Sanding our assholes with 150 grit. Slowly. Lovingly.

Just 'cause everyone else does it...

...I'm going to bitch about my girlfriend here. Not looking for advice (unless anyone has a real doozy of an idea), just venting!

Some background: my gf was married, and her husband was a serial philanderer, it all ended a bit messily, and she's been a bit cynical towards me ever since. Kind of irrational, but on the other hand I can kind of see her point.

Now me, I've always been a great believer in fidelity, and although an opportunity for a bit-on-the-side has arisen more than once over the three years we've been together I've always considered that keeping it firmly in my pants was the right thing to do, and I just satisfy myself with the knowledge that I've "still got it", so to speak.

So, anyway, a year or so ago I went out with a bunch of friends from work on a celebratory pissup (someone had just turned 30 or something), and it all finished a bit late so I crashed at someone else's house rather than fork out a fortune for a taxi. I didn't think anything of it, but then a few days later my gf discovered that this "someone else" was 22, blonde, and female, and when I got back from work that day I got accused of all manner of shit, and there seemed to be little or nothing I could do to convince her that nothing had happened. It took several eye-witnesses and days of trying to placate her before she finally stopped accusing me of things, and she was still obviously brooding about it for ages afterwards.

In the intervening months she's still dropped some snide remarks now and again, but knowing that I was in the right I kind of ignored them; it annoyed me, but not enough to start making a big deal about again.

So, to the present day. I've been doing some work for a friend (who happens to be female and attractive) so I've spent quite a few evenings round her house sorting out some odds and ends -- all above board, it's all billable time, etc. I went over there this evening, and in my hurry to leave I left my mobile behind. When I got back my gf seemed to be sitting in sullen silence, making only perfunctory noises when I talked to her, so I figured I'd unpack my laptop, have a drink, etc., and see if she was perhaps just having a bad day or something.

So, I walk out of the kitchen, and she's there with my phone in hand and a glare in her eye, and while I'm stood there thinking "now what" she gave me the evil eye and demanded "Well?"

"Well what?"
"On your phone!"
"What?"
"I looked at your phone!"
"And?.." (Thinks: WTF?)
"She was on there!"
"Who?" A slow chilling realisation dawns -- she must be on about the young lady mentioned previously.
"You know who. And you had her picture on there!"
"So? I have a picture of more or less everyone in my contacts list."

Anyway, to cut a long story short she'd deleted the pictures and phone numbers of anyone female on my phone, and then started in on the friend that I'm working with at the moment, making insinuations like "Is she paying you well? In kind?" At this point I sort of gave up, and said something along the lines of "look, I'm not your ex-husband, I've never cheated on you, but nothing I say will change your mind, and right now I almost wish I *was* having an affair just so's the abuse is justified" (which in retrospect was dumb, but I was somewhat miffed by this point). The whole thing went downhill from there, really -- I asked her whether she'd be happy if I started accusing her of having an affair or removed all traces of men from her phone, etc., and she said she wouldn't mind and that it would be perfectly reasonable, and at that point I realised all further conversation was pointless as I was obviously dealing with your actual lunatic.

So, anyway, I'm now in a dilemma. On the one hand spending the rest of my life not speaking to women on the off chance that I get accused of having an affair is not appealing, but on the other hand we have a child together and I don't want to be a weekend dad. I can't work out which is the lesser of two evils, but something's going to have to be done one way or the other...

Bloody women! I almost wish I was gay. :)

Well, rant over. I'm going to get stoned out of my gourd and sleep on the couch now...
Permalink Mat Hall 
January 10th, 2006
"but something's going to have to be done one way or the other..."

wow, tough situation.


The bottom line for me (and for you I suspect) is that I *could not* live under that level of suspicion.

given that leaving isn't much of an option, what with your kid and all, the only option you have is to help her through this...and if that fails then you *will* have to leave, at least temporarily, there is no other way.

the only way she is going to get through this is via some counselling...whether its counselling done by you or whether its counselling done by a professional depends on your ability to talk to her.

