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You Asked: Should I Trust Him?

Dear Sugar,

I've been with my boyfriend for a year and half and everything has been great so far. I've been cheated on in the past but I think I've been doing really well not pressing too hard with my trust issues but the other day I came across my boyfriend's opened Facebook inbox. He had been messaging with a one-night stand he had before we met. The conversation was flirtatious and even though he's always been a very sweet boyfriend otherwise, I don't know what to do. I'm not sure if anything necessarily happened, but flirting online with another woman is just not OK in my book. I told myself I would never let myself get cheated on again but I have no idea how to approach him. Should I break up with him? Give him another chance? I'm so torn! — Online Banter Becky

To see DearSugar's answer,


Dear Online Banter Becky,

Before jumping to any conclusions, I think you owe it to yourself and your boyfriend to get all the facts. I agree with you that flirting online with another woman is unacceptable, but is there a possibility you could have been reading the message out of context? Are you sure they just weren't being a little too friendly verses flirtatious? Was it a recent message?

Since your boyfriend has been nothing but trustworthy thus far, I suggest you calmly ask him to explain himself and let the conversation flow from there. Try not to be accusatory or he'll most likely act defensive. Of course you don't want to set yourself up to be cheated on again, but before breaking up with him hastily, make sure you have all the information you need to make the right decision. I wish I could tell whether to break up with him or give him another chance, but unfortunately only you can make that decision. The best advice I can offer you is to hear him out and follow your gut — good luck!


