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I Snooped My Boyfriend's Phone

"I Snooped and Found Something . . . Now What?"

This question is from a Group Therapy post in our community. Add your advice in the comments!

I'll try my best to make this short. I really appreciate any and all advice here, I am so stumped on what to do.

My boyfriend and I have been together for about three months now. I'm 24 he is 28. We met at work, and were not really friends before we started dating. So basically I have some trust issues because I don't really know much about his dating life before we got together, other than the fact that he was kind of a player. 

We have an interesting relationship. Most of the time we are great, have a good time together. He told me he loved me first, probably about two months in. That was a big deal for him because he had only said it to one girl before, and they dated for five years.


A couple weeks ago we had a bad string of fights about all sorts of things, but the past couple weeks have been great with no problems. 

I'm not really sure how much of this back story is relevant, but there it is anyway lol. 

So back to my trust issues.... I snooped in his phone last night because I just had a bad feeling. I know it's totally wrong and an invasion of privacy, but I couldn't help it. Anyways, I found something. A text conversation between him and another girl from last Saturday late night / Sunday afternoon. 

This conversation happened when he was away at a bachelor party all weekend on a boat with a bunch of guys. I was under the impression that he didn't have cell phone service out there, so seeing that he was talking to anyone was kind of a shock, because I didn't hear from him until Monday, only one little text on Saturday. 

He initiated the convo, asking for her to send him a video. She responded that her boyfriend probably wouldn't like the type of video he was trying to get her to send. He then asked her for a picture of her boobs the next afternoon. Thankfully she didn't send one. The whole convo was only around 10 texts, and in it he also made a comment implying that he didn't have a girlfriend. 

I don't want to be conceited, but I'm an attractive girl. This girl he was talking to is really not that pretty and also pretty white trash. 

Also I'm not a prude, we have a great sex life and see each other all the time, so it's not like he's missing anything in that department. I had actually sent him a naked picture two days before this, so why would he go asking another girl for the same thing?

I'm so confused. I really don't know what to do in this situation, so please if anyone has been there, let me know how you handled it. I really want to trust him deep down, and don't think he's actually cheating on me, but this is definitely not ok behavior. What do I do?

Thanks for any help!

