Friday, January 15, 2010

HELP I read his email

Dear ESB,

I have a problem. I (innocently) stumbled across ring-related emails a few weeks ago in my Mister's account, and can't. stop. reading. His planning of our engagement is literally unfolding before my eyes. I have never spied on him, am not a text checker, never even have searched for a Christmas present. We pretty much share an account, and he should be doing a better job of hiding it. But I know I don't have to click that "read more" button. WTF? HELP 

Name withheld for obvious reasons


Propose. Tonight. (I'm assuming you want to marry him?) Then tell him you have seen things and ask him to get a little stealthier for fuck's sake.

Flash Dance by Sandrine Pelletier via me melodia (my primary source for, you know, art)


  1. hm he could create a dummy email address just for these supposed-to-be covert plans. boys can be sensitive about this type of thing...i know mine is, he's touchy about making sure i can't access his personal credit card at all (i used to, to track our expenses) because he doesn't want me to know about gifts and other surprises.

  2. i started to get the gyst of what was going on pre-ring. so i pulled him aside and said, "hey. i KNOW." he started to be more discrete.

    you'll still be driven crazy with the wondering. but at least it won't be staring you in the face all the time.

  3. ok, so i'm posting as 'anonymous' because my fiance still doesn't know this, but when we were only living together, he left out the insurance policy on the ring. it was mixed in with our regular bills on the desk we share.


  4. My husband (then-boyfriend) planned an elaborate apple picking trip many weeks in advance and then INSISTED that we dress up to go apple picking. He wore a tie. Stealthy he was not. Knowing it was coming I bought him a font he'd been dreaming about and typed up my acceptance and had it letterpressed for him in his new font. Knowing that I had a surprise for him made the anticipation factor just as good.

    So even if you don't propose, come up with something ...

  5. You're lucky he's gone through the trouble of trying to surprise you and do something wonderful for you.

    Stop being an asshole! Get out of the inbox, convince yourself it's not happening. Then act surpised.

  6. STOP reading his email right now! As a girl who has had reading someone's email blow up in her face in a very painful way just... DON'T DO IT. Nothing good comes from invading others privacy, he will feel bad, you will feel worse. I agree with anonymous above me, keep quiet and act surprised.

  7. give him the courtesy of allowing him to propose. it's a big deal to men.

    my partner showed me the ring months before he proposed... but when he pulled the velvet box out of his pocket on one perfectly ordinary saturday afternoon, I WAS ABSOLUTELY, WITHOUT-A-DOUBT, OVER THE FUCKING MOON. i cried like a fucking idiot.

    and you will, too! and it's going to be WONDERFUL! even though you think you've got it all figured out right now.

    and by the way, keep your nose where it belongs -- out of his stuff!

  8. @17beats HOLD UP. YOU'RE MARRIED?! you fooled me with your "i am not a bride and never plan on being one" comment.

  9. I had a similar experience... I knew where he'd planned on buying the ring from {a little etsy shop} and I stalked the sold items. sad, yes... I know. and then he used my laptop and had signed into his gmail account so when I opened it up and realized what I'd just stumbled upon, it sort of broke my heart. obviously, I haven't told him. he would be devastated. so right away I knew he was planning on doing it. and to this day it still breaks my heart that I wasn't surprised.

    so yes. I'd say freaking propose to him. tell him what you saw and drop down on one knee. at least one of you two will be genuinely surprised.

    obvs I've kept my name anonymous for particular reasons.

  10. Don't feel bad. Almost the same exact thing happened to me. I saw an email or two and couldn't stop reading. I already suspected so that just confirmed everything. (Granted, we had talked seriously about marriage so it never would have shocked me.) I didn't tell the boy (it would have killed him - he was trying to be stealthy). After he proposed, I did admit to having an "inkling" when he asked but pointed to other factors besides an email. To make you feel better, I still got tears in my eyes, I still got butterflies, and it still remains one of the happiest and best memories of my life.

