Q: Before we get into the thick of the issue, please know that this is not a deal-breaker. I'm just confused about what move to make next (if any).
I have been dating my boyfriend for a year -- a very wonderful year that will be the first of many. We live about an hour away from each other and have opposite work schedules, so we end up being weekend lovers. I'll relocate to be closer to him soon.
Surprisingly, my question doesn't involve our arrangement, but an incident that occurred yesterday. I left for work bright and early in the morning, sad to leave him in my bed, and disappointed that Monday morning showed up so quickly. He stayed over and was waiting for traffic to lighten up before making the trek home. I returned from work later that day to find my journal/diary next to my bed. The journal started off as a note holder in my college days but has transformed into a play-by-play of my personal highs and lows over many years. The diary was in the right place -- but it wasn't how I left it. I normally leave it standing straight up, but when I came home it was standing on its side. Now, what makes this a little more interesting is that he showed great interest in this binder when he first noticed it and has brought it up a few times since then (inquiring if I wrote anything new about him.) I assured him that there was nothing bad in there about him and even showed him a couple of entries to prove it.
There really aren't any secrets in there and nothing that I havenít already discussed with him or would eventually. I am more embarrassed by some of the things in there because they were written mid-thought-process, in the midst of really tough times. I have come a long way and grown a lot over the years. Essentially, I'm not comfortable with him knowing my inner thoughts at my darkest moments. Obviously, the trust of being able to leave this journal conveniently near my bed is not going to continue, and trust that he will respect my wishes is diminished.
So, do I bring it up? I don't have hard evidence that he did look at it so what held me back from bringing it up yesterday was that I may loose some of his trust if I wrongly accuse him. Is there an approach (if any) you and the LL readers recommend?
– Shock & Awe, Boston
A: I'm not sure why you didn't move your journal as soon as you realized he was interested in it, S&A. It's like you left a massive bowl of chocolate next to your bed and said to your chocoholic significant other, "Don't touch, OK?" You're supposed to hide diaries. Because they're diaries. And no, I don't think that you should bring this up to him.
Because we don't know if he read it. He might have knocked it over and put it back wrong. He might have flipped it open, experienced immediate guilt and regret, and then set it back down. You might have moved it and simply forgotten. He might have opened it, read all the wonderful things you wrote about him, and then used that information to fuel his wonderful feelings about you.
I don't think he's a snooper, or at least not any more of a snooper than any normal human. Just move the thing and delete it from your brain.
Readers? Should she bring this up with him? Is it her fault for leaving it by the bed or should he have been able to control himself? Ever read a significant other's journal? Discuss.
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.