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just contact or more
February 10, 2003
12:42 pm
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Well my girlfriend (age 36) has known a couple (age mid-forties) since few years and was more or less casual in her approach towards them and appreciative of them though with reservations. Now the guys wife is away on Holidays as am I and he has within 10 days seen my girlfriend either in his own apartment or in ours more than thrice and the meetings lasted more than 3 hrs. each(thrice they would normally see in a span of few months.........when the wife was around). I tried but could not make a good gut feeling about it. What are they upto.

February 10, 2003
3:54 pm
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Your gut usually knows what is going on, it's not usually wise to ignore it. Are there other clues present besides the amount of time that they are spending together?

http://www.cheating-spouse-sof.....vior.shtml

Has anything about your lifestyle together changed recently, where she might be feeling neglected? Assuming the worst, that there is an affair going on here, how would you handle it? If she is cheating, are you willing to end the relationship, or would you want to work it out with her?

From my perspective, having been on both sides of the fence, it seems like you do need to have a heart to heart talk with her. If you let something this uncomfortable for you go without talking about it, you will grow apart. And if she is cheating, a part of the cheater might *want* to be caught, if that makes any sense. Part of it could be that plea for attention. Or, it could be someone who doesn't have a whole lot of emotional maturity who is testing her boundaries with you, just like the child will test boundaries with her parents... you've seen it in Wal-Mart, the child running amok because the parents have no control, versus the child who reaches to knock over the paper towel display and the parent firmly instructs the child not to. Not saying that you have the responsibility to "parent" her or teach her right from wrong, but this could be the dynamic that is being played out. Someone at that level of emotional maturity who is trying to knock over the paper towel display of fidelity is probably not mature enough for a committed relationship, she still has some growing to do.

If she is cheating and you don't call her on it, that sends a message to her as well, or a variety of them depending on her personality type and yours. (1) You don't care about her enough to notice what she is doing. (2) You aren't smart enough to notice what she is doing, which further erodes her respect for you, which will result in more disrespectful behavior. (3) Any combination of the two.

Now, it could be that all of this is innocent, but two things pop out at me that say otherwise. The first one is that very rarely do you see two people of the opposite sex spend alone time together in someone's apartment without there being something extra going on... it might not even be physical, but there could be some inappropriate "emotional" bonding going on here that might be better shared between you and her, and this man and his wife. The second is that your gut reaction thinks this is not right. The only way to know is to ask, and even then she might lie if she feels cornered. You might want to express your concerns to the male friend as well, see if you get the same story twice.

Good luck, Abi.

February 11, 2003
3:54 am
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Abi, I'm with ginger. It sounds like things are just not right...don't jump to conclusions, but definitely ask what's going on. Gut feelings are usually right.

February 11, 2003
9:07 am
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Hi Ginger and Julie2
Thanks indeed. You both did a great job here with your posts. Yes she did "lie" when "cornered". She had left me some messages she will visit him at his apartment. Eventually he turned up at ours. I did not want to call in that period. My intuition forced me to. She was glad to have me cut the call brief, asked she had left messages, I said I did not see any (I had seen). Next morning I called she said "well his wife is not here, he is bothering me, he came here! and he said I will come this evening again to pick you up".
Normally she is a brilliant person and remembered by everyone she meets even once for her qualities.
Yes I am not able to give her sufficient attention yet. I plan to use an indirect approach to getting her understand what I feel. I would like to save this relationship.
Your suggestions will help me.
I am still hoping my hypothesising is wrong. But I always was very sharp and correct with my gut feelings. But is she trying me? for both my sharpness and my emotions? Or is there more?
Thanks