Image Source: Thinkstock
Bridgette2756112 Bridgette2756112 5 years
I snooped in my ex's phone for the first time in May 2010 because we were having trust issues, fighting all the time, and he had a lot of girl "friends". I found him sexting with a co-worker that I had asked him about. He denied everything when I brought it up to him and nothing was the same after. The only conversations we had were arguments and we snapped at each other about everything. He had me so distraught I had physically and mentally started to break down and was put on an anti-depressant. Just this past January, his girlfriend (the co-worker I had caught him sexting with a couple years prior) from the past two years friended me (unknowingly) on Facebook and it all came out between us. I at least had a clue. The other girl was clueless.   Needless to say, if it looks like he's cheating, he is cheating. Don't waste your time on losers like that. If they want other girls, let them have them. One less jerk the rest of us have to deal with. We all deserve to be with a guy who wants only us. I know it's hard to be in the situation, especially if you think you're in love. But it's not worth it. It's easy. Kick his lying cheating scummy butt to the curb.
henna-red henna-red 5 years
Been reading through here, and a couple of things jump out at me. First, you're dating a guy who has a reputation and so you are already disposed to not trust him. That's why you snooped. Second, you didn't "have" to snoop, you wanted to snoop. Third, you are in a relationship where he is not honest with you, and you are not honest with him. That doesn't work. Now, in general, I agree, some things are private. I can't say I'd care all that much if someone saw what's in my phone, but then I don't really have anything to hide. However, I do have a lot of friends in very disparate kinds of situations and I don't share everything with anyone, so the action of snooping would offend me and seriously make me consider being with that person. And each person gets to decide what is private for them. You don't get to say "well if I'm willing to share, then he should be." What you do get to do is to decide whether or not you want to be with someone who's version of privacy excludes you from something you don't think should be a big deal. In your particular instance, I have to say I think chibros has really zoomed in on the truth here. He doesn't want to share his phone because he knows he has activities that you would not condone, he doesn't want to give them up, he doesn't want to tell you about them. Personaly, from what I'm hearing you say, I don't think your relationship has a good basis in stability. He's hiding stuff, you're snooping and wanting to lie about it. I know, as you say, that's it's harder when it you. Well......yeah. Of course it is. But you said it yourself, if you read this thread, you'd tell the gal to dump him. So I think your decision to tell him what you did and what you found is the only healthy option, but I also think, from what you said, that you can probably expect your honesty to end this relationship. And I think you know that and are slowly accepting it, however emotionaly hard that is. I certainly wish you the best, and adivise you to not get into relationships with trust issues from the getgo. You will never really know anyone's whole past. You will know who they say they are and who they demonstrate themselves to be. If you start something with someone you already are suspicious of, you're doomed from the beginning. Take good care Alex, good luck with your talk, your man, your future
BiWife BiWife 5 years
Lily, for me, at least, the issue is trust and respect. Do you respect your partner enough to trust them with privacy? Yes, trust and respect should be earned, but once earned it should be valued and used (as in, if you trust someone, you will ask them if they've been doing something vs getting into their stuff behind their back). Even if you feel "validated" in snooping if you find something, you still started the whole process through a lack of trust and respect. It is those core principles of a relationship that need to be worked on, not just keeping tabs on your man enough to make sure he never talks to someone you don't like or in a way you don't understand/appreciate.
chibros chibros 5 years
OP, Alex1988, Private person? People are private person when they have dead-body in their wardrobe. He knew what he is doing, that's why he is dropping that "business" line to you. He doesn't want to risk his dirty phone that is why he doesn't want to look into yours. He got the games. Just let the cat out of the bag for him and happily move on to find a better person if he doesn't want to admit and accept his evil deals(and stop preaching privacy deals)..The relationship is f*****ing too early to start going through all the conning headache of his or trying to work things out with cheater.
Alex1988 Alex1988 5 years
Lliy, I completely agree with you. A hate the fact that I had to snoop, and that he is not ok with me just looking at his phone. But he is a private person, and says that his phone is his business. I even offered to let him look through my phone, but he didn't want to because that's my own business. I have been in relationships where I have complete trust in the other person, and that's wonderful. This ime is just different though I guess.
Iliy Iliy 5 years
Seriously, what's with all the "snooping" problems? In a relationship there shouldn't be anything to hide, so why can't one look on the other's phone? No matter the reason. So if there's nothing to hide, what's the problem if you looked in his phone once in three months? I don't say it should become a habit, but you've done nothing wrong, especially if you had a bad feeling. Your guy is obviously onto nasty things and I'm not sure if there is any way he can get himself out of this. I've been through a similar situation and forgave, but later it turned out to be a horrible decision, considering the fact that the guy kept lying and cheating, no matter how beautiful our intelligent I was. Your guy deserves a lesson!
Saecilia Saecilia 5 years
He is obviously cheating on you. If your boyfriend is actively looking for another woman for sex/relationship, then that is called cheating because you are not the only one in his life. Just because you are pretty does not mean you can keep a guy if he has bad morals. He probably sees getting you as a girlfriend as a game, lots of guys are like that. He got a pretty girl and now lets see how many other girls he can get. Snooping isnt good, but if you have a good relationship both of you have nothing to hide. Tell him what you found on the phone and confront him about it. ok, so lying is bad but you can even say that you tried texting him and he didn't reply so you were checking if he actually texted you. Bottom line, don't waste your time. You knew this guy is a player, you had fights, hes trying to have sex with other women. I don't see any reason to stay. Just leave.  
