am not a pet person, so I don't know, but I would think that any contact with him is just going to be painful and unless you have some long term custody arrangement regarding the dog, you're just stretching out the breakup. So my vote is not to watch the dog.
posted by yogalemon at 7:30 AM on August 27, 2012


How would you feel if you were considering dating someone, and there disgruntled ex called you to talk smack about your new potential date? You would think, wow, they dated a crazy person before they meet me.

He has not developed any of these relationships to a point where exclusive monogamy is required - it seems like he hasn't even actually seen some of them in person.

Stay out of your ex-boyfriend's life. Trying to get involved for whatever motives is a lose-lose situation for you.
posted by Flood at 7:32 AM on August 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


No. This is their karma to bear, not yours. Mind your business and be glad you are rid of him.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 7:34 AM on August 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


You copied some of his personal private email to yourself? That's crossing over into stalker/creeper territory.

Get out of your ex-boyfriend's life and get out of his email and delete the things you mailed to yourself.
posted by DWRoelands at 7:34 AM on August 27, 2012 [14 favorites]


Anyway, if I were in their shoes, I’d like to know before things got anymore serious.

From an anonymous stranger with, quite clearly, a bunch of her own baggage involving this dude? Probably not. Leave it be.
posted by griphus at 7:35 AM on August 27, 2012 [10 favorites]


Would you be okay with him getting in touch with your future potential boyfriends to explain that you're the sort of person who after the end of a relationship would break into your ex's email account, thoroughly read through everything to the point of getting an idea whether or not you'd like to like to know the women he's communicating with, and make copies of the choicest messages?
posted by XMLicious at 7:38 AM on August 27, 2012 [25 favorites]


Leave it be and don't watch the dog. It's time to get out of this guy's life for real and for ever.

(I agree that it'd be nice if these women had a guardian angel who could tell them what this guy's about; but you're not the right person to be that angel, so don't worry about it. But disentangle yourself right away. No more living together, no more dog.)
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:39 AM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


All good advice upthread.
You state you are happy to have broken up with him, now you need to cut all ties. DO NOT drag this out.
Someone else can watch the dog:email him and tell him you can't. Don't engage and don't explain why. It's a one line email.
Aside from the dog, you have no other reason to contact him, right? So move on.
It will take time but eventually you won't care who he's seeing, when it started blah blah blah. You've broken up, who cares?!
posted by Snazzy67 at 7:40 AM on August 27, 2012


Anyway, it’s clear from email that some things are developing into a relationship with at least three people. I emailed myself some of the more incriminating stuff.

Okay, so after you broke up, you:

1. Checked out a computer that wasn't yours and snooped through his mail.
2. Read enough of it that you could document several "relationships," meaning that you spent a fairly significant amount of time poking through his personal life
3. Copied materials to your own account, and now you want to
4. Tell people you don't know about something that you don't really know about except by doing things you shouldn't have?

I'd suggest that you learn boundaries, because quite honestly, this isn't just going beyond good manners, it's really beyond the pale.
posted by xingcat at 7:42 AM on August 27, 2012 [8 favorites]


Revenge disguised as altruism. Any confrontation about this between any combination of you, him, and those women will be so unpleasant that you would immediately regret it.

Ignoring him, which it sounds like he deserves, is the best way to get back at him and the best way for you to move on.
posted by TheRedArmy at 7:42 AM on August 27, 2012 [11 favorites]


If he lied to you while you were in the relationship and was trying to line up women to hook up with (so presumably he would either be cheating on you, or would wait to break up with you until he could "trade up"), he was behaving pretty terribly, and you're certainly entitled to some payback. If it makes you feel better to sabotage some of his dates, go for it. It'll teach him a very important lesson about honesty.

On the other hand, if these women are as naive and vulnerable as you suggest, they're going to attract predatory men like your boyfriend - that's just life. You can help somebody out in the short term but unless you can cure them of the stupid (which is problematic), they're eventually going to get hurt anyway, if not by him then by somebody else. And interfering with your ex-boyfriend's romance will undoubtedly bring a lot more drama into your life. Do you really need that?

I think that when you say these other women "seem really sweet and like people I’d potentially like to know" you're just trying to find an excuse to justify to yourself why you should get involved. You don't know them and you've never met them in person - the only information you have about them comes from a couple of e-mails where they're trying to convey the best possible impression of themselves. That conveys a very skewed image of who they are.

If you're angry with your ex for how he treated you (which would be understandable) and you feel like you need to sabotage him to gain some measure of justice, then you're entitled to that. But whatever you do, don't lie to yourself. Own that anger and admit that you're doing it for personal reasons, rather than coming up with farfetched "altruistic" explanations of why you need to get involved on moral grounds.

In your shoes, I'd probably leave it alone, but that's just me. Was he a decent boyfriend? Was most of your time together enjoyable? If so, then maybe you can forgive the miserable ending and focus on the positive experiences you had.
posted by wolfdreams01 at 7:45 AM on August 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


What you propose is exactly how one gets slapped with the "crazy ex-girlfriend" label.
posted by Ardiril at 7:48 AM on August 27, 2012 [7 favorites]


Cut all ties and delete his stuff. Tell him to change his passwords. Don't watch his dog.

Don't worry about these other women, they're old enough to look after themselves.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:48 AM on August 27, 2012


What exactly would you be 'letting them know'? While single, he...initiated new friendships with romantic potential. This isn't damning stuff. He's not, I don't know, lying about being HIV+ or otherwise being a menace. He doesn't even appear to be lying to them -- "in the time we were still living together but broken up..."

Meanwhile, you've done things that are unarguably wrong; even you recognise this -- "I know I shouldn’t have..."

Delete the e-mails you forwarded to yourself, delete contact info for the women in question, repeat "really it’s none of my business" as needed.

you're certainly entitled to some payback. If it makes you feel better to sabotage some of his dates, go for it. It'll teach him a very important lesson about honesty

It'd teach him that his ex is "crazy" and loves teh dramaz. Looking for revenge is a soul-damaging way to go through life; the one who will suffer most with that advice is the OP.
posted by kmennie at 7:49 AM on August 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


This is a pretty terrible idea you've had. I understand it, because I've had similar revenge fantasies, but it is in no way the right thing to do. Step away from the situation as best you can and move on with your life.