February 11, 2003
10:47 am
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I'm going to tell you a little about myself, because I think it's relevant. I fear that I might be casting my own personal feelings onto your situation, but see if it rings true for you or sounds familiar. You said that she is a sparkling woman. I myself have been called "memorable" in some ways by people I've met only briefly, and I think it gave me a bit of a swelled ego, not that feeling good about yourself is bad in any way, but I'm talking about a sense of entitlement. "If I'm such a neat person, then I deserve a great relationship." That statement in and of itself isn't harmful, it's what the phrases "neat person" and "great relationship" meant to me. "Neat person" meant "witty, charming, pretty", any of the things you would love to see in a party guest. It didn't mean the things that truly make someone "neat", like "loyalty, compassion, patience, flexibility". "Great relationship" to me meant "excitement, wild sex, butterfly feelings, lust, newness". My point of view had to shift a lot to see that "great relationship" actually means "trust, inimacy, honesty, faithfulness, true love."

She can be salvaged, I am living proof, but perhaps not in the current relationship with you. These sorts of realizations are the type that you come to when reflecting on your own.

A few questions. Do you two live together? (I am assuming so from your post.) At first, I thought she might be craving more together time with you, but upon further reflection, she might be craving the opposite, wanting to feel like her own person. How long have the two of you been together? If it's been a few years, and you are living together, and there is no talk of marriage, she could feel some pressure in that area, see the relationship stagnating, and be looking for something or someone outside of it to spark her interest in love and relationships again. It doesn't matter if the two of you go on cruises together 4 times a year... if one person feels unsatisfied in the relationship and feels like it isn't progressing towards something more and deeper, and especially then if one person is absent often, it leaves room for "things" to happen.

And don't believe the "he is bothering me" routine. It's BS. If he really was bothering her, she would have called you, called the police, called his wife, or just plain told him to go away, and never would she agree to allow him to pick her up later.

I hate to say it, but this one sounds like she isn't ready for the kind of committed relationship that you have in mind. She might be 36, but emotional maturity often has nothing whatsoever to do with physical age.

One other side note before I head off. You said that you aren't able to pay a lot of attention to her "yet". What's going on in that area? Perhaps you yourself are sending her mixed messages that the relationship isn't all that important to you. "This relationship comes first, after my career, after my family, and after my friends. Oh and by the way, sorry I'm gone so much, but you'd better not cheat anyway."

Sorry for rambling about myself, but I'm hoping to give you some insight into the situation from the opposite side. Just like the American National Security Association uses ex-computer-hackers as security experts to thwart would-be attackers, so too can those of us who have been there and done that alert people who might be getting taken for a ride. I really hope that I'm wrong, but the signs are there that say otherwise.

Best wishes, Abi.

February 11, 2003
1:13 pm
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Of course she liked his company. she was not bothered. she even went to his place the next day again. and will go again or he will come gain till his wife shows up or I show up.
Another dimension the situation has. That guy though married 20 yrs now has no issues despite big wish. And my girl has an element of being treated as a child too. I have been checking (lately) her emails. Guess what he wrote after the evening's meeting to her??? READ
Hi God Bless You and May He give you all happiness in life.
Hope you are up and had your morning tea. I got up at 7 and had my tea and went for a brisk walk for 40 minutes. It was cool outside and walk was great. I feel very positive after the walk and the day looks great. I am getting ready to enjoy the great match today. Hope you will finish work so that you too can enjoy the match.
Have a great day

So Ginger unfortunately I am reading his message both ways. I am confused how I should read it. What is the semantics of his mail conveying???
Give me your opinion.............do they meet as friends and "child/parent"............are they developing another emotional bond?

February 11, 2003
1:34 pm
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You don't trust her. The email sounds innocent enough, almost too innocent, but you are violating some boundaries here by reading her email if she doesn't know that you engage in this practice and has not specifically said she was OK with it.

Abi, if you are reading her email, the relationship is not going to flourish. You've already judged her in your mind as being guilty, since you've gone this far to prove it. Don't you deserve a relationship that is more trusting than this? My experience tells me that when things get to this stage, checking someone else's voice mail or email, watching their every move, analyzing their every word, the relationship is pretty much over, unless you want to settle for a second-rate relationship.

