It’s a moment I’m not proud of: Rewind a few boyfriends back and I find myself standing in the lounge of our shared apartment as he’s taking a shower, frantically scrolling through text messages on his phone.
I feel terrible guilt at doing this… until I find exactly what I’m looking for. Very incriminating text messages to another woman. Evidence that he’s cheating. Vindicated!
As my friend V once said to me “A woman always knows.”
We broke up quicker than you can say ‘Warney’.
A recent study found that in 44% of couples, at least one partner is checking up on the other’s online and communication activities, including examining text messages, reading emails and monitoring search history.
In one-sided snooping relationships, women are twice as likely to be the sleuths, while checking up on the missus only occurs to 20% of men.
More than that, 77% of women said they would check up on their beau if they felt the need. Suspicious bunch we are.
And if you’re snooping on your partner, chances are they’re snooping back. In 37% of couples studied, both partners admitted to prying into each other’s communications, without the other knowing.
I’ve always said (no doubt as a weak defence to my past snoopy behaviour) that if you do find evidence of funny business, then the snooping is justified. Call it women’s intuition.
But what if you’re that person that snoops all the time and find nothing? What if you have a compulsion to keep checking up on them for no reason at all?
If that sounds familiar, then you probably want to address some trust issues.
Stop the snooping now, because you know and I know all you get is big steaming piles of shame. You don’t feel good about doing it. Because you know you’d hate your partner doing it to you.
I’ve never snooped on my now-man’s cyberlife. I have full access to do it – his laptop is staring me in the face right now, with no passwords on it. But I don’t ever feel the need to.
He has full access to mine too – my iPhone houses my emails, Facebook and more with no hint of security on it.
And I assume he’s never checked up on me either.
He wouldn’t find anything if he did, but I would feel violated. Everyone is entitled to a modicum of privacy in their lives, even if they are one half of a matching relationship set.
I know couples who openly check each other’s phones in front of each other, almost daring the other to be having an affair or a flirtation. I don’t really understand it (plus, if you know they look regularly, aren’t you going to be even more vigilant?)
It’s safe to say that most people who look at their partner’s records do so because they feel they have to. “I just had a feeling,” sums it up nicely.
Perhaps the signs start with someone spending long hours in the office, takes time away with friends, becomes a little distant.
What you can bet is, that once you start you’ll find it hard to stop.
And if you look long and hard enough at anything, you can twist it to support your argument. An innocent flirtation online with an old friend may seem much larger and more beastly than it actually is.
Best to stay away from that particular rabbit hole, then, lest you go tumbling down it and ruin your relationship over nothing.
Focus instead on building trust together, because that’s what really needs work.