I’m a 32-year-old woman with a history of bad relationships. I’ve been with my boyfriend for a few months. He hasn’t given me any reason not to trust him, but I have a strong desire to look through his phone. To give you some backstory, I was blindsided by an ex that I thought was faithful, but was cheating with multiple women. I wouldn’t have caught him if I hadn’t looked through his phone. Obviously, this incident has put me on high alert. I don’t want to jeopardize my new relationship because of baggage from my past. Is it wrong for me to want to check my boyfriend’s phone? What’s the 411?
Dear Wires Crossed,
I empathize with your situation as I too have experienced infidelity. The deception and betrayal feel like something out of a Shakespearean tragedy. I totally get it. One thing you need to hear, really process and take away from this heartbreak is that your new boyfriend is NOT your ex. Your adulterous ex should be punished for his behavior, not your current boyfriend. The past continues to hurt us when we allow it to influence our future. By dwelling on the past, not only are you punishing an innocent man, but more importantly you’re punishing yourself. We can’t carry old, exposed wounds from the past and think that the blood won’t seep into our future. These battle scars will certainly ruin our happiness if we let them. By allowing your ex-boyfriend’s bad behavior to affect your new relationship he continues to victimize and hurt you. You’re giving him too much power. Both you and your new boyfriend deserve better. Heal from it and let it go.
I’m not sure if you’ve checked your current boyfriend’s phone yet, but I strongly advise you not to do it. You’re opening a Pandora’s box that I guarantee will lead to the demise of your relationship. No, it’s not wrong for you to want to check your boyfriend’s phone considering what you’ve endured in your previous relationship, but acting on it is another story. If you go through your boyfriend’s phone, especially without his permission, you’re invading his privacy. Trust is the foundation of a relationship. If you don’t have a strong foundation then your relationship will surely collapse. You say that he hasn’t given you any reason to doubt him, so your behavior seems to be driven by fear and insecurity. I’d suggest sharing your concerns with your boyfriend before acting out on something that you can’t take back.
Initiate an open forum of communication, so wires don’t get crossed. When in doubt, full transparency is recommended. If you snoop around looking for something bad, you’ll probably find what you’re looking for, but it will most likely be misinterpreted or taken out of context. Talk to your boyfriend. Maybe he’ll willingly show you his phone to alleviate your fears. The conversation might reassure you that you have nothing to worry about which will hopefully dissuade you from wanting to play detective. Tread carefully though because if you start asking to check his phone for validation it’s setting a precedent that you don’t trust him based on his word. Don’t let the fear of getting hurt again destroy your happiness. Remember, faith is the belief in something without proof. Trust your partner and have faith.