Found an active dating profile with my partner's photos
The title says it all.
I have a long term partner that I have stood by through very serious issues and who I believed I would be spending my life with. Turns out that I'm in a position where I am questioning if I'm the only one that was actually committed to our relationship and believed in those little things called love, loyalty and commitment. Finding out about an online dating profile prominently featuring his photos has been an awesome gift to get. Not surprisingly, I want to take it back and exchange it for something that doesn't suck so bad and hurt so much.
I love my partner. I wouldn't have stuck by him through the hellish past few years when everything and anything did go wrong. I want to believe him when he tells me that it isn't him and that he has no clue what is going on. I want to believe that he loves me, I want to trust him so badly it is screwing with my head. I found out less than 3 days ago and I am up, down and all around. I swing between trusting him and staring at what is pretty much a huge red flag with sirens, whistles and flashing lights - maybe even a flash dance mob.
I confronted him over the dating profile (found by a single friend that was approached by the profile and she then showed it to me) and he denies it is him and that he has no explanation for it. His best idea is that someone has hacked his old profile to catfish people since:
It is the old dating profile and the pics are the same ones that were on it when we first met (whatever, that was a long time ago and I don't recognise all the photos even if they are old)
The profile approached one of my friends and why would he do that? (I don't think he'd recognise this friend of mine if he met her in person much less saw a pic on a dating site)
He has written emails to the dating site demanding the profile be deleted and reported it to whichever other agency is available for fraud and identity theft.
He was angry with me for not trusting him and for taking this profile seriously. Then he was kind, gentle and saying that he didn't blame me for being upset because this certainly appears as if he is cheating and that he will work with me to get past this, to do what he can to prove it's not him and to remain in our relationship because he loves me and wants to spend his life me with. Then I get angry and he flares up and says that I need to stop accusing him and acting like I don't have faith in him. In other words, he is angry that I am so quick to believe he is cheating and not giving him the benefit of the doubt when he is doing what he can to prove this profile is no longer under his control. I have been cheated on in the past by a long term ex and I walked. No hesitation, no regrets and no entertaining the idea of reconciliation - the relationship was broken, trust was lost and I wouldn't play the fool for any longer. I went to counselling. I learnt to communicate better, listen to my partner and temperature test the relationship on a gentle but regular basis. I thought I had found someone that had the same values as me when I met my current partner.
But in this current situation, I just don't know what to think. I didn't find any apps on his phone or incriminating texts etc directly linking him to this. This is a situation where an "active" dating profile that was approaching women as late as Saturday night has his photos and the same old lines that attracted me back in the day. None of this makes sense to me. I never thought he was capable of cheating. He's such a blunt person, to the point of being so honest that it can sometimes be hurtful. He is not afraid to leave relationships if they aren't working for him (as demonstrated by his past). But reading things online shows me that smarter and more cluey people than I have been fooled by a cheater. I really just don't understand and I am so confused. I wish I could laugh it off and just trust him. I want to. I really want to.
I've had no reason to doubt him but now I'm staring at an active dating profile wanting to get in touch with people and with the privacy settings set to max so that only people approached by the profile can view it or find it on the site. Why would a catfish go to that trouble? I just can't wrap my head around it and I read about trickle truth and I wonder if I'm just the biggest chump in the world and looking for any reason to ignore this because I love him so much. And I also worry that he is telling me the truth and that someone has hijacked the old profile and that I am not trusting him and behaving like an emotional tornado destroying our relationship with my insecurities. I'd be deeply hurt if he didn't trust me and accused me of cheating and found a profile with my photos which I didn't know about.
Honestly, what can I do in this situation? Break up what I have always thought and felt was a wonderful partnership because of an active dating profile? Work past my doubts and insecurities with him to find out that ultimately we are a good match or find out that he's just been gas-lighting me and a lying cheat for years? Both courses of action seem so sucky and fraught with pain. I love this man with all my heart. Up until the weekend, I had no reason to doubt him. Now I'm just a mess. What can I do to try to make this situation better/clearer right now? or at least get it into the healthiest place possible so that we can be adults and find a way forward with the least amount of damage to each other? What can I do to give us the best chance to survive this? What can I do if this relationship has just gone spectacularly belly up?
Thanks for reading and I hope that people can give me some advice. I want to save the relationship but I think ultimately, I want to be happy and in a loving relationship with a man that adores me and doesn't cheat.