I’ve been in a relationship with my boyfriend for two years. We get along wonderfully and are each other’s best friends. We spend much of our time together and rarely go a day without seeing or hanging out with each other. He talks about our future and us being married and he’s very loving in our relationship. Lately, though, I’ve been having weird feelings about our relationship (woman’s intuition?) and so I recently checked his e-mail, which he gave me the password to awhile ago.
My boyfriend’s very charming and naturally flirtatious, and the feeling I was having was that maybe he was talking to another girl or something of that nature. I found a conversation between him and a woman he had just met and he had e-mailed her to tell her it was nice to meet her. The conversation continued and though they were talking business, they also were joking around and talking about hanging out some time, like over happy hour or lunch.
The girl has a boyfriend (I looked her up on Facebook), so maybe it’s just a friendly conversation, but she was the one who suggested the happy hour plans and definitely sounded flirtatious in her replies. Am I reading too much into this or should I be worried that this could turn into something more? He’s cheated on his previous girlfriends so I’m sometimes worried he may do that to me, though when I have brought this up to him he tells me that our relationship is the healthiest and happiest he’s ever had and I’m the only one he wants. Frankly, I am worried that he might start some kind of relationship with this random girl behind my back. I want to bring it up to him, but then I have to disclose that I was looking at his e-mail, which could spark up an argument. Should I confront him or just have faith in him and our relationship? — Feeling Suspicious
Oh, come on. You’re not going to “just have faith in him” because you don’t have faith in him. Do you think you’re just going to wake up tomorrow and suddenly trust him after all this time? And if so, how has snooping through his email and finding an exchange with some random girl going to make that happen? If anything it’s going to cause you to have less faith in him not more. If you had enough suspicions to go snooping in the first place, you sure as hell aren’t going to stop snooping now that those suspicions have been stoked just a bit.
No, this is not an issue that’s simply going to go away simply because you want it to. If you don’t confront your boyfriend, you’re likely going to keep distrusting him and keep sneaking into his email account to keep tabs on the friendship he’s developed with this other woman. You can do that, of course. You can keep tabs for a while and see if you find more “evidence” to confront you boyfriend with. Or, you can decide that after two years, you’re uncomfortable with the lack of trust and faith you have in him and that a heart-to-heart is long overdue. You don’t have to mention the email you found, but if you did, definitely be prepared for a fight and some full-on denial of any wrongdoing. What you can focus on instead is your inability to trust that what you share with your boyfriend is different than what he shared with his exes, and even after two years you cannot get over your fear that he’s going to cheat on you too.
Honestly, I’m not sure what it is your boyfriend could say or do that would convince you he’ll always be faithful. But unless he does convince you somehow — at least enough to keep you out of his email — I’d say this relationship doesn’t have a firefly’s chance in Serbia. Because even if you move past your current suspicion, another one will crop up. You’ll get “women’s intuition” again because your intuition has been put on alert. Maybe it was put on alert as soon as you learned about your boyfriend’s cheatin’ past, or maybe there’s something going on in your relationship you didn’t mention in this letter, but regardless the reason, your intuition is on alert and you won’t be able to “just have faith in your boyfriend” until you feel in your heart you don’t have reason not to have faith in him.
The best and easiest — though certainly not foolproof — way to get there is through communication. You need to be honest about your fears and why you have them. This means being honest with yourself first. Dig deep and ask yourself how big your fears are, what exactly they’re based on (Is it just his past relationships? Is it his flirtatious ways? The fact that he’s friendly with other women — even behind your back? A combination of all of the above?), and whether there’s any way you can move past them. And if there isn’t — if there’s nothing left for your boyfriend to say to convince you he’s loyal to you and you only — you need to think about Moving On Already. The days are limited in a relationship without total trust.
*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at [email protected] and be sure to follow me on Twitter.