Bring up inconsistencies to sig. other?

Dear All,

I am dating a woman that is rather defensive and private.

If I question anything about her behavior, then she takes it as a personal attack on her character. Conversely, she asks me some questions that are obviously digging and I do not mind because I have nothing at all to hide and I know how the human mind works (e.g. she might have concerns or need reassurance and so she is building trust).

She is private in that she has a “rich” digital social life and so her phone goes off several times per hour, all hours, due to texts and facebook updates. Yet, she never tells me anything about the person she is speaking with. It is to the point where she will have a call from her dad in the morning in bed and I’ll have to ask “who was that?” in order for her to state that she was speaking to her father. Conversely, I am an open book and get many fewer texts, etc but always tell her what is going on as a matter of courtesy. This might be a generational thing. I am in my 30s and she is 5 years younger. Therefore, I don’t “get” having your face in your phone and having 10 conversations all at once and doing so in the presence of others. I think it is foolish and a mark on popular culture.

I feel her strong privacy around all communications (even innocent ones with her family and close friends) might be a way to not discuss other communications that are nefarious, now or in the future.

We live 45 minutes apart in different cities. Things have been off lately and my gut suspects infidelity given what I know of her past and that she is becoming withdrawn.

The other day she drove down to see me but stayed the first night with her female best friend. She drove within 2 blocks of my house and did not stop by or text until she had been at her friend’s place for 4 hours. When I saw my SO the next day, she complained of being exhausted due to lack of sleep. She then took a 5 hour “nap” at my place. When she woke up, she apologized for sleeping so long and stated that she just did not get enough sleep at her friend’s place because she only slept from 2 AM to 11 AM on her couch. When I asked (innocently and with a calm demeanor) whether she was able to sleep well there, she got what seemed a guilty look when she stated she did sleep fine and realized that she was complaining and exhausted after supposedly 9 hours of sleep.

After that talk, we decided to go to a local dive with a kitchen that is open late. She complained that she only brought tights and plain t shirts to wear (not something to wear out). I assured her it would be fine and we went. The next day she wanted to go to the mall, and walked out of the bathroom wearing a very revealing outfit that she had brought (jeans so tight they looked sprayed on and a tight tank top so low that her breasts were falling out). I did not think of this inconsistency until later.

We then parted ways for a few days.

Because of her living situation, she usually drives down to see me when off from work (her mother lives with her and she usually has 3 days off per week and usually drives down to be with me). The other day she had to put off driving down due to work that day. She went to work and discovered that she was off that day (she thought she had to work but did not). This created a free day for her and she decided to spend it away from me which is unusual. Given how meticulous she is, it is hard for me to believe that she did not know her own schedule. She is the most organized person that I know.

When this free day appeared, she did not do what is typical, which is to drive down to see me, but took the day to do whatever. That’s fine, we all need days off from others. Her workplace is halfway between her home and my own. During that free day off, she said she would pack her things and then leave work the next day and drive to my home. She also said that she needed to bring her mom’s plants to keep them alive as her mom was going to be away.

That day she texted me after work and stated that she needed to drive home to pack her things. Because of the geographic arrangement, this added nearly 1 hour to her drive time and was inconsistent with what she had told me as her plan. Also, it was unnecessary as she had the previous day to put a few things in a bag and she told me she was bored and just sitting at home. Lastly, she showed up without her mother’s plants which she was going to pick up and bring. All this seems to make me think that she had her bags packed at work but wanted a reason to have a few hours where her time was accounted for supposedly.

So, I am suspecting infidelity due to her past (she has jumped from relationship to relationship and everyone in her family is cheater as is her best friend) and changes in her (emotionally withdrawn but with excuses related to stress).

I do not question her or stress her. I just know her patterns and pay attention to what she says and also does. And so I will notice inconsistencies and small lies. These small lies though, when related to possible bad behavior, throw up red flags to me.

If she is cheating, I’d like to nip it in the bud.

