Relationship ripped apart by Facebook messages
December 10, 2011 9:10 PM   Subscribe

I just read messages between my boyfriend and a former(?) flame, after we started dating.. emotional messages about sex, and meeting up. I am devastated. Help...

I really need some advice from some completely impartial people, mefi...

My live-in boyfriend of five months, (three months living together, yes i know it's soon) and I, overall, have a pretty good relationship. We have lots in common, we get along really well and I think we have a really strong connection. I love spending time with him and I am totally into him in every way - mentally and physically. I think he is one of the best guys I have dated.

We are both gay men, he is 24, and I am 28. He moved in a couple months ago when he had a hard time finding a place, and he was spending so much time here anyway, we decided it was the best thing to do. It was a little soon, but it has been working well.

He has a friend who he also works with, let's call him "A." Before my boyfriend and I officially started dating, as in "this is a committed relationship," they were fuckbuddies.

This has been the source of some tension in our relationship, especially since they both still work together and hang out occasionally, but he reassured me many times that there was nothing going on.

When he couldn't find a place to live, "A" offered for him to move in. I told him that I didn't want to be in the relationship anymore if they were going to be living together because I feel this person has no respect for our relationship and they had slept together in the past. So instead my boyfriend moved in with me.

Fast forward to this weekend, when I admittedly did a very bad thing and looked through some of his Facebook messages. Before were in an exclusive relationship there were messages between the two of them about them hooking up, etc... which doesn't bother me too much since we were both seeing people at that time.

But, after we officially became boyfriends, there are many messages back and forth saying things like "I'm gonna call you later my beautiful lover" (from my boyfriend to A); "miss you already, i think I forgot my glasses at your place," (my bf) and "I wanna sleep with you this week!" (my bf)... plus "I want a blow job in the back room again." (from "A")

Obviously once I discovered these messages, I had to confront him.. he says the messages are just messages, nothing ever happened after we started dating, and that the blow job thing is just a joke they have at work. Uhhh???

I guess I am still in shock because I feel like what rational person would ever believe such that messages like this were just that -- messages, and that nothing really happened after we started dating.

I have always felt with my intuition that something wasn't right, but I really tried to suppress it because I can be a jealous person. I have been cheated on before and I do worry probably more than other people.

We are supposed to meet tomorrow to figure out what to do.. he owns a car insured in my name, and we have an overseas trip planned in 2 weeks together.

I am so lost and don't know what to do... I don't think I can ever trust him again. He says it's over because I will never be able to trust him again.
posted by ninefour to Human Relations (30 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Sounds like it's over by mutual agreement, impartially speaking. You may have to cancel the trip.
posted by michaelh at 9:12 PM on December 10, 2011 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: I should add most of these messages were in the first month of us dating, but they still hang out sometimes and talk frequently.
posted by ninefour at 9:15 PM on December 10, 2011

When did you two become nominally become monogamous?

I would believe that the BJ in the backroom was a joke. But the others? If they were before you made it official then you two need to have a long talk. But recently. Well, cancel the trip and give him two weeks to move in with his fuckbuddy.
posted by munchingzombie at 9:18 PM on December 10, 2011

He says it's over because I will never be able to trust him again.

Well, it sounds like he wants it to be over. If there was any chance of it being salvaged, he'd be saying 'it was only for that first week, I'm such a fool, please forgive me', not 'it's over'.

All you can do from here is sort out the details and move on. Try to get him out of your place - it'll be awful to break up but still live together.

All the best.
posted by twirlypen at 9:21 PM on December 10, 2011 [13 favorites]

yeah... pretty much weather or not something has been going on I think you will always be second guessing him and have a hard time trusting him. So, weather or not something is going on, it may well be best to end it now. This is the point in a relationship where everything is shinny and happy.
posted by edgeways at 9:38 PM on December 10, 2011

Best answer: It is over. You deserve better.
posted by J. Wilson at 9:40 PM on December 10, 2011 [10 favorites]

Ugh. I'm sorry. At least you are discovering this now, with relatively little time invested in the relationship. The history with this ex plus his statement that it's over sounds like he's already decided to end things. (The "because you won't ever be able to trust me" bit sounds like he's trying to smooth things over/assuage his guilt by framing his decision as a sacrifice for your feelings--don't take the bait and try to convince him otherwise.)

