Now I Know How Simone Warne Must Have Felt.
September 29, 2007 9:30 PM   Subscribe

Is my fiancée cheating on me, or is this simply a case of a wrong number at the wrong time?

My fiancée and I have been together now for almost three years and by and large we've had a happy, healthy relationship. Sure we've had our problems. I'm more interested in sex than she is and we don't go out as often anymore as we once used to (leading to her telling me on a few occasions that she feels a little bored) but as I said, by and large we've been very, very happy together, and are looking forward to getting married in a year or two and starting the rest of our lives together.

Last Monday, my girl told me she had been asked to go out on a girl's night out with a female friend from work and some of her friends. I will admit, I wasn't thrilled with the idea. I know what guys are like and while I trust her, I don't trust a city-full of drunken guys seeing my sexy lady and trying to hit on her. But I'm sane enough to know I don't control her, and even more sane enough to know that I couldn't very well ban her from going or anything, so all I could do was suck it up and try and make the best of a night at home by myself. Plus, bottom line, I do trust her and had always told her I would always trust her until she gave me a reason not to.

She had told me she was only planning on staying out till midnight but at 5am this morning she crawled into bed, drunk. She told me that only one guy had tried to hit on her, but she had rebuked him and that all she could think of all night was me. She would have had sex with me there and then, she also said, except she was too tired. Given it was 5am and I had hardly slept most of that night out of worrying, I was too tired for it myself so we slept until 11am and then went about our usual Sunday.

And then at 1.30, as we watched a DVD, she got an MMS. She went and grabbed her phone and sat down next to me and we looked at it together. It was an unknown number. She opened the MMS and it was a picture of a toned naked guy, full frontal, with his dick in his hand. And the message along with it read "Northern suburbs. Send me a pic of you and we'll talk."

Naturally my mind started racing. She swears that she didn't do anything wrong but she also admits that this looks very, very suspicious. Although I'm inclined to believe her (she has never given me a reason not to trust her), I think she may have, in her drunken state, accidentally given a guy her number last night which led to this MMS. She started to cry and claims that not even that happened, and again I am inclined to believe that, but I'm not sure.

At any rate, she deleted the MMS straight away, so unless he writes back, we can't really test any of these theories by writing back to him. For her part, she has said that if he does write back, she will write back to him, in front of me, that he has the wrong number.

The only other theory I can come up with is that maybe some dude was chatting online to some chick, and she gave him her number while asking "where do you live?" In response, he sent her this picture of himself with the attached message. This theory does make some sense as 'Northern Suburbs' is usually a reference to the northern suburbs of Sydney. In Brisbane, where we live, we don't call our northern suburbs the Northern Suburbs. We call it the northside. So basically, if she had been cheating on me, and this dude was from Brisbane, he would have more likely written Northside. Send me a pic of you and we'll talk." It's not much of a theory, I'll grant you, but it's a theory nevertheless.

I should also mention that in the limited time I've had to think about this, I have realised that if she hadn't gone out last night and we had still gotten this message, I would never have even suspected for a second that she was cheating on me or otherwise. But in the light of the fact that she did go out for a drunken night on the town with hordes of lecherous guys on the prowl all around her, my mind can't help but put A and B together...

So Metafilter, what's your take on this? Is my fiancée cheating on me? Or do you think she accidentally and innocently gave out her number and doesn't remember it? Is this simply a case of a wrong number at the wrong time? Or is it something else I may not even have considered.

Over to you...
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (131 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
She's not. It's some guy being a guy. Don't worry about it.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:35 PM on September 29, 2007


You're engaged, she went out and got a text message, if your relationship can't stand that test you've got other problems, an impending marriage bing a big one.

Ignore it, don't let this turn in to something it never was to begin with, everyone gets a little crazy when they feel that somehow they may lose someone they love. If anything just ask her to call if she's going to be out later than you had both led each other to believe.
posted by iamabot at 9:36 PM on September 29, 2007 [6 favorites]


It was an accident. If she was hiding cheating from you, she wouldn't have gotten back on the couch after getting the MMS. She would have ignored it or gone into another room.
posted by spec80 at 9:37 PM on September 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


Girls don't want dick pictures. Sorry guys, hate to burst your bubble, but we really, really (really!) don't. If your girlfriend were cheating on you, she wouldn't have asked some random guy to text her a picture of his dick. Sounds like a wrong number, or a male escort spamming phones, looking for a married guy in the suburbs to blow for cash.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:37 PM on September 29, 2007 [27 favorites]


Random. Period.

In order for her to give out the number, she'd have to have a bit of face time with the bloke, no? Regardless of how dark or loud the bar/club was, he wouldn't be requesting (or sending) a photo. That's gotta be spam.

I think the "Northern Suburb" line clinches it, because even as a mere (repeat) visitor to your country I know that local vernacular means everything.

And if she did drunkenly give a guy her number, a MMS of this nature would make her realize what LOSERS are out there, and appreciate you all the more! Go dry her tears, wouldja?
posted by squasha at 9:41 PM on September 29, 2007 [2 favorites]


...I think she may have, in her drunken state, accidentally given a guy her number last night which led to this MMS.

You're probably right. In the grand scheme of this, Is this unforgivable?
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 9:43 PM on September 29, 2007


"this" = "things", and i'm not implying she asked for the dick pic. also, on review i think it's more likely spam
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 9:45 PM on September 29, 2007


ThePinkSuperhero... I love you to little internetty bits, but that's an incorrect blanket statement. There are definitely some girls I know who want to inspect the package before buying, as it were. That said... straight boys, not a good idea to send those unless you've been asked.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:48 PM on September 29, 2007


I think that you're inventing reasons to freak out. I think that you are mad at her for forcing poor you to spend a whole evening alone and are blowing this out of proportion.

If she was cheating on you, or if she had given someone her number, why on earth would she have opened the phone in front of you? Also, guys met in bars do not send pictures of themselves with their dick in hand to women -- it's a phenomenally unsuccessful strategy. I don't even think it's likely that she drunkenly gave her number out. Yes, alcohol lowers your inhibitions, but it doesn't generally make you spontaneously spout digits.

But in the light of the fact that she did go out for a drunken night on the town with hordes of lecherous guys on the prowl all around her, my mind can't help but put A and B together...

Oh, stop it. You certainly can "help it." Hordes of lecherous guys indeed.
posted by desuetude at 9:51 PM on September 29, 2007 [11 favorites]


I think you might simply want to relax a bit. You're coming up with some odd scenarios. This would be like her freaking out when you get spam emails from random porn sites. Which would be insane.

This? Same deal. And same diagnosis.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 9:52 PM on September 29, 2007


Its random spam. Turn your lizard brain down and trust her. Also, apologize to her for not trusting her.

At my workplace, we had a cell phone that lived in my desk drawer - used only very rarely, as a spare phone for some of our field employees. About once a month, this phone would get some random text message such as you describe (no pix, primitive phone).

Its just random spam. Honest.
posted by anastasiav at 9:55 PM on September 29, 2007


There are definitely some girls I know who want to inspect the package before buying, as it were. That

In a text message with a line like, "Northern suburbs. Send me a pic of you and we'll talk"? Are these the same girls who are responsible for stores still carrying tube tops?

Seriously, that some girls somewhere like dick pictures is not really relevant to this particular situation. The poster would probably know if his fiancée liked them. And, like others have said, a guy she already met wouldn't be asking for a picture.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:58 PM on September 29, 2007 [2 favorites]


she has never given me a reason not to trust her

Then fucking trust her already. Occam's razor: Either it's an accident or she drunkenly gave her number to some loser - either way it's no harm, no foul. Stop reaching for excuses.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:05 PM on September 29, 2007 [2 favorites]


while I trust her, I don't trust a city-full of drunken guys seeing my sexy lady and trying to hit on her

Just admit that you were looking for reasons to pick her apart before she even left the house. Stop being That Guy. I urge you to examine why you "trust" her yet worry so at the thought of men hitting on her, because that makes absolutely no sense. When other girls flirt with my boyfriend of 3 years, I think to myself, "YAY!!!!" It boosts my self esteem to know I am awesome enough to continue to interest an awesome guy that other girls also find to be awesome.

Also, she is not cheating on you with Penis Man. If she were, she would not have let you see the message so readily without pre-screening it. Also, I agree with TPS, but even if "some" girls like penis text messages, you would know by now if your girlfriend was one of them.
posted by gatorae at 10:07 PM on September 29, 2007 [11 favorites]


I agree with those who say that if she had been handing out her number last night, she wouldn't have opened the phone with you around. And also I agree that even if she did give out her number and was attracted to someone, he totally fucked his chances with her by sending her a dick picture. Jesus, what a dumbass strategy.
posted by crinklebat at 10:08 PM on September 29, 2007


TPS has it. That's totally gay spam.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:11 PM on September 29, 2007


"... Is my fiancée cheating on me? ..."

Friend, if you're looking to The Green, instead of into your girl's eyes for the answer to your question, you are looking in the wrong place, entirely. Seriously, guy, if you've been with her for 3 years, and can't tell when she's lying or telling the truth, on what, for you, are core issues, you don't know her well enough to marry her. And, if I could venture an oblique suggestion, meant in the nicest, most sincere way possible, you need some poker lessons.
posted by paulsc at 10:12 PM on September 29, 2007 [2 favorites]


n-thing the gay spam. I mean, duh!
posted by small_ruminant at 10:23 PM on September 29, 2007


If your fiancee were cheating on you and trying to hide it, do you really think she'd go "Oh honey, I got a text, let's look at it together!"?

I don't think she's cheating on you, but I think you sound insecure in her faithfulness to the point of it being silly.
posted by thehmsbeagle at 10:24 PM on September 29, 2007


your fiancee goes out to a bar and gets drunk... and the next day she gets a DIRECTED, cock-pic MMS on her phone out of the blue?

do you guys get pictures of cocks on your phone all the time, because I sure don't.

what are the odds of this... 1 in 10,012031,141342?
posted by Mr_Crazyhorse at 10:29 PM on September 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


OK, here's an exercise for you- try to take a full-frontal pic of yourself holding your dick, with your cellphone. Doesn't work, right?

Spam.

I think you've got some other issues you need to talk through with her.
posted by mkultra at 10:30 PM on September 29, 2007 [3 favorites]


This thread is useless without ... er ...

Quacks like spam to me, plus her behavior was all wrong for somebody who might even maybe possibly unwantedly and unwantonly get a message from some guy who chatted her up. She'd either be "this loser wouldn't leave me alone all night" with you, or "it was only us girls, honest".

