Bf is texting with 15-year-old

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

my boyfriend and I have been together for more than a year. We have a long distance relationship and he is 34 years old. Several months ago it had appeared that he had been sending text msgs to his sister’s friend, who is 15 yrs old. I had discovered this since we are on the same cell plan and he became extremely angry with me and accused me of going behind his back. He alleged that his sister was texting her friend and that it wasn’t him. It sort of made sense at the time because the sister was with him that day helping him at his house.

I was visiting this past wknd and saw his other cell phone and looked through it when no one was around. I discovered at least 100 text msgs from the 15 year old girl, but they don’t appear to be sexual or romantic in nature. There were no text msgs in the sent folder, as they had been erased. What bothers me is that a young girl seems to be flirting with my boyfriend, who is old enough to be her father.

I can’t say anything because I have been snooping, but by the same token, I am feeling distrustful and uncomfortable about the situation because what is going on with them appears not to be normal.

My boyfriend’s behavior toward me seems to have changed over the last few months. He’s become more distant and less affectionate. I am concerned whether the 15 year old has anything to do with this.

Do you have any advice??

A: You said that the texts from the girl don’t appear to be “sexual or romantic” but then you say that she seems to be flirting. Without more information, I can’t help you reconcile that contradiction. It’s certainly possible that he is acting as an older mentor and guide to a teen who looks up to him. His anger may have been a reaction to your invasion of his privacy, not an indication that he’s doing something he shouldn’t. His distancing from you may be a response to your distrust and may not have anything at all to do with his connection to the girl. On the other hand, he may be playing with fire since the girl is underage. If his motives are less than honorable, he could cause a great deal of pain for the teen and he could get himself into real trouble.

The best way to find out is to gather up your courage and to have a frank talk with him. ‘Fess up to your snooping and explain to him that you are worried he may be involved in something that could have terrible consequences. Ask for his forgiveness for violating his trust and be willing to share with him how insecure you are feeling. Don’t accuse or blame him. If you speak with anger, he will only get defensive. If you speak with concern and love, he may be able to hear you.

Yes, talking about these issues could possibly rupture the relationship. But not talking about them means that your distrust will continue and nothing will be resolved – which is guaranteed to rupture it. Given that choice, my vote would be to attempt a discussion. You know your situation best, though, so think it through.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 3 Aug 2010

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2010). Bf is texting with 15-year-old. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/08/03/bf-is-texting-with-15-year-old/