Snooping Forces Relationship Honesty -- That's Why I Do It

SnoopingMy name is Janelle Harris, and I’m a recovering snoop. I can't explain it. An urge just comes over me and I feel led to scour phones, check emails, peruse laptop histories. Before technology was so advanced, I went through drawers and sniffed out incriminating pictures. (The kind that had to be developed in an actual lab. Remember those?) More often than not, I found something that warranted an explanation. I sought, and I sure did find.

Walk with me, if you will, through a little scenario in Hypothetical Situation Land: Your man has been texting someone hot and heavy all day, chuckling at messages, waiting for replies, fingers flying over the keyboard. The backlight on his iPhone has been illuminating the room so much that your curiosity is piqued. Of course you could ask him who in the blazing hell he’s talking to, but you don’t want to seem all Maury Povich, angry girlfriend-ish. He runs out to get something to eat.

Drum roll please: Do you check the phone?


Well, do you?

See, old Janelle would’ve said, “Hayle yeah, I’m checkin’. I’m crackin’ passcodes, I’m doing keyword searches. I’m playing Inspector Gadget up in this micky flick!” That’s what old Janelle would’ve said. You can learn a lot about your fella from the inner workings of his phone. I was going through one belonging to an old boyfriend — before he was an old boyfriend — and stumbled upon a thread of flirty messages between him and his co-worker. Awww, I snickered out loud, totally unthreatened. He’s got a work wife. How cute, I thought. Until I got to the pictures.

This heffa had sent him (another drum roll seems befitting here) a picture of her breast. Just one. A lone ta-ta hanging out in the open air on my man’s phone. This incident, fabulous friends, has forever after been referred to, among those who know the story, as the infamous Boob in the BlackBerry Incident.

It was that experience and my snooping mentality that had me up at 4 a.m. one night, after New Man had been doling out a large number of textual correspondences. Womanly instinct told me dudes don’t text each other back and forth like that. That’s just weird. Maybe one or two, but in the abbreviated world of male communication, all that needed to be said would surely be contained in a few, brief exchanges. So whoever he was talking to had to be a chick.

His phone was on his side of the bed. I was on the other. I tiptoed ever-so-quietly (because he is an annoyingly light sleeper) and eased the object of my intention into my palm. Then I scuttled into the bathroom but, fearing the backlight would put my search and seizure mission on premature blast, I went back to the only place I felt I could play it off if he woke up: I crawled back into the bed, made a teepee out of the blanket to conceal that dangblasted light, and scrolled my little iPhone-snooping heart out.

Turns out it was a girl, someone he had known way back in middle school and was playing catch-up with after reuniting on Facebook. Had that rekindled friendship been kicked off in another way, I would’ve been fine. But the covert texting irked me from the beginning, and I nipped that thing in the bud before it ever got a chance to grow roots.

Funny thing is, I’m not even jealous. Crazy? Yes. Weird? Sure. But insecure? Not so much. I just know how 1) slow men are to catch on to the covert missions of boyfriend-snatching women and 2) ladies with clear agendas and sharp man-hooks will run the innocent “just friends from way back when” play to get the guy prize.

After that incident, The Man and I had a long talk about trust, how he felt violated and peeved at my underhanded shenanigans. And I’ve got to tell you, that’s an adrenaline rush like I haven’t had in years and could go that much longer without ever again. Bungee jumping ain’t got nothin’ on having your man’s phone in your hands without his permission. I’m learning that there are better ways to get the information I want, and if in fact someone is not being honest with me, the truth — hurtful as it may be — will always find a way of creeping out (pun definitely intended).

Have you ever snooped through your significant other’s stuff? Did it give you information you thought you needed to know?


Image via hill.josh/Flickr

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