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When he rushed home from the store with a bag of ‘American’ snacks to mail to Canada, I finally had to ask him: is all of this for a girl? He’d told me that he had wanted to visit Canada for a while because his online friends live there. A week ago, he suddenly planned a winter trip to go to Canada for the first time. I was supportive of his unusually spontaneous decision and simply excited for his incoming adventure. Of course, without being prompted, he offered no details of his plans. Rewind a week before this: my boyfriend had been posting random pictures on his spam account (Instagram) of girls who were his Internet friends. I had neither met nor heard of them, so I was a little confused and - in complete honesty - a bit jealous when I noticed the pattern (he doesn’t really even post pictures of me). When I finally confronted him about it, he immediately took the photos down and sincerely apologized, saying he didn’t realize I was bothered by it. I felt guilty for feeling weird about it, but I was relieved. We continued on with the week, and he continued planning for his Canada trip. He mentioned staying with a friend who lived close to the city. Then came last week. After a night of researching snacks, the next morning, he rushed out to buy a bunch to send to a friend in Canada. I deducted that this was the same friend with whom he would likely be staying with. For some reason, the lack of details of this Canadian friend was starting to give me a strange feeling... As soon as he returned home, I tried to call his bluff: Are these for the girl in Canada? He paused and awkwardly mumbled...”yeah...I’m really sorry.” He explained that he avoided talking about her because he didn’t want me to worry or get the wrong idea. It was out of consideration. She was a girl he’d know for a year from his online friend group, and he considered her a best friend. He said their relationship had a sibling dynamic, which any of his Internet friends could attest to. He said she knew about our relationship and that she longed for one like ours. She was the girl who he’d been posting pictures and videos of. I felt hurt and betrayed discovering that he had hidden this relationship from me. If she was so important, why had he never mentioned her? To top things off, after much questioning, I discovered that he was hoping to stay at her house in Canada to save money.

He saw no issue in staying with her. “Her parents are okay with it... We’re really just best friends... There’s nothing there.”

I’m not his mom, and I almost definitely don’t want to be a possessive, paranoid, and/or overprotective girlfriend. But what would be the right way to react to this situation...?

Yesterday, he apologized again and offered every detail about their relationship and his plans. I was very grateful, though still hurt. He also surprised me by letting me know that he’d booked an AirBnb to stay in for the week.

I guess what I’m looking for is... what would you do in this situation? Has anyone been in a similar situation...? I’m really afraid of overreacting, but - does it make sense for one’s boyfriend to secretly make plans to visit a girl for a week?

Since he is not only an INFJ, but also a victim of a past relationship with a manipulative ex, I imagine it must be harder for him than most to openly communicate his thoughts. Likewise, being ENFP, I have the opposite problem where I probably say way too much without even being prompted...
 

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When he rushed home from the store with a bag of ‘American’ snacks to mail to Canada, I finally had to ask him: is all of this for a girl? He’d told me that he had wanted to visit Canada for a while because his online friends live there. A week ago, he suddenly planned a winter trip to go to Canada for the first time. I was supportive of his unusually spontaneous decision and simply excited for his incoming adventure. Of course, without being prompted, he offered no details of his plans. Rewind a week before this: my boyfriend had been posting random pictures on his spam account (Instagram) of girls who were his Internet friends. I had neither met nor heard of them, so I was a little confused and - in complete honesty - a bit jealous when I noticed the pattern (he doesn’t really even post pictures of me). When I finally confronted him about it, he immediately took the photos down and sincerely apologized, saying he didn’t realize I was bothered by it. I felt guilty for feeling weird about it, but I was relieved. We continued on with the week, and he continued planning for his Canada trip. He mentioned staying with a friend who lived close to the city. Then came last week. After a night of researching snacks, the next morning, he rushed out to buy a bunch to send to a friend in Canada. I deducted that this was the same friend with whom he would likely be staying with. For some reason, the lack of details of this Canadian friend was starting to give me a strange feeling... As soon as he returned home, I tried to call his bluff: Are these for the girl in Canada? He paused and awkwardly mumbled...”yeah...I’m really sorry.” He explained that he avoided talking about her because he didn’t want me to worry or get the wrong idea. It was out of consideration. She was a girl he’d know for a year from his online friend group, and he considered her a best friend. He said their relationship had a sibling dynamic, which any of his Internet friends could attest to. He said she knew about our relationship and that she longed for one like ours. She was the girl who he’d been posting pictures and videos of. I felt hurt and betrayed discovering that he had hidden this relationship from me. If she was so important, why had he never mentioned her? To top things off, after much questioning, I discovered that he was hoping to stay at her house in Canada to save money.