You sound like a good guy, you might want to consider cutting your losses now for your own sake and for her sake. You aren't doing her any favors by parenting her like this (and that is what you are doing, parenting, checking up on her every move while you are away, checking for evidence of bad behavior...) And you know what a teenager does when mom and dad check on up on them, right? THEY REBELL.

It only gets worse from here, it's a slippery slope.

February 12, 2003
1:44 am
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Tell me one thing. Was I not trusting her?? was I really not trusting her? I am a social scientist and I know (of course only in general) what can go wrong within which circumstances. Suddenly the frequency of their contact increased tremendously. My assessment sure is that I was parenting her. But what is yours Ginger? Was I not trusting her? Am I guilty of not putting trust there?

February 12, 2003
6:26 am
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another fact. that I was reading her email was not out of mistrust. Just that I had been angered recently over an of course trifle matter but my anger took its expression in the email-overlooking.
So what do you read. Now I am focussing more on myself than her.
Is something wrong with me?

February 12, 2003
3:20 pm
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Nothing is "wrong" with you, Abi, at least in my opinion. Your reactions sound very natural to me, the wondering, the suspicion... it does seem warranted given the circumstances.

You say that reading her email was not out of "mistrust", but out of "anger". I am curious as to why you think your anger is manifesting this way (as opposed to yelling, becoming depressed, being spiteful, or passive-aggressive... not to say that these manifestations are great in and of themselves, but they are common ways that people express anger).

I know if I found out that my partner was reading my email, I would be very hurt, angered and offended, even if there wasn't anything out of the ordinary in there that I was trying to hide. It's like reading someone's personal snail mail, or their diary, or listening in on a private phone conversation when they don't know that you are on the line. To me, and I think to many, it's a boundary violation.

My first reaction would be to say that she violated your boundaries somehow, during this "trifle" that you refer to, and this made you angry. Your response to the anger was to violate a boundary of hers in turn, and you chose her email privacy boundary as the one to cross.

Just a theory. Only you know deep down whether you started reading her email because you didn't trust her, or whether it was to "get back at her" for making you angry. The email issue strikes a very familiar chord with me, because my ex did that to me. He sensed that something was not right in our relationship, that I was hiding something, and he was right. To confirm his suspicions, he snooped in my email, and found his proof. Both of us were in the wrong, me for what I was doing, and him for getting angry that I wouldn't address it voluntarily, and violating my privacy to get to the bottom of it. In hindsight, it was the best thing to have happened, but neither of us were in a healthy place to be good for each other, clearly evidenced by our "tit for tat". After the boundary violations on both sides, we had no hope of reconciliation, ever.

Were you "guilty" of not putting trust in her? Perhaps, but in my opinion, trust should be earned, over time. Let her actions be consistent with her words, let her follow-through match her promises. Put yourself in her shoes for a moment. We all can understand (I think) that in a relationship, trust has to grow and be built. We all sense that the other partner is monitoring that somehow. But, monitoring can only go so far before it becomes intrusive. How would you feel if the tables were turned and you found out that she was secretly reading your email for the last month to see if you are really doing the things that you say you are?

It sounds from your posts that the relationship is an unequal one, where you are being the parent to her, and where you hold most of the control, whether it be through income, job importance, intelligence, or just natural personality. Clearly from a technology standpoint you have the upper hand... look how you can read her email without her knowing, I doubt highly that she is able (or perhaps has even thought of) reading yours. This relationship that she is cultivating outside of your own could be an attempt by her to gain some control, rebelling against the groundrules you have set, either directly or implicitly.

If you want to save the relationship, work needs to be done on both sides. You can embark on that journey together, or separately. It's good to do the self-analysis, even on your own. Might I suggest McGraw's "Relational Rescue" book? It can be done by yourself or with her, and makes you step back and look at yourself as a partner. It's really insightful, and I think that you with your logical/scientific approach to problem-solving might really enjoy digging in from both sides, yours and hers (if she is willing).

