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L.A. Beat

Ask Margo: Living with suspicious minds — is he cheating or not?

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Q- I am pretty sure my boyfriend is cheating on me but I am not positive.

He has come home late at night a few times after being out with certain single guy friends of his. I don’t really trust his friends because it feels like they are his friends and will never be mine unless it is just to keep the peace.

He is also acting weird around his from clipart.comphone, not answering calls when I am around and no longer leaving the phone around the house. I really didn’t see this coming and don’t know what to do. It makes me really, really, angry to think about him cheating, and since I don’t know for sure I can’t express any of this to him, yet I wish he knew what was going on in my mind.

I think he has an idea something is up, because things have been different between us, but then I don’t know if I caused that to happen by being so suspicious. What do I do? Should I wait and see what happens or do I drive myself crazy wondering?

A- Living in suspicion sucks and is not worth doing unless you are going to do something about it. Is it possible for you to give him the benefit of the doubt and let your suspicions go? If not, here are some of your options for action:

1) You could talk to him.

Let him know that you are feeling a little uneasy about him staying out so late and ask him if there is anything he wants to talk about. He will likely know what you are driving at, and if he cares about you, and is faithful, will be eager to soothe your worried mind.

2) You could confide in a friend. Explain his behaviour to a girlfriend whom you trust and who also knows the both of you. Ask her what she thinks about his behaviour and whether or not your concerns are valid. Our girlfriends can provide great insight into our relationships and can often give better advice than any professional can.

3) You could snoop. There are a few things to consider before snooping. Looking for ‘evidence’ violates his privacy and will come at a cost. Deciding to snoop is kind of like the prisoner’s dilemma. Do you choose to trust him, and continue the relationship as normal, without questioning his fidelity?


Or do you need need to confirm, or disconfirm your doubts in order to continue having a good relationship? Remember if you are wrong about him cheating, you will disrupt the relationship, the exact opposite of what you were hoping to do, so you must be prepared to pay that cost; the cost of not knowing has to outweigh the cost of repairing the damage you cause by snooping.

Also, snooping will often breed more snooping. It can get out of hand when one partner continues investigating, despite that they have found nothing, because they feel that if they keep looking, they will eventually find something. That’s not fair to him, at all. If it gets that bad, you are better off assuming he has cheated, breaking it off, and moving on. 

If you do decide to do some personal investigating, and don’t find anything, then fess up to it right away. It will prevent you from continuing, and it is the most honest thing you could do at that point. Hopefully you can open up the doors to some real communication and, with time, rebuild trust in one another.
Ask Margo for advice. Email questions to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

—  By Margo, Special to L.A. Beat
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