Guy's GF Assumed He Was Cheating And Damaged His Career, Now He Wants To Punish Her And We've Got Feelings
Relationships are tough, we all know that. Advancing in your career can be tough too. When those two clash - situations that are already difficult issues get borderline impossible. I'm no relationship or career expert, but it's pretty much accepted wisdom that being petty and playing tit-for-tat games in either situation will get you nowhere. Maybe that's why people were so passionate about how they responded to a late 20's couple whose pettiness was enough to stun even Reddit.
The man was away on business and wasn't very consistent in keeping communication open with his girlfriend. She assumed he was cheating and decided to try to sabotage his job. It failed, but now he wants to punish her by forcing her to cancel a vacation .
Here is his post:
I was abroad for work with minimal access to phone/internet except at the hotel, and she knew that. One night I was out late drinking with colleagues. No funny business was going on, honestly just drinking, having a few laughs and discussing our line of work. Girlfriend assumed I was out cheating, which while incorrect,
it's not totally unreasonable to assume either as I'd probably worry too if she didn't contact me frequently if the situation were reversed. Edit: my point is not that I think it's acceptable to assume I was cheating, but just that if she wants to question what I was doing and where I was then I don't think that's a big deal, and I might ask similar questions if the situation were reversed.
Anyway, instead of asking where I was or even making a fight when I got back to the hotel and we skyped, she contacted my employer before I even got a chance to answer. As revenge, she sent a screenshot of a joke I was once made that would be considered by most people as way too offensive to be said (i.e. something politically incorrect).
Note that she was not offended by the joke and even found it funny when I said it a few months ago, but her intention was to harm my reputation. Now she has done permanent damage to my career. I won't be fired, but I work in a tight-knit technical community, and my reputation has been tarnished. Probably a few people would even laugh at this sort of joke, but in the current era it's very taboo.
Otherwise she and I have no problems. I told her there needs to be a consequence if she wants to stay with me. I worked damn hard and made sacrifices to get a PhD in this field, and now there is permanent damage just because of her incorrect assumption, and it's not something like an office job where I can go work somewhere else and be forgotten at the old place. I fully realize that what I said is reprehensible and disgusting for all but 10% of the population who will laugh at any dark joke, but that said, it wasn't her role to betray me over it. I mean if she disagreed with the joke and thinks I'm a scumbag, then yeah ruin my career, but that was not her motivation, she just wrongly thought I was cheating and wanted to do the most effective damage.
She now admits that she was totally in the wrong. I can't just forgive this so easily though, as it is permanent damage and not just something that embarrassed me. In exchange, I made her delete our chatting history on all apps so it can never happen again, and I will be more careful with my words. I have never been the type of asshole guy to ever check her or any ex gf's phone etc, but I have demanded her passwords for all chatting apps to verify that it is deleted so that next fight she can't do the same thing again.
I also told her she should cancel her upcoming vacation with her friend. Note that I stayed around for a week after my work abroad finished, and she also totally ruined my vacation by putting a damper on the mood, so it seems fair. I'm not forcing her to do anything, as she is free to break up with me, and she totally agrees that there needs to be some sort of consequence for what she did. I also offered that she can find another way to "balance" the situation instead of cancelling the trip, but she has not proposed anything.
Am I being too harsh? I am open to suggestions.
tl;dr: Girlfriend wrongly assumed I was cheating and harmed my professional reputation in a major way and ruined my vacation. I cannot just simply forgive it, so I want her to cancel her vacation with a friend as a "punishment". Am I being too harsh?
Yeah, that's a lot to take in. Reddit, in typical Reddit fashion, was not afraid to tell him exactly what they were thinking. Here are some of the top rated comments, edited for language where needed.
You don't need to punish her. You need to walk away.
Partners don't seek to hurt their significant others. This relationship is broken beyond repair. There is no getting even, only getting away. If you ever reach a point where you want to "punish" your SO, then the relationship isn't healthy anymore.
