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He dated other women in our first 6 months :( male opinions needed particularly

(44 Posts)
idontunderstandmen Sun 17-Mar-13 21:07:42

Hi everyone. So I am in a happy relationship, well fairly happy, I feel very in love and I feel he loves me, things are moving along nicely and we are considering moving in together. We have been together 1.5 years and we met on internet dating. However I have always had a bit of a suspicion that my boyfriend was seeing other women early on in our relationship, I checked his facebook last summer and saw messages which suggested that was the case. I confronted him and he said they were old exes, and friends of his ex and he hadnt been cheating on me. He apologised for flirting and deleted the person in particular he had been flirting with.

Just today I was on his laptop and thought I'd have a nose at his photos. I was surpised to see photos of lots of women from the internet, and internet conversations that he had photographed, arranging to meet up for drinks. When I looked at the dates I saw they were within the first 6 months of our relationship. I confronted him about this and he said that he hadnt felt sure of our relationship until we went on holiday together (at about 6 months in) and that he had been on some dates but not slept with any women. I feel very hurt because I was faithful to him after about a month of meeting him, I did go on a few dates after meeting him but was very honest to him about this. I feel he has lied to me when I confronted him first about this (he says he didnt tell me because "thats not what you tell people you go out with"). I understand that we werent in love at that time, we hadnt met each others families, but I still feel hurt and like he was disrespectful to me. He says that he hasnt seen any other women since that first holiday when he realised that he loved me and I do believe him. Am I a fool or is this normal male behaviour?

If it makes any difference, I am 29, had recently come out of a 6 year relationship when I first met him, he is 40 and had been single-ish for a few years (ie a couple of 6-1yr relationships but probably seeing loads of people at the same time). I was probably a bit naive of the real world, particularly the internet dating world sad

badinage Sat 23-Mar-13 14:13:22

Listen love, even if every bloke on here had said 'Meh...it's no big deal' that shouldn't have mattered.

Try to get to the point where it's only important what you think is acceptable behaviour.

Your radar is just fine about the lying. It's not acceptable to you. It's made you re-think his character and put you on high alert.

Everyone tells lies about something but lying about other women and even when found out, lying to your face and then repackaging it as 'not really a lie' is what makes this more serious. To move on from this, at the very least I think he's got to own up the the fact that he did lie.

People can change, but only when they acknowledge the wrongdoing in the first place. It doesn't sound as though he ever has.

idontunderstandmen Sat 23-Mar-13 13:45:32

ps I asked for male opinions particularly in case it really is true that some men think this is acceptable behaviour (the early dating, even when he'd said I was his girlfriend - it was like he had me lined up and faithful but wanted to just check there wasnt anything better out there whilst he was still fairly free...nice)

idontunderstandmen Sat 23-Mar-13 13:43:23

Thanks for the messages. I agree its the lying that upsets me most. Even if he has changed and is faithful now, it doesnt take from the fact that he lied to my face and made me feel stupid for questioning him. He says he felt he had to lie because I would have assumed the worst if he had told me "as I am doing now"

Well I told him on Thursday that I need some time to think about things so I havent spoken to him for two days now. I think I might arrange to meet with him next week. This is quite a big foot down as we see each other usually every other day and we text all the time normally. I also cancelled going out with his work friends on friday and house viewing today. I am hoping that he will understand that he needs to be truthful to me in future. I am I think willing to forget this but decided I needed to make a bit of a stand about it to hopefully make sure it never happens again (the lying. Obviously he had better never date another woman behind my back again!). I hope you are wrong that liars cant change :-/

nosferatu Thu 21-Mar-13 19:29:02

I would keep my eyes open

badinage Thu 21-Mar-13 19:20:14

This just shows (thankfully) that there is no such thing as a 'male opinion' because like women, men are not clones of eachother and will have different values and judgements about situations.

I really do think the whole 'internet dating/was this an exclusive relationship' business is a red herring though.

The main issue is that this bloke lied, by omission first and then overtly.

Social conventions around dating might change, but lying never goes out of fashion or becomes more acceptable in relationships.

