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Question and Answer: Technology and Suspicion

Hello,
Thank you so much for getting back to me, I really  need a guy’s perspective. Can’t tell you how  uncharacteristic this is for me, in fact it’s a very first. Here’s the thing,  I’ve got a pretty laid back personality, am rarely thrown by anything, but I’ve been in a long term relationship for over 13 years, a little on-and-off, but  mostly on. In the last few months, initiated by him, we’ve become closer  than ever on every level, more than I could have ever thought, and it’s been  great. He’s a bit older than me, by 15 years, we’re both normally intelligent, confident, capable people, etc. But yesterday he was out of town for the day, and I get this text message, clearly not meant for me. Initially I just laughed about it, texted him back that it must have been meant for someone else, and didn’t think much  about it. But before I could even send that text, he’d called, and then texted that it was a joke he’d meant for someone else that I knew. I was actually taken back a bit by how quickly he jumped all over damage control, not wanting me to think anything of it, which I hadn’t, but his actions made it seem a bit suspicious, which I am not normally. I’ve also been aware that he’s very jumpy whenever I’m around his new phone. He had me get him a new phone, just like one that I have, and has asked me to help him with learning a number of things on it. But as mentioned, he acts jumpy when I’m around it, not wanting me to hold the phone to show him what he’s asked, or if he goes to look up something, he turns it slightly away. To me, it’s obvious that he doesn’t want me to see what’s on it. Whatever on that as well. But after the text mixup thing, and
thinking about what’s going on with the ipone, I’m really embarrassed to say
that suspicion got the best of me, and I went online to look at his email.
Longer story short, I discovered that he’s on a number of dating sights, one of which was the more active. I noticed that on that site, he had communicated with a number of potential matches, as recently as 3 days ago, and all during this time we had been getting so much closer. It does not appear hat he has ever met any of them, his picture is not in any of his profiles, and his communications have been pretty innocent, I have been pretty shocked and embarrassed by my own actions and reaction, I felt so blindsided and devastated, which is a real surprise since I’ve always been so laid back, and such. He called last night when he got home, but he could tell something was wrong in my voice. He even called back again to say that he loved me, and did he do anything wrong, that he felt so guilty that I was obviously feeling bad about something.
I told him not to worry about it, I’d talk w/him in the morning. Anyway, I don’t know what I should do now, should I just let it go and not say anything, chalk it up to a private side of his life, no matter how it makes me feel, and I’ll just deal with it and do my best to let it go? (despite the female stereotype, I am actually very good at letting things go) Or should say something and hash it out, even though that would bust me for looking at the email, and checking out the sites? In my head, I thought I was going to say something like what I was struggling with began with the whole errant text thing which was not meant for me, so anything after that would not have mattered, but his overreaction to fixing it did raise some issues for me, combined with his obvious concern about me seeing anything on his phone. That maybe I’m not what he wants after all, and I don’t want to be something that keeps him busy while he looks for what will really make him happy. I’m supposed to meet him for lunch later today, then go he’ll go with me to my son’s game, and then back to his house, where I’d usually spend the night. I really need another opinion and perspective, is it just an older guy thing trying to validate himself, or should I be concerned, or what?
Sorry to dump so much at once, I am uncharacteristically lost on this. Anyway, thank you so much for your time and assistance.
Yours,
Michelle

Dear Michelle,
We’re sorry you are having such a hard time. This is a very complex situation
and we have many thoughts and reactions to your letter.

Yes, you do have every right to be suspicious. He is obviously doing much
that you aren’t aware of. And it seems he’s fine with doing so. Anyone in your position would feel just as hurt and betrayed as you do. However, you are right. You did let your suspicions get the best of you and by looking through his email you’ve also crossed the line. But all is not necessarily lost, but much has to be sorted out.

You describe your relationship as on-and-off again for thirteen years. Is
this because you both don’t really want more? Or realize the relationship works, but it’s not really serious? And why has it been left up to him to take the relationship to the next level? Have you not wanted that?

Our point is, maybe these events are just what the two of you needed. It’s time to hash things out.
For REAL!!  And ask some hard questions.

What do you want?
What does he want?
Do you truly want each other in the same way?
And will you trust one another after this is all said and done?

So our advice to you is come clean. Forget damage control. Forget trying
to make it seem like something else. If the two of you are really an
exclusive couple then he’s cheating on you. Maybe not physically, but
certainly emotionally. This is not OK, and you shouldn’t tolerate it.
If you brush this aside it will eat at you and will just resent him
more and more.

So yes, you need to explain your suspicions and tell him what you did. Expect a bad reaction. At first. If he truly loves you and if you truly love him, it’s possible you may be able to work this out. It might take a day, a week or a month. You’ve already waited thirteen years to get to this point, so a little more time won’t hurt you. And it sounds like you’ve been so busy making everything nice and letting things roll off of you, that you haven’t gotten down to the nitty gritty.

