3 Reasons People Don't Confront a Partner They Suspect is Cheating
Why People Ignore Red Flags of Deception and Cheating In Relationships
Dear April Masini,
Well, I'm an idiot! One night, about two years ago, being drunk and stupid, I checked my boyfriends e-mail and saw that he had sent an "anything but just friendly" e-mail to another girl. Ok, fine. I did question him about it and he said that’s just how they "talk" to each other. Well, everything has been fine since, but last week (like an idiot) I checked his cell phone and he's been calling her periodically (a few times a month, at home or on her cell). I'm pretty sure this guy is gonna propose to me soon. What am I supposed to do? I love and trust him but I'm not sure what's going on. Most likely its just platonic, but how can I know? I can’t tell him I checked his phone!! Do you have any advice that will help me figure out what's going on without ruining my relationship?"
Sincerely, Are They Just Friends?
April Masini's Advice :
Dear Are They Just Friends,
You keep calling yourself an idiot, but I think you’re anything but an idiot. The only thing you are is someone who is not listening to her instincts. And you’re not taking responsibility for your life. You’re downplaying all your fears, but you’re clearly upset enough to write me.
You say you were drunk and stupid to check your boyfriend’s e-mail, and I’m thinking – wait a minute! What was stupid about that? Nobody checks their boyfriend’s e-mail unless they’re suspicious. You clearly suspected something or you would have spent your time doing something else.
You weren’t stupid at all, and maybe you needed the “liquid courage” to do what you didn’t have the guts to do when you were sober – see if he’s cheating on you. Then, two years later, you call yourself an idiot again, for checking his cell phone calls.
Do I have to spell this out for you?
Okay. I will.
You don’t trust him!
Then, you say "this guy" is going to propose to you soon – like he’s just some guy, and you’re going to be the victim of his proposal. He’s not “this guy.” He’s your long-time boyfriend, with whom you’re in a committed relationship. You’re just not sure he’s as committed to monogamy as you are. And now, you’re asking me what to do?
You’re not a victim. You know what to do! You just need the courage to do it.
So I’m going to help you find your strength and talk to your boyfriend and say what needs to be said. But first, let’s look at the reasons you haven’t told him your true feelings in the first place.
Reasons for Not Confronting Him
You’re afraid that he’s cheating and you don’t want to know.
Some women would rather be in a relationship than in a truthful relationship. They’ll keep boyfriends and husbands who are not faithful because they don’t want to be alone. They’ll even turn their heads and look away so that they don’t have to confront the hurtful truth that their partners are liars and cheaters and then take the appropriate actions.
You’re afraid to tell him that you’re not okay with his “anything but friendly” e-mail language, and ask for your “rights” in the relationship because you don’t want a conflict and you’re afraid you’ll lose him if you assert yourself. Your self esteem isn’t quite where it should be on the healthy self esteem thermometer. You don’t take relationships seriously. You’re not all that concerned, despite your letter, about being involved with someone who isn’t Mr. Right. You’re willing to move forward even if it means getting into a further mess.
Okay. Now, here’s what you need to do: Confront all three of the above, yourself. If he is lying and cheating, it’s going to be ugly, and you’d do best to find out now before you accept a marriage proposal, get married, have a few kids, and then, finally get fed up.
As horrible as the prospect may seem, breaking up now, if that is the solution is easier then breaking up in five years from now.
The problem with finding out if he is cheating is, he’s going to have to convince you he’s not cheating, and you’re not easily convinced. If you were, you wouldn’t have checked his cell phone messages two years after checking his e-mails. This is where you’re going to have to use your instincts.
If you suspect he’s cheating, on you, then you should not get engaged. It’s a terrible way to start a marriage. Just because he proposes does not mean you have to say yes.
You’re an adult. You know the English language. No is a word, too.
Now, if you’re still willing to be in the relationship after the above, you have to tell him about your needs. You don’t want him contacting this friend any more. It doesn’t make you feel secure or comfortable.
If he’s anything but gracious about taking care of your feelings, you may not have a Mr. Right on your hands.
It’s very hard for men to “be just friends” with single women. I’m not saying it’s impossible. It just doesn’t usually lead anywhere good. Someone who really wants to marry you and get into a monogamous groove won’t be spending time with female friends on a regular basis or sending “anything but friendly” e-mails to them.
And lastly, if you really want to find Mr. Right, you need to get my book, Think & Date Like a Man, and understand what a man does when he wants to be married – which means, he stops hanging out with other singles, and hangs out with other couples. He’ll act like he wants to get married. He’ll introduce you to his friends (have you met her?). You have to understand how men think – and by taking my man-think quiz in the beginning of the book, you’ll be able to assess your ability to know where you are in the relationship.