Q. My boyfriend and I have been dating about six months. I haven’t been in a relationship in a while, and I’ve been really happy to be with someone again. However, I have a bit of a trust problem due to situations with past boyfriends.
With this current relationship, I’ve always been a little leery from the start because he does like to go out and drink a lot, and I worry he’ll cheat. I recently was feeling insecure and decided to look at his phone. I found text messages back and forth to a girl that lasted about a month and a half. I was already his girlfriend for two months at this point, so I don’t think he was trying to casually date. It’s unclear if he actually cheated, but some of the text messages bothered me. He told her that he wanted to take her out and she invited him to a few events that he couldn’t go to because he had plans. She also sent a few pictures that were a little inappropriate. The last few messages she sent he did not respond to. I’d like to think he stopped talking to her because he knew it was wrong, but I don’t know what really happened.
I’m struggling to decide if I should confront him or let it slide. I really want to bring it up to him because I’m upset and I think it will affect my mood toward him if I hold it in. I know there’s a big possibility that it will blow up in my face since I broke his trust by snooping through his phone. It’s been almost three months since he’s texted her and we seem to be getting more serious (meeting family and friends). I don’t want to ruin what could be a good relationship, but I don’t know if it’s already ruined by what he did.
Sad Snooper, Boston
A. You have to tell him what you did and then talk this out. Because you’re still snooping, right? I’m guessing that you know that it’s been three months since he contacted this other woman because you continue to check his phone. Are you going to read his texts forever? When does it stop?
It sounds like you guys committed way too quickly. You decided to be a couple when you were still just getting to know each other. You skipped like eight steps and it’s all catching up to you.
I don’t know whether the relationship is ruined, but you’ll find out by coming clean. Tell him what you did and what you fear. Find out how he deals with conflict and whether he can put your mind at ease.
I have to be honest — I’m not loving this situation. The lies, the drinking, the texts . . . it’s a series of red flags. But it’s worth a discussion. You’ll either leave the talk feeling confident . . . or not, and then you’ll know what to do.
Ahhh, a snooping letter. Snooping from three months ago. But probably also still current snooping because you know he’s not texting with this girl anymore, right? Tell him. And expect it to blow up in your face. Your insecurities started this downhill roll, and they continued your roll out into the street . . .where you’ll probably get hit broadside.
Agree with MG: You need to come clean with the BF and accept what the consequences will be.
Drinking, sexting, and you don’t trust him. Not a good start to a relationship. Get out now, while the realtionship is young.
You ought to have confronted him when you first found out he asked out the other woman. Instead, you let this fester, and that’s made matters worse.
Ruined by what he did? He didn’t do anything. He was two months into a new relationship, so unless you guys were exclusive from day one, I don’t see an issue here. You’re now six months in, at what point did you become exclusive? Did you ever have that talk? Or are you assuming your relationship is exclusive?
This is all kinds of wrong and I hope her boyfriend finds someone more mature. First there’s her initial statement that his enjoyment of going out and drinking makes him likely to cheat. Then there’s the snooping. But worse is the implication that she is still snooping, if she knows for a fact he hasn’t texted this other girl in three months. She needs to grow up.
Tell him and watch him squirm. He deserves it. If he breaks with you over snooping, simply keep yelling, “You can’t break up with me for snooping, I’m breaking up with you for philandering!”
“I haven’t been in a relationship in a while, and I’ve been really happy to be with someone again.” TRANSLATION: I was feeling desperate, liked the new attention so went along with the flow even though I don’t like his drinking, going out, but it’s all good since I check his phone and play detective with his personal texts.
The relationship was ruined somewhere between your discomfort with his drinking and your snooping. What exactly are you trying to rescue? To prove to yourself you can stay in a relationship? To reform his habits so he pays more attention to you? Seems you are in for the wrong things. Get out.
I don’t think you should tell him. Seems to me like you were more attached to this relationship in the beginning than he was. Now that some time has passed and you’re getting more serious with each other, you two are finally on the same page.
I disagree that talking it out will be productive. I would expect denials and/or dubious explanations that won’t move things from where they are now. These two people do not sound like a good match.
As a man reading this blog, if you don’t take NSA-level security measures to protect all your means of communication, then you fail at life.
Column and comments are edited and reprinted from boston.com/loveletters. Meredith Goldstein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.