My Husband Is Seeking Out An Old Flame—Should I Talk To Him About It?

My Husband Is Seeking Out An Old Flame—Should I Talk To Him About It?

My husband and I just recently got married. We pushed our marriage date up 5 months because not only did we find out we were expecting but he was going to be accepting a new job out of state, and we had to move before our wedding date. Lots of changes in just a few short months.

Things have been great up until I saw accidentally that he was searching for a former flame on Google on his cell phone her name was the last thing in the Google search, and when he handed me his phone to look something up it popped up, yet I was too scared to say anything just had a gut wrenching feeling. The reason this bothered me so much was because just a year and a half prior to this incident I caught him sending suggestive/flirty text messages – also him suggesting they should meet up, and of course she responded with great joy!

Now after some coaxing he admitted to it, felt guilty, and I put my foot down he could no longer talk to her. They never dated, and she’s about 8 years his junior. She was casually hooking up with him right around the time I met him – she seems to be the girl he just can’t shake!

After all that we got back on track and our relationship was as solid as ever. He even told me although he admitted to being very nervous to when she texted him 6 months after the original incident. He showed me the texts, and he explained to her that he couldn’t talk to her which she replied in a bitchy manner “say hi to your girlfriend.” You could tell she was hurt and that he felt bad, but I praised him for his honesty and loyalty.

My question is WHY her? Why now? Does he truly wish to be with her, what’s so special about this girl that he has to look her up and think about her, he isn’t concerned AT ALL with his former girlfriend whom he actually dated, what makes this girl so special and should I bring it up to him?
–Laura

I’m SO glad you wrote to me before you fucked up your marriage.

Since I have been with my wife – somewhere going on 6 1/2 years now – I have looked up EVERY SINGLE GIRLFRIEND I’ve ever had on Google.

You’re making a mountain out of a molehill and I see no indication that you have any doubts about your conclusions. In your mind, your husband looked up a woman on Google and therefore your relationship is in danger.

In my mind, he looked up a woman because he was curious about her. End of story.

Confession: Since I have been with my wife – somewhere going on 6 1/2 years now – I have looked up EVERY SINGLE GIRLFRIEND I’ve ever had on Google.

What does this “mean”, Laura?

Does it mean that I long to be in ALL of those bad relationships (even the toxic ones that I write about continually in this space)?

Does it mean that I’m dissatisfied in my current relationship (even though I have an idyllic marriage that I regularly cite in my coaching)?

Does it mean that all of those exes are special to me in a way that my wife is not? (even though I haven’t talked to any those exes in many years)?

No. No. And No.

It means I sit in front of a computer for 10 hours a day, random thoughts pop into my head, and Google is a pretty useful tool for indulging such flights of fancy.

It’s interesting that you go to the worst-case scenario first. This says far more about your self-esteem, your insecurity, and your lack of trust in your husband than it does about your husband’s actual actions. As I’ve said a million times before, you shouldn’t marry someone that you don’t trust, but if you DO marry him, you’d BETTER trust him.

Your husband may be in possession of Pandora’s Box, but unless he is currently making extracurricular plans with women in his past, he hasn’t actually opened it.

I know this “incident” is playing tricks on your mind. Chances are, you’ve already looked through his cell phone and browser history. Hell, you’ve probably already broken down and told him the damning evidence you’ve found.

If you did the same thing to me – if you presented me with evidence I looked up my ex on Google, I would just shrug and say, “So?”

So, I was curious where she was living.
So, I was curious what she looked like.
So, I was curious whether she was married with children.

So fucking what?

Your husband may be in possession of Pandora’s Box, but unless he is currently making extracurricular plans with women in his past, he hasn’t actually opened it.

If I were you, I’d just leave this one alone – forever.

And maybe check your own browser or Facebook history to see if you’ve ever looked up any men from your past. I’d be shocked if you didn’t. But even if you didn’t, please accept that thinking about something and doing something are far different acts.

Once you start playing thought police with your husband, your relationship is on an irreversibly downward spiral. He is allowed to look up old girlfriends, he is allowed to wish you were thinner, he is allowed to think in his head that he has no patience to hear your long, meandering story about your girlfriend’s dog.

The only crime would be acting on these impulses.

Your email to me, Heather, was based on nothing more than seeing a woman’s name in a search engine. Not only is there no smoke, but there’s no fire. If you really want to take your relationship to a higher place, go tell your husband that you no longer “forbid” him to talk to this woman.

