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Ask a Feminist: My BF's Texting My Friend – Should I Worry?

Ask a Feminist: My BF's Texting My Friend – Should I Worry?

Conventional Wisdom is a different kind of advice column. Your questions will be answered by people from all walks of life rather than by advice experts. A Feminist, who answered a previous Conventional Wisdom column, is back to answer yet another "Am I paranoid or is he cheating on me?" question. You can submit questions here.

Today's Question:

I recently found out my boyfriend has been texting my friend behind my back. He says there's nothing going on and that she has a boyfriend. He doesn't live with me as he works away, but he texts and calls her more than he does me. When I confronted him, he just said she was giving him relationship advice but I don't know what to believe. He also lied about being at work one day and apparently stayed with one of his friends instead of being with our daughter and me. I don't know what to do. I'm so paranoid lately.

Signed, Worried.

To find out what a feminist has to say to Worried,

Hi Worried,

I'm sure you know the saying, "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you." I say this not to make light of your situation, but to remind you that both your extreme suspicion and your boyfriend's inappropriate behavior could be going on simultaneously.


To begin with — I need more information about your situation. You have a child with this boyfriend. Was this a planned pregnancy? Are you both together for the sake of your child or do you truly want to be together? How old are you? Do you plan to get married? I ask this to get a sense of what your bond with your boyfriend is right now, as well as to see if ambivalence might be fueling his lies and strange lack of boundaries. From the way you describe his behavior and your lack of trust, I almost don't need answers to these other questions.

It goes without saying that without trust in a relationship, there's nothing. If you both have promised to be exclusive with one another, and your boyfriend begins to erode your trust in other areas, it makes sense you would begin to wonder if he's strayed from his fidelity or plans to.

Although I can't speculate on his fidelity to you, I can say your boyfriend, the father of your child, seems to lack a sense of propriety, or a sense of what appropriate behavior is. To text and call your female friend without your knowledge to talk about relationship issues is sketchy in the extreme. Whether he's counseling her or getting advice (what the heck could he be asking her or saying about you?!), seeking emotional intimacy with your friend is just weird. Is he trying to get "close" to her in other ways? I assume your friend told you he was doing this and with what frequency, given that you say he's calling and texting her more than he does you.

This is a problem, Worried. I would confront him. Make sure he understands why this feels like an emotional betrayal, tell him that you want him to talk to you about your relationship, and that he needs to stop texting and confiding in your friend. If you can, maybe you both can see a counselor together. The bottom line is, use common sense in deciding whether or not you can trust him going forward. I really believe we women should trust our guts about infidelity or its potential — we're almost never wrong.

Good luck!

