My girlfriend calls another man ‘babe’

With Wayne Powell MA Counselling Psychology Relationship Counsellor

Monday, June 23, 2014

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Dear Counsellor

I've been with my girlfriend for the past two years. Everything started going wrong after year one. I tried my very best to be supportive of everything she does, but that seems to be an issue for her. She says my outlook on life is too positive. Once she came to visit me for the weekend and I planned an evening out. We went for a walk and I had dinner planned for later, but she got all cold, and said the stroll was a waste of time. She then walked off and went home without me.

These past few months I've had my suspicions that she's seeing someone else. I've asked her several times about it, but she denies it. However, one night while she was at my apartment and I checked her messages, I saw that she was messaging someone else. There was no name listed under the number, but I saw where they spoke every day. In one message she referred to him as "babe". He was telling her how he longs to see her and from the messages I read, he had seen her two days prior because he picked her up from work. I don't know how to confront her, seeing that I snooped in her phone messages. I need your advice.

On the surface it appears that both of you are not communicating, as your love language is not understood or appreciated by your girlfriend. It is important that couples try and not only learn their partner's love language, but seek to respect and value the efforts to express love and affection. Literally speaking, if one person speaks English and the other speaks Spanish, and neither makes an attempt to learn and comprehend the other's language, there are bound to be issues with communication.

With that said, and if we were to follow your deduction based on the text messages you read on your lady's phone, it does appear that your girlfriend may well be distracted from you and the relationship. When one partner is losing interest in a relationship, he or she may choose to send hints that he/she hopes the partner will get and exit as soon as possible. Sometimes the person may not have the heart to issue the marching orders and so they utilise the hint route. The walking away on that fateful evening could well be a non-verbal message to you. The undeleted text messages could well have been left deliberately.

There seems to be a high incidence of detective work in relationships these days as there is evidently an absence of trust, honesty and commitment. If these ingredients are missing in a relationship, then snooping in on audio and text messages will be a constant feature of the relationship. This is obviously counterproductive and will only result in a dysfunctional relationship.

So now that you have this incriminating evidence you have another dilemma, that of presenting same to your girlfriend who has already denied seeing someone else. What are your options and the possible outcomes? If you decide to do nothing, then your level of anxiety will be so high that it could affect your interaction with her. If, on the other hand, you choose to confront her, she may still deny any involvement and rebuke you for invading her privacy. This may well be the end of the relationship.

You then need to take a decision either way and be prepared to live with the consequences. As you contemplate your move, consider that your personal happiness must be paramount, and any option that denies you this critical element should be rejected.

If you were to continue in the relationship or you choose to initiate a new one, I suggest you and your partner together read Gary Chapman's classic, The 5 Love languages.

Wayne Powell is a relationship counsellor. Write to




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