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“My Boyfriend Still Financially Supports His Ex-Girlfriend!”

I’ve been dating a guy for nine months. We’re in our mid-twenties and started dating right after he had broken off a LDR with “Kerry,” an unemployed, 30-year-old musician with delusions of a future rock goddess career. While she is probably talented, she refuses to find gigs/jobs to support herself, and my boyfriend, during their relationship, ended up supporting her entirely from paying her rent and internet to buying her food, furniture, necessities and toys (iPad, guitar accoutrement, etc.). They dated for about two years, and yet she never intended to move in with him or take the relationship any further while putting my boyfriend into substantial financial debt for her upkeep.

He was so miserable that he has even admitted to having flings during their “open” relationship to keep from breaking it off with her; flings which I have found evidence were not simply mutual, but financially compensated. How have I found this out? I checked his phone and snooped his email, which is where I found irrefutable proof as to Henry’s continued emotional/financial support of Kerry. However, every time that I ask him if he’s gotten rid of her joint credit cards and changed his passwords on his internet accounts, he states, most definitively, that he has. Boldfaced lies every time.

Henry is a sweet, caring individual. He is sensitive and very good to me — except when it comes to honesty on this particular issue. Part of me excuses his continued support because I know he’s doing it out of a sense of duty and because he cares for her — not necessarily in a romantic capacity, but as a friend or family. I really love everything else about Henry, but I’m afraid to find an apartment with him if this is going to continue, and how are we supposed to have a future life and children together if he continues to feel like he has an obligation to her? I know he has been faithful in the physical sense, but I can’t help but feel cheated on emotionally. How do I confront Henry about this matter and make sure that he follows through? And do you think I should even bother, or should I cut my losses and run? — Oversize Baggage Charges

How do you confront Harry? It seems you already have confronted Harry, haven’t you? You’ve asked him numerous times if he’s gotten rid of his joint credit cards with Kerry and you say he boldface lies to you each time you broach the topic. Your real problem here isn’t that he’s still financially supporting an ex – though that’s definitely problematic and weird — it’s that you can’t trust the guy and you have poor communication. You’ve resorted to snooping through his phone and emails to gather incriminating evidence. You don’t believe things he tells you. At this point, I’m not sure what you’d lose is you just flat-out told him you’ve been invading his privacy and demand to know why he keeps financially supporting an ex he broke up with nearly a year ago.

True, confronting him in that way almost guarantees some issues in your own relationships, but, honey, you’ve already got major issues. You’ve said yourself there’s no future between the two of you as things stand now. How can you move in with him or think about having a family when you don’t trust him? When you know him to be driving himself into financial ruin by paying some ex’s rent? The only chance you have at any kind of real future with him — and that’s a small chance at this point — is to come right out and confront him with the information you have and ask him why he continues to support his ex and lie to you about it. The “how” in this scenario is to come right out and do it. Don’t pussyfoot around the topic. Just come right out and confess that you’ve done some snooping — you aren’t proud of it — but you found this information that leads you to believe he’s been lying to you and you want to know why. And then tell him that you feel betrayed — emotionally cheated on — and that his loyalty and obligation should be to you now, not some woman from his past.

As for his reaction, you’ll have to wait and see. He’ll probably be angry. He may be embarrassed. He may lie some more. Be prepared for the worst. Decide for yourself that there’s only one way this relationship can possibly continue and that’s if your boyfriend can convince you to trust him again (and vice versa). That won’t happen overnight and it can only begin with a long overdue conversation in which you lay all your cards on the table. If you can’t handle that first step, you might as well MOA now, because there’s no other way this relationship will survive and move past go.

*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com and be sure to follow me on Twitter.

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{ 102 comments… add one }

avatar silver_dragon_girl August 2, 2011, 3:04 pm

I’m gonna go with GET OUT GET OUT NOW.

Wendy’s advice is very calm and well-thought out, and there is definitely a lot of merit to that approach, but I strongly suspect that this guy is not going to change for quite a while.

avatar justpeachy August 2, 2011, 3:11 pm

Oh HELL no! I get supporting your live in girlfriend. I don’t get supporting your long distance girlfriend. I REALLY don’t get supporting your long distance ex-girlfriend.

You’ve really been painted into a corner on this one. Your best bet at this point is to come out swinging, guns a blazing, and let him know you know everything and it ain’t gonna fly. Stand your ground, let him unleash fury for the fact that you snooped, and let it bounce off of you.

Only after everything has been aired do you have any chance that this relationship can be saved. Without a clean slate, it’s only a matter of time until everything implodes.

Or, just MOA since this guy makes no sense to me.

avatar LTC039 August 2, 2011, 3:15 pm

Yeah, no, I would NOT be ok with this if this were my boyfriend. I second the GET OUT NOW. Why do you want to put up with a guy that has allowed another person to drive him into debt? It sounds like he doesn’t have much a backbone & his priorites are way off. He is putting his ex’s feelings over yours, plain & simple. If he was putting you first, he would tell his ex to get bent & figure shit out on her own. This girl was obviously using him for his money…That’s his deal if he put up w/ it while he was w/ her, but he’s with you now & he needs to respect your feelings. He’s lying to you over & over. If you want to talk to him, follow Wendy’s advice, however, IMO you shouldn’t put up with that.

avatar Maracuya August 2, 2011, 3:17 pm

“He was so miserable that he has even admitted to having flings during their “open” relationship to keep from breaking it off with her…which I have found evidence were not simply mutual, but financially compensated.”

