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Hi everyone. I am at a point in my relationship where I am really at a loss for what to do. I have been with my boyfriend now for more than two and a half years and for a majority of that time, I have had major trust issues with him. I am 24 and he is 26. He moved more than 2,000 miles to be with me but early on in our relationship, I found out about something he had done but then he lied to me about it. (It did not have anything to do with cheating). Though he was very sorry about it, for the past two years I have had a hard time believing him for even the smallest of things. Basically, I think he's lying to me, even when he's not. Much of my insecurities deal with other women, whether he looks at them, whether he goes onto questionable web sites on the Internet, etc. Yet through it all, he has remained relatively patient with my insecurities, which really can be overwhelming. I tend to question him repeatedly, and sometimes he gets very angry that I don't believe him when he's sworn he's telling me the truth. Recently, he's said he just wants to break up with me because I have no faith in him, and because it seems like I never believe what he tells me. We did start going to church after the dishonest disclosure two years ago. So, we try to rely on faith to get through our troubles.

Then, last November, I found a link on his laptop (through Internet Explorer, not AOL, which is what he uses) for an escort web site. He swore he had nothing to do with it. For months, until now even, he has sworn that. He says he has no idea how it got there and that he deletes any unknown e-mails or reports it to AOL as spam. He swears up and down he really does not know how that link got there. Then, today, while he was away, I did a search on his computer.

I basically did a search of his files and folders using the letter combination 'esc' for escort. The search called up various files (originating from Internet Explorer) with that letter combination but I also found three files, which after you click on it, leads to escort web sites in the metropolitan area where we live. I was shocked and devastated. I was on the verge of tears for hours until he got home, and then I confronted him tearfully finally. He said he had no idea where the sites came from. There were also other innocent files (which linked to web sites) to which he said he didn't have anything to do with, but these other sites were not bad or questionable.

Now, he basically says he wants out of this relationship. He says he will move out and is just so tired that I never believe him. He was so adamant that he had nothing to do with how those files got on his laptop, that he didn't click on anything that produced them, that he never did a search for those sites, and that he has never even heard of those sites before. He says he can't give me an explanation as to why those files are on his laptop (no one else has access to his laptop besides me and him).

I don't know what to think of all of this. There are so many things I love about him. He's intelligent, caring, generous, family-oriented, hard-working, etc. etc. It's just I don't know if he's telling me the truth. I am so confused. He doesn't want anything to do with me anymore because he says he's tired of living in a relationship where there is no trust and such a lack of faith. Please, can someone help me? Maybe someone can give me a technical explanation as to how files can appear on your computer without your knowledge? I always thought that whatever you clicked on is stored on your hard drive and that it can't be disputed. I'd appreciate any advice, especially if it can explain these inexplicable files. I'm feeling really depressed about this whole situation. :(

[This message has been edited by sadgirl03 (edited 09-04-2003).]
I agree that trust issues are difficult to get over. What you need to do is take a long, hard look at yourself and, with the help of your counselor, try to figure out where they're coming from. Has anyone cheated on you in the past? The reason I ask is that having such HUGE trust issues just because he lied about going to an adult chat room is very extreme. Lying about something as minor as that is not a big issue. Furthermore, you admitted that the only reason you knew about it in the first place is because you were snooping. So obviously you had trust issues BEFORE that incident.

Don't let one minor slip on his part set the tone for the rest of your relationship. There can be no intimacy without trust. Trust is one of the main building blocks of a healthy relationship, along with communication and mutual respect.

Stop nagging your boyfriend about these websites. As several other posters have mentioned, there IS a logical explanation for them. Here's another reason they could be there: He could be sent a lot of junk e-mail containing advertising for these escort sites. Many times, these e-mails are disguised as something from a friend or whatever. If he opened the e-mail, thinking it was something legitimate, BAM, there it is on his history. Stop asking him about it. Your asking repeatedly is not going to change his answer. Sounds to me as if part of you, unconsciously of course, WANTS him to confess to it, whether or not it's true.