I predict that will make him feel 1000 times better about your relationship than your unfounded paranoia about his search history.

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Comments:

  1. 61
    Wendy

    Joe: #60: Dear God, really? Talk about NIT-PICKING. Okay, just to make you happy, we are all capable of KILLING SOMEONE. Jesus! YOU KNOW WHAT I MEANT. So let’s pick yours apart…you didn’t include quotation marks when you quoted me.
     
    Fusee #56: It would have saved her a year and a half if she’d left when she found the evidence. That’s how it would have saved her time. I never said IGNORING evidence would save time.
     
    And to address Cat5’s point about how “It also does not mean that if they snooped all is lost and their relationship sucks because they don’t trust their partner. Sometimes it can actually to more open/better communication.” Spot on, Cat5!
     
    I told my current boyfriend of 2 years about this thread and we read it together this morning. We both agree, all is good with us. No, make that GREAT. There’s simply no way to explain to everyone here in a few sentences all the details of the situation, but to summarize: when all this went down about 18 months ago we had a talk about what I had found which led to further discussion of how serious things had gotten between us. He had been in “I’ll never find a decent person to share my life with” mode for so long that he had given up on the idea and wasn’t, at that time, viewing me as that person. So he didn’t see the harm in hooking up with a chick from his past to see where it went. When I saw the couple of Facebook messages between them, it wasn’t damning enough for me throw accusations out. They were actually quite innocent, but they still concerned me a little. Some proactive snooping into his text meesages and emails proved there was a lot more going on. I asked him this morning what he thought would have happened if I had stopped at just the FB messages, assumed they were innocent, and let it go. He admitted he would have met the girl behind my back, and quite possibly have left me for her. Knowing how strong our relationship is today, he was GRATEFUL I did what I did and stopped him from “making the biggest mistake of his life.” (His words, not mine.) He might have left me. I could have just kicked him out. But instead we worked through it and are better than ever.
     
    I guess the bottom line is, do what works for you and we all need to stop chastising each other having a different viewpoint. 

  2. 62
    Karl R

    Cat5 said: (#51)
    “So when red flags come up, an individual may need to deal with the situation in a less than direct, perhaps even sneaky, fashion.”
     
    When did this thread turn into a discussion of domestic violence?
     
    If this thread had been discussing how to get out of an abusive relationship (particularly one with a threat of physical violence), I would have given vastly different advice. It’s a completely different situation that requires completely different strategies.
     
    And if you have a spouse who is willing to beat you to a pulp or run you over with a car, you have much larger problems than whether they’re sending flirty texts or emails.
     
    I’m sure there are old threads on this blog that deal with abusive relationships. I strongly suspect that Evan would have recommended that the women leave those relationships. If you want to track down those threads and post specific exit strategies which work in cases of domestic violence, I’ll applaud your efforts.
     
    In the meantime, why are you assuming that either Laura or Wendy need to use subterfuge to avoid ending up in the hospital?
     
    Cat5 said: (#57)
    “From my experience, I’d put it at 33.3% healthy relationships involving secure-type communicators, 33.3% dysfunctional relationships involving avoider/vacillator/pleaser/victim/controller-type communicators, and 33.3% abusive relationships.”
     
    May I ask what your experience is?
     
    You implied (#51) that you represent people, and given the context, I suspect that you act in some fashion involving family law cases.
     
    The people you encounter aren’t representative of the population as a whole. You’re consistently dealing with the least functional relationships. You probably are speaking for 2/3 (or more) of the least functional relationships in this country. But you’re not speaking for 2/3 of all relationships (unless you have some statistics that remotely back your claim).
     
    Furthermore, do you have any reason to believe that Laura or Wendy are in abusive relationships?

  3. 63
    Rose

    I agree with John and Karl R.
    Yes apples to oranges. Different situation so not comparible. It is faulty reasoning based on a fallacy as the situtions are similar but different.
    Bottom line is so you want to tolerate this the rset of your lives together or is it a dealbreaker? Do you want a man who is arranging to meet up with ex girlfriends.They are ex’s for a reason. Emotionally immature ‘men’ will try and keep all their ex’s as friends and have fake relationships with them.
    A fully mature adult man who cares about you and his children doesn’t arrange to meet and have ow in his life like this.
    You get to choose what you want and he gets to choose what he wants. He’ll either cares and will grow up ot he will not and then you choose if you want a fully emotionally able and mature caring man. Or what you have at he moment.
     