Wait, am I reading this the right way?

avatar justpeachy August 2, 2011, 3:19 pm

Wait, did she mean hookers? How did I miss that?!?

Dear Wendy Wendy August 2, 2011, 3:35 pm

I think it was awkwardly-worded and what she meant was that the boyfriend also financed those flings, too, with gifts and the like. But I could be wrong. Maybe these ladies really were hookers, in which case, gross.

avatar justpeachy August 2, 2011, 4:28 pm

I just want an update to clarify the involvement of hookers in this story.

avatar LW August 2, 2011, 5:22 pm

No, I was being eloquent. I meant either a one/couple time affairs (for the most part– except for one that he lent money to and just received part of it back) with girls who charged a fee for their company through dating sites, craigslist, and escort services. I didn’t even know they had escort services in this state; I was/am pretty sure it was/is illegal.

avatar SweetChild August 2, 2011, 9:42 pm

That still doesn’t make it much easier to figure out. Sounds like hookers…

avatar ele4phant August 2, 2011, 11:00 pm

This still isn’t clear to me what you mean.

avatar ReginaRey August 3, 2011, 8:20 am

Wait Wait Wait. Your boyfriend paid for escort services WHILE he was financially supporting his lazy ex-girlfriend, who he is still supporting while he is dating YOU, and you haven’t left him yet?! Girl, your boyfriend is not the only one without a backbone.

avatar Maracuya August 3, 2011, 9:52 am

The phrase ‘escort service’ is synonymous with prostitution to me.

You sound like a lovely girl. I think you can do better than this guy.

Budj Budjer August 3, 2011, 10:08 am

Yes…I never have, but I had always assumed that if I did order an escort service it’s like paying for having a “social event date service” for the night out and the fine print is if you aren’t completely revolting you get laid at the end…or even if you are you can tip enough and still get laid.

avatar VioletLover August 5, 2011, 1:35 am

Er…I know that some are legit, but isn’t ‘escort service’ a common euphemism for hookers? Especially craigslist, that site can be way sketchy. LW, I hope you talk to your OB-GYN andget tested…just in case.

avatar beans629 August 2, 2011, 3:46 pm

Yeah, that one totally threw me for a loop. I just thought I read it incorrectly.

Hmm, Let’s see he’s either into hookers or being a sugar daddy. I can’t see the upside of either of those choices from his past. I don’t think this bodes well for LW and she should run so fast from him that all he sees is a dust cloud.

avatar LTC039 August 2, 2011, 3:56 pm

My first thought was hookers, but Wendy’s suggestion could be possible.

avatar Maracuya August 2, 2011, 4:00 pm

I actually at first thought she meant sugar daddying, but then I read it again and it’s a little ambiguous. Also, why were there quotes around open? Because …it wasn’t?

I just wonder, does he treat you as well giving-wise too, LW? And I don’t mean just money. I mean generosity. He sounds …bleh.

avatar Valerie August 2, 2011, 4:46 pm

Yeah this is very strangely worded. The way I read it was that Harry had flings, but his “open relationship” with Kerry wasn’t mutual, so he made it up to Kerry by buying her things. Could that be it??

avatar Blitzen August 2, 2011, 9:52 pm

That’s what I thought. *confused*

Skyblossom Skyblossom August 2, 2011, 7:48 pm

I took it to mean he was compensated by the women and he did that to make money for the exgirlfriend.

JK JK August 2, 2011, 8:12 pm

That’s how I understood it, too.

avatar artsygirl August 2, 2011, 8:49 pm

shudder**

avatar kerrycontrary August 2, 2011, 3:22 pm

Ok, I’m going to be harsh: Why do you even want to fix this problem and stay with this guy. If I found out that my boyfriend was lying to my face like that I would’ve left a long time ago. Your hormones are clearly clouding your brains and decision making skills in this situation. Your boyfriend is a liar and a coward. He couldn’t even properly break up with this girl who was taking advantage of him. Instead he sort of cheated on her, which is obviously the most mature decision in that situation. Plus, everything you know about this horrible ex is from your boyfriend’s point of view. There are two sides to every story so I would like to hear hers. And if your boyfriend isn’t great on honesty in this situation, he’s not great on honesty period. Oh, and yes, your boyfriend IS committing emotional infidelity.

avatar BigRedYouSay? August 2, 2011, 7:22 pm

Oh yeah. I’m impressed with Wendy’s compassionate and diplomatic advice, but honestly? My reaction was “Head? Meet desk”

MaterialsGirl Elizabeth August 2, 2011, 3:27 pm

Here’s the thing: even if this all magically went away and he apologized, cut ties with her, got checked for STD’s, etc… he still can lie to you ‘boldfaced.’ Do you think you’ll be able to ever trust him again? Most people would be told to go to counseling after something like this, but that would be in a situation where the two people have been together for a significant amount of time. I dunno man, I would say “sorry, i don’t trust you, here’s why, I’m out.”
If you guys do stick together after the previously mentioned miracles happening: have him run a full credit report before moving in together. I can only imagine what she’s done to his credit. You don’t want to find out hes 100k in the hole because of her.