He saw no issue in staying with her. “Her parents are okay with it... We’re really just best friends... There’s nothing there.”

I’m not his mom, and I almost definitely don’t want to be a possessive, paranoid, and/or overprotective girlfriend. But what would be the right way to react to this situation...?

Yesterday, he apologized again and offered every detail about their relationship and his plans. I was very grateful, though still hurt. He also surprised me by letting me know that he’d booked an AirBnb to stay in for the week.

I guess what I’m looking for is... what would you do in this situation? Has anyone been in a similar situation...? I’m really afraid of overreacting, but - does it make sense for one’s boyfriend to secretly make plans to visit a girl for a week?

Since he is not only an INFJ, but also a victim of a past relationship with a manipulative ex, I imagine it must be harder for him than most to openly communicate his thoughts. Likewise, being ENFP, I have the opposite problem where I probably say way too much without even being prompted...
It's definitely possible to have a friendship with another girl but here's the crucial difference:

I wouldn't entertain the notion of what he's doing even if it is innocent purely because of the optics to you - it's not fair. He might know he doesn't plan to do anything, but you don't - and you have no way of confirming it you merely get to worry about it, and you're entitled to:

1. He's buying gifts for another girl.
2. He's planning to go visit her on his own.
3. He's seen it as best to handle the situation secretly.
4. She's said she's longing for a relationship like yours - which is the biggest red flag.

There are essentially 2 separable infractions here:

1. The unconfirmed prospect that all this would involve cheating - which is a question of trust.
2. The willingness to engage in all the trappings of what would look from the outside like cheating.

He has done 2, that hurts - that shows he's willing to risk you worrying over and above the self-interest of going to see what may just be a friend...

So in your situation I'd say: "Look, you've put this upon me as a question of trust - and I trust you. But you did do something which whilst I'm sure not a duck is sure as hell looking, quacking and walking like one - and that means something, it means you don't mind hiding things from me or having me worry. If you're happy with doing that it does mean you won't be able to complain if I do the same thing - is it worth it?"
 

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It's one of those situations where you set someone free and see if it's meant to be or not. If you spiral into jealously and mistrust then there is not much point in a relationship anyway. It kind of sucks to be your position though. Hopefully its just innocent.
 

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If not outright lies. . . then deception. And, it will continue.
Now that you are aware, you have clarity and will perceive more and more. See patterns of narcissism and immaturity.
Move on, asap, or you will continue to be hurt, disappointed, or self-deceived (denial).
You can do better.
You deserve better.
Don't be taken for granted.
Don't settle for less.
 

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If not outright lies. . . then deception. And, it will continue.
Now that you are aware, you have clarity and will perceive more and more. See patterns of narcissism and immaturity.
Move on, asap, or you will continue to be hurt, disappointed, or self-deceived (denial).
You can do better.
You deserve better.
Don't be taken for granted.
Don't settle for less.
Everybody makes mistakes and deserves a chance.
Its when they form a pattern that you cut them loose.
The INFJ involved does have a moral compass, so it’s likely they are acting out of fear and stupidity rather than selfish deceit, and that they can learn from their mistakes.
 

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How long have you been together?

It makes a difference. In you seeing his patterns. Routine an so forth.

Has he been the same since the beginning and then one day, 1 thing was different, then maybe a week later something else, until you see someone different?

They are clues, n your gut is telling you something and you should listen.
In my experience your gut sometimes knows more than your heart n brain.

I do hope he hasn’t flipped his good INFJ for the bad one.

I do hope it’s just innocent though and things work out.

MizLynn
 

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Why are you not going with him—why didn’t he make plans with you to go to Canada, whether a month or two or a year later?
This right here speaks volumes to me.
 

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Why are you not going with him—why didn’t he make plans with you to go to Canada, whether a month or two or a year later?
This right here speaks volumes to me.
Yes, this is it right here.

Platonic friendship doesn't demand 1 on 1 time in my mind. I feel like you could have easily been invited along and a good faith effort could have been made to have a good time w/ all 3 of you present.
 

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I think it is a very insensitive spot to put you in, which speaks volumes. Doesn't matter if he intends to cheat or not (no one here can tell you) doesn't matter if the behavior is strange or inappropriate (depends on the dynamic, people involved, everyone will have a different opinion) because there is no guesswork required. It is a fact that you are uncomfortable with it. It is a fact that he knew you would be, because he initially tried to hide it, regardless of intent. It is a fact that he could have taken alternative approaches to make this not so awkward, by 1) inviting you a long or 2) being much more expressive of your commitment to each other and inclusion of you into some group chats, keeping you 'in the know' etc.