     
     
     

  4. 64
    Joe

    Wow Cat – how do you get through life with such a pessimistic view? For you it always comes back to the worst-case scenario (which is certainly not the most-occuring scenario). This blog is about the average, the typical, the usual, the “most of the times” or “many men” scenarios.
     
    You also always see the worst in men. Why do you bother then if men are so bad? (yes, I know you’re married, but it still begs the question).

  5. 65
    Relationship Reality 312

    Evan, that is terrible advice. Of course she should worry. I’m an affair expert and the majority of affairs happen because people “fall” into them. They don’t intend to cheat but are in over their heads before they realize it. You need to protect a marriage from threats, and contacting an old flame could potentially be a huge threat. Her husband shouldn’t be putting himself in this situation in the first place. 

  6. 66
    Sparkling Emerald

    Hmmm, to show my cynical side, I DO find it interesting that they “found out they were expecting” and had to move the wedding day up.   Was this an “accidently on purpose” pregnancy ?  Did this accidently on purpose pregnancy happen after the “incident” a year and a half ago when she caught him sending flirty texts ?
    Seems to me this couple has a very passive aggressive way of conducting their relationship.  A pregnancy that mysteriously happened.  A google search getting left on the phone, prior to handing it to the girl friend. (sounds like he wanted to get caught)   A wedding date that has to be moved up, due to a pregnancy and a job offer.    And now it seems an affair just might “happen” in the future. 
    Doesn’t sound like this couple conducts their relationship intentionally, but just let’s things happen, instead of making things happen.  Too bad an innocent baby has to be brought into this.

  7. 67
    sarahrahrah!

    I feel like I need to step in and support Wendy’s view, to a degree.
     
    First, research confirms one of her initial assertions:  people will be less likely to cheat if you directly tell them what behaviors you will not tolerate and the consequences for them.  The same goes for the parental relationship:  children whose parents tell them that they don’t want them to use drugs are less likely to do them than kids whose parents don’t have that discussion with them.  I think we could make a broader assumption here and say that people who directly communicate what they want or don’t want are more likely to have their desires met versus those who don’t directly communicate what they want and don’t want.  I would add that I think telling someone your bottom lines and the consequences will only be effective if you also regularly follow through on what you say you will do in your relationship.
     
    Next, I have to agree with Wendy about investigating red flags.  As someone who was cheated on by my ex-husband (and probably before marriage), I totally agree with her about finding the evidence and having your fears either confirmed or not.  If you snoop and you don’t find anything, it doesn’t mean that you will “always have that little voice in the back of your mind” (as Joe suggests).  On the contrary, it actually can quell your fears and give you resolution about a guy.  I dated one guy after my split from my cheating ex and ending up talking with him directly about my fears of being cheated on and he was very receptive and open with me.  Not only did it help me trust him, it also helped me regain my trust in men in general.
     
    That said, I have to agree with Wendy that people are naive if they think that cheating can’t happen to them.  If you’ve ever had spontaneous sex, you know that sometimes it can happen — just like eating a sandwich or taking a dump.  (Love the analogies!)  If *you* can’t imagine yourself doing it, but your bf/gf is the crazy one and he meets another “crazy” person, guess what?  Crazy people have crazy sex at crazy times and in crazy places.  Some people even crave that even though they appreciate sweet, innocent and decent you.  Recognizing this reality makes you an adult, not a person with an anxious attachment disorder.
     
    Finally, I also have to agree that our wonderful host and author, Evan, isn’t representative of all men.  Based on his self-professed ‘Type-A” style, the fact that he has his own successful business and his incredible honesty about his life, I would guess that he has a high degree of conscientiousness — which also serves to keep his lower nature in check.  Not all guys (or women) are like that and some people either live for the moment or think that other people won’t find out (as Wendy mentioned).
     
    If I had to do things over again, I would have investigated much earlier when I had doubts about my ex.  I lost several valuable and fertile years of my life and, and ,even after I left my ex, I had a lot of healing to do, too. For what it’s worth, I think if I would have gotten out earlier, it would have saved me a lot of time and heartache.