BiWife BiWife 5 years
Alex, I'm glad some stuff I've said has been helpful/thought provoking :) Since it sounds like things were in a bit of a different order, I have to share in your confusion. At this point, it's gonna hinge on what he says in response to the confrontation about it. I still think it's a much better idea to fess up to snooping than try and come up with a way to bring up the subject by lying/manipulating. He needs to know that your trust issues go to an extent where you are tempted to snoop and default to distrust partners in general. He also needs to know that his actions are only helping to prove your default distrust of him specifically. It's truly not possible to have honesty that is one-sided. So, if you expect him to be open and honest to you, you need to do the same for him - even when it means admitting you did something that he doesn't like (same as you would prefer for him to have immediately come forward about the sexting and apologize before you snooped).
kurniakasih kurniakasih 5 years
Alex, you asked if it's happened to anyone, similarly, it has happened to me (a while back, way before meeting my husband). I was dating this guy who told me he loved me after a couple of months of dating and asked to be exclusive (monogamous). Yeah, I was one of those 'spell it out for me' gals, and I made sure he meant that it was the traditional way of being exclusive (not having sex with other people, etc). By then, we've not consummated the relationship and I was so ready to finally have sex with him. But I got super sick (heartburn/indigestion/until now I still have no idea why I felt so badly that night) after our dinner, so we had to scrap our plan to spend the night at his house, and he took me home immediately. He was being super sweet to me, calling me up the next day to see how I was doing, etc. The next night, I went online and yeah, I had different names under my online name, I used another one because I didn't want to talk to him just in case I bumped into him online (we just had phone call convo and I didn't want him to think I was trying to be everywhere he was, online and offline). Sure enough, I saw him online, of course I didn't say 'hi,' but then I got curious and went into local chat room where he and I used to go and chat, and there are other females (or people claiming they're females), and lo and behold, he was telling all the females how horny he was and he wanted either to cyber sex or meet up for the night, and what type of fetish he's into. He even hit on me (since I was under a different chat name). I ignored him of course, I ended up logging off. Maybe he was just feeling randy, maybe he's got the case of blue balls (LOL, since we've not had sex for those months), who knows, but it just showed to me that he was not on the same page when he asked for exclusivity so I broke it off with him which was crappy because I was kind of falling for him at that time. Yeah, I told him about why I broke it off with him way later, months later, after we've gotten over the whole thing (we ended up chatting each other up a few months later, it was friendly). He was somewhat apologetic after I told him about the night I caught him doing what he did. To his credit, he admitted that he did it, he was 'bored' and well..'horny' LOL. He told me no one took the bait though, and he never had sex with anyone else when he was dating him. I told him, it's cool, I understand but it just wouldn't work out for me at that time. He did admit that he wasn't ready for a serious relationship and the 'I love you' comment was perhaps the height of his infatuation. Looking back at it, no I'm not mad at him, but kind of glad I didn't 'compromise' on what I want out of possible mate. It was hard to walk away feeling how I felt for him, I had to force myself to do so, and I don't regret that decision at all :) But of course, every case is completely different. Perhaps you can work it out, perhaps you can't. It's your own path. Hopefully you choose the right thing for you, if not, you'd have learned a good lesson too. Good luck!
Alex1988 Alex1988 5 years
BiWife, Yes, I said I love you back the night that he told it to me. And no, the fighting didn't start soon after that. I may have the timeline off a little bit, but our really bad fights were before we told each other we loved each other. Since then, things have continually gotten better. We spent the night together the night before he left for that weekend trip, and it couldn't have gone better. That is why I am so confused. When he got back he was more affectionate/ vocal about his feelings than usual. Do you think this is because he felt guilty? If I was reading this post from someone else, my first instinct would be to tell her to dump him immediately, but it's just not that easy when it's your own situation. BTW BiWife, even though I rarely post on Group Therapy, I read your responses a lot and think you have a lot of good advice. I really appreciate your help :)
BiWife BiWife 5 years
Couple of Q's for the OP: You said your bf said "I love you" after about 2 months and then within the next two weeks you were fighting over anything/everything. Have you said "I love you" back to him? Or is he still sitting in limbo not knowing if he over-stepped things by saying the L word so much faster than he did before? Or was your friction for that week or so related to him opening up & feeling vulnerable? I'm trying to gauge his state of mind on the status of your relationship when he went into his bachelor party weekend. It really does matter because his mindset about your relationship & it's potential longevity & strength plays heavily into boundaries and definitions of "fidelity". If he thought you two were soon to be parted because of the negative stuff happening right after he opens up to you, it would not be unreasonable to think about other options (especially while wasted). Again, this is all dependent upon exactly where he was, but I wouldn't say this is a cut & dry issue & he deserves a chance to defend his actions (and/or apologize for them).
Alex1988 Alex1988 5 years
Thanks everyone for the advice. I have decided to talk to him about it, but I have to wait until after a wedding we are going away to this weekend.... What I really want to know is, has anybody gone through something like this and gotten through it with a good relationship? I kind of just want to know if there is any hope for us after this.
vevetta vevetta 5 years
honestly I have no idea why you even bother to ask this question dear. I think it's pretty clear what's going on here and besides you can be the most beautiful sex goddess in the history of planet earth and that still doesn't mean he will respect you and your relationship. Stop yourself before you find more excuses to stay with him
stfualready stfualready 5 years
