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Guessed girlfriend's password, read her e-mails

By Wendy Atterberry, The Frisky
Reading your significant other's e-mails shows a lack of trust and respect.
Reading your significant other's e-mails shows a lack of trust and respect.
  • People exchange e-mails and maintain friendships with their exes all the time
  • It takes a person with serious issues to read someone's e-mails unprovoked
  • Reading your significant other's e-mails is an invasion of privacy

(The Frisky) -- Dear Wendy:

I am currently dating a woman that I am madly, madly in love with, and we're talking about marriage. We're great together, don't really ever argue, and talk through our issues, so everything is good there. A few months back, I happened to guess her e-mail password, and I have been checking her e-mail on a daily basis ever since. I don't know why I do it, I just do.

A week or so ago, she got an e-mail from her ex, and they've been exchanging e-mails a few times a day since then. She hasn't brought up the fact that her ex e-mailed her, or that she had responded.

The e-mails aren't all that exciting, just things like "How are you doing?" and updates on people they both know and general stuff like that. I'm not sure what to do. Should I confront her about it? Should I just let it go? Am I being too jealous or possessive here?

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I realize that I'm in the wrong by reading her e-mails, but I don't feel as though I'm being really "Lifetime movie dangerous boyfriend" at all. I don't get suspicious when she's out for the night or anything, and I would never hurt her, even if she was cheating on me (which I don't think she is).

But for some reason, the fact that she's communicating with this person that she says was no good for her or to her is worrisome to me.
-- Snoop Dog

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Dear Snoop Dog:

I had to read your letter a few times just to make sure it really said what I thought it said. I even read it aloud to my husband and then we both looked at each other and said, "What the what?!"

I'm sorry, Snoop, but how do you just "happen to guess" someone's e-mail? You happen to run into someone you know in the grocery store. You happen to see a cab just as you walk out into the pouring rain. You happen to have a bottle of bourbon in your liquor cabinet when your recently dumped friend stops by unannounced. You don't happen to guess someone's e-mail address.

That takes forethought and effort. And, to be honest, it takes a person with some serious issues to snoop through someone else's e-mail, unprovoked, without even a reason to suspect wrong-doing. Dude, what are you doing?

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You may not be "Lifetime movie dangerous," but you do pose a threat -- first to your girlfriend's privacy, of course (well, more than a threat), but also to your own happiness. You have this wonderful woman you're madly in love with. By your own accounts, your relationship is great and you're even talking marriage. So, why in the world would you sabotage that by snooping around in her personal space?

The craziest thing is that you'd consider screwing things up even further by confronting your girlfriend over what seem to be totally harmless e-mails with an ex. You may not realize this, but plenty of exes maintain cordial -- even casually friendly -- relationships long after a breakup (even a messy one). It really doesn't have to mean anything.

And she probably didn't tell you about these e-mails because they aren't a big deal to her (do you tell her about every e-mail you get?) and maybe, deep down, she suspects you're a bit nuts and didn't want to needlessly rock your world or give you reason to act more jealous than you probably already do.

You really want a long, happy relationship with this woman? For the love of God, stop reading her e-mails and get yourself to therapy to address your jealousy, possessiveness and inability to trust.

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