  8. 68
    Rose

    There can be no real realtionship and no real love without real honest communication.
    It’s not about you shouldn’t feel this. As reality is you do.
    Or he shouldn’t do that. Reality is he is.
    It is about compatibilty and honesty.
    To ask someone else the question ” should I be worried”  is not accepting your reality and trusting yourself. Reality is you do feel worried, your feelings are real. They belong to you, not me, not Evan, not your mum, sister.
    What he chooses to do is his choice. His actions belong to him. It is not about hos thoughts and being the thought police. These are not his thoughts you are talking about, these are his actions. What he has really done.
    So it all boils down to compatibility.
    You don’t want a man who flirts, texts and arranges to meet his ex girlfriends and is cheking up on what they are doing.
     His actions have shown this this what he wants to do and also be married.
    So if this makes you unhappy and  he wants to continue to do this, your only options are not be with him  and take responsibilty foryour own happiness if you want to be in a real happy loving realtionship. Or stay and be in an unhappy unloving realtionship.
    Only you can decide what is best for you and your happiness. And if this is something you can put up with in your marraige.
     
     
     
     
     

  9. 69
    Karl R

    sarahrahrah! said: (#67)
    “research confirms one of her initial assertions:  people will be less likely to cheat if you directly tell them what behaviors you will not tolerate and the consequences for them.”
     
    I’m not sure that’s one of her assertions. Wendy told her boyfriend what she wouldn’t tolerate after she caught him doing it. My wife and I discussed what was/wasn’t acceptable around the time we became explicitly boyfriend/girlfriend. Discussing our expectations in advance cuts down on future conflicts, because neither one of us does something that we feel is okay and our partner feels is not.
     
    sarahrahrah! said: (#67)
    “If you snoop and you don’t find anything, it doesn’t mean that you will ‘always have that little voice in the back of your mind’ (as Joe suggests).  On the contrary, it actually can quell your fears and give you resolution about a guy.  I dated one guy after my split from my cheating ex and ending up talking with him directly about my fears of being cheated on and he was very receptive and open with me.  Not only did it help me trust him, it also helped me regain my trust in men in general.”
     
    You talked about your fears with him. He was very receptive and open with you.
     
    How is that snooping?
     
    If my wife asks me if I’m still at work, and I tell her I am, that’s not snooping. If we agree to install apps on our phones so we can keep track of each other’s location, that’s not snooping. If she takes steps to verify my location without my knowledge, that is snooping.
     
    sarahrahrah! said: (#67)
    “people are naive if they think that cheating can’t happen to them.”
     
    I have been cheated on. I’ve never said that it can’t happen. It happened before. I could certainly happen again.
     
    I have said that snooping isn’t the route to a happy or healthy relationship.
     
    sarahrahrah! said: (#67)
    “If you’ve ever had spontaneous sex, you know that sometimes it can happen — just like eating a sandwich or taking a dump.”
     
    Sex doesn’t spontaneously “happen”. If I go too long without taking a dump, eventually something will come out … or I’ll do damage to my internal organs. That’s not just true for me. That’s true for everybody.
     
    I could go forever without eating a sandwich, provided I eat something else instead. If I go too long without eating, I’ll die. That’s not just true for me. That’s true for everybody.
     
    There are people who have voluntarily chosen to remain celibate their entire lives. People don’t die from lack of sex.
     
    Having sex is a choice. Having spontaneous sex is a choice. Having spontaneous sex without thinking about the consequences in advance is still a choice. It’s a bad choice, but it’s still a choice. If someone is trying to claim that spontaneous sex just “happened”, they’re trying to deny the role they played in their choice.
     
    sarahrahrah! said: (#67)
    “If *you* can’t imagine yourself doing it, but your bf/gf is the crazy one and he meets another ‘crazy’ person, guess what?  Crazy people have crazy sex at crazy times and in crazy places.  Some people even crave that even though they appreciate sweet, innocent and decent you.  Recognizing this reality makes you an adult, not a person with an anxious attachment disorder.”
     
    As an adult who does recognize reality, I don’t consider crazy girlfriends to be good candidates for long-term relationships.
     
    Crazy people who have crazy sex regardless of the possible consequences sometimes appreciate having relationships with sweet, decent people. Guess what? I always appreciate having relationships with sweet, decent people.
     
    Which do you think is more likely to lead to a happy/healthy relationship?
    1. Dating sweet, decent people who think about the consequences of their actions.
    2. Snooping on your crazy boyfriend/girlfriend so you’ll catch them when they have crazy sex.
     
    sarahrahrah! said: (#67)
    “I also have to agree that our wonderful host and author, Evan, isn’t representative of all men. [...] I would guess that he has a high degree of conscientiousness — which also serves to keep his lower nature in check.”
     
    What kind of men (and women) have we been recommending you date?

  10. 70
    Cat5

    @ Joe – and where did you get I only see the worst of men?  My examples included a man (whose wife tired to run him and his daughter over) and a woman (who was beaten by her boyfriend).  I volunteered and represented them both — male and female.
     
