Do You Check Your Partner's Email?


cheating on emailRecently a friend of mine busted her cheating boyfriend when he left his email open at her house. Yes, he's a dumba**.

Given what she discovered, I never thought it was an invasion of privacy that she opened up his email and started browsing. But if I were a neutral party, I might be throwing some judgment her way about snooping in someone else's private affairs. Literally.

To flip it around, I'm not sure how I would feel if I came home and my husband was reading my personal emails. We both know each other's passwords, and until recently both our computers were in plain view in our tiny apartment. Now I have an office, but we both use it so it's not just "my" space. If he were opening up messages from my girlfriends that were meant for my eyes only, I might get a little irritated. But mostly I would wonder why he took this sudden interest in my email correspondence.

I've glanced at his screen when his email is up before and wondered about an unfamiliar email address, but clicking on is, to me, not cool.

I know my friend wasn't the first person to learn she was being cheated on by an unprotected email account, and will certainly not be the last. Email, IMs, and texts are the new lipstick on the collar, after all. But it's still a violation. Although, if you're violating someone's trust who deserves it, is it such a bad thing?

Do you think it's okay to read your SO's email?


Image via trmarch/Flickr

breakups, dating, marriage


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CafeS... CafeSasha

I think it is OK if you have reason to suspect. I know it sounds underhanded, but it makes sense to me. I trust my instinct. I never read my husband's b/c I trust him, but if i did not, that in itself is a problem.

poshkat poshkat

once in a while when i go on the home computer, which is his i look around on his FB page. once i was checking his email for him while he was at work and i saw an email from a girl, i asked if i could open it and he said yes, so i did. he didn't even know who she was. turns it was a lady on one of his trading card forums asking him to get to know him better. i sent her an email back saying DONT EMAIL MY HUSBAND AGAIN. he gave me the green light and we both had a laugh. apparently she does this to other men on his forum all the time. she has not emailed him back.

mylil... mylilprincesses

i dont really read my husbands email. he did change his password on his facebook but what he forgot is i know email password so i could change the fb password which he didnt mind b/c he wanted me to change his fb profile picture anyways. if he talks to his ex gf ( who is in texas and we are in tn) he normally tells me and i aint worried about it. i trust my husband FULLY!

jeann... jeannesager

I don't think it's cool. My husband knows my password, and I've purposely asked him to check something when I wasn't near my computer. Ditto the other way around. But we still ask one another before we go in there out of respect.

Likewise, I ask before opening his mail, ask before going in his wallet, etc. I don't fear what I'll find, and I don't hide anything naughty on my side -- but just because you're married doesn't mean you don't deserve personal space.

nonmember avatar Dana

I have not read my husband's email, but I have no reason to suspect anything. We both have blackberries and our emails are literally right there, so it's not like I really have to snoop. My ex, however, I constantly had reason, and the TWO times I checked I found stuff. The last one was the ending to our relationship - and I'm GLAD I snooped.

toria... toriandgrace

I check hubby's email for him when he's underway, but that's it. I love to read through his texts, but he's sitting right next to me while I ask who people are that I don't know -- it's not snooping, it's absurd curiousity. I have so much trust in my husband that I feel absolutely no need to snoop. I know a lot of women advocate for it, but I would rather be entirely blown away by an affair than constantly doubting my spouse.

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