She Snooped….Now What?

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.


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Could You Forgive Someone Who Snooped?

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13 Responses to “She Snooped….Now What?”

  1. DrivingMeNutes Says:

    “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.”

    It is definitely inauthentic. It’s not just that he was keeping his options open with several women. It’s that he was expressing “intense” feelings for several different women. That means that his “expression” of his feelings does not match his actual “feelings.” That is the definition of inauthentic and insincere. He may be a swell guy but you cannot trust anything he says. The fact that you learned this tidbit by snooping is beside the point, in my opinion.

    • Saywhat! Says:

      I agree with DMN here. Her curiosity came from his extreme highs. I’ve met people like this and 99% of the time, my instincts were right. Snooping or not. Instincts don’t lie and the snooping only confirms it. I do not condone snooping BUT it doesn’t mean that just because she did there wasn’t good cause. Sometimes our brains process information so fast sometimes that the things we sense about a person could invade our subconscious and then our rational judgment. So what are we suppose to do. You say talk to the person. Right. And 99% of the time it only makes things worse because someone with suspicion, usually characterizes intensity in their demeanor and tones and sometimes they don’t, but either way, men pick up on this and are usually better at remaining calm even if they are lying because in their minds they don’t see anything they did as wrong since they are with you now. BUT what it will do, is increase his radar to the fact that YOU, my dear cannot be trusted around his stuff. At this point, it seems she put the cart before the horse by sleeping with him, now wants to make sure he loves her?? What she did was create a beautiful mess for herself. We’ve all done it. If she’s going to confront him, she best be sure how she’s going to deal with the worst case scenrio if he doesn’t give her the answer she is looking for how and can she deal with that.
      It’s hard but I think she’ll have to trust him or leave.

  2. Angeline Says:

    I could forgive it, IF it was a one-time thing that didn’t repeat, because I’ve been on the other side of the cheating equation, and I know how that skews your confidence in your gut for a while. I wouldn’t like it though. And if nothing turned up in his snooping, there would be a conversation about people being able to go a lifetime without cheating. Not all future partners are destined to cheat because you had one that did. And I’d be noticing other signs of distrust, and it would start to stack up. If the snooping/questioning behavior died away after time and trust accumulated, I’d be inclined to chalk it up to crappy prior partners.

    No one likes to live having to constantly prove a negative, and that’s what it would be if it continued.

    I got the “I just want a girlfriend, not THIS girlfriend” vibe from him too. Too emotional too quick, too desperate to have her there.

  3. Selena Says:

    ” I never admitted to snooping but when I test him with questions I know the answer to, he lies to me.”

    You have been together several months now, you don’t feel he has reconnected with these other women, and you say things are good. So why are you “testing” him? Are you still snooping on him to “make sure” he’s not in contact with anyone you would find quesionable? What exactly is he lying about?

    The thing about snooping is, it can become addicting. Being in a relationship with someone you don’t trust is a crappy way to live. So is being with someone who lies to you. So is being with someone who snoops on you.

    If the lies are about the women he was corresponding with before you became serious, then wouldn’t it be best to let it go? Why would you want to keep bringing up *stuff* to test him? If the lies are about current situations, why aren’t you confronting him on the spot about them?

    Decide what kind of relationship you really want to have and act accordingly.

  4. Vox Says:

    Standard rebound relationship, and that is why he can so easily express such intense romantic feelings for multiple women. Nothing is real about this relationship. He may not be a bad guy, but divorce fucks with a person’s head.

  5. Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

    Yeah, people who aren’t even divorced yet or fresh out a relationship looking to jump back in to one make me nervous. It makes me think that they’re too afraid to deal with the inevitable feelings of loss and what not or don’t want to reflect on why the previous relationship ended. Or they just want to have someone around to distract and amuse them.

    • Horace Says:

      Those are terribly cynical assumptions. A lot of people who get divorced feel like they’ve already been alone for awhile. When I was getting divorced 10 years ago I date, it was a sincere effort to connect with someone, not to avoid past baggage.

      • Vox Says:

        Well, the letter clearly states that due to his divorce, things were “emotionally tough” for him. That is not how one would describe a man who felt alone during the marriage and sees his divorce as a relief. Neither is declaring you are in love with someone you had sex with once, during a divorce, while sending identical messages to other women. Your divorce may be different, but really is not relevant to the OP’s letter.

  6. Devon Brown Says:

    My thought is that men (and women) who start talking about marriage and very serious things right away are normally not emotionally stable. They feel a need to connect with someone no matter what. They are scared of being alone and that drives their every action. If they later back off it is because they are too busy thinking about what might happen later and have worked themselves into a frenzy over the possibility of growing old alone.

