I have been with my fiancee for 8 months. She has a guy friend that she had before we got together that wanted more than a friendship. I went through her phone and found out that she has been texting and talking to this guy and he is telling her that he does not want her and I to get married. I don’t know whether I should confront her about this and let her know that I went through her phone and seem like I don’t trust her, but I don’t want to marry her with him being an issue. It is tearing me up inside!!!

A: You’re in a painful corner. If you tell her that you’ve been snooping, she’ll be furious. If you don’t clear up this issue, you are left with doubt.

I think the stumbling block to solving the problem is the idea that you need to “confront” your girlfriend. Confronting someone tends to be angry and blaming. When people feel blamed, they usually respond with defensiveness. Instead of opening up a conversation, it shuts it down.

What is more likely to help is sharing your own pain. What if you were to tell her that you looked through her phone because you are scared and that it’s tearing you up inside that she still talks to this guy. Apologize profusely for invading her privacy by checking her phone and, as gently as you can, ask her to help you understand why she thinks its important to stay connected to someone who doesn’t support her choice to marry you. If you can stay in a place of loving curiosity instead of righteous anger, you are more likely to be able to have a real conversation instead of an argument.

You are wise to question getting married when you have doubts. A marriage needs a foundation of mutual trust as well as love and caring. I do hope you two work this through. If you love each other but can’t talk about these issues productively, I hope you will consider talking with a couples counselor to learn how.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 20 Dec 2009

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2009). Girlfriend is texting a guy that wants to break us up. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 19, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/12/20/girlfriend-is-texting-a-guy-that-wants-to-break-us-up/