How do you keep myspace from ruining your relationship?
August 4, 2007 1:07 AM   Subscribe

Myspace is ruining my current relationship - I feel I've done all I can and I don't know what else to do, should we break up? (long)

Before I met and moved in with my current girlfriend, I had a brief tryst with a woman, who unbeknownst to me, was involved with people that were in my girlfriend's circle of friends. We don't currently live in the same town as any of these people, because I relocated for work and my girlfriend moved with me. We've lived together for about 3 months now, we dated briefly 2 years ago, remained friends even though I was mostly an asshole to her, then got back together in December when I took my head out of my ass.

This other woman is sort of on the periphery of her circle of friends, and she disgusts my girlfriend - because this woman has cheated on and backstabbed some people and slept around a bit....stuff I had NO IDEA about. This woman didn't even use her real name when I knew her, and it wasn't until my girlfriend talked to me about this that we both figured out that "Lizzie" was actually "Elizabeth". And the knowledge of my past with her is obviously making her have issues with us and me as a person.

Of course I feel absolutely disgusted and ashamed at myself. My girlfriend and I have gotten checked out for STD's. Thankfully, the tests came back negative. We've talked about it a few more times and fought a little over it, but by communicating I think we've been able to work past it.

But it came up again!!! This is where Myspace comes in....she is still in touch with some people that of course have certain friends in their profile, and a certain friend has "Lizzie" in his friend list. So my girlfriend gets emails from these friends though Myspace, and I'm positive that she gets sucked in, looking at these people's profiles. And surely she'll come across "Lizzie's" profile and see her picture smiling right back at her, making my already insecure girlfriend feel even more horrible about herself. And it makes her dwell on the past, and makes her paranoid that these people she knows have full knowledge about the "Lizzie" situation, and are laughing at my girlfriend behind her back. Thus begins the vicious cycle again and I end up getting another earful about it, whereas I have repeatedly apologized and admitted my faults until blue in the face. The guilt trip that I feel that I'm reliving every time this comes up is making it really, really hard for me to see my girlfriend as someone I still want to be with. But I usually turn the other cheek and try to remember that I love her and care a great deal about her....but sometimes.....grrrrrr. I've asked her to get off Myspace completely or cut loose some of these so-called friends that know "Lizzie"...but she thinks that these friends might give her shit if she axes them and the friends she does value and keep will feel hurt, because THEY'RE good friends with the ex-communicated evil friends, and so on, etc. I don't go near Myspace anymore because of how completely fucking silly this all is.

Also, my girlfriend thinks I am being blasé because I don't seem to 'care' about it, but how can I? I admit that my character judgment was utter crap in the situation, but why should I have to feel like shit about myself and constantly soothe her repeatedly when the thought of all this happens to cross her mind? If I was to relive that or any other bad thing that happened to me in the past, I'd be suicidal. After the hours it takes us to talk/bicker/cry/whatever about all this, she eventually apologizes for being 'weak' and gives me her heartfelt thanks for letting her talk and helping her talk through it all....I know that's my job as the supportive boyfriend, but I can't do it again and again and again if she can't live with me in the present.

In case you're wondering, our relationship is strong but it's not been easy. When she brings this kind of stuff up, she also boldly accuses me that she thinks there are other women that I'd had similar trysts with and that I am secretly cheating on her now. And how she would've felt about me if she knew beforehand that I was involved with "Lizzie". I've just sat there and taken it all in....usually by the 3rd or 4th time I am fighting back the urge to raise my voice and tell her to move out. But she is in no shape to move anywhere (mentally, physically and financially) and I feel a lot of guilt for even thinking those type of things. Not to mention the job I/we relocated for is going downhill, and the town we moved to is full of a bunch of inconsiderate assholes...just makes everything much worse. It's been depressing, I've even seen a psychiatrist for christsakes, something I thought I'd never do.

I feel that it's only going to get worse unless she gets some professional help. Should we just get the hell away from each other now before it's way later than it already is?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (32 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
This is her problem, not yours.

Repeat this until you believe it.