    I have represented many men, women, and children (both male and female), and let me say this clearly…both men and women both can do hideous and heinous things to each other and their children.   When I volunteer to represent a person who is the victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or sexual exploitation, or child abuse and neglect, I do not care if they are male or female…all I care about is whether they need help and protection from further harm.  I will say that when it comes to domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, or child abuse and neglect — I have represented far more women and children…why you may ask?  Not because I think men are horrible and hate them or don’t care about men or think that they don’t deserve help and protection…but because they report these crimes at a significantly lower rate.  If they don’t report it, or I don’t know about it…I can not help them.  But, I have never, ever turned down a case of domestic violence or abuse because the victim was a male.
     
    I hope that clears that up for you.  Since you and several others didn’t seem to notice I used a male and female victim of domestic violence, perhaps it is you that has the issue.  Why is the woman being beat by the boyfriend anymore deserving of comment than the man whose wife tried to run over him and almost killed their child?
     
    As for being married, no I am no longer married (I was for just over 15 years).  However, I am still very good friends with my ex-husband.  Why you may ask?  Because he is a good man.  Sometimes people change, and others don’t or they end up having different goals.  As long as you treat each other with the same love, kindness, courtesy, and respect that you started the relationship, you can end the relationship as friends also, especially if you were friends to start.  Problem is, that most people — male and female — can’t seem to accomplish that.  They marry people they aren’t friends with for a variety of reasons.  They lie, cheat, steal and/or disrespect each other — and it more often than not results in a contentious end to a relationship and very bad feelings.
     
    The difference between you and me (and others)…I realize that more than the “average,” “typical,” “most of the time,” or “many people” read blogs and could use helpful suggestions and counsel — male and female.  The population of the world is a bell curve — with some at the right of the curve (secure/good people), the bulk in the middle curve (issues/sketchy or questionable people), and some at the left of the curve (bad people).  
     
    That means that most people do not fall in the secure personality type or the abusive personality type — most fall in the middle with some issues like being an avoider, a vascillator, a pleaser, a controller, etc.  If we were all secure personality types, we’d need a lot less assistance because our communications/relationships would be less confusing.  But, most people are not, they are, or they are dealing with someone who might be an avoider, or a pleaser.  So, communication styles need to be adjusted to account for the personality types involved to ensure better/clear communication.  Not everyone can do the same things in every relationship and make it work.  That’s part of what makes the world go round — different people, different experiences — and different ways to get to the same place.
     
    Having said that., I do not believe that bad things never happen or only happen as an exception.  But, I realize that bad things can and do happen far more than most people like to believe.  My job, both professionally and as a volunteer, is to make sure I see the bad things, and help my client plan for as many contingencies as possible because often his/her physical safety and very life may hang in the balance (while recognizing what he/she will only be able to do what they are ready, willing, and able to do and not what I think is the best option), and to cross my fingers….that they don’t ever…ever…ever…need to use my worst case scenario counsel.  But, if he/she does, I am prepared for it, as are they, and we have a plan.  No one is blindsided and paralyzed about what actions to take because we have already discussed it.
     
    That applies whether I’m volunteering to help abused and neglected children, victims of sexual assault or exploitation, or domestic violence.  It also applies whether I’m the Risk Manager of a construction company or a private security/investigation firm.  In my humble opinion and experience — it is also good to applies these principles to relationships.  If more people did, the world might be a better place filled with a lot more happy relationships.  But then again — maybe I’m just a dreamer! ;)

  11. 71
    JoeK

    @Cat #70
     
    tl:dr…simply wasn’t worth reading another anecdotal Cat-Screed of how bad men are, and how women are always on the short end of the stick.
     
    Re: #70 @ Joe – and where did you get I only see the worst of men?”
    From all your comments, on this page and others where you invariably take the conversation at hand and present the most extreme example of how bad it can be, using the man in the scenario to paint men as bad (see your comments above about the woman who was beaten for discussing values with her husband/boyfriend for a classic example, or the strawman arguments you presented on the Stripper article.)
     
    Look – I get it, you think men are bad. The question is why you are here if all you’re going to do is present the extreme (and therefore minority) examples and show how bad men can be? That isn’t going to help your “sisters” deal with normal, average men. It’s merely the same old problem of telling other women “you’re right, men suck” – which helped no one, ever. (And it’s totally NOT what Evan’s blog is about).

