Dear What Men Want: I have been with my boyfriend for two years, living together for the last year. He is bluntly honest. If I ask–he tells, and doesn’t sugar coat it. Because of bad relationships in his past, at the beginning of ours he was very suspicious–checking my text messages, emails, etc. I never cared, because I have nothing to hide. In the last six months he has found security and has stopped his snooping, BUT over the last couple of weeks I have noticed that when I enter the room and he is texting, he quickly puts his phone away. Even though I have tried NOT to be a suspicious girlfriend, my curiosity got the best of me and when he was away from his phone (which by the way NEVER happens) I looked in his inbox and outbox. Both were completely empty. If he has nothing to hide, why would he delete all his messages? Why would he quickly put away his phone when I enter the room if he wasn’t hiding something? Am I totaly overreacting? If I ask him, he will think I dont trust him… What should I do?
Suspicious and Hating It, Wichita, Kansas
Dear Suspicious and Hating It: You aren’t totally overreacting. The problem is, you seem to be afraid to hear what he might tell you. Let me first of all say that if you start a relationship with someone who doesn’t trust you, you are headed for dangerous territory. Your boyfriend has obviously been deeply hurt and damaged by past relationships. But those relationships had nothing to do with you and frankly his desire to check your emails and texts is a complete violation of your personal space and privacy. Then again, you can’t really complain about that now because you went and did the same thing without asking.
You say: “If I ask him, he will think I don’t trust him.” Well, I hate to break it to you but you clearly do not trust him already. If you went through his phone you’re already in the No Trust Zone whether you know it or not. You are now the suspicious girlfriend you didn’t want to become.
Right now your relationship is in a dangerous place. You say he has stopped asking to see your messages over the past six months, but now he’s making you curious about his activity. There is a chance that he has stopped being suspicious because he doesn’t want to be subjected to the same kind of scrutiny he put you through.
That doesn’t mean he is cheating on you though. Who knows what he is doing or saying to anyone? There’s a chance (albeit a small one) that his real name is Dick Whitman, he deserted during the Korean War, took the name Don Draper, is an executive at a big advertising firm and has multiple affairs on the side.
In his defense, I often delete my texts every day because I don’t like my BlackBerry to be clogged up with inane messages from my friends about the “boob quality” of the girls they’re out with.
The only way for you to do anything about this is to just come out and ask him. Next time you walk into a room and he hides his phone, just ask him why he did that. Press him on it if you have to.
You say he is an honest, blunt person. Well if you ask him that question and he dodges it, you will know he has something to hide.
Ryan Phillips is a 28-year-old freelance journalist. He is the founder of Rumors and Rants, one of the top sports blogs on the internet. He and four friends write much longer, more incoherent posts there.
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