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Online infidelity

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50ftqueenie posted 11/26/2013 11:51 AM

I moved in with my boyfriend about three and a half months ago, after being in an exclusive, not-quite-long distance relationship for three years (he lived an hour and a half away from me, we would see each other on the weekends). Yesterday morning, I found out he had been having online affairs with multiple women -- naked pics (from them, not him), highly sexual talk, etc. I know some people don't consider this cheating, but I certainly do, and made that clear when we were first dating, as I knew in his single days he had a lot of online flirtations, but trusted and believed him when he said he would put that behind him if I needed that to become exclusive with him.

I found out when he was sitting next to me on the couch, clicking through emails, and I swore out of the corner of my eye I saw one with a bunch of naked pictures pop up. He quickly closed it and didn't say anything. I went upstairs a little later and checked his email on his Kindle fire. Sure enough, there they were -- multiple exchanges between him and her.

I freaked out and immediately went downstairs and confronted him. The woman was a former high school classmate of his. He said it had been happening for a few months (shortly before I moved in). I asked if there were others. He said yes. Because the main woman was a former classmate, I asked if she lived nearby. He said he thought she lived in the state but he wasn't sure where. I asked if things had gotten physical, or if he had planned to. No on both counts.

I didn't know what to say or do. We reached an impasse. He was highly apologetic, but I just needed to leave the room. I went back upstairs, and of course I checked his email on the Kindle again. I could see him deleting emails as I looked. A lot of emails from at least 4-5 different women, not the 2-3 like he was presenting it, including a friend he'd known for nearly 20 years, and to my knowledge he'd never previously been sexual with.

I flipped out again. I asked why he wasn't totally honest with me the first time. Of course, he said what I had just seen was the extent of it. And made sure to take his Kindle away.

There was a whole day of crying, circular questions. Why would you do this? What would you get of it? He went to sleep. I crept downstairs and checked his email again on his laptop. (I know, I know.) Emails (not since finding out) from yet further women, other old friends who, again, I had never had any idea he had had any kind of sexual dynamic with. I confronted him about it this morning. Up to this point, he had blocked everyone I knew about, but not this woman (and, for all I know, other women I still don't know about.) I said, "I feel like you didn't tell me about this because you've known this woman for so long that you don't want to block her." He said he thought I was probably right. But he did end up blocking her. To my knowledge, though, he's only sent a NC letter to one of the many, many women (the high school classmate).

Everything's so new, and I'm so confused. He seems genuinely remorseful, and immediately made a therapy appointment, but I don't know how to trust him if he lied to me three times AFTER being found out.

Added to that, I packed up my whole life to be with him. I quit my extremely well-paying job and nice apartment in a neighboring state and switched to a freelance, work-from-home career here -- one that pays well enough to support myself while living with him (his family owns the house he lives in, so no rent), but not by myself, especially not in the city I used to live in, where the rent and cost of living are extremely high. I have no friends in this state, no family, just me and him. I feel trapped in this nightmare. I have options for getting out, but there are so many possibilities swirling in my mind right now, I just don't know what to do. I feel so lost and alone.

tushnurse posted 11/26/2013 12:27 PM

Welcome, I am sorry you have to be here, and glad you found us.

Now I am going to give you some very simple advice, and I hope you listen to me.

Run, Run far, run fast, and don't look back. You are young, you don't have children, and you are not married. The only tie you have to this clown is the illusion of a loving relationship.

He has proven to you that he is incapable of being honest with you. He has had an issue with this before, and when confronted with proof still didn't have the balls to respect you enough to tell you the truth. He is a proven liar, and the only thing that you know for sure is that which you saw with your own eyes, and that he is a liar that lies. Meaning you cannot believe that he wasn't phyical, meaning you cannot believe he will do whatever it takes to help you heal, and to heal himself. He is broken in a very sick sad fundamental way, and he is unwilling to even own up to his dishonesty about it. RUN!!!!

Call your former employer and see if you can return, call mom and dad, and go home if you need to until you get on your feet again, but please for the love of god, do not allow this man to disrespect you, lie to you, and manipulate you into believeing he has what it takes to have a healthy relationship.

You are smart, capable, and stronger than you ever imagined, I know right now you are in such pain you can't believe that, but it's time to get mad, and pull from your anger the strength you need to find a better life for yourself.
Be mad that he has lied to you all along, be even madder that he continued to outright lie to you when you had proof. Be furious that you don't know and can't trust if he put your health in danger by having sex iwth others, which he probably did. Be outraged that you uprooted your life to try to start one with him, and he threw that gift away.

Keep reading here, keep posting here.

(((and strength))))

bobf posted 11/26/2013 12:34 PM


Run like the wind. Well don't physically run, don't give him that satisfaction. Stop talking to him, pack everything up and move out.