If you can afford it, have him cancel his plane ticket (he ought to be able to rebook within a year) and go alone. It would be a nice way to clear your head of the relationship. It gives him a defined 2 weeks to get all of his stuff out of your place. Also, if he's a vengeful sort, you might want to change your locks before you leave.

Sorry you're going through this. It sucks. You'll recover.
posted by elizeh at 9:41 PM on December 10, 2011 [10 favorites]

Well, it sounds like he wants it to be over. If there was any chance of it being salvaged, he'd be saying 'it was only for that first week, I'm such a fool, please forgive me', not 'it's over'.

Or, BF could be angry at ninefour for snooping in his private stuff, and saying that he doesn't believe that ninefour will give him a fair shake, whatever the facts of the matter. Ninefour's clearly expressed jealousy and distrust before, and if I were the BF I might be pissed off and hurt and lashing out. Especially if I had done nothing I thought was wrong (sexy banter with fuckbuddy before being monogamous with new guy?) and yet was still being accused and distrusted.

Or, of course, the boyfriend could be a lying cheating weasel.

Ninefour, can you seperately consider whether you think he'd lie to you vs. whether he'd cheat on you but be honest about it afterwards? You need to figure out if you will ever trust this guy. If you think so, you can work towards that. If not, then end the relationship, whether the problem is with him or with you.
posted by hattifattener at 9:45 PM on December 10, 2011 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I don't think I can ever trust him again.

A lack of trust seems reasonable under the circumstances. Probably time to let this one go.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:47 PM on December 10, 2011

Best answer: I'm sorry.

As a person who has read a lot of Ask Metafilter in my time, I get the impression that this particular thing always follows the same pattern: one person in a couple gets weird feelings, does something privacy-violating to check out those feelings, finds confirmation, confronts their partner, the partner responds with "How dare you violate my privacy!!!" instead of actually addressing the meat of the issue, the suspicious partner has many confused, bad feelings about how maybe they're crazy and the other person isn't cheating, and also, are they terrible for snooping and violating their trust and privacy and killing puppies?!?

But honestly, I think the guilt and the finger-pointing about trust are such red herrings. Isn't another way of telling this story more like "So get this, I started to get these uneasy feelings in my stomach about New Boyfriend, and at first I tried to ignore them, and he totally placated me about them, but they didn't go away. So I checked them out. And they were totally right on. He was cheating on me with the exact guy I was suspicious of! Of course, when I confronted him, he tried to play it off like I had somehow killed the relationship by being suspicious, but I'm not an idiot, so I told him to stop passing the buck and give me back my keys. This really sucks, but I'm glad I listened to my intuition before I wound up backpacking around Europe with him..."
posted by thehmsbeagle at 9:47 PM on December 10, 2011 [41 favorites]

"He owns a car insured in my name" sounds like a recipe for disaster.
posted by Majorita at 10:42 PM on December 10, 2011 [4 favorites]

Knowing messages I have sent to a former girlfriend and to male friends of mine kidding around, I actually believe those could be just messages and not mean anything more has happened. Having said that, if my girlfriend/partner was still working with her/his former lover and sending messages like that back and forth, I would be a bit uneasy. Did the messages stop after the first month or do they continue to this day? If they stopped, then I am not sure why you lost trust in him. I also do not agree to dump the guy so quickly. I think I would give him a chance depending on what is said at this meeting to decide the future. I think it is critical at this meeting to watch how both of you frame things. Are you accusatory and defensive or looking to reconcile? Is he? If it turns out he is blaming you for snooping and saying yeah maybe we should end this, well, excuse the expression here, fuck him. Give him a week to get his stuff out of your apartment and let him live with A for the week he takes doing it.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:44 PM on December 10, 2011

Response by poster: OK everyone,

Thanks for your advice. Thought I'd answer a few questions.

He was NOT upset that I had gone into his Facebook for some reason, we actually went through the messages together as I pointed them out, and said "what does this mean??"