  12. 72
    Cat5

    Joe K @ 71
     
    Ok Joe K…you win…I hate all men and I will die alone, an old, bitter woman.  I’m tired of getting bogged down in what a horrible man-hating, blaming the victim bitch I am, and feeling like I have to defend myself.  So stipulated I’m a man-hating bitch.  ow can we move on please.
     
    In the interests of moving the discussion forward so I can get to the point I was trying to make all along, I will try a different tact.  Perhaps we have a definitional difference.
     
    Can you please explain to me what “normal, average men” means to you? Are they secure personality types only?  Or does it include avoider, pleaser, vascillator, etc. personality types also?  Do you consider a man who is an avoider, pleaser, or vascillator, etc. to be a “normal, average” men?  Are just men who have various communication-related issues?

  13. 73
    Peter 61

    Let him date her.  He’ll rediscover why he picked you.

  14. 74
    Wendy

    Peter61 (#73)
     
    So you’d be okay with your wife dating some other guy while married to you? Let’s assume she dates him for a while and DOES decide you’re better than him—what then? She comes back to you, plays wife again for a while…until she decides now that somebody she met through work could be better. Do you let her date HIM? How many other guys do you let her date while married to you?  
     
    PLEASE tell me you were being facetious. It’s so hard to tell on these blogs…..
     

  15. 75
    Rose

    If my husband wanted to date other women he could do that, but I would not be able to stay married. I would consider myself separated if he chose to go ahead and do this.
     And be thinking of steps of how to get myself in a position to get out of the marraige. Date who he wants but he can’t date and have me or his child as a family unit.
    Arranging to meet other women and going on dates with them is behaving like a single man. So if he wants to be single go and be single. I would ask him to leave if he wanted to live like a single man.
     
     

  16. 76
    starthrower68

    The grass might be greener elsewhere but you’re going to have to cut that grass too.

  17. 77
    Peter 61

    @Wendy74.  I am not being facetious.  Controlling people is extraordinarily difficult.  If the controls are removed they will do what they want to do anyway. I find it better to hand out the rope.  The quicker they hang themselves, the quicker you have grounds for sacking them or leaving them.  The less time, generally, you have wasted.  Marriage is unfortunately a contract with no escape clause and children complicate such situations, of course but the same principles apply in uncovering the truth.
    This discussion is about old flames rather than someone seeking a new affair, which, I suspect, is quite a different psychology.  This was her old flame from 30 years before.  She’d dumped him and always regretted it.  I happily let her depart half way across the world to his large Latifunda to seek out him and his considerable wealth. Unfortunately she came back thinking that I was the better option and started to talk to me as if I was human for the first time in decades.

  18. 78
    WhatsGoingOn

    While it’s been fascinating to read about this debate of snooping vs not snooping I’m not sure how this is helpful to the letter writer.  It doesn’t sound to me like she snooped.  She was presented with a giant red flag waived in front of her face and she followed that up by having an adult conversation with her husband about it and letting him know how it made her feel and where her boundaries are.  And he acquiesced.  What’s wrong with what she did?  She is in an extremely vulnerable position right now being newly pregnant.  She has a prerogative to protect herself and her unborn child if it turns out that her husband is a cheater or is having issues with the relationship.  She doesn’t sound like an overly suspicious or controlling sort, just worried about her family.   And he has given her every reason to worry.  I find his behavior insensitive and disrespectful especially to the mother of his child.  This is something that needs to be nipped in the butt and a clear signal sent that this is hurtful to her and not ok.  Trust has to be earned back once it is broken and he has broken it with her multiple times.

  19. 79
    Karmic Equation

    @WhatsGoingOn 78

    Let’s say you’re right. His behavior is hurtful and disrespectful and she didn’t snoop.

    The only option TOTALLY WITHIN HER CONTROL is to LEAVE his sorry, disrespectful, potentially cheating ass…not “make” him change his behavior.

    If there is no trust, the woman’s only choice is to LEAVE THE MAN SHE DOESN’T TRUST. Making him change his BEHAVIOR doesn’t necessarily make him more trustworthy…he might just have gotten better at hiding the unacceptable behavior.
    My question is why is she still with him if she doesn’t fully trust him?

