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Is this cheating!?

(33 Posts)
Laurie22 Thu 02-Nov-17 22:36:09

I am on holidays right now with my boyfriend, feeling completely distraught and have no one to talk to.

I met him over a year ago and we started dating. When we met, I was moving overseas for 5 months- six weeks after we had our first date. We had known each other a few months before that and both had big crushes on each other(through work), so things got serious quite quickly. I held back more than him as I was so overwhelmed at the strength of our feelings, but before I went away we had told each other we loved each other, and agreed that we would be together and stay faithful while I was gone etc. He pushed for this in particular. We didn't use the terms girlfriend/boyfriend until I moved away and he asked in a phone call, could he describe me as his girlfriend. I said yes, so we were pretty official.

Anyway, things went fine. We were in constant contact. He was more full on than I was. There was definitely worry on his part that I would meet someone out there. I am quite a bit younger than him (41/31) and he seemed to feel in some ways that I was 'out of his league' and would attract other guys. From my part, I was completely faithful. I was out a lot etc but never even flirted with another guy. I would never have done anything like that to him. I also trusted him 100% completely. He is a really principled guy and I was very sure of his love for me. He saw me as the one etc.

So I moved home, and things have been pretty good. I am very much in love with him. We have had issues in terms of our compatibility, we are very different people. One example is that I am more adventurous and he is more of a home bird. We are also from different parts of the country. There's a big part of me that knows that he would have preferred if I was from his city and more into the same things as him. From my point of view, differences made no dent in how much I loved him.

The year before meeting me, he had been seeing a girl from his home city for six months, not a very serious relationship. He ended it as despite liking her a lot, he was not in love with her. I got the impression that he wished he had been, they were more similar in personality to us, and she was from his home. I was not in any way insecure about her as I knew that he was not in love with her.

But tonight, I borrowed his phone to make a whatssap call as my phone was not working. I scrolled through his contacts to find the contact I was looking for and saw the name 'Lovely Linda'. As I knew that was her name, even though I shouldn't have done it, I got such a shock to see how she was described that I went into the conversation.

There were some recent messages, just checking in with each other, completely above board. But I scrolled back( there were not many messages) and I saw messages from January and Feb when I was away. In January, they wish each other New Years Well Wishes and reminisce a bit about the past. It's very obvious from them that he ended it and she was still pining after him. He said he wanted then to stay in touch but she was more hesitant as she felt if he didn't want her, what was the point?

But in February, they had met on a night out. He text her the next day to say she looked lovely. She said she had wanted to kiss him so badly. He responded saying he did too and said that talking to her turned him on. When asked,he also said he had feelings still for her. She asked 'where do we go from here?' and he said 'a date?!' She responded that she was unsure as she was just setting herself up for failure again. He said something about how 2nd times often work better and he was up for it.That's where the messages end, I presume there was a phone call or something as the messages after that are a long time later and are platonic.

Since I returned, my boyfriend always seemed to be a little non trustworthy of me. He never says anything except in jokes, but he always asks about the boys who I met overseas and here on nights out.
I always felt he was just a bit insecure, and tried to make it clear that I am incredibly loyal, which I am.

So after reading these messages, I am devastated. In February, we had sent each other valentines presents, he had sent me a card with 'boyfriend on it'. A few days later, he asked her on a date.

I do think I know what he was thinking at the time. I know he really loved me but he was worried that I wouldn't come back to him. He has said this since, that he was very worried that I would meet someone over there. I think that while he didn't love this girl, she was 'perfect on paper' for him and seeing as she was so obviously into him, he was unwilling to let her go. We had only been seeing each other for 6 weeks before I left. But the fact is, we were together.

He knows there is something wrong but I don't want to fight and break up on holidays. We are home in a few days, and I think I will wait until then. I feel so let down, I honestly didn't doubt him at all as I knew how he loved me, and he is so big on honesty and integrity. But I am so angry that he was untrusting of me when I was so loyal, and then he did that.

Is this a betrayal, cheating, or am I overreacting?

Reflexella Thu 02-Nov-17 22:48:09

Not overeacting. He’s a snake.

Dumpage required

Insomnibrat Thu 02-Nov-17 22:52:30

Cheating.

He's love bombing you and making you feel how he needs to make you feel to fulfil his agenda (whatever that is). Once the scales fall from your eyes I think you might see him very differently.

Dump.

Laurie22 Fri 03-Nov-17 07:20:13

Thanks. It's good to know that other people see it as cheating too.

There is a part of me that wants to pretend I didn't see it and just put it in the past as I know that he is not doing anything untoward now. My guess is actually that he told her about me as any messages after that were purely platonic. He is avid in his hatred of cheating. I think he probably didn't even regard that as cheating as he was the one feeling insecure at the time.