On further consideration I do believe the BJ thing could have been a joke, but the "I wanna sleep with you this week," honestly, what the hell is that?

Most of the messages were sent in the first month of our relationship with a few recently, but they were innocuous. It bothers me though that we were dating in the first month, and these messages were going back and forth.
posted by ninefour at 10:48 PM on December 10, 2011

Best answer: First of all, "just messages" is a pathetic excuse, and your BF should be way more sorry than it sounds like he is. OTOH, if it makes you feel better, sounds like he could have had "A", but he chose you.
posted by citizenface at 11:20 PM on December 10, 2011

"I wanna sleep with you this week," honestly, what the hell is that?

It is disrespectful - he does not respect your feelings - and it is crossing the line. This is sufficient reason to cut loose.
posted by krilli at 1:29 AM on December 11, 2011

It's broken, it seems to me.

Plus it's very hard for gay men to be monogamous in their 20s and 30s, IMO, so a relationship with absolute monogamy is going to be very difficult.

Step 1: take away the car insurance. It could destroy your ability in the future to get better deals.

Step 2: dig deep and muster up as much strength as you can and tell him it's over, and arrange for a speedy removal of him and his effects from your flat.

Step 3: go on the trip. Explore the place(s), take your camera, visit some gay bars and cafes and meet other guys from around the world who will be able to give you more respect and kindness.

The short-term pain you feel now will be worth it in the end. From what you've said so far, the signs don't look good for this being an LTR, however much you may want it to be so.

Good luck!
posted by stenoboy at 3:55 AM on December 11, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: He's cheating, if not physically (though the probability of that is EXTREMELY high), then at least emotionally. Both BF and his friend/coworker/fuckbuddy have been very dishonorable and disrespectful to you throughout your entire relationship with BF. DTMFA.

I'm very sorry, but tell BF to move out NOW, this week (he can move in with his friend, obviously: he won't be homeless), take him off your insurance immediately, change your door locks and go on the trip with a good friend or sibling.

Don't bother holding any more heartfelt discussions with the guy: he's been seeing this other dude throughout your relationship, both before AND AFTER you supposedly became exclusive, and apparently sees nothing wrong with his behavior: messages like "I'm gonna call you later my beautiful lover" are NOT innocent little notes between coworkers! Heck, I'll go farther: it sounds like he's just been using you for free rent and insurance. Yes, it'll hurt, but please take care of yourself and DTMFA.
posted by easily confused at 4:51 AM on December 11, 2011 [5 favorites]

Best answer: In a very short time you have given this man a home, car insurance (?!), and devotion. What has he given you?
posted by headnsouth at 5:35 AM on December 11, 2011 [7 favorites]

I thought exactly the same as headnsouth when I read this. And those things always make me wonder- why didn't he have his own place to live, why couldn't he handle his own insurance, and if you are helping him with both, why the hell is he still messing around (even in 'message' form) with someone else? And did you pay for both trip tickets!? He sound like trouble. Cash in your chips, cancel the insurance and his trip ticket and (his meal ticket) and head off into the unknown.
posted by bquarters at 6:26 AM on December 11, 2011

Best answer: IMO cheating, whether it be emotional, virtual, or physical does not have a statute of limitations. Just because you didn't catch him until a few months down the road, and the messages have slowed down since then, does not mean that his betrayal has magically disappeared.

I am always amazed by the people who say "but it was a long time ago! Early in the relationship! Cut him some slack!". He knew what he was doing was wrong and hid it from you. Hell, he could have hid it forever had you not found out, and that is the real issue. He at minimum emotionally/virtually cheated and at maximum physically cheated and hid it from you for an extended period of time. Really think about this when you decided what you will do next.
posted by Shouraku at 9:21 AM on December 11, 2011 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Hi everyone,

Thank you so much for your answers it has really helped.

He came by this morning, and it did not go as I expected.

He apologized profusely for the messages again, but then told me what I did was even WORSE: going through his messages and telling him he had to leave last night.

Last night, I told him to get out, and get a bag for the night and I would drive him to his friend's place. Instead, he packed up everything and moved out.