If I am understanding your meaning of the word "tryst" here, you mean a hookup with this other girl, not cheating, correct? You were not dating your current girlfriend at the time of this hookup, right? So why does she keep harping on the issue?

You say she has issues with this girl. And I guess from that perspective, I can understand why she would be so insecure and wondering what else your judgment might lead to if you can sleep with *that girl*. But this insecurity is her thing to work through. You can help her work through it if you want, you can make things easy for her by not having contact with the other girl or talking about her, ever, but in the end, it's her issue to resolve and her decision on whether she can date someone who would sleep with a girl she considers so vile.

Axing MySpace is a good idea. I've done it, and my life is better without it. But again, this is her call to make.

Kilohertz, everything I bring up here are things you already know. If you are tired of the fighting, then clearly define your boundaries and let her know if she keeps on with this issue, you and she are history. Or break up with her. But dont' keep pinning this on yourself. Sleeping with the other girl might have been a lapse in judgment ... that's really only a question that you yourself can answer. But where you go from here is a mix of how much patience you have for your girlfriend's antics and how able she is to put the past behind her.
posted by Happydaz at 1:21 AM on August 4, 2007


When she brings this kind of stuff up, she also boldly accuses me that she thinks there are other women that I'd had similar trysts with and that I am secretly cheating on her now.

I think the problem goes deeper then Myspace. This level of jealousy, for me, would be absolutely intolerable. You weren't with your current girlfriend during your fling with Lizzie, right? Then she has absolutely no right to toss around accusations about your fidelity.

It sounds to me like on some level, your girlfriend thinks that your past is something that can be harangued away-- and obviously it can't. If she wants you, she has to take you with the life experiences you have. There's no way to erase the ones she doesn't like.

You have every right to demand better treatment from her, and you would be well within your rights to tell her that you've said your piece about Lizzie, and you're not willing to discuss the matter anymore. If she can't handle that, then you should probably consider walking away from this.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 1:38 AM on August 4, 2007


Also, my girlfriend thinks I am being blasé because I don't seem to 'care' about it, but how can I? I admit that my character judgment was utter crap in the situation, but why should I have to feel like shit about myself and constantly soothe her repeatedly when the thought of all this happens to cross her mind?

You shouldn't.
Tell her this.
Tell her that you have acknowledged, apologized, and comforted too many times already. Ask her where these insecurities come from. Why does having had a "tryst" with this girl make her feel so insecure? Tell her that you love HER. Tell her that you made a seriously bad call, and that you realize that it is not a pattern, and she needs to realize it too, without trying to guilt-trip or worry your ear off every time she feels insecure. Tell her that you love her. Tell her that these insecurities are really in her head, and as that are something that she needs to work out on her own. Offer to help her work these insecurities out (if and only if you want to), but make sure she isn't just going to give you the same lecture again. If she starts to give you the same old earful, tell her that you are no longer going to help her work out the insecurities. Take her to a psychiatrist, maybe with you, maybe without, depending on how the confrontation went. Happydaz put it well: Don't keep pinning this on yourself. It's her problem, it needs to be fixed, and you can take as active or inactive a role as you wish (or can stand). These are her insecurities, not yours. These are serious insecurities, and need to be worked on before the relationship can move anywhere positive.

If she refuses to (or can't) change, the sad truth is that you may have to break up with her.


and for fucksake, get her off of Myspace by any means necessary.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 1:48 AM on August 4, 2007 [3 favorites]


I can't even understand why you feel any guilt at all about the original relationship with this Lizzie. You were single at the time and can hardly expect to have precognition. Maybe she has character issues that make her not the best choice of partner, but I know I won't be lying on my death bed regretting the sex I *did* have.
The others above have dealt with the poinsonous nature of jealousy and insecurity in a relationship, so I won't repeat it here.
posted by Abiezer at 2:15 AM on August 4, 2007 [2 favorites]


Ditto what Abiezer said.

