Reading his texts, I conclude he was planning to go with his friend and two girls they partied with at another time. It seemed he was really upset to not go and be missing this “good time/chance” because of me. I had no reason to look through his phone, but the opportunity arose and I took it and this is what I found. Now, I am not sure how to confront Tony about something that happened so far back and not look stupid and like I violated his privacy. But he disrespected me to the fullest and I feel disgusted.
I need help on what my next steps should be. I love him and I know he loves me, but I’m not down for this. I have a line and he crossed it. I do everything for this man. Please help. — Not Down For This
Oh, come on — be honest with yourself. You don’t really trust Tony, do you? And it seems for good reason! Why else would you go through his phone — looking through several months of texts — if you trusted him? Why would you worry that Tony doesn’t always tell you “100% of his plans when he hangs with the boys”? You don’t trust him. He was a “ladies’ man” before you dated and you worry that he still is. Sounds like he hasn’t shed that persona entirely, and you need to call him on it.
How do you call him on it? You tell him that you don’t trust him, which is a problem in itself, and that, when an opportunity arose to snoop through his phone, you took it. And what you discovered has left you feeling disgusted and betrayed. Tell him he crossed the line and you don’t know how you’re going to move on from this and ever trust him again (if you ever did in the fist place). And then listen to what he has to say for himself. If he gaslights you (makes your snooping a bigger deal than the issue your snooping uncovered), I’d move on. If he lies to you (says the texts were a “joke” or a friend of his was using his phone or he doesn’t remember and therefore it never happened), I’d move on. If he blames you — says this was during a time when you weren’t paying enough attention to him, I’d move on. Basically, the only response that’s remotely acceptable to even move toward a conversation would be an immediate apology and some expression of shame and regret on his part. And even then, you only move forward to a conversation about the state of your relationship (including your urge to snoop and what that means about your shaky level of trust).
Six years is a long time to invest in a relationship and often I hear from women in your boat about how that’s simply too much time to invest in someone and then just walk away. But would you tell people on a sinking ship to stay aboard because they set sail so long ago? No, that would be stupid. If they stayed aboard a sinking ship, they’d sink along with it, no matter how long they’d been onboard. Once they realize it’s sinking, the only smart thing to do is to get off it one way or another. So, if you determine that your relationship is sinking — and, frankly, it sounds like that’s the way it’s headed — please do yourself a favor and jump ship. It’s likely the only way to save yourself.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.