Dear Dharma,

My girlfriend doesn’t trust me even though I’ve given her no reason not to.

We’ve been dating a few months and things have been going well.  Last night, after an awesome date, we came back to my place to relax and watch a movie.  While I went to the bathroom she grabbed my phone and went through all of my texts and emails. I come back from the bathroom to find her pissed off and demanding to know who Chelsea is.  She didn’t even give me a chance to tell her that Chelsea is my cousin from Manitoba before she stormed out.

I can’t even tell you how violated I feel. I would imagine it would be similar to going into a chick’s purse uninvited (which I’d NEVER do!).  Had she asked, I would have let her look through anything. I have nothing to hide. The texts themselves weren’t anything special, just your regular run-of-the-mill friendly nonsense.

I feel like this violation and lack of trust could be a deal breaker for me! How can I be with someone who doesn’t trust me and doesn’t respect my privacy?

Soo Soooo Violated!

Dear Violated,

I’m guessing if she had asked in advance you would have sent this question anyway, it would have just been sans the sneaky part.

“Hey, honey, can I snoop through your texts and emails?  I want to find out if you’ve been cheating on me.”

“For sure, sunshine, no problem at all!  I have nothing to hide.”

No, the conversation would not have gone that way, nor should it have.  It’s a violation of trust either way, non?

The first thing you need to do is decide if in fact this is a deal breaker for you, because if it is, the only thing left to do is say adios, right?

But if you think you want to try and make a go of this there needs to be a conversation around what’s going on with her.  Does she have a past littered with boyfriends that cheated on her with girls named Chelsea, or does she simply have a wicked jealous streak?  Maybe she just doesn’t like Manitoba?

No matter the reason, it doesn’t justify her actions (the snooping or the freaking out part) and that needs to be explained to her in a firm but calm manner.

Ask her if she’s ready to have a reasonable conversation with you, and then explain who Chelsea is.  If she’s at all decent, she will instantly feel stupid and embarrassed and apologize profusely.  At that point, you can delve into her rationale for creeping on your phone in the first place and then decide if you think this was a one off, or if this is a chronic problem.  Trust your gut…

If she’s anything but apologetic and remorseful, then I think you know the answer as to what your next step needs to be…

If her reasons are coming from past experiences, then it’s up to you to decide if you want to work through this together and see if it’s something that you can both put behind you.  Because you’re right, being in a relationship with someone who doesn’t trust you or respect your privacy is a sure fire recipe for disaster.


p.s. for the record, Dharma has fond memories of cruisin’ on Portage in a ’82 Lincoln with Nazareth cranked, so ease up, all my Manitoba fans!


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