Every week, I get asked some variation of the following question:
“I know I shouldn’t have, but I looked through my girlfriend’s cell phone. She’s talking to her ex. How do I confront her about it without looking like the bad guy?”
As someone that’s lived through this scenario, I’ll start out by saying that you’re missing the point.
You looked in the cell phone for a reason, right? Perhaps your girlfriend suddenly added a password to her phone. Perhaps she’s been spending time with friends more often, or is being secretive and vague when you ask her questions. You know something’s off, but you can’t quite put your finger on it. So what do you do?
You look for proof.
Your girlfriend goes to the bathroom, your eyes laser beam over to her cell phone, and before you know it, you’re scrolling through her text messages, looking for a reason you feel a knife twisting in your gut every time she says she’s going out with friends.
Well this same theme plays out in many different ways in relationships. Maybe you don’t check her phone, but you look through her emails instead. Maybe you feel sick to your stomach every time she goes out and you don’t know where she is. Maybe you’ve even gone as far as following her to work and spying on her.
The bottom line is that you don’t trust her. But more importantly, you don’t trust YOU! Something’s up and you can feel it in your gut.
Don’t ignore that feeling. Trust your gut.
It’s not about whether or not you found someone in your partner’s phone. It’s about trust. You must be able to trust your partner, and you must be able to trust yourself.
So for all of you considering checking your partner’s phone that haven’t yet pulled the trigger: Don’t do it.
Stop trying to control the situation and start taking responsibility for what you can control: YOU. Why do you need proof that cheating is occurring to acknowledge that you don’t feel safe in the relationship?
Speak up, confront the issue head on, and have a conversation about it.
For all of you that have already checked the cell phone, and that stumbled upon some suspicious text messages or phone calls, I gently say to you wake up.
I’m not saying to approach your partner with boxing gloves on, ready to fight. But I am saying that if it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck: It’s probably a duck.
If you’ve checked the phone and there’s nothing there, this is still your issue. What really prompted your concern? Was it an old wound? Self-worth issues? Fear?
Be honest. Go and have a real conversation about that twisting feeling in your gut. Figure out what’s really going on, and if that twisting feeling won’t go away do not ignore it.
Trust yourself to make the right decision. Trust your gut.
Have you ever checked your partner’s cell phone? What did you find? Share your story below.
Also, check out this post to help answer the question “how do I overcome insecurity in my relationship?”
Photo Credit: Ed Yourdon via Flickr