So this morning was not what I was expecting. I was expecting him to have a plan on how we could possibly re-build trust, and be begging for my forgiveness - NOT to tell me what I did was even worse.

So it's over. We are officially broken up. He leaves the country on Thursday and I will probably never see him again.

My trip was supposed to be for me to visit his family back home. He will already be there, the plan was that he was to return in January - obviously that's not happening now.

He still wants me to stay with him and his family on my trip... but I just don't think I can do it.

Now I don't know what to do since I have already spent nearly $2000 in flights for this trip, for myself... and I already have the time off from work and probably can't reschedule.

So do I go and stay with him as friends? Or do I do something completely different?
posted by ninefour at 12:59 PM on December 11, 2011 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: BTW if anyone has any experience with totally re-working flights and destinations with United, that would really help me.
posted by ninefour at 1:02 PM on December 11, 2011

I know it's tough right now, but it does sound like you dodged a bullet. And, no, it's not your fault. What he did was worse.

Could you still visit the country your boyfriend is from but not go to that area, or would just even going to the country be too painful anyway?

Even if you can't get the money back or the flight changed, you're free. The hurt will disappear one day.

I know it's cliche time when things like this happen, but time is a great healer, and you gotta kiss a few frogs to find your prince!
posted by stenoboy at 1:52 PM on December 11, 2011

Here's what I would do, at this point.

Given the difficulty of rearranging work and changing flights, I'd take the trip. However, I'd go alone, and use the money and time to get myself some nice new memories of the fun things that I'd be doing in [whatever country]. A holiday would be a nice thing to do for myself, at this point.

I'd also cut this guy off completely. I'm pretty against snooping, but I'm way more against fucking around behind someone's back. That shows a distinct lack of respect for the individual that you're in a relationship. Whatever feelings you have for this guy don't excuse that fact. Not only is he fucking around behind your back, he's got the gall to be angry at you for finding out. And then on top of that, he blames you for the choices he made all on his lonesome (packing up and leaving).

The one good thing in all of this is that he's leaving the country in less than a week and you won't see him again.
posted by Solomon at 1:53 PM on December 11, 2011 [2 favorites]

So do I go and stay with him as friends? Or do I do something completely different?

He's not your friend. Do something completely, totally different.

If you can change your tickets, do so. If you can't, then change your in-country itinerary. Stop thinking of it as his country and think of it as your adventure destination. Backpack through the countryside instead of staying in the city where he's sponging off his family. Search the askme archives for travel questions about where you're going.

Turn it into some time well spent alone, where you treat yourself well because you deserve it, and come back refreshed and rested, and ready to take on the next relationship on your own terms, on equal footing, and looking for an honest, drama-free partnership.

Have fun!
posted by headnsouth at 1:55 PM on December 11, 2011 [2 favorites]

I believe for $150 you can change your tickets on United. If it were me, I'd go to wherever is opposite of this guy. If you stay with is family, you know how that will work out, right? Don't do that to yourself. There is somewhere else that is wonderful to visit.
posted by Houstonian at 2:03 PM on December 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Hi again,

I called United and the change fee is $250, plus the difference between this flight and the new one, which has to be more expensive. I got a relatively good deal on this flight, and it is an expensive time to travel (over New Years). So this is a bit of a problem. In case you are wondering, I was going to Rio de Janeiro.

I can take a credit until Oct. 2012.

My instinct is to re-book the entire trip, go somewhere totally different and do my own thing. I don't think it will be good to see him because it will stop me from moving on. I also don't want my memories there to be with my ex.
posted by ninefour at 2:19 PM on December 11, 2011 [2 favorites]

Your instinct to go somewhere else is right on the money: don't go near this guy or his family, go someplace just for you --- and however much changing your vacation arounds costs, it's cheap at the price.

Take care of yourself, he didn't deserve you!
posted by easily confused at 3:26 PM on December 11, 2011 [5 favorites]

You have good instincts.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 5:35 PM on December 11, 2011 [4 favorites]

My instinct is to re-book the entire trip, go somewhere totally different and do my own thing.

posted by robself at 5:10 AM on December 12, 2011

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