Talk

Advanced search

Relationship advice wanted

(28 Posts)
younghopeful2020 Tue 29-Sep-20 11:35:33

I have been with my girlfriend for 4 years in October. We are both very plain sailing types, not wanting to have a drama filled life and can be very pragmatic about life and the issues that crop up. We have never argued. In July this year, my girlfriend became a little distant, quiet, perhaps a little cold towards me. I let this go for a month or so, gently asking if everything was ok and receiving the same "i'm fine" response. With Covid etc i put it down to general life strains and stress as my girlfriend was off work for 3 months. Eventually I'd had enough and decided to read messages on her phone which I don't like doing but felt I was owed an answer and knew she would have texted friends. There were messages to her best friend explaining that she felt unsure on our future but no real detail. I have approached her again about her distance etc, this time not letting her get away with a simple "i'm fine" She has explained that she felt funny about us, unsure but couldn't pin point it to anything in particular.
She is a teacher and was due a 6 week summer holiday and as we live together, i recommended she took a few weeks at her family home to get some perspective.
At about this point I have continued to read messages (which she didn't/doesn't know about) and found that she'd told a male colleague at work that she had feelings for him and he had rejected her. I had always known there was an attraction between her and this colleague although she had never confirmed this.

The summer holiday has been great, although we did have to put our dog down sadly. But relationship wise we have been back to normal, we had a bit of a break, then 4 weeks of fun and relaxed time enjoying a camping trip together for over a week in the middle of nowhere.
Everything felt back to the way it had been and I just assumed that the rejection from her colleague and the lack of school stress had given her some time to think and she'd decided she wanted to work on our relationship and it was working.
She has now gone back to school for the past 4 weeks and openly states school has been stressful. Then all of a sudden she states she is feeling funny again but can't say any more than that. I just don't know how long you fight for something before accepting defeat. We have lovely times together and I love her. I had assumed our future together was solid and set with my intentions on asking her to marry me this autumn/winter. I am looking for advice on the best course of action. If I force her to be honest about her colleague in admitting i've read her messages, it will probably end the relationship, a very much make or break conversation because of our personalities. I would like to work it through but don't know the best course of action to take.

OP’s posts: |
AramintaLee Tue 29-Sep-20 11:47:33

First off, reading her messages is an absolute no-no. It is such a breach of trust (and you quite clearly don't trust her - it doesn't matter how right you were not to trust her, not having it in the first place is a nail in the coffin to most relationships) I imagine if you told her you'd been reading her messages, she'd quite rightly show you the door.

Secondly, she obviously has feelings for someone else. Even if it isn't reciprocated, she's emotionally invested in someone else which means she's not emotionally investing 100% in you. Some couples can work through this, but with your trust issues and her inability to feel like she can be open and honest with you... I don't think this relationship will work out.

Just think what would have happened had her colleague reciprocated her feelings... she likely would have either ditched you or cheated on you. Either way, you're her back up plan/consolation prize.

younghopeful2020 Tue 29-Sep-20 12:01:13

Agreed. I hated having to read messages as I didn't trust her. I knew there was more to the situation than she was saying but she refused to tell me. I do feel that if i hadn't have found out, that I would have just been in a more prolonged situation. Trust is a strange thing as i think if someone was to ask me if I trusted her, I wouldn't hesitate to say that I did.

OP’s posts: |
QuentinWinters Tue 29-Sep-20 12:06:21

The invasion of her privacy is a massive no-no. Its clear she isn't happy with you - if she was she wouldn't be attracted to other men to the degree she is making moves on them. Maybe the fact you can't respect her boundaries is part of why she is unhappy.
Think its time to call it a day op.

AramintaLee Tue 29-Sep-20 12:07:13

I get how frustrating it is when your gut is telling you that something is wrong and your partner does the "I'm fine" dance. The answer it not to check their phone but to have enough self awareness to know that you don't trust them and walk away because of THAT. Hopefully this will be a lesson to trust your intuition in future so that you won't go as far as checking your partner's phone.

Putting that aside for a moment, I think you need to have an open and honest conversation with her about the state of your relationship. I don't think you want to be with someone just because the guy she has feelings for said no. You don't want to be the runner up in your own relationship. Likelihood is, someone else will turn her head eventually.

Good luck!

Pebblexox Tue 29-Sep-20 12:13:53

Why did you check her phone? That's a complete invasion of her privacy and unfortunately you often find things you don't want to.
She obviously has feelings for this other gentleman, and her questioning her future with you is really telling. I'd consider breaking up, as it doesn't seem like things are moving forward the way you'd want them to.

younghopeful2020 Tue 29-Sep-20 12:16:04

I checked her phone as I wasn't getting a truthful answer from her. Without it i'd still be clueless. As gutting as it is.

OP’s posts: |
Bluntness100 Tue 29-Sep-20 12:19:27

I’m not sure why folks are focusing on the messages, it’s like the first person does it and everyone else jumps on thr bandwagon as they can’t critically think

For me her coming on to her colleague is akin to cheating op. The intent was there. The only reason it didn’t happen is because he said no. And in addition she’s clearly unsure of the relationship.

For me I’d be out.

Thisisnotnormal69 Tue 29-Sep-20 12:27:38

Errr when a woman comes on here saying her partner is acting distant, won’t say what’s wrong, he’s withdrawn etc she is always advised to try and check his phone!!