If I were in your shoes I'd tell her to take her insecurities about Lizzie and about you cheating on her, and tell them to a confidante or psychologist. Also, that when she brings it up, she's putting a lot of stress on the relationship, and basically saying she doesn't trust you. I'd also tell her I have a limited amount of patience for defending myself against unjust accusations, and if she really wants the relationship to be over she knows where the door is.
posted by BrotherCaine at 2:34 AM on August 4, 2007


What are you apologising for?! You haven't done anything wrong. You slept with some girl who turned out to be a slut. Its not the first time that's happened to a bloke - lets face it, she wouldn't be a slut if no-one would sleep with her.

You did even know your current girlfriend at the time, let alone that she knew 'lizzie' or that she hated her. I'm guessing lizzie stole her man at some point (or a very close friend's man), she seems to be overly sensitive to this girl's promiscuous behaviour otherwise. There has to be some reason behind it.

She thinks that this relationship reflects badly on you as a person - you cant do anything about that. You cant change the past or how she now views you. She either has to get over it or you need to break up.
She's being a hypocrite, Lizzie is friends with some of her friends, is she chewing them out over it? She wont ditch them over it so I guess not.

Did she find out about this relationship before or after she moved with you?

Stop apologising, you did nothing wrong. Relationships you had before you met your current girlfriend are none of her business! She has no right to accuse you of infidelity - unless you're not mentioning that you were in a relationship when you had your 'tryst' with Lizzie
posted by missmagenta at 3:13 AM on August 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


What the hell? You didn't know about Lizzie's misdoings. You hadn't been dating your girlfriend when you slept with Lizzie. So why is she pissed off at you? Is this like Michael in Office Space getting pissed off at his girlfriend for sleeping with Lumbergh or something?

Your girlfriend is being completely irrational and is taking this to a level you cannot control nor soothe. As others said, set your boundaries, tell her firmly you love her, you're not cheating on her, and you would of course not sleep with Lizzie if you knew what you know now but cannot change the past. And then refuse to discuss the issue further. Maybe MySpace contributes to it, but your willingness to discuss the issue at length again and again is probably leading to her obsessing about it even more.
posted by schroedinger at 3:46 AM on August 4, 2007


I have a friend that has a girlfriend just like this.

She needs to get over herself. You're not seeing "Lizzie", and you didn't while you were with your current girlfriend. What you did before this relationship really isn't any of her business.

She also really needs to a least cut off those friends that have ties with "Lizzie", or get rid of Myspace altogether. Worrying about upsetting people by removing them from your friends list is just plain asinine. The universe doesn't revolve around Myspace.

If you really love her and think you can get through all this, then stay. If not, then leave. It is unfair to have to go through this, because it's not your problem and she's dragging you into it anyway.
posted by C17H19NO3 at 4:04 AM on August 4, 2007


"Difficult but strong" sounds like my last relationship ... along with the jealousy, insecurity, and general "YOU LOSE" that comes with dating an insecure personality.

You've done nothing wrong. I don't think it's going to work out between you two for the long run -- sorry.
posted by SpecialK at 4:41 AM on August 4, 2007


Girlperspective here: your girlfriend is kind of crazy. It's okay to feel kinda stupid in retrospect, when you find out that somebody who hooked up with turned out to be bad news, but it *happened before you met your girlfriend*. You didn't cheat on her, you didn't hang out with somebody she hated when you knew she hated her- your liason with Lizzie is exactly *nothing* to your girlfriend.

Well, nothing except a tool she can use to manipulate you. Stop letting her manipulate you- you're over this, she needs to get over it. If she can't, you need to move on. Do you really want to spend a couple more years with somebody who plays emotional roulette with you?
posted by headspace at 4:50 AM on August 4, 2007 [2 favorites]


I suspect that in a few month you'll realize your girlfriend is the one who is, in fact, bad news. She's manipulating you whenever she feels like it, under the guise of making oyu be a good boyfriend. Frankly, she sounds pretty unstable.

So, let's compare the two women:

Lizzie/Elizabeth:

- Used a nickname (for the record, this isn't like using an alias. It's just a nickname
- Is rumored to have cheated on someone (no confirmation here, just rumor)
- Is rumored to be a 'slut' (what is a slut? Someone who slept with someone your girlfriend wanted to sleep with?)
- Has 'backstabbed' people (not sure how nice she should be to this group of friends, considering they're gossiping about her and calling her na,es)

Your girlfriend:
- Is making a huge deal about a relationship you had when you were not together
- Uses her jealousy to make you toe the line
- Has no shame about making a BFD about photos on myspace despite the fact that she is, ostensibly, an adult
- Is paranoid that people are "laughing" at her because you fucked some woman months ago (this screams serious mental health issue to me)

I could go on. But seriously, do you really think it's your job to put up with that crap?