Our question to you Michelle is, “Do you really love this man?” If so, then you do everything you can to make him understand what you want. We’re not really sure what that is though?  That’s something you really need to take a hard look at.

So what is the worst case scenario? You might lose this man. You may be devastated for a while.

So what is the best case scenario? The two of you come to a new understanding of one another and take the relationship to the next
level.

Another possible scenario: You move on and realize that the world is a big place with lots of interesting people to meet.  You’re young, energetic, intelligent and deserve to have what you want.
Don’t settle for something that doesn’t truly make you happy.

Good luck. We wish you the best.

THE GUYS

PS. The age of the GUY doesn’t have anything to do with this unfortunately.

Readers:
Feel free to leave us a comment. And email us at:
advice@theguysperspective.com if you have a question you’d like THE
GUYS to respond to.

8 Comments on Question and Answer: Technology and Suspicion

  1. Very good advice and I agree with The Guys! I think you need to hash it out and get to the bottom of it. Good luck and keep us updated!

  2. I agree…The Guys pretty much covered some very solid advice.
    My thoughts on being tempted to snoop into ones partners emails…phone texts ect are..beware of a severe catch22.
    Be careful what you wish for and if you are going to snoop and you do find something…then what?
    By snooping …You are left in a situation of ‘oh no’…if I say something I will be the one looking guilty of crossing a privacy line which will in turn give him/her the out on why I even was tempted to look.
    In your situation…you most likely should have addressed the text and your thoughts to him immediately. If he denied any type of fowl play…your trust would determine whether or not to accept his reply and move on with life or fall prey to your non-trust and be the snoop.
    AS the Guys have mentioned…there are deeper issues here other than your partner popping into dating sites.
    The question is more..WHY is he doing this?
    When one falls off the relationship road…there is usually a crack in it 🙂

  3. You gave a good advice GUYS.
    For me it’s cheating. He may not have done it yet but it’s leading to that. What Michelle did, I would have done too if I were in that situation. I know it’s wrong and I’m not justifying it, but sometimes, being too puzzled can lead to that.
    I hope everything works out for her and his man.
    Hope The Guys are having a great weekend. 🙂

  4. Trust. The entire issue is one of trust. If after thirteen years, one is still suspicious, maybe it’s time to catch another train.

  5. Boy I love being here because once again I learn a lot..
    well done…and the buzz word trust it isn’t there…and lost forever..
    Dorothy from grammology
    grammology.com

  6. Boy I love being here because once again I learn a lot..
    well done…and the buzz word trust it isn’t there…and lost forever..
    Dorothy from grammology
    grammology.com

  7. Just wanted to pop in and thank everyone for all the input. Still not sure what I will do, but truly appreciate the perspectives. Not sure if you want to hear any of this, but I will address a couple of your concerns, re: the relationship. During the 13 years, it has always been serious, and I’ve always been very clear on what I wanted, but I also believe deeply in one making their own choices, that’s where the true value is for me, not because it’s what you think you should do, or feel obligated to do, or to meet anyone else’s expectations, but because it’s what you want for yourself, and together. When we’ve had the down time, it’s because I’ve taken the position that we do want different things, so I will just let go, and we’ll move on from there. But he’s always managed to bring us back together with his persistence in his position that he wanted us to be together. I pointed out that the increased closeness and intensity of late was initiated by him, because he had made the choice to do so all on his own, which actually meant quite a lot to me, and in turn I let go of everything and fully embraced what it was he said he wanted for us both. It was at this same time that this issue came up, which is why all of it hit so hard. No ducking it, I agree with everyone, no excuse for violating his privacy, it was a first. And one of the comments was right, now that I do know that something is up, my actions make it hard to confront without diverting from the betrayal, or what will we do from here. But I will figure out what approach to take soon, because you are also right, it will eat at me otherwise, and in every other area of my life, I deal with things straightforwardly, no games, no pretending. But I also try never to react to anything out of fear, panic, anger, or even hurt, so I need a few days to wrap myself around it all, and for something else that has to take place at the end of the week. So I’m guessing it will probably be by next weekend. If anyone’s interested, I will update soon. But no matter what, thanks again, so sincerely, as your advice and comments were really needed. I’ve been a deeply private and independent person my entire life, which has never been a problem until now, when the need for advice, especially from a guy’s perspective, was so needed. Thank you.
    Michelle

  8. Michelle,
    We absolutely want to hear what you’re thinking and what you finally decide to do.
    And we’re glad we could provide you with a guy’s viewpoint on the situation. It’s good for anyone to get a different perspective.
    We wish you all the best. Please be in touch. We hope you’ll come back and visit us, now that you “know” us!
    Take care,
    THE GUYS

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