Y'all, I don't think there is a real dog. He is, I assume, telling a girl that he needs to get home to "his dog" or something when he really means the Asker.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:52 AM on August 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


I do not understand what is happening in this thread. Why wouldn't you tell these women that this guy has been lying to them? If a guy told me he was single and he wasn't, I'd want to be told the truth. And I wouldn't assume the person telling me was a cliche "crazy ex." Cheaters are eager to position the women they've lied to in the past as hysterical and untrustworthy, but they're actually more likely to be justifiably upset and telling facts factually.
posted by prefpara at 8:00 AM on August 27, 2012 [14 favorites]


I think it's a real dog, and the OP is watching this dog while he's "hiking."

OP, you need to enact and maintain some boundaries, right now. Are you watching his dog right now? Kennel it. Don't watch his dog, and stop snooping through his stuff and copying it. Any action on your part such as you proprose will reflect much more poorly on you than him -- in fact, to someone who is really inexperienced, it may even make him seem more attractive. But more than anything else, you need to focus on being happy that it's over and moving forward, not getting stuck in this kind of quicksand.
posted by sm1tten at 8:01 AM on August 27, 2012


I just want to clarify -- did he start setting things up with these girls after you broke up? Your original topic says you had broken up (but still lived together) when he contacted these girls, but then your description isn't so clear ("lining up other girls during the time we were going out"). I don't think either situation changes the answer (fly, you fools) but it changes the context of the answers slightly.
posted by yeahyeahyeah at 8:02 AM on August 27, 2012


You don't need to do anything, it will implode by itself at some point. And, you won't have needed to lift a finger.

Spend more time on yourself, don't spend any time thinking about him. That's what a breakup is supposed to be all about - that he doesn't matter to you anymore.
posted by Citrus at 8:04 AM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Seems to me the only thing you will accomplish by telling these three is that you are no longer his girlfriend and he is a free man to pursue relationships at will. And, it will garner sympathy for him when they see he has a crazy ex-girlfriend who stalked his emails enough that she is sending emails to people she would only know about if she had snooped in her ex's private email.

Good luck with that.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 8:06 AM on August 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Revenge disguised as altruism.

Exactly. You are looking for justification to do something that is wrong. you have no evidence that he did anything more than talk to other girls while you were still together, and you obtained that information in a pretty despicable way.

Also, did you post this from your phone or something? It would be a lot easier to understand the details if you would have proofread before submitting. Stuff like "We broke up after pretty six months" and " I’m what is now his dog" are really confusing.
posted by amro at 8:07 AM on August 27, 2012 [7 favorites]


Looking for revenge is a soul-damaging way to go through life; the one who will suffer most with that advice is the OP.

Actually, I think it depends on the context. I used to be an exceptionally nice person and as a consequence I got walked on a lot. Once I make a conscious decision to change this and started punishing the worst trangressors, I found my life actually became a lot easier and more emotionally satisfying, because people were afraid to treat me as a doormat. I get treated so much better now, and I think it's because people sense that certain behaviors won't be tolerated around me.

That said, I agree that I don't think revenge is the best way to go in this particular context. IN fact, generally speaking, it's best to avoid being vindictive at all when it comes to relationships. There are a lot of strong emotions involved in any commitment, and it's almost impossible to dispassionately analyze whether you were legitimately wronged. Plus, think about what message you're sending to prospective future dates: "If we get into a relationship and things go poorly, you're in for a world of hurt." That's pretty bad advertising, even from a purely pragmatic perspective.
posted by wolfdreams01 at 8:09 AM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I’m incredibly happy to have broken up with him, especially if this is how he treats myself and others.

Then move the fuck on. If you drive looking in the rear-view mirror, you're gonna crash. What he does or did with anyone else is none of your concern anymore. If you come down with an STD, then by all means let them know they were potentially exposed. But this...it's just petty.
posted by inturnaround at 8:11 AM on August 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


sm1tten: "I think it's a real dog, and the OP is watching this dog while he's "hiking." "

Mea culpa. In the last sentence of the question there is a real dog. I read through the damn thing three times trying to figure out why everyone was way off on the dog thing. She should totally not watch the dog any longer.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:11 AM on August 27, 2012


I would tell...maybe. The major downside here is not that they don't believe you (doesn't matter to you) or that snooping is bad (already happened, too late).

The major downside is that this person knows where you live, has demonstrated a serious disregard for your feelings and physical well-being, and is possibly mentally unstable. Do you want him to have a serious grudge against you?
posted by the young rope-rider at 8:13 AM on August 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


You don't want drama, but you're bringing the drama on ten-fold. You don't want to contact these women, but you've gone out of your way to find out their details. He isn't your boyfriend and wasn't when he was emailing these women, but you're behaving as if you're the scorned woman.

Stop.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 8:15 AM on August 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh, and having been in a similar situation, sometimes altruism is the motive! Knowing that someone is being lied to and hurt and that you have knowledge that could prevent that...it is a very unpleasant feeling. I'm sure there's a little revenge mixed in there, too, but that doesn't mean that you don't genuinely feel for these women. It's good to make other people's feelings your business, within reason. That's what empathy and compassion are.

Good luck.
posted by the young rope-rider at 8:17 AM on August 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


You say you want to help the other women out, so I'm thinking of this from the POV of one of them.

If I got a message that said, "The guy who has been writing you claiming to be single, is in fact my boyfriend of six months. He's been lying to several other women too. I'm going to break up with him now that I know this, so do what you want, but I thought you might want to know." That would be one thing.