Marry That Girl
Otherwise she and I have no problems.
Oh, well in that case marry her. Are you out of your mind? She tried to burn your career to the ground and maliciously went behind your back on a hunch. You need to run, not walk, away from this relationship.
And your next move is to "punish" her by telling her to cancel her trip. What kind of vindictive people are you two? Of course you should get married -- oh! and have lots of children that you can punish and torture! WOW. *note: this is sarcasm.
Neither Are Stable
Neither of you sound totally stable, if I'm being perfectly honest. Yeah, what she did was insane, but from the other information in your post, it sounds like there's weird power dynamic going on that allows the use of 'punishment', which pretty much guarantees a sh*tstorm of a relationship.
At first I was like "Ok, ok, that's bad of her" but then all that other stuff... Demanding she delete all the chat logs and giving him complete access to everything "to confirm". Taking away her vacation. Dude.
I'm willing to bet that "joke" was more just cruelty they both enjoy engaging in because they're both trash people.
Fruitloops and Crunchberries
I also told her she should cancel her upcoming vacation with her friend.
Your reaction to this is super f*cking weird. She's not your child, she's supposed to be your partner, your equal.
She's clearly a fruitloop and you need to break up! In my opinion, she would still have been out of order even if you WERE cheating. This is your career. Your life's work. And she tried to ruin it. She's toxic and if she didn't ruin your life with this, she'll try to ruin it some other way.
She's a fruitloop, but homeboy you're definitely a crunchberry. Seems you're are evenly matched, to be honest.
This is another for the "you two are HOW old?" file.
But since you asked, I'll add my two cents. This relationship is horrifying on many levels.
1.) I can only imagine what your daily life is like if a few hours of not texting her results in your girlfriend believing you are cheating and you thinking its totally normal for her to think that.
2.)The fact that the word "punishment" is even being used in a serious context here is appalling.
3.)How about instead of deleting apps and forcing her to give you passwords you just don't say bigoted/sexist/perverse/racist/whatever things about whoever you insulted and belittled with your "joke?"
I would end this relationship and start working on learning to be a mature adult before trying to have a grown up relationship with someone.
Stay Together For Everyone Else's Sake
Don't break up. She was immature and cruel, and you are hell bent on being immature and cruel in response instead of walking away. If y'all stay together you can't inflict this insane toxicity on other people.
Vengeance Is Not Healthy
I haven't seen anyone else point this out - if you're so concerned about your reputation...once your gf tells her friend why she's canceling, that friend is going to have to scramble to find a replacement. Which means the friend is going to have to tell this story to a bunch of people.
All the assumptions people are making about you on this post that you don't like? Those are the same assumptions the people who know you in reality are going to make.
This is a two-wrongs-don't-make-a-right situation. What your gf did is super messed up. You should either break up with her (which is totally justified! I'm not defending what she did) or go to couple's therapy. This vengeance thing is not healthy and it's going to hurt you both in the long run.
You Are Not Her Parent
Okay, what the f*ck. First of all, it is not within your right to punish her. You are not her parent. I will repeat: you are not her parent. You are her partner. You two are supposed to be equals and treat each other with respect and not set out to hurt each other intentionally.
What she did was awful, reactive, and petty. So - BREAK UP. You are not any better than her by reacting in the way that you are. You are being just as awful and reactive and petty.
BOTH OF YOU are immature and have major issues with trust, respect, and boundaries. This is a TOXIC relationship. End it now and both of you need some therapy and growing up.
And just as a side note, if it offends 90% of people - IT'S NOT FUNNY. Don't make jokes that are racist, homophobic, sexist, etc. Then you won't have to worry about anything like this ever happening. Because now if your coworkers see you in a bad light because of it... well, you kind of earned this reputation by being the kind of person that makes those jokes to begin with. Now they just know about it.
OP come on. Time to be an adult. Read your own post. You don't punish a partner. You either hold them to boundaries or you leave. It isn't that you're being harsh. It's that you're being juvenile.