  11. My guess is that he subconsciously must want you to have an idea, or he would have worked harder to hide it ;) HOWEVER, definitely stop reading any emails that are for him. It isn't the best way to start things off, know what I mean? You can't undo it now.

    My husband and I actually went to pick out my ring style together one November, but I knew the ring was going to be made in NY with his grandmother's diamond. I was still waiting on tenterhooks for the big, romantic "pop the question" moment, with prepared verses and surprises and all that jazz. You can still get yourself excited for the "how" even when you know the "what". (Think of it this way, you usually know you're going to have a baby for about nine months before it happens. But you're still happy and surprised and excited as hell when it actually happens!)

  12. No advice on the ring front, but get separate email accounts immediately!

    I am not at all stalker-ish (I know his email password and I've never even felt tempted to look at it), but if someone else's emails were actually sitting in my inbox then I would probably end up reading them. Because it's right there and I am click happy.

  13. Stop reading those emails! And don't worry about ruining the surprise. Put it out of your head and enjoy the moment when it happens. We picked out my ring together so I totally knew it was coming, but I'm with 17 beats here, I was also over the fucking moon the day it happened. The fact that I knew it was coming made not one bit of difference!
    And congrats!!

  14. I'm not sure what "We pretty much share an account" actually means, but regardless, stop reading his email.

    I knew my fiance was going to propose, and we'd agreed together before that we were going to get married. He wanted to put together a proposal and a ring, and while it was less important to me, ultimately it made me happy too.

    Proposals and weddings aren't that different. There are the norms out there about how things are "supposed" to go, and then you need to figure out where you and your partner fit in.

    So figure out what is important to you, and to your partner, and then decide how to proceed.

    And our proposal was no less special for not being unexpected. And the ring was a total surprise.

  15. reading his email is a TOTAL violation. i think you are behaving in a self-destructive manner. things like this ruin relationships. for god's sake, stop, tell him everything, and move on. you can't possibly expect to keep something like this secret for ever. scratch that, just let him go on with his plans, propose, etc. then tell him everything sometime after that. otherwise you will completely ruin the moment.

  16. I knew he was going to propose. We'd been talking about it quite a bit and he made it kind of obvious on the day he went to pick up the ring. Of course I didn't have to frisk his jacket later but I did - you're not the only one who finds temptations like that hard to resist!

    Anyway, I knew when he was going to propose and everything. I didn't act surprised, but I was delighted of course, so there was no need to act. I told him afterwards I had a pretty good idea it was coming. I think "women's intuition" actually means "men are so effin' obvious."

    Anyway, my advice would be to try not to ruin it for him. Yeah, he's being a bit of a div, but maybe he's nervous and wants you to see it...? Whatever, I think it's pretty clear from these comments that lots of women know the proposal is coming. The whole surprise thing was invented by the diamond industry anyway, wasn't it? Don't worry about it.

  17. Since ESB kindly posted my question anonymously, I will gladly respond the same way.

    Thank you for your honest responses! To clarify for olivia- we "share" an account means that he is so internet-unsavvy that he can't figure out how to open multiple messages in an email, let alone use another account from our bill-paying one to converse with a jeweler

    For you independent women, no I won't propose. But good suggestion! Really, it got me thinking about it at least! (especially the anon comment saying at least one of you will be surprised) If it weren't this man, I would. He has expressed how important this is to him in discussions about just skipping the engagement and "deciding" that we were. So, I'll let him have that. It is sweet, really.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who had more than an inkling it was coming. I'll stop reading his emails (and going in there to pay my bills to??? How does that work?! ha). I really do want this to be a surprise and I am SO excited! My friends calmed me down by reassuring me that hey, some guys get the ring then hang on to it for awhile, right? right.