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
staple-salad staple-salad 7 years
I can see legit ways he would not be cheating. I know that when I was dating my ex, I frequently went to his friend for advice. His friend has a long-distance girlfriend (and they've been dating for years), but has a really kind personality and is easy to talk to... he was just more approachable than my friends (my best friend was going through her own emotional crisis and I couldn't really ask her for advice). The boyfriend in this scenario could be doing the same thing... looking for advice. And for everyone who says "anyone in a good relationship will be going to their partner for relationship advice!" Sometimes there are things you need to talk about with people outside the relationship... like say, when planning a proposal, or figuring out how to bring up the topic of wanting to get married when your partner is iffy about it, or wanting to have kids when your partner is iffy about it. Somethings that are just to odd to bring up without thinking with another person first. Though, if my boyfriend were talking to one of my friends a lot, it'd weird me out at first, but I have insanely trustworthy friends (most of whom are in serious relationships, or not looking for a relationship period), and the rest are men and lesbians (I've made a lot more friends since high school... when I was dating my ex).
Kaori Kaori 7 years
Thanks for sharing that story with us, dikke kus. It's nice to know that tragic stories can have happy endings too :D But man...If I were you, I would have killed your bf and friend. I can't believe some people can be so terrible.
dikke-kus dikke-kus 7 years
Marcied and Kaori, hoped you liked my little story. It's a fun story and it was great for me to get a little justice when I needed it most........ FYI I never spoke to that so called "boyfriend" at work again. I told him that I saw all of his emails and knew what was going on, not that I cared anymore. I'm pretty sure I mentioned it to both of them I thought an F16 pilot fighter was just a little better than a divorced writer with baggage and a small penis anyway.
nicklover nicklover 7 years
Something like this had happened to my friend. She was dating her bf for a month when she noticed that his attention was turned towards our friend Adi. Being close to Adi I asked Adi about her and my friends bf. She said that she really liked him and they were planning to hook up the next Saturday. I ammediately told my other friend who got really mad and confronted her bf. He said there was nothing going on but we checed Adi's email and there was all the proof we needed.
dikke-kus dikke-kus 7 years
Oh I see someone is asking for more details....... OK its a fun one actaully. Well after I saw the emails I had a melt down. I cried and drove to a close friend. My first instinct was to have a hot volley of words between the two of them and make a loud embrarrassing scene at work. But then, I thought of something better. I went back to work as if I knew absolutely nothing. I would text horrible nasty critical remarks about the girl to him. Then he, behind my back would foward it to her. The comedy began as she would sit fumming in her her seat as I passed by her office smiling and asking is everything OK?. Next I sent her at text about what a small penis he had and I couldn't imagine sex with him for much longer. She would then go running to his office to make that report to him as well. But true justice happened soon after in Ybor City, Tampa. We all met at a popular bar there. This girlfriend who bretrayed me asked if she could bring my boyfriend. So the two snakes walked in together . But I just flipped my hair and looked good. About five minutes on the floor we noticed a group of young men dancing together. But not gay, no more perhaps European style. So I asked who they were and it turns out the were F16 pilots from the Netherlands. Well I flirted like hell with one and we I had the best night ever. This Captian would not leave me alone! He chased me around the bar and we had some hot steaming kisses between drinks. And other playful exchanges. This was my justice. His advances shot arrows into my heart and in this heavely plan the source of all my injury deception and lies, they just slipped away out the door. Well my pilot friend stayed in touch with me for a long time. Last I heard he is In Kabul.
Kaori Kaori 7 years
Yes! Please tell us this "justice on a silver platter" story! It sounds exciting~
marcied23 marcied23 7 years
dikke, you have to tell us what happened!! no fair to leave us hanging, getting "justice on a silver platter" stories should always be shared :)
dikke-kus dikke-kus 7 years
Well I had a similar situation happen once. I learned the hard way. It was the same thing. I had a boyfriend but he was confiding with a close friend of mine. While he was dating me he said it was no big deal and that I was his girlfriend not to worry. Later I got suspicious. So I opened up my girlfriends email at work and used her password. There it was. Weeks and weeks of romantic sexual letters back and forth to one another. Also there were comments from them both about undermining my promotion at work. I could have died. I was shocked and disgusted by their cruel behavior. But I did recover and justice was served to me on a silver platter. But that's another story for later....... So this woman is not your friend. He is confiding in her and then worse your good friend is betraying you. You need to tell her she is not to speak to your boyfriend or you'll tell her nice boyfriend what's going on in a text message to him maybe huh? If she's your friend she would be forwarding his texts and reporting his behavior to you. But I take it she's not, huh? I hope you can resolve this problem.
Ac2366 Ac2366 7 years
Secrets are bad things when you're in a relationship. You don't seek relationship advice from your significant other's best friend unless you are a teenager. I don't know how old you guys are, but you both need to sit down and have a grown up discussion about your relationship. I wouldn't let my friend get off easy on this one either. If your bf and bff are really talking about you behind your back then you may want to think about why no one is including you in the conversation. Are you easily angered, defensive and/or unapproachable? Think about it.
Love-and-Sex Love-and-Sex 7 years
Mamasita — we're answering the ones that come in. I highly encourage readers to send in non-cheating questions. Please!
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 7 years
could we maybe pick some new themes for this feature? I think we are all getting tired of "is my bf cheating? I'm paranoid that he is but don't know what to do", I certainly am. the answer is always "without trust you have nothing" - yawn! next topic please.
Chrstne Chrstne 7 years
It is a fact of life that when you have relationship problems, the normal person talks to the person they are having the problem with. He obviously is just texting your friend to chat or whatever his motives are, but certainly not for relationship advice. You need to be very clear that you are not an idiot, and you can see shady behavior -- especially when it's right in front of your face. He can either stop being sneaky about what he is doing, or he can take a hike. As for your "friend", she is no friend of yours if she is trying to carry on this semi-secret "friendship" with your boyfriend. Maybe next time you see her, you should remind her that the next time your boyfriend texts her, have him redirect his "issues" straight to you. I would also ask her what makes her want to keep it from you as well. What winners you have in your life right now, huh?
AlphaChickee AlphaChickee 7 years
Yes, worry. The 2009 Great Male Survey from (unveiled just last week) revealed that nearly 70 percent of men admit to fantasizing about their girlfriends' or wives' friends. So even if a guy doesn't act on anything or claims innocence, it's not like the thought hasn't crossed his mind. There is absolutely no reason he should be texting your friend for relationship advice. He should be communicating these concerns to you instead. You are NOT paranoid!
Smacks83 Smacks83 7 years
I don't think your bf is the only one with issues when it comes to whats appropriate. Can I remind you of the fact that your friend texting back? I think you should talk to both of them, but please consider this your Big Red Flag #1
sham28 sham28 7 years
And I hate to use a Dr. Phil'ism' but it's SO relevant here- you teach people how to treat you. Don't tolerate disrespect.
sham28 sham28 7 years
Sketchy. I've used the "I was talking about relationships" excuse in the past when I talked to a hot guy, and it's usually BS (I don't do that anymore). But that's not really anything you can do anything about yet, because you don't have any good information. HOWEVER. The lying has got to go. Establish a zero tolerance policy on that one. Dishonesty kills relationships. Explain that he's totally welcome to have time with his friends, but that he needs to generally let you know what he's doing out of respect. Just keep an eye on him for a little while. You have a child together so you need to be clear about what you expect and what you deserve. You're setting an example for your daughter, too.
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