To recap:

I see a prime time for her to cheat (just staying the night over at her “BFF’s”) and a few holes appear: exhausted after saying she had 9 hours sleep and not having revealing clothing so she said while actually having them and wearing them in front of me.

Next, a few days later, she has an uncharacteristic brain fart that just happens to open up a whole day to do whatever. She does not get ready during this free day but instead has to take even more time the next day to do so and also burn 1 hour of gas and time. She was concerned about her mother’s plants and yet also left them seeming to die.

So, what is everyone’s perspective? What would you do, think, say, etc?

I feel like I am between a rock and a hard place because I did not realize these weird inconsistencies at the time they unfolded (they dawned on me after the fact) and so now laying them all out would seem unnatural and would definitely trigger her defensive streak.

Are things like this that could all be explained by infidelity something worth bringing up to someone at the time?

Should I just expect other people to just not make sense and have odd behavior like this and so I should not read into any of it?

I feel that my best option right now is to not say anything.

If something is going on, then I need to give her “rope” while I am seemingly ignorant so that she can get caught up. If I express doubts now, then she will just be more careful.

I feel that our culture has pretty much killed the expectation of monogamy. It is sad for me. Also, it is sad that I can’t communicate with her better without setting her off. But if she is cheating, I would be wise to communicate judiciously so that I will know sooner (cheaters rarely admit to it).

Lastly, I fully expect many posters here to say something along the line of me watching her too closely or that she doesn’t have to answer to me, etc. This is not the case. I simply see odd things when they arise and am building a mental picture. Imagine I was a female writing this post about a boyfriend, and see if your reaction changes.


Her behavior certainly sounds odd. How long have you two been together? Anyway good relationships are based on communication and respect. If you two can’t even talk about this without her getting defensive I see red flags. However it might not hurt to reappraise how you are asking her to talk. Maybe you’re coming off as rougher than you are.

But the phone thing, I can’t help you there. I am even older than you and simply can’t stand when someone starts playing with their phone instead of talking to me. It will always be rude to me, so get off my lawn you damn kids!

Even if she isn’t cheating on you, why put up with all the issues that you seem to have with her.

One addition, she showed me pictures from her facebook the other day.

She had 1,000s of pics with comments/likes she flipped through.

I am her facebook friend but can only see like 50.

I think I am on limited profile or whatever.

Unless there is another explanation. Those pictures were from before the time we were together. So maybe some weird folder sharing thing happened. Who knows. I don’t care enough about facebook to know how it works.

I became physically and emotionally involved with her quickly and before I knew anything about her.

I think this is her MO and why she has had many short term relationships.

I’m now stuck with feelings and wanting it to work and being afraid of what I am seeing unfolding before me.

She also has many good points, but the bad can be deal breakers sometimes.


I’m nearly certain I am not rough as I’ve never been accused of that by anyone.

We have been going out 6 months, but it has been rather intense with us together a great deal of time.

It is hard for me to communicate this with her because if I feel that if I say in a matter of fact way:

“hey it’s weird that you are exhausted after 9 hours sleep. is there something going on?”

then she will know I am kind of accusing her of cheating or being untrustworthy. She would then play the “I can’t believe you think I would do that” card.

That is a very convenient one for most people. If someone accuses you of doing something, then just diffuse by acting mad at the very suggestion!

That’s what would happen. She would know what I was getting at and likely either get mad or just be more careful.

You don’t trust or respect her. I’m not saying you SHOULD or she deserves any more trust than you are giving her, but in light of this fact, it’s probably best to move on.

Honestly, it sounds like you are in a lose-lose situation here. She takes actions and exhibits behavior that causes you concern (and legitimately so), but if you attempt to approach the subject, she automatically goes on the defensive.

I know it is Dope SOP to lean towards “break-up & move on” whenever people post about relationships on here, but this is a case where I honestly feel like that would be the best thing for you.

Your posts talk about how, if you tried to talk to her like a rational adult about these issues, she would either get mad or be more careful (by which I presume you mean “would hide it better”). Is that really a relationship you want to continue? Ask yourself what you want out of this relationship? If it’s a fling, that’s one thing, but you say you’ve been with her for 6 months. That makes me think you are in it for the long haul. Can you see yourself putting up with this for years down the road?