And by the way, But she is in no shape to move anywhere (mentally, physically and financially) raised a lot of red flags. It's not your responsibility to take care of this woman. She's an adult, and you've only lived together for a couple of months. Don't throw her out on the street, obviously, but she's clearly manipulating you to feel bad for her. Don't. If you must, give her some money to get a new place. You will be better off in the long run.
posted by miss tea at 5:18 AM on August 4, 2007 [10 favorites]


Y'know, it sounds like there's more to this than Lizzie. I'm not excusing her behavior, but let's look at it from her perspective - you dated her for awhile, were an asshole to her during and after, decided to take her back, and then move her to a depressing town where she knows nobody for your job which is going downhill. Her friends and family are probably being unsupportive at best. She might be stressed out, and while she could handle the Lizze issue at home - where her job, support network, and familiar surroundings are - this might be the straw that broke the camel's back. The way she's treating you IS NOT right, and this IS NOT your fault, but I'm surprised so many people are shocked at her behavior.

Have you talked with your psychiatrist? Could you take her with you for a few sessions, or get her a psych of her own? If this whole thing is being caused or exacerbated by the stress of the move then a good psych could help. If nothing else, the psych could also point out the points on which you two are incompatible, which would make the decision of whether or not to break up easier.

Good luck!
posted by christinetheslp at 5:39 AM on August 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


Man, the alarm bells went crazy for me on this one. I stayed in a relationship for 3 years because I felt guilty about leaving her, convincing myself she wouldn't handle it well at all. She had the jealousy thing going, the relationship was constant work, and the difficulty was never ending. I avoided arguments, like you, because there was no reasoning with her.

And it was bullshit.

I didn't leave her because I was afraid of the confrontation, afraid of not being with someone, etc. When I finally did make the break, she was fine. Pissed, but fine. Still pissed several years later, I guess, but fine.

After I got out and moved on, I found out that a loving relationship isn't supposed to be so hard. Sure, it takes work and understanding, but you shouldn't dread being in everyday situations because of your relationship. I know your question wasn't about leaving your girlfriend, but you've already thought about it. I had mentally "left" the relationship long before we actually ended it, and I was miserable.
posted by shinynewnick at 5:45 AM on August 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


1. Using a nickname is not the same as lying about your identity. Come on.

2. Does your gf have a job in this new town? Does she have any friends? Does she have any sort of a life that doesn't involve you?

Moving is stressful, and so is being alone, for most people. It kind of sounds like the issue isn't Lizzie at all, but your gf's apparent lack of anything to occupy her mind. You know,solitary confinement is a punishment for a reason. If she was busy with work or school and her social life, she probably wouldn't be fixating on this (unless, of course, she's crazy). This sounds like a symptom of a much larger problem.
posted by joannemerriam at 6:44 AM on August 4, 2007


Walk away from your gf. Anyone that continues to give you an "earful" about a past relationship which occurred before you were dating, even one that may have been in questionable taste, isn't worth your time or love.

Either she moves on from this issue, or you move on from her.
posted by modernnomad at 6:50 AM on August 4, 2007


I think your current gf is more screwed up than Lizzie, honestly. She sounds crazy.
posted by callmejay at 6:51 AM on August 4, 2007


Your girlfriend is insecure and maybe she has had some issues with other men in her past (or it could even relate to issues she had from childhood) that this may be triggering memories of. I know for me, I used to have abandonment issues with guys so I would kind of flip out and think someone was going to leave me over silly things... and that actually had more to do with my parent's divorce than it did with any boyfriend. It just pushed buttons with me, though.

