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'My boyfriend recently passed away. I found things that reveal he may have been cheating.' UPDATED

'My boyfriend recently passed away. I found things that reveal he may have been cheating.' UPDATED


Grief is hard enough on its own, but it's extra hard to manage when you're managing the logistics of a loss.

"My 29f boyfriend 29m recently passed away and I have found things that point out that he may have been cheating on me. I don't know what to do, should I investigate further and find out the truth?"

So I was with my boyfriend for three years we had a beautiful and perfect relationship he was a wonderful man in every way and just a month ago he died tragically and unexpectedly, both his family and I have been devastated and inconsolable for this. We were going to move in together and he was taken from me.

About two weeks ago, her mother approached me with a box that she found while cleaning his room he would occasionally visit her and he used to stay overnight so his room was kept intact like when he lived permanently there. She had decided to tidy up and clean his room because she was in a better state and she found a box with the initial of my name.

She didn't open it but could see superficially that they were things like letters some dried roses among other things that she decided not to look at further because thought they were my things or about us. She thought it would be best to give it to me, and I could review those things alone. I thanked her, but I didn't feel ready to see all these things so I put the box away.

A couple of days ago I went to visit his grave as I got closer I could see a woman there I immediately stopped to see if I could recognize her but it was not a family member or friend. She had brought flowers and I could see that she was crying. I was afraid to approach since I didn't know who she was, and I simply waited at a safe distance she left after a few minutes and didn't even turn to look at me.

Well, it seemed obvious to me that I don't know her. That whole night I couldn't sleep thinking about this woman, who is she? Where did she know him from? I knew all his family, friends and people from his work and I didn't recognize her from anywhere. I couldn't be calm or sleep those days because I thought of many possibilities and he was no longer there so I could ask him.

I decided to go to his friends and tell them what happened. As soon as I described the woman, they looked at each other nervously and seemed to know who it was but they didn't say anything. I insisted and cried a lot, I told them that I deserved to know if I had the wrong image of my boyfriend.

Finally, they told me that it was his ex and one of them confessed to having informed her about his d*ath and his resting place because he believed that he would have liked if she went to see him. I felt like my heart fell to my feet. I asked everything I could, it turns out that they had studied together since elementary school.

My boyfriend had been in love with her since back in high school. They started a relationship that lasted approximately four years, and then they were on and off until just two years before we started a relationship.

He told me that according to what they knew, they had cut off all contact five years ago. But they didn't know for sure if this was true. I asked him for his name and his name begins with the same initial as mine so now I don't know what to think.

I don't know if I should contact her to ask if she was with my boyfriend at the same time as me. I know that the first thing I should do is check that damn box and see if there are any of my things, or things about her but I can't. I'm so afraid of destroying this image I had of my boyfriend of the man I thought he was.

I don't know what to do I was already devastated to lose him but now I could also lose all the beautiful memories I have of him if I finally found out that he was cheating on me. His friends tell me to leave the issue alone because he is no longer here to defend himself.

TL;DR: My boyfriend of three years passed away, we had a wonderful relationship but now there is a possibility that he was cheating on me.

The internet had a lot to say in response.

DearDorothy wrote:

This seems above our pay grade honestly. Have you thought of finding a therapist who has a lot of experience in grief? It sounds like you haven’t gone into the box so you don’t even know if they were in contact. It’s common to still grieve for your ex, even if you were no contact. It’s also common to retain mementos from past relationships, especially young ones.

My high school partner died a couple years ago and even though I’ve been 0 contact for years I still went through some grieving.

Did he give you anything to be suspicious of when he was alive?

OP responded:

Well, there was an incident when I found him an Instagram account that I didn't know about but he told me it was one he had created to upload photographs of his work, so I didn't question it anymore. Other than that as I mentioned he was a wonderful man, but recent events are making my mind imagine many scenarios I can't control it.

Glinda-The-Witch wrote:

Based on what you have said here, your boyfriend had a prior long-term girlfriend, and it’s entirely possible he kept some mementos from that relationship.

Especially if they ended it on good terms. He may have forgotten about the box, but even if he didn’t, she was still a part of his life at one point. Remember that everyone who crosses your path today, impacts who you are tomorrow. It’s very possible that he would have disposed of those items once you and he moved in together.I see no reason for you to contact her.

Clearly, she didn’t know he had passed until his friends reached out to her. If he was cheating with her, she probably would have known right away. Take a moment to think how you would feel if someone from your past died. You would probably feel sad and maybe even consider attending the funeral or visiting the gravesite.

Perhaps you could return the box to his mother and explain to her that you have not opened it, but you are concerned that it may be mementos from a previous relationship and you don’t feel like you could handle seeing those. Perhaps she could go through the box and do whatever she felt should be done with the contents.

If they are things from your relationship, then she can return them to you. It sounds as if your boyfriend was a good man, who touched the hearts of many of his current and former friends who are grieving his loss. Suggest you find a grief counselor to help you through this very difficult time. I’m sorry for your loss.

MaggieLuisa wrote:

There were people he dated in the past, he had a box of mementos from one relationship, and that person grieved after being told of his death.

None of that means he cheated on you.

Comeback_321 wrote:

Give the box back to his mother. It’s not your box. Everyone has a history. That doesn’t mean he cheated on you. Don’t destroy yourself for no reason. Just tell her you think this is someone from his past and you would rather not go through it and preserve the love you have with him and for him. Nothing else needs to be done.

