I did something on Saturday morning that I am not too proud of.
I snooped in Mr. J’s phone.
He has assigned a special message tone so that when The Ex sends him a text, he knows it’s her.
Which is great. That way he doesn’t have to check right away.
But then it’s not-so-great, because now I know just how often she’s texting him.
So they were messaging on Saturday about pick-up times, bottle drives and the like. Turns out he didn’t have to be rushing around because of other plans.
We decided to go out for breakfast and to buy some drapes for the bedroom to replace the sad-looking roman shade that was currently on the bedroom window.
Now, what happened next is not my fault.
Mr. J sent a text to The Ex and then went to take a shower. Leaving his phone on his dresser.
I was taking the sheets off the bed. And I heard it swoop.
But not the new message swoop. The reply swoop.
He had just put the phone down but didn’t turn it off.
So it was there. Right next to me.
What else could I do?
So I looked.
I did it. I admit it.
And I am glad that I did.
Ever more so that I scrolled up to read some previous messages.
(You’re right…. you’re right…. I know you’re right)
But I learned a lot.
The Ex sends long messages with much detail.
Mr J. replies with simple phrases.
In one message she goes on about how both kids lost wi-fi at night because they were staying up too late on their devices. Then goes on to a second paragraph about how he ‘doesn’t have to do the same but there should be some consistency”.
He replied to it all with, ‘thank you for letting me know’.
I know it was wrong of me to read these messages. But now I know that I really can trust that Mr. J is not falling into her drama. In another message she wrote, “I know it’s in the past but I want you to know that I am really getting a handle on my spending” – which was a huge issue when they were married. But isn’t an issue any longer, because… she only has one income to burn through on useless crap, not two.
So why then, does it matter if he knows that she is ‘getting a handle on” her spending?
And he didn’t reply to that one. So proud of him. She is clearly looking for approval – even from the man she left – and he didn’t provide it.
But there was one that bothered me. In the message she goes on about her brother and how he is having issues – depression/anxiety/mental health issues run in their family. Grandma (her mom), The Ex, The Brother (her brother Mr. R) – they all seem to suffer from some sort of mental health issue. And now, The Daughter is also showing those signs.
Or, as I often wonder, is she just saying or doing things for attention because it’s what she’s seen her mother and Grandmother doing for years?
But I digress…
The Ex wrote to Mr. J about her brother and that he was having a rough go of it. She went into a little detail but not a lot – basically about some verbal abuse he was spewing towards other family members, including her. Essentially she was getting frustrated with him, as she was trying to support him.
(As I write this though I wonder, support or control? She does like to control and perhaps he just didn’t want to be controlled?)
At the end, Mr. J simply wrote, ‘thank you for telling me about Mr. R (the brother). It helps me to better understand The Daughter”.
Her reply? “What does this have to do with The Daughter? This is about Mr. R, not her.”
And that’s part of the problem.
When she talks about her family’s mental illness (she doesn’t call it that), it does help Mr. J understand his daughter better. It was a helpful statement. What he knows about their struggles will help prepare him for when his daughter struggles.
But The Ex didn’t see it that way. She saw it as once again, Mr. J not listening or paying attention.
When in fact this time, I think it was the other way around.
So while I am not proud of my actions, I am quite relieved. I may not trust her motives or reasons for sending ten messages a day (really? You can’t just wait and send them to him just at one time?), I can now trust that Mr. J is not charmed by her at all. Not anymore. Perhaps at one time her long missives might have elicited a warmer response from him. But not anymore.
He is polite. Concise, and to the point. Which she does not appreciate.
But I do. I appreciate that he keeps his replies on topic. He does not engage unless it directly relates to his children. He does not talk about her personal life – or ours.
I am so proud of him. And slightly ashamed of my actions. But now I know that I can trust him.
I just hope that he will continue to trust me in that I won’t go snooping again. Even if the opportunity does come up.