This partner is reactive, illogical and petty. That won't magically go away. And what I think is problematic?? She isn't at all deserving of niceties right now but you appear to be very willing to leverage her major misstep as a way to get this relationship more in your favor. The talk of consequence and punishment is telling. Boundaries make sense. Punishment doesn't. Don't fall into that trap where you feel like you've got control just because she messed up badly. It's broken. It's done. It is time to move on.
Insane And Trashy
Dude, stop with the punishment. Just break up with her. You both sound immature and vindictive.
I agree that what she did to you was terrible, but if you are going to stay with her after that, you need to move on. This idea that you need to get back at her if you are to stay with her is unbecoming of somebody who is 29 years old with a PhD. The fact that you are seeking to hurt her in response is pretty disturbing. This relationship sounds toxic.
You know what actually? Maybe you two do deserve each other because you both sound insane and trashy. But, hey, what do I know?
I am hardly behind these "don't walk run" pieces of advice, but I am right on top of this. As a 25 year old woman, with a professional husband (attorney 29) there is no coming back from this even if your job/reputation remained intact.
There is no justification for this as an adult human being. No amount of anger or even deserved "payback" should equate to this level of fuckery. She needs to work on herself, and you don't deserve her— she is and will continue to be a disservice to your entire life (emotionally financially, mentally,maturity, happiness, morale, etc...
seriously I couldn't have said it better. And I literally LOLd at, "oh well in that case marry her. are you out of your mind?!" You sound like a rational guy, so take our advice bc you are seeing this entire thing through rose colored glasses. The only "consequence" to come from staying together, will be your own. Don't fool yourself, she screwed up and it sucks— but this is your life...and she just isn't ready to be in an adult relationship.
There are few things more annoying than when you are seeking advice and someone responds with a boring platitude that helps no one. Believe it or not, if you choose to provide advice, it needs to be specific to the situation and shouldn't be dressed up in trite phrasing. Does saying, "Keep your head up" actually contribute anything if that's all you have to say when someone comes to you in search of a listening ear?
But this goes deeper than just advice, to be fair. Some of us are sick of greedy corporations that stress the importance of being a "family" while refusing to pay proper wages. Still more of us are tired of people using certain language when other language can suffice.
After Redditor BensReddits asked the online community, "What is a phrase you absolutely hate hearing?" people shared their stories.
"At any sort of conference..."
At any sort of conference/gathering/presentation:
"How're you all doing today?!? C'mon, I know you can answer louder than that! HOW ARE YOU ALL DOING TODAY?!"
Instant resentment every time.
I second that resentment.
I attended a conference once where the main speaker did this several times in the span of thirty minutes as he announced different initiatives.
Such a headache.
"At my work..."
At my work upper management has started using the word "activate" a lot. As in, "We are working on plans to activate underutilized spaces." And, "Let's activate a few other teams on this." It just sounds silly to me and like they are trying too hard to avoid using simple, perfectly adequate language.
I'll take your "activate" and give you...
What is wrong with the word "use"?
"I was born in Australia..."
"Your English is so good!"
Thank you, I was born in Australia and English is literally my first language. My standard response these days is, "Oh thank you, yours too!"
This one is especially annoying...
...if you're not alabaster white.
This is a big one:
"Where are you from? No I mean where are you from."
Also annoying if you're not alabaster white.
"Someone saying to a teenager..."
Someone saying to a teenager, "These are the best years of your life!" I am in my mid-40s now and most people my age remember high school as horrible and awkward. The more appropriate thing to say is, "Hang in there kid! I promise life gets better. Just get through adolescence the best you can."
High school sucked.
My life vastly improved in my 20s. Let's not convince teenagers that they have nothing to look forward to after high school's over and done with.
"That's nothing... " when I tell them something only for them to turn it onto a competition and say something worse that happened to them.
The chronic one-upper.
"But she's your mother!"
