Q: Hi Meredith,
My boyfriend and I have been dating about six months. I haven't been in a relationship in a while, and I've been really happy to be with someone again. However, I have a bit of a trust problem due to situations with past boyfriends.
With this current relationship, I've always been a little leery from the start because he does like to go out and drink a lot, and I worry he'll cheat. I recently was feeling insecure and decided to look at his phone. I found text messages back and forth to a girl that lasted about a month and a half. I was already his girlfriend for two months at this point, so I don't think he was trying to casually date. It's unclear if he actually cheated, but some of the text messages bothered me. He told her that he wanted to take her out and she invited him to a few events that he couldn't go to because he had plans. She also sent a few pictures that were a little inappropriate. The last few messages she sent he did not respond to. I'd like to think he stopped talking to her because he knew it was wrong, but I don't know what really happened.
I'm struggling to decide if I should confront him or let it slide. I really want to bring it up to him because I'm upset and I think it will affect my mood toward him if I hold it in. I know there's a big possibility that it will blow up in my face since I broke his trust by snooping through his phone. It's been almost three months since he's texted her and we seem to be getting more serious (meeting family and friends). I don't want to ruin what could be a good relationship, but I don't know if it's already ruined by what he did.
– Sad Snooper, Boston
A: You have to tell him what you did and then talk this out. Because you're still snooping, right? I'm guessing that you know that it's been three months since he contacted this other woman because you continue to check his phone. Are you going to read his texts forever? When does it stop?
It sounds like you guys committed way too quickly. You decided to be a couple when you were still just getting to know each other. You skipped like eight steps and it's all catching up to you.
I don't know whether the relationship is ruined, but you'll find out by coming clean. Tell him what you did and what you fear. Find out how he deals with conflict and whether he can put your mind at ease.
I have to be honest -- I'm not loving this situation. The lies, the drinking, the texts ... it's a series of red flags. But it's worth a discussion. You'll either leave the talk feeling confident ... or not, and then you'll know what to do.
Readers? Should she disclose the snoop? Anything to save here? What about the drinking? Is this relationship ruined? Help.
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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.