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!