If I got a message that said, "The guy who has been writing you is my ex. I found out he'd been talking to you and several other women because after we broke up because of his depression, I snooped through his things. I thought you should know." That, I would think of as a whole other thing. (A whole other crazy, crazy thing.)
posted by DestinationUnknown at 8:20 AM on August 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


[This is a followup from the asker.]
Snooping only took about an hour. Girls spilled their hearts all over the place and what was tough the email exchanges reminded me of the ones we had when we first started dating, which is why I identified with these women. I invaded his privacy because I was confused after we broke up and he was still living with me and I was trying to figure out what went wrong. It's a poor excuse.

These relationships all started while we were still dating, even though for the most part (with one big exception, that was off an on for almost a year) it was while we were in a rocky patch toward the last couple of months. He took about a month to move out and that's when I poke around his computer.

Part of why I'm asking is that he's lied to all these women that he's not on Facebook (and I'm sure locked down his privacy setting) and if they'd checked his status would have said we were in a relationship. One woman with whom he was already FB friends but had apparently started chatting with saw that and contacted me. Of course, I believed him at the time that he had just corresponded with her innocently. But in retrospect, it helped plant a doubt and led me to stop fighting for a relationship that was not working. And that was really valuable

Also there is a real dog.
posted by cortex at 8:24 AM on August 27, 2012


So. On the one hand, yes, it makes sense that they might like to know.

On the other hand, it makes no sense for you to tell them what you found out about your ex via snooping.

Agree with everyone who says to excise all traces of this guy from your life, including his dog and the dossier of "evidence" you have against him.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:24 AM on August 27, 2012


So, asker, which was it? Were you dating, or were you in a committed relationship? Facebook status does not mean shit. If you were just dating, then seeing other women is normal. Were you indeed in a relationship that was understood between the both of you to be exclusive?
posted by Ardiril at 8:28 AM on August 27, 2012


Is it your dog? Or his dog? Why on earth would you watch his dog ever? You are his ex-girlfriend. Do NOT set yourself up where you become his free dog watcher. That is crazy.

Actually, the whole thing is sounds crazy - you are looking for some justification as to why it was ok to invade his privacy and to insert yourself into his new life.

It does not matter when or how these relationships started. You need to move on.

You are trying to save these women from him? Yeah, right - you want revenge. If you want to save some, try saving someone who really needs it - go work at a soup kitchen or visit a nursing home. And stop pretending you are saving innocent women who do not need nor want to be saved by you.

Let it go. Let him go. The relationship is over.
posted by Flood at 8:30 AM on August 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


So, this guy lied to a bunch of women, but the asker shouldn't tell them because... why? I am just beyond perplexed by the pile-on of people acting like telling these women they were lied to would be insane or some kind of crime or, god forbid, drama.

I hope if I am ever lied to and someone finds out, they tell me. Jesus Christ.

I stand by my earlier advice. So what if he tells these women you're crazy, and so what if random internet people who are not reading carefully (boyfriend of three + years is not the same thing as dating) say yuo should wash your hands of it. Tell the truth, likely validating these women's experience of being suspicious of this serial liar and manipulator, and then walk away.
posted by prefpara at 8:31 AM on August 27, 2012 [22 favorites]


I invaded his privacy because I was confused after we broke up and he was still living with me and I was trying to figure out what went wrong. It's a poor excuse.

The issue starts with "I invaded his privacy" and ends with "it's a poor excuse".

Delete the emails that you stole from him. Stay out of his email. Stay out of his life. Move on.
posted by DWRoelands at 8:32 AM on August 27, 2012


People keep jumping on you for invading his privacy, but it's already done. You can't take it back. The current issue has nothing to do with it.

Anyway, as I said above, the big question here is your personal physical and emotional safety. If you think you can tell these women without compromising your own safety, then I suggest doing so. And yeah, at that point you will also need to cut off all contact with this guy. It's not a good idea. I'm sorry about the dog.
posted by the young rope-rider at 8:36 AM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I know I shouldn’t have, but...

Are you going to tell them that you are his ex-girlfriend and that you know about them because you were snooping his personal email on his work computer while pet-sitting? Because I think they "deserve" to understand the origin of the information you're giving them. Are you going to install spying technologies on his computer so that you can keep tabs on girls he is subsequently not treating right according to your standards? Because you know he will find new girls if you manage to turn the current ones against him and apparently helping random girls not get fooled by your ex-boyfriend justifies violating his privacy.

Or if this is about honesty and helping people and just the one off situation where you have to deal with the consequences of your (admittedly unjustifiable) snooping: are you going to tell your ex-boyfriend that you snooped on his personal email on his work computer? Because I think he "deserves" to know how trustworthy the individual who is minding his dog is (two wrongs don't make a right).

I emailed myself some of the more incriminating stuff.

You need to seriously step back and ask yourself if this is the kind of person you want to be. I agree with others saying you need to disconnect from this person and stop minding his dog. Stop pretending your concern is really about other people and move on.

I'm not saying your ex-boyfriend is not a jerk. I'm saying it is none of your business, you never should have had this information, that in emailing yourself his private messages you hugely stepped over a very broad line that should make you stop and take stock of whether there is an iota of healthiness in your current relationship with your ex.
posted by nanojath at 8:38 AM on August 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


The current issue has nothing to do with it.

You can use that attitude to justify absolutely anything. Of course it has something to do with it.
posted by nanojath at 8:39 AM on August 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Because I think they "deserve" to understand the origin of the information you're giving them.

If someone gave me proof that my partner was cheating on me, I would not be like "thank you so much for saving me months or maybe even years of my life! Wait...you got it by reading his email? OH HELL NO. Now it's inadmissible and the cheating doesn't count and I'm SO PISSED that you told me." Come on. The messenger doesn't have to be perfect for the information to be useful.
posted by the young rope-rider at 8:43 AM on August 27, 2012 [21 favorites]


Here are the questions the asker asked:

So should I tell him I know? Should I let the the other women know? And if so, how should I go about it? Should I still watch the dog I love to bits?

She did not ask, "how bad a person am I for having read my ex's personal email."
posted by prefpara at 8:44 AM on August 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Look, if you truly and sincerely "don't want drama," you will never follow that phrase with the word "but." So this is simple: either you don't want drama -- in which case, you remove yourself 100% from the situation -- or you do want drama -- in which case, you move forward with your plan.

