“Confused & Scared” wrote in because she is currently living away from home with her boyfriend of over a year and is super in love and happy. But, she also found her BF’s fake Bumble account that he was using to talk to other women. Now, she doesn’t know what to do about his emotional cheating.
“Hi! I’ve actually wanted to contact you both for a while, and finally worked up the courage to do it. (I’m struggling through an issue with my live-in boyfriend and can’t bring myself to ask my own crazy Jewish mom for advice.) My boyfriend and I have been dating for about a year and a half, and living together in a new state far away from both our families for six months. We have had a wonderful, happy relationship that was founded on a friendship of about a year. Things couldn’t have been better, and of course we had relationship ups and downs, but we’re both pushing one another to grow as communicators and always work through problems together (even when it isn’t easy).
However, there is a big issue that I’ve been harboring for about three weeks and I don’t have the guts to bring it up to him… I recently found out that he made a fake Bumble profile, and spends a lot of time on it (when he’s at work or I’m asleep) chatting with dozens of girls. If I were you, hearing all of this without actually being in the relationship, I know that my advice would be to confront him about this and then leave him—in my mind this is emotional cheating, and before I had ever been in a serious relationship, I always told myself that I would NEVER abide cheating. But when push comes to shove and I’m actually in this situation, I’m reacting very differently than I imagined I would.
In (over)thinking about it, I’m not prepared to end things for several reasons: 1) I love him and do feel, through constant affirmations on his part, that he loves me too. 2) I love the life that we have created in this new location away from home, and want to continue to share it with him as we grow. 3) We’ve both talked about a future together, and seem to want the same things. On top of that, we are both excited about our future together, and discuss it often. 4) I feel comfortable and safe with him. 5) …I feel afraid of being alone in this new place without him. I almost didn’t want to add this part in because I don’t want it to sound like the only reason I’m sticking around, but in reality I know it plays a big part.
I’ve been holding this in for so long because I keep rationalizing his behavior and reassessing my own. I know that he feels lonely in this new place, as he hasn’t had much luck making friends (we moved to an area with a large population of older people, and he does not work with anyone his own age/without children). He and I have a lot of fun together on the weekends, but when I get home from work during the week I am often exhausted and fall asleep on the couch quickly, leaving him isolated again. The profile he created doesn’t use his own name or pictures, which leads me to believe that he only intends to talk with these women and has no plan to meet them in person behind my back. When I found out about this, I tried to use that rationale and just let it go. Obviously that isn’t working, and it is breeding some significant insecurities and trust issues on my part that are leaching into our day-to-day interactions. He doesn’t understand why I’m acting “crazy,” and I can’t find the right way to bring up the topic without a fight.
Honestly, I do want to just TALK about it without doing anything drastic. I want us to be able to work past this together. I want to be with him for so many reasons, especially because I do love him more than I can say. I just don’t know how to open up the conversation without him becoming defensive and angry, considering the fact that I did find out about this by going through his phone (which in itself is a breach of trust, but if we’re measuring transgressions here, I don’t think I’m the worse offender). I really could use your advice. Every day I hold this in is putting more and more of a strain on our relationship, as I am acting distant and not myself which is likely pushing him to seek even more attention elsewhere. SOS.” – Confused & Scared
@CrazyJewishMom: First of all, everybody snoops; you’re not wrong for doing that. And you found something, so you should always trust your gut.
@KateFriedmanSiegel: While I can understand why this must be incredibly hard for you, because he hasn’t crossed any physical lines (that you know of), I have to say this behavior really does not bode well for the future. And there are two things in particular that you need to immediately stop doing. 1. Justifying this as misguided attempt at making friends. You go on bumble to make friends with women’s vaginas, not to find a running buddy. 2. Blaming yourself for his behavior. You wanting to sleep after a long day of work is NOT a justification for him to start talking to other women.
@CrazyJewishMom: Yeah, he’s a little lonely? Get a hobby!
@KateFriedmanSiegel: And I wouldn’t be too comforted by the fact that he isn’t using his own images or name. That just means he doesn’t want to get caught; have you seen Catfish? People carry on full fledged emotional soap operas online – it can be very serious. As you’ve acknowledged, he is absolutely emotionally cheating on you, which is no small thing; it’s incredibly painful. And if he’s willing to lie to you about this, what’s preventing him from joining a dating site with his real pictures and information on his work computer, where you can’t access it?
@CrazyJewishMom: He could be spraying his man seed all over the city!
@KateFriedmanSiegel: Well, that was vile. So, I think you absolutely need to talk to him, and I think you should do that in couple’s therapy. It sounds like you are very invested in him, but this isn’t something you can just shove down or ignore. You love him. He says he loves you. He has seriously screwed up and absolutely shattered your trust. If he actually loves you, he will be willing to go to therapy and do whatever he needs to do to rebuild. If he isn’t willing to do that, then what the hell are you sticking around for?
@CrazyJewishMom: Yeah, and you said that you’re worried he’ll get defensive and angry when you bring it up to him, but honey! YOU are not the one who has done anything wrong! He’s the lying, maggot-infested, diaper pail of a person.
@KateFriedmanSiegel: If you’re worried about it, you could just say ‘I have something I want to tell you and talk to you about’ and invite him to therapy with you and actually have the initial conversation with your therapist there.
@CrazyJewishMom: Yeah, and call me if it doesn’t work out. Plenty of sperminators in the sea.
Did you know that @CrazyJewishMom is a licensed realtor at The Corcoran Group in New York? Let her help you find your dream home, and with all of your real estate needs. Get in touch with her on her new Instagram account or send her an email at Kim.Friedman@corcoran.com!