Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Hypothetically Speaking

Let me set the scene...

You had a boyfriend that you had been dating for three years. It was long-distance which was tough, but you thought that (soon) you would be closer geographically. You saw each other for Thanksgiving and Christmas and went to Spain together for the new year. While you're at his house for Thanksgiving he's weirdly secretive about his phone but you let it go. While he's at your house for Christmas, you notice some fairly disturbing text messages and ask him about them. He claims it's nothing, you relent.

While in Spain you have some pretty intense heart-to-hearts and really try to verbalize what has been going on with each of you individually and as a couple. You seem to get to a good place together and begin to look and move forward.

On the second-to-last night there you're out a bar with your sisters, the boyfriends and some friends you met while vacationing. Everyone has their cameras out and are taking pictures. Your boyfriend hands you his camera to hold. While there is a lull in activity you begin to flip through the pictures of the vacation and admire them, then get to pictures of Christmas, admire those... then get to pictures of him out at a bar with another girl. They're kissing. Your stomach immediately drops and you freeze. You really want to put the camera away but keep flipping. Then you see them- - pictures of he and her, in bed together. On two different occasions. The same girl you asked about before you left on the trip. The same girl who WAS. ON. HIS. TEAM. LAST. YEAR. that you've met.

You, obviously, freak out and end the relationship. You do a really great job ignoring him for the first week that you're both back but then, gradually, you begin to answer his texts, email and phone calls. You never initiate contact, but you do communicate. Through all of this communication, you discuss yourselves, the relationship, what happened and he, is convinced that you will eventually get back together. That the other girl was "nothing" and he doesn't want/like her. He calls every day, writes emails that say how sorry he is, he still wants you to go on the vacation you were supposed to take with him in February. He calls you with plans for the summer, he calls you "Babe" in every conversation even though you asked him not to, he talks about the future he wants to spend with you.

While he says that this other girl is "nothing," you know that she picked him up from the airport when he arrived from Spain. That they spent the weekend together two days later and that they've spent (at least) two other nights together since then. He refuses to admit that she is a factor, at all, in his life.

What would YOU do?

Because, I? Am lost.



Blogger J said...

Stay away. Hard to do? Unbelievably. But you will never trust him again. If you do get back together you'll constantly be scanning his text messages when he isn't looking, and flipping through his photos every chance you get. Then he'll get mad that you don't trust him and you'll be mad at him for being mad and you'll be in this angry relationship that isn't good for either of you.

Forgive me if that's a little harsh, but that's the way it went for a friend of mine and when it was all finally over, she fully admitted that she wished she had never got back together with him.

2:25 PM  
Blogger SBCVandy said...

I'm so sorry. This sounds like it is so hard. I don't know what I would do, but I would know I'd have a hard time trusting him again.

3:42 PM  
Blogger Kerry said...

I would say "BABE" you can't have your cake and eat it too. And I would say too bad so sad for you and then I would move on to a new relationship and maybe in the future he will earn your trust back and maybe it won't be too late - but I would say to him not to count on it!

4:00 PM  
Blogger Libby said...

Three years is a serious investment into what must be a well developed relationship and so I would ask myself this: would I accept or tolerate this behavior if he was my husband?

It seems to me that you are a bright, charming, honest and loving girl, don't settle for anything less than the same in your partner.

4:02 PM  
Blogger Meg said...

You're too fabulous to put up with crap like that. Be strong!

4:12 PM  
Blogger Anne-Toireasa said...

Hello there. This is my first time to your blog - didn't want to be a lurker although I realize this may be a semi awkward post to comment on as a first timer. I was in a situation like yours not too long ago, and even though it was hard not to resume the status quo, I realized that taking the guy back was setting his actions as an acceptable standard of behavior. As a rule, no one should ever have to tolerate that kind of betrayal. You are too good for that crap. Period. End paragraph.

Keep your chin up :-)

4:45 PM  
Blogger Paige Jennifer said...

Listen, you're going to do what you want, plain and simple. I can TELL you what to do but unless you are ready to hear it, won't matter one bit (insert noises made by all adults on Peanut's Specials).

So I'll say this - you are a smart, sassy, beautiful, funny, engaging, sexy woman. Any man who is willing to sacrifice losing you doesn't deserve to have you.

6:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to agree with all of the above. If he loves you so much why did he do it and continue to do it. And he lied and was sloppy about it. This always makes it seem like he wanted to get caught. It really does sound like the ultimate betrayal - pictures of him in bed with another girl? That's asking to be caught. And the fact that he is glossing over it and making plans for the future is rude and insensitive. If he did it before he will do it again. You can count on it!

7:09 PM  
Blogger lisagh said...

People only do to us what we allow them to do.

My thought is you deserve better and should not accept anything less than the best. Respect in a relationship is huge and I would think that would be an incredibly difficult thing for either of you to regain for the other after such a transgression and a possible forgiveness of it.

1:15 AM  
Blogger RED said...

Hey there, I'm a lurker, I admit it. And I wasn't going to comment, but I can't stop thinking about this post (honestly). So, I figured I'd just get it out - Ask him how he expects you to ever trust him again. Obviously, he's not that remorseful since he's seen this girl since the trip. Obviously, she's more than 'nothing' since he's still in contact with her. Actions speak louder then words, and I don't think his actions are at all close to what he's saying about regrets and the potential future with you.
To have a successful relationship you need trust and respect, and frankly, I don't know if I could trust or respect someone who did that to me. Hey, you might be able to work thru this, but, I beleive you deserve better. Tell him the party's over. And walk away.
Good luck and be strong. And give yourself a timeframe, don't answer phone calls, emails, texts, nothing for one month, easier said then done, but you can do it. You are fabulous - you deserve fantastic.
(sorry for the super long comment!)

9:34 AM  
Blogger Paige Jennifer said...

Creepy or not, I second your sentiment. Of course the advice I give I never follow, er, my last post? Yeah, I don't want to talk about it.

Anyway, I'm around. I'm happy to dish out comments or sit and listen. And I have an email link in my profile - it's there for the taking.

Lastly, it's going to be hard. I always equate breaking up with rehab - giving up and walking away from something that isn't good for you but you still want and crave.

9:38 AM  
Blogger jilly said...

Nope, don't take it and don't stand for it. You have way more to offer someone.

Yes, three years is a long time, and it is not going to be easy to let go and move on, and you are going to be hurt. But you are strong, and you do know that you have more to offer someone. It is a shame that he did not see in you what the rest of us do, an independent, confident, trusting, beautiful woman. Someone else will.

Keep venting here, turn your energies to something else.

I am so so so sorry though.

11:02 AM  
Blogger KatieGirlBlue said...

This is a heartbreaking - but well told - story, and I commend your courage and honesty and openness.

Why, with those characteristics, not to mention your smarts, it seems like you deserve MUCH more than someone who would cheat or be dishonest or hurt you.

That said, though, we're all human and even the most kind-hearted people make mistakes.

So maybe you look into your heart and mind and figure out what you think is the right thing to do. Maybe it's not socially-acceptable. Maybe it's not traditional. Maybe it's a hybrid of right and wrong.

But if it feels good and feels like it's honoring you, then it's probably the right thing to do.

1:43 PM  
Blogger Tilda said...

This is so hard. This is my first time commenting, usually i just lurk :) but I felt like I had to. I am in sort of the same situation with my ex bf of about 4 years.

I don't know about you, but I always succumb to the attempts at communication. I over obsess over EVERYTHING and I get all freaked out that this is the best that I will be able to do, and if I don't take him back than I will just be alone for the rest of my life and who wants that!!

But all I can really say is to try to take it one day at a time. Look at each day as a new opportunity to figure out what you want. If you take it day by day, one day you will wake up and you will have not spoken to him in a week, and then two, and then a month. And you will be okay.

3:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


i am a lurker too (with no blog) and i commented way back when you first wrote about this. the same thing happened to me in november...long relationship, long distance for part of our relationship, so in love. and now i am in limbo too. from my experience, i should never have responded to his requests for contact. i am upset about what happened (like you are...and should be since he had recent contact with her) and the relationship is just unhealthy. i am mad when he doesn't call, doesn't call exactly when i want him to, etc. the best thing to do is take a long break...if its going to work a year down the road it will. i should have waited longer...i feel like our relationship has gotten very unhealthy lately and i think a longer break would have been better. we should make a deal...i won't call my ex if you don't call yours. i am weak...

hugs! hang in there!

11:48 PM  

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