February 12, 2003
3:40 pm
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You are really doing a woderful job here Ginger. I cannot explain but i am sure my email privacy violation was out of anger. I am not the type to look into anyone private matter even if I have very easy chance. I must have done this in a very very long time. I had hoped to take it up with her indirectly but it so happened that we became direct. We decided to end the relationship. It had no future because she could not tolerate that I "doubted" her. And I did not like that my gut feeling was for her a lack of trust. To ed was the best option. But I don't know if you will conclude I was suspicious but she was on the offensive defense about those meetings. I have no idea what could have been going on more than talk but ............. And why did it have to happen i the absence of his wife. She said he neede support because his mother died last month. Comeon for that he had to see her everyday??? He came a long way to pick her up and then drop her back and / or to see her at hers. Today she said he needed support, the last time it was that match was to be seen together. She was ver evasive about the topic. No we were equally good in jobs, money, socia respect, very compatible but we were always scared and praying nothing go wrong.
Thanks Ginger. I will have the book ordered.

February 12, 2003
3:50 pm
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The thought of reading my mail would never ever cross her mind...........for two reasons...I am very straightforward and loyal, secondly she is a generally innocent person. That was the force to be prenting her! And she is also very dogmatic about few things, though very understanding (in theory at least) about most other issues. She does not believe that trust is o be earnt and cultivated through time and toil. For her trust is or is not.
I will be discussing this further with you.
Thanks

February 12, 2003
4:03 pm
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she is blaming me for a sick mind............because i told her even if nothing was wrong with the meetings there was potential for sickness

February 12, 2003
5:49 pm
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I think she's defending herself just a little too much, don't you? She wouldn't react as strongly if it didn't ping some bell of truth within her... otherwise she would have been able to patiently see your side of it. Do you think she would have had such a reaction if you were upset that she was spending too much time with this man's wife while he was out of town?

I'm not saying that she did anything wrong here, she is human too, and we can't necessarily stop ourselves from noticing possibilities. But, you called her on it, and it can be really hard to hear that, and it's all too easy to throw the blame back on the messenger for being paranoid or "sick" rather than stepping up, admitting that we are human, and asking to work through the issues together, honestly and openly.

In theory, I admire people who trust immediately, that whole "love like you've never been hurt" thing. But in practice, especially as we gain more experience in the world and with people, it's a lot healthier for ourselves to wait and watch, and let the trust grow and develop over time, because when it blooms, it's beautiful, it's complete, it's thorough, and it can survive tests like the one you are going through right now. You end up falling in love and trusting in who the person really *is*, not in who you think they are when you first meet them. You really see them for who they are, and not who you hope they are.

You doing ok?

February 13, 2003
6:54 am
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Thanks again Ginger. Correct. Well this relationship lasted only six months. We emailed first two and a half months. I am good in writing. I was especially concentrated then. I must admit she gave very special treatment to whatever I wrore or querried. She was quite extraordinary in that. We had met only two hours before the emailing for a causal talk. We were really able to look well into each other's real personalities. But I guess we also worked much on assumptions. Marriage was planned in few months. Once she met at workplace some guy. When she told me (I have a tendency to read between the lines) my gut stirred. She wanted to go thru the process of exploring him (as a genral acquaintance) and once he phoned her and wanted to invite her over and exhibited delight and pride and preference that he is keeping his wife and child in a different city. She confirmed I was right with my feeling. If I could not be wrong then I am not taking that I would be wrong now. Especially because one thing was unique between the two cases. The intonation in her speech when she referred to both cases......very similar intonation. I am certain not to be wrong. Anyway she is showing this reaction (to give her some more benefit of doubt) because many years later she knew a guy who was very intelligent but jealous and could not tolerate that she speak with other friends (males). So she abruptly broke contact as was correct. And can you believe it she is comparing me with him! Only a month ago she thought I am the miracle of her life (I thought she was too..........I am still falsely and secretly hoping that some miracle save this relationship............though the only miracle will be that she talk).
I even offered her to sit down all four of us...........the two and we two.........she cannot gather courage to admit facts......I told her there could have been something in the subconcious mind which was using the meetings to slowly come up........I was cautious enough to add each time that I am not assuming any thing.......I never accused her of anything......but she accused me of a sick mind and inability to trust!! I guess her history is what I may want to know if at all I decide to go that direction. Thanks