Be very clear with yourself on this score. And remember: whatever action you choose to take, there will be some sort of consequence. (And just for the record: the consequence of telling all those women what you found out is unlikely to be that they all think you are awesome because you saved them from being hurt AND you make your ex feel bad about himself.)
posted by scody at 8:49 AM on August 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


So, this guy lied to a bunch of women, but the asker shouldn't tell them because... why?

To elaborate on my answer above, because she's not in a position to be believed. The women will in all likelihood think she's bitter, jealous, or probably just bonkers. So they will not be thankful to her for saving them from the guy, nor will she get any revenge on him, assuming revenge is the women cutting off contact with him. The information may be perfectly good, despite how she got it, but the way she will have to explain how she got it (and what, offer to pass it on to them since she saved the emails?) will make her, a total stranger, sound nuts. These girls want to believe the guy at this point, they might even tell him his crazy ex tried to tell them he's a cheater, etc. Not worth it imho.
posted by DestinationUnknown at 8:51 AM on August 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


She did not ask, "how bad a person am I for having read my ex's personal email."

I don't want to get too much into back and forth about this but I want to stress that I don't think the asker is a bad person but I do think she did something wrong, that it behooves her to think about why and what it means and what it might tell her about future relations with her ex (and whether there should be any). I think that if she decides she "needs" to enlighten these other women she is obligated at the least to give them the context of her information and come clean with her boyfriend about what she did (whether he's done a bad thing or not he deserves the truth as much as they do). For her own sake I don't think she should allow herself the indulgence of passing it off as "it was wrong but..." and treating it as an irrelevancy as she decides how to deal with the whole mess. And I strongly disagree that the source of information is irrelevant to whether and how it should be passed on. Beyond that I'll let my input stand on its own from here on out.
posted by nanojath at 8:56 AM on August 27, 2012


I understand the impulse to tell them, especially with some of them being inexperienced and vulnerable people he's lying to. But you need to weigh this up against the downsides, too. You don't know how he'd react; the women might well not believe you, and even be angry with you, especially if they're inexperienced; and it keeps you hooked into his chaos for longer than you need to be.

Ask yourself which potential consequence you'd be happiest living with: one where the women were all "fuck you, bitch, you're just jealous", but at least you let them know; or one where you didn't tell them, but at least you were out of your ex's loop and there wasn't any 'drama'. There isn't really a right answer, there. It's your call.

In your position, I probably would tell them, with a short "possibly you know this already, but if not, here's some information you might want" message. Keep it short and factual; don't get into rants about his behaviour, however tempting it is, or try to set up an ongoing conversation with them about it, or quote from the emails you saved (heavens, no). Just give them the information and let them do what they like with it, and then distance yourself from this guy for good.

(And I don't think you should have read his email either, but what's done is done; you can't unknow this information, and this is not a criminal trial where evidence is dismissed if it was gained through an improper search.)
posted by Catseye at 8:56 AM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh lord. Just walk away from the crazy. Do not add to the crazy. He is not your boyfriend any longer and what happened during your relationship is not up for discussion between you and him, or you and other women he is involved with now. Even though you might be hurting, his affairs are no longer your business. Even if he behaved shoddily to you. Interference of any kind in his life or correspondence are beyond inappropriate. Why? Because your relationship has been formally dissolved. Just like you would never ever go back to your old job and riffle through your old desk after being fired. Not your desk anymore, and not your office!

Cut him off and get some space for yourself so you can establish some sorely-needed healthy emotional distance. Please redirect the emotional energy you're spending on someone who is no longer your boyfriend to taking good care of yourself instead. Give his dog back to him. Get your own place. Get a fun new hobby. Hell, get a new boyfriend! But wash your hands of this drama.
posted by anonnymoose at 8:56 AM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Editing to add: the upside of this crap no lore being your business is that it's no longer your business. That is to say, no longer your problem. You are under no obligation to stress out about any of this. Doesn't that feel good?
posted by anonnymoose at 8:59 AM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't think you should worry about some seriously messed up guy calling you "crazy ex." I think that's how a lot of men like to threaten and bully women into submission and silence. Chances are he'll probably call you crazy anyway, because he's messed up.

But I definitely think you shouldn't say anything. You'll get tangled up into his life. And honestly, these women won't believe you. I'm sure at some point they'll figure it out somehow themselves.

I don't think you're a stalker or horrible for snooping. When were you supposed to find out? When you landed an STD from his dalliances? Just talk to a trusted girlfriend who can help you get out of this apt and life.

Don't engage with him anymore. Don't do anything but get out of the situation. Yeah, he'll probably spread lies no matter what you do, but, trust me, any guy who calls an ex crazy is usually not a stand-up guy and people know it.
posted by discopolo at 9:00 AM on August 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


By the way, I'm sorry this happened to you. Please take really good care of yourself. You need to figure out how to make yourself a priority again in a really short period of time.
posted by discopolo at 9:02 AM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is the internet where there is no forgiveness for cheating, snooping or having any feelings beyond strict moral thinking!

You were feeling hurt and confused about the break up and looked. You were still living with the source of your hurt. It is completely understandable what you did.

To move on the part of the question I can try to help with:

Let the dog go. Give it a big hug. Take a picture of you with it and let it go. Helping him out with this animal that is his will just keep you tied to this man. You don't deserve that. You deserve to move on and develop new ties to someone who will help you make the best of yourself and a life you want. The dog, though incredibly lovable, will adapt. It is sad you have to say goodbye to it but it will be healthy for you to do so.
posted by kanata at 9:04 AM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


If I was one of the other women, I would want to know about the situation, regardless of how you came across the information. However, I don't think that necessarily means you should tell them - as other posters have mentioned, it's unlikely to have positive consequences for you, and you need to be putting yourself first and doing whatever will help you move on from your ex.
posted by shiny shoes at 9:08 AM on August 27, 2012


It seems pretty relevant to me that these other women should know how she came by the information because not only did she read through mail that he thought was private, these were all messages they expected to be private when they sent them too.
posted by XMLicious at 9:13 AM on August 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


There seems to be a discussion about the validity of helping these other women or not. I don't get that.

