Emotional Cheating... thoughts?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 21, 2009 9:47 PM GMT
    OK, so Im new to the site... been lurking a while... and I want to hear some reactions to an issue Im having...

    My partner of 10 years and I have always had a solid relationship, the kind alot of people wish for, I love him very much, and Ive never had a reason to doubt he doesnt love me. Our relationship is monogamous, and we've never had a fight to the point of wanting to break up. We have a small circle of friends, but neither of us are very open to sharing our "true selves" with many people, call it shy, call it guarded... whatever. But recently (over the past 8 months or so) my partner has established a new friendship, and they have grown fairly close, which I dont have a problem with, although unusual for either of us to have a gay friend that isnt fully a mutual friend of both ours, I know its healthy to have outside friendships and comrades...

    They have become good friends, texting over 3 or 400 times a month, talking to each other on the phone, and chatting online. Ive met this friend on many occasions, hes a nice guy but we just dont seem to click, so a relationship between us has never formed. We have differences of opinion, he feels that your partner doesnt have to be your best friend, not even an especially close one, and that sex can be equated with a handshake (opinions that he has every right to have... I simply dont share them). I have to admit that at times Ive been a little jealous, when I want to watch a movie and hes on the computer chatting, but Ive been as far from accusatory as I can be, simply voicing my feelings that I dont want to "share" the emotional intimacy we have. Im not worried about cheating, there are many miles between my partner and his friend, so I dont have to worry about clandestine meetings.... however my jealousy got the best of me and I got into my partners email account, and I found slightly questionable pictures (nothing terribly risque, just out out of character for my partner) sent between them, and some slight sexual banter back and forth. Keep I mind this was just email, which is not their primary method of communication, I have no clue what they chat or text or phone about, other than the tidbits my partner tells me.

    I also found an email that was sent from the friend apologizing for something that may have hurt my partners feelings... and a very wordy reply from my partner saying that he was rethinking their relationship, asking what the friend ultimatley wanted out of the relationship, alluding to some sexual conversations that may have taken place, and generally sounding like an email one would send in the early stages of a romantic relationship... again nothing terriblly explicit, no smoking guns....

    but my question is... how would you feel in this situation... should I be worried about the conversations I have not been privy to? Honestly Im mad and a little hurt, because many times I have voiced my concerns that maybe my partner is a little to invested in this relationship, stating that I didnt want to share him intimately (either physically or emotionally) and each time my partner states that nothing would happen, says that if I want he would stop talking to this friend, and basically says what I would want to hear... I however have always replied that I dont want to "forbid" him from having friends, or having conversations I am not fully aware of... that I love him and as long as I feel secure in our relationship, I want him to be who he is, because that is who I love, I dont want to change him or imprison him in any way...

    So yeah, obviously this is one sided, but am I ok to feel hurt and worried about what other things are being said that I couldnt see? How would you approach this situation?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 21, 2009 9:55 PM GMT
    Have you talked candidly with your partner about how you are feeling? 300 to 400 text messages a month seems like an awful lot (over 10 a day), certainly more than what two friends would exchange when one of them is already in a LTR.

    Friendships with other gay men is great when you are in a relationship, but when quality time with one partner is being curtailed then it needs to be addressed. If you have as strong a relationship as you say, then this issue can be sorted out fairly quickly.

    Good luck.
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    Jan 21, 2009 11:37 PM GMT
    I'd talk to him, be honest (erm, to a point, checking his email was a low one.. as long as you never do it again, I'd probably not tell him about it, unless your intent on having another look)

    But, something I experienced, in my relationship, I'm very much a person who becomes infatuated easily by people I meet and like, I never over stepped any lines, but I did because very close to people, hang out a fair bit with them, get to know them and so on, hell, we'd even flirt outrageously (straights are surprisingly good at this) but nothing ever happened..

