Text messaging, tears and betrayal

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Dear Guys,

For the past week, my boyfriend has suddenly started receiving text messages from some girl that he says is just a friend. He gets off work around midnight and from midnight until about 2am they are texting back and forth. He says she’s much younger and having issues with a guy after having sex with him.

I began getting suspicious because after a couple of days it should have stopped. When he got in the shower, I checked his messages and saw her asking where he was and if they were meeting at the usual place. Before getting in the shower he replied, “Sweetie, are you there?” She began calling.

I was so pissed I confronted him and confessed to looking through his phone. He was calm the entire time and kept shaving.  I asked him why he would keep leading me on if he was in love with someone else?  He said, “You don’t know what you are talking about and you are thinking too much.” I pushed and asked if he lied to me about visiting his mom in the hospital. He got pissed and told me, “Fine. I’ll leave. I’m not coming back.” I went in the bedroom and slammed the door. I came back out and grabbed his phone threatening to call her. He snatched the phone from me and said, “You don’t know what you’re doing.”

I was defeated at this point and since I was taking a trip out of town in a few days I decided to focus my energy on preparing. I went to dinner with a male friend of mine and came home pretty tipsy and I thought I beat him home, but I didn’t.  He was standing outside and his face was red and he had been crying pretty hard. I walked up and he said, “I’m so sorry. I was so worried.”

When we got in the apartment, he held me and put his head in my lap. I tried consoling him, but I felt betrayed. Even during the night he cried in his sleep. I don’t know what to do. I know I betrayed him by looking through his phone, but I found what I found. Were his tears an admission of guilt?  I truly love him. I don’t know if this is grounds for a break up or if there’s a way to fix it?

Eve

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Dear Eve,

Thanks for your question.

We’re sorry you’re going through a rough time right now. Betrayal is a very difficult thing to deal with, and also very difficult to recover from.

Curiosity is what drives people to snoop through their hosts’ medicine cabinet when they are staying for a visit. Suspicion is what drives people to snoop through their partner’s phone. We totally understand why you went through his phone, but once you do something like that there’s no going back. But we hardly call that a betrayal. Yes, maybe a breach of trust, but not a betrayal. Why? Because unfortunately you found the information you were looking for, proving that he’s been doing “something” behind your back.

We interpret his tears as you do: an admission of guilt. But they’re also likely tears of fear, possibly because he’s scared that you’ll break up with him. They could also be tears of sadness because although he cares for you, he ultimately knows that something isn’t right between the two of you.

Is his betrayal grounds for a breakup? That’s up to the two of you Eve.

Some questions you have to ask yourself:

Do I believe his story?

Can I trust him again?

Do I believe he won’t do this again?

Does he truly love me in the way I want to be loved?

What drove him to do this, and is that particular thing something that can be addressed?

What kind of man do I want to be in a relationship with?

Am I able to forgive him and move past this?

Eve, there are no rules here. People break up for much less, and people stay together after enduring much more. It’s all a matter of what you can handle, and what’s right for you and your boyfriend. We would suggest you start talking about these difficult, but important issues. You might possibly need a third party to get involved to help facilitate the conversation. (A professional counselor possibly.) Either way it all starts with talking. (One thing to consider. While you’re trying to sort out all of these questions you might want to steer clear of the physical side of your relationship. That’s only going to confuse you.)

Good luck. Please leave us a comment and/or a follow up question. We’ll respond in the comments section.

THE GUYS

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