Was it all my fault?
We often have visitors write in with solutions to each others' problems. Here is a visitor's solution to one of our visitor's questions.
Original Visitor's Question from a 31-40 year old Female
My partner and I were together 3 1/2 years and I thought I had found my soulmate. We got on so well together - we had the same sense of humour, same interests, etc - he was my best friend.
My ex was a soldier and spent a lot of time away from home, both overseas for months at a time and living during the week at his base. He is far more social than I am and used to go out several nights a week. He had a large group of friends at the camp and many of them were women. He often went out with only women or particular female friends I often found this a bit hard to deal with. One in particular send him texts several times a day, even when he was home with me, and it used to drive me nuts. When I was feeling down I sometimes wondered if something was going on between them.
I have always been a bit on the jealous side, although I recognise this and make a conscious effort to reign it in. My ex always said that he loved me and would never be interested in someone else, but I did not trust the other women. I occasionally looked at his phone to try to read the messages from her, but he found out I was doing this and got very angry that I had invaded his space. I also looked at his emails sometimes and I found he had joined a sex/dating website. I confronted him and he said it was from before we got together. I took a course of hypnotheraoy to calm down my jealous feelings and I swore to him that I would not sneak a look at his phone or email. He promised that he would shown me a particular message if I asked to see it.
He left the Army almost a year ago and the transition period was very hard for us both. I was not used to him being home so much and he had lost a large group of friends. He found a very good job that meant he sometimes had to stay away from home overnight and things seemed to be looking up. He once again found a group of female friends and went out with them from time to time. I made little jokes that he had to remember to be "good" when he went out with them, partly to show I was poking fun at my old jealous ways and partly to show that I could be light-hearted about him going out with other women.
Recently he had to go to away overnight on business and I suggested he meet up with a female friend whilst he was there. He said that he had a lot of work to do and would probably just spend the evening getting it finished. He rang me that night and said he had gone out for a few drinks after work and was alone in his hotel room.
Something didn't ring true with me and I found myself a few days later logging in to his email account. I found he was a member of another sex/dating site (a new one) but tried to think nothing of it. I did not want to let him know I had been snooping again. I also felt very guilty that I had broken my promise to him, however a few days later, I was looking at his texts again. I could feel that something was not right between us and couldn't put my finger on it.
A woman then added him as a friend on facebook. He initially described her as a friend from work, but when I looked at her details she worked for a different company. I asked him again who she was and this time he said she was a woman he had met at a conference and he had told me about her at the time. It still didn't seem right and later on I looked in his wallet. I knew he had a business card from the conference woman in there and I was sure it was a different name. I found the woman's card, but it was a different card, i.e. a different company to the card he had before. I asked him later if he had seen her recently and he said they emailed sometimes, but he never saw her or spoke to her. I knew he was lying.
I kept asking and he kept denying. In the end, I downloaded his phone records and I found her number all over it. I confronted him again with the proof and he admitted that he had met up with her during the overnight stay. He said he was talking to her about a job offer.He said that if he had told me I would have over-reacted just like I was now. I told him the relationship was over as I couldn't trust him now I knew he lied to me. He said it was fine by him and that I had massively invaded his privacy by getting the phone records. He said he was sick of my suspicion and jealousy and he did not want to be spied on any more. He said that he no longer loves me and hasn't done for some time.
And that is where I am now. He is still furious with me and I can't help feeling that my jealousy has pushed him away. I know that we could work things out together if he was willing, but he has said it is not possible. We have both said some very harsh things and communication has completely broken down. I know I ended the relationship because of his lies, but I feel like it is all my fault. I am so confused. Any advice or opinions would be appreciated, the more honest the better
User Submitted Advice from a 31-40 year old Female
Believe in Yourself
It seems to me that you have stopped trusting your own perception of reality. That is due to all that gaslighting. Why do you assume it is all your fault? Is it not because he told you so? Do you really believe that if you did not check on him, he would be different? I think the only difference would be that if you stopped checking, then he would not have to be accountable for his behavior and could go on lying. That is no basis for a relationship. It is a sad story but it will only continue to be sad for you if you blame yourself. Do not. It is not your fault. I am sure you are a wonderful person if you are so open to examining your share of the problem. Honestly. Just believe in yourself more!
The Original Question and RomanceClass Answer