But bottom line, it just doesn't read like a follow-up message. Even the biggest loser wouldn't do a dick shot in this circumstance (OK, well, some might, but they wouldn't have successfully chatted her up in the first place).

I agree you need to examine your own insecurities here. (Maybe by talking to your girl, maybe by talking to a pro.)
posted by dhartung at 10:40 PM on September 29, 2007


Last Monday, my girl told me she had been asked to go out on a girl’s night out with a female friend from work and some of her friends. I will admit, I wasn't thrilled with the idea. I know what guys are like

Sounds to me like you'd made up your mind to make a big deal out of her going out before she ever left the house. If one night out with her friends causes this much stress you may need to sit and talk because most people/couples do this kind of thing as a matter of course.
posted by fshgrl at 10:40 PM on September 29, 2007 [7 favorites]


Oh my god. Seriously, chill! As everyone said, it's some random guy.

It also sounds like it would do both of you a hell of a lot of good to have more of a life separate from each other - as in, have friends and go out with them without each other. Give yourselves a chance to miss each other! No wonder you're a bit bored, if you're spending 24/7 together and have such a straight existence that one night out with the girls practically gives you a stomach ulcer.
posted by Lucie at 10:42 PM on September 29, 2007


Why would someone who she gave her number to not know what you look like and ask for her pic in the MMS? Total contradiction. That seems to seal the deal 100% to me.
posted by lpctstr; at 10:45 PM on September 29, 2007 [3 favorites]


She came back at 5am so I'm guessing she got pretty hammered. My guess is what happened was while she was drunk to really notice, some asshole hitting on her took her mobile, typed his number into it and called his own phone, thus getting your girl's number. Then being a sleazy asshole who would do something like that, he sends a picture of his dick to her. Or else it's spam. Either way nothing to get worked up about.
posted by afu at 10:49 PM on September 29, 2007


do you guys get pictures of cocks on your phone all the time, because I sure don't.

That's because that option is turned off by default on most cellphones.

Let me know if you want to know how to enable it.
posted by melorama at 10:52 PM on September 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


It was cellphone spam, or a wrong number.
But in the light of the fact that she did go out for a drunken night on the town with hordes of lecherous guys on the prowl all around her, my mind can't help but put A and B together...
Do you really think so little of your girlfriend that you imagine she would be helpless in the face of a drunk guy asking her out? She's not capable of saying no? She loves you, try to calm down and start trusting her, or eventually she is going to start feeling suffocated and unhappy.
posted by Joh at 11:01 PM on September 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


Her phone sounds awesome! Mine only gets boring goddamn text messages from friends. I have to supply my own cock pictures. Played out.

(Trust, but verify.)
posted by waxbanks at 11:03 PM on September 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oh, here's a different theory for you. One of her drunken girlfriends sent 'hot guy porn spam' to your girlfriend just for laughs, or to try and provoke you (if the friend thinks you are the jealous type and wanted to provoke you).
posted by Joh at 11:04 PM on September 29, 2007


She swears that she didn't do anything wrong but she also admits that this looks very, very suspicious. Although I'm inclined to believe her (she has never given me a reason not to trust her), I think she may have, in her drunken state, accidentally given a guy her number last night which led to this MMS. She started to cry and claims that not even that happened,

Dude, what did you say to her to make her 'admit' it looked very suspicious, and then cry. I'd bet that was a tense morning even before the text arrived.

I have no experience with unsolicited text messages, and like just about everyone else here I want to tell you to lighten up and stop being so suspicious. But I also have to say, I've done the coming home later than I said, blind drunk, and saying slightly odd things about other guys and the relationship thing several times, and every time except one I was cheating or about to cheat. The other time I was sort-of-trying to hook up with a coworker (it wouldn't have been cheating because it was within a non-monogamous relationship).

So I don't know, but I do know that a relationship where you give your partner as little space and trust as you seem to give your fiancee is not in a good place, whether that shows up as cheating or not.
posted by crabintheocean at 11:08 PM on September 29, 2007


if the friend thinks you are the jealous type and wanted to provoke you

I am guessing it's obvious that the OP is the jealous type.

I mean, I was sure of it by the fifth or sixth sentence.

(I don't know if it's a case of a controlling, possessive personality, or low self-esteem, but either way ... the OP shows a massive lack of respect for his "sexy lady.")
posted by wintersweet at 11:13 PM on September 29, 2007 [9 favorites]


Local here. I just polled mobile owners in the household. They've not ever received photo-spam (or any other for that matter). One of them suggested it was a prank played on yr girlfriend by a friend - perhaps there's a website where you can solicit things like that (Lavalife?) There are other options. Perhaps a friend of hers gave out her number. Someone else (male) said it was to remind her of the experience (um he was a lot coarser).

But there's no way we can tell or you can tell. You get to make a choice here, to trust or be suspicous. What if you trust her and she cheated on you? There's a possible of STDs, and a break-up. What if you are suspicious of her and she didn't cheat on you? There's a break-up on the way and a chance you lose the love of your life. Which scenario is worse? Pick the other.
posted by b33j at 11:14 PM on September 29, 2007


Oh I forgot the other two, you're suspicous, justified and break-up, or you trust her, are justified and live happily ever after.
posted by b33j at 11:16 PM on September 29, 2007


Phone spam or online non-Brisbanite craigslist-type NSA person given wrong number. (And, like TPS said, probably gay.) After all, all Australian mobile numbers have the same area code.

Plus, what dhartung said.
posted by holgate at 11:20 PM on September 29, 2007


Sydney-based spam. Nobody in Brissy calls anything "the northern suburbs".
posted by obiwanwasabi at 11:30 PM on September 29, 2007


(A) Call the damn number it came from.

(B) I've been told that on certain sites on the internet, there are these ads where they have photos of gorgeous guys / girls, and underneath text like (Cherri 25 Fortitude Valley) or (Mike 19 Bowen Hills). These sites do some IP-address geolocation, obviously, to stick the name of a local suburb under the pictures in order to convince you that there are these gorgeous people out there right now in your city waiting for you to come fuck them.

Although obviously cruder, that MMS referencing the "northern suburbs" is aiming for the same kinda thing, I think. Sydney has Northern Suburbs. Adelaide has Northern Suburbs. Darwin has Northern Suburbs. Melbourne has Northern Suburbs. Baghdad has Northern Suburbs. It's just a trick to make people think they're getting contacted by a local.

I think it's spam, basically. I wouldn't be surprised if you got charged $3.95 a minute if you called the number.

I could be wrong, but still - if she met some guy, and talked to him, and gave him her number, don't you think he would have told her then where he lived? What good is it just telling her by MMS he's in the "Northern Suburbs"? She's hardly going to be able to get in the car and go find him now, is she?

The whole "Northern Suburbs" thing makes me think it's got to be either a random stranger or spam.

Still, follow option A and report the results kthx.
posted by Jimbob at 11:33 PM on September 29, 2007


Most likely your fiancé isn't cheating on you, but this doesn't mean that you don't have a problem with your relationship. As a person who doesn't have much use for nightlife with a wife who enjoys regular nights out I sympathize with your feelings, but it is clear that you are not dealing with this very well. What you're describing is not trust. You were upset about your wife going out in the first place (not reasonable) and staying out significantly later than she planned (reasonable but a totally different issue), this weird occurrence just gave you a peg to hang it all out on.

The phone call could be a wrong number, a bad joke, some asshole getting her contact info by any number of underhanded means (afu's scenario, or just knowing the phone model well enough to get it to cough up its number). A cheater is unlikely to take unknown calls in front of their significant other. Barring being annihilated to the extent of blacking out, you can't "accidentally" give someone your telephone number, even when you're drunk.

That "city-full of drunken guys," those "hordes of lecherous guys on the prowl all around her?" If you really trusted your girlfriend they wouldn't be relevant. If you don't sort out these issues about her being out on her own, and your disparate inclinations towards night life, these problems will keep coming back to haunt you and your trust issues could eventually cause real harm to your relationship.
posted by nanojath at 11:36 PM on September 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


Aah I see, she deleted the message so now you can't get the number. Damn. Good times could have been had.
posted by Jimbob at 11:38 PM on September 29, 2007


do you trust her? then believe her.
posted by thinkingwoman at 11:54 PM on September 29, 2007 [2 favorites]


I think it sounds ridiculous that 'going out for one night with female friends' is anything worthy of stress. But leaving that aside, I have occasionally gone out with friends and told my partner I'd be home by 11/midnight/whatever, but once I'm out and drunk I've thought 'just one more drink' and stayed out sometimes much longer, most memorably til 6am because there were no cabs. At no point was I ever even approaching the possibility of cheating, I was just having a great night out with friends. Especially if she doesn't go out much more, this seems the most likely scenario to me.
The message sounds like spam to me, not a real person, but it seems most likely that she or the girls she was with drunkenly put her number into something (competition entry, etc) which put her on a list, as I haven't heard of random stuff like that (wouldn't there be problems if it was accidentally sent to a minor? You can't just randomly text people with explicit pictures!)
posted by jacalata at 11:58 PM on September 29, 2007


She is, but it has nothing to do with this text. Also, you're being the evil jealous/nosy/controlling fiancé. Welcome to Earth. :(
posted by trevyn at 12:51 AM on September 30, 2007


I think we don't know the answer. I think the poster does. I think he needs to focus on asking himself what the answer is.

Whatever is going on, the poster's hurting. Either he's having trouble dealing with insecurity and the normal situations people get into, or his woman isn't on his side. I think it is less important to figure out right now what is going on and more important to figure out why it hurts--that is, why is he beating up himself over non-existent betrayal, or why is he staying with a fiance whose cheating on him.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:55 AM on September 30, 2007


As a guy who gets irrationally jealous on occasion, I have to say; OP you're going off the deep end. I mean, this would be beyond the pale even for me.

Chill, dude, or you're going to fuck up your relationship.
posted by Justinian at 1:10 AM on September 30, 2007


Brisbanite here. Personally, I'd say 'wrong number'. God knows it's happened to me more than once, that i've gotten a racy sms from out of the blue from an unknown number. My usual response is 'blah, idiot'. They have, in fact, coincided with me going out sans husband more than once. His response? 'huh, wrong number' or occasionally 'oh look, spam'.

It's a freaking mms. Yeah, porn, but you live in the internet porn capital of the world (suprising, but true).