awesomepants, being drunk is no excuse.
unda unda 5 years answered yourself to that question. first of all, you didn't trust him and that's why you snooped into his phone and found out about the texts. will you believe him next time he's gonna go out with friends??? you can't do that every time he's out but... you could test him..maybe he did a mistake..but I wouldn't go straight to ask him about those're gonna look bad on this  
ChrissyLee ChrissyLee 5 years
Well you're both in the wrong here but the last thing you want is to get into a fight about who was "wrong-er".  You need to talk to him about it, because it's going to gnaw away at you if you don't and just cause you to snoop even more.  He probably deserves to be dumped, will you really be able to trust him again after doing something like this so soon in your relationship?  Good luck
awesomepants awesomepants 5 years
umm...maybe he was drunk or someone else used his phone at the time. Talk to him.
fiery-red fiery-red 5 years
First of all, you have to make a decision based on what you want before talking to him and weigh in all the pros and cons. It seems like your relationship is very important to you but it takes two and it takes a lot of work in both parts to resolve trust issues. I've been there, at your same age and with an older men and was deeply in love or so I thought. i would find stuff all the time and it came to the point that i just didn't even look anymore  because I was so emotionally dependent on him i knew i wouldn't be able to leave him .needless to say it took a toll on my self-esteem.        His behavior is unaceptable and what will probably happen is that it will continue to escalate, and will hurt even more,  unless he sees the error of his ways and decides to have a better" etiquette" towards your relationship. I don't want to say that you should get rid of him but you have to decide what kind of relationship you want and not take whatever he can give you . Also I wanna add: there is no better feeling in the world than knowing you can trust your partner and viceversa. I wish the best.
pax4pax pax4pax 5 years
Ladies, you would think more clearly if you didn't read your own biases and experiences into every comment. That's called "prejudice," it shows intolerance. There is truth and truth brings love, love not just for yourself but for others before. If your truth is only yours, then it is selfish. Truth that puts others first is what is modeled by Jesus. Could you look at that without preconceptions?
Northeast802 Northeast802 5 years
I should have said, also, that my ex boyfriend had a couple of episodes that were unsettling and strange like this one...and every time it happened, I allowed him to bullshit his way out of the corner he was in, and he made me believe that either a.) i was the one with the problem b.) he didn't actually do anything c.) i was overreacting or d.) people were just gossiping. guess what? i finally ended the relationship after i found out he had taken his sick obsession on to adult friend and had been chatting, emailing, exchanging pictures, and god knows what else with all kinds of trashy women (along with physically cheating, to boot). bottom line...don't allow this behavior. you can't allow the unacceptable to become acceptable. trust your gut - you know it's not right.
Northeast802 Northeast802 5 years
I agree with Steph...if I were you, I'd come clean with him. If you don't bring it up, it's going to eat away at you, and that's never good. Just be glad you found this now - you haven't been together that long...but you've been together long enough that he has no reason to be doing what he's doing. Don't ignore red flags - I know sometimes it's tempting to try to overlook things for the sake of saving the relationship, but this isn't something small, this is a trust issue - and how do you know this is all he's doing? Do yourself a favor and cut this jerk loose. There are plenty of other guys out there :)
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 5 years
Pax, I have a few friends who are waiting until marriage and they have just as many if not more relationship problems than the rest of us. the underlying sexism in your comments "men are free to sleep with whoever until they are married, and those women are worthless, interchangeable toys, but the men are A-OK and deserve a pristine virgin," is disgusting. My all time fav pax comment was when he compared being trans, trapped in the wrong body, to being a man with sub-par pitching skills. O, the humanity! OP, the guy sounds like a creep. I doubt this kind of behavior will get better. Break it off, then you don't have to worry about him and you won't have to snoop again.
steph1234 steph1234 5 years
Well, I think you should come clean with him....Of course he's going to automatically jump on the defensive when he's figured out you snooped, so I would start the conversation off with something like "I have to come clean with you...I looked through your phone.....I feel bad about that, but then I found something that made me feel uncomfortable...etc etc."....Just make sure you don't start yelling or whatever, be as calm as possible, because knowing that you snooped, he has a little ammunition....The thing is though, and this is my say you really want to trust him deep down and don't think he's cheating, but yet you distrusted him enough to snoop through his already have reservations because he's a need to tread lightly....i feel as though you want to keep this relationship so badly that you may be trying to push the bigger issues to the side....if you 2 are in a relationship there is no excuse under the sun to justify him asking for videos or pics of another girl.
Alex1988 Alex1988 5 years
OP here, I appreciate your advice, Biwife, but confessing about snooping just isn't an option. He takes his privacy very seriously, and I know it would be a big blow out. Pax, I agree with the others. Your judgey attitude is unnecessary. One of the main reasons people post on here is so that they won't be judged by others. I still need help here so does anyone else have any suggestions?
Mandana85 Mandana85 5 years
I totally agree with BiWife, and honestly, Pax, your comments never fail to shock me. there was a post about a Sikh girl whose parents were forcing her to marry a complete stranger and your comment was sort of : as long as it is marriage, it will be ok, it's way better than some loving pre-marriage relationship!!! Do you honestly believe people can't and won't cheat after they are married? and what holds them from doing so? some piece of paper? hell, I live in a Muslim country and your comments cracks me up. I did not say anything till now, because it is a free community and every one is free to share their ideas. still, I do not have any intentions to insult you. I just can't believe that people try to fix things with prejudiced religious Ideas.
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