This week Kate* found graphic Snapchat messages to another woman on her boyfriend’s phone.
She felt the blood drain from her face. It had happened again.
“About two months ago a stranger contacted me with screenshots from her phone of an exchange she had with my partner the night before,” Kate wrote in an email to Mamamia. “It was similarly sexually driven and included graphic requests.”
Kate was “livid” and in disbelief. She thought of leaving her boyfriend at first, but then decided against it.
“I was also interstate for work so it was hard to get a feel for his honesty over the phone, and in the end I decided to accept he didn’t understand his ‘infidelity’.
“He also apologised profusely, promised it would ‘never happen again’ yadda yadda yadda.”
The crucial point, Kate says, is that her boyfriend didn’t have physical contact with any of them.
“It was absolutely not cheating. He even wrote that to the girl who sent me the screenshots.
“I believed him the first time because I get that we all make mistakes and I also wanted to believe he had different expectations… or something.”
But then it happened again.
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Last Saturday a “horrendously suspicious” Kate decided to snoop on her boyfriend’s phone while he was in the shower.
Her suspicions proved to be undoubtedly correct when she found a message that read: “My c**k is hard, I’m so horny right now.”
“I feel the blood drain from my brain, and I am emotionally paralysed even now thinking about it. What. The. FUCK. The dates went back to another time I was away for work – for three days!”
Kate says that when she confronted her boyfriend, he knew who she was talking about before she even said her name and he was upset, and apologised.
Now, writing to Mamamia, Kate wants to know what to do.
“I snooped and there are other girls listed in his ‘top friends’ on various social media outlets. Do I contact them?” she asks.
“Do I want to know more, to confirm everything or do I try to rebuild our relationship? Or… do I accept that this is part of our relationship?”
According to Sydney-based clinical psychologist Stephanie Allen, before Kate does anything else, she should stop for a moment to weigh up the situation.