  20. 80
    WhatsGoingOn

    @Karmic Equation – you know, I feel like your scenario is very black and white – trust or leave – when in truth real life is much more complex and one must be more circumspect. It is easy for someone on the outside to say “Just leave” but this is a woman who is expecting a child with this man who has otherwise been loving.  She can’t just up and leave without trying – what would she tell her unborn child without a father?  And he hasn’t actually even done anything yet.  But to tell someone just blindly trust him when she feels she has more evidence otherwise is useless too because you can’t just make yourself trust someone just like that.
    Trust or leave may be an option for someone in a casual relationship, but in a marriage with a baby on the way, other options need to be explored so that the relationship can thrive in the long run.  What she needs is to delve deep into the relationship, rebuild their connection and solve the reasons why he may be at risk for cheating.  Sometimes cheating is due to opportunity (in which case she is right to cut off this opportunity) but other times especially in a marriage it is a symptom of deeper issues – the weakening of the sense of connection a couple feels over time.  If you or your spouse feel disconnected or alone, you are at greater risk for cheating or for mistrusting your partner and potentially driving them to cheat.  Clearly this couple has undergone some stress lately with the unexpected pregnancy and quicker marriage.  My advice to her would be to not blindly trust or leave, the two extremes but to build up the relationship connection such that something like this is no longer an issue.  This is also totally within her control.

  21. 81
    Me

    Try this: 
    Look up one of your well known ex’s and make it a point to ‘get caught’ – see how he reacts. 

    If he’s specious: its likely you have concerns. (Men think simple like this – women think into it more.) 
    If he doesn’t mind: don’t worry yourself about it. 

    EITHER WAY, remember:
    Where their is smoke their is fire…
    Keep a watchful eye on it. I had a guy look up his ex – and he was in fact up to no good. 
    Cheating has different meanings to different people. Cheating can be achieved without even seeing one another. 
    For me, it’s considered cheating once you cross the line you would hide, withhold info, lie, or did something you would not do right in front of your partner. 

  22. 82
    Danielle

    @Whatsgoingon …. I couldn’t agree more.

  23. 83
    Danielle

    I think the OP has every right to be concerned.  Her husband has a proven track record of inappropriate behavior.  She needs to address the issue, not just chalk it up to a random google search out of curiosity.  If it was just the google search and no history, then I’d disregard it.  People look up exes all the time, including myself.  It’s curiosity.  I believe someone else mentioned it here but if she chooses to overlook it, then she may have a bigger problem down the road with him actually cheating.
     
    Regarding the Snooping issue …  
    As being one who has done the snooping (given good reason), I can say the following:   The person snooping may find things that may be perfectly innocent but since s/he is on a mission of sorts and will assume the worst possible scenario.  It’s very easy to read too much into something.  Yes, you can find the answers you need to find via snooping, but you can also drive yourself a little mad in the process. Who wants to be in a relationship with that kind of tension?  
    Someone else also brought up an excellent point.  Once you discover the “evidence”, unless it is 100% irrefutable evidence such as catching them in the actual act, then there is always room for doubt and second guessing.  Will you actually LEAVE upon finding such evidence?  I know a lot of women SAY that they will walk but stay and tell themselves that it wasn’t “solid” evidence.  If you over analyze something enough, eventually it will seem rational.   She might find something like  earrings on his bathroom counter and her boyfriend gives her a plausible explanation for them …. and she WANTS to believe him. And so she stays, with the doubt slowly eating away at her. . She will call it “giving him the benefit of the doubt” but what it’s really called is:  Ignoring Intuition.  That earring story starred yours truly … Yes I was that dumb!
    The same thing goes for when you find something via snooping, are you willing to believe your findings as credible evidence of infidelity or will you stay until you “catch them in the act”?  Women will keep snooping and making themselves crazy in the process, because they refuse to believe in what they find.  It’s like the story mentioned about about the lady who stayed with her husband for 14 years, even though she KNEW he was a cheating piece of ______ and everyone else knew apparently.  She ignored her instincts and even  when she finally caught him in the physical act of cheating, that still wasn’t enough to leave him.  
    I guess my point is:  many women STAY, no matter what they find. At least for a short time.   If you DO choose to snoop, ask yourself what you will do if you find what you’re looking for?  Don’t do it, unless you are prepared to walk away when/if you find something.  Many women aren’t prepared to deal with what they find.  If you go looking for trouble, eventually you’re gonna find it.  And they end up staying anyway, until they are “absolutely sure”.  They even stay when they ARE absolutely sure because the reality is: women are generally too forgiving and/or they are afraid to leave/be alone and/or women want to believe he can or will change.  It seems like men are less inclined to put up with that nonsense.   
    As a reformed snooper myself, I can say that once your relationship gets to that point, then you should probably be exiting stage left.  That’s a lot of tension, to constantly be wondering what s/he is up too.   I know, because I was in that situation.  And because of it, I have trust issues.  When I got with my current BF, I made the decision that despite what I’d been through, he was going to get a clean slate. Trusting him was one of the hardest things I’ve done. Resisting that urge to look at his phone, etc.  Doing those things became so commonplace in my previous relationship. 
    But all that aside, I also agree with Wendy’s point … do you really want to waste years of your life on a cheater?  Is it better to be proactive and protect yourself?    Or are you doing more harm than good?  I’m on the fence about that.  I agree with points made by both Wendy and Karl.  As Karl mentioned, trusting IS a choice!  Yes it is a choice but don’t do so without some caution.  Don’t have those blinders on that you can’t see what’s in front of you.
    If s/he’s gonna cheat, then it’s going to happen, no matter what you do.  If you’re with a “pro” then they are very good at covering their tracks.    It’s good to be cautious, I think, but don’t let it consume you if you find yourself in that situation.  
    Just pay attention to red flags and don’t ignore your instincts.  If you find something, either by accident or snooping and s/he has a plausible but still suspicious explanation for it … If your head is screaming “BS” at you, then don’t ignore it.  When I first caught my ex, it was completely by accident. The idiot left an instant message conversation open on his computer screen.  It was highly inappropriate and sexually explicit.  Because of my obvious lack of self esteem at that time, I stayed with him.  He didn’t think “cyber sex” conversations were cheating.  I disagree.  I think a lot of people (men in particular) don’t think it’s cheating unless some physical interaction is involved.  
    I wasted a year of my life on that fool.  It was pretty much all over after that because I found myself looking for stuff all the time.  I made excuses for him and rationalized to myself what I found.   If we do choose to go down that road of looking for evidence, we need to be prepared for what we might find.  And it’s usually not good.  Love yourself enough to walk away from that situation and do not torment yourself further (like I did).  Women have the power of intuition.  If a woman is looking at all, it’s either because she already knows in her heart that something is amiss and/or she has trust issues.   Neither of which are good!