Your urge to do this is to satisfy yourself, not to help others.

It is not a good idea to inject yourself back into his life in this manner, regardless of who you might be able to save.

Save yourself. Move on.
posted by Flood at 9:14 AM on August 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


You know how, in a lot of romantic comedies, there's always this one character? The crazy ex-girlfriend who stalks the guy and screams about how he wrecked everything? Yeah...What you're proposing to do is, basically, be that girl.

Don't.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:17 AM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Forward the women each other's correspondence with the BF from a burner email account without comment.

Anonymize all of the women's email addresses to insure each of them remain private from each other. Make sure the dates are not erased from the emails, so that the conversations are in context.

Get directions on how to scrub any trace of the email history off the emails. I know there is code that will show that the emails at one point were in your personal email account if you do not do this right.

Delete the burner email account, or better yet, have someone else do the password so you can never ever get into that email ever ever again.

Do this from a public computer, like a library.

Walk away from this whole thing and never think on it again.

Delete, block, and disown your ex without drama or explanation.
posted by jbenben at 9:17 AM on August 27, 2012 [9 favorites]


Aside from it being none of your business, and you not knowing what he's said to these peopke at all and whether or not he's been upfront with him, you're not moving on from this relationship during every minute you spend engaging this issue.

For your own sake, focus on yourself--live-in breakups are hard and you need to focus on your own feelings of loss. Trying to focus on the externialities of his next relationship could be a way you are avoiding dealing with your feelings of loss and hurt. I'd turn my focus away from him and how you are interacting with and accepting your own feelings of loss.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:27 AM on August 27, 2012


Whatever you do, do not send anonymous messages from a "burner" account. Not because you'll look crazy by doing but simply because it's unethical behavior. Trying to stay anonymous makes it worse. As has been mentioned this is not a life-or-death situation. You found out that in grey period before your breakup, your ex-boyfriend "lied" to a number of women that he didn't have a Facebook account. (Scare quotes because that's barely a lie.) You came across this information by snooping in the mail. Think of this information as inadmissible in court because it was obtained through illegal means.
posted by faustdick at 9:29 AM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I’m with those that say to delete the emails and walk away. I know someone who was in a similar situation and did contact the other woman and it was SO MUCH DRAMA. It ended up not being just a quick email with the facts, but a huge explosion all over email and social media. Plus, it made it impossible for this person to move on from the break-up till it all blew over. If what you want is to move on with your life, then do just that and don’t invite the drama in.
posted by Sabby at 9:32 AM on August 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


One other thing: this was all seen on a work computer so I assume the email account was a company account. If it was discovered that you accessed a private company account, would this open you up to litigation from that company?
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 9:38 AM on August 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


You have no ethical obligation to those other women, or to your ex. You do have a very strong obligation to yourself, and it states what has been stated here many times: forget this and find some other outlet for the energy. There are a great many reasons for this, but the simplest one is your own well-being. No positive outcome can prevail from passing those emails along. You will hurt longer and harder as a result.

Should you elect to disseminate the incriminating emails through any of the increasingly complicated means suggested in this thread: You will be injecting yourself into the lives of four other people, none of whom will ever want anything to do with you again. This is unquestionable. Keep in mind that you've not just violated the privacy of your ex, but also those three other women. You will have embarrassed each of them. Only they will know if that embarrassment is necessary, you cannot.

If you complete the action without any direct response from anyone else, you still won't feel vindicated. You will feel low, and dirty, and you will probably deserve to. Self-hatred is how some people propel themselves from the polluted atmosphere of past relationships. Is that healthy? I don't know. Should it be sponged off on other, presumably innocent parties? A clear no.

For those who would want to know the truth about every lie they've ever been told. Most parents have a favorite child. You aren't as good in bed as everyone tells you. You probably think this song is about you.
posted by Arquimedez Pozo at 9:49 AM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Can I just point out that there is some legit misogyny against the OP in general in here?

1. Suggesting she's the hysterical ex-girlfriend is playing into some really damaging stereotypes about "irrational women." She's asking about whether to share facts and not start drama for the sake of drama like a "psycho-ex."

2. I see no evidence that vengefulness is her primary motivation. It actually sounds like she legitimately feels for these girls.
posted by namesarehard at 9:57 AM on August 27, 2012 [17 favorites]


I am amazed by the vitriol in this thread.

I would like to tell you as story from the other side; no, not your ex's, but the other women's. Once upon a time I was dating and sleeping with Amazing Man. Life was good, I was happy, all seemed right with the world. Then one day I received an email from his ex-girlfriend, who he was still living and sleeping with even though they were technically broken up (drama abound).

Just to be clear, he was sleeping with me then going home to sleep with her the same night. She snooped into his email and found out about me, and emailed me to let me know what was going on. At first I thought that she was a loon, but just to be sure I probed him. Low and behold, she was telling the truth.

I am so fricking grateful to her. People like that man depend on the fact that you don't want to be labeled a psycho/stalker/crazy to continue their manipulation and poor behavior. But who cares if he thinks that you're crazy? How does that opinion matter in any way?

My advice: Stop worrying about what he thinks or his opinion of you. Instead, ask yourself, if you were in those lady's situation would you want to know? Would you want someone to tell you?

Despite the usual "mind your own business at any cost" advice that MeFi usually doles out, I have always been a big supporter of putting yourself in the victim's shoes and doing on to others as you would want done on to you.

Realistically, his new women may think that you're crazy. He may tell them that you're just a psycho wench partaking in wanton harlotry, or otherwise paint you in a negative light. However, they may also be like me and be thankful that someone was willing to take the risk and notify them.

