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@Not,

My thoughts, if you’re interested:

Read or listen to Gavin de Becker’s the “Gift of Fear”, and/or watch the videos here: The Gift of Fear Master Class

Get the support and professional help you need to feel better, but please please please do not let your guard down, and do not downplay or ignore or your fears and suspicions.

Gavin de Becker has insights about when restraining orders might help and when they might not. To be clear, iirc, often they provide a false sense of security. Also has some lessons learned about hesitation to involve law enforcement.

In that particular book, there is a chapter about former dating partners, iirc.

I am not an expert, and I don’t want to victimize you by encouraging you to fear things you don’t need to. But, last time I hesitated to say what I really thought, and so this time I’m not going to:


0) his behavior is very concerning; he needs to be stopped, in the smartest, safest, legal way
1) talk to the police, and seek their advice, assuming you live on a locale where you can find someone who cares; also, maybe you should reach out to a womens shelter that has experience protecting women from stalkers (not saying you should go into hiding! But, if you want expert knowledge, there is probably some there)
2) get wireless cameras installed with night vision (did you say earlier he and you bought some together — if so, forget those)
3) change your locks if you haven’t
4) contact POF, and ask if they have the IP address of the login attempt; from that, there are ways to find maybe the general area (say zip code size); you may want to ask if they can tell you if another uses same IP to login from, and tell them you are concerned about stalking
5) there are devices that can detect some surveillance devices; offhand I do not know how expensive, but will check and send you a link if you like, and police may be able to assist)
6) guard against being catfished by him on OLD
Thank you Sky. I have been to the police again and they urged me to get him on video. Then with the reports I've already filed I can request the restraining order. I changed my locks in May and I bought a new camera system last week. I installed the system on Saturday. Night vision, sound the whole nine. Three cameras.

The thought that he might try to catfish me has crossed my mind but dating is the last thing on my mind right now so I'm not talking to anyone, unless I make first contact which I'm not doing. Not in the mood and I don't think it's a good idea to bring anyone into my life right now. I may try to contact POF. It's been over a month since that happened but I'd really love to know if they can pull that info up.

I recently had to change my phone number due to other circumstances with my carrier, not something I would have done otherwise but with everything going on I see it as pure dumb luck.

And I have that book! I read it back in December before all of this started but had forgotten about it. It's on my book app on my phone. A retired detective recommended it to all the single ladies who are dating in a face book group I'm a member of. That and another book called the Sociopath Next Door. I'll be re-reading it.

My sister also mentioned looking for a device to detect surveillance devices but I haven't gotten that far yet. I've checked blue tooth on my property. Walked around my car several times but didn't pick anything up but my own car and a sound bar somewhere nearby and nothing in my house.
 

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@Not ,

There may be a POF page (dunno, under account settings) showing failed login attempts, and that may provide the IP address (number like 212.14.56.137). You have ample reason to believe you are being stalked (sorry) and by whom. But, the IP address might be a little bit interesting and useful on its own, and especially if POF can relate it back to his usual IP. (If you have an old email from him, if you know how to look, you might also be able to glean something relevant…not 100% sure if the sending machine’s IP appears, but some along the delivery path just thinking out loud).

Re. countering cheap/easy GPS tracking, this article may be useful. https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/03/31/airtags-stalking/

Is he likely using an Apple phone or Android?

Of course, there are other trackers besides the ones that work with nearby phones (like the AirTags, Tiles, etc). Some have built-in cellular modems and talk directly to the service provider.

And there is the risk he is logged into your iCloud account or Google equivalent and can simple see your “find my phone” info. There are ways to check what devices are logged into iCloud, and presumably for other ecosystems.
 
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@Not,

Something like this could be useful. There are other models with more reviews that might be worth a look too.


(Amazon.com link…)
Limited-time deal: Autrictop A9 Decent Hidden Camera Detectors, Hidden Device Detector for Hidden Camera, Portable Wireless Bug Detector with 3 Professional Modes, 5 Levels Sensitivity, Travel Office Home
https://a.co/d/4ArjEb9



Some trackers probably only ping once a minute or less frequently, so some patience with the detector might be necessary.
 
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@Not,

Something like this could be useful. There are other models with more reviews that might be worth a look too.


(Amazon.com link…)
Limited-time deal: Autrictop A9 Decent Hidden Camera Detectors, Hidden Device Detector for Hidden Camera, Portable Wireless Bug Detector with 3 Professional Modes, 5 Levels Sensitivity, Travel Office Home
https://a.co/d/4ArjEb9



Some trackers probably only ping once a minute or less frequently, so some patience with the detector might be necessary.

I think I'll go ahead and buy that A9. Looks easy to use. And he uses Android. I'm Apple.

I've checked my iCloud account, I'm all good there. I wish I had saved the number to his work cell phone but I do have a few old emails from him that I'll keep just in case.

Thanks Sky!
 

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@Not,

You would likely recognize his work cell number on your old cell bill online, assuming he had ever called or texted.
 

