yet another relationship dilemma thread, sorry...

  • tomchadwin

    Posts: 26

    Jan 02, 2012 8:46 AM GMT
    You guys have probably heard all of this before. My boyfriend and I stumbled on our first major conflict. It is the classic case of the -I thought he was cheating and so I snooped. Turns out that he didn't actually cheated on me, but he did send very sexual emails to his ex over the course two months and wanted to meet up with his ex "for dinner" behind my back.

    He was very angry with me for snooping which I apologized, but thought I was justified due to my suspicion caused by his behavior. He tried to break up with me. I begged for him to NOT break up with me -I felt like I lost a lot of my dignity for doing so since I think that he shouldn't be repeated sending sexual emails to his ex in the first place, doing things behind my back and thus planted a seed of suspicion.

    When asked why he did what he did - my boyfriend said that his ex recently wanted to be get back into his life (I don't mind them being friends) and that the sexual email was innocent flirting (I think that this is putting it very mildly given the content of those sexual emails)

    I know that a lot of you will say that this relationship is over. But we have been together for 4 years and I don't want to give up on us and throw this away since I think this is the first major stumbling block in our relationship.

    I plan to stay with him (for now) and continue to show him that I love him and not to snoop on him anymore. But I plan to only see him once a week (we don't live together) and stop having unprotected sex with him until I can fully trust him again. Do you think that this is a good idea to regain some of my self worth for begging him not to leave me? Any advice would be appreciated.
  • rnch

    Posts: 11524

    Jan 02, 2012 9:26 AM GMT
    tomchadwin said.... But I plan to only see him once a week (we don't live together) and stop having unprotected sex with him until I can fully trust him again. Do you think that this is a good idea to regain some of my self worth for begging him not to leave me? Any advice would be appreciated.


    an excellent idea!

    when the trust is gone, barebacking should be gone also.

    an angry bf/former bf will do some strange sexual stuff that he wouldn not have done before the fight/break up.
  • Rolland

    Posts: 45

    Jan 02, 2012 10:25 AM GMT
    I dunno... I know you said you dont want it to be over but why wasnt he honest with you? and why would he send his ex sexual emails to begin with? basically what does his ex have that makes him so much better than you? if your everything that he wants and your his "one" then he shouldnt want for anyone else right? I mean friends yeah but you said the emails were flirtatious and sexual so for me that crosses the line. I would see him more than once a week but I'd probably cut the sex out entirely- then again I am single and have never dated anyone so my advice might not be the best? still though 4 years and... i dunno its upseting me and I'm not even his bf lol... icon_evil.gif
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    Jan 02, 2012 11:46 AM GMT
    tomchadwin saidYou guys have probably heard all of this before. My boyfriend and I stumbled on our first major conflict. It is the classic case of the -I thought he was cheating and so I snooped. Turns out that he didn't actually cheated on me, but he did send very sexual emails to his ex over the course two months and wanted to meet up with his ex "for dinner" behind my back.

    He was very angry with me for snooping which I apologized, but thought I was justified due to my suspicion caused by his behavior. He tried to break up with me. I begged for him to NOT break up with me...


    Ok let's stop right there... Your cheating boyfriend wants to break up with you because you discovered he's a cheating scumbag and you beg him to stay?

    Dude....... dude...
  • rnch

    Posts: 11524

    Jan 02, 2012 12:56 PM GMT
    Larkin said...
    Ok let's stop right there... Your cheating boyfriend wants to break up with you because you discovered he's a cheating scumbag and you beg him to stay?

    Dude....... dude...



    good point icon_exclaim.gif
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    Jan 02, 2012 2:45 PM GMT
    Larkin said

    Ok let's stop right there... Your cheating boyfriend wants to break up with you because you discovered he's a cheating scumbag and you beg him to stay?

    Dude....... dude...


    Have to say I'm with Larkin on this.

    Also, when the trust is broken, the relationship takes a long hard time to recover. If it ever does.

    Do you really want to be with someone you don't trust?
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    Jan 02, 2012 2:57 PM GMT
    Ma_ct said
    Larkin said

    Ok let's stop right there... Your cheating boyfriend wants to break up with you because you discovered he's a cheating scumbag and you beg him to stay?

    Dude....... dude...


    Have to say I'm with Larkin on this.

    Also, when the trust is broken, the relationship takes a long hard time to recover. If it ever does.

    Do you really want to be with someone you don't trust?