Either way though, you *cannot* continue living like that. living with you under that level of suspicion would screw up your kid as badly as leaving would IMO.

Have you tried beating her?
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
January 10th, 2006
Therapy. Seriously. Be proactive and find a good therapist.
Permalink Almost H. Anonymous 
January 10th, 2006
"The bottom line for me (and for you I suspect) is that I *could not* live under that level of suspicion."

That's precisely where I'm having trouble. I've never given her what any reasonable person would consider grounds for suspicion yet still I'm being suspected, and it's no fun at all. And if I try and stick with it I either have to cut myself off from all my female friends (which would pretty much mean *all* my friends seeing as most of my female friends are also friends of my male friends) or sneak about behind her back which would then only serve to further fuel the supicions. A genuine lose-lose proposition, and one that I'm not prepared to put up with. Heck, if it wasn't for my daughter I'd be packing my stuff up right now, but I can't bear the thought of leaving her (especially leaving her with her mother who will then undoubtedly fill her head with all sorts of crap about how mean, and me in particular, are not to be trusted).

Still, I shall sleep on it, perhaps go away for a couple of days to clear my head (and somehow managing to do so without being accused of having a dirty weekend with a tart somewhere), and hope that some sort of solution arises. (Counselling sounds like a good idea, but at the moment I wouldn't know how to broach the subject in a way that's not going to piss her off.)
Permalink For some reason... 
January 10th, 2006
how mean = how men -- Freudian slit? Er, slip. When you say one thing and mean your mother. Another! GAAAH!

(Also, crap, forgot to change my name back.)
Permalink Mat Hall 
January 10th, 2006
"I wouldn't know how to broach the subject in a way that's not going to piss her off"

I wouldn't try *too* hard not to piss her off.

She has a kind of pus under a scab. all this suspicion is that pus coming out. Some real rip-roaring arguments can speed that up.
If you do get it on, be prepared to deal with some pretty wild accusations and to have some pretty mean things said to you.....just remember, this is stuff she *really* wants to say to her ex.

Id be tempted to send your *daughter* off for the weekend, to give you and her mother some screaming match time....you *must* have this shit out, if you attempt to tough your way through it then you will fail, and will leave her anyway once you get sick of trying too hard to be the nice, understanding man.

better to have this shit out now.
not that it will end with one huge argument...this kind of stuff requires years of hard work to sort out....
but you have to start somewhere....
If you really mean to stay then start by making that clear....you are not about to leave her, you love her and intend to stay forever regardless, but you would *really* find it a little more pleasant if she would stop behaving like a brain-fried paranoid bitch...

If you *have/are* cheated on her then for gods sake dont start this process or you *will* screw her up for life once she finds out and you leave her as well.
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
January 10th, 2006
Damn, Mat - That sounds EXACTLY like the situation with my ex. The whole relationship went down in flames in the end, coming down to a "she goes or I go" ultimatum, but luckily, there were no children involved, so it was a fairly clean break overall.

The kicker, of course, was that the woman I was supposedly "cheating" with -- who was, admittedly, rather attractive and flirtatious, to the point where I actually DID have to exercise some restraint to remain faithful a couple of times (maybe my ex had a valid argument after all) -- COMPLETELY lost interest in me as anything more than a buddy once I was officially single. Turns out she had no intentions of replacing my girlfriend...she just didn't think the one I had was right for me. In hindsight, I sort of feel like a moron for not having shagged her when I had the chance(s), since the end result was the same in every other respect. Oh well.

Errr...I guess I didn't have any actual advice. I just wanted to co-vent. Kudos for thinking of the kid, though. Unfortunately, a lot of people don't bother.
Permalink bionicroach 
January 10th, 2006
Self-serving branding aside, JHC is right: You must have a "come to Jesus" talk at some point.

In my situation, I tried to "tough it out" with my ex's jealousy/negativity thing for quite some time before this other girl moved back into town and brought everything to the surface by openly flirting with me, which pissed off my girlfriend to the point where I had to admit there were problems that had to be dealt with. It was unpleasant at the time, but it would have been much worse if I'd continued to build resentment for years and ended up actually cheating on her down the line out of spite.
Permalink bionicroach 
January 10th, 2006
"Self-serving branding aside, JHC is right"

?? what self-serving branding?
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
January 10th, 2006
Sorry, padding my own joke. "Come to Jesus"...