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How are things going @Not ?
I’m doing good hearts, thanks for asking. I’ve had two appts with the therapist and it’s helped. Just being able to dump all of this on someone else has taken a load off.

As far as he goes, I’m just waiting. My birthday is tomorrow. Therapist thinks this might trigger him. She’s convinced he’s not done but I’m leaning the other way. Either way the cameras are ready. I meet with her again Monday. I thought it would be a good idea to have an appointment set up right after my birthday just in case something does happen.

In the meantime, I’m just trying to take care of myself. I was under a lot of stress and started losing hair and look terrible. Not sleeping good and wasn’t eating good etc. So I’m trying to put my focus on my general well being now. I’m taking myself to the beach this evening to just sit and relax and soak in that fresh air.
 

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It’s good that you’ve had those sessions so far, and looking to taking care of yourself. I really am sorry that you’re dealing with this. I can only imagine the stress it has caused.

Anything good happening to celebrate your birthday?

((((( big virtual bday hugs for you ))))))
 

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Thank you for your thoughts. I completely understand what you are saying. We are very committed to each other. Living separate lives, kids and households I think, in part, contribute to things like this. By no means am I excusing her behavior. I’m not. She flat out deceived me by saying she was done talking to that guy when, in fact, she wasn’t. That was what disturbed me so much. The lying, deception, etc. I know there was nothing inappropriate about the content of their conversations. That wasn’t my point. When she used the argument with me that he was “just a friend”and “harmless”, that’s when I did what I did. To show her that anyone can let their guard down in a moment of weakness and that’s all it takes to end a relationship.

She now realizes my hurt came from her lying about the situation more so than the fact they were talking to begin with. Maybe I’m hypersensitive about opposite sex friends, but this one one in particular was too eerily too similar to that of my ex wife and her AP and how that started.
You know, my first thought when you mentioned what you'd done was that it was ridiculous 12 year old behavior and I'd be out.

But after hearing more about the backstory I'm conflicted. I definitely think there are times when a little empathy learned through a taste of one's own medicine can go a long way, and I've done it myself. Hell, my ex used to go on about his exes in ridiculous inappropriate ways (think comments about their breasts/when they'd take a bath together/when they'd be having sex). Stuff that was so off the rails that you wonder if they're actually saying it.

I finally told him that people who talked about exex like that are insecure and pathetic, nobody cares, and maybe he wanted to hear all about the huge penis on my first sex partner. Needless to say a lot of the ex talk actual stopped after that.

But I find it unfortunate that it came to that and that some long distance scumbag was worth hiding and lying to you. That generally doesn't speal well of one's character, but you know her and if your comfortable it's dealt with I hope it's behind you.
 

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You know, my first thought when you mentioned what you'd done was that it was ridiculous 12 year old behavior and I'd be out.

But after hearing more about the backstory I'm conflicted. I definitely think there are times when a little empathy learned through a taste of one's own medicine can go a long way, and I've done it myself. Hell, my ex used to go on about his exes in ridiculous inappropriate ways (think comments about their breasts/when they'd take a bath together/when they'd be having sex). Stuff that was so off the rails that you wonder if they're actually saying it.

I finally told him that people who talked about exex like that are insecure and pathetic, nobody cares, and maybe he wanted to hear all about the huge penis on my first sex partner. Needless to say a lot of the ex talk actual stopped after that.

But I find it unfortunate that it came to that and that some long distance scumbag was worth hiding and lying to you. That generally doesn't speal well of one's character, but you know her and if your comfortable it's dealt with I hope it's behind you.
Thank you for your response! The first time, I tried to talk it through. When that didn’t sink in, I had to show it to her. If that didn’t sink, it would have been the end of the road for this one. However, she’s eliminated him from FB and eventually admitted she understood after giving her a little more background on my story (in my case, stories, unfortunately). It’s funny because the other day she asked me if she can have coffee with a guy from England coming in to visit his mom for 3 days. She asked me to come and I declined. She asked me if I mind and I said no problem, have a good time. She said she was so worried to ask me after the last episode. I said it’s the lying and shadiness I won’t tolerate. Have a good time and tell him I said hi. I’m not even sure if they are getting together. Some sue from high school that she has no past with. She knows the mom though.

Yes it may all be silly, or one big sh$t test, but some people require a message being delivered in multiple ways.

Edited to say she’s going to lunch with the guy from England and his mom, as she hasn’t seen them in over 20 years. I don’t want to go.
 

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I’m doing good hearts, thanks for asking. I’ve had two appts with the therapist and it’s helped. Just being able to dump all of this on someone else has taken a load off.

As far as he goes, I’m just waiting. My birthday is tomorrow. Therapist thinks this might trigger him. She’s convinced he’s not done but I’m leaning the other way. Either way the cameras are ready. I meet with her again Monday. I thought it would be a good idea to have an appointment set up right after my birthday just in case something does happen.

