My boyfriend received an inappropriate picture

My boyfriend has a friend of the opposite sex that sent him a picture of herself in her underwear. I approached him with concern that he may be cheating on me.

He says it means nothing to him and that I should know he wouldn’t cheat on me.

I find this disrespectful and made my point clear: I don’t want you hanging out with her anymore.

He never really gave me the response I wanted, and instead he started to point out my flaws—like snooping.

Am I being unreasonable? Is there anyway I can resolve this without it ending in a break up?

I’m not a quitter and everything else in our relationship is worth hanging on to.

Response:

Snooping in a relationship often causes problems. So, generally speaking it’s not wise to snoop, unless you’re willing to deal with the repercussions– including the loss of trust (see is snooping ethical).

And it may help to keep in mind that you didn’t catch your boyfriend sending her pictures in his underwear; it was the other way around. People rarely have control over how other people behave.

But with that said, you have every right to feel the way you do. Her actions were inappropriate and disrespectful to your relationship.

And while your response is very natural—telling your boyfriend that he can’t hangout with her anymore—it is not a very effective way to solve the problem.

Telling a partner how to behave rarely works. More often than not, it creates resistance (see relationship dynamics).

A better way to solve this problem is to talk about it by focusing on how you feel. It’s not wise to issue demands; rather create empathy (see talk about problems).

Your boyfriend has some decisions to make, but you have to let him make those decisions on his own. If you try to force his hand, most likely, you’ll be the one who ends up empty-handed.

 control issues | snooping

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