Obviously it bombed.

::flogs self::
Permalink bionicroach 
January 10th, 2006
ah...I thought you were calling mat a drooling, inbred moron.
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
January 10th, 2006
I'm surprised -- that sounds like actual reasonable advice, on ?off of all places. Who'd have thunk that under the foul-mouthed flame-wielding troll-baiting and ridiculous arguments that are the staple of this place there sat some normal people. Sometimes I forget! :)

(Apologies for the rambling -- I may have miscalculated on the reefer front, but despite the fact that my life seems to be coming crashing down around my ears I'm somehow in a mood to be genuinely cheered up by the above thought. That's either a sad indictment of my life, or there's hope yet for humanity!)
Permalink Mat Hall 
January 10th, 2006
We've got to moron already? I'll go for "sad indictment" then. :)
Permalink Mat Hall 
January 10th, 2006
I hate to be a prick here (heh, ok not really), but dude, this relationship is doomed. You know it's doomed. You're posting here because you want validation in your suspicion that it's doomed, I bet.

The kid won't be done any favors if you stay together with this woman and the relationship continues to degrade. That sucks, and it sucks if you end up a weekend dad, but that's probably the best of all possible situations unless you honestly think that couples therapy will help, and you also honestly think that she'll go with you.

Good luck, but I think your best option here is to cut your losses and begin immediate damage control where the kid is concerned.
Permalink Mark Warner 
January 10th, 2006
"We've got to moron already? "

Thats nothing, I think some bastard just called me a "foul-mouthed flame-wielding troll-baiting wityh ridiculous arguments"
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
January 10th, 2006
I meant it as a compliment. :P
Permalink Mat Hall 
January 10th, 2006
I'm sure he didn't mean it. He was just trying be Mark Warner.
Permalink bionicroach 
January 10th, 2006
Ditch and move on. If she doesn't trust you, it's her problem, and you can't solve it.

Plenty of fish in the sea.
Permalink Eric Debois 
January 10th, 2006
"Bloody women! I almost wish I was gay. :)"

You might not want to say that if you want someone to say, hire you from these forums. ;p
Permalink sharkfish 
January 10th, 2006
Stop hanging out with fine young women. There's your answer. Otherwise, your relationship will end. The one thing that most women require is devotion and fidelity. I never once saw or heard my own father hanging out with any women except family members. My brother doesn't hang out with other women besides his girlfriend, either.

My parents are still married, and my brother has been with his girlfriend for years and years. It is just something you give up to get a solid woman in your life. That may seem unreasonable, but women have every reason to suspect men, like it or not.

If you don't like that bag, then start dating and let go of the secure thing.
Permalink sharkfish 
January 10th, 2006
"I've never given her what any reasonable person would consider grounds for suspicion"

besides being piss-ass drunk and passing out at a hot young things' apartment without calling her first...

DUH!

:)
Permalink arg! 
January 10th, 2006
well look, you are sort of a dumb ass. if your girl was passed out drunk at some dude's house overnight, you'd wonder what really happened, too.

women are crazy, so pretty much you can't slip up, ever, if you don't want to be constantly reminded of your mistake for the rest of your life.
Permalink _ 
January 10th, 2006
You have to "give up" having friends of your preferred gender in order to retain a partner? um, er, sure. anything you say.  Just out of curiosity, does that apply to women as well, or are men the only ones who're emotionally mature enough to handle the concept of their partner also having other friends?

Incidentally, just for reference, ms sharkfish, I'ld say your father and brother have some serious issues if they genuinely avoid social contact with half the people they come across because their female partners have emotional maturity that would humiliate a kid in kindergarten. Really, the statement "I can't speak to you because you're the same gender as my partner and she's justified in assuming that I can't see a woman without committing adultery because we all know men are sex addicts" ought to humiliate them, but you want us to believe that normal and mature people act that way towards every female they ever come in contact with. Are you serious?