MaterialsGirl Elizabeth August 2, 2011, 3:28 pm

happen* not happening..doh!!

avatar Maracuya August 2, 2011, 3:30 pm

Oh, yeah, I forgot to comment on the actual letter as I was so flabbergasted that you’d stay with a guy who paid for good-time girls while dating his messed-up girlfriend. Let’s look at the facts: you guys are in your mid-twenties, and yet this guy is getting in debt for an ex-girlfriend who is 30 and can’t even manage to pay her rent. Then he’s lying to you about it to your face, when asked repeatedly. Also, why were there quotes in “open”…was it not open? Please tell me it really was, because the alternative is depressing.

Why would it be so difficult to be truthful? “Yeah, I’m paying her rent but I’ve drafted a formal loan agreement.” Because he feels guilty about it because he knows he shouldn’t be? There’s just too much weird, even if he’s noble in his intentions he sounds like a doormat. If my BEST friend was in real extenuating circumstances trouble, I would lend her rent money for a month or two. If it was someone who can’t be bothered to find work…seriously, what would your opinion of me be? He’s been lying to you since your relationship began. Rant over.

Budj Budjer August 2, 2011, 3:41 pm

Sounds like she stopped having sex with him and told him he could have sex with other people as long as he kept paying her rent…LW, maybe he got sick of paying for the side sex? Regardless…move on – this guys either a user or a wanker.

cmary CMF August 2, 2011, 3:41 pm

Oy. Do you actually think this guy is THE BEST guy out there for you? Be honest. If he’s lied about it before and you know that and you stuck around anyway, what’s to stop him from lying about it again? I don’t see what confronting him would matter. I say move on. And! if it was an “open” relationship, why was he sucker enough to support her?

“He is sensitive and very good to me — except when it comes to honesty on this particular issue.” Oh, is that all?

My head hurts.

avatar Joanna August 2, 2011, 3:42 pm

How do you know she’s an ex-girlfriend? Or is that just a story he tells you, cause you’re another “fling”?

avatar Kristin August 2, 2011, 4:35 pm

My thoughts exactly!

avatar MiMi August 2, 2011, 4:48 pm

yeah, I don’t think you actually have a boyfriend, LW.

avatar BGD August 3, 2011, 3:09 pm

I agree!!! And is it possible he has a child with her and that is the real reason he is still paying?

avatar oldie August 2, 2011, 3:47 pm

MOA. This relationship is not fixable. The only logical explanations for his behavior is that he is still having a relationship with this woman, that she is blackmailing him over some serious crime he committed, that he honestly believes she’ll kill herself or him or you or a member ofhis familly if he stops the payments, or that he has significant mental issues and sees her as his Mommy. I don’t think I missed anything. If this were simply a case of altruism that he can’t afford, would he lie like this about it?

avatar oldie August 2, 2011, 3:48 pm

I guess the idiot could think he is going to be a rich man off of half her concert revenue when she inevitably becomes the one in a million rocker to get a start after 30 and make it huge.

avatar SweetChild August 2, 2011, 9:46 pm

Yeah what’s up with that? How many people make it big in any form of music after 30? NOT FRIGGING MANY AND DEFINITELY NOT ROCKERS.

avatar Jena August 3, 2011, 10:21 am

Actually most dudes in bands are pushing 30 when their band finally “makes it” — they’ve probably been working 10 years to get there, but still.

Budj Budjer August 3, 2011, 10:25 am

agreed…takes a while to build up that momentum in the rock industry. Pop stars, however, are a whole nother ball of wax…

avatar AnitaBath August 2, 2011, 3:52 pm

The middle paragraph just confused me and kind of threw me for a loop. I think it shows that the LW has her own problems and insecurities, and when added to the weird relationship Henry has with his ex it seems to be a recipe for disaster.

avatar Bethany August 2, 2011, 4:12 pm

This whole situation is so F’d up it’s not even funny. There is NOTHING that’s presented in this letter that would give me even the slightest glimmer of hope that they could or should work this out. There is nothing here that says “good relationship” to me.

MOA, and FAST!

avatar demoiselle August 2, 2011, 4:17 pm

The guy’s story does not make sense. He’s probably lying about his past relationship in one way or another. If he was “over” his ex, and the relationship wasn’t good, and there were no other ties, then he wouldn’t be doing this. Maybe his ex isn’t as awful as he says. And maybe one of these alternatives is true:

1. He’s still in a relationship with her.
2. He has a child with her who he hasn’t told you about.
3. He has a drug problem and she’s his connection. Or she’s blackmailing him.
4. He believes she’s going to make it and he wants to bask in her glory if it happens.

Anyway, it doesn’t really matter. His behavior doesn’t make sense. His story doesn’t make sense. He’s a baldfaced liar. And most likely, he is the bad guy, not his ex, and he’s telling tales to deflect attention from himself and onto his ex.

avatar Marjoralynnia August 2, 2011, 4:32 pm

I disagree. I think it’s entirely possible that he just has delusions of his own importance. Perhaps he has developed a false sense of responsibility, and has convinced himself (or his ex has convinced him; probably both) that he’s the only thing that’s saving her from life on the streets, trading blowjobs for food. (I’ve known people with this mentality who have trapped themselves in destructive entanglements with friends or exes).

