QUESTION FROM A GREEK TRAGEDY READER:
I am a 29-year-old single mom, recently divorced. After a year of being separated, I met my current boyfriend: 30, never been married, set in his OCD ways. A year after breaking up with his live-in girlfriend he met me.
We met over ten months ago at the apartment complex where we lived. After a month of friendship, we continued to move things forward and began a romantic relationship. From the beginning we were talking serious talk: marriage, kids, family—not with each other, necessarily, but simply getting to know each other and what we wanted in our lives.
Please note: he still seems to hold onto this childhood fantasy that he’d marry his high school sweetheart, the one that would have him on a pedestal and he’d never be #2. His parents and grandparents were high school sweethearts, and that was his dream. He also wanted a woman who was never married, wanting his children and their marriage to be her one and only.
The fact that it wasn’t the case with me had caused an adjustment for him. He says he loves me, and I believe him since he decided to take on this challenge (for him) and go with it.
We moved in together about a month ago. We are a great team, we get along great, I can’t say enough about our interaction. We are a great couple (I believe it, and so he says). But there are a couple of issues.
I am still insecure because of my past experiences, and the fact that my ex-husband cheated on me. I try to play detective sometimes. And what makes it worse is the fact that he has A LOT of female friends. Some of them he’s “been with” in the past. Also, his last ex still contacts him, used to drop by with cupcakes etc. We talk a lot about these females, and he has a perfect answer for everything. Although talking to him makes me feel more secure about him and trust him more, there is still this part of me that would doubt him. I was thinking it was my insecurity, so I was trying to settle it within myself because I didn’t want him to get tired of my questioning every single text that appears in his phone from different women.
But here is the issue and the reason why I feel I couldn’t trust him completely. He has a password on his cell phone, he had a good explanation for it, but still I couldn’t help but wonder. Then sometimes when texting he would act weird, like he didn’t want me to see the screen, sometimes he would just carry his phone in his pocket while at home. Things like that. So at some point I learned his password and before we moved in together I went through it. The only thing I really saw was him talking to a woman that day, at the end he says “ok my movie is about to start, I will talk to you later” but he wasn’t going to watch a movie, he was coming over my place. I did talk to him about it in a round about way later at some point, and in general terms, like, “Honey, why do men….” So he said, that it is because the person they are talking to is really not a close friend and maybe someone who just happens to contact them after a long time, so men just don’t give too much explanation. Ok I bought that. But I was still not satisfied because he still seemed weird with his phone. And right before we moved in he was texting with some one who he called “brown eyes” and tried to tell me she was someone from work. But to me, why would a man nickname a coworker “brown eyes” in their phone? Anyways, after we moved in together, I tried to check his phone once again and the password had changed. So it raised another question in my little insecure but very not naïve mind. Eventually I was able to get into his phone and to my (not surprise) there were txt deleted that I am not sure what was being talked about, but it was from women who I had a gut feeling about. But the main one was the brown eye girl, who supposedly was his coworker, she is not a coworker, when confronted he wouldn’t answer the question as to who she was especially after he knew I already knew the truth. He tried to say she was a nobody, but wouldn’t say much else. Then once I said, why would you tell other women “I miss you, I miss seeing you everyday, I looooove that picture, beautiful hair, you have made my day…etc” he says that that is the way he is with his close friends, and tried to show me other people who says I miss you too, or admires their picture (one of them being his ex, who sent him a picture of herself). But wouldn’t answer the question, then if there is nothing to hide why have a password? Why lie about this person being a coworker when in fact she wasn’t? Why say she is a nobody, but then say that she is a close friend which is why he is saying I miss you? Etc…eventually this is what he said “IT IS TIME TO STOP FAKING, I GUESS I AM DONE”…meaning he was breaking up with me. I don’t know what he was faking, there was no explanation or clarification. So now I am wondering a whole bunch of things.
I live with the man, we haven’t talked in two days, I do not know what to do. Should I wait for him to talk to me? Should I bring it up? I have to think about my son, so I really do not know what do to. If we do talk and he wants to stay together, should I accept it, but ask for some changes on the whole phone thing or whatever. I don’t know.
He said that I never trusted him from the beginning, that I never accepted the fact that he has a lot of female friends. I said to him that some of his actions made me doubt him, such as having a password on his phone, why would someone do that? I don’t have a password. Plus he has disrespected me by saying stuff like that to other women, I don’t talk like that to other men, or have passwords, and I talk to my ex-husband about our son in front of him, so I don’t create any situations where he would have to doubt my commitment to him. He continues to say that trust shouldn’t be based on a password. And won’t admit to doing anything wrong.
I need some advice please because I am so confused now. What did he mean with “Time to stop faking”? Faking what? His love for me? The fact that he was okay with taking on this challenge? Maybe he can’t let go of younger women? I don’t know. and I don’t know if I should even be with him. But everything else is so perfect it makes it so hard for me.
Confused Woman mother of One.
IF YOU WERE IN FRONT OF ME, I’D KIcK YOU IN THE HEAD. Then I’d help you up off the floor, and warn you that it’s the very last time I’m helping you. You need to help yourself.
Confused?! About what could you possibly be confused? How did you ever let it come to this? Ever get yourself into this situation at all? Never mind putting your son in this situation? That’s the only confusion you should be confronting.
Children need stability, not people weaving in and out of their lives, disappearing. You never ever should have moved in with this guy. Period. If I were living in your town, no joke, I would drive to your home with empty boxes and force you to either move or pack up his things and push him out the door. I wouldn’t leave until it was done. Locks changed. You need to save yourself from yourself. I want to shake you. You are that far gone.
Okay. I’ve taken a breath. I’m calmer. Here is all there is to say: move out now. NOW. Check your bank statements and credit report. This man was using you for something. Your cooking, a roof over his head, your car? Something. You fed a need, and he is a cheater. Not a possibility, a fact. No amount of promises, however heartfelt, will ever set this right. He is bad news. And so are you if you don’t get him the hell out of your life.
This was not caused by your insecurities. Darlin’, this ain’t paranoia. You have every reason to feel insecure. People in healthy relationships, monogamous relationships, do not password-protect their lives. They live them openly because there is nothing to hide. Nothing, nothing, can excuse this away. No amount of logic or reason.
He is 100% cheating on you. I don’t care if he’s not having sex with them, if he is, isn’t, it doesn’t even matter. “She’s just a friend” isn’t true unless–and let me be clear here–unless he invites her to spend time with YOU. Every single woman, every single “friend,” should be someone you have met, spent time with. You need to hear him tell these friends that he loves you, that you live together.
I am angry with you. I am. I don’t know you, but I’ve been you in some wanting needing form. This is the worst you, the worst example you could possibly set for your son. You need to fix this, not with questions, not with “talks” or sit downs or rules. You need to either kick him out or find a new place, as soon as humanly possible.
Once you’re settled in your own space, just you and your son, I want you to figure out what in you allowed you to ever believe this was an acceptable standard of living. Why were you so quick to move in with him? You have a lot of personal work to do, and I suggest you find a therapist today. You need a professional who can help you see how your neediness is directing you to make such horrendous choices.
GOT QUESTIONS? NEED ADVICE?
If you have questions or need advice on anything from where to eat to how to get over the bastard, just email your question to my advice email address. Am I a doctor? I don’t even play one on TV, but people keep asking, so I might as well air it and share it.