Btw, you say your father only hangs out with females who are family members. Given the assumption that men can't be in the same state as a woman without trying to have sex with her (hence the assumption that women are perfectly justified in assuming their men have been cheating) have you counted your fingers? 4 fingers and a thumb on each hand is standard - more than that is a very very bad sign. (Fewer is ok but only if you've been involved in a tragic accident.)

Well, the only alternative is that you're claiming most women are paranoid and deranged while in reality it's perfectly ok for men and women to be friends.
Permalink  
January 10th, 2006
> if your girl was passed out drunk at some dude's house overnight, you'd wonder what really happened, too.

Well, if she died because she was too afraid to spend the night at a friend's house then I'ld be very very sad. A certain level of trust is actually a good thing.
Permalink  
January 10th, 2006
Died because she didn't take a cab?
Permalink You're All Morons 
January 10th, 2006
"Well, the only alternative is that you're claiming most women are paranoid and deranged while in reality it's perfectly ok for men and women to be friends."

oh. this is the case. you haven't realized this already? women in a relationship can have countless male friends, but men in a relationship cannot have countless female friends. (or any)
Permalink o_O 
January 10th, 2006
"Incidentally, just for reference, ms sharkfish, I'ld say your father and brother have some serious issues if they genuinely avoid social contact with half the people they come across because their female partners have emotional maturity that would humiliate a kid in kindergarten."

I didn't say they avoided female contact completely. They avoid falling to sleep on some female's couch, or somehow ending up at a bar paired off with one, etc.

And none of my boyfriends were happy about me having male friends that weren't on the "approved" list. I accepted that when I dated men.

Why don't some of you grow up a bit? D'ya think that's why you can't find decent women...maybe you aren't a decent man yet?

I mean REALLY. Let's use some common sense here.
Permalink sharkfish 
January 11th, 2006
"They avoid falling to sleep on some female's couch."

And as a rule I do avoid it. It's the fact that it appears I must absolutely positively never do it no matter what the circumastnaces because it obviously automatically means I'm untrustworthy that bugs me.
Permalink Mat Hall 
January 11th, 2006
Mot, I would tell her that you will have affairs whenever you please and that she's not to complain about it because you are too much of a man to be satisfied with just one woman. That and her little problem, which you don't want to mention but she knows what you mean...
Permalink Art Wilkins 
January 11th, 2006
She has issues. I'd get her to a psychologist.
Permalink Colm O'Connor 
January 11th, 2006
When I started dating my now wife, I stopped "hanging out" with girls, on a one-on-one, non-professional basis. I also made it known that she wasn't to hang around with guys on a one-on-one non-professional basis. Neither one of us had a problem with that.

It's my opinion that if you are in the habit of getting drunk to the point of passing out on a couch then you probably shouldn't be trusted. Alcohol removes judgement from the equation, and impairs your ability to reason things out.

And why the heck haven't you married this girl? I don't understand why you're not willing to commit to one person for your entire life, even after making a baby with them. Just put a ring on her finger and one on yours, and tell her that you vow to stay with her, and only her, forever. That certainly couldn't hurt her trust issues, and might actually make it better.

And stop passing out at girls' homes. That's just stupid.
Permalink nathan 
January 11th, 2006
Alcohol doesn't remove judgement it removes inhibition. There's a big difference.
Permalink Mark Warner 
January 11th, 2006
Holy shit nathan that's the worst relationship advice I've ever seen anyone give, ever.

"So you say she's batshit insane? Marry her!!"
Permalink Mark Warner 
January 11th, 2006
The OP doesn't convince me she's insane. Show me one place where he's earned her trust. By passing out drunk at a young single girl's house? By having a kid with her but not marrying her? By yelling that he wishes he had cheated on her?