Yeah, well she should've acted like one.
"I've heard it from people..."
"When you have your own children you'll understand."
I've heard it from people who don't understand that I want nothing more than my own family but being pregnant will kill me, and when I bring up adoption as a valid way of having children they'll buckle down on that phrase as to say adopted kids are not the same. It's disheartening to hear as a formal foster child and has reinforced my beliefs that no one really saw me as enough. Why would you say that to someone? All kids are the same and those without kids shouldn't be dismissed.
"I lost my daughter..."
"God has a plan" or "It happened for a reason."
I lost my daughter when I was 36 weeks in because of a sudden placental abruption followed by a uterine rupture, lost 2.2 litres of blood. I can't carry again without risking the child or myself. And I had to listen to a variety of phrases that made me want to hit those people. Those two were the worst. Followed by "You can try again" or "Did you get the child baptized?" (got this one only once though).
"Who on earth..."
"When are you going to have kids?"
Who on earth are you to not only insist I should stop and redirect my whole life for kids, but then put me on the spot and make up a timetable to change my whole life? Not everyone wants kids.
Now that you've learned a thing or two...
...you could say that all of the responses here are an exceptional opportunity to improve your social skills.
Have some of your own stories to share? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
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Dating is difficult––and truth be told, I don't know how anyone can do it right now, what with a pandemic going on and all. Just the thought stresses me out. Dating is especially hard for people who defy expectations in a heteronormative society. Take bisexuals, for example.
Bisexuals have been open about their struggles maintaining relationships with both men and women, even having to lie about their sexuality if they want to date certain people.
"I feel like if I end up in a straight relationship, I'll look like I was just experimenting all these years, but if I end up in a gay relationship people will say I was never actually bisexual," one man told the BBC in 2019. "Then if I don't have a monogamous relationship people will say I'm just greedy."
Indeed, the pressure to be either gay or straight can be a lot to navigate. After Redditor Trevor-on-Reddit asked the online community, "Bisexual people who have dated both genders, what are some notable differences you've learned about dating both men and women?" bisexuals spoke candidly about their experiences. Take note: You might learn something new.
We all know someone who really cannot figure out even the most basic thing without copious amounts of help. But when you meet someone who is completely and totally past all help, how do you even begin to try to help them get along?
Most of the time, they will just be flustered, or they won't listen. And you have to just stand Idly by and watch them fail.
What is your "This person has no idea how the real world works" moment?
Here were some of those stories.
The Boot, Not The Camp
When I was in boot camp, some kid put his letter addressed to 'mom' with no address attatched.
I was gonna say that its not that stupid for a very young kid to do that, but then I realized you said boot camp and not summer camp.
Don't Steal Dangerous Chemicals
A student working part time at my laboratory at a University came into my office and asked "so what all can I eat in the refrigerator, I didn't know I was supposed to bring my own lunch". I looked at him, stunned and replied "nothing, that food is what people brought for their own lunch, but you can use my grub hub to order". He DID NOT UNDERSTAND. It took 4 tries to get him to realize he can't just eat someone else's lunch.
Same student: I walked into the lab room and told him I made a full pot of coffee in the office and he could help himself. Him: "a pot of coffee? What's that?" He never used a coffee maker other than a Kuerig before and didn't even know it was a thing.
He was fired a month later for stealing chloroform.
No Ma'am, Like, REAL Bears
At a national park, the park ranger says "stay on the trails, there are bears in the area."
One lady says "isn't that dangerous? Why aren't they in their cages?"
"Ma'am, we're not a zoo."
These people are lucky to make it out of bed every day.
Sleeping On The Job
I lived with some Japanese exchange students during the final summer of college. They were really nice girls, but one of them (Mari) (~19 years old) obviously had no idea how anything worked. She spoke the best English and I was tutoring some of the other girls, while they helped me with my Japanese.
But Mari would constantly call me to come to get her because she thought we had free buses (all the buses). After all, we were students. That wasn't the issue. I could deal with that. It was a whole new culture. She was learning.