    maybe he just is enjoy the excitement of someone new and different who maybe pushes the boundaries to what he is used too, I could be a little bored, not with the relationship, but, perhaps he feels in a rut or something.. you've been together ten years so I'd give him the benefit of the doubt..

    my infatuation thing died down as I got older though thank gawd icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jan 22, 2009 8:47 AM GMT
    sometimes when your with someone for such a long time its nice to feel your attractive to other people, maybe this new friend of his makes him feel attractive and wanted again, although he probably is still madly in love with him. However, maybe this new friend has alternative reasons for the friendship, wanting it to go further, but your bf is not interested, and only enjoyed the attention. I would let it run its course, dont bother him too much about it, just be there for him and listen...i wouldnt worry about it.. best of luck
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    Jan 23, 2009 11:27 PM GMT
    Ok, I come from a totally different direction, very happy in a 15 year open LTR. My take on this is, that I want my partner to be happy and fulfilled in our relationship, but I don't think I can be everything for him. So I'm actually very happy when he has other friends he can pursue other interests with, stuff I'm not interested in. I also feel that it is important that he has other friends he feels close enough with, to discuss issues he has with me. Of course I want these issues to be discussed with me first, but another perspective is sometimes helpful. The most important thing here is open communication and trust.

    I don't think you are communicating openly about this with your partner and you don't trust him in this. Even though you have 10 years of relationship under your belt, you sound insecure. What is your fear in 'sharing him emotionally'? Do you feel, you are coming up short in the relationship, since this online friendship started?

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    Jan 23, 2009 11:42 PM GMT
    I have a little different take than some of the other guys. I was in a 6 year relationship with a guy who I thought could be trusted. Somewhat early on in our relationship we had a similar situation to what you're describing. I believed and trusted him, but slept with one eye open, for lack of a better way to describe my feelings.

    I ended up finding out there was more to the situation than he was leading me to believe. We got over that hurdle and moved on, but not long after I discovered some very sexually explicit email exchanges with another guy under an account he'd created on a gay hook-up site (he clearly wasn't the brightest since he did this all on my computer and left himself logged in for me to find!).

    Again, we moved past it, but eventually I found out he was cheating. When I look back at our years together, its clear now that things escalated from that first deception.

    I'm not suggesting that you're in the same situation, but it sounds fishy to me and it seems like every time I thought something was fishy in my last relationship, it ended up being the case.

    Just be careful in how you proceed...be trusting, but not blind. Trust your instincts. Talk to him about how you're feeling and don't be the martyr...if you're uncomfortable with something, let him know. After all your time together he should understand and you should be his top priority.

    Good luck!
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    Jan 23, 2009 11:52 PM GMT
    Lot's of stuff here. Perhaps too much to cover on this thread. I understand your situation because guess what here I am on Realjock with my boyfriend sitting on the sofa next to me. Here's my take on it for what it is worth.

    A couple of things to think about. You may be jealous but not so much of their relationship per se but of his time spent away from you. Perfectly normal if you too are very close, Talk to him about that.

    You may also wish for more transparency. Having a private friend, which is perhaps new to you both, is difficult to integrate without lot's of transparency as what is going on between them. Having to look at his e-mail really shows a lack of it. When it comes to sites like these, my boyfriend has full access to them. I fully tell what I'm doing in there. That way, my boyfriend is always included in one fashion or another.

    As for sexual innuendos, that's something you too will have to discuss. This is obviously (to me) an issue of defining the boundaries of monogamy within a couple. Talk to him.

    Have faith in your relationship. You two have been together for a long time. Best for you both.

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    Jan 24, 2009 2:17 AM GMT
    A friend is one thing 3- 400 texts a month plus e-mail and phone calls. Do they hang out together more than you and he?? Are they physical at all when they interact??

    Sounds like more than a friendship to me. I'm a pretty intuitive guy. Sounds like he knows it bothers you and he doesn't do much about your feelings! (eg. talking to you about it- reassuring you)

    I'm pretty blunt as well and I would have a more serious talk with him. How would he react if you invested that much time in someone else??