At this point it doesn’t matter because you don’t know and won’t know. So don’t ruin your memories with questions that can’t be answered. Talking to a grief counselor may help. I can’t see what you gain or how you would have better closure ripping up your memories.

GZA_Top5 wrote:

Firstly, OP I’m very sorry for your loss. Losing a loved one is hard regardless of what they may or may not have done. Grief counseling is in order here. See a professional to help with the passing please. I would really advise against following any advice you get here on this matter.

This is definitely a complicated issue and I would steer you towards a professional’s assistance and the love of your friends and family on this. You have my thoughts, and I really wish you the best OP <3

Two months later, OP shared an update.

Hi, it's been a little while since I was here totally paranoid about something absurd to be honest. When I made the post I expected a different reaction like people saying "open the box go and confront the ex-girlfriend!" I was looking for support because I knew it was crazy. I'm very happy to have found such kind people who cared about me without knowing me.

After posting I really knew I wasn't okay, and I had to take care of my mental health the first thing I did was call my mom and tell her I needed help because I was going downhill. She came in less than an hour that whole night I cried in her arms afterwards. She helped me find out about a psychologist and a thanatologist, we were able to schedule an appointment a few days later.

So far I had a few sessions, I won't lie and say I'm fine now because I still feel like life sucks for taking him away from me. Sometimes, I feel like I'm floating disconnected from the world, or I forget that he's no longer here and my first instinct is to look for him or call him if something happens to me. It's difficult but at least I already asked for help and I am receiving it.

So I'm in a better place now but there's still a long way to go and I know I have to do it without him. Regarding the box I thought about returning it to his mom but I really thought it was most likely about his ex (it was) and I didn't want his mom to feel bad for giving me something that wasn't mine.

I decided to give it to his friend and for him to get her into the right hands, he has truly been a rock for me even though he is also grieving because he lost his best friend (they were friends since high school and studied the same in college). The general reason for this update is that a few days ago I spoke with her.

I know, I know that everyone was against contacting her but it was not intentional and the truth is, beyond hurting myself, I felt much better afterwards. I ended up seeing her again in the cemetery I approached her at first she just looked at me confused when I told her who I was she just saw me the way everyone sees me lately with pity.

We were silent for what seemed like an eternity. Then she started telling me something funny about him, when he was a kid she told me a lot of things that I didn't know about him. I must say she was very kind and sweet and she is so much like him in personality and maybe it's because they grew up together.

Or because I feel so desperate to find him somewhere, but I really felt that they had the same way of speaking, and the same sense of humor. Even though she was very afraid to talk about their time as a couple, she told me that for some reason or another they were never able to fit together as a couple even though they loved each other. So they decided to walk away before getting hurt.

It turns out that the last time they spoke was 2 years ago when he wrote to congratulate her on her wedding, they didn't talk much beyond wishing each other the best. She told me that she was glad that he had found a person like me and that he had been happy. Also thanked me for the box she said that it contains very valuable things for her.

That was all. There was no infidelity and she only confirmed that he was a wonderful person and I was very lucky to have met him. The only thing that made me sad was that even though he was always the best with me, I came to doubt his integrity as a person. Now I just have to continue with the therapy and try hard to learn to live without him. Thank you all.

The internet was super invested in the update.

Wchijafm wrote:

Had to Google this but for others: A thanatologist is someone who studies death and dying from multiple perspectives—medical, physical, psychological, spiritual, ethical, and more. Professionals in a wide range of disciplines use thanatology to inform their work, from doctors and coroners to hospice workers and grief counselors.

marblefree wrote:

I am glad you got closure. I'm a widow and it can be so difficult. It's the stupid stuff like a show recording that he watched or a new song coming out from a band he liked.

Sending hugs.

cruelty wrote:

OP, I'm so sorry for your loss. This brought a tear to my eye. I think a tough truth is that there will always be a part of the people we love that we will never fully know. His ex doesn't know the man you knew, and you don't fully know the man she knew. But together, you've both grown and become the people you are because of him.

It makes sense that you recognized a part of him in her. She most likely saw a part of him in you. You'll carry that forever. I hope there is beauty to be found in that sentiment for you. Thank you for sharing your story, and please take care of your heart.

Psycle_Sammy wrote:

It doesn’t make sense to, but I absolutely understand the desire to. I had an ex girlfriend like 25 years ago who a friend told me had 3rd hand information she cheated one night with a then buddy of mine. There was no proof, they both denied it, and I chose to believe them. We continued dating another year before breaking up amicably because we were moving to different states.

I’ve been happily with my wife for 16 years. Great family, things are going really well. As happens in life I’ve long since lost contact with both of them. Whether it actually happened or not is completely irrelevant to my life right now. That being said, if there were a magical oracle I could pay to give me a 100% true answer as to if it happened, I’d pay up.

JeffyTheQuick2 wrote:

Bravery conquers the worst (your fears of his infidelity) and gets the best results (the kind truth about him and her).

I'm glad you two had the time together that you did, and talked with the woman who is also grieving losing a friend, and am also happy that his memory is untarnished; in fact it is better now. I hope some day you find love like his again, and in time, you will.

Sources: Reddit
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