That being said, he’s still a liar, and you’re right, if he was truly, 100% over her, he would realize that she’s an adult, and her wellbeing is up to her, not to him.

caitie_didnt caitie_didn't August 2, 2011, 4:29 pm

Um, what? This letter confuses the crap out of me. Either BF is still with the ex or he’s a spineless moron.

avatar Eljay August 2, 2011, 4:30 pm

I’ve always said “When someone shows you who they really are, believe them!” This guy is a coward, has no self worth, does not value you or your relationship and is so easily led and influenced by others that he will never be able to think for himself. Not someone you want in a friend, a bf, a lover, and most definitely not a life partner. Until he grows up, grows a spine and starts thinking for himself, you’d be better off without him. MOA honey, there’s better men out there than this dudeface.

avatar SaraiLuv August 2, 2011, 4:33 pm

Please, oh please give us an update on this. I have to see what his response was if you tell him you know everything. I hope you find enough nerve to let him know how disrespected you feel and how unacceptable it is for him to lie to you like that.

avatar Natasia Rose August 2, 2011, 4:43 pm

Maybe he is in a long distance relationship with his “ex” and that’s the real secret! Dun dun duuuun.

Either way you can’t trust him. MOA.

avatar Greebo August 2, 2011, 4:44 pm

Middle paragraph: wait, what? He admitted to flings, and you know this by snooping? Or he admitted to flings (what is a mutually compensated fling, exactly?) during an “open” relationship (why the quotes? And if it’s an open or casual relationship, are they flings or just other people he dated?), and for whatever reason you snipped and found proof he’s lied about severing financial ties to her? I don’t understand.

Regardless, he’s lied. You know he’s lied. He isn’t changing anything despite knowing that you know he’s a liar. You can do better than this. Would you really want to spend 1, 5, 10 or more years with a guy who constantly left you wondering whether he could prove whatever he told you? Worse, imagine financial ties to this guy! Some relationships can’t be fixed. Your instinct says this is one of them. Trust that.

You can find better than this guy.

avatar Greebo August 2, 2011, 7:38 pm

*snooped, not snipped

landygirl Landygirl August 2, 2011, 4:55 pm

LW, I’m not sure who is a bigger masochist here, you or your boyfriend. 9 months into a relationship you’re spying on this guy because you don’t trust him. That is not a good thing. MOA before you invest any more time with this guy.

Maybe Wendy should start some new features called “You May Be A Masochist If:”
and “Updates, Major Details I Forgot To Mention In My Original Letter Which Totally Changes The Advice”.

avatar Kate August 2, 2011, 4:57 pm

“Updates, Major Details I Forgot To Mention In My Original Letter Which Totally Changes The Advice”

I vote for this one!

avatar melikeycheesecake August 2, 2011, 5:13 pm

I’ll second that motion.

avatar SGMcG August 2, 2011, 5:28 pm

Unless they have a kid together or they’re financially vested in an investment together (like a house that can’t be sold so that the investment can’t be truly divided) WITH documentation protecting your individual contributions – there should be NO monetary exchanges with an ex what-so-ever! He may have been doing the good boyfriend thing in helping her with her career/arts, but he shouldn’t be doing this now! I don’t know who to pity more – this “man” who is spending himself into the poorhouse or the woman who stands by her man, someone whom she wants to have a future with. How can you have a future with someone who LIES to you about his financial status when asked. Don’t just MOA – DTMFA!!!!

avatar HmC August 2, 2011, 5:33 pm

If I feel like I can’t trust someone or have a serious desire to snoop, there’s no relationship to save.

avatar AKchic August 2, 2011, 6:04 pm

*cough*

How do you know for sure that they are actually broken up and that you aren’t just a long-term “fling”?
Could she be long distance for her psuedo-career, he supporting her (as usual), and you are the “on the side” that he’s getting while he waits for her to somehow make it big while doing nothing (just how the hell is she going to do that, I wonder?) so she can financially support him for a while.

You are being played. Regardless of the scenario. He is lying to you because even if he isn’t banging her or another chick, he’s still emotionally with his ex.

Get checked for STDs, extricate yourself from the relationship and consider this a lesson in emotional hang-ups, co-dependency and just weirdness. Also, consider this a dodged bullet. Your Weirdo-Meter was giving you vibes and you listened after a fashion. It may need a tune-up, or you may just need to listen to it a little better, but at least it works :)

avatar LTC039 August 2, 2011, 6:22 pm

I agree. LW, does he take “business trips” or “guy trips” sometimes?

avatar Painted_lady August 2, 2011, 7:20 pm

My *immediate* reaction was that if he was in an open relationship, who’s to say he isn’t still in one?

avatar lehcar August 2, 2011, 6:25 pm

typo in first line of response…i think her bf’s name is Henry not Harry

avatar Beckaleigh August 3, 2011, 9:24 am

I would actually bet that his name isn’t either because its been changed for anonymity. ;)

avatar Painted_lady August 2, 2011, 7:28 pm

LW, I’ve only got one thing to add in all this. I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt that you’re not normally a snooper. If you are, you need to take time to work on trust issues that you have and stop dating guys you can’t trust – obviously this guy is one, with good reason – or learn to trust the guys you date, or both.