EmpressSuiko Tue 29-Sep-20 12:30:56

I love how everyone is moaning at the OP for looking at her phone yet when a man is acting “off” everyone suggests the woman do some “investigating” talk about double standards!

OP you need to think about if you really want the relationship to continue.
How did you feel about her advances towards another man? For me that would have been the end of my relationship, she has been dishonest with you and she was willing to cheat.
You need to have a open conversation with her, it’s not fair for her to lead you because she can’t make her mind up, she clearly isn’t thinking about how you feel and it’s sounds incredibly confusing for you.

Pebblexox Tue 29-Sep-20 12:34:06

@EmpressSuiko I would say the same to a woman looking at a mans phone. I've had somebody go through my phone in the past, and the invasion of my privacy made me feel sick. Anybody that would think to advise somebody to do that is just as awful as the person who does it.

younghopeful2020 Tue 29-Sep-20 12:34:20

I should make it clear that she hadn't "cheated" or tried to for that matter. From the messages she had basically felt confused about how she was feeling and had informed this guy that she was struggling with the feelings towards him. I fully believe that if he had felt the same and that she decided she wanted to pursue that, she would have broken it off with me. I don't like feeling about if/buts as it isn't fact. Though I really do appreciate the thoughts everyone has towards this. So thank you

OP’s posts: |
EmpressSuiko Tue 29-Sep-20 12:35:21

@Pebblexox it’s the first thing I usually see suggested when someone’s partner is acting suspicious.

younghopeful2020 Tue 29-Sep-20 12:40:40

I do agree that snooping in to phones is an invasion of privacy however i would say that if there is a refusal to communicate, is it better to just walk away or better to find out all the facts to make a better decision?

OP’s posts: |
Horsemad Tue 29-Sep-20 12:44:17

If you're at the stage of checking her phone, the trust has gone and you should end it.

HRT135 Tue 29-Sep-20 12:47:10

If you have no kids together then it’s time to end things. No point carrying on when someone has lost interest.

differentnameforthis Tue 29-Sep-20 14:23:07

Bluntness100

I’m not sure why folks are focusing on the messages, it’s like the first person does it and everyone else jumps on thr bandwagon as they can’t critically think

For me her coming on to her colleague is akin to cheating op. The intent was there. The only reason it didn’t happen is because he said no. And in addition she’s clearly unsure of the relationship.

For me I’d be out.

There was nothing to say she "came on" to her colleague, stop making things up.

differentnameforthis Tue 29-Sep-20 14:30:30

EmpressSuiko

*@Pebblexox* it’s the first thing I usually see suggested when someone’s partner is acting suspicious.

Yes, acting suspicious! Op admits he checked it because he was "owed" an answer, not because he was suspicious.

Nandakanda Tue 29-Sep-20 14:36:53

Don't worry about looking at her phone - women in your situation do the same all the time.

It's really not sounding good, is it?. It doesn't sound like she's into it any more for whatever reason. If you were to call it a day, it might throw your value into sharper contrast.

Relationships do tend to run their natural course, hard as it may be.

younghopeful2020 Tue 29-Sep-20 15:20:33

What i'd like is get some advice on how to get to the bottom of the feelings. By just saying talk about it.. doesn't really answer the question. Does anyone know of any good key questions I could ask?
Maybe I am flogging a dead horse but I'd really like to fight for the relationship as it has worth/value to me.

OP’s posts: |
Nandakanda Tue 29-Sep-20 16:07:00

"Do you have feelings for (whatshisname) at school?" - although she'll wonder why your suspicions were aroused.

She told the bloke at school she had feelings for him. Are you alright with that? If she "settled" for you now, would you be happy with that?

You looked at her phone as you wanted to know what was going on, and you found out. I really wish I could offer more helpful advice. Be strong and act with dignity.

AramintaLee Tue 29-Sep-20 16:26:18

younghopeful2020

What i'd like is get some advice on how to get to the bottom of the feelings. By just saying talk about it.. doesn't really answer the question. Does anyone know of any good key questions I could ask?
Maybe I am flogging a dead horse but I'd really like to fight for the relationship as it has worth/value to me.

If the relationship has value and worth to you, then I would start by being honest with her and telling her you snooped. Perhaps then she will be honest with you and this whole situation can be discussed maturely.

I think you need to prepare yourself for the worst though.

younghopeful2020 Tue 29-Sep-20 17:02:41

Yeah, I think you are all correct. I need to deal with the elephant and really the only way will be to explain what I know and get her to talk about the truth. It would be trust no matter what in the end and you can't have that if either of us holds something back.

OP’s posts: |
Nanny0gg Tue 29-Sep-20 18:10:24

younghopeful2020

Agreed. I hated having to read messages as I didn't trust her. I knew there was more to the situation than she was saying but she refused to tell me. I do feel that if i hadn't have found out, that I would have just been in a more prolonged situation. Trust is a strange thing as i think if someone was to ask me if I trusted her, I wouldn't hesitate to say that I did.

You don't trust her and you should walk away. For both your sakes.

newnameforthis123 Tue 29-Sep-20 18:17:24

@differentnameforthis

There was nothing to say she "came on" to her colleague, stop making things up.

Eh? He said this in his first post:

At about this point I have continued to read messages (which she didn't/doesn't know about) and found that she'd told a male colleague at work that she had feelings for him and he had rejected her. I had always known there was an attraction between her and this colleague although she had never confirmed this.

You could argue semantics I guess but I think her coming on to him is a pretty accurate description.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in