    Im with both of them.. also to the barebacking question... uh... Ive seen this affect relationships before... Just end it. Get tested while you are at it too. If anything maybe you could work the kinks out later but you need a break and so does he so he can figure out what he wants.
  • tomchadwin

    Posts: 26

    Jan 02, 2012 4:42 PM GMT
    Thanks everyone for your reply...

    to Larkin, mch, Ma_ct Ryan_Andrew and Rolland,

    My boyfriend did not cheat on me in that definition he did NOT have sex with anyone else. Yes he did send sexual emails to his ex (but again he did NOT have sex with him). He did apologize for sending those emails.

    I know that objectively speaking that people might think that this relationship is over since a lot of trust have been lost. But I have been with him for 4 f**king years! :-(

    Again this is the boyfriend that took care of me when I was sick in the hospital, the person who my friends and family came to adore, the person who I share a lot of great memories with.

    I guess I'm interested to hear if anyone had any similar experiences and was able to forgive and move past this sort of crisis in a relationship. Again thank you for everyone who replied. Keep the advice coming if you have them.
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    Jan 02, 2012 4:50 PM GMT
    Larkin is definitely right here.

    He might not have cheated on you physically with someone but mentally that dude was a total cheating whore. In reality, you got the sense that he was cheating (he wasn't as it turns out), however, it seems the things he was doing could very easily have led up to him physically cheating on you. Consider his actions premeditated. The emails and the supposed dinner with his "ex" behind your back are major first steps to cheating.

    Trust was gone once you found the emails which are pretty incriminating. Your gut feeling saved you. Go get tested and be sure about yourself. Once that's done then I say you dump him. If you can't trust and communicate with someone then you shouldn't be sleeping with them and you certainly shouldn't be in a relationship with them.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19119

    Jan 02, 2012 4:51 PM GMT
    tomchadwin saidThanks everyone for your reply...

    to Larkin, mch, Ma_ct Ryan_Andrew and Rolland,

    My boyfriend did not cheat on me in that definition he did NOT have sex with anyone else. Yes he did send sexual emails to his ex (but again he did NOT have sex with him). He did apologize for sending those emails.

    I know that objectively speaking that people might think that this relationship is over since a lot of trust have been lost. But I have been with him for 4 f**king years! :-(

    Again this is the boyfriend that took care of me when I was sick in the hospital, the person who my friends and family came to adore, the person who I share a lot of great memories with.

    I guess I interested to hear if anyone had any similar experiences and was able to forgive and move past this sort of crisis in a relationship. Again thank you for everyone who replied. Keep the advice coming if you have them.



    I can see your side of it, but if ANYONE should be doing the begging not to break up, it should be the one who was sending the sexual emails to the ex. This is not a good sign, I don't care how you want to spin it. The fact that you're the one doing the begging and the one who, as you put it, felt like you "lost a lot of my dignity" tells me that you're all too willing to be the doormat in this relationship. As long as you have that little respect for yourself, he will likely never truly respect you. Your BF sending sexual emails to his ex is NOT acceptable -- period. You need to pull back and reassess all of this. Let HIM prove the relationship is worth begging for.
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    Jan 02, 2012 4:58 PM GMT
    Coming from experience, once you suspect your boyfriend is getting into shady things and you start to find proof to support that suspicion, you're going to have a very hard time regaining any trust toward him.

    He should have been considerate enough of you to let you know that he is talking to his ex again. As with any relationship, once communication starts to break down and become less and less of a priority, the relationship will suffer along with it. I would prefer my boyfriend to be completely open and honest with me rather than discovering his activities after the fact.

    You need to insist that you have an open book policy and let each other know what's going on that could potentially have an effect on the relationship, no matter big or small. It's simply common courtesy to quell any suspicions that arise and to continue to make the partner feel as valued as they should be.

    Considering you have the history you have, you're right. It's hard to let go of that. It's noble of you to want to continue to fight for that. The question arises if your boyfriend is right there with you. If he is, then there's hope for the relationship to continue and the trust to eventually come back. He just has a lot of damage control to do now.
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    Jan 02, 2012 5:08 PM GMT
    The romantic in me would prefer to take your side. However, in this case, all the guys who have responded are probably right. Trust is trust. It doesn't come in different shades. And your bf has not been fair to you. As said by CuriousJockAZ, it is your bf who should be apologizing to you and begging you to stay.

    You're probably scared to leave behind 4 good years. I don't blame you. Who would want to go back to being single after that long of an emotional investment?

    You need to have a heart-to-heart conversation with your bf; confront him. Tell him that sending those types of emails to anyone is unacceptable and not having been open with you regarding his ex is equally unacceptable. Observe how he responds. If he truly loves you, he will take accountability and acknowledge that he has made a serious mistake. Otherwise... well, you know what the outcome will be.