Join The Conversation
The cheating concept can be a tricky one, because the person committing the act does not get to decide what contemplates as cheating. The only person who can say if it was cheating, is the person hurt by the action. You need to talk to your boyfriend, and inform him that flirting on-line is not something you will put up with, and that you view it as being unfaithful to your relationship. Some people may be perfectly fine with a little on-line flirt sessions, but that doesn't matter, because to you it feels like a betrayal. With him not knowing how it affects you, you cannot hold this time against him. Once he knows that you find it to be a serious offense, then he should correct his actions.
annbaby annbaby 9 years
Since the message was open on his laptop, you can easily talk to him about it. It doesn't have to be serious. You can casually (you need to smile) say, "You left your messages open on your screen. So tell me, who is that evil girl trying to take my man?" On the other hand, I personally do not think online flirting is tolerable either. Do what they say: hope for the best, and expect the worst.
platinum89 platinum89 9 years
fyi, when you confront him. one of the first things in his mind might be that you never fully trusted him... so "come across" this and snooping around does not confirm that you trust him 100%... you have reason why now you don't, but beforehand... probably not so much. he will be frustrated, so choose your words carefully. something like this happened to me where my ex emailed one of his parents saying we were on a break, and that right after, that same night, he kissed a girl and enjoyed it. he even added a smiley face to the end of the email. somehow (probably by divine intervention) when his parent emailed him back, they accidentally emailed my parents as well, in which my parents sat me down and told me and showed me what they had just received. to protect his parents (didnt know if it was pruposeful or not) i confided EVERYTHING in his best friend and he actually "dug out" the information from my ex and "told me." either way, i knew the password of his email and checked it anyway, and actually got a lot more info than i wanted. he rightly accused me of snooping and was hurt (but im pretty sure i was hurt more.). either way, your going to get called on it. and i agree with Berlin, flirting on line is near harmless...unless hes been acting strange lately, you have no reason to be worried.... and if its something that you feel that shouldnt happen, you probably should have been clear with him when you first started seeing each other and have talked about what you concider cheating... im pretty sure he knows that you have been cheated on in the past, and this is when it shouldve been brought up. good luck!
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
Yeah, I'd just say "You left your facebook open and there was a message from so and so on there. Who's she?" if you know about her from him say "oh what's she up to lately?" in a nice curious way. If he gets defensive than he's probably got something to hide. You could also tell him you're not comfortable with them talking so flirtatiously or at all. He should respect your opinion and he might five you some reasons why he thinks it's okay. You have every right to make your opinion heard and then move on.
josephine88 josephine88 9 years
I would cool off for a period of time and see how he reacts. If he really cares about you, he will put these "female friends" behind him and be prepared to commit to a proper, completely exclusive relationship with you. That is what any person deserves to have - you have to take the risk and you might get hurt if he doesn't phone/text/email urgently, but at least you'll know just how much he cares about you and you alone.
Berlin Berlin 9 years
I think you need to grow up...a lot...and settle your insecurities! Flirting online is "not OK in your book" are you serious? I'm guessing you're the type that also doesn't allow him to go and have a boys night out without flipping or go to a strip club, go out with just a female friend or flirt if he's just out and about. If I'm wrong then I do apologize, but usually it all adds to the same thing. There are bigger issues you'll have to deal with in your relationship, and if you have to get him to stop, then it will be something he'll end up hiding. You can't babysit it! So he either must be trusted, or left. But like everyone said, do talk to him about it and let him know that it's the secrecy of it all that is making you uncomfortable. B/C if he's doing nothing wrong, then he should be OK with letting you in. But if it's him speaking to a member of the opposite sex that he once had sex with, then you need to chill.
juliex0x0 juliex0x0 9 years
You should definitely talk to him. I had a very similar situation with my boyfriend. He had a one night stand during the blurry / early parts of our relationship when we were not exclusively dating. He lied to my face about it, but I was suspicious and found out through some of his emails (felt very wrong, but I had to know!). The one night stand bothered me a little, but since we weren't exclusive I had to let it go. Being lied to about it, on the other hand, upset me very much. In the end I confronted him and my heart hurt so badly, I didn't know if I could trust him again. He definitely surprised me with how quickly he was able to make me feel better and earn his trust back - I'm so glad I was upfront with him, even though I should not have been reading his emails. But keeping this in will not help you in any way, and in the end what matters is your happiness, so talk to him!
ella1978 ella1978 9 years
I agree you should just talk to him. I have an acquaintance who was a one night stand for me, about 5 months before I met my boyfriend. We even still play poker in the same group together some times. I feel NOTHING for the guy anymore, infact I haven't even brought up the situation with my BF since it was SO over before we met. But if he would ever email me, we'd have a conversation, and still be friendly, but I don't think of him as anything anymore... could be the same for your guy. Talk to him.
jaxon jaxon 9 years
Okay that was really wierd...I statred typing then turned away form the computer for 2 min when I turned back the "post box" was empty so I assumed I accidently hit delete. So I jus typed my message again (starting at the top of the box. Duh! I must have just hit enter so it made spaces. Sorry for the stupid post
jaxon jaxon 9 years
TALK TO HIM!! Men can be oblivious sometimes unfortunately you need to state the obvious: ONLINE FLIRTING IS NOT OKAY. THere is no need to make WWIII out of the incident but let him know where you stand. IOf TALK TO HIM!! Men can be oblivious to this sort of thing. To just break up with him now is extreme. Give him a chance but be clear that in your relationship online flirting is un acceptable. If he is unwilling to accomosate you or it continues then walk away
sparklestar sparklestar 9 years
Oh... and who adds a one night stand to their facebook friends? Erk.
sparklestar sparklestar 9 years
How do you "come across" an open facebook inbox? ;p Whenever I have snooped it has been quite deliberate and they usually don't make it easy for me... You need to confront him about it. If it was OPEN like you say (and you didn't need to like... watch him type his password and then go snooping after the fact) then he should be open for any discussion. Maybe he wanted you to see it and he's indirectly trying to drive you away. WHO knows. You need to find out before jumping to conclusions. I have a few guys on my msn list who I regularly talk to/compliment/flirt with who I met through a dating site I was part of prior to meeting my boyfriend. My boyfriend is number one in my life and I'd never stray but sometimes it's nice to know you still have "it". Maybe your boyfriend is one of those people?
binks binks 9 years
I was in a similar situation as fantome14. Try talking to him but remember Its emotional cheating and will only get worse as time progresses. So be smart & FIRM. Put your foot down early.
darkangel2305 darkangel2305 9 years
ASK! Yes it was wrong to check, but it's done. If you don't bring it up, it'll ruin your relationship regardless because you wont let it go.
fantome14 fantome14 9 years
I said this on a related post yesterday. I know I'm prejudiced because I went through a bad relationship with someone who was a compulsive online flirt, so my first instinct is to tell you to run. However, I agree that you should ask, but in that conversation you need to be very clear that this is unacceptable, and that if he has a problem with giving online flirting up, or if he lies to you about it, then you're done with him. So give him a chance, but take a firm line. I was not firm enough with my ex, and he had all sorts of things going on behind my back (but, again, I am paranoid because he was truly compulsive, and I know not every guy is like that).
Sporky Sporky 9 years
Ask him about it nicely (to paraphrase the ladies above) and see what he says. If you feel you can't trust him, I'd suggest breaking up. Trust is SO important to a good relationship; if for whatever reason I felt I couldn't trust my bf I wouldn't be with him. Just my opinion.
sundaygreen sundaygreen 9 years
You should confront him about it, but there's always the sticky situaiton of reading his private messages in the first place (regardless of whether it was "by accident" or not). You could be misinterpeting it, or jumping to conclusions - and then on top of that you invaded his privacy. But you should definitely ask him about it, otherwise it will be gnawing at you forever. Just don't be aggressive / angry, give him a chance to explain himself.
tomatoshirt tomatoshirt 9 years
I agree with DearSugar, you should ask him. This kind of things happened to my last relationship. I found a couple of emails that my ex-bf's co-worker sent him and I didn't like it. (Note: I shouldn't have checked his emails but i had my suspicions.) I asked him and he told me no...but i just couldn't get over it. until today, after we broke up 8 months, he still tells me he never cheated. But i just don't believe it. What I saw is what I saw and his ans just wasn't good enough.
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