But what happened that made me realize Mari could not be left on her own was when she ended up in Eloy, Arizona. Which was ~400 miles and five hours from where we were. She had been talking to some guy on campus, he said he was visiting family in Arizona, and she said "I want to go."
He just took her with him, and she went without even telling us. She had just assumed the guy would take her back, but he said he couldn't because he was staying in Arizona. So I had to arrange a ticket, get her on the bus via the phone, and then pick her up two hours away because she missed her second bus by napping.
How...? What...? Huh...?
Had a friend who was in some uncredited scam online college for her master's degree in medical billing or something. She was on a loan program that was sending her about $5k every 3 months directly to her via check in the mail.
This was her only source of income. She kept calling it a grant that didn't need to be paid back. She was flat broke as a joke for 2 months but then the check would come in and she would be living the good life for a few weeks before being poor again.
We tried to do an intervention and show her the insane interest rate that would be back dated as soon as her "school" was done but she didn't want anyone to bust her free money dreams.
She just kept talking about all the money she would eventually be making billing insurance companies...turns out she wasn't even logging in to the online college or even attempting to get this degree.
She thought the money was free, the degree was automatic and the job was guaranteed. Some people are beyond help.
Such Brilliant. So Money. Wow
My boss told me about a friend of his, who told him af a "life hack". She would get her bills in the mail, NOT pay them, and then wait a couple of months to pay. Then she would cry so the debt collectors would feel bad and waive the fees for not paying on time. That was her "brilliant life hack"
Himbo Rights Activist
The other day, my 18yo brother-in-law got married to his highschool sweetheart in a parking garage so that they can live off campus at college together.
Girlfriend's, now wife, mother is an ordained minister. His parents, my in-laws, were very upset and he couldn't understand why because "it's just a fake marriage for school". Oh no, sweet boy. You are MARRIED. I just laughed and laughed. I love him dearly. He is a dumb*ss.
And yet somehow they are there to add these stories to our dull, dull days.
A dude (18 yo) in boot camp got a letter from home and I can see he is agitated. Being 22 and concerned for his well-being, I asked him if he wanted to talk about it. (I'm thinking a Dear John letter or the Mom and Dad divorcing letter.)
He dead *ss told me that his younger brother got a Mercedes for his birthday and that he was pissed bc he "only got a BMW". Can't remember what I said, but I knew boot camp was gonna knock down. (It did.)
Who Pays Your Bills?
When my roommate, who never once paid for rent or groceries or anything, turned down the only job offer they have ever gotten, in front of me, TWICE.
They were so desperate they called him twice, offering good pay, during covid, and he had the gaul to say no in front of me. His excuse was "nah I'm sure there's something better. $20 an hour is garbage in this city" -_-
Just Read ONE Parenting Book
I worked for a clueless couple who had no idea how to raise a kid. He wore the same outfit everyday for a month until I gently suggested that he needs new clothes. His parents asked me "Where can we get baby clothes?" This was slightly hilarious given that they lived above a Target and next to a baby boutique.
I had to have the same conversation once the child was old enough for solid foods. I was asked "Where can we get baby food?" I had to explain that most grocery stores carry a baby aisle, or that she can mash up her own fruits at home for the baby. This family decided that sour cream would be a great first food for their baby!
I'll mention that this was a wealthy family who went on vacation at least 2-3 times a month. By far the weirdest thing they did was try and drop off Grandma at daycare along with the baby.
Stories like this make you feel like the most well-equipped, with it person alive, right?
We're all well aware of the weird, horrible, predatory things men do when attracted to women. But what about when women are the culprits?
Though it seems that, statistically, men are problematic at a WAY higher rate than women, there are certainly times where the person bringing the creepy vibes is, indeed, the woman.
Some men of Reddit gathered to share the most bizarre and uncomfortable things a woman has ever said.
