Relationship Advice: How to Stop Snooping

Relationship Advice: How to Stop Snooping

Don't create more distrust in your relationship

The moment you have a suspicion that your spouse is cheating or something just “isn’t right,” you might be tempted to start going through his things. Maybe you scroll through his text messages, or hack into his email. These invasions of privacy, often called “snooping” or “creeping” will probably come back to haunt you. If your partner finds out that you snooped through his stuff, it can just create a bigger issue than you already have. When you lack trust in the relationship, here are some things you can do instead of snooping.

Talk to Your Partner

If you do have a reason to be suspicious, talk to your partner instead of going through his things behind his back. Using non-attacking language, explain what you are feeling, and how his actions have contributed. Confronting the problem head on is the only way you and your partner have a chance of combating the issues in your relationship. Snooping can only build more trust issues, not solve them. Ask your partner to have an open policy about viewing each others’ texts and emails if you think it can help you both feel more trust. Knowing that you have permission to see your spouse’s information might make it less tempting to view it because the fear of secrets is diminished.

Press the Pause Button

If you’re alone in a room with your boyfriend’s cell phone and you start to get paranoid about what might be inside, take a few seconds before you reach for it to snoop. You may or may not have a concrete reason to search, but try pressing the pause button to check in. Ask yourself “Do I really have a reason to be worried?” or “If my friend was about to snoop for the same reasons, would I support it?” Sometimes by taking a moment to talk yourself down, you can decide if you’re actually feeling mistrust for a good reason, or if you’re just being paranoid.  If you have the need, share with your partner that you need reassurance and have him show you, instead of you snooping by yourself.

Avoid Snooping Situations

Sometimes you might need to remove yourself from a situation where snooping is just too tempting. If you have a habit of always checking your husband’s phone when he goes to bed at night, make it a new habit to pick up a book during that time, or power his device down and put it in another room. When you feel the urge to open his email, go for a walk or remove yourself from the room for 10 minutes. Staying out of tempting situations can keep you out of trouble.

Previous Findings

Searching your boyfriend’s phone or computer may have had a payout.  When you have found things in the past and your partner doesn’t come clean, then you need to come clean about what you know.  If you have found incriminating things before and never addressed it, your secure attachment has suffered a deep wound. Talking openly about it with your partner and the help of a counselor can help you evaluate if you both want to stay in the relationship — and how to make it healthier if you both agree to work on staying together.

If you are snooping, there are some trust issues in your relationship. If you want to salvage the relationship, sometimes getting help from a professional will guide you in the right direction and you can stop snooping. A counselor or marriage and family therapist can help you build trust and stop the desire to snoop.

About Jennine Estes, MFT

Think of me as your relationship consultant, I'm your neutral third party that can help you untangle the emotions and help you figure out what's really going on. I am a Marriage and Family Therapist in San Diego, CA. Certified in Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples. Supervisor. I write relationship and self growth advice for my column Relationships in the Raw. Creator of #BeingLOVEDIs campaign. MFC#47653

3 Responses to “Relationship Advice: How to Stop Snooping”

  1. Maria

    My husband came home drunk one night and I checked his phone. I did find he text a woman and as flirty with her. I confronted him. He gave me some excuse. So a few months later he was acting distant and I checked his phone. I had a few drinks in me and I sent some texts to his ex wife. We have a ugly history. I need to find a way to communicate to him I’m not crazy.

    Reply
    • Jennine Estes

      Thank you for your comment. It sounds like when your internal alarm system (aka – Your GUT instinct) was going off and you found texts to another woman. That can be painful AND you aren’t crazy. The challenge here is to continue to trust your gut, put words to it “My alarms are going off. I don’t feel okay with our situation. It feels like something is going on.” Avoid any anger outbursts — these will only have him pointing at you as crazy. Since he has a track record, it is important for him to reassure you and show you everything is now safe. If he is not willing to work on this with you, seek out Marriage counseling. You can also start building up your support network to help you through this. I hope this is helpful. Good luck and let me know how I can help!

      Reply
  2. Stacy

    I keep going in my husband phone cause he was distance an I found in his phone he was cheating on me,so I keep going in.don’t know why cause he doesn’t care anyways

    Reply

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>