It sounds like you have a great guy, there. Go back and re-read some of what you said about his great qualities. That he told a white lie about the adult chat site is not a huge deal. The fact that you're MAKING it a huge deal will certainly not make him willing to tell you anything similar later.

Trust means being able to be up front and truthful about everything. That you're having such suspicious reactions to everything is eventually going to wear away his trust in YOU. Is that what you want?

Sit your boyfriend down, apologize for acting this way, and say you'll work on being better about this (of course, do this only if this is what you feel!!)But also explain to him the importance of being up front and honest about all issues. It's important to feel safe enough in a relationship that you can tell one another anything and not fear the reaction you'll get.

You'll both need to put forth the effort, but if you feel the relationship is worth saving, you'll do anything.

Good luck, and keep us posted!

[This message has been edited by Djin (edited 09-05-2003).]
Sadgirl,

You asked me how I found the strength or will to just let my insecurities go. I guess because Iíve had a really good taste of life without him. He did break up with me twice because of my insecurities. Mainly because he couldnít take it anymore and he didnít know what else to do to prove to me that he is trustworthy. When this all came to a head, I cried and cried and cried. Literally I cried hard from 2 in the afternoon until the next morning. I had nothing left. It was affecting everything in my life. I turned depressed. I hated who I was when I acted crazy and insecure. I couldnít concentrate at work (and I just got a huge promotion). I didnít enjoy playing soccer anymore, I viewed it as a chore, and I play twice a week and always looked forward to it. I pulled back and didnít speak to my boyfriend a whole lot, just basic stuff. And finally, I couldnít take it anymore. I went to him (crying) and said I cannot fight with you anymore. And we just hugged each other and that was the last time I had a negative thought about what he is doing. It just isnít worth it to me anymore to focus on the Ďwhat ifsí. It consumed my life. Itís very unhealthy. I had to change in order to make myself happy first. Then his happiness, then came our happiness. I am happy now. As I stated before, I'm not building up stress or having anxiety over snooping anymore and fearing what I may find. I even went as far as to install a key logger on his computer, how pathetic am I. I had no right to do that.

Sadgirl, you have to come to the point where you want to change. I donít know if you are there or not. Until you are, your relationship will continue as is. It wonít get better. You will be stuck in this same evil pattern until you lose him for good. You can apologize and say you will change all you want to. But more than likely, he wonít forgive you. Again, I was one of the lucky ones.

Yes, my boyfriend has lied. But what I found was that what he was just doing normal guy things. Now we live together he has changed what he does on the computer and has cancelled subscription magazines, etc. I donít snoop anymore because I donít have to. I totally trust him. I always did. It was just my own insecurities getting in the way.

If I am tempted to snoop, I force myself to remember how I felt when he left me and I thought we were over for good. Itís the worst feeling in the world. And to jeopardize that just isnít worth it to me anymore. Heís the only thing that matters. I cannot live life by what I *think* he is doing. I wasted so much time concocting scenarios up in my head. It really was crazy. Now the temptation is gone. There is no need for it anymore. Iím glad I am past that. Just FYI, it took me a long time to realize and Iím in my early 30s.

Hon, I live my life by thisÖ that the truth will always come out. Whether it takes a day, a week, a year, 20 years, the truth always comes out. Just believe in that. If he is, then you will find out. But please stop living your life like he IS always lying when you donít know for sure. You are just going on assumptions. If he says he doesnít know how the links got there, the leave it at that and believe him. You arenít gaining anything by fighting him and repeating the same questions over and over.

There has to be deeper issues that we donít know of, causing this insecurity. This fear of him lying to you. You have to work on that. You have to work on you in order to change this.

Did you get to counseling last night? What happened? Have you talked to your boyfriend about things?