  18. I knew that my fiance was going to propose almost a year in advance. We were moving to Australia for a year and we had planned on going to Fiji, where he let it out that he wanted to propose there. It wasn't a surprise but how and when it was done was and, like another reader said, you still are amazingly happy and I cried so much. Just stop reading the emails and you'll be better off!

    I wouldn't propose either. That would probably piss him off, especially since he is going to all this effort.

  19. i third or fourth the comment.
    Propose to him.
    It's a much better story.

    as someone who has accidentally checked the mister's emails... Please stop. It leads to no good. You get excited about things you think he's buying you. It never works out. Mine has been in talks with a few artists for pieces I've mentioned on the blog. They never ever materialized. I had tiny heart breaks.
    It's not worth it. Get your own acct and make sure you guys sign off if you share a computer.


  20. Dear ESB,
    I love that you use my curations.

  21. My husband had the ring for 4 months before he proposed - so yes they do hang on t it.

    I also knew it was coming - but was still totally surprised especially when he proposed at 8am when i was devastatingly hungover (or still drunk) after a party where my friend was proposed to.

    BUT I LOVE the idea of having a surprise waiting for him (ie the font/note) BUT I know if I'd done something like that my man would have been disappointed he wasn't savvy enough.

    So I reckon just play along. You may still be totally surprised.

  22. I found the ring. He was there when it happened. He asked me to get something out of his backpack, and I pulled out a ring box instead. I said something like "what the fuck is this?" We just stared at each other and then I put it back. The next day he asked. I said yes. Over the fucking moon. It sounds like the surprise thing is maybe kind of rare? I also knew it was coming for months, we had talked about tying the know, etc. I'm pretty sure that lots of women who were not at all surprised just tell everyone they were because it's part of the proposal script.

  23. OOPS. I knew I would catch shit for that, ESB!! You are correct, I am NOT MARRIED!

    My Mr. Mister DID pop the question, though. Many years ago... And for a while we did fancy ourselves 'engaged'. And that's (as Paul Harvey would say) the REST of the story.


  24. By the way, I do wear the sparkler pretty much any chance I get -- either on my right hand, or my middle finger. Cause It's God Damned Beautiful. And it reminds me of a very special, very ordinary day.

  25. Who the hell shares an email with their mate? This boggles my mind, seriously.

  26. a) grow up.
    b) set up an email for yourself.
    c) set up an email for him.
    d) keep the other co-email for bills and junk mail only.
    e) learn to trust...or get out.

  27. your anons are always so chipper, esb.

  28. he wants a moment, let him have one. and obviously so do you, otherwise you'd be out with your secret already! stop looking and wait...and maybe you should ask him to pay the bills this month : )

    my husband had this elaborate scheme planned for how he was going to pop the question. he got the ring and couldn't wait one day to propose.

    i got engaged on a tuesday... in my apartment, next to a pile of dirty laundry, and the ring was upside down... and it was the sweetest thing ever!

  29. I found bookmarked links to engagement rings on our shared computer and got excited, but he didn't pop the question until 9 months later, while I was cleaning the house. So I wouldn't rush anything!

  30. My boyfriend (now fiance) of four years and I broke up over this past summer and he told me during our time apart that he was just about to propose. This KILLED me. We got back together in August and around Thanksgiving, I was at his mom's helping her clean windows and saw a ring box that was covered in dried chocolate. I opened it up, saw that it was her old engagement ring and didn't think anything else about it, really.
    Once he asked me if I really would be his wife one day and I said yes. And once, I got really sad and cried about how I broke up with him before he proposed because the idea of breaking his heart like that KILLED me.
    I guess what I'm trying to say is, I wish he'd have never mentioned that to me. I also considered proposing to him after we got back together, but I didn't want to rush him or make him feel trapped. We needed the break and are much happier now. He proposed to me the Monday before Christmas (with his mothers ring) and while it was wonderful and surreal and amazing, I kind of wish I'd have had that element of surprise. I still kick myself over it. Good luck to you.