In the meantime, I’m just trying to take care of myself. I was under a lot of stress and started losing hair and look terrible. Not sleeping good and wasn’t eating good etc. So I’m trying to put my focus on my general well being now. I’m taking myself to the beach this evening to just sit and relax and soak in that fresh air.
Happy birthday! Spoil yourself, don't stay home. Put the alarm on and go out.
 

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Yes it may all be silly, or one big sh$t test, but some people require a message being delivered in multiple ways.
Yes some do. You used your words, multiple times.

Your giving her a taste of her own medicine was an intentional, isolated and brief behavior, and you quickly clarified for her what it was about rather than, say, gaslight her or let her worry you might cheat.


She’s an adult, fully informed, and is free to feel you crossed a boundary of hers and do whatever she wants about that.

As it stands, you both and your relationship are healthier for having taken that path.

It’s not related at all to covert passive aggressive manipulation as a way of life.
 

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Doing better! I think I got stuck in a rut, just couldn't focus on anything else. I needed to be knocked into a different frame of mind, like a good smack upside the head. Therapist helped with that. It kind of feels like stepping out of a cave back into the hustle and bustle of everyday life. And nothing happened on my birthday! Which may have something to do with the camera that's positioned right in your face when approaching my place. :)

I did get a message on POF on my birthday, from someone who's got my interest piqued. I had decided to forgo dating for now but with this person it'll work out well. He works out of state for weeks at a time and is gone now but will be home for about three weeks starting mid-August. So I have someone to talk and flirt with, with plenty of time to get to know him before meeting and still have time to myself. I like the idea of that.
 

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Doing better! I think I got stuck in a rut, just couldn't focus on anything else. I needed to be knocked into a different frame of mind, like a good smack upside the head. Therapist helped with that. It kind of feels like stepping out of a cave back into the hustle and bustle of everyday life. And nothing happened on my birthday! Which may have something to do with the camera that's positioned right in your face when approaching my place. :)

I did get a message on POF on my birthday, from someone who's got my interest piqued. I had decided to forgo dating for now but with this person it'll work out well. He works out of state for weeks at a time and is gone now but will be home for about three weeks starting mid-August. So I have someone to talk and flirt with, with plenty of time to get to know him before meeting and still have time to myself. I like the idea of that.
Glad tp hear you're doing well and had an uneventful birthday. Happy belated, btw!

I'm still getting e-cards, but I deleted this one without opening it and wasn't as upset the last time. It feels great to have a small win, doesn't it?
 

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I spent the weekend with my cousins at the beach. We are not really that close since my mom (their aunt) died 17 years ago. I see them maybe twice a year. Both are female, married, have kids. Both are in my age group 51 and 53. They were asking how my gf and I were doing. Told them we just got back from vacation, etc. then they stepped it up and were pushing the marriage card on me really hard. I was shocked as they know my history and my picker has been broken my whole life. I cited deep emotional as well as financial wounds from my previous marriages. Two broken homes, 5 kids now with broken homes, etc. I was still getting the full court press. How much they like my gf, take a chance, don’t worry about statistics, love conquers all, yada, yada. It wasn’t until I said that if I was ever going to marry again (which I’m not), it wouldn’t be to gf anyway, that they finally backed off. My brother stepped in and said “RebuildingMe should not ever get married again”. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

I was very surprised. I didn’t understand their intentions. Do they think I’m lonely? I’m not. Do they think everyone needs to be paired up in life? I don’t. Or maybe it was more of ‘misery likes company’. I left scratching my head. I’ll also add that I was there by myself with my two very well adjusted and happy 10 year old twins. Strange…
 

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@RebuildingMe ,

Sounds a lot like TAM, people eagerly expressing what other people should be doing in their lives, with very little information and many self-serving assumptions, motivated by the wants, unfulfilled wishes, fears and disappointments of the one’s doling out advice without consequence.

What are the chances gf will hear back from one of them, or one of their friends, what you said?
 

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Do they think I’m lonely? I’m not. Do they think everyone needs to be paired up in life? I don’t. Or maybe it was more of ‘misery likes company’.
My guess is that they probably think all of those things to some degree. Some people are much happier not married but there will always be those married people who think everyone should be exactly like them. The truth is that marriage doesn’t work for everyone. I may not have known that many decades ago but I do now and there’s no way I would take that step again.
 

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@RebuildingMe ,

Sounds a lot like TAM, people eagerly expressing what other people should be doing in their lives, with very little information and many self-serving assumptions, motivated by the wants, unfulfilled wishes, fears and disappointments of the one’s doling out advice without consequence.

What are the chances gf will hear back from one of them, or one of their friends, what you said?
I don’t think it would get back to her, but even if it did, it’s nothing that we haven’t already discussed together. It’s nothing either one of us wants right now, although, I know it’s something she would want 5-6 years from now when all her kids are adults.

I like your analogy of TAM, but in this case they have all of the information needed. They know my past history and how it unfolded. I guess I just assumed no one in my family would ever recommend marriage to me, knowing it’s been a history of failures. I was surprised and caught off guard for this conversation. More like advice they were trying to give me.
 
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