Jls0320 posted 11/26/2013 12:54 PM

I agree, get out now. I classify this as cheating and my husband has been guilty of it as well as his EA with a coworker. I'm married a 2 kids and it's going to be soooo hard if/when I leave and I will be forever attached to him. Find someone that respects you because he obviously does not, and it will not stop, he will just hide it better. I'm sorry

50ftqueenie posted 11/26/2013 13:32 PM

Thank you everyone for your replies so far. I really appreciate it. Some more context, which may be helpful: I'm 31, he's 38. Aside from the age disparity, there is also a physical one: he's very, very overweight, and I'm average weight. I've never cared about this except in the respect that it does make sex difficult for him sometimes, and gives him a lower libido than me. Throughout this I have always tried to be understanding and accommodating, but regardless I have always been up for trying new things, and am always initiating, being physically affectionate, etc. It was only lately that he started to seem annoyed by me touching him, which he said (after I found out about the online affairs) is because he felt too guilty and ashamed for me to touch him after what he'd done.

As we've had many, many discussions over the past two days to try and get my head around this, we talked about how he engages in these online affairs and what he gets out of them. I had noticed in what I had seen that the women were the only ones to send pictures, not him. All of his sex talk was pretty much identical to the stuff he says to me in bed. So I said, well, what are you getting out of these interactions that you don't get from me? And what it came down to for him (and this felt like the truth, finally) was that these online interactions allow him to engage in sexual activity without the fear or worry of anyone seeing his body. (Keep in mind that I have never said anything but positive things about his body, so this is not a response to any criticism on my part.) None of these women know what he looks like -- the ex-classmate presumably hasn't seen him since high school. To put it quite bluntly, I think even if the opportunity presented itself, I'm not sure how many of these women actually would sleep with him in real life if given the opportunity. Additionally, we both work from home, so it would be really difficult for him to schedule an in-person liaison without me knowing. (All the timelines and everything match up -- when he goes to the grocery store, he comes back quickly with groceries, when he goes to his mom's, he comes back quickly with something she was going to give to me, etc.) (I do of course now wonder if anything happened before I moved in.)

This is one of the reasons why I do actually believe that things never did or never would get physical -- not just because of the fact that all of these women live far away, and not just because of his body shame, but because he's not exactly able to deliver reliably. This is something I thought we had both managed pretty well in our sex life (there are a lot of different ways to have sex, after all), but his self-consciousness around me continues to be an issue.

From our discussions he also presents this as a joyless compulsion -- something that used to give him a thrill but doesn't anymore. Yet he continued to do it, and feel guilty, and do it again. For that reason, more so than the dishonesty, I doubt being able to move on from this, because in my experience such compulsions are difficult to cure. He was sexually abused multiple times as a child, and I wonder if that is factor -- I've asked him to bring it up in his first therapy session, which is a week from yesterday.

Ultimately I guess I'm at war with myself right now while all these emotions are still fresh: one side says get out, this is unacceptable, you can do so much better, there are so many men out there who would never do this to you. The other side, though, already misses him and is grieving for the future we were so excited to build together (which, incidentally, deliberately did not include children -- I was ambivalent about them and he was firm about not wanting them, so kids were never in the picture).

The best part is: only a couple of months ago, my mom did the same thing to my stepdad, to a much lesser degree (only one man), and with more extenuating circumstances (she's bipolar, and after my grandma (her mom) died, she really just lost it for a while there). At the time, I was so stressed and upset about what was happening, because, having a mentally ill mother and being estranged from my equally mentally ill father, my stepdad is one of the few stable influences in my life, and I was terrified of losing him. Throughout this, my boyfriend listened to me, comforted me. And all the while he was doing the same thing behind my back.

No12turn2 posted 11/26/2013 14:03 PM

You deserve better. Don't put up with it and don't settle for anything less than FAITHFUL!

tushnurse posted 11/26/2013 14:53 PM

I agree with no12, You do deserve better, and whether or not it's physical is really not even a matter here, what does matter is that he is lying to you, and choosing to pretend with ow than spend quality time with you, and thenlie and lie and lie and lie about it.

megs56 posted 11/30/2013 16:32 PM

Fist off - many hugs to you 50ftqueenie. I am so sorry that you had a reason to find this site, but glad that you found it. This site is so helpful. The members are great and the healing library has a lot of helpful information.

What your BF did is definitely cheating. I can empathize with and understand a lot of your feelings. Everything my BF did was online or through texting. He had an EA with a girl he was deployed with, sexting other girls, on, etc. Your BF broke your trust and did very inappropriate things, things that one should never do while in a committed relationship. He definitely cheated. My BF never really came clean about things until I confronted him with information. That is really hard.

I am sorry you are dealing with this. Take care of yourself. Get into IC (individual counseling) if you can. That has been very helpful for me. And take as much time as you need to make a decision about your relationship. Put yourself firs!!


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