Dear Readers: Here's Part Two - More responses to how many feel about snooping on cheaters (see July 2nd and June 10th columns)
For the first months of long-distance dating, I was blissfully, ignorantly happy. Then, while visiting him, I saw him text someone he'd never mentioned, yet claimed was "a friend."
Later I found his cell phone; curiosity won out and I saw that he'd been messaging and calling his ex-girlfriend ... at all hours of the night and after we'd talked too. I never said anything, mostly because I knew snooping was wrong.
Months later he moved in with me and we fought about how often he spoke to his ex. I discovered he went out several times with the girl he'd text-messaged while we were dating. He'd left his laptop on and I learned that while I was on a weekend trip, he'd spoken with his ex about me, my body, my co-workers (whom he'd considered sleeping with) and about that other girl he dated.
I kicked him out, disgusted with him, and myself for not trusting my instinct. I still feel ridiculous that I stayed with him throughout this AND THEN got back together. We dated for another year, which was worse. I mistrusted him and said so, all the time.
Our sex life diminished because I didn't feel he deserved it often and this caused arguments. We finally broke up for good when I snooped to discover he'd signed up for a dating site account, listing himself as "single."
Now I'm quick to trust my instinct with dates and figure out a lot based on conversation. I've promised myself to never snoop again; the mere desire indicates something's wrong and there's a problem to be solved.
The bigger person in me knows now that the best revenge isn't printing out proof and starting a fight - it's walking away.
Reader - "I don't feel that someone demeans themselves if they feel mistrustful, or is proactive in taking steps to ensure their own security within a relationship. With regards to sexual health, it's best to know sooner than later.
"I agree, that if mistrust persists, it's probably best to leave the relationship. In my own experience, my instincts regarding cheating have never been wrong. I now listen to my instincts.
"People come to relationships with varying abilities to trust - sometimes, it's an issue they need to work on for themselves, sometimes it's a legitimate problem with their partner's behaviour. Some detective work may be in order, since many cheaters get away with it for years before anything comes to light.
My on and off boyfriend of four years was always distant; in retrospect, the signs were there that he was married and cheating with me and other women.
The signs? I didn't know where he lived, I only saw him
once a week, I never met his kids, he never stayed over, etc.
My gut instinct was that he wasn't honest from the beginning, but I believed that I was over-analyzing. I was emotionally fragile then (recently divorced, lost a child) and probably seeking security.
When I asked early on if he was married, he became extremely angry. I ended up apologizing. Later, when I suspected him of cheating (by looking at his phone), he'd
make me feel like I was crazy and insecure. I now can spot the signs from miles away.
Fooled No More
Reader - "My husband of 15 years was charming, attractive, ambitious, successful; he left without warning. His lying, cheating and manipulating could be so confusing, hidden under charm.
"My father, who died when my kids were young, had been charmed, too, and named him executor of his will. My husband then bought a business with my inheritance; I ended up with nothing (old laws when we split). Even a psychiatrist we saw only later realized the man was a psychopath.
"He left with a woman he'd been having an affair with during our getting marriage counselling. He'd seemingly become the "good husband" and "loving father" ...all the while making his plans. He's now on his fourth relationship, having left the other woman.
"I feel many women are very vulnerable to this kind of man. They leave a swath of destruction reaching down through the generations - children, grandchildren."
"Cheating" Many Ways
Tip of the day:
If you choose to snoop, think about how long you can accept repeated excuses before it feels worse than leaving.