But even the messages suggesting a date and saying she turned him on and how he wanted to kiss her too and she could kiss him anytime she wanted are a huge betrayal for me and I don't think I could ever get past it. He seems himself as being a good, honest guy and I don't think I could stand a covmersation where he jokingly asks me about men, while knowing he did this.

newdaylight Fri 03-Nov-17 07:30:00

Well clearly it's double standards and I think you can guess how he might respond if you had gone on a date with a guy evoke living abroad and hidden it from him.

It might be they cut it off quite quickly and nothing more significant happened but he was clearly pursuing her a bit in those messages.

Also, it seems that his paranoia and lack of trust towards you is quite stifling....only a step away from him making accusations.

MandalaYogaTapestry Fri 03-Nov-17 07:37:16

You were seeing each other for 6 weeks before you left. How could he possibly 'love' you after such a short time? Even with a few months of mutual work crush before that. Yes, he was pushing for a title out of his own insecurities but he clearly did not love you by that point - otherwise he just would not want to act that way with his ex.

Having said that, he may well be in love with you now. You said that their messages have been platonic.

I would definitely bring It up and say how much It hurt you so that he knows not to do It again - but that surge of emotions with his ex does seem like a by-product of the past so can be understood and put behind.

Fragglewump Fri 03-Nov-17 07:39:59

He’s a knob. I would tell him that you bumped into an ex while you were away and then messaged each other saying you had wanted to kiss each other. He asked where to go from here as he didn’t want to get hurt so you suggessted a date. See if he thinks that’s fine or if he’s hurt. Then say oh no I got it wrong that was your behaviour.

MandalaYogaTapestry Fri 03-Nov-17 07:57:38

fragglewump has suggested the perfect way to raise it.

Wristy Fri 03-Nov-17 08:24:40

We’ll he’s right about one thing: you are out of his league.

He’s 41! If he hasn’t grown up yet I’m not sure he’s going to at all. I’d be getting rid and letting him know exactly why. flowers

Joysmum Fri 03-Nov-17 08:36:47

Cheating is when somebody behaves in a way they know is outside the boundaries of the relationship and so couldn’t be honest with their partner about.

His suggestions about your behaviour is classic projection. You could respond by saying you have behaved impeccably and that his constant jibes have made you you think there’s something he’s not telling you.

I suspect at that point he’ll lie again but it may provide the opportunity for him to tell you.

Even if he does, do you still want to be with him?

hellsbellsmelons Fri 03-Nov-17 09:02:06

Well this would be 'cheating' to me.
But it might not be for others.
You don't know if they did go on that date.
But jokingly asking you about boys you meet out etc... is pure projection on his part.
Do you really see along term future with him.
You are very different.
Maybe not very compatible.
Do you both the same things from life?
Kids etc...?

Hogtini Fri 03-Nov-17 09:17:26

Sometimes when a partner is accusing you of meeting boys on nights out/while you were away it's because they are doing it themselves. They know they have access to meeting other people and assume you are the same/project it on you

celticmissey Fri 03-Nov-17 09:24:13

It sounds like he was hedging his bets to me - having cake and eating it. Sadly to say you were probably plan A but she was his plan B if you didn't work out. If you stay together and hit a rocky patch in future - would he keep reverting to plan B???. Go with your gut instinct..

expatinscotland Fri 03-Nov-17 09:29:48

He likes to keep his options open, but doesn't like the same for you. He's a cheater, that's why he's lovebombing and asking you about other guys and referring to them, etc. And you're not compatible, you're very different people. Real love is respect and compatibility, you have neither with this guy.

I'd dump and move on.

pinkliquorice Fri 03-Nov-17 09:43:38

I wouldn’t dump him, if that’s the only issue. I could put that in the past and move on.
Why don’t you talk to him about it?

LemonShark Fri 03-Nov-17 09:52:44

Oh, I couldn't move past this. Sorry but when he was saying all the right things, he wasn't taking you or the relationship seriously at all. He shouldn't have asked to be exclusive if he didn't want to be exclusive. He wanted you to himself but didn't want to restrict himself to just you. He also misled this other woman, basically made a fool out of you both for his own gain.

You deserve much much better. You'll never be able to trust him. The thought of a partner sending you a valentines card and being all sweet and nice while texting that stuff to another woman makes me feel sick. What a scumbag, you're so lucky you found out so early on. If you let this go you'll spend the next few years not quite trusting him or ever feeling secure, feeling second best, and find out he's cheated again when you've wasted years with him. Run.

CoyoteCafe Fri 03-Nov-17 11:29:50

He pushed the relationship to keep you from meeting new people. It was very manipulative. He lied to you while you were away, again to manipulate you into not seeing other people. Besides the cheating, I would always question if he was telling me the truth or just trying to manipulate me. I blow the relationship up immediately. I’m no good at pretending.

Laurie22 Fri 03-Nov-17 16:29:49

He is not a cheating type of person. I do know that. He was quite simply as pp said, keeping his options open.

He does not feel he is popular with women at all and always seemed to feel lucky to have met me. I know he was not out looking to meet other girls while I was gone. He just was tempted by her and as he was insecure about me, was unwilling to let her go.

