This is a tricky one, no doubt. Some people do it to make sure that their spouses are keeping to an agreement, e.g. cutting off a destructive friendship, not discussing their marriage with a 3rd party, etc. Others do it to find out whether their spouse is cheating. One thing that is common is that all do it to obtain information they may not be privy to otherwise.
Cheating is especially painful and it is something many wives dread. Still, even when the suspicion has nothing to do with cheating, the sweetness of having “evidence” is tempting, and the power that comes with having inside information is alluring.
Whether you already go through your partner’s phones behind their back, or are contemplating it, you should consider a few things:
- Trust is dead or on its way there. Where your partner goes, who they’ve been with, and what they’ve been doing, are all bits of information that fly between couples every day. If you cannot accept what your partner tells you, and have to snoop to know the truth, the air of your relationship is already polluted with distrust. In a healthy marriage, partners talk about their activities, plans, new friends, and what’s going on with work. If you have to search their phones for information on things like this, your marriage already has trust and communication issues.
- Snooping is addictive. It feeds your fear, steals your peace, drains your joy, and yet you find yourself doing it over and over again even if it raises your BP. You haven’t found anything but it’s best to keep checking so when it comes up you can nip it in the bud, no?
- What will you do with this knowledge? Anyone who decides to snoop must first answer the question of how the knowledge they obtain will be handled. You’ve invaded his privacy, and you’ve finally found “something”, now what? Are you going to confront him with it? Whether he is guilty or not, this will establish one thing: you are a snoop. Is the loss of your peace, joy and dignity really worth it? If you decide not to say anything about what you’ve found, what good will that do? You’ll inevitably spend your days silently boiling or sulking, unable to talk about what’s on your mind and building negative energy in your home. Worse still, you may start nagging and snapping.
And if you confront him, there’s no telling the outcome. If you were mistaken, and he’s not doing anything wrong, you would have wounded him and dented your relationship; things will never be the same again. If he is cheating and you catch him, will confrontation make things better, or worse? For everything we win there’s something lost. You know your man best. Will knowing that you know make him stop? At what cost? Will you report him to his mum? Will it make your home heaven, or hell?
What will you do after the knowledge that you’re not already doing now? Start insisting on condoms? Start praying every night? Start initiating sex more often? Buy sexy lingerie?
Perhaps you will file for divorce now that you know. Though no one should fault you for this, there is no glory in being the right partner in a divorce. You need to be sure if ending the marriage is what you really want, especially if there are kids involved. Strategy is key. Know what you want before you go snooping.
Am I saying that it is best to play ostrich if you suspect your partner is hiding something? No. If your relationship is where it should be, there are other ways to start a discussion that makes your partner comfortable enough – or compelled – to open up to you. If your relationship is not where it should be, then that intimacy and understanding is what you should work towards. If you must read their messages, then do it openly- pick it up in their presence and start scrolling, or sit beside them and read as they read and type messages. They shouldn’t mind if there’s nothing to hide.
I think snooping is a lazy way to do marriage. Creating that true bond takes work, and time, but I believe it pays off in the long run. Still, everyone must decide for themselves; if checking his phone helps you sleep at night, then nothing I say will change your mind.
So, what do you think?
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