    And as far as the snooping, something had to have created the desire to snoop in the first place. You don’t just trip and fall into snooping. Whether the guy had done something to create an untrustworthy situation, or if she has some baggage from previous relationships that she can’t shed, there had to be a beginning moment of why she snooped. And that will be the bigger issue than the actual snooping in the long term.

  7. Maargen Says:

    I’m the last person to advocate not forgiving someone, but here’s the picture you’ve painted of the guy you’re dating: He’s unstable and a liar.

    He’s unstable because he claims to feel the same strong feelings and desire for relationship with 3 women at once. The way you describe it doesn’t seem as if he’s expressing interest in more than one person, which we all do until we find the one that we actually want to pursue a relationship with. He was expressing his desire to be in a relationship with her to three different women. Just changing the names makes it seem as if he’s really not interested in any of these women as individuals: he’s simply concerned with the role she will play in his life. It’s not about you: it’s about him not being alone.

    Then you find out he’s a liar. The only way to know that about someone for sure is to ask a question that you already know the answer to. That’s when you find out if you’re dealing with someone who has respect for the truth. When you say that he lied because he didn’t want to lose you, you’re acknowledging that he lied about things that make a difference to the relationship one way or another. In other words: he’s willing to misinform you about the relationship in order to get his way.

    In every relationship, it’s sometimes necessary to ‘check in’ with the other person to make sure everything’s ok. If you sense him pulling away, or changing towards you, or maybe spending more time online, will you be able to ask him what’s up and get a clear answer? Will he be open and honest with you about this, or will he lie to you and say everything’s ok, in order not to lose you (until he has your replacement ready)?

    And what if what you’re sensing isn’t really there? There is nothing that creates more security than knowing that the person you’re with will give you an honest answer. That person’s “everything’s ok” is priceless. It is actually giving you an accurate window into his state of mind. You ask him a question, you can rely on the answer and set the issue at rest.

    The person who says “it’s okay” in order not to lose you, or hurt you, or avoid conflict or whatever the reasoning is, is a person who is telling you nothing at all. Even if things ARE ok, you still won’t know it. You still have to guess if it’s true or not. You can’t rely on what he says. You can never actually know where you two stand – you might be on solid ground, or you might be on quicksand.

    You ask if you can trust him going forward. Well, it depends. When you ask him for information are you dealing with someone who thinks “I will tell her the truth, and let her decide what to do for herself” or one who thinks “I will tell her what I want her to believe, so she can do what I want her to do”.

    If you’re dealling with the latter mentality, that’s clearly manipulative. Be prepared to snoop for accurate information whenever you need it.

  8. Eamon Says:

    this is a difficult one for many of us. I think ‘yes’ I could definitely forgive this… I have been on the snooping end before. A girl that I though we were mutually head over heels in love – due to circumstances we were on and off – (yes I was married at the time) I was set to get a divorce and do EVERYTHING I could to make a world and marriage with her. She got cold feet on some things. So we continued dating in total over 3 years. I did have many suspicions come up – I did snoop into her journal. And I found she was having an emotional affair with a co worker (also married) that she would have left me instantly for… she also had been seeing an ex on and off that was the ‘one’ that was her obsession. In between all that – I am nor sure how many other guys she may have had some involvement with. It absolutely crushed me. It’s 3 years later now and she plagues my mind. Do I feel bad I snooped? Partly. But since I was considering blowing up my family for her = I think Iwas justified. No different thatn a married woman hiring a PI to follow her husband she suspects right?
    So – if a girl snooped on me because I gave her reason to suspect me – if I had nothing to hide and I loved her – I would open it all up to her and forgive her. If she found things about me I hid – well although I may be angry she snooped – she in my opinion was within her right… Been there.

    • Vox Says:

      I have a hard time understanding posts such as yours. If you were cheating on your wife for years, and the other woman was willing to have a long term affair with a married man, how can you either of you have an expectation of trust in the other person? I’d assume that snooping and would be par for the course, and that neither of you are capable of making a true commitment to each other. Does a man who is willing to “blow up his family” for his mistress deserve the level of consideration you desire?

  9. birdie Says:

    Thank you for all your comments here … I actually went ahead and did as Moxie suggested – admit that I snooped. It was really difficult but I told him I was hurt by what I found and he felt betrayed, of course. He was upset and we both agreed I shouldn’t have dug into his past. He told me he wouldn’t have moved me out here unless he knew he could fully commit to us to for the long haul. That he may have said things to other people but it didn’t compare me to any of them; that I’m the best of everything he’s had. Of course, I’m taking this in with a grain of salt but feel better for having everything out.

    Keeping this from him had been eating me up and damaging what we had the potential to be. I’m so thankful for Moxie’s insight and advice. We agreed to take it slower and see if we could really fulfill each other in a meaningful, lifelong way. Thank you, Moxie.

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