AidenTheGamer14 asked, "Men of Reddit, what is the creepiest thing a girl has ever said or done to you?"
For some, it was the stalkers.
The cryptic behavior and frightening detective work of ex-lovers can be unparalleled.
Some Light Sleuthing
"Found out my address from the phone book, this was the 90s, sat outside my house for multiple nights, all night just watching my house, I live in the middle of the woods miles outside of town."
"We only had one date and agreed to leave it at that. I found out sometime later what she had been doing."
"Girl I was dating asked if I had changed the locks since breaking up with my ex months prior. I'm like 'No, but she wasn't a crazy person so I never worried about it.' She says if I don't change the locks she ain't comfortable sleeping over, so I change the locks."
"This ex sends me an angry text the next day 'So you changed your locks huh? Real nice a**hole.' So she had been coming over this whole time and doing who knows what."
She Stopped at Nothing
"She kept writing me letters at every address I lived at during that five-year period. If she didn't have the address she'd send them care of my parents. The most memorable is the one where she told me she was married and 'he's a great guy but he's not you.' "
"Once not long after I'd moved to a new address I came home and found a box of cookies she'd FedExed to me. Eventually I moved to a new state. I knew from her return addresses that she lived and worked there, and was worried we'd run into each other but realized that was pretty unlikely."
"Then after less than a year, she found me through a blog I was keeping and left a message on my voicemail demanding we meet. I posted a message to her on my blog telling her to stop harrassing me or I'd call the police (up to that point I'd been ignoring her, hoping she'd take the hint). That night she called, I repeated my threat to bring the authorities in, and I haven't heard from her since."
Others dealt with the creepiness on the internet. With so many avenues of communication all around us, uncomfortable comments can come from all directions.
"Someone I considered a friend started to grow feelings for me, but when she found out I had a girlfriend and I didn't feel the same for her she found out who my girlfriend was somehow. She then DM'd her and tried to tell her that I was cheating on her with her."
"Luckily I was with her when she got that DM so I could explain the situation and then we blocked her. Next day she DM'd her again from an alt account."
Worst Kind of Pen Pal
"I started a new job, and I shared a small office with a woman my age (and a couple other people). She was kinda cute but also weird and super naïve (she grew up in a very rural area). She'd flirt with me a lot, but I wasn't interested."
"So she started sending me emails."
"They were super long, detailing her whole day. And she sent them to me every day. I never responded. Then one day she sent me this long email confessing her love. I replied with the (very obvious) reasons why it wouldn't work and asked her to stop sending me emails every day. She didn't."
"They kept coming. This went on for months. I asked her in person and online to stop, but I still got these email memoirs every day. Eventually I had another female office mate who was her friend have a talk with her. Finally the emails stopped."
That's A Lot of Passwords
"I've had a girl create about 50 different Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram accounts all to try to get me to friend her. I've never met this woman in person and yet every few weeks I'll get a handful of friend requests from her"
"Met this girl online and talked to her a bit. I did started to like her."
"Later found out that the pic she showed me of herself was actually a pic of her friend who had passed away due to cancer."
In my early 20's I was at a party and the hosting woman full-on tried to reach down my pants to grab my business."
"Strange, yes, what made it creepy is that we were right in front of her mother, who was cheering her on."
Breaking Out the Scroll
"After 6 months from our breakup, my ex called me because she wanted to see me. It seemed strange to me but I accepted. When we met she was friendly and all..."
"Then at a certain point she pulls a sheet in which there was written a list of all men she fu**ed after our relationship and she read it all to me, with accurate description of every sexual intercourse. Well it was an awkward moment."
"I was going to head home after a night out and a I was getting into my taxi a girl jumped in after me. I asked what they were doing and she said 'I'm coming home with you.' "
"Nope. Taxi driver helped me and she got out the car eventually when I shot down her advances."
Again, it's important to read this thread and remember that this is a bias sample, solely focused on the incidents where a woman did act creepy.
But, yes, it happens out there.
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