Living

Trust becomes the casualty in argument over man's texts

DEAR ABBY: I have been divorced for eight years. My ex and I are on civil terms and text each other a few times a week regarding our kids, mutual friends and general chitchat.

A few months ago, during a rough patch in my relationship with my girlfriend of three years, "Lily," I expressed my frustration in one of these texts. It was nothing horrible or unkind, just venting a bit. A week or so later, Lily was spending the night and I awoke at 2 a.m. to find an empty bed. I discovered her in the living room with my phone, surfing through my texts. She was livid about the communication with my ex, particularly the one in which I commented about our relationship, and stormed out.

I have no password on my phone and nothing to hide from Lily and told her so. I admitted that my ex was not an appropriate person to discuss our relationship with and apologized.

This has caused a permanent shift in our relationship on two levels: She is angry and suspicious regarding my communication with my ex, and I am having trust issues with her. I feel my privacy was invaded and wonder what else Lily has searched to satisfy her curiosity.

She has yet to apologize and feels justified in what she did. I contend that if she hadn't read the texts, especially in such an underhanded way, there would be no ill feelings. Am I wrong to feel this way or am I blameshifting? -- DAZED IN ILLINOIS

DEAR DAZED: You're not wrong, and you are not the one trying to shift blame. Lily is. I don't know what your marriage was like, but it appears you have replaced your ex with a suspicious and controlling woman. Red flag!

DEAR ABBY: I would like your opinion about something that's bothering me. I live in a senior housing complex in Massachusetts. Most of the residents are women in their 80s and 90s. (Some are also in their 60s.) A few men live here also.

One of the men sits on his living room couch with only his jockey shorts on. He leaves his door wide open when he does this. He seems not to care who sees him while walking by his apartment.

Some folks here believe it should be ignored and no one should look in while passing by. They say whatever he does in his own apartment is his own business. I believe that's true, but only when the door is closed. What do you think? By the way, he is in his 60s. -- BEFUDDLED IN MASSACHUSETTS

DEAR BEFUDDLED: What people do in the PRIVACY of their own apartment is no one's business. When the front door is open, it is no longer private. If the man's state of undress bothers some of the residents, they should bring it to the manager of the senior housing complex.

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

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