I had another look at the messages today. When he suggested a date and she replied, he didn't text her back until the next morning. Obviously some guilt was there. The next day, he was cool with her and nothing came of it. So I know they never got together and he had second thoughts.

But I still can't get past the fact that he did it in the first place!

LemonShark Fri 03-Nov-17 16:41:24

"He's not the cheating type"

"He was just keeping options open"

"He didn't message her back for half a day so he must have been feeling guilty (after asking another woman on a date"

Re read what you've written: you're minimising his actions massively. It's the first step to telling yourself it wasn't too bad and you should just let it go and keep seeing him. If that's your decision then fair enough. You know who he is now. But don't sleepwalk into it, you're taking back a cheat you can't trust who doesn't value or deserve you.

Saddened to see your attitude.

Wellthatwasembarassing Fri 03-Nov-17 16:50:31

you are minimising his actions. He's doing what a lot of cheaters do in my experience. They have low self esteem, they cheat and assume you will to because they have.

Do not let him bring you down. He sounds controlling and like a snake.
He repeatedly made you feel like you had to explain to him that you weren't going to cheat and was happy to say that to his ex.

You are 31 and still have a chance to find the right one for you but this guy isn't it. He's aware of that. Find someone less stifling and stop wasting your time on this douchebag. Let him work out his insecurities on his own.

Wellthatwasembarassing Fri 03-Nov-17 16:50:59

and if he wasn't the cheating type he wouldn't have said those things to her.

Rescuepuppydaft2 Fri 03-Nov-17 17:00:46

I wouldn't believe all this false modesty! If he was truly head over heels with you and thanking his lucky stars, he would have never have responded the way he did! Not only has he shown he is a cheater and projecting his own morals onto you, he has shown a nasty streak in his treatment of his ex!

He knew this girl was still in love with him and that he had broke her heart, yet he led her on despite his being in a relationship with you! That is cruel! Neither actions are in keeping with what he has shown himself to be!

My own brother has the 'butter wouldn't melt, lovely guy who would never cheat, because his ex cheated and broke his heart' act down to a t!!! Yet he has two and three timed every one of his lovely long term gf's over the last fifteen years!

My other brother very much looks like a player, is more rough and ready but also the sweetest, most loyal partner! Unfortunately most good girls are scared to take a chance because he looks like a player!

I would have to confront him in your place op! You deserve better!

MyBrilliantDisguise Fri 03-Nov-17 17:12:45

He might have phoned her. It seems unlikely that all communication ended after that. You are minimising. And FWIW blokes who think they can't get women are often the worst cheats.

Laurie22 Fri 03-Nov-17 17:24:24

You are all right. I read my last message and It sounds pathetic.

The reason I said it is because he has a friend who is a player and he always talks about how he despises guys that mess girls around. I looked at his messages today( I know it's wrong but at this stage I didn't care) to his best friend who he always confides in. I wanted to see if anything was mentioned. When I was away, he was consistently telling his friend that he would never be with anyone while I was gone, how much he loved me etc and how he would be so faithful to me. He told his friend nothing- he was aware I am sure that his friend would be disgusted.

I did see in the messages that he was telling his friends recently that he was concerned about us; this was in a rocky patch so I understand that but he was quite critical of me in the messages which hurt so much as I am so loyal to him and about him, I wouldn't criticise him like that.

Yes, it was treating the other girl badly. He knew how she felt about him, he was wasting her time. I actually feel bad for her as I know how awful unrequited love is. He obviously wants her there as a backup, hence wanting to stay in contact. It makes me so angry as he is always outspoken about how he would never treat a girl badly.

Yea, pp was right. He plays the victim in his previous relationship breakdowns. It's always the other girls fault. I think he was badly treated by his old long term girlfriend and I think he plays the ' hard done by and heart has been broken' card.

My last message probably appeared that I would let it go. That is not the case. We are on holidays at the moment, home tomorrow so I am going to end it when we get home. I could not bear to do it while we are away. It's so terrible, he knows that something is wrong. Last night I brought up Valentines and my voice broke, but I said nothing. Today, when he kissed me, it was awful. I didn't want him to touch me.

LemonShark Fri 03-Nov-17 17:31:09

Exactly rescue. A guy who thinks the world of you and can't believe his luck you're his girlfriend is absolutely not going to be risking it all by texting another woman a few months in. Either you're his second choice or a first choice he isn't that fussed about and doesn't mind losing if he gets to have a bit of excitement instead.

All those strong feelings and lovely moments and all of that bonding was a lie on his side sadly. I know it's easier to pretend to yourself he thinks the world of you to try repair your ego, but his actions show that's simply untrue.

"Insecure about me" is the biggest load of shit I've ever heard! If he was insecure he could have had therapy, spoken to you about it, read a self help book, spoken to a friend. You don't text another woman like that because you're insecure you bagged an amazing woman. You hold onto her, not risk it.

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