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If a boyfriend does not mention to another girl that he has a girlfriend...

By October 12, 2009 - 1:36am
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I have been having trust issues with my boyfriend. He does not know that I have access to his email account, and I do check regularly to see that he is true to me. Last night, I logged in and read an email he sent to an old 'friend.' He had mentioned her to me briefly before, but he did not go into details. All I know is that they had a long-distance friendship with occasional phone sex, although they never met each other in person because of the distance. It seems from the email that he hasn't spoken to her in quite a while, but she has been in his thoughts recently. The one thing that stood out was how he mentioned he was 'living on his own' now, since they last talked. He did not mention me, or the fact that he is living WITH me in the email.

I cannot ask him about this because it would mean admitting that I snooped through his emails. He has betrayed my trust in the past, and I have given him so many chances. Although this is not the worst he has done, I still find it hurtful and inconsiderate that he does not acknowledge this tidbit. Should this be the last straw?

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It's easy to understand why you're so anxious about this, then. If I had had the experience you had, finding that my significant other was responding to casual encounters ads on Craigslist, I would have cried -- and hit the roof. No one just "responds" to those ads without the possibility of acting on them. That would have destroyed my trust. I, too, would probably have given him another chance, if I felt that his apology was true and remorseful and that he really did love me.

But what has happened is this -- since you did lost that trust in him, now you are living with it, and that's not healthy. When he tells you something, you are asking yourself if you think it's true. When he's gone, you're wanting to check his email. If you tell him you checked it, he's mad. If you don't tell him you checked it, the charade goes on, and you get more upset.

After the Craigslist incident, if he really was contrite, in my opinion he wouldn't have written to the old "friend" in the way that he did. If they never met and the entire extent of their relationship was phone calls and phone sex, what possible need does he have to reconnect with her? And to tell her that he's living alone means he's lying to her while he hides things from you.

Of course he blew up when you confronted him. He was cornered, and he fought back. He does have a right to feel violated that you read his email, but that is a smaller issue that you have to get past to figure out if there's any potential here.

I know that Dr. Phil is controversial. But I saw him counsel a couple where there had been infidelity, and he said something that stuck with me: Those who have nothing to hide, hide nothing. He told the husband (the one who had cheated) that he would need to live a transparent life if he hoped to build up trust again. And that it would take time. And that his wife wouldn't "get over it" until she KNEW for a fact that HE really understood exactly how she had been made to feel. At that point, the healing would start.

I don't know if you want to "get over this" or not. If it means living a life without trust, it may be better to move on. If both of you want to fix this -- and it will take both -- I would suggest that you get a few sessions of couples counseling. You need a therapist who can be an objective third party, who can help you talk together about his desire to contact women and your desire to snoop. If he's negative about therapy, tell him HE can pick the therapist. If he won't even do that, I think you have to follow your gut instinct, and go ahead and make it be that last straw.

Please write back to us and update us on what happens. Take care.

October 14, 2009 - 8:58am

Dear Fish,

Although what you read may have been distressing for you to see, he really hasn't cheated on you so I don't know if I would call that the last straw. It may be for him if he finds out that you have had access to his email all along and that you've been snooping. I will admit that I wouldn't like it if my boyfriend completely omitted me from an email to another girl but I get the feeling that he doesn't feel the need to give her much detail because of how far away she lives. Have you ever caught him in anything like this before? With girls that he could possibly cheat with?

I am curious as to why you feel the need to read through his emails? I get the feeling that something has happened in the past to trigger this behavior from you.

October 12, 2009 - 6:00am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Rosa Cabrera RN)

Curious why? Hello? She obviously had a feeling he wasn't true to her and she ended up being right. ALWAYS listen to that inner bell.

Don't attempt to blame her for being triggered. What girls could he cheat with??? Um the ones he contacted!

My god, whatever you do, listen to intuition. The gut always knows. Always. And like Dr. Phil said, a man who has nothing to hide, hides nothing.

Make sure you prepare to kick him out as this relationship will probably end based on his inability to fully commit and play games with other women behind your back.

July 6, 2015 - 9:51pm
(reply to Rosa Cabrera RN)

Thank you for your reply, Rosa.

I confessed to him about having access to his email last night, as well as what I read. He was very angry with me, and he told me that the only reason he chose not to disclose the information was basically what you just said.

To answer your question, you are right. A couple of months ago, he left his email account open and I looked at it out of pure noseyness. I found that he responded to some 'casual encounters' ads on craigslist. I confronted him immediately, and he regretted everything. He told me he made a mistake, and he only went so far to write to some, that no one replied, and he would not have gone through with it if they did. I decided to give him another chance but as you can see, I am still having trouble trusting him again.

October 12, 2009 - 8:40pm
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