A friend recently discovered the phone numbers of other women in her boyfriend's truck. After being a sounding board for her during this period, I started questioning my own relationship. I started looking in my boyfriend's wallet. I found the phone numbers of many women; one woman I thought he had a crush on a while back, and he had denied it. The numbers were all current too. I don't know what to do about this. We've been together a long time, but there has been no further commitment.
I know I was wrong to snoop, and I feel sick about it. I've done it three times in 31/2 years. Do I just come out, admit I was snooping and ask him about these numbers? What's worse -- a man who secretly has the phone numbers of other women in his wallet or the snooper?
Making Myself Ill
I don't think we need to determine what is worse -- snooping or collecting phone numbers. I'm sure your guy will say that snooping is worse, and then your conversation will be all about your snooping problem instead of your trust issues.
You should come right out and tell your guy that you have gone through his wallet. Tell him that you know it was wrong to do that and that you apologize.
Then ask him about his phone number collection.
Snooping isn't simply an invasion of privacy -- it's the manifestation of your suspicions and insecurity. If your guy offers you a rational and reasonable explanation for his collection ("Honey -- I wanted it to be a surprise! I'm putting together a tribute band of the Spice Girls!"), then you have to take his explanation at face value -- and will you? If he tells you that women just give him their numbers and that these numbers don't mean anything to him, then you have to believe him -- and will you?
I suspect that your snooping admission will lead you to deeper questions, as it should. If you and your guy use this little crisis as a way to work on some of your relationship issues, then it will be a good thing. But you have to be brave enough either to leave your guy's wallet alone, or to have this conversation. I hope you choose to leave his wallet alone and talk.
I am one of four young women who have been close friends since elementary school. We've drifted apart at times, but I think now that we are all out of college, we are in a way closer than ever, even if we don't hear from each other for weeks at a time.
In the last year or so, one of our ranks moved to another coast. She leads a busy life, and it's hard to keep in touch with her, but she makes contact with two of us every once in a while.
However, she has repeatedly ignored attempts by our other friend to contact her.
Ignored Friend doesn't understand what is causing this rift with Far Friend, and neither do we.
I suspect F.F. has some unresolved beef with I.F., but I.F. is clearly clueless about what this beef is, and she's hurting very much.
I don't want to get involved and risk alienating either of them, but I feel as if F.F. is putting us all in a tough position by remaining mute on the issue.
Furthermore, I want to visit F.F. in her new home but feel that would hurt I.F. or seem like a betrayal.
Should I continue to stay out of it or confront F.F. about her poor treatment of I.F.?
It would be rare if you four maintained four balanced friendships all through your lives. You said that you have drifted apart at times, and this could be one of those times.
You can mention this rift to your Far Friend without getting too involved by saying, "Ignored Friend asked me why she hasn't heard from you. Are you two getting along okay?" Far Friend's spam blocker might be ignoring I.F.'s e-mails, or perhaps F.F. just placed I.F. at No. 4 on her Friends List. You don't need to know the reason, and you don't need to be a go-between, because once you've mentioned this to F.F., your involvement in this should stop.
Write to Amy Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611.
(c)2005 by the Chicago Tribune
Distributed by Tribune Media Services Inc.