I’m not calling you over-protective or hyper-analytic, but given your statements about her family’s history of cheating (as well as her friend’s), you obviously have reservations about her. If she would be receptive to an adult conversation about why you feel the way you do, that’d be one thing, but from what you’ve posted, she shuts you down any time you approach the subject.

I can’t imagine a relationship like that lasting for a while, without one party or the other being miserable.

She’s not at the point of being ready for a committed relationship, and will just act like a cornered animal the more you push it. End it, and invite her to look you up again when she’s moved past that point in her personal development.

“She’s just not that into you”?

If she still has shields up after 6 “intense” (your word) months, she doesn’t trust you, and possibly never will.

The bottom line is, you don’t trust her.

It doesn’t really matter whether we or anyone else agree that she’s acting strange or that you’re justified in being suspicious. Ultimately, it doesn’t even matter whether she’s actually cheating or not. All that really matters is: what would it take for you to trust her?

Because the thing is, while you might someday find proof that she’s cheating, you’ll never be able to definitively prove that she’s not. The best you can hope for is for her to behave in such a way that it never even occurs to you that she would cheat. So, consider what that would look like. What specifically does she do, or not do, that makes you feel like her head and heart are elsewhere?

For instance, if I were dating someone who spent all their time on the phone with other people when we were together, I’d feel like they didn’t consider me worthy of their attention. If they never told me anything, even in passing, about their interactions with these other people, I’d feel like they didn’t want to actually include me in their life. And if they gave me vague or conflicting stories about their actions, I’d definitely feel that they were at very least keeping me at arm’s length. That right there sounds like a really crappy relationship, even if that person was being totally faithful.

So, identify what’s really bothering you, and then address those issues with her. Not, “Where were you, really?” but, “I miss you, and I was bummed that you were nearby and you didn’t even call.” Not, “Who were you talking to?” but, “Hey babe, when you spend so much time on the phone/facebook, I feel like you’re not even here.” And even… not “What you say doesn’t add up - you must be lying to me,” but “I sometimes feel like you’re afraid to be honest with me, and I want you to know that I’d rather hear the truth, even if I don’t like it, than feel that you would lie or hide things from me.”

And if you can’t say even these things without setting her off, then in my opinion, that’s reason enough to let her go.

If she’s cheating on you there’s no “Nipping it in the bud”. You can’t put her in time out and tell her not to do that any more.
A good rule of thumb for relationships is: If you’re putting more into it than you’re getting out of it, you would be wise to end the relationship.
Judging from your OP, she’s probably a hottie. Us guys can be rather stupid around hotties, so try not to let that effect your judgement.

By nipping in the bud, I meant end the relationship sooner rather than being played for a fool for a longer time.

Don’t waste your time playing games.

Discuss your expectations with her. She’ll either agree to meet them or tell you what you can do with them. Then you decide whether to adjust your expectations or to walk away because you’re not getting what you need out of this relationship.

It sounds easy. It isn’t. But it’s the right way to go about it.

…Really? No-one thinks we should have an FAQ for these types of threads?

It appears your threshold for being in a relationship is significantly lower than the threshold required for a healthy relationship. Perhaps you should change that.

What Heart of Dorkness said.

Heart of Dorkness is on the money. If you don’t trust her, you’re not going to have a good relationship with her, whether she’s cheating or not.

If you’re happy enough with the way things are, keep dating her. Just use protection. However, if you are wanting something long-term, I’d move on right now. Her behavior likely won’t improve over time, it will only get worse.

You’re an after-thought to her. She barely communicates or shares any of her life with you. Even if she’s not cheating, this is an awful relationship.

I’ve been the male analogue of that woman, In a few ways…In my younger, handsomer, un married and “player” days…not proud of it, and do not entertain thoughts of ever reverting to that behavior …but …I was up to no good.