I’ve been married to a man for 20 years. From day one, he has done some questionable things. Maintained a dating profile (from what I can tell, it never went further than initial response, aka “I hooked you” ego kibble.)
After I found these repeatedly, he seemed to stop with that. However, he’s always loved porn, and attention from other women. Through the years, I found downloaded apps meant for untraceable communication. I’ve found ED pill packs that were open in his office when he moved offices. He has a separate bank account I don’t have access to (I do too). He has a tendency to ogle women.
But most recently I “broke into” his secret picture stash. I found tons and tons of pictures of me, sexy ones, but also pictures taken from the Facebook profiles of his secretaries (former, hasn’t worked with them in years). One of them he paid cash to buy a holiday party gift card to Coach, cash because he knew the personal nature would upset me (normally I just pick up visa gift cards for his staff, he went out of his way for this girl though and it breaks my heart).
I can’t get past the fact that he was attracted to these young women he worked with and stalked their Facebook profiles for pictures to store that he used for, ahem, personal purposes. There are tons of random pictures on there too (just women in bikinis, some just of attractive celebrities). We recently discussed this, as I admitted to knowing about it. He admits he has an issue of self control and selfishness. He says he wants to work on it, in himself. But I’m just so incredibly hurt. I don’t know if I can trust him again.
Nothing happened with those secretaries, I looked up all communication between them and it was purely professional. I also saw messages between him and other women and he is always mentioning his wife, etc. I truly believe nothing physical has transpired (it’s pictures and loving female attention), but I’m horribly hurt. He loves me to pieces that I know, I’m just petrified every time I leave the house, the room, that he will be the “bad boy” who does “something silly” and next time I know catch him and prevent a catastrophe from blowing up our lives. I’m hypervigilant. He’s wrong, I know that. I have no responsibility in his behavior. Please help me untangle this.
Do you like this Marriage Police/Naughty Boy dynamic you’re living? Because it sounds really sucktacular to me.
I could go down a bunch of different rabbit holes answering this letter. Do you have enough evidence of cheating? Is his wank library just mortifying or is it creepy? Are you insecure or is he a gaslighting piece of shit?
Let’s circumvent all that and get to the heart of the matter — is this relationship acceptable to you?
You’ve had two decades of this cat and mouse game. Discovering his dating profiles. His cash expenditures on secretaries. Parsing his communications. Do you want to live this way?
Do you feel safe? Cherished? Secure? Or off-balance, twitchy, and hypervigilant? Forget for a moment if he fucked these women — you have 20 years of evidence that when you raise alarms, he continues to be shady. TWENTY YEARS. He’s not going to stop being this pervy guy. Your feelings are second (127th?) to “something silly.”
His ACTIONS say that “selfishness” totally works for him. He feels totally entitled to be this guy, and he doesn’t give one shit about your mental state. Does that sound like a relationship worth hanging on to? You can’t control him, just you.
Now then, you asked me to untangle this. But I think this is more of a hatchet job, to shatter the spackle.
From day one, he has done some questionable things. Maintained a dating profile (from what I can tell, it never went further than initial response, aka “I hooked you” ego kibble.)
This is the oldest Stupid Shit Cheaters Say line in the book — I was just looking at dating profiles for attention/research. I didn’t create them to actually fuck anyone.
Adults create dating profiles to fuck other adults. Period. Full-stop. Whether he succeeded in his endeavor, I can’t say. But clearly the man, while publicly “committed” to you, was on the hunt for new pussy.
That’s either acceptable to you, or it isn’t. What it tells me is that his “commitments” — to you, to his promises of improvement, to his overdue library books — mean very little. He’s totally okay going behind your back.
However, he’s always loved porn, and attention from other women.
Look, porn is unilateral. He looks at it. Attention from other women is MUTUAL. Don’t conflate these things. He could be paying for this attention, or grooming it, or buying it a Coach purse, but if he gets off on other women’s “attention” — he’s messing around with other women. It’s not just pixels. It’s people.
Through the years, I found downloaded apps meant for untraceable communication.
Oh that’s not shady, she writes in her sarcasm font…
I’ve found ED pill packs that were open in his office when he moved offices.
Who are these erections for? Accounts receivable?
He has a separate bank account I don’t have access to (I do too).
Why don’t you ask to see it? I’ll show you yours, you show me mine. He should enjoy that game. People with nothing to hide, hide nothing. He balks? There’s your answer. His silliness costs money. Follow the silly trail.
He has a tendency to ogle women.
People are attractive. It’s human nature to notice attractive people. Ogling however is another thing. It’s a singular focus, a creepy vibe that makes other company (and probably the ogle-ee) uncomfortable. It’s also a power dynamic, to objectify another women in front of you. To make you feel off-balance, insecure, and goad you into the pick me dance. (LOOK AT ME! I’m PRETTY TOO! Am I as pretty as she is? Tappitytappity tap…)
We’re only one paragraph in and I don’t like this guy.
but also pictures taken from the Facebook profiles of his secretaries (former, hasn’t worked with them in years).
Boy I can just feel the respect this guy has for women in the workplace.
Are you sure these women are his secretaries? Who has this many secretaries?
He admits he has an issue of self-control and selfishness.
If he’s just looking at pictures, how does “self-control” come into it?
I’m just looking at pictures of cookies, I’m not eating them. Then “self-control” is pointless.
Methinks he’s eating the cookies.
One of them he paid cash to buy a holiday party gift card to Coach, cash because he knew the personal nature would upset me
This makes absolutely no sense.
I’m not even going to try to untangle that. It’s up there with “I was sleeping in my car in Vermont, in January, with no cell phone reception.”
Nothing happened with those secretaries
You don’t know that.
I looked up all communication between them and it was purely professional.
See Exhibit: I found downloaded apps meant for untraceable communication.
next time I know catch him and prevent a catastrophe from blowing up our lives. I’m hypervigilant.
WHY ARE YOU LIVING LIKE THIS?
Prevent a catastrophe? Of him “just looking” at another woman? Looking at pictures, if you believed that (you DO NOT), would not feel like CATASTROPHE. You’re desperately trying to tether his wandering dick.
It’s an absolutely impossible job.
I don’t know if I can trust him again.
He’s completely untrustworthy. Question is — do you want to stay with a man you can’t trust? You can, it’s not much of a marriage if you ask me.
And you asked me, a woman who runs a popular blog about cheating. So… I think you know the answer.