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Trust involves more than passwords

Published: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT

Dear Abby: I have been in a relationship for two years. We gave each other our phone passwords as soon as we made it official to avoid keeping things from each other.

One night I had a sudden urge to go through his phone. I had never done it before, and when I looked at his Facebook messages, I saw he had been exchanging inappropriate pictures with someone. I was shocked and angry, and it almost ended our relationship.

He deleted and blocked this person, and I forgave him. We don't talk about it anymore.

I haven't noticed any other red flags, but now, when he's asleep or goes somewhere and leaves his phone at home, just looking at it upsets me. I'll put a pillow or a blanket over it so I can "forget" it's there. I don't know if I should take another peek to make sure he's staying on the straight and narrow, or if ignorance is bliss. What do you think? – Unsure Guy in Texas

Dear Unsure Guy: Ignorance ISN'T bliss. Being able to trust the man you're with is, and if it turns out you can't, it's better that you know sooner rather than later. It appears you still have some unresolved trust issues with him that need to be discussed.

Between you and me, if he was trying to conceal something, he probably wouldn't be leaving his phone exposed and vulnerable to checking.

Dear Abby: I'm 39 and have been married for 12 years. My wife is 35. When we first got together, my wife did not want to have kids right away. She said maybe after I graduated from college, or perhaps we could adopt. It took more time because of some surgeries, but I have graduated now and I want to start a family.

She now says she thought I was kidding when we were talking about it all those years ago, and that I knew she never wanted kids. I am at a loss. I love this woman, but I do want children, or to adopt a baby if that's not possible – but she says she's unwilling to do either. What am I to do? – Wants To Be A Dad in Charlotte, N.C.

Dear Wants To Be A Dad: You either accept that you will be childless, or talk to an attorney about divorcing a woman who appears to have deceived you. How sad!

Dear Abby: I was engaged to my ex-girlfriend for three years. We broke up more than a year ago – her choice. We reconciled briefly, but are now broken up for good, and she's dating someone else.

My question is about the engagement ring. It didn't bother me that she kept it until recently. Should I ask for the ring back or let it go? If you think I should ask for it, should I do it face-to-face or through some other messaging? – Moving On in Kentucky

Dear Moving On: When your ex-girlfriend broke the engagement, she should have returned the engagement ring. That she didn't indicates she is either ignorant regarding the rules of etiquette, or that she plans to keep it regardless of what the custom is. (If it's the latter, you're fortunate to be rid of her.)

I do NOT recommend asking for the ring via text or a phone call out of the blue. Your chances might be better if you ask in person. I wish you luck!

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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