Man, it's time for some soul-searching on your part. Your response to the incident indicates mistrust, jealousy, insecurity, lack of respect, unhealthy levels of cling, and melodrama. Over a (likely misdirected) MMS. Your level of response is something I'd consider perhaps warranted if you had listened in on an explicit phone conversation, or found IM logs of similar, or walked in on her actually cheating. None of these things have occured. Geez. Next you won't be allowing her to talk to a guy one-on-one, unchaperoned.
posted by ysabet at 1:22 AM on September 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Spam. Serve chilled.
posted by flabdablet at 1:45 AM on September 30, 2007


One thing that stands out a mile to me (and it's not anything in hand of the MMS guy) is that you were expecting her at around midnight & she didn't turn up till 5AM.

If she didn't give you a call to mention she'd be later than expected then I think that's very inconsiderate to say the least.

I would have been worried in your situation (you mention you slept little that night) & I would have expected a wife or GF of mine to give me a 30second call or even a 1 line sms to let me know she was going to be home considerably later than she expected.

Nothing to add on whether she cheated or not on you, you can do the Sherlock Holmes theorising but next time she goes out with her female friends you'll be assuming the worse, I think it's less to do with what she's done & more to do with the fact it's in your nature to be jealous.
posted by selton at 2:35 AM on September 30, 2007 [2 favorites]


You're kind of a psycho. Calm down.
posted by Roman Graves at 2:36 AM on September 30, 2007 [7 favorites]


the damn dirty hippy used to stay out past my expectations on occasion, it's easily resolved by reminding her that I worry if I don't hear from her past a certain number of hours when I expected her home. She's not pretty considerate about it.

Don't worry about the staying out late or the texting, she's not going anywhere just make sure she understands you appreciate a heads up so you don't worry when she's going to be out past your mutual expectations.
posted by iamabot at 2:50 AM on September 30, 2007


Just for the sake of some balance in this thread: I think she's cheating on you.

I mean, she isn't interested in sex anymore. Not in sex with you, to be more precise. "Too tired." Yeah, right. Ask yourself how often you've heard that one before. And then she goes out binge drinking with some random dudes from the northern suburbs or whereever.

Can't you put two and two together!?
posted by sour cream at 3:00 AM on September 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


It seems like a wrong number or text message spam. I occasionally get text spam (where I live my cell provider doesn't do pics) and it would be a pretty miserable life if my husband freaked out every time I got a text offering me a tropical vacation or whatever.

As far as being late, it sounds like she doesn't get out much. You let her go pretty grudgingly this time. I wouldn't be surprised if she just lost track of time while she was drunk and having fun.

Since she probably did nothing and you made her cry, I think you should apologize. With flowers. And a promise to stop being so crazy when it comes to trusting her.
posted by christinetheslp at 4:57 AM on September 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


I think if she posted this question from her view, most, if not all, of us would be telling her to DTMA.
posted by spec80 at 5:00 AM on September 30, 2007 [6 favorites]


"I know what guys are like and while I trust her, I don't trust a city-full of drunken guys seeing my sexy lady and trying to hit on her."

Read that over and over to yourself followed by, "The very fact that I said this, in reality means that I do not trust her"
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 5:05 AM on September 30, 2007 [2 favorites]


Whether she cheated on your or not (which she didn't), I would be wondering why your finacee' can't go on a freaking girl's night without you acting like it's a Big Deal and a Thing You'll Have To Endure. Her going out with her friends is not about you.

You don't own this "sexy lady" and she doesn't need to defend your "ownership" of her every time she interacts with a male. It's no wonder you made her cry, you took what was probably a fantastic night away from you and twisted it into something else about you and your jealousy.

You need to break up with her so she can find someone who trusts her without having to set conditions.
posted by ukdanae at 5:27 AM on September 30, 2007 [12 favorites]


It's spam and you're being neurotic, paranoid, and possessive.
posted by cellphone at 5:59 AM on September 30, 2007


Hooooly crap, dude.

The following irrational statements would have me running away and not looking back, were I your fiancée:

my girl told me she had been asked to go out on a girl’s night out with a female friend from work and some of her friends. I will admit, I wasn't thrilled with the idea.

Why? Why on earth would you have a problem with your fiancée going out with her friends? Can you seriously not appreciate the fact that people in relationships still need friends of their own? And that part of having friends means seeing them on occasion?

while I trust her, I don't trust a city-full of drunken guys seeing my sexy lady and trying to hit on her.

This is a classic line from someone who doesn't, in fact, trust their partner. The whole point of trusting someone makes the other people in the equation irrelevant. Saying you trust her up to the point that some other guy hits on her means you don't trust her at all.

She went and grabbed her phone and sat down next to me and we looked at it together.

I think this might worry me the most. Who freaking looks at text messages together? This indicates to me that either 1) you were still sulking so much that she felt the need to prove to you that nothing happened, or 2) you are so controlling that she always shows you her text messages. Neither are the sign of a particularly healthy relationship.

She swears that she didn't do anything
I think she may have, in her drunken state, accidentally given a guy her number last night


See that right there? She says one thing, you suspect another? That is the definition of not trusting someone. You say you're "inclined to believe her," but the fact that you've posted an AskMe and have spent so much time dwelling on this (your opener was "Is my fiancée cheating on me" for pete's sake) indicates otherwise. If you were actually inclined to believe her, you would believe her, and you certainly wouldn't have badgered her about it to the point of making her cry.

So we've established that you don't trust your fiancée. Since you say that she's never given you a reason not to, that means this is your problem. You need to get over your insecurity somehow - getting some friends of your own, or a hobby, or something to occupy your time so you don't dwell on things like this so much is a good start. Trying to put yourself in her shoes (when you go out, do you melt into the arms of every girl who hits on you?) (if the answer to that question is "I don't go out," see my first suggestion) and realizing that, like you, your fiancée is an autonomous human being with the ability to make her own decisions, will help too.

Frankly, you have a potential self-fulfilling prophecy on your hands. Your fiancée sounds trustworthy indeed, but your insecurity and jealousy are going to drive her away if you don't stop this. Sit down with her, apologize for being a jealous bastard, tell her you're going to work on your insecurity. Ask her to work with you on this. If she's going to be much later than she expected, a phone call to let you know she's okay is reasonable. (One phone call. Not hourly check-ins with an attached picture message to prove she is where she says she is.) See also the bajillion and a half AskMes about relationships where one partner's sex drive is higher than the other's, since maybe that is contributing to your insecurity.

But most importantly, appreciate that most women would not put up with this bullshit. Your fiancée is a rare find, and you should be focusing your energy on making her happy so that she wants to be with you.
posted by AV at 6:05 AM on September 30, 2007 [35 favorites]


On the bright side, even in the worst case scenario, if he felt the need to send a picture of his cock, it at least implies she hasn't seen it already.
posted by Abiezer at 6:05 AM on September 30, 2007 [2 favorites]


(leading to her telling me on a few occasions that she feels a little bored)

You need to fix this or she will start cheating. Getting jealous and a little crazy over a random MMS is not fixing it. Now she probably feels stressed about hanging out with her friends and somewhere in her head, she's building a bunker (if she hasn't already) and stocking it with "I hate you" rations. If she manages to finish the bunker and gets it half way stocked, YOU are toast.

Lay off of her and start giving her reasons to feel excited.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:18 AM on September 30, 2007 [7 favorites]


If I was the recipient of the MMS, and my fiance pulled this jealousy act on me, I would be really, really upset that he didn't trust me after three years (which, incidentally, is exactly how long we've been together). I would also be instantly repulsed by that level of insecurity. It's completely bizarre to me that you would even give a second thought to her going out with the girls. Or hell, even a mixed group from work. I've done it many, many times, and my fiance has never had a hint of jealousy or insecurity. I've even told him about guys who have hit on me, and we laugh about it together.
posted by desjardins at 6:47 AM on September 30, 2007


The Pink Superhero, tube tops can be quite useful after shoulder surgery (but maybe should be moved to the "Surgical Appliances" section of the store).
posted by JimN2TAW at 7:08 AM on September 30, 2007 [2 favorites]


I know what guys are like and while I trust her, I don't trust a city-full of drunken guys seeing my sexy lady and trying to hit on her.

If you get rid of "sexy lady," you sound like a parent talking about his teenage daughter. I cured my mom of this bullshit line when I was 15, simply by explaining that it was bullshit. You trust her or you don't. It's really, really icky that you feel the need to have so much control over a grown woman.

I agree with christinetheslp. You ruined what sounds like the only night out with her friends she's had since meeting you (???) by making it all about you. Then you accused her of something she didn't do based on circumstance (god, you're sounding more and more like my mom all the time), and then you made her cry. This is your fault. Apologize. And treat her and her friends to another night out on their own, which you promise to be sane about.
posted by lampoil at 7:33 AM on September 30, 2007


Confront her, as angrily and loudly as possible, claiming that "you know" and that you've "found everything." If she asks what you're talking about, just yell louder. She'll either break down and admit it or storm out in wronged frustration. Depending which one of these things she does, you'll know whether your suspicions are right.

Oh, does that sound like really, really bad advice? That's because it is. Don't do the private-eye thing and try and figure out if she's telling the truth. You have to learn to trust each other. Otherwise, things might escalate to a situation like I detailed above.
posted by tehloki at 7:40 AM on September 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


You need to deal with your jealousy. The first tip-off is that you "weren't thrilled" with the idea of a girls' night out. Do you realize how ridiculous it is that you're getting possessive and jealous about the idea of her hanging out with her friends without you?

The picture is clearly something that you don't have to worry about. But you do have to worry about yourself, because this kind of clingy, insecure jealousy can destroy a relationship in the long term, including a marriage.
posted by Dasein at 7:53 AM on September 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Dude. Just because being jealous is normal and the temptation to play "private is eye" is huge, and just because any action or thought you might have or take against your girlfriend because you suspect she is fucking somebody else - at the end of the day, none of that is evidence against the fact that she still might be lying to you. You have a gut, I assume? My gut, every time I betray it, it wins.

In other words, if you believe that this was some random message, you and the rest of this fucking room are delusional. What if some random guy fucking with her? Maybe, and that means she gave out her number. What if a close friend fucking with her? Maybe, and that means she's talking to her friends about being unhappy in the relationship.

I'm not condoning any particular course of action here. I just don't want you to feel bad for "ruining her girl's night out". Hey man, you're human. But I'd like to point out that hey, you're going out with this person, and that's about the extent of it. You have to be careful when it comes to being dependent on another person's actions for your own happiness. A small problem or suspicion can rock your relationship, and make you feel really bad. And that kind of instability, frankly, is unflattering, and destructive.
posted by phaedon at 8:00 AM on September 30, 2007


I vote you dump her over this. Not really because she's cheating on you, but because your behaviour is jealous and controlling and she'd be better off without you.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:09 AM on September 30, 2007


AV has it. Please don't marry this girl until you've worked your jealous paranoid controlling shit out.
posted by ottereroticist at 8:23 AM on September 30, 2007


Oh, and I don't know who Simone Warne is, but if you're comparing yourself to a celebrity whose partner cheated on her, then you're a drama queen to boot.
posted by ottereroticist at 8:24 AM on September 30, 2007


You really owe her an apology for this incident, at the very least. However, your relationship will probably be healthier if you work through your jealousy, paranoia and control issues with your fiancee.