This will come up again, no matter how you respond. If you decide to take the high-road and just hope it all pans out, that is fine. But it will come up again. Because he has shown that, at least at this stage of your relationship and with this level of intimacy (you didn't say how long, how close, those things are important) he is okay prioritizing this interest over your feelings. He was okay hiding things from you, until caught.

So you've got to ask yourself, will you be okay when he does it again and again? Because he will. Maybe you can be okay with that, everyone is different. Maybe it gives you a good reason to selfishly pursue your own thangs, with his feelings secondary.

I've never seen that bode well in the long game. Long game already has far too many factors that'll challenge relationships even when both parties are completely committed to the same vision and playing fairly. I know that when I really like someone, I go out of my way (to the point of it being destructive for my own self) to make them feel secure and prioritized.
 

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My INFJ friend from the US has been planning to visit me here in Japan for a while now and when he got himself a girlfriend last year, the plan immediately included her, and I'm expecting to see them here sometime next year.

I wonder how this is not an option for you guys.

Depending on how long you've been together, he probably was also not confident enough that he'd get a favorable response from you if he had brought it up to you, hence, the secret. But then again, one might ask: if there's really nothing special going on here, then why did he even want to hide it? Not accusing your boyfriend of anything, but he was not supposed to be hiding this from you. He could've actually made plans with you to go there especially since her friend knew about you anyway.

You felt betrayed and that's understandable. You had reasons to. I hope you guys can talk about this some more and find a resolution.
 

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I have given up good/important male friends in the past because I was aware that their girlfriend's/fiancees didn't feel comfortable with my close friendship with their partners (which pre-existed their relationships). In every case, my respective male friends didn't have the emotional intelligence/awareness to pick up on the awkwardness or deal with it in a satisfactory way, so it was up to me to walk away. I didn't have any romantic feelings for those male friends, but I was still sad about losing those friendships and I still miss each of them when I remember them.

In your case, I would try to resist jumping to conclusions but ask that your partner is open about these friendships with you in the future and invite you to join him on trips and meetups with his friends. The less you know the more understandable it is that you will have cause to worry and imagine what the truth could be. From your story so far, I wouldn't assume that your boyfriend was wanting to cheat on you but he clearly knew that you wouldn't be comfortable and didn't know how to tell you without it upsetting you. It's good that he has booked into an airbnb instead now out of consideration for your feelings. If he is lying about this though, or you find out that he is being dishonest about anything else, I would begin to be more seriously concerned.
 

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@creampuff62

How old are you two? Are you living together? How dare he make plans without you? What kind of guy does that? Why do you put up with him?

Put you first and kick this jagoff to the curb. If you aren't his priority, then he needs to rethink them, or gtfo.
 
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Ask for a private video chat with her, without him being included. This way, you can decide if their relationship isn't so innocent by reading her.

Or, ask to be included in a video chat with the three of you so you can read your boyfriend.

Frankly, I'd cut bait because of the deliberate lies from omission, regardless of intent to cheat or not. Life's too short to remain in a relationship when trust has been shattered, hence needs to be repaired.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hi all! First off, thank you all so much for your support and advice in this difficult part of my life. I took your words to heart as I navigated what I soon realized was the most toxic relationship of my life.
Secondly - this probably isn’t necessary, but I’ll share the outcome just in case anyone is interested.
The guy in question... he grew more suicidal, more emotionally draining. I wanted to take a break but couldn’t in fear of his emotional and mental instability. I remained loyal and stuck by his side throughout the manipulation.
In early January, he spontaneously asked if we could go on a “break.” He then proceeded to block me from social media and stay at a local hotel with some ‘friends’. A few days later, he posted a picture of himself with another girl in that hotel room bathroom. I had recognized her hat from his room.
I realized he had no respect or even love for me immediately broke things off. In our breakup talk, out of pain and curiosity, I asked him if he’d choose me or her. After a minute of silence, his response: “I feel like she’s the reincarnation of John (his best friend who had died months prior).”
A month later, he got the girl in Canada pregnant. He’s been living with her family ever since. Rumor has it that they’ve been publicly plotting to return to LA to make me “cry” lol.
I didn’t expect things to crash and burn in this way, but.... the red flags were all there. Thank you all for helping me to process everything.
 

