Name: birdie | | Location: New York , NY |Question: Here is the back story:
I traveled around Europe after getting laid off and met up with a childhood friend who was nothing more than that: a friend. He was going through a divorce so things were tough emotionally for him. We slept together during my trip then I went back home to reality. He continuously emailed me saying he cared about me and couldn’t believe how hard it was to see me go and then tells me he loves me 2 weeks later. Long story short, I moved to be with him and snooped more out of curiosity than suspicion. I sought and found he was talking to 2 other people with the same intensity … all that was different was the name to whom it was written. Several months later (not knowing that info at the time), I’m here and things are good and he hasn’t reconnected with the other people as far as I know.
Question is: Can I trust him going forward? He never gave me any reason to doubt his loyalty. He always tells me he loves me and that I’m his life and he wants to marry and have kids with me someday. I never admitted to snooping but when I test him with questions I know the answer to, he lies to me. Is he doing that purely to protect me and for fear of losing me? He makes me feel like I’m the one who’s crazy sometimes when he’s the one who did wrong. |Age: 29
I’m not sure you really have a reason not to trust him. Sure, it would be nice if the words he said to you were to you and only you and that you were the only one on the roster but…how realistic is that? He was engaging multiple women at once. We’re you even exclusive at the time he was sending these emails? If you were, then I understand your concern. But if you weren’t, then the only thing he’s guilty of is keeping his options open. Don’t we all do that from time to time?
You can’t set someone up and then be surprised when they lie. Depending on the question, what did you think he would say? Did you think he would break down and tell you that he was hedging his bets all along? Who would admit to that?
You want him to be honest, yet you’re not being honest about what you did. Don’t you think that’s being a little hypocritical? Why aren’t you being honest? Because you’d lose him. Isn’t it possible that that’s the very reason why he’s not being honest? Isn’t that a possible sign of how much he cares versus he’s untrustworthy?
I’ll admit that there are definitely some red flags here. I’m getting a distinct “I can’t be alone” vibe from him. I don’t know why. I just do. I’m not crazy about situations where one party is expressing deep or intense sentiments early on in the relationship. To me, that feels inauthentic. Could this be a situation where he put the hook out and just reeled in whatever fish to the bait? Absolutely. But…how is that different than most other dating situations? What I mean by that is that someone dating multiple people, with no explicit exclusivity decided, whispering sweet nothings to them isn’t exactly rare or a crime.
I think what really has you concerned is whether or not this man actually wanted to be with you or if he’s just wants a girlfriend. So I think that’s what you have to determine, and the only way to do that is to talk to him.
How can you trust him? I can’t believe I’m going to suggest this, because normally I wouldn’t. But I think the only way you will know where you stand is if you tell this man what you did. You are not going to be able to put this behind you. You’re always going to want to know what those emails and his exchanges with those women were about and if they meant anything to him.
But before you do this:
Something drove you to snoop. What was it? You say it was more out of curiosity than suspicion. I think curiosity is just the gateway to suspicion. From what you say, there seems to have been a pre-existing level of unsuredness and insecurity surrounding this relationship and this man. We’ve talked before about treating the cause versus just treating the symptom. Determining why you snooped in the first place will bring you closer to treating the cause of your suspicion. If you don’t, then there will just be something else that pops up that will make you insecure. Hopefully you can figure out what the trigger was and can deal with that and you’ll never have to tell this man what you did. But if you can’t do that, then I think you’re only recourse is to tell this man what you did. It could severely set your relationship back, of course. But if he loves you the way he says he does, he’ll get past it.
The shoe will be on the other foot, though. You’re sitting there worried about whether or not you can trust him…and you’re the one who violated his trust and privacy by snooping. So ask yourself if what he may or may not have done any worse than what you did. Maybe you can decide to wipe the slate clean for both of you and simply start fresh without ever having to bring this up.
Let’s do poll…