If she had something to hide, she wouldn't look at text messages or MMSes in front of you. She would ignore it or have the phone on silent so that you wouldn't even know she was receiving messages.

As for the not coming home when she planned to, well that happens when you are out having a good time with your friends. To keep you from worrying she should have called or sent you a text, but being drunk, she probably lost track of time and wasn't thinking about that anyway.

If this was me and my husband, I may have gotten a phone call at about 1AM making sure that I am okay - he's not jealous, but can be a worrier. Once I tell him that I am and that I was still with my friends and would be home later, the issue would be settled. Given that you were so bent out of shape about this outing in the first place, I don't think a conversation like this would have went well for you. It sucks to be at home worrying, but calling in a fit of jealousy and worry is not the best way to deal with it.

Also, even if the MMS was real, don't you think the guy would give a little more information than a vague explanation of where he lives and a request for a picture? It seems awfully generic. Wouldn't a real guy say something more flirty, or have I been married too long?

You really need to work through your trust issues with your fiancee. It seems to be affecting many parts of your relationship. You say it's the other guys and not her. Were you one of those other guys at one time? (Not necessarily with her, but with anyone.)

Again, if this was me and my husband, I would be really pissed at you for being so suspicious of me. Like Jimbob suggests, I would phone the number on speakerphone in front of him so he could see what a jackass he's being.

However, do not take this into your own hands and start looking through her phone to figure this out for yourself. Do not ask her to call the number in front of you - this will not end well unless she volunteers to do it herself. Either of these scenarios will end with her being even angrier with you for not trusting her. Keep in mind that she will only be volunteering to call the number to shut you up and "earn" your apology.
posted by melissa at 8:34 AM on September 30, 2007


Simone Warne intercepted a text message meant for her husband's mistress. This is hardly that. If she slept with this guy, wouldn't the message be something like, "Remember this dick?"
posted by Locative at 8:49 AM on September 30, 2007


I know what guys are like and while I trust her, I don't trust a city-full of drunken guys seeing my sexy lady and trying to hit on her.

No, not every man in that city is drunk, or wants to hit on your fiancee. You do not trust her, as others said, you keep looking for reasons not to trust her. It sounds like you are looking for a reason to tell her "no more girls' nights out". You don't want to go out, she does, and you can't put people in a box when you are done playing with them. If she wrote her and told us that her fiance was acting like this, I bet 90% of the responses would contain DTMFA.
posted by kellyblah at 8:51 AM on September 30, 2007


You really owe her an apology for this incident, at the very least.

Jesus Christ. Why are all these people coming in here and acting like the fact that you don't trust her is this huge fucking deal? Fine. You don't trust her. Don't feel so bad about it! The next time your girlfriend stumbles in drunk at 5am and gets dirty dick texts, you're going to apologize to her? Your problem, sir, is feeling one way and acting another. I mean, brother, you love this woman, even if she did make a mistake like this, you'd have to forgive her. Not up for that kind of sacrifice? Then recognize your situation for what it is. But either way, don't hang yourself over this. Everybody's got hang-ups, and by going "public" with yours here, it's a lot easier for people to criticize the nuances of your actions than hers.

But whatever you do, don't solve your "jealousy" problems by apologizing to your significant other. You're not solving anything there; hell, you're digging yourself a deeper hole. Sometimes it's hard for guys to hold on their autonomy within a relationship, when "falling in love" for some people turns into "spending every moment with each other" or "complete trust". Being in a relationship is a much bigger concept, I feel, and I recommend that for your own good, you create some emotional distance. You get wrapped up too close to some people, it can burn you. Take a break. Talk. Sometimes the best part of situations like these is how you get yourself out of them.
posted by phaedon at 9:05 AM on September 30, 2007


Are you really this controlling? OK, I mean you hold it in really well, but your girlfriend goes out with her palls once in three years and you freak out in advance because guys may hit on her, and then you freak out later and think she's cheating?

I have never cheated, will never cheat, and yet I still manage to go out and have a good time in public places without my husband, sometimes with all women groups, sometimes in mixed company, and sometimes with male friends. As far as I can tell my husband is handling it well, because he trusts me, and that trust is the foundation of a healthy relationship.

Also, here's something else: Sometimes I flirt. Flirting is not cheating. I almost never flirted when I was single, because it made me uncomfortable and I didn't know where it would lead. But now I do know where it will lead: nowhere, because I would never cheat on my husband. So I have fun flirting, feeling sexy, remembering that more than one man in the universe finds me attractive. Flirting is not cheating.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 9:09 AM on September 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


For real? If you were that worried about her where you were up all night, sleepless, then why didn't you send her a quick message, or give her a quick call to see if everything is all right? I'm not talking calling her at the stroke of midnight, but 1am, sure.

"Hey love, just seeing how your night's going. Message me back later, love you lots."

Christ's sake, you're acting like you're her parent, and that's really not the way you should act in a relationship, unless it's--you guessed it--parent to child. From your post, it sounds like she doesn't go out much, which is fine, to each their own.

However, why didn't you just make plans with your friends? You had a week to make plans. "Hey Chuck, let's play poker with Craig and Jeff at my place." Married, dating, engaged or whatever, a girl isn't going to want to spend all of her waking moments around her guy. We have friends, too.

Also, just FYI, us ladies can usually take care of ourselves, especially in groups. Some guy coming up and talking to us is... some guy coming up and talking to us. There's definitely a group of men out there who all act like a guy talking to Their Girl™ is OH MY GOD TERROR ALERT MAGENTA. Seriously. Know what happens most of the time when a guy and girl interact randomly at a bar? They talk. Probably for a few minutes or so. Then, they go their separate ways. You're acting like they have chainsaws hiding in the hems of their pants to sever you from Your Girl. OH GOD THE HUMANITY!

...

Anyway, bottom line is that you need to learn to trust her, or break it off. If you can't trust, you're not ready to get married.
posted by Verdandi at 9:39 AM on September 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


You need to deal with your irrational jealousy if this relationship is to stand a chance. Good luck.
posted by LarryC at 9:57 AM on September 30, 2007


Last Monday, my girl told me she had been asked to go out on a girl’s night out with a female friend from work and some of her friends. I will admit, I wasn't thrilled with the idea. I know what guys are like and while I trust her, I don't trust a city-full of drunken guys seeing my sexy lady and trying to hit on her.

Short version:

Oh, sack up.

The issue of your totally off-the-wall response to a gay spam message aside, this is insane. Do you expect her to live in a gilded next to you for the rest of her life?

Apologise for being a total arse and then get yourselves to pre-marital counseling. Which is a great idea for every engaged couple, and even more so when one of the engaged parties has issues like this.

Long version:

Marriage is a very long undertaking. People evolve over time. Over the course of the next 10 to 50 years, your spouse will develop interests, hobbies and friendships you do not share. If you do not wish to completely stifle the growth of your partner, you need to leave room for individual growth and activities.

One of you may want to say, sail around the world. Take a cooking class in Tuscany. Go out on the piss. Whatever. You cannot be joined at the hip 24/7/365 for 50 years, unless you're that really insular irritating couple nobody likes.

Don't be that couple. If you cannot cope rationally with a night on the tiles, you're really not going to cope well when she wants to take off for a weekend writing workshop or whatever. So, really, you guys sound like you need to do some work around this issue with the help of a 3rd party.
posted by DarlingBri at 10:15 AM on September 30, 2007


My vote is that her friends did it. The conversation probably went something like this:

Them: Hey, how come we never see you out any more?
Her: Oh, Second Account is always afraid that some guy will hit on me.
Them: That's bogus, you should DTMFA!
Her: Well it's not like he's really that bad, I mean, he would never make me cry over it or anything...
posted by anaelith at 10:39 AM on September 30, 2007 [2 favorites]


Naturally my mind started racing.

your own problems -- not your girlfriend's -- are quite evident if a random spam MMS of somebody's dick ignites this apocalypse of obsessive suspicion
posted by matteo at 10:56 AM on September 30, 2007


Them: He's not confident enough to trust you out on the town after three years?
Her: No, of course he trusts me, he just doesn't trust other men.
Them: ....
posted by Roman Graves at 11:32 AM on September 30, 2007


"Northern suburbs. Send me a pic of you and we'll talk."

Send me a pic of you translates to "I'll meet up with you if I like how you look". This is not a message sent by anyone she has met before. It's either spam, a wrong number, or a joke by the same friends who persuaded her to stay out all night.
posted by yohko at 11:49 AM on September 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


"Hey girls, [Second Account's girlfriend] is engaged to a total controlling, jealous, paranoid asshole."

"Yeah. It's so sad. She's such a nice girl."

"If only we could make their relationship end so that she could find the great guy she deserves!"

"Hey, I've got an idea. If he's really that controlling..."

"Yeah?"

"and he's really that jealous..."

"Yeah?"

"Get me my cell phone, I think I have an idea."
posted by InnocentBystander at 12:08 PM on September 30, 2007


I think if you really knew what the "girls' night out" was like, you'd be able to cope more easily. What's typical: the ladies drink too much and talk about guys in ways that guys might not appreciate. They dance and flirt. The ones with boyfriends don't give out their number to anyone, and they usually don't take anybody's number either. They like being admired by the men, but they're not looking to hook up with anybody.

Talk with your girlfriend about fidelity and what it means to both of you. What do you consider cheating? What's inappropriate, and what's just harmless flirting? You're going to have to have this conversation eventually -- have it now, before it becomes a huge problem.
posted by wryly at 12:18 PM on September 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


I have no idea if she's cheating. I've never heard of naked man phone spam (it's interesting that so many say it's spam but no one has actually received a similar picture) but the text doesn't sound like it's from someone she's actually hooked up with, particularly that it references a part of a city that isn't yours.

