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Hello All,

I have been in a serious relationship with my girlfriend for three years. Things have been up and down many times. She has trust issues stemming from her past and her family. I have betrayed her trust once when she found out something from my past (before I met her) but she agreed to accept that it was in my past and learned to forgive me, but she never fully trusted me after that.

Now I have hurt her again. She went through my phone the other night and saw 15 text messages and one call to another girl over a two day period. During these two days my girlfriend and I were not speaking to each other because we were mad at each other. She wasn't really snooping, I gave her the phone and was standing right next to her because I have (so I thought) nothing to hide.

It absolutely devastated her to see the texts and the call. The girl is a married coworker. We are both in the same section so she sit right next to me, we have to interact. The texts were not flirtatious, although they weren't all strictly business either. The call was after work on a Friday night for four minutes and was about some office gossip I wasn't able to tell her about during the day because I was too busy. Women in my office ask me to go out with them to lunch or dinner (as a group/office thing) and I tell them "no" because it wouldn't be appropriate and my girlfriend would not appreciate me hanging out with female coworkers. So its not like I go out and violate her trust. I've never cheated on her. I am always calling and texting her. If anything I am too clingy.

I know I messed up and that if I found her doing the same thing I would be very hurt. My problem is that I first, the truth is that there is nothing between us and that we are just co-workers and two, that while I would be hurt if she did this to me, I would not react to such a degree that she has. She has acted as if I slept with some random woman I picked up at a bar. She even said that she would feel the same exact way if I had. To here it is not different.

I do not know what to do to help her regain my trust. She said for me to tell the girl to not talk to me anymore. Done. She said for me to change my phone number. Okay. I know everyone has a different perception of cheating, and for her this crossed the threshold but there is really nothing between us other than we have to sit next to each other for eight hours a day and do the same thing and deal with the same people. It would be impossible to not form a "co-worker" relationship. If she was a he, I would probably actually be friends with the guy and texting him a whole lot more. It just happens that she is female.

My girlfriend has done things to violate my trust in the past (but not recently), such as she went out to a bar with another guy after had me take her home from a dinner date or another time while I was at work she went out to lunch with a guy but told me she was at home cleaning. She said they were just friends, but I told her it hurt me when I found out about it. I brought up this comparison, not to justify my actions, but to show that we all make mistakes but that sometimes it is something completely harmless for one person but it still hurts the other person. She did not agree and is convinced there is something going on. She already text the co-worker once, and has saved her phone number and keeps threatening to call her. I am not worried if she does because I have nothing to hide, I am just worried about how it would make myself and my girlfriend look to my employer.

Summarized, I see her point of few, and I feel horrible for hurting her. I realize I am the scumbag. I have told her that I am sorry and that I am wrong. She went through each text and asked me to explain what I meant but everything I told her was "a lie" according to her. The timing couldn't be worse either. I do not know how I am going to gain that amount of trust back that I had from her. I feel like I won't be able to tell her about work at all anymore. I feel like I can't even have a phone. She has already told me I can expect to have no privacy at all. There is obviously no trust left in our relationship. Any advice on how I can help understand her point of view? How I can help her understand it was just one coworker to another? Anything?

Thanks.
 

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Hmmm. This is a hard one. I've got nothing. Typically on this forum texting opposite sex coworkers is because of an affair.

Anyone else got anything for mr. Munson?

It looks like your doing everything you need to do to gain her trust back. Expect this to take ome time for her to feel comfortable again.

However. I'm not to keen on her double standard with her lying to you about going for drinks and lunch with male friends. That's already a bad sign in a relationship. Affairs start with those little lies.
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So she goes out on a date to a bar with some random guy and that's all good. But if you text a co-worker about some work related gossip you are a cheating bastard?

The boundaries are going to have to be up to the two of you, but you do see that she has a double standard here, right?
 

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However. I'm not to keen on her double standard with her lying to you about going for drinks and lunch with male friends. That's already a bad sign in a relationship. Affairs start with those little lies.
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Agreed. She needs to practice what she preaches.

OP, you said that the messages to your co-worker were not shady or flirtatious but you continue saying you're "scumbag" and "in the wrong." Is there more to it than you are telling us? Be honest.

If not, then you need to decide whether you want to stay with someone who does not trust you at all. All you can do is show her through actions over time that you won't let her down again and are committed to not doing anything bad. If you do all of that and she still isn't receptive and also holds a different standard for herself (going out to lunch with a guy, and lying to you about it), then decide whether this relationship is worth it or not.

Also, you never said what you lied to her about in the first paragraph...? You don't have to share but it makes advice easier to give.



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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for the responses.

I say I am a scumbag because I knew it would hurt her if she knew I was talking with this girl past work hours and that two or three of the texts were out of line of a work relationship. We rarely talk outside work hours, probably about an average of ten texts a month, if that. There is absolutely nothing going on between me and the co-worker. I don't want to call her a friend because she isn't, we never hang out before or after work, we just work right next to each other all day so there is going to be some interaction. But now she thinks I cheated on her!!!

She says everything she has read says texting constitutes cheating, and I believe that in the right situation. If it was 200 texts and we were emotionally cheating. Or the texts said "meet me in the supply closet" and we were physically cheating. Then I would understand her accusing me of cheating. I understand the hurt and betrayal, but not the cheating accusations. I dont feel like I have a place to show her my side with her because that is just going to make me seem guilty to her.

I think my girlfriend is hurt also by the fact that we weren't talking during those two days yet I contacted this female coworker but not her. She said, "you should have been calling me to fix our problems, not calling her to gossip about work".

My past issue wasn't something I lied to her about. It was something in my past that did not involve her, I had just never told her about, which is a form of a lie omission I suppose.

My issues with the lunch and bar thing, I really do not think she cheated on me. Maybe that is me being stupid or naive, but I just think she hid going out with a friend from me. I told her how I felt when I found out, and she said sorry and that she would not do it again.
 
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