He should have married her a long time ago, OR not had the kid with her. If he was really thinking of the kid, he'd try to get custody, showing that the gf is insane. That should be easy to prove, right? "Your Honor, of *course* she's insane! She got mad at me because I was drunk at some single girl's house! That's just batty!"
Permalink nathan 
January 11th, 2006
Well that was a nice post of unreasonableness, the one before mine that is.

Patience is the only method if you want to maintain the relationship and a knowledge that no matter what happens the next time you have a row it will be brought up. This is true regardless of whether you're in the wrong in any sense or not.

This is not particularly rational but then people aren't when they're insecure.

In about ten years she may stop bringing it up, but experience tells me this is unlikely.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
January 11th, 2006
"...OR not had the kid with her."

That's a whole kettle of fish that I *really* don't want to get in to. I shall simply say she stopped taking the pill without telling me and a condom mysteriously failed...
Permalink Mat Hall 
January 11th, 2006
Whatever happens, some people may not take things as they are. Stopping at a single's place at night is suggestive. But even simple things, like the photos on the mobile, can be twisted to have a different meaning. Reducing your contacts with females may not be a difficult thing for you. But you should see if it will really help.

I'm not sure if she really wants to say this to her previous partner. If it is, then it's fine. What if he had felt like you but went ahead and justified her doubts after she started them. And are you sure about him being a serial philanderer? You can also be portrayed as one. Or for that matter, anyone can be.

Though paradoxical, you may, in a weird way, like what she's doing to you. If you do, she'll sense it and she'll keep doing it knowing that you can be trusted. In time, it wouldn't matter as much. And I'm sorry if this last part sounds gibberish.
Permalink Senthilnathan N.S. 
January 11th, 2006
Some of the response has been sensible, others not so much, but I've made my decision, ad now all I have to work on is the timing (mostly from a financial and logistical viewpoint -- I need to find somewhere to live before I actually do the dirty deed).

(And to concur with Mark, alcohol actually does little to impair your judegment, it just makes you more likely to do things that you might have done anyway by lowering your inhibitions.)
Permalink Mat Hall 
January 11th, 2006
You're gonna see a hooker? :)
Permalink Colm O'Connor 
January 11th, 2006
I won't dignify that with a response. :)
Permalink Mat Hall 
January 11th, 2006
'fraid you just did ;)

Seriously, get a good one. No point in wasting your money.
Permalink Colm O'Connor 
January 11th, 2006
> And none of my boyfriends were happy about me having male friends that weren't on the "approved" list. I accepted that when I dated men.

Weird, you dated abusive and controlling men and now you don't date men at all. Personally, I wouldn't accept abuse like that from anyone, but that's just me.  (Btw, any ideas why you couldn't find a decent man?)

Interesting question, though: if you're dating a lesbian, do you object to her having female friends other than yourself? And how do you feel about her having male friends who would presumably be doing everything in their power to convert her?  :) It must be very lonely being forbidden from having any friends at all. After all, you keep insisting that a romantic relationship requires constant care to never allow even the faintest hint that the possibility of an opportunity for considering infidelity could occur.

And given that you're in no position to criticise people for not being heterosexual, how exactly did you ensure that your father and brother aren't bisexual?  ;)


> Why don't some of you grow up a bit? D'ya think that's why you can't find decent women...maybe you aren't a decent man yet?

Yep, that'ld be completely correct, I'm so lonely because I don't understand that women are psychotically jealous freaks who always hate me for having female friends.

(Btw, I'm married, just FYI. Both of us have an assortment of friends of both genders, and have so much maturity that we can even distinguish between innocent flirtation and realisticly threatening probability of infidelity.)

"Growing up" includes realising that jealousy and mistrust are poor foundations for a stable relationship. And, frankly, that doesn't change whether you're male or female, or which gender(s) you prefer.
Permalink  
January 11th, 2006
You topped off all that nonsense with good sense:

""Growing up" includes realising that jealousy and mistrust are poor foundations for a stable relationship. And, frankly, that doesn't change whether you're male or female, or which gender(s) you prefer."

Yeah. True. And I'm free to ignore the rest of that bullshit you threw in prior to that sentence.
Permalink sharkfish 
January 11th, 2006

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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