But there is clearly something wrong with your relationship. Sex is an issue, and has been for at least a year based on your earlier question. You haven't worked out how to handle different libidos. Maybe she doesn't want sex or maybe she doesn't want sex with you. She's bored. You sound controlling and overbearing and jealous, to the point that one of the seemingly few times she wants to go out with other people turns into a huge deal; apparently your relationship is very insular and neither of you have separate interests and friends. She stays out to five am but doesn't call/text to say she'll be late, though somewhat excusable by drunkenness. And then you sit there worrying for hours but don't call yourself. I'd have probably called at one or two under the circumstances, just out of worry. You can't rationally deal with the very odd cockspam. She cries, you think she's cheated despite the repeated assertions of trusting her. You don't trust her.

but as I said, by and large we've been very, very happy together, and are looking forward to getting married in a year or two and starting the rest of our lives together

All the little things you've said and said about her suggest that very, very happy is a serious exaggeration, and you don't sound remotely ready to be married until you genuinely and realistically work out some of your problems. While getting married might seem like it makes sense in a go with the flow kind of way or the next logical step it's disastrous to think that somehow a ring and a vow and a piece of paper will magically improve the situation.
posted by 6550 at 12:40 PM on September 30, 2007


if she hadn't gone out last night and we had still gotten this message, I would never have even suspected for a second that she was cheating on me or otherwise. But in the light of the fact that she did go out for a drunken night on the town with hordes of lecherous guys on the prowl all around her

You've made a valiant effort to convince yourself and us that you trust HER, just not the rabid men all around her. But you need to face the fact that you don't actually trust her, because you don't . If you can't let your girlfriend go out with the girls and have some fun, you're wound up too tight about her. You're lucky that she can go out with her friends and have fun without requiring you to take her out to do so every time. You're lucky she has friends. Believe me, girls are more than savvy to the wiles of drunken men hitting on them. If you are engaged and you trust her, then you're engaged and you trust her. THAT'S IT. There is absolutely nothing suspicious about going out with one's friends. The fact that you were uncomfortable about it before she even left, I think, indicates some paranoia or more likely insecurity on your part.

Also: if it was someone she'd met in the bar, why would he have asked for a picture of her?

Id' just like to point out that in the countries where they force their women to walk around with a cloth over their head, it's your SAME logic that prevails: it's not that you can't trust her, it's more that if men see her, they'll get hot and do something stupid.
posted by scarabic at 1:44 PM on September 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


[a few comments removed -- EASE UP or take your ire to metatalk.]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:20 PM on September 30, 2007


Dump her. Seriously.

Then she can find a less controlling boyfriend. Cause, hey, guess what: control of this insane magnitude, with the "I don't trust others" BS and making her cry - it's abuse. You're abusive. So dump your girlfriend so she can find someone who treats her properly.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 3:14 PM on September 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Original poster here. After reading through this entire thread, I have to say I’m a little shocked. I mean, I know Ask Metafilter doesn’t do relationship-filter very well but this kind of took the cake. It’s my fault that I didn’t explain things a little better in my original question. It’s my fault that in writing this AskMe I succumbed to a bit of comical hyperbole which allowed many here to read more into the situation than what was going on. But it’s also the fault of many (but not all) in this thread for projecting what I suspect is their own faults and prejudices on my relationship.

I mean, if I really were this controlling, abusive guy as many here have made me out to be, would I have even let her go out? No, of course not. As someone who once worked with people and women who had been victims of domestic violence, I know all too well the form that domestic violence of an emotional nature takes. The kind of man who controls through guilt is the kind of man who wouldn’t have given a second thought to simply not allowing his woman to go out, and wouldn’t have come into a public forum to ask for relationship advice.

Let’s review. I said she had been invited to a girls night out. I was not happy about it, but I knew that I couldn’t stop her so she went out. If I was Mr. Controlling Abusive Boyfriend, my AskMe would have read “My fiancée had been invited to a girls night out. I didn’t let her go and now she’s got a dick pic.” So again, as someone who has worked extensively with victims of DV, I take great offence to the notion I am myself a perpetrator of such ugliness, especially given as how I take great care to ensure my interactions with my fiancée don’t constitute DV in any way, shape or form.

But I did get jealous. I’ll plead guilty there. Who here calling for my blood can honestly say they’ve never been jealous before? For my own part, I think I actually did a pretty good job of controlling my jealousy. Again, having worked with victims of DV before, I can tell you with some authority that a lot of guys who experience jealousy deal with it in a much uglier way than me simply getting a little sulky. Is me getting sulky being clingy? Yeah, probably. But so what? She’s kind of clingy to me as well and I like that. We’re a very close couple, each others best friends, despite whatever anyone in this thread may have insinuated. And we think it’s cute. You can all cast your own opinions or judgements on what that might mean for us, but at the end of the day the fact is we both acknowledge we’re pretty clingy towards each other, and we like it that way.

So, yeah, I got jealous, but I think I handled it better than most. And then she gets a dick pic on her mobile phone, which played into that jealousy and led to this AskMe. An AskMe written in the heat of the moment and, with the benefit of hindsight, written not because I actually thought she was cheating on me, but because I was looking for someone to explain this strange MMS to me. With the benefit of hindsight, I look back at me writing this AskMe and I see that while my jealousy had stopped me from thinking entirely straight, what I was really looking for confirmation; confirmation to what I pretty much suspected was not infidelity but some strange coincidence.

And to those who did (and there were some), thank you for your help. I had never known that there were guys (both gay and straight) who simply spammed mobile phones with dick pics in the hope of finding a guy to blow for cash. Some research on the net proved this happens. But as many have noted here, it is rare. So let’s look at my opening question again. An opener which had a couple of possibilities, as opposed to one simple assumption.

“Is my fiancée cheating on me, or is this simply a case of a wrong number at the wrong time?”

It seems that this has been answered. It was the latter option; a case of a wrong number at the wrong time. And despite the level of bile and vitriol that this thread has generated, it was useful in providing me with that answer from those few comments who actually decided not to project, not to judge, but to actually read the original question and provide me with the answers I was seeking.

For the record, in the hours between asking this question and now, my fiancée and I have talked about this whole affair, and I did apologise for making her cry. It wasn’t one of my finer moments but these moments to happen in any relationship (and for us, such moments are rare). She apologised for not ringing or SMSing me to say she’d be out later. And all is pretty much well in our world again. No need for anyone to dump anyone, funnily enough. And when she does go out on another girls night out again at some point in the future, which I’m sure she will, the lessons learned from this whole experience will be dutifully applied.

To those who helped me here today, thanks very much. I appreciated it.
posted by Second Account For Making Jokey Comments at 4:30 PM on September 30, 2007 [2 favorites]


Wow. I had to register just so I could provide some semblance of balance to this thread. You people seem to be responding not to this guy, but to someone in your OWN past, judging by your convenient ignoring of anything he says which doesn't make him the bad guy. He is not nearly as jealous and controlling as you make him out to be.

He says he trusts his woman, but not the drunk horny guys at the bar. I can see how that could be interpreted as him actually not trusting his woman. I think he's just saying that the situation makes him uncomfortable, not that he thinks she would actually do anything wrong. Is this insecure? Sure it is! But keep in mind, it sounds like this isn't something she does very often, if ever. He doesn't even say how he approaches her about this, just that he 'isn't thrilled'. He may not have even said anything to her about it at all. Clearly, he recognized that his thoughts were irrational.

Hardly anything has been mentioned about her behavior. She comes home 5am, drunk, without calling. I don't think this is that big of a deal, aside from not calling, and it appears that neither does he.

I'm assuming that she hasn't gotten any type of naked guy pics on her phone in the past. I think the OP would have mentioned this. Then she gets one the next day after being drunk at a bar? I don't see how anyone can say this is just a coincidence. It seems clear to me that she gave her number to some guy at the bar. If it's some type of spam, then it's the result of her giving her number to somebody at the bar. Either that or one of her friends gave out her number, and that's easy to find out.

To clarify, I don't necessarily think that her giving out her number while drunk is that big of a deal. She could have done it for a variety of reasons. But it should be noted that this is most likely what happened. He has every right to ask her about it. His insecurity before the fact is a separate issue, and IMO, completely understandable.

So, OP, to answer your question, no I don't think she is cheating on you, but I do think in her drunken stupor she gave out her number to some guy, and didn't remember it the next day. Since she doesn't remember, and you can't ask her why she did it, there's really no point in dwelling on it. I'd work on making your relationship stronger and lessening your insecurities, so the next time some guy asks her for her number when she's drunk, even her drunk self will have the sense to say no.
posted by gratuitous1 at 4:48 PM on September 30, 2007


But I'm sane enough to know [...] that I couldn't very well ban her from going or anything, so all I could do was suck it up and try and make the best of a night at home by myself.
...
And when she does go out on another girls night out again at some point in the future, which I’m sure she will, the lessons learned from this whole experience will be dutifully applied.

Is one of those lessons that a reasonable person not only doesn't stop his fiancée from going out with friends, but doesn't even wish he could? Because I'm getting the sense that—despite being an authority on domestic abuse and jealous guys and all—you don't see anything wrong with saying that you weren't happy with the idea of her having a night out without you. "I can't very well ban her from going" is not something that would even cross my mind if my wife were invited to a girls' night out and for some reason I wanted her not to go. To me at least, that goes beyond clingy and sulky and skirts towards bizarrely jealous and controlling. That's what stuck out for me when I read your question, anyway.
posted by hades at 5:04 PM on September 30, 2007 [4 favorites]


I mean, if I really were this controlling, abusive guy as many here have made me out to be, would I have even let her go out?

Oh, dear. You really can't help yourself, can you?
posted by desuetude at 5:14 PM on September 30, 2007 [2 favorites]


I mean, if I really were this controlling, abusive guy as many here have made me out to be, would I have even let her go out? [...] I was not happy about it, but I knew that I couldn’t stop her so she went out.

What people have repeatedly pointed out in this thread is that this attitude, in the context of a loving, trusting relationship, makes absolutely no sense. You don't allow your partner to do things they enjoy. Your partner doesn't need your permission. Instead, you come to some agreement on what you both want your relationship to look like, and then you stick to that. From what you've written here, it doesn't seem like you've come to that agreement yet, or you wouldn't be upset by this girls' night out.
posted by desjardins at 5:27 PM on September 30, 2007 [3 favorites]


"I can't be emotionally abusing her because I've worked with domestic violence victims." is on par with "I am not racist because I have black friends."

It's not a very good excuse. Most of the replies, except for a very blunt few, are accusing you of being a full blown abuser. However, you (and everyone else) do have tendencies to be jealous and to be suspicious especially when we have emotional blinders on. Just take this thread as an indication that you were smoking enough to set off the fire alarm. Pinpoint those insecurities within yourself and work on them. Ultimately, it will improve you as a person with or without your relationship.
posted by spec80 at 5:32 PM on September 30, 2007


I have to second hades.