If you’re not a pathological snooper, though, think about the level to which you’ve descended with this man. If you’re with someone and you’re doing terrible things you’ve never done before, something is wrong with the relationship. A good partner should challenge you to be your best, not bring out your worst, most embarrassing qualities.

avatar melanie August 3, 2011, 9:36 am

The second paragraph of this response really resonated with me. Thank you for writing that.

katie katie August 2, 2011, 9:19 pm

i just feel like money is such an important part about merging lifes with someone- especially before you move in together! its sad to say, but money is really a very important part of being tied with another person…

this guy has proven that he is TERRIBLE with money. going into severe debt for some girl? i dont care who you are, but unless someone has cancer, that should not ever happen. and on top of it, he lies about how terrible he is! that is like two times the terrible!

at the VERY least, even if you do decide to stay with this guy, move in with him, marry him, whatever- make sure you protect your credit. make sure that if you guys have an apartment and he fails to pay rent, HE is penalized, not you. make sure if you get married you have a prenup- so all that wonderful debt he racked up with the crazy musician cannot be yours. just be careful about money around him.

avatar Lindsay August 2, 2011, 9:45 pm

The fact that he had flings during their relationship is not a reflection of how loyal or caring he is. The fact that he’s (presumably) using this to prove how much he hated their relationship is immaterial, not to mention a bad sign. Now, he’s being dishonest toward you, not respecting your wishes on something really important and is supporting his ex for god knows why. He is not worth it. There are certain actions and habits that significant others do that can be fixed or that are cases of good people making mistakes. But certain actions (such as dishonesty) or an abundance of obnoxious qualities are more a case of a person whose core values are misplaced. That’s something that you can’t fix. You’re much better off finding someone who is not supporting his ex and who will be honest with you.

avatar SpaceySteph August 2, 2011, 10:21 pm

I’m going to pay devil’s advocate and ask after this irrefutable proof he’s still supporting her. Such evidence is hard to come by, as most things require interpretations, sometimes done subconsciously. Maybe what you think you saw you did not see? Maybe the reason he’s saying straight to your face that he’s not paying for her because he’s not.

More likely it does sound like you are another side fling in his “open” relationship. Maybe “I just got out of an LDR” is his favorite line. Either way, the only way to be 100% sure is to tell him what you found and either he spills it all with a logical explanation or he lies his way through in increasingly less believable ways until you get fed up and dump him.

avatar SpaceySteph August 2, 2011, 10:22 pm

Bonus points if you catch the song lyric I have hidden in my response. Why did we stop answering by song lyrics anyways?

avatar anonymous August 2, 2011, 10:49 pm

evidence is hard to come by?

katie katie August 2, 2011, 11:51 pm

that was my first thought after i read that line! i was all i wonder if she knows that is from a song… haha. long live big willie!

avatar SpaceySteph August 3, 2011, 11:21 am

Actually I was going with “what you think you saw you did not see.” MIB!

I’m not familiar with what song “evidence is hard to come by” is from. Too bad, I could have gotten a double lyric score!

Heather Heather August 2, 2011, 10:45 pm

“NO GUYS! HE LOVES ME! IT’S ONLY ONE BLACK EYE!”

avatar ape_escape August 3, 2011, 3:47 am

I feel like everything else has probably already been said, so I’m gonna go with my gut here, and just say…

BARF BARF BARF BARF BARF BARF BARF BARF BARF BARF. BARF. BARF.

and also MOA? really now. gross.

avatar ReginaRey August 3, 2011, 8:25 am

After reading the comment from the LW above stating that her boyfriend paid for escort services while with his ex-girlfriend, who he happens to still be supporting, I’m just going to go ahead and say – GET THE FUCK OUT! Seriously?! LW, you’re one of those who absolutely fits the “settling for the crumbs of this relationship” category. Why is any of this OK with you? Your boyfriend obviously doesn’t love or care for you very much, if at all, if he’s still supporting his ex-girlfriend. Not to mention, the dude seems to have MAJOR issues. Sorry, but I think supporting his ex and having paid for escort services is a HUGE red flag!!! This guy has some serious self-esteem issues, at the very best, and more likely the situation is far worse than that. He seems to need to be financially supporting women in order to feel needed or wanted. That’s not healthy. You need to let this guy sort through his issues on his own, if that’s even a possibility, and not allow him to drag you down too! GET OUT NOW.

avatar MsMisery August 3, 2011, 8:50 am

*lights BGM signal*

Cuz there needs to be some cold hard truth in here.

Budj Budjer August 3, 2011, 10:08 am

haha yep. Don’t always agree with him, but his posts are fun to read and typically start up debate.

parton_doll parton_doll August 3, 2011, 10:11 am

I was just thinking this!

avatar Jena August 3, 2011, 10:16 am

You don’t trust him and he is lying to you. You snooped, and he’s still lying. Break up with him, go to counseling for your trust issues, and move on.

I feel I’m one of the last women alive who won’t snoop phone messages or emails of the person I am dating.

avatar SpaceySteph August 3, 2011, 11:20 am

“I feel I’m one of the last women alive who won’t snoop phone messages or emails of the person I am dating.”

My boyfriend got one of those new tablet things. I was goofing around on it one day because it was a cool new thing, and an email popped up. I instinctively read the title and then I realized what I was doing and felt so dirty, like I needed a shower. It was totally junkmail too. I just felt like I was doing something I shouldnt.

I don’t even touch the thing anymore unless he’s sitting next to me. Just in case. Eep!

avatar silver_dragon_girl August 3, 2011, 11:42 am

Seriously. Just don’t do it. You will only find things you didn’t want to know. I’ve never “snooped,” per se, but I have done the post-breakup Facebook stalking thing, and I have to say, it will ONLY make you feel worse.

