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Advice needed: I just read my partners chat logs to an old "friend" and it has freaked me out, what should I do?

(62 Posts)
fedup1981 Mon 10-Sep-07 01:25:26

Been together two and a half years, just had a baby together. She is an old school friend from 12 years back, he's mentioned her before (back before he got friendly with her again via a social networking site) and told me he dated her friend just to get next to her. By all accounts he had a huge crush on her.

So he was talking to her for as far as I can tell the first time time this evening, all evening on chat. I assumed he was talking to his mates, only asked later on who it was and he said it was her. He had had this funny smile on his face all evening so when he went to bed I checked his chatlogs with her.

It isn't horrifically bad stuff but I'm feeling quite upset. Lots of flirting and reminiscing, talking about relationships and exes etc, confessed to her that the reason he broke up with his "trog" ex was because her brother found him in her bed with another girl.

Said that he was feeling a bit trapped by me and the baby and sometimes wished he was still single, and he felt like he was stuck with me now because having a baby was more commitment than a mortgage or a marriage even, and "his options were now limited" - that he had ignored me being pregnant for a while and hoped it would just "go away". He then backtracked and told her he loved me and wanted to be with me, but there was a but on the end of the sentence and I feel like shit....

Said he wanted to meet up and reminisce with her, and myself and her boyfriend would just have to lump it while they chatted, and that he'd been considering being selfish and meeting up with friends without me and the baby, but he knew he couldn't get away with it.

Lots of chat about how she had a disarming smile, lots of smooth talking about what a crush he'd had on her, how she was too good for him (she responded in kind, and lots of flirting was blamed on wine, also told him she'd thought he was so cool and she was jealous when her friend had gone out with him, only for him to say how much he regretted that. and "what are you doing on tuesday? hohoho" bollocks.

I don't know what to do, I can't stop shaking. I feel like if I confront him then he'll think I dont trust him (one of the things he told her was "it's ok, she trusts me" when she asked if she was getting him in trouble)

I feel hurt and scared by his comments, I feel so fucking vulnerable sitting here feeding his newborn child while he flirts with some girl. Plus two years ago I had cyber sex with some american guy and he read my chatlogs and confronted me about it, so I know he'll throw that in my face but I'd never met the american guy, had no plans to, and was just using it for titillation, it wasn't some kind of emotional thing.

Plus I'm also feeling like shit because he's been making comments about my weight recently in a "jokey" way but I know he's finding me less and less attractive, and this girl looks amazing from the photo she posted.

Oh god what do I do.

Desiderata Mon 10-Sep-07 01:38:03

You poor love.

It's very late, and I should be in bed, so I will try to keep this short.

Yes, this is a threat. Childhood sweethearts/crushes exert a powerful control. So, if possible, you must talk to him about this with a level of wisdom you may not feel you possess. Don't get hysterical (not good for baby), and try not to look too upset.

Explain to him that childhood crushes are simply that. Explain to him that you accessed his 'private' talk because you knew something had made him happy today. And explain to him that as the mother of his child, you have a certain right to know what the cause of his euphoria is.

Newborns can be stressful, particularly for some men. Try to keep calm, and I shall send some positive vibes your way ... <my vibes are mahoosive, btw> grin

But talk to him. Talk, talk, talk.

And I'll catch up with you tomorrow.

chocchipcookie Mon 10-Sep-07 02:12:42

Oh Sweetie. How bloody horrible. I think your reaction is perfectly normal. But I agree with Desiderata - stay cool!

First I would vent here and with your friends, not with him.

Second, he is being very selfish and immature. The point about these old flames is that they are false relationships, all talk and no reality.

Third, you may need to calmly put your foot down about him meeting her. No, no, no.

Does she know you have a baby? If so what a cow!

fedup1981 Mon 10-Sep-07 02:24:18

She knows we have a baby, she knows about me. She asked if I she was getting him into trouble and he said "no she trusts me" but she sais "no I meant because I was monopolising your evening" hmm

I can only see two options:

1) I go nuts or at least tell him I've read the chatlogs, we have a big row, accusations fly (I will be a psycho bitch for checking up on him, of course) he stomps off to work and ignores me for the day while I sit and sob then he comes home and gets away with it because I'm just so scared of losing him. I will still be seen as psycho bitch and he'll feel more trapped than ever.

2) I say nothing and keep reading his chatlogs/feeling uneasy and desperate everytime he chats to her. Something possibly develops.

I could just leave his laptop open with the chatlog on the screen and go to bed, he'd find it first thing and.... and I have no idea.

mamama Mon 10-Sep-07 02:49:35

Nothing to add, I'm sorry. Desi and chocchip have said everything really.


alipiggie Mon 10-Sep-07 02:50:25

I would just say to him that you found it a bit strange that he could spend the the whole evening chatting to her. Why don't you say to him that you've been feeling rather vunerable since the baby came along and that you would like to plan an evening out just the two of you and maybe one evening he could look after the baby whilst you go out with your friends.

