I am a 33 yo divorced F. I have a 6 yo from my 1st marriage and a 1 yo from my current relationship that I have been in for almost 4 ys. My problem is that about 6 months ago after having severe anxiety that something was not right in my relationship I looked through my BF's email and found emails sent to his assistant that alluded to fact that there was a sexual/emotional relationship. The emails were dated before we were together. I still confronted him on this and he admitted that they had a one time sexual encounter when his mother died. He claims the sex took place once but the emotional relationship lasted for a few months basically until we met. He said that he was a wreck emotionally and the feelings he thought he had for her were based on grief. He is still thankful to her for helping him through the loss of his mother. I basically lost it at this point it was a complete collapse for me. They still work together and are friends. She has been to our house and throughout the years he has helped her out emotionally. She is very unstable and threatens to kill her self alot. I went through his phone recently and found a text basically saying he would not just let her do that.I confronted him he said he cant just let someone hurt themselves. When we started dating I did say that I didn't want to know about his past, he claims this is why he didn't tell me. I still think he should have since they still work together. I am very resentful about this and he says he can see the sadness in me and that he misses the old me. He has been supportive and loving through this but I just can't stop thinking about it. I constantly have up and downs with this,some days I'm ok and others I won't speak to him at all. He claims to understand that I'm upset but thinks I am overreacting. He constantly tries to reassure me that he loves me and only me. He has said that this has scarred us and now we dont know what to do. How can we get past this. I feel betrayed.
First, my disclaimer of sorts: having never met either of you, the comments below should be taken only as general guidelines. Validity can only be established by face to face and professional contact.
There are a bunch of elements in your situation that we need to detail, and that you need to be aware of ongoing. There is no elegant solution, but over some time you will get clarity about whether your concern about your boyfriend’s fidelity is or is not well founded.
I understand your anxiety! The problem is that we don’t really know what’s going on. He could be in love/loving her, and lying to you. He could be concerned about a troubled friend. Or he could have some dynamic in his personality that predisposes him to taking care of this suicidal friend/ex-lover longer than he should.
He does give a pretty good story, about the mutual sharing with her about the death of his mother. This sometimes happens, and can bond people, whether the extreme experience is war or sex or personal meltdown. This might be especially true if the person befriending has ongoing experience with grief or sadness. If so, it will pass as your boyfriend’s grief subsides. If it doesn’t, it means that either he has ongoing issues, a protracted grief reaction or other unfinished business with the past and his inner life that needs attention, or that there is indeed far more between them.
Another possibility is that she is a friend, but is in effect jerking him around emotionally, making him feel responsible for her continued existence. This can often happen when suicidal threats or gestures are involved. If so, he needs to get himself, in effect, de-programmed, to realize what the manipulation is, intended or not, and put the responsibility for her life back on her and hopefully a qualified psychiatrist. Keeping her alive should not be his task. Except in rare and acute situations, that is NOT what friends are for.
What’s implicit here is that you need to put less emphasis on being jealous and sad, and more on sorting out the possibilities, and seeing that the friend does not swallow up his time and caretaking. That attention should, mainly, be yours, as he said it is.
I understand that it’s hard to tolerate the uncertainty, but you really have to, lest you prematurely think you have an answer about his fidelity and care for you, one way or the other, and make some bad move you may regret later. You FEEL betrayed, but were you actually? From what you’ve said, we just don’t know.
It's also possible that this whole issue is triggering some betrayal issues from your own past. Were you given the run around by other lovers, parents, friends? If so, your vision might be clouded, and you’d want to get some help with that.
If the two of you, singly or as a couple, get stuck implementing the above “sorting out” process, you might want to sit down with a counselor and work out the issues on one or more of the levels mentioned. It may help clarify things for you, and indeed, may actually reverse the “scarring” and make your relationship far stronger. It seems helpful that your boyfriend is supportive and loving through this period, and has no problem talking about this issue. That can provide the basis for good work and after a while the informed and healthy resolution of this matter.
Thank you. I'm very confused. They do not spend time outside of work. There are texts between the them but nothing to indicate anything inappropriate. I also have his password to his email which he is not aware of and I check it regularly again..nothing. I do believe that he allows her to manipulate him with her suicidal threats. He has always been attentive,generous and loving to me throughout our relationship. The only thing that changed was at the end of my pregnancy and a few months after it took a long time for our sex life to get back to normal.He had said he knew I was sick and the pregnancy kind of freaked him out and that he was able to shut down that sexual side for awhile. I took this as an indication of something being wrong. I am his first serious relationship, he is 40 and he lived at home until he bought us a house when our son was born. He has told her in the past that he does not need her as his friend. And he has always informed me of when she was having issues and what he would do to assist. But now I can't even stand to hear her name so we don't talk about his work much. He does his best to reassure that his love is only for me but I still can't let this go. Thanks again.
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