    Wow he has alot of free time???

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    Jan 24, 2009 2:25 AM GMT


    Crazy. When I was 10. These playground things are weird.

    Serious... what for... hope that OMG I LOVE YOU?

    I burn in hell... icon_twisted.gif
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    Jan 24, 2009 2:56 AM GMT
    I think you already know the answer. I think you should man up and approach our partner as an adult and just air out whatever it is you have on your mind.

    I think we all have really good friends but there become a point some things are just too much a 3-400 text messages seems a bit excessive especially when you combine the rather "questionable" emails your parnter has had with this friend.

    It doesn't paint a good picture and een though curiosity/jealousy got the better of you it seems you had a good reason to be intrusive.

    Like I said. Man up and confront the situation or be burned by your own wondering mind.
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    Jan 24, 2009 3:13 AM GMT
    I think its time to have a heart-to-heart with your partner on the type of relationship you both want to have going forward. After 10 years, perhaps it is time to be willing to redefine it. Have you been ACTIVELY investing in the relationship so that you continue to grow together? After 10 years LT relationships develop a comfortable inertia, and begin to wither gradually like a slow leak in a tire.

    Men need newness though, and that is probably what this other guy is offering. Your BF is having his cake and eating it too. He has the stability of knowing you are going to be around, and he has the excitement of someone new to explore with mentally or otherwise. All this could work out fine if you both are willing to accept this type of relationship and are willing to discuss its possibilities for both your mutual benefit. Its one way to stay together and also avoid stagnation at the same time.

    Each relationship is different, and only you can answer this.

    If you are truly uncomfortable with sharing your partner like this with someone else, and this is not the type of relationship you want to have, then you have to decide whether or not you want to continue with him. After a 10 year investment together, its not going to be easy to part ways, but in the long run it will save you a lot of emotional anguish to be willing to call it now vs. spend the rest of your life in a relationship that doesn't reflect your values.

    Good luck...I know this one isn't easy.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Jan 24, 2009 9:33 PM GMT
    The answer doesn't involve THIS GUY

    You have a relationship with your BF ... no one else
    If you love your BF
    then show him that you love him
    If he chooses someone else over you after you have
    given him reason to love you back then that's all you can do

    But if you go to him and start accusing him of things
    even if they are true
    you'll just drive a wedge between yourself and your BF
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    Jan 24, 2009 9:41 PM GMT
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    Jan 25, 2009 1:50 AM GMT
    HAHAHAHA WOW! This is my situation! Okay Seattlestocky, in my relationship I would be your partner. Let me first say that 400 text messages a month may not be that high - that would amount to about 7.8% of all my text messages last month. I sent out around 5200 last month and close to half of them probably went to one of my closest friends... it was a rough month LOL!

    My advice to you:
    1. Do NOT go through his email, text messages, letters, or other personal items. It's not right, will piss him off to no end, and create new trust issues. you have to know that in whatever you read or discover, you WILL NOT HAVE the whole story and your imagination will fill in the blanks, thus making you AND your partner miserable.

    2. You cannot be everything and everyone all the time to your partner or your relatioship will stagnate. He needs to have friends and he may well have some very close friends but this shouldn't threaten you. You are his partner, he loves you, and you HAVE him!

    3. DO NOT begrudge his time with his friends. DO NOT fuss at him about texting or maintaining contact via some other means with his friends. If it seems to get excessive then you need to take a step back, relax, and find a positive way to let him know that you need attention.

    4. DO be patient, love him, and give him space to get his life into a stable postion.

    That said, if he's an asshole then he's probably cheating on you and maybe looking to make a jump. BUT if he is not (and I suspect he's not, or else why would you be with him?) then he just needs some other human contact to make him feel secure/whole/complete or whatever you want to call it. If you love him, give him the space to do this and he will most probably respect the boundries set by your relationship.