CuChullain Thu 21-Mar-13 16:18:24

Another chap here.

While there is no set template as to when your relationship should become exclusive I would imagine most people would assume some kind of exclusivity the moment you start sleeping with each other on a regular basis (unless you agree in advance to some kind of friends with benefits type of relationship). You don’t always have to have the ‘are we exclusive chat’ in order to define acceptable relationship boundaries, if someone is obviously investing time and emotional capital into the early months of a relationship it does not take a genius to work out that fucking other people is going to cause hurt and disappointment to that person and basically advertise the fact that you were not that serious about them. I did the whole internet dating thing and it is not uncommon to find yourself going on several different dates with different people over the same period of time. I think a bit of an overlap in the early days is to be expected. Some of those dates will advance to second and third meetings that might finish with a naughty fumble on the sofa with two different people on consecutive nights, but there comes a point when you have to choose one person with whom you want to move forward with. After my first date with Mrs I actually had no interest in dating other people as I was so smitten, and I thought it would have been a bit mean to arrange dates with other women if my thoughts at the time were on someone else. We did have the ‘exclusivity’ chat after about 8 weeks; although I knew we were both committed to moving forward with each other I thought it would be polite to ask her if I could call her my girlfriend before I started to introduce her to people as such.

skaboy Thu 21-Mar-13 13:51:53

Bloke here. Surprised he's behaving like that at 40. When I was a teenager I might have carried on like that although there wasn't really any internet dating (I'm 36) and I might be abnormally loyal / honest. The decent thing is to be honest about what's going on at the time otherwise you can't really build up much trust.

He clearly wasn't serious at the start but might be now. Unlikely he's going to change much at his age though so I'd be wary. Unfortunately I know enough about liars to know they generally carry on lying.

Roseflowers Thu 21-Mar-13 13:00:23

The thing is, the op says that he was seeing some of these girls AFTER they said they were boyfriend and girlfriend. Its right there in her second or third post. So under no circumstances do I think she's 'looking for a way out', I think she's genuinely hurt because this guy was still dating around after making that commitment. She was always honest about dating other people in the first month of their relationship whereas he was secretly seeing other girls much later on that he never admitted to. There is the betrayal.

LemonPeculiarJones Thu 21-Mar-13 12:01:02

Bobby I think it is different though, because of how much lying he has done, secret dating, flirty messaging etc. In that context I do think it makes it entirely different. Staying around at a friend's house when you can't get home is rather different to going on a date without telling the woman you are seeing, and then having the drunk date stay over, claiming nothing happened....DYSWIM?

Agree with you about the creepy screenshots madonnawhore! Like a collection of little conquests. Definitely a bit hmm

madonnawhore Thu 21-Mar-13 09:16:07

Anyone else think it's weird and a bit creepy that he screenshots conversations with women when they agree to go on dates with him?

I'm on the fence about non exclusive dating early in a relationship.

But the disturbing thing is that OP asked him directly and he lied to her face unblinkingly. If it was no big deal, why didn't he just admit it then?

It's only now she's confronted him with undeniable evidence that his story's changed. It was 'only one date each'. A drunk girl went back to his place with him but 'nothing happened'.

Now that you know he's capable of lying, how could you ever believe anything he says? Especially on this topic?

Smells dodgy to me OP.

bobbywash Thu 21-Mar-13 08:01:56

Lemon whilst I see what you're saying the OP did the same, drunk, stayed round a male friends flat. Why when he says the same thing happened as it did to the OP is he automatically lying.

The OP wants an out, and is looking to justify it on the grounds that during the first 6 months when she states they were not in love yet, he did something and didn't tell her. There is no indication during the following year he has even put 1 hair out of place, blimey men and women are fundementally different in terms of attitude as everyone is aware. To me as a bloke, it's a nothing. I look at it as a woman with trust issues. If someone walked away from me over something that had happened over a year ago, when their lifestyle had been very similar, apart from the "share it all" part, when seemingly it hadn't even been agreed that we were a couple I would think the woman had real issues.