Let me know how you are doing,
Trooper
Sadgirl,
Something jumped out at me in your post. You said, ďI thought if I wrote that (and I really do mean it) he would be more compelled to tell me because my reaction wouldn't be so bad.ď You have already made up in your mind that he has been visiting those sites recently. You keep repeating the same question to him, just worded differently. You are telling him, ďhey, itís okay to fess up now because my reaction wonít be so bad. So just admit that you did it. I know you did it, so just admit itĒ. Honey, you keep searching for the answer YOU want. If he really didnít do it, then you are asking him to admit to something he didnít do. At this point, you have beaten this thing to death. You havenít gained anything from it. You have only managed to destroy you relationship some more. You have to let it go once and for all. You cannot keep rehashing the same thing over and over again. I ask you again, what are you getting out of this? What are you gaining by asking him the same questions on a daily basis? You are driving yourself nuts.

So, he went to those sites a couple of years ago. He lied about it. You found out, then he admitted. Now you find Ďescort service sitesí on his computer. You never addressed my questions about how you think he could possibly find the time to meet someone? And where would he go? Arenít you with him all the time when he isnít at work?

Where does your relationship really stand right now? Is he really going to move out? And more importantly, are you prepared for that? How are you going to handle not being able to check up on him 24/7? Will your insecurities grow?

I donít know how I can help you with your fears. I only suggest that you get to the bottom of your insecurities with your counselor.

Iíve said it before and Iíll say it again. You either have to let it go and trust your boyfriend is telling the truth, or break it off. You cannot continue to do this to him and yourself. You are making yourself crazy and sick over this. I just donít see the worth in that.

What other proof do you have anyway, besides the sites on his computer? Which could have come from anywhere. You just donít know. There is tons of crap on the internet.

So either spend your days thinking of different ways to ask you boyfriend the same question and alienating him even further. Or spend your days working on yourself and getting to the bottom of your insecurities.

Have you been snooping? When is your next counseling session? What do you see happening between you and your boyfriend?

(((HUGS)))
Trooper
Thanks for your thoughtful posts, everyone. To answer Monday1954, my parents have a good relationship - they have been married for more than 30 years. So, I guess my insecurities first started with my last relationship. My ex-boyfriend, who I was with (on and off) for about two years, withheld information from me about stuff he'd done with other women while we were together. When I confronted him about it, he didn't deny it and admitted it to me freely. He just said he didn't think "it'd be worth it" to tell me. That really hurt me, but I decided to just forget about it. I was really naive back then and allowed him to treat me really poorly - and he continued to do so until I finally had enough. My ex didn't even show up for my college graduation. So, basically, my insecurities could have stemmed from how my last boyfriend treated me. ButI think it was when my current boyfriend lied to me, it just really shattered my image of him. I had him on a pedestal until then. I realized afterwards that he was just human and made a mistake in lying to me. I forgave him, and I have tried not to dwell on it, but it has really hurt our relationship in the most obvious way - trust.

And to answer Trooper - I haven't snooped. I made a pledge not to and I am upholding it. I just don't know how to proceed right now. I am so torn between believing him and just forgetting about it (it's so difficult..) and just breaking up the relatiionship. I mean, I don't even know if we will continue the relationship if he moves out. You are right. I word questions a million different ways and it really frustrates him. He says, "I'm tired of having to defend myself. If you are not going to remove yourself from the relationship, then I am." In his e-mail response to me yesterday, he said he was also tired of having hope for a decaying cause - that being that I will get over my insecurities.

I really love him so much and I can see a future for us. I just don't know how to just stop asking questions. It's like these questions seethe inside of me until I just have to ask - questions he's answered tons of times before. I've tried just squelching the doubts and not asking. But then eventually I cave in and ask. And sometimes if I don't ask, then I get moody because I'm thinking about it. It's a Catch-22 because if I don't ask, it saves us from an argument over my insecurities, but then I will get grumpy because I'm not asking. Either way, it's not pleasant. He does repeat his answers to me often, but it's because I ask the same types of questions. When I ask, I always try to take a calm tone of voice and act as non-accusatory as possible. But still, I can sense how frustrated he's getting. Our next therapy session is this Thursday, and he is supposed to see the counselor by himself. Now I don't even know if he's still planning on doing that. He said to me last night that he is at his wit's end. What should I do? Should I just let him go? Is there hope?





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