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I'd say if someone is secretly VISITING someone that's beyond the level of red flag.
I could maybe be misunderstanding the situation due to being an old fashioned person. I tell my fiance the gist of all online correspondence that I make will ALL my male friends, and I don't voice chat, video chat, or any chat with single male friends. I only text them on occasion, and I always tell him, what we've talked about, and introduce them to each other, so that they can be friends as well.
If I was simply texting someone, much less, VISITING them behind the back of my significant other, I'd feel like I was doing something wrong. It seems very justifiable to feel jealous and slighted by this.
 
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Hi all! First off, thank you all so much for your support and advice in this difficult part of my life. I took your words to heart as I navigated what I soon realized was the most toxic relationship of my life.
Secondly - this probably isn’t necessary, but I’ll share the outcome just in case anyone is interested.
The guy in question... he grew more suicidal, more emotionally draining. I wanted to take a break but couldn’t in fear of his emotional and mental instability. I remained loyal and stuck by his side throughout the manipulation.
In early January, he spontaneously asked if we could go on a “break.” He then proceeded to block me from social media and stay at a local hotel with some ‘friends’. A few days later, he posted a picture of himself with another girl in that hotel room bathroom. I had recognized her hat from his room.
I realized he had no respect or even love for me immediately broke things off. In our breakup talk, out of pain and curiosity, I asked him if he’d choose me or her. After a minute of silence, his response: “I feel like she’s the reincarnation of John (his best friend who had died months prior).”
A month later, he got the girl in Canada pregnant. He’s been living with her family ever since. Rumor has it that they’ve been publicly plotting to return to LA to make me “cry” lol.
I didn’t expect things to crash and burn in this way, but.... the red flags were all there. Thank you all for helping me to process everything.
Just noticed this. Sorry to hear.
 
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Hi all! First off, thank you all so much for your support and advice in this difficult part of my life. I took your words to heart as I navigated what I soon realized was the most toxic relationship of my life.
Secondly - this probably isn’t necessary, but I’ll share the outcome just in case anyone is interested.
The guy in question... he grew more suicidal, more emotionally draining. I wanted to take a break but couldn’t in fear of his emotional and mental instability. I remained loyal and stuck by his side throughout the manipulation.
In early January, he spontaneously asked if we could go on a “break.” He then proceeded to block me from social media and stay at a local hotel with some ‘friends’. A few days later, he posted a picture of himself with another girl in that hotel room bathroom. I had recognized her hat from his room.
I realized he had no respect or even love for me immediately broke things off. In our breakup talk, out of pain and curiosity, I asked him if he’d choose me or her. After a minute of silence, his response: “I feel like she’s the reincarnation of John (his best friend who had died months prior).”
A month later, he got the girl in Canada pregnant. He’s been living with her family ever since. Rumor has it that they’ve been publicly plotting to return to LA to make me “cry” lol.
I didn’t expect things to crash and burn in this way, but.... the red flags were all there. Thank you all for helping me to process everything.

creampuff62,
I‘m sorry that you’ve had to go through all of that, but I’m glad for you that it’s over. Follow your instincts, always. And, it is ok to question those, but don’t let a second guess trip you.
 

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Hi all! First off, thank you all so much for your support and advice in this difficult part of my life. I took your words to heart as I navigated what I soon realized was the most toxic relationship of my life.
Secondly - this probably isn’t necessary, but I’ll share the outcome just in case anyone is interested.
The guy in question... he grew more suicidal, more emotionally draining. I wanted to take a break but couldn’t in fear of his emotional and mental instability. I remained loyal and stuck by his side throughout the manipulation.
In early January, he spontaneously asked if we could go on a “break.” He then proceeded to block me from social media and stay at a local hotel with some ‘friends’. A few days later, he posted a picture of himself with another girl in that hotel room bathroom. I had recognized her hat from his room.
I realized he had no respect or even love for me immediately broke things off. In our breakup talk, out of pain and curiosity, I asked him if he’d choose me or her. After a minute of silence, his response: “I feel like she’s the reincarnation of John (his best friend who had died months prior).”
A month later, he got the girl in Canada pregnant. He’s been living with her family ever since. Rumor has it that they’ve been publicly plotting to return to LA to make me “cry” lol.
I didn’t expect things to crash and burn in this way, but.... the red flags were all there. Thank you all for helping me to process everything.
Sorry to hear about your situation but at the same time, I'm glad you took action and cut bait. You dodged a silver bullet since a future with someone like this would have been a living hell, especially if you ended up being tied to him financially, never mind having children.
 

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Reading the OP, I found myself thinking, "this guy is full of shit." Glad you have washed your hands of that toxic situation.
 
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