If the OP has (and she clearly does) it's best to walk away, there is nothing in the OP to say affair or cheating, since they have decided on being a couple. It's her insecurity and that is it. This is something that should not be pushed onto him, it's the OP that can't cope.

<tongue firmley in cheek> Maybe she's punching way above her weight <tongue firmly in cheek>

cronullansw Thu 21-Mar-13 00:29:40

Well, if you keep looking under stones for long enough, I'm sure you will either find the slugs you are looking for or you will imagine you've found them.

LemonPeculiarJones Wed 20-Mar-13 21:54:09

Drunk girl missed the last train home?! Oh dear. He's a liar, has pursued other women - this little story doesn't hold up well in the light of that, does it?

The "Without trust we're nothing, babe," is <boak>worthy. He must have seen it as a gift that you'd stayed over at your friend's place. A get-out-of-jail-free to store up against his indiscretions.

bobbywash Wed 20-Mar-13 19:44:51

You have trust issues, you can't move on. It's your choice. It seems you're looking for a reason to say its not right for you. These incidents are over a year old and as I said before what's he done in the last year. Clearly you believe something.

It doesn't matter whether as a bloke I say what's the issue, as it is you that can't get it out of your head and move on. You've already made up your mind and you're just seeking support for your decision IMHO

Birthdaychocolate Wed 20-Mar-13 18:59:39

The signs suggest that he is a liar and a cheat.

Why are you asking for male opinions in particular?

badinage Wed 20-Mar-13 17:21:52

The main issue all along with this has been the lying.

It still is.

I'd be worried too OP.

And I'd metaphorically shoot a man who called me 'babe'....

Lucylloyd13 Wed 20-Mar-13 16:11:29

The lying is not acceptable.

Seeing others in the embryonic stages of a relationship is.

idontunderstandmen Wed 20-Mar-13 14:35:58

Thanks for the posts, interesting. He has assured me that nothing happened with the people that he dated, that he only met them for drinks. There was one slightly dodgy one where the girl was apparently drunk and he brought her back home because she missed the last train. He insists they didnt even kiss, he was very upset that i had found out. I told him that I had spoken to the girl (I hadnt) so I am fairly sure he was telling the truth but I guess I'll never know. He says the dates that he went on made him realise that I was right for him, and then things became more serious after our holiday. I guess I was slightly suspect that I had seen that he was arranging to meet up with his ex last summer, and hadnt told me (he said he didnt meet her but again this could have been a lie). I do meet up with my ex every few months but Im very honest with him about this and he says hes ok with it and of course Im not unfaithful.

There was actually one time when I had stayed round a male friends house when I was drunk and couldnt get home (nothing happened) and I told him the next day and he said "without trust we are nothing babe". There was a picture about 2 weeks before this of him arranging to meet a girl for drinks on the internet (for some reason he always took screen shots when they agreed, doh). It hurts me that he said this as a way of reassurring me but was acting untrustworthily at the same time.

I suppose Im just worried that he found it so easy to lie to me, until I could really prove things. It does make me worry what else is there for me to find. I did tell him strongly that if we are going to live together there cant be any more secrets and I dont want to have to find out anything more and he said he would tell me if he could think of anything else that I might not like (but he hasnt ventured anything). I suppose I worry that he felt it was ok to see other people when he wasnt sure about me, and that he might do that again next time we have a rough patch.

Mondrian Tue 19-Mar-13 06:02:47

I have been with DW for 25 yrs & am in love more than ever. We have 2 beautiful daughters and lead a very happy life, as a man i could not have asked for anymore in life. While we both had little indiscretions in the early years we have both remained (technically) faithful to each other throughout all these years. Of course our life could have ended up very different to what it is now had one of us not dealt with one of those indiscretions way back then, neither of us was serial cheater or anything like that - what happened, happened because we were/are not perfect. We all make mistakes, what's important is how we deal and learn from those mistakes. Relationships are hard, very hard and you have to work at it continuously as no two people are a perfect fit, best we can hope for is a good fit and then it's upto us to make it into a perfect fit and to do so there is going to be lots of abrasions. Only you can tell if there is a future in the relationship and if its worth the effort and the heartache.

badinage Mon 18-Mar-13 23:13:23

There's no disputing the facts here, which is that when asked about the women he was messaging up until last summer, he lied that they were exes or friends of exes and that he hadn't been unfaithful. Or that he changed his story when the OP got evidence that this was an outright lie. Unless you think the OP is lying or presenting an alternative reality, those are the incontrovertible facts.