No matter how innocent everything is, if you snoop you are going to find SOMETHING that you can twist in your brain to be horrible. Resist the urge. If you have the urge, sit down with your SO and TALK to him about what you’re feeling. His response will tell you everything.

avatar tower_of_fair August 3, 2011, 1:27 pm

I wish I was on board with this sentiment, but I’m just not. So many people lie and cheat and actually STEAL, and many of those people were in seemingly-healthy relationships with people who trusted them and who did not want to violate their privacy. I don’t see snooping as a dealbreaker, nor as a sin. Though, to be fair, I was/am incredibly upfront about this and make sure my bf knows my feelings about this (no room for any confusion). And he is an open book, and actively tells me his passwords, etc., so I don’t often snoop. And truthfully, if he really was doing something dishonest, he just wouldn’t do it with the accounts I know about it, so it all is the same in the end.

If its about trust, i think “trust but verify” is key, and if its about privacy, I get that, I do but there’s just so much to lose by betting on the wrong horse. While people like to say “there’s no reason to snoop in a healthy, trusting relationship and it is a reflection of your insecurity”, I would agree with the latter, but not the former. Like I said, a significant portion of the people who think they are in those happy, healthy relationships are being cheated on/lied to (of things of consequence). I’m not sure why willful blindness to possible life-altering facts in the face of overwhelming statistics (the stats on %’s of people who cheat/have cheated/ etc) is necessary to prove you love someone. I may love you, but I want to see the STD test. I may love you, but I’m gonna do a google search with absolutely no remorse. I may love you, but i’m getting a background check before I sign on the line in city hall or a deed with you. And if the guy I’m with can’t understand the rational rationale behind “trust but verify”, then that’s all the more reason to check. In the immortal words of Shania Twain, “any man of mine…better” understand why I need verification and can’t just take him at his word and wouldn’t want it any other way.

I would hate to have my privacy violated, and i would be pissed, especially if i had no idea he was doing that and he didn’t give me a heads up, but i think that the person who finds evidence through snooping is always, always, always on higher moral ground than the liar/cheater, even if the snooper violated the others privacy. Paper beats rock, and truth trumps privacy.

avatar Jena August 3, 2011, 4:14 pm

Snooping is stupid. If you’re reading your loved one’s stuff, you’re looking for something and you don’t trust them. You can rationalize it to yourself ALL you want, but it’s the same damn thing no matter what you claim your reasoning is.

avatar Jena August 3, 2011, 4:16 pm

And really, you’re going to justify it using Shania Twain lyrics. Alright, cool. Ridiculous.

avatar Kate August 3, 2011, 4:17 pm

Her ex-husband probably wrote the lyrics anyway :)

avatar tower_of_fair August 3, 2011, 4:37 pm

Who was doing her best friend. Prime example of people not being who you think they are, even though they give off all indications of being worthy of a trust-worthy relationship.

avatar Kate August 3, 2011, 4:38 pm

When he wrote the song?

avatar tower_of_fair August 3, 2011, 4:45 pm

When he was married to her, he was porking her best friend. Not sure of the chronology of song-writing in there.

avatar Jena August 4, 2011, 1:25 pm

Yeah, like your best friend banging your husband. Surely she wasn’t snooping on her best friend, either.

avatar tower_of_fair August 3, 2011, 4:33 pm

oookkay. First of all, the Shania Twain thing was a joke… though its a song about her setting standards (albeit a little heavy-handedly) which isn’t entirely bad.

And I wasn’t trying to “justify” it the way you mean, nor do I disagree that “you [me?] don’t trust them” and “looking for something.” Totally agree about that. and I agree that sometimes snooping can be “stupid” in that you a) find out stuff you wish you hadn’t because it hurts; or b) find totally innocent stuff that looks guilty and creates panic/suspicion in you, and annoyance/anger in the other when confronted. Don’t disagree there either. But sometimes it is the best decision you’ve ever made, because you realize Mr. Charming has two children with three women in four states, five warrants out for his arrest, and six liens against him. And you have no real way of knowing which guy you are dating.

I like trust, I believe in trust, and I would love to believe that the person I devote my life to is the person I think he is. But, there’s a not-inconsequential chance he isn’t. And if you are willing to risk everything (your future, money, health and happiness) on what I see as blind faith, more power to you. I don’t hold it against you at all. I’m just not. I realize we all have to have a little faith in people. But not willful blindness nor a stance on “snooping” that could have serious consequences for your future wellbeing.

But the guy who is the real mr. charming, for me, won’t care and will understand that the (or a, so i don’t get flamed) rational response to size of the risk involved with sharing your life with someone is to verify the facts. I don’t think I could be serious (living together, engaged, etc) with a guy who was so worried about his privacy that he would mind if i flipped through his gmail homepage (not the emails, but the senders/subject/date list) if using his laptop, or looked to see what parties he was invited to. Seriously, what are you hiding? Surprise party for me? Fair. Secret child support payments when he told me he had no kids? Not so much. Privileged information from his work? Different story altogether. Surprise party for his mom? Why hide it? I get why certain amounts of snooping are uncomfortable and unreasonable. But I just don’t give it the blanket prohibition you seem to.

