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Love Letters

I caught my girlfriend in a lie because I snooped at her browser history

Should I tell her that I found out?

Submit your questions for Meredith here.

Q. I’ve always been jealous in relationships. In my last one, I was caught snooping a couple of times, which caused intense fights that lasted days. I’m six months into a new relationship with someone who is understanding and loving. However, I still struggle with jealousy. I’ve looked through her phone a couple of times already, but I was honest about it and very apologetic. She responded almost too well, saying she wasn’t mad. She forgave me and tried to relieve me of my anxieties about what I found (mostly from her past).

But recently I went a little further, found her Google password, and searched through her Internet history while she was away. I found she watched pornography less than a year ago (she told me it’d been at least two years). Also, she looked up erotica (“pornographic literature”) just a couple of days ago, after we had a huge talk about her past with watching porn. I asked her hypothetically about reading porn, and she said she hasn’t done it in years. I know she’s being dishonest, but so am I by snooping. Do I tell her I know she’s lying? Is that worth the risk of losing her trust and her seeing me as controlling?

– Snooped

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A. You are controlling.

You want to control her life and her fantasy life. Let the woman watch (and read) her preferred content in peace.

I’m not sure why you think there’s anything wrong with her consuming material that makes her happy. What betrayal has happened here? None, except for yours. You want so badly to know every detail about this woman that you’ve turned into a keeper instead of a partner. Shouldn’t she be able to experience joy without you? Must she tell you everything?

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My advice is to seek therapy and talk about what a healthy relationship looks like, and why you feel entitled to every piece of private information.

Think about ending this relationship because you’re not in a place to be in it. Honestly, she doesn’t seem to be the partner you want, anyway. If you’re seeking someone with an entirely different set of values, don’t ask this woman to conform to that template. It’ll only result in heartache for both of you.

At the very least, tell your girlfriend to change every password. Admit what you did. Do not ask for apologies about the reading material. She did nothing wrong. That’s all I can say.

– Meredith

READERS RESPOND

Where do you draw the line? Are romance novels OK? CONCERNEDCITIZENONDUTY

Watching porn isn’t a bad thing, but being an anxious snoop is. You need to end this relationship and seek therapy to work on your issues. SURFERROSA

You didn’t “snoop” . . . you hacked her accounts. CAPECODDA

Do you notice you are also bothered she wasn’t too upset by you snooping? Nothing she can do is right. HELLOWWORLD13

Get a plant. When you stop digging at the dirt to make sure the roots are still there, then maybe you can upgrade to a fish. MRLOVEGOD

Catch Season 3 of Meredith Goldstein’s Love Letters podcast. Get it at loveletters.show or wherever you listen.