Do you really like this girl? Do you really want to be with her? Because I'll tell you what helped me. Was when a guy finally took me by the shoulders, looked me straight in the eye and said that he cared about me, only me, and that nothing else mattered and that he wasn't going anywhere because he wanted to be with ME. Instead of saying I was acting stupid or why should he put up with it, he just made me KNOW that I was important to him, and made me feel respected. By doing that, he was able to calm me down because he gave me exactly what I needed to hear. And all of the other women and things in the world became less important once I felt more security.

Of course, I have no idea where that guy is 15 years later. C'est la vie!
posted by miss lynnster at 7:15 AM on August 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


Your girlfriend:

- Is making a huge deal about a relationship you had when you were not together
- Uses her jealousy to make you toe the line
- Has no shame about making a BFD about photos on myspace despite the fact that she is, ostensibly, an adult
- Is paranoid that people are "laughing" at her because you fucked some woman months ago (this screams serious mental health issue to me)

I could go on. But seriously, do you really think it's your job to put up with that crap?

And by the way, But she is in no shape to move anywhere (mentally, physically and financially) raised a lot of red flags. It's not your responsibility to take care of this woman. She's an adult, and you've only lived together for a couple of months. Don't throw her out on the street, obviously, but she's clearly manipulating you to feel bad for her. Don't. If you must, give her some money to get a new place. You will be better off in the long run.


Here miss tea is insightful, friendly but not patronizing, and her answer bears repeating. Seriously, I could have used these few paragraphs about ten months ago.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 7:34 AM on August 4, 2007


MySpace isn't ruining your relationship. Your girlfriend treating you like crap is ruining your relationship. Address that, not your concerns about a web site.
posted by majick at 7:34 AM on August 4, 2007 [3 favorites]


Miss Tea has it. Some people can be very adept at foisting their negative issues on other people, especially when they're in a relationship. This sounds like a classic case of this and unless there's something that you're not telling us, your girlfriend either needs to deal with this now or you should get out of the relationship.
posted by ob at 7:51 AM on August 4, 2007


I feel I've done all I can and I don't know what else to do, should we break up?

I was going to post a long comment about the importance of talking and hashing things between couples, to ask least try it, you know?

But looking at your posting history, you're asked three questions since June15th, all of them about your crazy girlfriend, who says you can't please her in bed, is insecure and probably suffering from emotional issues from her abusive marriage.

The only thing you two need to talk about is who's moving out. Seriously. Your are allowing her to mentally and emotionally abuse and it's showing in these three posts. The first is very kind and loving. This last one sounds just ragged. You're done, you're toast, about to crack ("usually by the 3rd or 4th time I am fighting back the urge to raise my voice"). You are emotionally drained and beaten down. Time to escape.

Side note: Your GF may not know anyway to behave in relationships other than abusively since she married young and was abused.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:56 AM on August 4, 2007


Everyone else has it - you'll notice that there's an amazing amount of continuity/synchronicty in these answers (and in my experience, that's quite rare here). I'll agree with them, and wish you good luck with this. Your girlfriend most definitely needs professional help. You two might think about taking a little break while she gets it. You'll both be much better off in the long run.
posted by Nabubrush at 8:03 AM on August 4, 2007


Yeah, nth-ing Miss Tea. Current girlfriend is being unreasonable, manipulative and just plain crazy.

Also, get thee away from MySpace. In my experience, while it isn't the cause of the problem, it certainly enables a lot of the drama. Your time is more valuable than this.
posted by Alterscape at 8:06 AM on August 4, 2007


This has nothing to do with MySpace. It sounds like she has issues that could easily occur due to other reasons.

Take all these MySpace people which drive your g/f insane. Now, imagine you worked with them or you girlfriend worked with them. The end product of her actions would most likely be the same.
posted by jmd82 at 8:56 AM on August 4, 2007


Yeah, I have to agree with everyone else here: This relationship is over. Period.

Your soon-to-be-ex girlfriend needs to understand that your past is just that: past.

I've been the jealous fucker before. It achieves nothing except driving your significant other away, and for very good reason. The bottom line is that, with (presumably?) no reason she does not trust you. This is her stuff to deal with, not yours.