    If you do not confront him and just let things be, it will eat you inside and eventually it will manifest itself--psychologically, emotionally, or physically. Is that the alternative that you want instead?

    Good luck.
  • mybud

    Posts: 11819

    Jan 02, 2012 5:10 PM GMT
    Ya...I think cutting back seeing him and protecting yourself is a wise decision..the e mail flirt...may have just been that...privately without trust equals relationship doomed...Good Luck....BUD
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    Jan 02, 2012 5:12 PM GMT
    A couple of things:

    - Would your bf have EVER told you about the sexual emails, the secret dinner, and that his ex was back in his life if you hadn't found out about these things?

    - You begged him to stay with you, but only on the condition that you can punish him (and yourself) by limiting contact and sexual intimacy. Why do this?

    - There's a trust issue between the two of you now. However, if your bf is planning to keep secrets from you about his private affairs with other guys, he will do this a lot more carefully now that you've discovered this behavior on his part. Next time, what will you do in addition to snooping? Stalk his house? Follow him day and night?

    Personally, I don't like that you resorted to snooping to discover his hidden behaviors. Because your relationship lasted for four years, and because you trusted him enough to be having unprotected sex, there should have been a level of communication between the two of you where he would either tell you this stuff or you could ask him about it and get a straight answer without snooping. That communication didn't exist. Proceed with extreme caution.

    It's hard to let go of a relationship that you've built over several years, but think about how unhealthy all of this is. Do you want to live like this?
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    Jan 02, 2012 5:14 PM GMT
    Man, everyone sure is quick to break you two up. 4 yrs is a helluva long time. Love isn't always easy. It's something you have to fight for. He made a mistake. So did you. You both apologized. Look each other in the eye, say I love you, and move on. Love can fix anything. It just still needs to be there.
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    Jan 02, 2012 5:27 PM GMT
    huhwhat saidMan, everyone sure is quick to break you two up. 4 yrs is a helluva long time. Love isn't always easy. It's something you have to fight for. He made a mistake. So did you. You both apologized. Look each other in the eye, say I love you, and move on. Love can fix anything. It just still needs to be there.


    What mistake did the OP make exactly? He got suspicious of his bf cheating and so he did a little snooping. As it stands, it paid off and he found some disturbing emails that supported his suspicions. Again, what mistake did the OP make?

    You are right. 4 years is a hell of a long time and it seems the bf didn't take it serious enough if he had to go behind the OP's back and write sexual emails with his ex and then plan a "dinner" and keep it a secret. You don't do that shit when you are in a relationship especially with an ex? The OP shouldn't have to apologize for anything. If the OP had been wrong and found nothing to indicate that his BF was cheating on then him then he would've be wrong. That isn't the case here.

    No one is breaking these two up. These are just opinions. Just that simple. They are well founded opinions too based off of human nature, experience and good old fashion common sense. The BF's actions were leading up to him cheating. Where's the love in that and no love can't fix any or everything?

    When you love someone you don't do things that would hurt them. I'd say the BF's actions here are pretty hurtful and damn intentionally to boot. I can take your quote and flip it too if you like. If you love someone then set them free.

    BF is about to get set free. LOL.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19119

    Jan 02, 2012 5:29 PM GMT
    huhwhat saidMan, everyone sure is quick to break you two up. 4 yrs is a helluva long time. Love isn't always easy. It's something you have to fight for. He made a mistake. So did you. You both apologized. Look each other in the eye, say I love you, and move on. Love can fix anything. It just still needs to be there.



    I agree that "Love can fix anything", but what kind of LOVE is it when one partner is sending sex messages and having secret dinners with his Ex? The OP needs to pull back and see if the relationship is important enough to the partner to fight for now that he has been busted inching ever closer towards his ex. I suspect that this relationship has one foot in the grave already if this is all happening, so the sooner the OP knows this the better so he can move on. The OP clinging to a relationship that clearly isn't firing on all cylinders only makes him look desperate. If the BF wants the Ex, let him have him.
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    Jan 02, 2012 5:45 PM GMT
    I agree if this is a one time mistake try to move on.A four year relationship is a lot to throw away.But keeping your self respect is more important.
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    Jan 02, 2012 5:50 PM GMT
    huhwhat saidMan, everyone sure is quick to break you two up. 4 yrs is a helluva long time. Love isn't always easy. It's something you have to fight for. He made a mistake. So did you. You both apologized. Look each other in the eye, say I love you, and move on. Love can fix anything. It just still needs to be there.


