Don't let someone manipulate you into believing their flat-out lies.
I wanted to believe the best of someone I thought I could trust, because I cared very deeply for him.
I kept tabs on this person just because I had a gut feeling that some things might not be right all the time, and if I could spot things going on before they had the ability to blindside me, I could have some control over what happened.
Even when I found out about the intended infidelity, and confronted him about it, he was upset at me for "accusing him of something he wasn't doing." I apologized because maybe I was just overthinking and he really was just trying to make friends with people, and the reason he wasn't talking as much to me was that he was just really upset or tired. So, I tried to keep going on with the relationship and move along with everything just fine, and yet, the problem just got worse as I noticed that the "looking for" section of the dating profile I saw went from "seeking a relationship" to "wants to get married." What did I do? I sent him a message about what I had seen, and he again got upset at me for "assuming" and never asking how he felt or what was going on. He sent me a video of his phone screen and the app was gone...so I was thinking I was just paranoid and hurt him for real with my distrust.
There were a couple girls in a group chat I'm in that said that there was still something off about the video, as in, he could have deleted the app and then taken the video, then redownloaded the app, or perhaps he was never using the app but the website version. There were possibilities that I hadn't even considered because I wanted so desperately to believe his excuse, that "he was hacked."
But there was still doubt in my mind. So, as crazy as it sounds, I employed the help of the girls in the group chat to make a fake profile (they offered!) to see if he'd take the bait . And take it, he did. He lied about ever having been with me (I'd known him for a few months, he said he'd been single for two years and fed her the same story he told me), he of course lied about being single (because we hadn't broken up yet), flirted with the girl like he used to with me, and when she called (and hung up quickly), he answered. He refused to talk on the phone with me anymore because he "preferred texting" or "was around family and just wanted me to be able to hear what he said" or "wanted to listen to music while driving instead of using Bluetooth to talk." He'd take a long time to text me back sometimes, especially when I'd been upset with him, and he got back to her so quickly. She sent the group chat the screenshots and I was able to confirm that it was in fact him that she was talking to-no hacker, of course, and that his number was really his number. I felt vindicated...but also so very hurt that he not only did this, but made me feel like I was in the wrong for accusing him. Gaslighting much?
I know I'm not necessarily the best for having gone to the lengths I did, but in a way...it's sort of justified because I could send him the screenshots and prove to him that I was right, and that there was absolutely no doubt that I had never been wrong about his intentions or wrongdoings. He still never apologized, and he blocked me on everything. Good riddance-but I wish I'd have done it faster than he did.
I just wish I had always trusted my gut and never even put myself through any of this. The lesson learned? If you have enough reason to believe your gut...trust it. It usually doesn't lie.