Dear Miss Emily:

My boyfriend recently met up with an ex-girlfriend from high school.  He says they have always talked over all those years but, when he went to meet with her for lunch, he did it while I was at work and didn’t tell me about it until after he and others had met with her. He told me it was a spontaneous meeting.  I later found messages in his mobile phone that stated they had previously arranged to meet, so it wasn’t spontaneous, and they also arranged to meet again in a couple of days. I gave him the chance to tell me that he had arranged to meet with her by asking whether he had anything on for the weekend, or if he's meeting up with anyone. He said he was meeting up with the boys and that’s why I couldn’t go -- but never mentioned her name.  I went to where he was meeting the boys, and I saw my boyfriend, one other gentleman, and three girls; one of them being his ex. He told me he didn’t know she was coming to the meeting place.  I admitted to going through his mobile phone, then asked if he could read the messages from her. He absolutely refused and told me if I trusted him, then I shouldn’t need to go through his mobile.  He also said the reason he lied and told me after he went to meet her for lunch, was because he knew how I would overreact and he would feel bad and not go.  What is he up to?  I trust him in the way that I know he isn’t cheating, but why is he hiding so much? Was he going to cheat because he hid her from the beginning? Will he continue to always hide her? Should I ask to have lunch with them both to try being friends with her? Can you help?  This is all I can think about lately!

------------------------Miss Emily’s advice------------------

There are three (among many) destructive behaviors in a relationship:  lying, sneaking, and ignoring the right to privacy.  He lied, he sneaked, and you invaded his privacy.  I know the temptation to snoop.  It’s practically stamped on our DNA.  It’s just a shame that you felt you had to take it to that level.  In fairness to you, however, you caught him in a lie, and now he’s on notice – because he should not have lied to you and, then, made out like he’s the victim because he did.  Oh, how clever, and so predictable!  What is he hiding?  Basically, he wants to do what he wants to do without having the courage to tell you.  If you are in a committed relationship with this man, there should not have been a problem telling you about this, or taking you along to meet her.  When you see him with one guy, and three other girls, that tells me he wants you, but also wants to be a free spirit that does not include you! You could suggest that you meet this ex, and the three of you have a gabfest over a few brewskies, but I don’t think that’s what he wants.  Okay, he’s not cheating now, but that is not to say that he won’t in the near future.  If I were you, I'd reinforce your position, in that you don’t think it’s appropriate to spend time with her alone, or with her and a group of her tag-along gal-pals.  In time, you’ll find out how serious he is about honoring your request.  Twice burned, thrice shy!