Don't make a huge scene about it. See how he feels about the two of you making an effort and helping out.

Take care of yourself. I know how hard this is - been there done that a tortured myself by reading chats - believe me it's not worth it. Better to talk about it than fume about it.

Ulysees Mon 10-Sep-07 04:59:08

I think once he knows you know it'll all be secretive as I doubt he'll stop chatting to her.
You do need to talk to him though and no doubt if you're anything like me it'll come out. I really feel for you, I bet it feels like your heart is in your feet.
I agree you need time away.
He shouldn't have been talking to her instead of being with you IMO sad

Desiderata Mon 10-Sep-07 11:41:26

Any news?

MitfordSisters Mon 10-Sep-07 12:23:50

Hi fedup

Hope you're feeling okay this morning. My heart goes out to you - I've been there - no baby (yet) but I've had to fend off ex-flames.

This is advice I had (thanks snowleopard) that helped me:

Accept that you can't influence their behaviour but you can let them each know that you count and that you won't take it quietly. I said to my man and his ex, seperately, that I can't influence their behaviour, but please would they keep meetings/ calls to a minimum. and that I don't like it. I've repeated this like a stuck record (as calmly as I can!). She's stopped contacting lately - I think the message got through - and my relationship with DH has improved.

Good luck and hugs

superalienstitch Mon 10-Sep-07 12:25:45

eavesdroppers never hear god things about themselves

sorry, completly useless comment. but as you yoursefl said, nothing really terrible. he is talking to a friend

chocchipcookie Mon 10-Sep-07 14:03:38

Dear Fed-Up. Hope you're feeling a bit better. I was thinking about your posts and that line where you said 'I'm just so scared of losing him.'

First, this may well be a storm in a tea-cup and it will all go away.

But, I think it would help you to focus on that fear of losing him. If you did lose him you would be OK you know. It would be horrible, painful etc but you would be all right. You don't need this guy to stay alive or to be a mother to your baby.

If you could emotionally get yourself to a place of saying 'whatever happens I'll handle it' then I think you would come across more assertively with him. It sounds like he has all the power in the relationship. So take some back! Lean on your friends and family, get out, take some exercise.

It sounds to me like your self-esteem is at rock-bottom but only you can make that better. Stop relying on him to make you fel a certain way. Try to do something positive for you every day, even if it's just going for a walk or meeting up with a friend.

Next time he makes a comment about your weight you could try saying 'Hmm. I think I'll join an evening exercise class. Or two. So I'll need you home early those nights to babysit.' Then do it.

IMO he's acting in a selfish and immature way. I also think that discussing your relationship with an old flame is totally disloyal and you have every right to feel vulnerable. You deserve better than that but you also need to believe that you deserve better than that.

fedup1981 Tue 11-Sep-07 13:53:03

Hi, cheers for all the responses, couldn't respond til this morning because I didn't get to talk to him til about 9pm last night, after a stressful worrying day and lots of mulling it over.

In the end I decided to tell him what I'd done, but as it turned out I didn't have to. When he came home he knew something was wrong and made me sit down and tell him what was on my mind. I said that when he was talking to that girl online the night before he had had a silly flirty smile on his face, and it had made me very uncomfortable and worried.

He immediately reassured me, and from his body language and the confidence of his reply, I have to say it seemed genuine. He said "nooo it's not like that. Come on, I've got you and baby, she's in a serious relationship, we're just catching up really, I haven't spoken to her in years. You know I love you both to bits, I wouldn't do anything like that"

I said I was just warning him how quickly things can develop online, and that I was feeling quite vulnerable, especially as this old flame had popped up straight after me having the baby, and she was slim and pretty and I look like Dawn French's uglier sister. He said "you've just had a baby though, no-one expects you to look like a supermodel" lol

There didn't seem any need to tell him I'd read his chatlogs, or to pick apart any particular thing he'd said to her. I'll just try to keep in mind the things he said to try and work on them, hopefully making the best of this situation.

He didn't chat to her last night, in fact he left the computer alone all night, although he did mail her quickly to say he wouldn't be able to chat, but to be fair he had told her he'd be around to talk so really he was just being polite, and the message wasn't in any way flirty. I checked it because I wanted to check he hadn't sent her some "sorry, can't talk- stupid girlfriends not happy, here's my number" email.

So I spose that's that, I have to take him at face value. Hopefully I've done the right thing and not come across as mega jealous. Because I'm not a jealous person really but I don't want to be made a fool of.

Thanks for all the advice/support, guys!

minouminou Tue 11-Sep-07 14:36:50

he doesn't know you read his log, though............

Ulysees Tue 11-Sep-07 16:09:08

I think you've handled this really well. Best that you haven't told him......otherwise how else could you still snoop wink
I must say this would have made me really jealous so well done to you for not being.