    I agree with this but think there's more than an apology needed. Being together for four years means something must have been there to spark that relationship. I agree that throwing that all away isn't necessary, but I also feel that there must be something not quite right in the relationship. Perhaps it's your sex life, perhaps he's feeling 'trapped', perhaps you both need to recognize how to communicate openly and not jump to conclusions.

    If he's making sexual suggestions then perhaps his ex gave him something you aren't or he's bored sexually. Perhaps you need to work on finding a way to fulfill that sexual desire for him. Not sharing his communications seems like a fear of your response. Maybe you need to talk about how you would feel about him having a night out with an ex or a friend alone. Talk about boundaries and expectations, be more open and accepting of each others desires, fantasies and wants.

    Throwing it all away is the easy way out, working to keep the one you love is the reality of how relationships work.
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    Jan 02, 2012 5:53 PM GMT
    Well, I don't like that you begged him to stay. I've never cheated on anyone in my life, but I did have someone basically delve into my past and my personal information. And I was so fuckin pissed, I broke up. Never gave him a reason to believe I was dishonest, except not liking to talk about my past. But then again, I wasn't with him for 4 yrs. I don't know the circumstances around why your bf would be talking with his ex like that, but ask him. If you can understand the reasons and background, forgive him. You obviously love him. But withholding sex and being passive aggressive will tear that shit up in like two mikes.
  • tomchadwin

    Posts: 26

    Jan 02, 2012 6:19 PM GMT
    Again I'd like to thank everyone for their replies. Believe it or not, writing out my thoughts and just hearing from people on this forum, HELPS ME GREATLY and ofcourse better and cheaper than any therapy session!

    @Guy101, CuriousJockAZ, tgags, marcobruno197, mybud, yeahim40, huhwhat, WickedRyan, eb925guy thanks for your reply.

    Even though I have been in this relationship for 4years (4 wonderful years mind you), I am still learning about relationships. This is the first time in our relationship that I've had a need to not trust my BF. I am going to be cautious going forward and be emotionally prepared for the worst. UGH!! I need to go for a long run listening to my favorite songs on my mp3 player...
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    Jan 02, 2012 7:00 PM GMT
    I'm a bit confused. The timeline here does NOT add up and your previous posts reflect a very different story than what you're portraying here. I'm not buying any of your post and think you're living in a fantasy world of made up stories.


    October 27, 2008:


    tomchadwin said I just found out that my loving, caring, earnest boyfriend, Steve, of 5 months is the kind of manipulative, predatory liar that one normally reads about in True Story! magazine. So this is the scoop: As it turns out, he'd started dating me a month before he and his ex boyfriend of 3 years broke up, making me the unknowing other guy, and spent the bulk of our relationship trying to convince his ex to go back out with him again as well as sleeping with his ex while we were together.

    Since it was clear that he'd never told his ex about me, I contacted his ex to let him know I existed. (I know some commenters are critical of this, but I've dated a cheater before and I've resolved never to stay silent if I have the opportunity to tell someone the truth.) His ex was shocked, but grateful to know about me--His ex had, of course, been assuming Steve was single, and while he was reluctant to start anything serious with Steve again, he still had feelings for Steve.

    But as Steve's ex and I compared notes, we not only realized that Steve had cheated on him with me, but I realized that he had no intention of breaking up with me, and that he had in fact been trying to maintain two relationships at once. For example, I broke up with him briefly when I felt things weren't right and thought he was lying to me, and so he sent me a long email apologizing, wanting to talk, and asking how he could make things work. It turns out he'd also been sleeping and going out on romantic dinners with his ex while doing this!


    January 19, 2009:

    tomchadwin saidI've been seeing this guy at least once a week for the past 4 months now. We've been intimate, have great chemistry on every level, he has introduced me to his friends and coworkers blah blah blah.

    Everything was going great until I saw him making out with a guy at a club who he went home with (he didn't see me). Granted that we haven't discussed exclusivity, I was still taken back and ofcourse was extremely jealous.


    November 23, 2009:

    tomchadwin saidMy boyfriend believes that monogamy is essential during the initial stage of a relationship (i.e. the first several years) to build trust and connection, however after that he realistically doesn't think he can be physically monogomous to me for the rest of his life.

    Anyways, this whole thing has made me internally question the future of our relationship. I feel like this issue is really challenging the fine line of compromising with my boyfriend and going against my personal core values.


    April 21, 2010:

    tomchadwin saidAlright, my monogamous BF and I have been together for over a year. This past week I found out he has recently logged on to his Manhunt account. He was sorry and said that he only logs on for eye candy and only logs on no more than once a week for the past couple of months (He was ashame to admit). He explains it's a kind of "fetish" for him... which I don't totally buy.