February 13, 2003
7:17 am
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Yeah I am quite ok now. The moment I remembered the intonation thing all the pain went away. I made mistakes earlier. Because I thought I needed her I always laid directions before her and let her make a choice (I kind of knew which one she would choose). When I let her look for directions on her own...........she came up with.....negative stuff inspite of my best positive hints.............like abrupt termination of the relation, my "sick mind", end of communication, etc. But I want to see what she really comes up with once the "temper" coold down.

February 13, 2003
2:36 pm
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She had decide with me we will see our folks in person and tell them nicely we are stopping here. Suddenly she rang up her family and informed them of her decision to end it, crying of course. Am I crazy to imagine that she realizes the loss of a very beautiful relationship and wants somehow it to work again??? Am I being fanciful in this direction?

February 13, 2003
3:24 pm
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I think you might be hoping a lot, projecting some of that hope onto the situation. Time will tell. Let tempers cool, try to disconnect from each other for a while if you can, maybe do the 21 day detox that people talk about (21 days of no contact, that's just 3 weeks). Then see how you feel.

Do you want the relationship to work? What would you want different? If the answer is that you want her to change, then yes, you are being fanciful. You can't control anyone else but yourself. If the answer is that you want *you* to change, that's more difficult to answer. We are all capable of growth and change driven from within. But, we won't be truly happy unless we are changing in a pattern that is consistent with our internal guidelines, our hearts and souls, and even our bodies. It would be sort of like asking a night owl to suddenly be happy being a morning person. They can try, they might be able to force themselves to take on the new pattern, but it's hard, it's contrary to who they are, and it takes so much energy to maintain. There may still be many sleepless nights, even though they force themselves to get up at 5am to fit into that early bird morning person mould that they are trying to desperately to get in.

From my perspective, calling the family to inform them that a relationship is over and crying while doing it is pretty normal, even if you don't want to work on the relationship. It's OK to be genuinely sad about something that is ending, and still realize that there is nothing that you can do right then to go back to the way things were.

My recommendation... let some time pass, and then see how you feel.

February 14, 2003
5:55 am
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ginger you shouldcomment on the comparison between him and the old insecure, jealous guy too.

February 14, 2003
11:20 am
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Well, there are two people here in the relationship, you and her. And it takes two people to make a relationship work, and two people to make it *not* work. She has some issues it sounds like, and more than likely she is picking men over and over again who fit some sort of pattern. She is saying that the pattern is "jealous and insecure". I bet if you met the guy, he might not seem all that jealous or insecure, merely her perception of his reaction to her behavior.

In my opinion, it's unproductive to compare anyone in the present to someone in the past in a discussion. How can you fight that? You are fighting to defend yourself against being just like someone you don't know, the memory of her ex, which may or may not be at all like this person is in real life.

To be honest, I wouldn't overly worry about it, *unless* it felt to you like it might be true (i.e. you think that you are indeed being jealous and insecure).

February 15, 2003
10:29 am
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I have arrived at a clear conclusion that being that she being so dogmatic about certain things she will never pull out of this situation. So it is very much over and for good of both. You have been very helpful throughout Ginger

February 17, 2003
11:11 pm
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Good luck, Abi. Breaking up is hard, even when it's the right thing. If you need or just want to talk, we're around to listen. Have a pleasant evening.

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