  24. 84
    Star

    Maybe I’m just not a curious kind of person, but when someone is an ex, I don’t want to know a single thing about them. I couldn’t care less what they look like, where they’re living, and whether or not they are married.
     

  25. 85
    judy

    Maybe he was just innocently looking up to find out what the woman became?
    If you start snooping, it either means that you don’t trust him, OR you are starting the process of him learning not to trust YOU.
    If you suspect that he has the intention of being unfaithful, please talk about it, bearing in mind that you are expecting a baby.  His baby.  Your baby. 
    By the way, isn’t it reassuring that they did not sleep together? That she was around at the time you were going out with him? He chose you, didn’t he? (Once upon a time, I and a guy were together for 18 months – it was not a sexual relationship.  Why? Because I didn’t fancy him, but I certainly did like him a lot and it was mutual.  His wife forbade me to see him.  And yes, for a while, we did have lunch together, and she didn’t know.  It wasn’t worth the hassle to let her find out.  Nothing was going on.  We were just two friends who enjoyed each other’s company and were not sexually attracted!)
    Maybe I’m wrong, but if she is really such a safe element (for him, anyway), and in the past, why do you feel the need to double check on him?

  26. 86
    jmom

    Looking for some proof of something going on is futile. It’s like picking at a scab, you know it will BLEED when you achieve it. If your guy is trustworthy, no need to dig deeper. You’ll know by his actions. You will find nothing. If he insists on talking about an ex and you tell him “stop” if he’s smart, he’ll get the message. If he continues, you are just not playing the game, in other words. Just state what you will or will not consider appropriate in a relationship for “TWO” people. If you’re finding wine and two of everything in the sink; teriyaki sauce and stuff he normally doesn’t buy…your photos are flat down on the top of the fridge…NO NEED TO WONDER. Like that lady who wasted 14 years, I wasted 5. I’m now with a man who is really exclusive and it feels a whole lot different.

  27. 87
    SaraB

    I think you’re all in denial. I too have previously looked up exs on the net and no it wasn’t out of morbid curiosity…it was because something in my relationship at the time was not right and I was longing/thinking about the good times/feeling I had in the previous relationship. And yes it was wrong. Did I ever follow through by making contact, hell no, that’s one step too far. But looking around the net for one specific person is a clear indication that something lies burrowed beneath the surface of your current relationship that needs to be addressed. Everyone else can call it what they want but if your happy and content and TRULY in love you don’t go looking around. I’m living that dream now!

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