And really, if they all end up thinking that you're crazy, their opinions won't ruin your life, and you will probably never see any of them again anyway.
posted by Shouraku at 10:06 AM on August 27, 2012 [39 favorites]


I don't think this is about avoiding being the "crazy ex", OP. It seems like this is more about refusing to stick your spoon in a pot that only holds further emotional complications and hurt, and choosing instead to focus on taking care of yourself and putting your recovery first. This is a crappy situation that seems to be getting crappier with each new piece of information, and you really deserve to move on with the rest of your (happier, less dramatic) life.
posted by anonnymoose at 10:19 AM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


OP, I think your heart is probably in the right place about this, even though the email-snooping thing is not okay. I think that you see yourself in some of these women, and you see how badly your ex hurt you, and you want to stop it from happening again.

The thing is, you're probably not going to convince very many of them, because you're recently out of a relationship with this guy. Realistically, any of them who would break it off with him based on your contact will probably be perceptive enough to figure out his flaws on their own. And, as much as he may have fucked up in his relationship with you, he deserves to have a chance at relationships as well. It doesn't sound like he was abusive or otherwise dangerous, just...kind of a dick. I think that means you have to let him and these women live their lives, and go on and live your own. Learn from your mistakes, and let other people learn from their own.
posted by kagredon at 10:32 AM on August 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


i totally get the snooping and wanting to call your ex out. seriously. i do. totally. get. it.

i'm not going to tell you one way or the other whether you should contact these women or not, because, like i said, i totally get the impulse. i still have revenge fantasies about my ex. but that's just what they are: fantasies.

what i will advise you to do is to OWN why you want to do this. bc it's not—as you claim—for purely altruistic reasons. it's for personal revenge reasons. it is. deep down inside, that's what this is really about. and then decide if doing what you want to do is going to make you feel better about yourself.
posted by violetk at 10:51 AM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Am I correct in reading that the OP is watching the dog for the ex BF because he lied and said he was going hiking, when really, he's traveling to visit a new possible GF?

While the OP bears some responsibility here because it was not a good idea to continue socializing with the ex via dogsitting, the guy sounds like a sleaze.

OP for now, keep the dog. When BF returns, let him know you won't be available to do any more dog sitting favors because it's a little weird considering the break up and all. When you quietly go about deleting and blocking him on all social media (and go ahead and block him on your cell phone, too, so you won't get further calls or text messages) it won't seem strange, it will be natural.

THEN

After about a week, if you want to follow my perscription above for cleanly forwarding all of the correspondence to each of the women involved so they get a head's up, do so.

It's a labor intensive endeavor, and following my directions to the letter (including going no contact with this guy a week or more in advance and in a non-drama type way) will pretty much insure your fingerprints are no where near the action. Plus, since you've blocked and deleted, etc., you won't be watching the inevitable explosion like a dirty little voyeur.

My prediction is that once you block this guy, you just won't have the energy to follow through with these women. If you do still feel the need to clue them in after you've given it some time and distance, that might be your best indicator that letting them know without involving yourself is the right thing to do.

Sorry for all the conflict in this thread. Your initial question was unclear, and remains so. This is my best advice based on my interpretation of events.

Go with whatever is the highest good for all involved. Start by going no contact with this fellow. You don't need him anymore.
posted by jbenben at 10:57 AM on August 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Cut ties, don't dogsit, MYOB. Life isn't an episode of "Ugly Betty."
posted by rhizome at 11:25 AM on August 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


Seconding prefpara. I would want to know if someone was lying to me and starting a relationship while still living with a woman they were with for THREE AND A HALF YEARS. They don't know this and are innocent victims. I would want to know before I developed feelings for him.
posted by 3491again at 12:13 PM on August 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Pause and honestly consult your motives (seconding violetk). I think it's ok to contact the other women if you search your soul and find that you are truly doing so out of concern for their welfare or a sense of moral obligation to another human. But if you find that you are doing this because you are hurt and want to make your ex pay or own up to who he is, cut and run. In that case, you just are not in a place to be involved with any of his mess or its bi products, and frankly, other people will often be able to sense your motives and will think you are the creepy/crazy ex girlfriend that you don't want to be; plus, you won't be taken as seriously and so your intention to actually help the situation will be muddled.

And don't watch his dog. Get him out of your life.
posted by sb3 at 12:38 PM on August 27, 2012


The reason that there is a strong reaction isn't misogyny. Jesus.
If it was man that did the snooping we'd hear just as much about how it's crazy and a little scary to display this kind of behavior. Stalker, psycho whatever. This isn't about gender.

This is a whole pile of drama that just gets thicker the more you do. Don't watch his freakin dog. Don't go chasing down the new ladies in his life and my god don't go through his emails again. Doing more is just keeping the drama flames burning.

Ugh. It sounds like there is a lot of trying to explain away why these actions aren't really beyond the pale. Reading his personal email IS pretty creepy. Combing through, gathering evidence and planning on pinning down these women to 'warn' them? That sounds creepy because it IS creepy.
posted by Blisterlips at 12:45 PM on August 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


If I was dating someone who was concurrently in a committed monogamous relationship and lying to that person and seeing me on the side, I would totally want to be told. In this case it's not as clear with at least one or two of those people; was seeing them a deception on the level that Shouraku so eloquently describes or is it the kind of thing that can be rationalized by him and by a new partner along the lines of your relationship being clearly on the rocks? It sounds like it was mostly the latter. The fact that you were living together after you broke up is-- ugh. Of course it got messy and nasty.

Sidenote he told me he’d be hiking, and I’m what is now his dog

Wait a minute, did he say something about having a dog at home, and he meant you? Because that would be the sort of thing I would want to be informed about. "That dog he told you he had at home was the woman who lived with him." Nobody is going to want to date a guy who says he's going home to his dog when it's actually his partner. Maybe I'm reading that wrong but it does sound like he lied and sort of erased you from him life when talking to people, and that's got to hurt. But maybe this should just be a lesson about making a clean break in the future, so you don't wind up finding out this kind of shit.
posted by BibiRose at 1:05 PM on August 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Can I just quote the Mefi-venerated Dan Savage here for a second?