Budj Budjer August 3, 2011, 4:39 pm

I don’t disagree with some forms of “snooping” I guess….my brother married his wife and she decided to then tell him she had like $60,000 of credit card debt….so I do get your point….a credit report would have saved him some (a lot) of headache.

avatar Jena August 4, 2011, 1:23 pm

it’s not about having anything to hide, it’s about respecting your partner’s boundaries. But I guess no matter what, you believe in having carte-blanche when dating someone to all of their accounts, just so you can “be sure of who they are.” If that doesn’t spell “I DONT TRUST THIS PERSON,” boy howdy, I don’t know what does.

avatar LTC039 August 3, 2011, 4:42 pm

That’s really stressful, living life always needing to “check” & “verify” everyone you’re in a relationship. Many times that leads to an unhealthy slippery slope of obsessive snooping. Usually, when people get cheated on/lied to, the truth comes to light eventually, or they pretty much know they are with a liar but choose to turn the other cheek & if you have a good enough reason to snoop, then by all means! But I wouldn’t snoop through my boyfriend’s stuff without any reason. He’s never given me a reason to believe he is a liar & yes, I firmly believe it unhealthy & immature to go snooping through your S/O’s stuff. I may have been guilty of that in high school, but I grew out of it.

avatar Maracuya August 3, 2011, 4:45 pm

Well, I agree that cheating and lying are worse than snooping but I think it’s a slippery slope. What if you start thinking “Well, his email is fine, but what about his facebook? What about his messages? What if he deletes him?” I think if you think something is seriously wrong and you feel you need proof, then maybe on-the downlow-snooping is justified for your sanity but you need to take a long, hard look at whatever is wrong with your relationship regardless if anything is found or not. And maybe it should just necessitate a breakup.

And if someone wants to, they will whether I snoop on their email or not. Like you said. If a SO was really being dishonest, he would just make a new email account you didn’t know about. So what’s the difference?

avatar LTC039 August 3, 2011, 4:53 pm

My friend & his girlfriend have no trust with each other. They have each other’s passwords & stuff but he never really checks up on her. She’s constantly asking to see his texts & goes through his FB. So what does he do? He deletes anything incriminating (he’s never cheated on her, but he’s EXTREMELY flirtatious with girls)…We both have a mutual friend (girl) that his gf hates. I’ve read his texts to her & sometimes they’re pretty innappropriate, but he just deletes them.
Let me add that he began hooking up with his now gf while he was still with his ex, so this relationship was bad from the start, however, they’ve chosen to “turn the other cheek” & continue on like this…

avatar Maracuya August 3, 2011, 4:56 pm

Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. If the status quo is normally that you don’t share anything, if they’re messing around they leave it on their email. The new status quo of ‘we share all our passwords’ just leaves someone open to having a false sense of security. The cheating party would just either have a hidden email address or delete things religiously. Point being, you trust them or you don’t.

avatar tower_of_fair August 3, 2011, 5:23 pm

I agree that the “shared password” thing just adds a level of hoops for a cheater/liar to jump through, and if they are intent on being a cheater/liar, it won’t stop them, nor will they make it easy to catch them (via “snooping”).

But doesn’t your heart just go out for LTC039′s friend’s GF? You say they have no trust between them, but they shouldn’t have trust; he’s innappropriately flirty with that other girl and then he hides it from her.
She SHOULD be suspicious of him, she is rightly suspicious, if not successfully. It seems to me like she should up her snooping, not downgrade it. (well really, it sounds like this relationship is totally doomed/already over/sad, unfortunate if it continues, so the amplified snooping would just give her the proof she needed to make the decision to leave, rather than just suspicion/uncomfort). If she “just trusts him”, then she’s being played.

And if your point is that he doesn’t cheat, he just does these texts, and if she had never snooped in the first place, she wouldn’t know about them, and she wouldn’t be suspicious of “nothing” and they could have a happy, healthy trusting relationship with him texting other girls, her being none-the-wiser and everyone trusting everyone, I disagree with that as being better. In that scenario, she’s still being played; she just has no earthly idea that she is, rather than being the suspicious and clued into something being wrong GF she is in the real world scenario.

avatar LTC039 August 3, 2011, 5:39 pm

I totally get where your coming from, but the point I was trying to make was that they should’ve never began dating in the first place. The relationship started on a shitty foundation. She knew he was taken at the time, she even had a tumblr & would give him an alias whenever she wanted to write about how he brought her flowers at work, or took her to lunch. She’s crazy jealous & suspicious because she knew from the beginning he was a cheater/liar, so why go for him?
I agree about snooping when you have a legitmate reason & all, but as protocol for any relationship? No, I don’t think it’s healthy, for your own sanity…

avatar tower_of_fair August 3, 2011, 5:56 pm

Fair enough. I think its really hard to figure out how to reconcile “I love him and I trust him/her and don’t want to be crazy snooper person” with “56% of people in a relationship admit to keeping important information from their partners, which would have caused those partners to make different life-decisions.”*

That’s why I like “trust but verify” the big things (seeing an STD test, getting a background checks before marriage) because anyone who wouldn’t understand how you could “not trust them enough to need verification” is either lying to you or, in my opinion, too anti-logic/reality to be worth committing to. Regarding the small things, I agree that you can’t go burrowing through your S.O.’s email and phone every time they leave it unattended. Totally not healthy. But I’m not so sure that doing a boolean search of their email with the keywords (“sex” or luscious or “sweet ass”) every so often (once a year? once every few years?), for your sanity to make sure you aren’t a chump, means you shouldn’t be in that relationship. I think it just makes you a little proactive.