    I'm all for him having some eye candy (I mean, I watch porn myself), but I think logging on to Manhunt is whole different ball game and shows lack of loyalty and respect wouldn't you agree? What would you do in this situation?


    January 6, 2011:

    tomchadwin saidI've always felt that my boyfriend of 3 years have a great relationship - no major arguments and a great sex life.

    Then recently I found out that my boyfriend had been having webcam cybersex with guys online behind my back for the past 6 months using a software program called CAM4 (I've never even heard of this program before)

    This is what he says:

    1). He has never physically cheated on me or never met with anyone he chatted with.

    2). He has not been on any dating/hookup sites like manhunt, A4A etc.

    3). He does have urges to be with other guys, but currently he does not want an open relationship.

    4). He is sorry for doing this behind my back and says that the cybersex is an "safe" outlet for his sexual urges.

    I believe what he is telling me. But again I feel hurt, betrayed and confused.
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    Jan 02, 2012 7:13 PM GMT
    eb925guy saidI'm a bit confused. The timeline here does NOT add up and your previous posts reflect a very different story than what you're portraying here. I'm not buying any of your post and think you're living in a fantasy world of made up stories.


    October 27, 2008:


    tomchadwin said I just found out that my loving, caring, earnest boyfriend, Steve, of 5 months is the kind of manipulative, predatory liar that one normally reads about in True Story! magazine. So this is the scoop: As it turns out, he'd started dating me a month before he and his ex boyfriend of 3 years broke up, making me the unknowing other guy, and spent the bulk of our relationship trying to convince his ex to go back out with him again as well as sleeping with his ex while we were together.

    Since it was clear that he'd never told his ex about me, I contacted his ex to let him know I existed. (I know some commenters are critical of this, but I've dated a cheater before and I've resolved never to stay silent if I have the opportunity to tell someone the truth.) His ex was shocked, but grateful to know about me--His ex had, of course, been assuming Steve was single, and while he was reluctant to start anything serious with Steve again, he still had feelings for Steve.

    But as Steve's ex and I compared notes, we not only realized that Steve had cheated on him with me, but I realized that he had no intention of breaking up with me, and that he had in fact been trying to maintain two relationships at once. For example, I broke up with him briefly when I felt things weren't right and thought he was lying to me, and so he sent me a long email apologizing, wanting to talk, and asking how he could make things work. It turns out he'd also been sleeping and going out on romantic dinners with his ex while doing this!


    January 19, 2009:

    tomchadwin saidI've been seeing this guy at least once a week for the past 4 months now. We've been intimate, have great chemistry on every level, he has introduced me to his friends and coworkers blah blah blah.

    Everything was going great until I saw him making out with a guy at a club who he went home with (he didn't see me). Granted that we haven't discussed exclusivity, I was still taken back and ofcourse was extremely jealous.


    November 23, 2009:

    tomchadwin saidMy boyfriend believes that monogamy is essential during the initial stage of a relationship (i.e. the first several years) to build trust and connection, however after that he realistically doesn't think he can be physically monogomous to me for the rest of his life.

    Anyways, this whole thing has made me internally question the future of our relationship. I feel like this issue is really challenging the fine line of compromising with my boyfriend and going against my personal core values.


    April 21, 2010:

    tomchadwin saidAlright, my monogamous BF and I have been together for over a year. This past week I found out he has recently logged on to his Manhunt account. He was sorry and said that he only logs on for eye candy and only logs on no more than once a week for the past couple of months (He was ashame to admit). He explains it's a kind of "fetish" for him... which I don't totally buy.

    I'm all for him having some eye candy (I mean, I watch porn myself), but I think logging on to Manhunt is whole different ball game and shows lack of loyalty and respect wouldn't you agree? What would you do in this situation?


    January 6, 2011:

    tomchadwin saidI've always felt that my boyfriend of 3 years have a great relationship - no major arguments and a great sex life.

    Then recently I found out that my boyfriend had been having webcam cybersex with guys online behind my back for the past 6 months using a software program called CAM4 (I've never even heard of this program before)

    This is what he says:

    1). He has never physically cheated on me or never met with anyone he chatted with.

    2). He has not been on any dating/hookup sites like manhunt, A4A etc.

    3). He does have urges to be with other guys, but currently he does not want an open relationship.

    4). He is sorry for doing this behind my back and says that the cybersex is an "safe" outlet for his sexual urges.

    I believe what he is telling me. But again I feel hurt, betrayed and confused.


    Nice detective work.

    It appears we've been had.