Also, I'm part of a new podcast airing on RadioBDC, and this week's episode features Rachel Dratch talking about online dating, and I thought you'd enjoy ... it's somewhere in the middle.
Q: Hi Meredith,
Two days ago I woke up and my new husband's email was open. What caught my attention was the address. It was another email address that he owns (different variation of his name), but one that I have never seen.
I am not and have never been a snooper because it never crossed my mind. We have our emails open next to each other always. (But now I know why he felt safe -- because he just deletes the bad stuff.)
Anyway, I was curious and opened it, and there was an email with three Facebook links to different women. Under each link was a description of basically why any guy would click on them (not-so-nice/degrading comments about their physical descriptions).
I confronted him and caught him in various lies. "They were to a friend, we always joke like that." Apparently, they find pics of nasty girls to make fun of -- yet, his "friend" wasn't even in his email contacts. He has been sticking with that story but won't address why it doesn't fit. There are no emails like it. He said, "We used to always do it and haven't in a while, so I thought I'd start it up to be funny." So why do you have a secret email? "I accidentally emailed it to that old email address, but I don't remember the password and haven't used it for years."
Today I tried to get into the "secret" account, with his permission, and low and behold, it was deleted -- YESTERDAY. Apparently he didn't think that a notification would come up telling me that.
Now let me tell you about this man. Been together for eight years. I know everything about him. We are best friends. We have what people wish they had (sorry, sounds horrible). He's a sweetheart, never had an enemy in his life, hangs with girls, and is perfect to me. I am not kidding when I tell you that he has never done ANYTHING to disrespect me or even hurt me in any way. His friends would do anything to protect him because he is their most trustworthy friend. He's oblivious to how great he is. And morals up to the eyeballs.
Yes, he jokes around with his guy friends and he does guy stuff, but this is out of character. This is sneaky. I wouldn't mind if it was jokes between friends, but it's not. I understand guys love big breasts and blondes. No surprises here. But this was personal and deliberate. Like he was going to follow up -- to remind himself to look at them again.
I am disgusted, embarrassed, offended, and uncomfortable. I was on cloud nine and a plane has crashed through my cloud. I know he's never cheated. I know where he is always -- never a mysterious outing on his record. He doesn't cheat because that is not him. But now I think he doesn't cheat for a very different reason. Now I think that he would cheat, but just doesn't have the courage. And that is a horrible change in perspective.
The scary part is that I will never know what else he was doing with these pictures because the darn account is deleted and I have no closure. I can't believe him because his story just doesn't fit. So I am asking you -- How do I move on? I'm uncomfortable when he looks at me. I am a brunette and comically flat-chested. Thin. But I feel as though that is not enough.
It makes me angry that he belittles women like that. I don't care if they are being "slutty" -- we're supposed to feel sorry for them, not degrade them. His actions were degrading to all women.
I also feel like many people will think I am overreacting. I know I am, but here is why: I always thought I was too good for the average guy who degrades women. He is sorry, but sorry is for accidents. There needs to be another word for regret.
Mere, this is long but I need help. I have to save my marriage. I am so quick to jump off the boat. I hold grudges and don't forgive. I need this to be the exception. Because we are so great and this seems petty. But I am scared.
– Too Early For This Drama, Mass.
A: I'm not so bothered by the secret email address and the fact that he's looking at well-endowed women. Married people are allowed some secrets. They are certainly allowed to look at images that "inspire" them -- and those images do not have to resemble a spouse. (In short, his interest in busty women has nothing to do with you.)
I am bothered by his comments about these women, assuming that they were truly misogynist in tone. (Were they?) I'm also bothered by his weird explanations. You need to have the kind of marriage that allows him to say, "Yeah, I was using Facebook as pornography. Embarrassing, but it happens." His "morals up to the eyeballs" rep shouldn't turn him into a horrible liar. The weird fibs have you assuming the worst. Perhaps it's worth telling him that you'd rather hear an ugly truth than a tidy lie that will make you think that he wants to cheat.
You're angry about too many things right now. My advice is to think about what really bothers you and what's worth your energy. Is it that he went to Facebook as opposed to a more anonymous website? Is it that he made fun of these women? Is it the secret email address? Figure out what's actually making you mad and then attempt to have an honest talk about just that.
Readers? Is she overreacting? Should she be worried? What's upsetting – the images or his comments about them? Think he'd cheat? How can she get over this? Help.
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.