No one is accusing you of domestic violence, but it seems like you're saying, "There are these horrible people who beat their wives and emotionally abuse them. I don't do this, so I must be okay."

A reasonable person might, I grant you, hesitate when his or her partner wanted to go out with friends, male, female, whatever. But a reasonable person considers where this impulse comes from and recognizes it as an unhealthy one.

would I have even let her go out? Your fiancée is an adult woman. You do not "let" her do anything. I do not "let" my boyfriend go hang out with his friends. I don't "let" him have relationships with his ex-girlfriends or his other female friends. He chooses to do so, and he does so with my blessing. He is an adult, and he can choose who he wants to spend time with. I trust him, and I trust his judgment.

There have certainly been occasions where I've been unhappy because I wanted to do foo activity with him, and he wanted to do bar activity with someone else (male or female, irrelevant), but ultimately it's his decision what to do, and usually we resolve this with a conversation about what we individually want to do and when there's time to do it. (The inverse of this is of course true as well.) This is not a question of me "banning" him from going out, so much as a discussion of our individual preferences at that time and finding ways to make both of us happy.

If you trust your fiancée, you trust her regardless of where she is going or who she is with or what kind of spammy text messages she's receiving. I'm really concerned that you don't, and also that you don't realize this.
posted by fuzzbean at 5:39 PM on September 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


"What people have repeatedly pointed out in this thread is that this attitude, in the context of a loving, trusting relationship, makes absolutely no sense. You don't allow your partner to do things they enjoy. Your partner doesn't need your permission."
posted by desjardins at 5:27 PM

You are 100% correct. But you, as well as desuetude above you, are reading that statement all wrong. You're reading more into it than what is actually there. Read it again, slowly if you have to, and then maybe you'll understand that what I mean when I say that is this;

If I was an abusive boyfriend, I wouldn't let her go out. If I was. Operative words here, folks.

I am referencing the view of many up-thread who think that I am. So again, I am asking these people, challenging their assumption that if I was an abusive, controlling boyfriend, I wouldn't let her go out. Only in that context, would I not 'let' her go out.

But since I am not, the concept of 'letting' her go out was not ever on my mind. Not once did I ever think "I will not let her go out." Not once did I say to her "you can't go out." I didn't 'let' her go out... she simply went out, as she is entitled to do. And that's fine.

However I am entitled to my feelings. Yes, I would have preferred she stayed at home, because I like spending time with her and, yes, because I was worried about guys hitting on her. I trust her, but I don't trust them. I trust her to tell them where to go, but still, the mere idea of a guy hitting on her upset me. But despite what any of you say, I am entitled to that feeling.

And we communicated and I told her that I would like her to stay home with me, for those reasons. I even offered to go out somewhere with her. Again, not once did I issue an ultimatum saying she could not go out, I simply communicated to her that I would rather spend time with her. And she considered that and went out. Which is fine, but again, I am entitled to my feelings. And yes, I got jealous, which I acknowledge wasn't cool and that that needs some work but it happens. And I would challenge anyone here who is criticising me for my moment of jealosuy to prove that they have, not even once in their life, felt some jealousy for someone that they love.

Anyway, as far as I'm concerned and as far as my girlfriend is concerned, this is settled. All you haters can continue to hate, if you want, but I just felt the need to come in here, just one more time, to clarify a remark which seemed clear enough but which many nonetheless seemed to be reading far more into than that which was neccessary.
posted by Second Account For Making Jokey Comments at 5:51 PM on September 30, 2007


"to clarify a remark which seemed clear enough but which many nonetheless seemed to be reading far more into than that which was neccessary."

Amen.

People have their red flag issues apparently, and if they appear in a sentence, context be damned.
posted by gratuitous1 at 5:57 PM on September 30, 2007


I have had a similar spam message, in Brisbane, but through bluetooth not MMS. It happens.

I responded with goatse.
posted by goo at 6:24 PM on September 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm a pretty fast reader, but only a medium-speed typer. I've got excellent reading comprehesion skills, though.

I'm not calling you an abuser. In fact, most of the thread wasn't calling you an abuser. The consensus seems to come down more on the side of "controlling."

I am highlighting your frame of reference, which reverts right back to this weird hypothetical, sort of quasi-paraleipsis justification based on "if I were this abusive, controlling guy..."

While I'm pointing things out, I'll add the suggestion that the response that you received in this thread could be instructive to you -- if you sound like an asshole to everyone here, do you think that perhaps you might not be giving the best impression in real life? Or is everyone got you dead wrong except for you, again?

For the record, I'm totally letting you slide on a number of other foot-in-mouth moments in your followup. I won't go so far as to call them Freudian slips...
posted by desuetude at 6:26 PM on September 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Gotta say, I was once you - thought, justified, and rationalised my feelings exactly the same way you have. Funny that we're in the same city, and I grew up on the Northside...

Everybody before me has already explained just why you are controlling - I wouldn't go so far as to say abusive (remember, I've just said I was once you...), and you may not believe you are controlling (after all, you did 'let' her go out...), but you are, nonetheless. It just doesn't get out of your mind and as far as your mouth.

FWIW, I'm single now. Have been for the last 10+ years, and a good deal of the initial reason for that is exactly the same as what you've written. Honestly, I wouldn't wish what I went through on my worst enemy - so that's why I'm imploring, begging you, to listen to and take to heart what everybody's posted. Yeah, AskMeFi doesn't do relationships well, but this is pretty cut-and-dried.

Also, I'll tell you this: I know a guy who would send dick pictures and think it's a hilarious way to come on to girls (and it seems to work for him too, the little rootrat - if the message had said 'southside', I'd almost bet money it was him). And I know a few women who, when drunk and in a group, would think it hilarious to sign their friend up to one of those late-night TV ad 'meet someone' sights.

And, finally, one last thing: sign up with one of those scams, and you've signed up with all of them. I wouldn't be surprised if she and her friends got drunk, txt'd a few names to one of those 'test your love compatibility' numbers, and this is the result.
posted by Pinback at 7:11 PM on September 30, 2007


However I am entitled to my feelings
the mere idea of a guy hitting on her upset me

Yes, you are entitled to your feelings.

However.

What almost everyone in this thread is trying to tell you is that as a mature adult, you must recognize when your feelings are irrational and harmful, and work to get over them.

Here's an analogy for you: let's say someone posted a question saying they had been offered their dream job -- easy hours, huge pay increase, benefits out the wazoo -- but the only catch was that the office is on the 98th floor of a high-rise and the asker is afraid of elevators. You'd probably advise the person to get over their fear of elevators, right? The person is entitled to be afraid of elevators, but their fear is counterproductive and it's in their best interest to get over it.

Well, your being upset by the thought of other men hitting on your fiancée is kind of like that. You've already acknowledged that it's irrational because you know if some guy makes a pass at your fiancée nothing will come of it. It's harmful because it causes you to worry and make accusations, and because it causes your fiancée to have to choose between you and her friends, and to have to deal with you when you're upset. Therefore, you, as a mature adult, need to work to get over this.

And sure, as problems go, this is pretty common; but that doesn't mean it's not a problem. A little effort from you, and your relationship will improve by a lot on both ends. That's worth it, right?
posted by AV at 7:14 PM on September 30, 2007


"(after all, you did 'let' her go out)"
posted by Pinback at 7:11 PM on September 30

Oh for fucks sake.

Is no one in this thread capanle of reading? How many times do I have to say this before it sinks in with you lot? Let me say this one more time, in big, bold letters so it is crystal clear for everyone.

I NEVER SAID SHE COULDN'T GO OUT.

I NEVER GAVE PERMISSION, SHE DIDN'T ASK PERMISSION AND WHAT'S MORE, SHE WOULD NEVER HAVE NEEDED TO ASK FOR IT BECAUSE I DON'T CONTROL HER AND BOTH SHE AND I KNOW THAT.

I DIDN'T 'LET' HER GO OUT.

SHE JUST. WENT. OUT.


There. God, is that clear enough to you people now?

And finally, as someone who can speak with some authority on DV, I need to correct the notion that control is not DV. It is, and there are many men who never hit their women but exert control over them such as "you can't go out" or "you can't wear that" etc.

As such, when you accuse me of being controlling, which I am not (read: big, bold letters above), you accuse me of being a perpetrator of DV, an accusation I not only refuse but resent. I know I probably kind of asked for it by delving into relationship-filter, and not explaining myself clearly enough but maybe if I repeat this a few more times it may just finally sink in.
posted by Second Account For Making Jokey Comments at 7:28 PM on September 30, 2007


Have you seen Othello?

It's a pretty good parable about the results of not learning to trust properly.

Trusting is better than not trusting, because if you get hurt as a result of trusting, it typically happens quickly, hurts for a few months, then you're over it; if you get hurt as a result of not trusting (and this is actually a self-inflicted hurt), it just grinds you into the ground over years and years.

Every time you have a doubt about your beloved, you need to remind yourself that you absolutely trust her not to cheat on you, no matter what. You could make this a little mantra. You'll probably find that after you've told yourself you trust her, that part of you goes "but..."; well, that's a thinking pattern you don't need, and that you'd be better off without, and it leads to feelings that only hurt you for absolutely no benefit. If you currently don't trust her absolutely, then just fake it until you make it.

You can't protect yourself from betrayal by being distrustful. Distrust not only sucks for you, it actually makes betrayal more likely.

Distrust of your partner is not a feeling you want to entitle yourself to. It's a feeling you'd be far better off training yourself to get rid of. It's one of those toxic things people just absorb from watching too much Neighbors or Home And Away; it really has no place in any healthy mind.
posted by flabdablet at 7:47 PM on September 30, 2007 [87 favorites]


If you trust your partner the way you really need to be, then whether or not you also trust your city full of horny guys becomes completely irrelevant. So, there's your litmus test.
posted by flabdablet at 7:49 PM on September 30, 2007


I told her that I would like her to stay home with me, for those reasons. I even offered to go out somewhere with her.

Nope, doesn't sound controlling at all. Everyone else is wrong.
posted by The Gooch at 7:54 PM on September 30, 2007 [2 favorites]


I've skipped the comments to only say that I think most (straight) women find penises inherently funny. They are not sexy but rather very, flaccidly, funny. Picture of naked guy !== automatically alluring. I vote spam.

Let her go out for a night on the town. Trust her, give her the benefit of the doubt. Guys may hit on her; it is a fact. But you should trust her enough to know she'll blow them off and come home to you. Yeah she may be a little drunk or late, but leave it at that. you have to trust each other, and that means trusting her to not betray your relationship and to be honest with you.
posted by absquatulate at 8:03 PM on September 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


(If I was a sarcastic person, I'd say you're trying to CONTROL the thread so you get the answer you want.

