Question: This is so embarrassing I didn’t want to ask my friends about it, so I’m going to ask you, Dr. Dish. I found some explicit text messages on my boyfriend’s cell phone from someone I don’t know. It is just a phone number (no name) and I have been tempted to call it. I haven’t told my boyfriend about it because I do not want him to know that I looked at his cell phone. What should I do?
Answer: Well, you don’t have too many options. You can either confess you looked at his cell phone — which you did and you should probably own up to it — and have a serious discussion about trust and honesty. Or you can ignore what you did — and what he did — and pretend it didn’t happen.
Of course, you know the second option isn’t that easy — or effective, especially if 1) he is cheating and 2) you don’t trust him.
You could easily end up like Tiger Woods’ wife, Elin Nordegren, who’s in the middle of a sexting scandal. Allegedly Woods’ mistress Joslyn James released extremely graphic text messages she collected while engaged in an affair with the pro golfer. (She posted more than 100 of them on her Web site, www.sextingjoslynjames.com. Yeah, she’s really hurt by all this.) Nordegren didn’t know — allegedly — about all these text messages and sexual escapades. Now she stands to inherit more money than most A-list celebrities make in a single career.
Not to say that your boyfriend is actually cheating on you (or that you’ll win millions of dollars in a break-up settlement.) You just need to find out the truth. The thing is you have to also confess what you did — and that’s going to break his trust in you, too.
This is a tough one. My advice is tell the truth. You may as well set the example for him to be honest, too.
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Assume for a moment that this is a “fling” in his life and he stays by you. What would be gained by the confrontation? You could jeopardize his returning to you down the road. Or, he could set a pattern that he’ll wander off the reservation again.
And, if he’s determined that this relationship is pretty much done, confronting him will seal that fate. So, for the sake of discussion, if you assign a 50% chance at each decision point [(done vs fling) and (confront vs don’t confront), there’s a 75% chance it’s either over or he’ll do it again. So, you really need to look at the likelihood that this is some kind of transitional phase for him and that he’ll gain his senses and return to you if you withhold a confrontation. Since each circumstances are unique — that is where advice without more information is difficult.
In the meantime, you need reevaluate and determine if there is another, better opportunity for you.
Hello Dr. Cat!
I agree, tell him you saw the text messages on his phone and ask him what’s that all about…..
Mention to him of your temptation with the “grass is greener on the other side of the fence”(it may or not be true, at least it will get the conversation started). Then tell him how even though the grass seemed greener, you realized how many more weeds were there and how he is better than taking a chance on getting a weed instead of a flower! After that, “jump his bones” so he will get the message!!! (BTW, this is from a man’s perspective!!????)
tell him the truth. it is best 2 b truthful.
If the boyfriend and girlfriend are at the beginning stages of their relationship, then this could be a case of a prior girlfriend attempting to hang on. If on the other hand, they have been in a long-term relationship, then this could be a sign of trouble…. aka….where there’s smoke there’s fire.
In either case, I agree with you, she should be truthful and get to the bottom of what is really going on.
Nothing good comes out of invading someone’s privacy… whatever moral ground you had to confront him on a fling if it were to come up another way is now lost. Tit for tat. Cheating on someone is horrible… but so is cheating on their trust by looking at his private messages. Shame on him if he’s cheating, and shame on you for invading his privacy.
But, you did what you did… might as well confront him now. Be prepared to catch Hell for it, but give right back if your suspicions are confirmed. However, you’ve created a no win situation for yourself. If he’s cheating –> lose. If he’s not, you violated his trust –> lose.
@MaxMaxMax damn, if you play chess as well as you reason, i’m hiding my wallet. you Architects do think logically, though. i’ve been married to one for over 25 years and she’s been checkmating me the whole time.
@turkfontaine –> Yeah, I guess I did paint a bleak outcome, eh? Maybe my point is more suited for the person who has yet to check texts, as opposed to the one who asked the Q to Cat.
Check mate, bruddah! 😉
@MaxMaxMax @turkfontaine I’m with you on this. I think you have to own up to what you’ve done. Otherwise you’re a hypocrite. You can’t accuse someone of cheating if you’re spying. Doesn’t make sense.
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In a similar situation I confronted her, she lied nothing was going on, I chose to look the other way, and now she is married to the next guy she cheated on me with. So guess what my advice is… get out now no questions asked. and yes, rumor has it she is cheating on him too. My feeling is you looked at the cell phone because something was telling you he was up to something. I’ll let you off the hook there. But if you are the paranoid type as a rule and just got lucky this time seek help. Living a life of suspicion will cost you dearly at some point in your life. Like Max cubed said LOSE LOSE.
if he’s not cheating, he would if given the chance. being monogamous is like becoming a monk. it’s all or nothing. and it’s a hard choice, for a man or a woman, because making the commitment means giving up all the other possibilities, all the other unexplored potential. when you make a choice to, you make countless choices not to. we are supposed to learn this around the age of three, but maturity is something that increasingly eludes our ever shallowing society.
hmmm, assuming this is a woman asking the question … can’t help but wonder if her b/f swings from both sides of the plate so to speak … dump him. And, beg to differ from our friend Turk. Being monogamous is not like becoming a monk. It just means you are ready to commit. But this whole relationship sounds like trouble. One person is ‘sexting’ and the other is ‘checksting.’
@Maxcat ‘checksting.’ i think you’ve got a candidate for the Oxford Dictionary here.
One person is ‘sexting’ and the other is ‘checksting.’
Maxcat, let’s try… “chexting!” Same phonetics as your word, but spelled with the popular “…exting,” LOL!
@MaxMaxMax @Maxcat Checksting — I dig it.
@MaxMaxMax — i like it
I guess my question to this person would be why were they looking at the text messages in the first place? I would think that they already were suspicious because honestly you would have no reason to check out their text messages unless you thought something was going on. Obviously you had a good reason for looking, so you should be truthful and confront them. Be tactful. You know why? Because you don’t know the real reason for those messages. It could be a misunderstanding or some crazed person. You have choice to be an adult and have a conversation to find out the truth or not. If this is a relationship you truly have faith in, then you owe it to the other person to be truthful.