A confession: I've looked through my boyfriend's e-mail; I assume he's looked through mine. I've scrolled through his text messages; I assume he's scrolled through mine. Expecting your partner not to snoop is like expecting your partner not to fart or fantasize about other people. It's a nice thought, JB, but knowing what we know about human nature—and knowing that we ourselves snoop, fart, and fantasize about other people—it's a little unrealistic.

And I'm sorry, but when someone goes snooping and discovers that their partner is doing sex work—or is secretly gay or is sleeping with or visiting lesbian-bondage-themed nightclubs with Michael Steele—then the snooping is retroactively justified.


Give me a break with this holier than thou bullshit. After multiple years, shady behavior, and an OPEN unknown email account (there was no mention of password breaking, guys), I can't raise this snooping to the offense level of treachery.
posted by namesarehard at 1:12 PM on August 27, 2012 [12 favorites]


When I first read this question, I was thinking "oh god no, don't contact these women!" But then I put myself in their shoes for a sec, and my answer changed.

If I were one of these women, I'd want to know that this guy I was getting involved with was 1. in a serious relationship when we started talking and 2. starting things with multiple other women at the same time.

No, it's not ok that you snooped and no, your motives probably aren't great. But that doesn't change the fact that I would personally want to know this about a guy I was starting to get involved with.

If you do let these women know, do so quickly and make it clear that you're not available for further conversations. You want to minimize your involvement with this. Resist the urge to become their new confidant, or spend hours talking trash about your ex, or trying to "save" them. Just let them know, show them the evidence, and get out.

Be aware that your ex will probably tell them that you're a crazy liar. These women may or may not believe you. They may go after you because that might be easier than believing they've been lied to. Stay out of any drama like this.

Note: this is based on my understanding of the situation, which is that he started wooing these ladies while the two of you were still in a (albeit rocky) relationship and that they don't know anything about each other. But your original question is a bit difficult to follow, so I could be wrong. If he didn't actually start seeing any of these women while you were still in a relationship, then ignore my advice and just let the whole thing go.
posted by lunasol at 1:47 PM on August 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


There's a wide gap between:
In the time we were still living together but broken up I found out he was starting several relationships. &

These relationships all started while we were still dating, even though for the most part (with one big exception, that was off an on for almost a year) it was while we were in a rocky patch toward the last couple of months.

I dont think the OP is a bad person for snooping just because I don't do that. I don't even think she's a bad person because she wants to tell these girls this info. I totally get the emotional inclination to do so. I just wouldn't follow it.

I think she's a person who is not making progressing towards letting go and moving on from an apparently soured relationship because she's going through her ex- boyfriends emails looking for reasons the relationship didn't working, fixating on these potential relationships with other women, and trying to force some kind of justice (and apparently pet sitting for her ex). Maybe it would make her feel better to do this, maybe these women would really like to know, maybe it would shame her ex into being a better person... or maybe it will just drag this out into the very thing she says she doesn't want -- drama.

No one knows how it will turn out but my advice is always going to be to stay as much out of shit like this as possible.
posted by sm1tten at 1:49 PM on August 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Apologies... I think OP meant, she found out while they were still living together, not that these relationships started at that point -- they started prior. Disregard that whole section.
posted by sm1tten at 1:56 PM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Let’s take on faith that your intentions here are altruistic (there’s plenty of room for debate there, but for the purposes of this exercise I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt). I asked myself how I would feel if I were in the position of these other women. Here’s what I’m picturing:

I meet a woman online, and things go well. They go so well, in fact, that I agree to meet up with her. So far, so good! Then out of the blue I get an email from her ex-boyfriend. He explains that he went through her email account and read our private email correspondence and saved copies for himself, and he really thought that I should know that she had also talked to some other guys, even though she and I did not have any sort of agreement of exclusive relationship. Also, he thinks that he and I have a lot in common, and that he could see us being friends.

I would not be grateful to receive this email. I would be frightened. This man would sound dangerous and invasive to me. I would be concerned for my safety, and terrified for the safety of the woman in question. I would recommend that she immediately warn her family and friends about the possible danger that she was in, and I would tell her that she should not in any way leave her vulnerable pets in this man’s care. At best, he would seem slut-shamey and controlling of her post-him relationships, and at worst he would have me peeking out my windows to see if anyone was waiting for me outside. If it was revealed to me that she had contacted me during the closing months of their relationship, it would not change my opinion.

What I would like for you to consider is that, even though it had not been made official at that time, by the time he contacted these women your relationship was already over. Just like the best time to start looking for a new job is while you still have your old job, for many people the best time to start looking at prospect of a new relationship is while the old relationship is winding down. I personally like to take a while (one month for every year that we were together works well for me) after the old relationship ends before trying to start a new one, but that doesn’t work for everyone. In the last ten years, I’ve been dumped in three long-term relationships, and in all three cases the dumper had someone waiting for them when the hammer dropped. I don’t hold any animosity towards my former partners for this; ending a relationship is a painful and confusing process, and sometimes the best way to deal with that pain is to find comfort in another human being. You’ve mentioned that he has some mental health problems, and it’s entirely possible that validation that he was still capable to connecting with women in a meaningful way was what he needed in order to give himself the resolve to bring about the end that you both needed.

You now have a tangible sign that he was definitely not the right person for you. Great! Use that knowledge to take the steps you need to distance yourself from him to whatever extent you feel is appropriate. You shouldn’t have read his email, but that’s in the past and it’s something that you can’t undo. The best thing that you can do right now is forgive yourself for having made that mistake, and then move forward without entangling yourself further with your ex and his current relationships.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 3:12 PM on August 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


My vote goes to deleting the emails, not dog-sitting and putting this potential drama roller coaster far behind you.
posted by Julnyes at 3:28 PM on August 27, 2012


I meet a woman online, and things go well. They go so well, in fact, that I agree to meet up with her. So far, so good! Then out of the blue I get an email from her ex-boyfriend. He explains that he went through her email account and read our private email correspondence and saved copies for himself, and he really thought that I should know that she had also talked to some other guys, even though she and I did not have any sort of agreement of exclusive relationship. Also, he thinks that he and I have a lot in common, and that he could see us being friends.