Oh, wait, I am...)


Look, if that sentence in my last post upsets you so much, just ignore it, let it go. Skip it, and go on to the next sentence.

You asked for help; you're getting it. Not our fault you don't like the answers. Try the echo chamber 3 sites down...

And, yes, 15 or 20 years ago I would have been extremely offended if someone had even insinuated that I thought my ex-GF needed my 'permission' to go out. Even so, it was sort of a thought in the back of my mind that when I didn't like the idea of her going out with her friends I should insist that she didn't. I never acted on it; I hated myself for having those thoughts; but, nonetheless, I had them.

BTW, let me introduce you to an ex-friend of mine; a domestic violence counsellor who beat his wife so severely that she was in a coma for a week. That may help you understand why I don't think shouting "fer christ's sake, I'm an authority on domestic violence!" is really helping your cause much...
posted by Pinback at 8:14 PM on September 30, 2007


[T]he mere idea of a guy hitting on her upset me. But despite what any of you say, I am entitled to that feeling. And we communicated and I told her that I would like her to stay home with me, for those reasons.

Sure, you're entitled to your feelings. I don't think anyone's saying you aren't allowed to have feelings. (Or, if they are, they shouldn't be.) What you're not entitled to is using your irrational feelings as a tool to get your fiancée to do what you want, rather than what she wants. You don't have to issue an ultimatum to be controlling, as I'm sure you know, as someone who can speak with some authority on DV. Telling her that you'd rather she stay home is expressing your feelings—I think that's safe. Offering to go out with her instead is... something else. In the first case, she just has to want to go out with her friends. But now she has to want to go out with her friends instead of you. You're putting her in an uncomfortable position, and while it's not abuse, it's also not cool.
posted by hades at 8:25 PM on September 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Wow. What a lucky girl. You don't hit her or anything. You only accuse her and make her cry on the one time she goes out without you in years and comes home late.

That'll teach her.

Look mate, here are the facts:

You got upset, you admit, about her going out with the girls.

Then, you even tried to bribe her (let's go out together instead) to not go, but she still chose them.

Then she comes home after your expectation and you are apparently chaffed that she didn't screw you at 5am. "Too tired".

Then, she gets some message that is obviously, even to you, spam, and you loose your shit.

Then you come to MeFi and ask, very directly, "Is my fiancee cheating on me?"

What the fuck did you expect?

Seriously. I mean, what the fuck? What kind of response did you think you were going to get?

You are controlling. You can either deny this till you are blue in the face with a bunch of strangers on the internet, or you can recognize a failing (which we all have) and begin doing things to work on it.

You can't seem to be without this girl for one night. You're up all night because she's not home. You try to guilt her and talk her out of going. Yes, yes, that's not the same as making her ask permission, or is it? You make her feel compelled to open her text messages sitting next to you. You make her cry because you accuse her of giving her number out to some imaginary guy.

If you ARE such an expert on DV, why don't you pretend your fiancee was one of your clients, and explained the situation to you. Then read the account here and pretend it was one of your clients' husbands.

I have a feeling you'll be SHOCKED at how different it looks to you.
posted by Ynoxas at 9:32 PM on September 30, 2007 [3 favorites]


"What you're not entitled to is using your irrational feelings as a tool to get your fiancée to do what you want, rather than what she wants. You don't have to issue an ultimatum to be controlling, as I'm sure you know, as someone who can speak with some authority on DV. Telling her that you'd rather she stay home is expressing your feelings—I think that's safe. Offering to go out with her instead is... something else. In the first case, she just has to want to go out with her friends. But now she has to want to go out with her friends instead of you. You're putting her in an uncomfortable position, and while it's not abuse, it's also not cool."

Yes, that's exactly it, it's not cool, nothing more. How bout some perspective people?

She doesn't ever go out to bars filled with single guys. She tells him she's going, and he tells her he's not comfortable with it and asks if she'd like to go out with him instead, to which she says no. Am I missing something, or wasn't that the end of his 'trying to control her'? I find it amazing that you all would expect someone who has not been presented with that situation before to react perfectly the first time, with absolutely no insecurity whatsoever. Yes, that would have been the ideal reaction. And clearly, he won't react that way again.

Then, she gets some message that is obviously, even to you, spam, and you loose your shit.

No, he didn't lose his shit. He doesn't say how he reacted, other than to ask her about it. Don't assume that because she started crying that he lost his shit. It sounds to me that she wasn't sure if she gave her number out or not. And how do you find no correlation between her receiving this spam for the first time ever, and going out the previous night? How has this not been touched upon? Obviously, the spam was the result of somebody the previous night somehow getting her number, either directly from her or some other way. Somebody, for the love of god, explain why he should not be concerned how this person got her number? Ignore for a freakin second that he uttered the sentence 'I don't want you to go out'. What then?
posted by gratuitous1 at 11:18 PM on September 30, 2007


She tells him she's going, and he tells her he's not comfortable with it and asks if she'd like to go out with him instead, to which she says no. Am I missing something, or wasn't that the end of his 'trying to control her'?

The action of "recommending" she cancel her plans with her girlfriends and instead either stay home or go out with him *IS* trying to control her behavior. It just didn't work. It seems as if in the OP's mind (and your mind too, if you aren't indeed the OP using another sock puppet) the fact he didn't physical restrain her from going is proof positive he is not controlling.

I don't think anyone is trying to alert the authorities or anything due the the OP's actions being so heinous as to be criminal. Just pointing out that "Why don't you go out with *ME* instead?" is not a reasonable response to "I'm going out with the girls tonight". At least not to anyone in anything resembling a healthy relationship.
posted by The Gooch at 11:47 PM on September 30, 2007


But in the light of the fact that she did go out for a drunken night on the town with hordes of lecherous guys on the prowl all around her, my mind can't help but put A and B together...

...and every time it does, what you need to do is remind yourself: I am deliberately choosing to trust this woman to be faithful - and keep reminding yourself of that until you believe it and feel good about believing it.

You need to keep doing that until your mind doesn't put A and B together any more. If you do it regularly, this won't even take very long.

Naturally my mind started racing.

Not natural at all. Trained. You can train it to react differently, with work and patience, and you'll both be better off if you do.

Plus, bottom line, I do trust her and had always told her I would always trust her until she gave me a reason not to.


You don't need to tell her that. You need to tell you that, over and over again, until A + B = totally not an issue.

And you need to tell it to yourself without the "until she gives me a reason not to" get-out-of-jail clause. Trust requires total commitment or it's not real trust.

"Until she gave me a reason not to" just undermines the whole thing - as you've just found out: the fact of her having received this piece of spam has operated on you as a reason not to trust, and has caused you distress as a result. Had it not done so, we wouldn't be having this conversation. So scrap the conditional garbage - just train up in unconditional trust.

Yes, it sounds naive. Yes, it sounds idealistic and unrealistic and all that other stuff. But it's simple, and it's clear, and it's strong, and it works.

Be as cynical as you like about anybody except your partner. Being cynical about her, on any level at all, is absolutely not good for either of you. If you're habitually suspicious of other people's motivations, then programming yourself via this kind of self-hypnosis is going to feel weird, unnatural and possibly dishonest - are you not denying the possibility, however slim, that she will cheat?

But you need to realize it's not dishonesty, and it's not unrealistic. Trust is not about forming a statistically plausible view of an unknowable future; trust is an attitude or posture and as such, is something you can freely choose to adopt or not. Trust says: I don't know what she's going to do, but my default assumption is always going to be that she's doing the right thing.

You need to embark on embracing trust with your eyes wide open, knowing full well that some day your trust might be betrayed, accepting that as a possibility, and choosing complete trust anyway. That way, if you ever are betrayed, you won't be beating yourself up for being a love-blinded naive fool as well as dealing with all the other shit that betrayal does to people, and you'll find that the grief of betrayal goes away much, much faster. It's win-win.
posted by flabdablet at 12:09 AM on October 1, 2007 [15 favorites]


By the way: no real trust = nothing to betray. Which is lose-lose.
posted by flabdablet at 12:10 AM on October 1, 2007


Gratuitous1: though I suspect, in my horrid cynical way, that you may well be Third Account For Making Non-Jokey Comments, here's a straight answer to your question:

Somebody, for the love of god, explain why he should not be concerned how this person got her number?

Dude, it's spam. Who TF knows how spammers get people's numbers? Who TF cares? It's spam. It's from a spammer. It's the least meaningful, most ignorable form of communication on the planet. Delete and ignore.
posted by flabdablet at 12:16 AM on October 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


She tells him she's going, and he tells her he's not comfortable with it and asks if she'd like to go out with him instead, to which she says no. Am I missing something, or wasn't that the end of his 'trying to control her'?

"The action of "recommending" she cancel her plans with her girlfriends and instead either stay home or go out with him *IS* trying to control her behavior."


Yes, I know that. I was pointing out that this one request does not forever stamp on him the label of 'controlling'. He didn't nag. He asked once, then let it go. Not to mention realized later that he wouldn't do it again. And no, I'm not him. Just trying to inject some civility in this thread.

"Dude, it's spam. Who TF knows how spammers get people's numbers? Who TF cares? It's spam. It's from a spammer. It's the least meaningful, most ignorable form of communication on the planet. Delete and ignore."

Awesome. So the reason he should not be concerned how the spammer got her number while she was drunk at a bar is simply because it's spam. Sorry, I should have spelled that out, since apparently everyone doesn't seem to take this as a given. Whoever sent her the message, got her phone number from someone while she was out that night. What are the odds that she would get her first message like this, EVER, the night after she goes out? Next to zero. So I'll ask again, explain why he should not be concerned HOW this person got her number?
posted by gratuitous1 at 1:56 AM on October 1, 2007


You know, there are several new things that have been said since last I posted in this thread, but frankly, I've given up.

I promised myself I would never get into an argument on the net and of late I have found myself doing that a little more often. But the fact is, despite the projections of the haters in this thread, I know that I am not controlling, and I don't need to defend myself and prove that to a bunch of internet strangers. Thanks to the help of a few kind folks in this thread, I have my answer and all is well. So continuing to debate a bunch of people who have made up their minds about who I am, based upon some ill-thought out words and their own personal experiences and continuing to rail against this kind of group-think is simply going to become increasingly futile. So my participation in this thread is over, as far as I'm concerned.

To close, I think I'll quote Shatner, who said...

"you painted me into what you wanted to see. And that's fine. But you will never know me."
posted by Second Account For Making Jokey Comments at 1:58 AM on October 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


So I'll ask again, explain why he should not be concerned HOW this person got her number?