*I totally made up that stat, but some accurate statistic does exist, and all the trust and love won’t do nearly as much as a little proactivity and skepticism would have.

avatar Maracuya August 3, 2011, 5:44 pm

Well, my point is snooping shouldn’t be necessary. Or at least continuous within a relationship. Should I feel the NEED to snoop on my boyfriend’s email non-stop it means I don’t trust him at all. That’s different than “Oh, I can’t look upon your email!” Sure, I’ve seen his email inbox and so he’s seen mine. I don’t clutch the computer to my chest and yell, “MY PRECIOUS…”

LTC039′s friend’s GF obviously thinks there’s something wrong if she’s constantly asking to see his texts; she knows he’s untrustworthy based on how their relationship began, and he’s definitely a creep if he’s flirting inappropriately like that.

I’m not saying she should live her life in la-la land with her head in the sand. Constant snooping is just an unhealthy choice. You trust your SO within reason, you shouldn’t feel the need to interrogate him. Her intuition is on point, and she knows it, and she should just break up with him.

avatar Maracuya August 3, 2011, 5:45 pm

As another comment, you said, “And if she had never snooped in the first place, she wouldn’t know about them” about the texts.

She does snoop and demand to see his phone and she STILL doesn’t know! She’s driving herself crazy and she clearly doesn’t trust him. Why bother?

avatar tower_of_fair August 3, 2011, 6:11 pm

I assumed that in the beginning of the relationship, she saw a couple of those texts, which is why he now deletes them. But your point is valid that people who want to cheat/lie will do so and just get better at hiding it.

My point, overall, though I will admit that I obscured it at times, and made it more virulent than I meant it to sound, was just this:

Reconciling your situation (“I love him and I believe he is worthy of trust”) and the truth that many people who feel that way are decieved is difficult, and a healthy amount of due diligence does not mean that you do not love, or trust them.

It has nothing to do with how you feel about them; it has to do with not ignoring baselines and proactively protecting yourself, kind of like insurance. You don’t buy insurance because you think your house will burn down (there is a small chance of your house burning down), you buy it in case it burns down (baseline fact: likelihood of of houses burn down[1/600,000 or whatever] x $1M worth of average damage > cost of insurance]. Taking small proactive steps to “insure” yourself against getting a lemon S.O., which would otherwise look like you didn’t trust them, are a wise move and, (and here is my actual point) Shouldn’t undermine an otherwise happy, healthy relationship, because it is the/a rational thing to do.

avatar tower_of_fair August 3, 2011, 5:03 pm

I also can’t imagine going through life afraid to use my bf’s ipad because I might accidentally hit the button that opens his email. (and I mean truly accidentally, as StaceySteph said above). [This is not an attack on that -- if that's how you and your bf roll and how you've established boundaries, then that's wonderful, seriously. I just can't imagine living in a relationship with boundaries like that. (I also can't imagine not talking about salaries, or money, or what i think of his friends, or what he thinks of mine, or doing what a lot of people who like having stronger(?), stricter-defined boundaries do. If it works for you, yay! Just doesn't work for me.]
I understand privacy and I would respect what he made clear he cares about (though this Bf just says go for it, which works for me.) I (basically) don’t snoop — I just don’t feel the need to avert my eyes in the name of the abstract concept of “privacy” verses convenience or curiosity.

I guess the difference is that someone who makes a big deal of needing “privacy” in terms of email/facebook/phone (taking it when they go to the shower, etc) freaks me out and creates suspicion. And if i stumble on seemingly secret (bad secret) stuff on the computer, I feel no guilt about exploring or asking about it later, as opposed to, yet again, deferring to some nebulous concept of “privacy” over my wellbeing. And if his response is, “hey that’s private! why don’t you trust me?” instead of “oh that? that’s my cousin, who I send money to because they’re having a rough time. Come, look at pictures…” I act accordingly.

So whoever said, above, that his response is telling, i completely agree. I just don’t feel inherently bad about finding the information to ask about, especially if it is less nefarious than I might have made it seem above.

avatar Rachelgrace53 August 3, 2011, 12:28 pm

There are so many things wrong with this letter. I don’t even know where to begin.
Like others have said, Why do you even want to fix this relationship??? If he’s been lying to you this entire time, why do you think you know him at all? I know you feel like you do, but you don’t. Not really. You know part of him–the part he wants you to see. He’s clearly very skilled in deception if he was able to lie to you this entire time and you only found out from major snooping. And how do you know he’s been physically faithful to you? Just because you haven’t found evidence of it doesn’t mean he isn’t having more flings.
MOA!!!!! I’d bet a lot of money that in a year, you’ll look back at this and be glad you left him. And maybe get some therapy to deal with why you want to stay with a lying, cheating loser in the first place.

avatar Ruby August 3, 2011, 2:12 pm

This guy is supporting his ex girlfriend, lying to you about it, you feel emotionally cheated on, and you don’t trust him.
Personally I don’t think there’s anything to talk about with him.
I’d dump him and MOA…the quicker the better!

avatar Red_Lady August 3, 2011, 7:55 pm

Wow, this dude needs major help! Maybe find him some pamphlets on financial planning seminars and then get the hell out! Maybe he’ll learn someday, but for now, he’s definitely NOT boyfriend material.

avatar kali August 4, 2011, 11:17 pm

What’s Henry’s email address? I wanna sign up for the ex-gf’s deal… please.

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