What might differ are people's judgements about those facts, because people's moral compasses differ especially if lying and deceit is the norm for some and is acceptable in themselves and in their relationships.

cronullansw Mon 18-Mar-13 22:31:58

Glad to see Bobby and I are on the same page, you know, the page of, erm, reality, not the page of vague, intangible impressions and assumptions prior to declarations.

bobbywash Mon 18-Mar-13 09:06:37

Male perspective, and I'm sure I'll get flamed for having it.

You asked him and he told you, you then look on the pc, and as you said in the OP all the messages are in the first six months when he told you he saw others. Unless you had the talk about exclusivity, and there's no indication in your post that you did, I don't see that as an issue. You also mention that "you weren't in love at the time" so I'm slightly puzzled by the angst, as you said the messages are all in the first 6 months and not current, he told you he decided after 6 months you were right and from then on what's he done to make you suspicious.

This is either going to eat away at you, or you are going to get over it and move on, seemingly it's eating away at you as you want to check after a year of nothing that what he said to you was true. It was, jeez you either like the bloke for what he is or you don't just make up your mind and go with it.

As you can tell I really don't see it (on the information provided) as an issue, except with insecurity.

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Mon 18-Mar-13 08:01:23

Have you been STI tested recently? It would appear he can be successfully deceitful, so I would be less inclined to trust him when he says he didn't have sex with anyone else.

Yogii Mon 18-Mar-13 07:50:45

You have some evidence about what he was up to from what you saw on his computer. Based on what you saw, do you believe it was two women one time each, or whatever he said? If so, then a relevant piece of info is how quickly he attempted to get you in the sack. If he's a first date type then it's reasonable to speculate that he tried it on with them, but if not, then it's reasonable to assume he didn't. If you are looking for a way to put your mind at rest, then I would follow that track.

He seems to leave all this past history easily accessible to you. If that's the case, and if his reaction to you 'snooping' was calm, then it's reasonable to assume he's not been up to anything else as you'd have found the evidence.

You're in a relationship that apart from this issue you are very happy with. You think he is too. It could well be that by the age of 40 he was used to a very casual approach to relationships and carried that through to the early part of yours.

I agree with another poster; there are huge leaps being made here based on little info. People are utterly convinced he shagged around, and someone thinks you are a 'good for now' option. I wouldn't spend too much time worrying about that. Find peace of mind, and if you can't do that within a short space of time, you know what to do.

BTW, this is from a person who would have exactly the same reaction to early relationship fooling around as Boomoohoo did.

The above a male opinion, btw, if that makes a difference.

badinage Mon 18-Mar-13 01:27:32

I think there's quite a lot of information in the OP's posts actually.

And the reason she posted is because having been lied to in the summer, she found evidence of those lies today and was met with a refusal even to acknowledge them as lies.

Therefore I don't think it's a huge leap to summise that a 40-year old man with no history of long relationships who was still seeing lots of other women and hiding that fact nearly a year into this relationship, might have a problem with monogamy as well as an aversion to the truth.

Where I do agree with you and said so earlier, is that an 18 month relationship that has been characterised by mistrust, unfailingly accurate yields derived from snooping and repeated lies, does not suggest happiness or peace of mind.

What rather puzzles me is that the OP wanted to hear from men particularly to learn whether they considered this behaviour considered normal or acceptable.

What would it matter if they did?

Isn't it more important whether the OP herself finds it normal and acceptable? Clearly she doesn't, or she wouldn't have posted or decided that her own behaviour should be different in this relationship. I'm baffled at why there should be different standards for men, or if there are from the random ones on here, why their opinion should have any effect on the OP's personal standards.

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