And echoing what was said above: she is an adult, and you are not responsible for her.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:18 AM on August 4, 2007


Seeing as how your girlfriend has had past abusive relationships, she's probably looking for the same behavior from you. However, since it seems that you are a decent enough guy, the only "abusive" thing she can latch onto is your past fling. It sounds weird, but she doesn't know what a stable relationship is supposed to be like. Your girlfriend isn't doing this on purpose, she just doesn't know any better.

If you *really* want to stick around, get that girl some counseling. What she is doing is not right. Any mistake that you make will be misconstrued and twisted to be used against you so that she can have her dysfunctional relationship.

No matter how many times you two talk about what happened, it will never change. I'm sure no one here would blame you if you chose to move on with your life.
posted by idiotfactory at 9:34 AM on August 4, 2007


Oh wow. How old is your girlfriend? Be aware that major mental illnesses (schizophrenia, bipolar) show up in your early 20s.

Putting aside the crazy, her behavior is abusive. If the genders were switched here, nobody would hesitate to tell you to run away for your own safety. I had a female friend once whose boyfriend was obsessed with a past relationship of hers, and that whole situation just screamed "potential domestic abuser" to me.
posted by footnote at 12:20 PM on August 4, 2007


In case you're wondering, our relationship is strong

No it's not. This is the first misconception that you need to get rid of. This kind of behavior is not indicative of a strong and trusting relationship.

The second misconception that you need to get over is that this is all somehow your fault. You were single back then, and you had the right to go out with whomever you chose. The fact that your current girlfriend cannot move past this is her problem, not yours.

Your current girlfriend sounds needy, clingy, insecure, and emotionally manipulative. Why are you putting up with that?
posted by chrisamiller at 2:00 PM on August 4, 2007


I came back to take back my previous advice, and say what miss tea said better.

I stayed in a crappy relationship for 5 years because she "had nowhere else to go", and I can say I didn't do myself or her any favors by doing so. In the long run, she found somewhere else to go, and we were both much happier apart from one another. I wasted time for both of us by not breaking up the second I realized she was not the one for me. I think you are in the same boat. Do you and her a favor and break up soon so you can both move on while you are still young and have time to find someone else.

BTW - I'm happily married now.
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:19 AM on August 5, 2007


usually by the 3rd or 4th time I am fighting back the urge to raise my voice and tell her to move out.

Stop fighting the urge.
posted by anildash at 5:43 PM on August 5, 2007


Wow, thank you to everyone for your replies. I think I've read all these posts like a hundred times. I think I am caving in though...and I feel pissed at myself for it.

She is returning from a short vacation tonight and while she was away she was calling me up almost daily, telling me how horrible of a time she was having (she was visiting her parents). Stuff about how their relationship is dysfunctional, blah, blah, blah. I eventually told her that the only person that can change that is her and it's between her and her parents. It got through her skull and she was again very thankful of me listening/talking through it with her (although I was rolling my eyes a lot).

And fyi - my original post above was the result of hearing about the "Lizzie" affair for the n-th time over the phone after her 2nd or 3rd day away.

The anger I'm experiencing I think comes from feeling like I didn't really get any 'time off' from her even though she was out of town. And the realization that I've literally become a therapist and now it's my job to solve all her problems...?? And adding injury to insult, the cat (hers, it's whiny, needy and demanding too, go figure!) clawed the bejesus out of my hand.

I think that she will probably pick up on this vibe tonight and it's gonna be tears and crying all over again. I just have no idea where I put my balls at so that I can let this all out. I used to be ruthless.

Damn.
posted by kilohertz at 7:56 PM on August 6, 2007


Wow, I should've known better than to read past the point where you guys seriously didn't know that 'Lizzie' and 'Elizabeth' were the same person.

Ditto the 'Your relationship sounds insufferable' chorus. Consider calling up Lizzie and finding out what she's doing with herself these days; she sounds like just the companion to take the edge off this lunacy, plus you might get some perspective on your gossiping ridiculous MySpace friends in the bargain.

Oh, and:

STOP FOR FUCK'S SAKE WASTING YOUR TIME ON MYSPACE BY THE WAY FOR FUCK'S FUCKING SAKE!
posted by waxbanks at 7:56 AM on August 10, 2007


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