Because phone numbers are not military secrets.

Because getting hold of working phone numbers is what spammers do.

Because spam is a fact of life.

Because spam doesn't matter.

Because spam is quite enough of a waste of time without getting all upset about it.

That's five good reasons. Explain why a trusting partner should give a flying fark how a spammer got her number?
posted by flabdablet at 2:32 AM on October 1, 2007


"That's five good reasons."

Clearly, you disagree with my 'given', which I put in bold. Either that or you just ignored it. I'm incredibly curious now, why do you believe that the spammer acquired her number at some other time than the night she went out? Why would you choose to believe that, in light of the ridiculous odds against it? Anybody?
posted by gratuitous1 at 2:58 AM on October 1, 2007


"Explain why a trusting partner should give a flying fark how a spammer got her number?"

If the spammer were some guy at a bar asking for her number.
posted by gratuitous1 at 3:21 AM on October 1, 2007


Second account, we're not haters, although admittedly we're not very tactful. It sounds a lot like you're cherry-picking the comments you think are useful and disregarding the rest. I can understand why - it's never very comfortable to think that you're wrong about something you're sure about, but a healthy dose of self-evaluation is never a bad idea.

You don't need to prove anything to us, but before dismissing us, please do consider why so many strangers all think the same thing about you. It's not because of a wording nuance or a poorly thought-out AskMe, it's because a lot of us see something that we've seen before, or see something out of the ordinary. I wouldn't discount us just because we're saying something you don't want to hear.
posted by ukdanae at 4:07 AM on October 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yeah, you put it in bold. Here, let me put it in bold again. I'll put a bit of it in italics too.

Whoever sent her the message, got her phone number from someone while she was out that night.

You know this how?

What are the odds that she would get her first message like this, EVER, the night after she goes out? Next to zero.

You know this how?

It's spam. It arrives in our lives at random. It can start arriving any time after we give our contact details out to any person for any reason. Spam is made to be ignored.

A trusting partner would not leap to the conclusion that there must have been direct contact between spammer and spammee; or that if there were such contact, it must have been made with dishonourable intent. A trusting partner would have looked at the picture of some grinning loser holding his willy, said something like "Huh. Phone spam." and gone back to watching the DVD. A trusting partner would not have reacted in such a way as to prompt tears or this discussion.
posted by flabdablet at 5:43 AM on October 1, 2007 [2 favorites]


What are the odds that she would get her first message like this, EVER, the night after she goes out? Next to zero.

"You know this how?"


I know it from math. It's 1 out of however many days she could have gotten the message.

And with that, I think I recognize a lost cause when I see one.
posted by gratuitous1 at 6:28 AM on October 1, 2007


Meta, and an advance apology if I'm completely off base.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 7:20 AM on October 1, 2007


I think you communicated honestly with your girlfriend about your feelings before she went, and you look a little insecure for someone in such a long-term relationship, but she went and she had a good time. That's it. I can't begin to imagine staying out until 5 am any more (god, I'm old), but you're both okay with that.

Frankly, I'm not surprised she cried when you thought she had cheated on you based on that obvious spam. That was over the top, and you apologized for it. Even the text sent with the pic suggested they had never even met.

The only advice I would give you is to be careful about the whole "I'll go with you or you can stay home with me," attitude. It makes you sound (and again, I really think this is just insecurity) like you are trying to isolate her, and with your work you know that is definitely not cool.
posted by misha at 9:29 AM on October 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


Dear ask.metafilter: My wife went out with her friends yesterday, and now she's gotten at least six email messages from lonely 25 year old girls who want to chat, and are sending her suggestive pictures. She's never gotten these types of messages before, as far as I know, so it's obvious that she was drunkenly handing out her email address to hotties at the bar. She's never given me any reason to suspect she's cheating before, but given the timing of these messages, it can't possibly be a coincidence. I know this because of math. How do I confront her about her lapse in judgment?

Seriously, gratuitous1, WTF? Talk about lost causes. You've never gotten spam without first giving someone your email address? You've never received a phone call meant for someone else? The phone in a drawer that got spam, was it sneaking out to bars by itself and drunkenly giving its own number out to spammers?

Math?
posted by hades at 11:26 AM on October 1, 2007


"Dear ask.metafilter: My wife went out with her friends yesterday, and now she's gotten at least six email messages from lonely 25 year old girls who want to chat, and are sending her suggestive pictures. She's never gotten these types of messages before, as far as I know, so it's obvious that she was drunkenly handing out her email address to hotties at the bar. She's never given me any reason to suspect she's cheating before, but given the timing of these messages, it can't possibly be a coincidence. I know this because of math. How do I confront her about her lapse in judgment?

Seriously, gratuitous1, WTF? Talk about lost causes. You've never gotten spam without first giving someone your email address? You've never received a phone call meant for someone else? The phone in a drawer that got spam, was it sneaking out to bars by itself and drunkenly giving its own number out to spammers?"


I was going to give up on this, but since you asked...

I never said it couldn't possibly be a coincidence. I said that the odds that it was a coincidence were astronomical. A guy way at the top of the page said something similar. Maybe his explanation will be better than mine. He said "your fiancee goes out to a bar and gets drunk... and the next day she gets a DIRECTED, cock-pic MMS on her phone out of the blue? do you guys get pictures of cocks on your phone all the time, because I sure don't. what are the odds of this... 1 in 10,012031,141342?""

I'm surprised that the actual improbability of this didn't occur to you as you were typing your hypothetical, because honestly, your question answers itself (assuming your wife hasn't gone out with her friends in years). As an aside, I never said that she necessarily gave out her number herself, only that it was given out that night by somebody.

"You've never gotten spam without first giving someone your email address?" Of course I have. And if I never gave out my email address to anyone ever, then I would be 100% certain that my email spam would not be my fault. However, if I had given out my email address or phone number to someone, then there is a chance that the spam I receive could be a result of that. Now, this girl gets a certain type of spam one day - naked pics, that she's never gotten before. The previous night she was drunk at a bar filled with singles and not her SO, for the first time in 3 years, and doesn't remember what she did. (Do you see where this is going?) Seems to me it's possible that she'd give out her number at a situation where she's very likely to get asked her number repeatedly, not to mention was drunk. Hell, even throw in some resentment towards her fiance for being a controlling jerk. We're all in agreement there right? Now the question becomes, in light of this very real possibility, what are the chances that an unrelated spamming would happen instead? The fact that they're unrelated means you have to take the chances of either happening, and multiply them. (Do not fear the math. The math is your friend.) You've got the chances of her having a girls night out (1 out of 3+ years?) multiplied by the chances of her getting naked spam (1 out of however long the spam dude had her number). If the spam dude has had her number for 5 years, then once in 15 years will these events be unrelated.

Fun stuff huh?
posted by gratuitous1 at 4:15 PM on October 1, 2007


gratuitious1, this assumes that there is any connection between phone spam and bars. And that the girlfriend's number had never been given out to anyone else.

If she'd received an advertisement for ladies' night, I'd see your math.
posted by desuetude at 4:27 PM on October 1, 2007


Completely late to an issue that's already been beaten to death but my first four txts on my phone were spam. One was pictured but of the female persuasion. And yeah, never gave the number out to anyone.
posted by beautifulcheese at 6:59 PM on October 1, 2007


I'm frankly baffled by the contention that spammers hang around bars and harvest cell phone numbers by asking women for them. Surely to god there are more effective ways to harvest cell phone numbers?

I'd say the odds that the phone spam are related to her activities in the bar are close to nil, not because of any mathematical numbers that I invented out the blue, but because it makes no frigging sense. Spamming works on the basis that you can slam hundreds of thousands of people with information at no or low cost to you and some miniscule number will bite. Gathering phone numbers in bars via one on one contact makes absolutely no sense in that context.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:21 PM on October 1, 2007


What doesn't make sense to me is that the message, if commercial in nature, was apparently from an escort. I mean, why would a porn site ask for a return picture? And what other kind of spam could it be? But do escorts really spam people? I've never heard of this.

I'm actually voting for anonymous gay male hookup with someone who fat-fingered the number - especially in light of someone's statement that all Australian mobiles have the same prefix. Like TPS said, this message was not targeted at a straight woman. It also doesn't make any commercial sense to me - what is the sender selling?
posted by desjardins at 7:34 PM on October 1, 2007 [2 favorites]


I don't see how anyone can say this is just a coincidence. It seems clear to me that she gave her number to some guy at the bar. [...] She could have done it for a variety of reasons. But it should be noted that this is most likely what happened.
...
As an aside, I never said that she necessarily gave out her number herself, only that it was given out that night by somebody.

If your grasp of how MMS spam works (and the odds of getting spam that's tangentially related to something that's happened to you in the previous 24 hours) is as firm as your grasp on what you've said earlier, then I hope you'll excuse me for not being persuaded by your math.

Besides, as any Terry Pratchett fan could tell you, one in a million chances crop up nine times out of ten.

(Is this horse dead yet? Should I stop beating it?)
posted by hades at 9:27 PM on October 1, 2007


gratuitous1: I don't think you know what "spam" is. I think you're misunderstanding the term and pretending you know what it means so as not to look foolish. You certainly don't understand it in the context of how it is being used in this thread.

I have a friend who there might be 15 people who have his number, if that many, and he gets phone spam all the time.

My work cell phone number I've given to at least a thousand people. I've gotten 2 spam messages in 7 years.

Speaking of "math" it is far more likely it was a WRONG GODDAMN NUMBER.
posted by Ynoxas at 11:09 PM on October 3, 2007


There's a lot of talk and consensus of "just trust" "just let go" "fiances need friends" so and and so forth. I will first say I can relate to you feeling perturbed that your girlfriend/fiancee is going on a girls night out. And I don't believe feeling miserable at home alone is abnormal or a sign of weakness. I also don't believe that your quick reaction to connect two and two is abnormal.

What is generous and frankly really soothing about your fiancee is that she said that she's willing to show you the next text message she gets to prove her fidelity to you. That's great! I've always wanted someone that could understand and cater to my fears and insecurities. For that, you should be thankful.

I'm willing to let my insecurities be on display up to a point. And that point is when she is very sensitive to them, which to me, earns enormous trust.
posted by philosophistry at 3:30 PM on October 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


when ppl are lying they tend not to suggest stuff suspiciously close to the truth of the circumstance. Therefore is a woman tells u she gave a guy the brush off then its almost certainly true and she didnt do anything else dubious.

As to the MMS, how well do you know / trust her friend?
posted by browolf at 3:45 PM on October 26, 2007


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