Jealousy is a powerful and insidious part of any relationship. If it shows up unmanaged it can turn into something much uglier. The littlest action can trigger an unusually reactive response from your partner, leaving you clueless.
Reddit user goodgodimbored found herself in this situation after she changed her phone’s password. Her boyfriend accused her of “hiding something.”
Taken aback by this, she firmly set her boundary and then turned to the popular subReddit “Am I The A**hole?” for feedback on her actions.
“AITA for changing my password?”
Our original poster, or OP, told us about her stuff with her phone.
“I (23f[emale]) don’t like people touching my phone. It’s not just a dislike, I won’t let people.”
“My dad was a really really overbearing paranoid guy and had nightly checks of my phone and would keep it in his room overnight and a sh*t ton of monitoring stuff on it and went through every picture I took and message I sent and grounded me for months if I broke any of his rules.”
“As a result now that i’m an adult, no one touches my phone.”
OP’s boyfriend is convinced that she is keeping something from her.
“My bf (22m[ale]) knows this. I’ve told him this a few times and in the past he’s understood. Lately though, he’s started to press it.”
“I’ll leave the room and come back and he’s on my phone. It’s always something like ‘oh i was looking something up cause my phones dead’ or ‘I was looking at your snapchat filters.’”
“It’s not that I don’t trust him, I just really don’t want him touching my phone. So I changed my password.”
And after he tried to get into the phone again, to no avail, they had a confrontation.
“The other day I came in the room and my phone is moved and when I look at it, it’s f**king disabled because he tried my password so many times and he’s sitting there with his arms crossed like a five year old.”
“He blows up and says he knows i’m hiding something from him because no one cares that much about having their phone touched.”
“I got pissed and told him to f**k off because it’s my phone and I can decide if people touch it or not.”
This led to a rift between OP and boyfriend.
“I even told him we could go through my messages and sh*t together if he was really that worried but he didn’t need 24/7 access to my phone.”
“He just kept saying I was hiding something and wouldn’t believe me and eventually went and stayed at his brothers and hasn’t talked to me since.”
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Redditors agreed while OP may be a little overprotective, her boyfriend was way out of line.
“Oooof NTA. He’s now violated your boundaries on multiple occasions and is now angry at you for enforcing them.”
“This is your big red flag OP- you do not owe him access to your phone. If he can’t trust you that is HIS problem.”
“Real adults don’t have this problem!!! Dump the whole man. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and misery.”~gunnyhunty
“This is so true. My middle sister and i both married people who are a combination of mum (bipolar dictator) and dad (breadwinning lovely man), happily together still many years later.”
“Our eldest sister keeps going after men with the worst characteristics of our mother and hasn’t managed to settle down in her 40 years, yet relies on our parents to parent her own child. OP NTA.”
“Reg flags galore here. My husband and I have the passwords for each other’s phones and have absolutely no need to ever use them except when checking messages/changing the Spotify music for the other whilst driving.”
“You gotta keep the boundaries you are comfortable with and if he can’t hack it then he has an issue of his own to resolve and you have no need to stay involved.”~allyoops2000
“My partner has never once in seven years asked or tried to look through my phone. It’s not something healthy adults do.”
“NTA OP and please listen to everyone telling you that this is a parade of red flags.”
“I agree with everyone saying that you partner is behaving very similarly to your abusive father that you escaped from. It might be time for another escape.”~Kathrynlena
“NTA. Red flags abound (not respecting your boundaries, false accusations of cheating from leaps of non-logic, unreasonable silent treatment).”
“Dump him if he hasn’t already dumped himself.”~babygerbil
People are warning her to run away from this relationship as soon as possible.
“NTA. It is worrying that he watches your phone, it is a red flag, no one has the right to check it without your permission, if your father did not owe your boyfriend much less.”
“He is a controller, you should consider the relationship (yes, the attitude he has is very worrying) and if he thinks you are hiding something from him, maybe it is that he is hiding something and it is reflected in you, that you can do the same, it’s a possibility.”
“Please, analyze your relationship, their attitudes towards you, if they have more, how to control your outings, want to know who you go out with and where you are going and what exactly they do in great detail, please, end that relationship, it is not healthy and can end very badly.”~Nigtmaremy
“NTA-OP, I want you to be very aware that you are being trained. As human beings that’s what we do. Training people is normal, e.g.”
“When someone talks to you in a certain way and you kick up such a fuss about it, that person starts realising it isn’t worth their time talking to you like that. That’s what boundary setting is.”
“In healthy relationships (any relationship incl family), once boundaries are set and ‘training’ is mutually ongoing, respect flourishes.”
“If your bf left home because he feels you are not respecting his boundaries, particularly after many discussions, this would be understandable.”
“He would be putting you in a position to make you think ‘Oh no bf has left, because I haven’t been respecting his boundaries, is it more important that I continue ignoring the set boundaries and lose him, or do I apologise, do my best to respect him and KEEP him.'”
“From his perspective it would be a win win. He either keeps a gf who is respectful or loses a gf that is not.”
“Now this is NOT what’s happening. Your bf has left because he refuses to respect YOUR boundaries and is training you to let him to do so.”
“He is putting you in a position to make you think ‘Oh no, bf has left, because he isn’t happy with my boundaries. Is it worth me setting this boundary if I lose him?'”
“Right now you have all these people telling you to ditch him- something you’re reluctant to do. You actually have three choices here.”
“Give in to him. Take the password off. In my experience, once you give in, your bf will find another boundary to breach, many more, and he will try the same training strategies which he has found successful on you.”
“Hold strong. Train him to respect your boundaries, including throwing out the disrespectful phone ‘spot checks’. Win win for you remember. Keep a bf who respects you, lose a bf who doesn’t.”
“Cut your losses, because the phone thing isn’t the only red flag. Good luck!”~Zenmeister321boom
“NTA Your boyfriend has some massive red flags.”
“Everyone has the right to have their privacy respected.”
“You’ve explained your issues and why limiting access to your phone is so important to you and he has no understanding or compassion for that. He does not care about your feelings.”
“He thinks it’s ok to go through your phone whenever he wants to assuage his own insecurity.”
“Staying away and not talking to you when he’s mad. Adults have conversations about their issues, not this bullshit.”
“Fwiw, he sounds kinda like your father, at least when it comes to respecting your boundaries and having control issues. Are you sure you want to be with him after this?”~QuixoticLogophile
“Nta. Your phone your privacy.”
“Sounds like the reasoning behind you wanting that privacy and control is entirely legit and even if you hadn’t had negative experiences about people going through your phone you have the right to have that device private.”
“Sounds like he’s insecure and I don’t think you need to apologise about this.”~galsfromthedwarf
OP gave an update on where she and her boyfriend stand.
“I went to work and bed and wow y’all blew this up, i’m sorry I haven’t been responding. I wanted to answer a couple common points:”
“I am in therapy. I get that i’m a little too protective of my phone. I still don’t think he needs full access to my phone, why would he bother dropping money on his phone then.”
“Apparently I’m dating my dad. Ew.”
“He knew about my issues with my dad well in advance, he’s even met my dad before i cut contact so he knows what he’s like.”
“We’ve been dating for almost a year and he’s known about my issues with my phone since before we were even dating. It’s only just now apparently an issue.”
“He wants to talk today so uh we’ll see how that goes.”
OP may be forced to make a difficult choice about whether or not to keep the relationship while constantly setting this boundary.
Hopefully OP’s boyfriend can change his behavior and realize his mistake sooner than later.