Tinkerbel5 Wed 12-Sep-07 14:36:13

I also think you handled it very well, if it would have been me I would have told him where the door was if he felt trapped by being with me, I think he knows you have seen his log and he is backtracking.

madamez Wed 12-Sep-07 14:43:07

You have handled it well. Mind you, so has he. I don;t agree with people who seem to feel that anyone in a couple relationship has no right to privacy: that sort of attitude is very distructive and makes you very miserable. everyone occasionally needs to moan about their life and their partner to someone else: it's just a matter of letting off steam - think of all the people bitching about their OHs on here. A new baby is a hell of an aadjustment for everyone and it's not that rare or that evil or heartless to occasionally think - and even say - that you wish for your independence back.
SOunds like your bloke intends to stick by you - and it;s not entirely impossible that his old mate could become a family mate with no sinister intentions at all.

chocchipcookie Wed 12-Sep-07 15:06:49

Hmm. Fed Up I think you did handle it brilliantly but... I'm going to reluctantly sound a note of caution here. I do mean reluctantly because I've hesitated about posting this.

But here goes. Venting to a friend and venting to someone with whom you have a history is different. What still worries me is the whole chatlog thing about meeting up/ and how he used to have a crush on her/how she was jealous when her friend went out with him - and spending all bloody evening on the computer.

Personally I always think of what a wise old woman said to me - "I trust my husband 99%"

This may well be the end of it and your talk is all that was needed. So I would let it go but stay 1% careful over this woman and I definitely would avoid bringing her into your lives.

fedup1981 Wed 12-Sep-07 22:42:18

Thanks for your thoughts guys. He surprised me last night by suddenl asking me if we could meet this girl and her partner in the pub when we go to visit his family. I didn't know what to say so I just said "if you want"

Reaaaallly don't want to go, can't imagine anything more uncomfortable and damaging to my fragile self esteem. I know I'd be analysing everything they say, the looks and hugs that were exchanged etc

My sister says I'm being too fair and reasonable, and not considering my own feelings and wishes as important as his. I just don't want to start a load of shit now that our baby is here (dp's temper is explosive. Not violent but very shouty and it's unnecessary)

I think I'll leave it as a yes for now and monitor how much time he's spending talking to her, perhaps check his chatlogs nearer the time and see if there's anything to worry about.

Still feel pretty crap about it. There's no way I could compete if he wanted another girl, and I damn well wouldn't beg.

Ulysees Wed 12-Sep-07 23:45:19

yes you are being very fair but this is probably because you're so fragile.
Alarm bells are ringing here about his temper. Has he always been like this? Or is he under extra stress? I know a young baby causes stress but that's no reason to shout a lot.
I'd tread carefully if I were you. Think of you and the baby. I feel he's been disrespectful but that's just my opinion.
I wouldn't want her in your lives.
He should be concentrating on you and the baby not this old crush.
Don't think because she has a man in tow that she's safe either, just a word of warning.

MrsMarvel Thu 13-Sep-07 00:05:31

I also have alarm bells ringing - regarding his temper and what you said earlier:

"(I will be a psycho bitch for checking up on him, of course)"

Perhaps try to imaging you doing the same things to someone else, say your best friend, and see if it feels right? Would you be capable of the same behaviour? If so, how would it make you feel - powerful? Guilty?

Can you say exactly why you are agreeing to go on this date?

madamez Thu 13-Sep-07 00:16:05

Well, you know, it just might be that your DP wants you to meet up with his old friend so you can be reassured that she's not a teenage siren but just an ordinary woman. And, while I appreciate that everyone feels neurotic and messed up when they have a new baby, he just might (if he's never previously given you any reason to suspect he's no longer inclined to be in a monogamous relationship) be a bit fed up with being constantly questioned and suspected.

MrsMarvel Thu 13-Sep-07 00:29:04

Madamez have you actually read the thread? I think you should be careful. This woman is not neurotic, she is not constantly questioning her husband. Let's hope you don't work for the Samaritans Madame!

madamez Thu 13-Sep-07 00:42:14

MrsMarvel, I have read the thread. Obviously I don;t know the full situation or the truth of it - nor do you. But it is possible that she is worrying unecessarily. ANd I think snooping on someone else's chatlogs is out of order anyway: snooping will always drive partners away in the end. ANyone worried about a partner's having contact with other human beings would be best advised to work on their own self-esteem and self-confidence rather than on policing their partner: suspicion, like a phobia, grows if you feed it and only hurts you in the long run.

chocchipcookie Thu 13-Sep-07 11:56:55

I think you are right to be concerned, Fed Up. To be honest I wondered if the next 'suggestion' would be to meet her.
If it were me I would say "No, it's not something I'm comfortable with and I don't think it's right in the context of our relationship. Cancel!"
I personally (emphasize) think he has a bit of a fantasy going on in his head about this woman and meeting her is only going to fuel that regardless of whether she has someone in tow. It's NOT about you, Fed Up, it's about escaping reality which he seems a bit reluctant to deal with. Is he immature?
Do something nice for yourself today.

MrsMarvel Thu 13-Sep-07 12:47:23

How are you today fedup? Are you still going to meet her?

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