I think it is safe to assume that the OP will not need to be this revealing. Here is a sample script based on what the woman that email me said:

Hi [person's name],

I am [ex]'s ex-girlfriend. I just wanted to let you know that [ex] was pursuing you while in a relationship and living with me, which he lied to me about.

We are no longer together, so do with this information what you will. In an effort to move on from the relationship, I will not be available for contact from him or any of his new interests.

Sincerely,

OP


Reitteration of my above post: yes he/they may thing that you're crazy or OMG FEAR YOU as was suggested above, but who cares what they think? Do on to others as you would want done on to you. If you were in there shoes, what would you want? Act accordingly, and move on.
posted by Shouraku at 3:36 PM on August 27, 2012 [11 favorites]


I think I would want to know if I were them, and I hope I would listen. But is that what is best for you, rather than to disengage and cut this guy out of your life? I don't know.
posted by J. Wilson at 3:54 PM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


OP, I know you're hurt by this information. And I know that you're telling yourself that you want to tell these women what's up in an effort to protect them.

But here's the thing. By wrapping yourself up in this drama, by snooping through his email and sending copies to yourself and ruminating over what you should do with this information... you're devoting an awful lot of time to thinking about your ex and how best to hurt him.

How much time are you spending thinking about yourself?

Stop letting this dude live rent-free in your head. Just let it go. Yeah, he may be talking to other women. Yeah, he may have been trying to start something with multiple women at once. So what? What will you gain by telling these women anything about the information that you gleaned from reading their emails? Look past the fleeting sense of victory that you might feel over your ex and really ask yourself, what good would come of this?

What would be the best revenge, lowering yourself to the point of being a tattle-tale using stolen information to rat out an ex, or moving on with your life and meeting someone better and forgetting that the ex even exists?
posted by palomar at 4:36 PM on August 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


[Folks, dial it back. Respond constructively or go to MeTa. If you think a crime is being committed, go to the police, not this thread.]
posted by jessamyn at 5:46 PM on August 27, 2012


Your ex-boyfriend's activities are none of your business. Do not intrude upon and disrupt the lives of strangers; find a therapist to help you clear any emotional debts instead.

Sever all ties with this ex-boyfriend and get on with your life.
posted by Pudhoho at 6:01 PM on August 27, 2012


He was cheating on you; it is your business. It's up to you whether you want to contact them, but I would consider doing so, in the manner Shouraku proposed. He is your ex, but you're watching his dog while he visits one of them. He's was deceiving them, he's still deceiving you, and if I were one of them, I would want to know.
posted by stoneandstar at 6:23 PM on August 27, 2012


Also-- I agree, the one reason that I might caution you is because you should do what's best for you, and if it would keep you from moving on, you're not obligated to do it.
posted by stoneandstar at 6:26 PM on August 27, 2012


I would send each of them Shouraku's email above (maybe adding in the date of the break up so he can't fudge that as an excuse?) and then have no more contact with them, your ex, or the dog. I think you would be doing these women a service. I would want to know. I'm sorry this turned out badly. Good luck.
posted by onlyconnect at 7:54 PM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]



Can I just point out that there is some legit misogyny against the OP in general in here?

1. Suggesting she's the hysterical ex-girlfriend is playing into some really damaging stereotypes about "irrational women." She's asking about whether to share facts and not start drama for the sake of drama like a "psycho-ex."

2. I see no evidence that vengefulness is her primary motivation. It actually sounds like she legitimately feels for these girls.
posted by namesarehard at 11:57 on August 27


I'm quoting this previous answer because I agree with it quite strongly. I want to apologize for the number of people in this thread who are insulting the original poster; I don't know why so many people are trying to squeeze the world into mold of a 90 minute romantic comedy.

(1) The dog: either it's now your dog, and he doesn't get it back, or no. You might have to fight to keep the dog. If you don't want to, then do not dogsit. There is no good that can come from creating those kinds of obligations between you and someone you ought have nothing to do with.

Simple question first; now the hard one.

(2) The other women: you can tell them or not as you see fit; both decisions are defensible. If you choose to do so, do not try to be part of their lives or decisions in any way: write an anonymous letter describing what you know to be true -- the emails that this man has sent to other women. Let the women decide for themselves what to do with that information.
posted by samofidelis at 8:04 PM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you know for a fact that he was having romantic/sexual relationships with other women and deceiving them about already being in a relationship with you, then there is nothing dishonourable about passing that factual information on to them. Based on your description, it is not completely clear to me that that is the case. Examine your conscience and make your decision in its clear light.

If you are certain he's been unambiguously deceptive, go ahead and tell. I would absolutely want to know about it if I'd unwittingly been a party to My Sweet Princely Hero's cheating. "Fruit of the Poison Tree" doesn't apply here, because this isn't a court of law. Shouraku's script is spot on.
posted by tel3path at 2:16 PM on August 28, 2012


I read most but not all of the responses, so apologies if this is a repeat. But I didn't see one huge reason covered why you should not do this: You are not in a relationship with these women. You really do NOT know them, and you really do not know their relationship with your ex. You have a slice of communication between them and your ex, that is all. You are almost certainly lacking context to understand whether he is fucking them over, they are fucking him over, or neither. That is one of the problems with being a jealous snooper-you interpret what you find to suit your own negative view of the ex and your own wish to get him back. You really don't know whether he cheated, whether he intended to cheat, or whether he was just seeking platonic support, and you do not have enough information to make those assumptions.

If you had something more concrete such as a positive STD test, there would be some basis for telling. You don't. Repeat: you don't really understand what was going on here, you just think you do.

Source: having been the partner of a jealous man who snooped and interpreted what he found in the worst possible way, even though I never cheated or tried to. I *know* that jealous humans twist any shred of information into "evidence" that what they fear is happening, is happening.

And I second that you should worry about yourself now and detach from worrying about how your ex is behaving. You have broken up, but you're focusing way too much energy on something that is supposed to be over. It's time to channel your thoughts and energy in new directions.
posted by parrot_person at 8:32 PM on August 28, 2012


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