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

dating mom, dating, single moms, lying, marriage


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whisk... whiskey80

Funny that you should post this now. I had a reaallllllly harrowing past  week. Why? Because for the first time in 12 plus years (married for 6 of them ) ,I looked through my man's phone. Horror  of horrors.From naked pics to solicitations by him on facebook to "sexts".Of course,I confronted him. OF COURSE, he played the "how dare you touch my phone" card and cussed me out within an inch of my life.

 Dont get me wrong. he's been doing this for years (in fact,I remeber being irritated by his chuckles and fast fingers as I nursed my 3-day-old baby) but i turned a blind eye hoping that he'd gradually gain respect for his "cool" wife and stop. And not one was above the age of 18. And most of them were his employees or interviewed candidates. I didnt know what to say cause I felt the entire gamut of emotions from bitterness to sadness to despair to rage to disgust to self-pity to loathing to loneliness.In the end, I just stared silently at him as he raged on.

Lesson: If you cant be unemotional aboutwhat you find out, do NOT touch that phone. Because,if you even have a niggling urge to check him out,chances are he's a cheating bastard.

hanib... hanibanani

Wow whiskey! that sucks, Im really sorry. I wish you the best, and hope yo have courage to leave him (if thats what you want) and (I assume your above 18 because of your comment) thing about reporting him. Hope you have a better week!

nonmember avatar nevrsureanymore

I feel for you whiskey. I too have unfortunately caught my husband of 20+ yrs texting women & hiding it from me. At 1 point he made so many visits to the bathroom I suggested he see a Dr. I found he & his flavor of the month were texting from 1st thing in the morn til very late at night. His reaction was same as your husbands. I feel all the same emotions you stated in your post. It's sad really. So sad.

jaxmadre jaxmadre

I do have the inclination cause I'm NOSEY. But I don't do it. I won't do it. Because I want to trust him. I do trust him.  And I want to show him I trust him. I don't trust the other women--agendas and man hooks. I knwo they're out there. He's a good man, a wonderful father, and an attractive man, why wouldn't women be trying for his attention? But I have to just trust him. If he's as good as I think he is--he'll be faithful and loyal to me.

If I don't trust him, I shouldn't be in a relationship with him. What's the point of a relationship without trust? So I'm not even starting with the phone, as curious as I may be. Even if some woman was interested him, it probably wouldn't matter to him. Same way it doesn't matter to me if another man shows interest in me. I'm not paying any attention to anyone else, why would I think it would be any different for him?

But I know I'm lucky with this one, and I have to believe I'm good enough to keep his interest. Jealousy and suspicion would probably only drive him into another woman's arms.

nonmember avatar India

I got a gut feeling this time last year that my bf was cheating (I was also 6months pg with his baby) he took a shower and I went through his phone, I found what I thought was innocent txts then went back through it and found naked pictures of some of the nastiest women, sexts and all the sex websites he was on, which ended up in him finally admitting he had slept with other women. I went through a depression couldn't eat sleep nothing, I'd even have nightmares about it and wake up hysterical. But we did work it out for our kids,and even though I still occasionally go through his phone and there's always that thought in the back of my head, I know in my heart now he would never do that again. Some people might think I'm stupid but I love him and our family, and some worthless whores weren't worth losing it to me. We got engaged last month:o)

cmari... cmarie452

Why does everyone assume that it's the woman's fault? That's she's some "worthless whore" who was out to get a taken man? Why is that that it's always the woman on the prowl, the woman seducing the innocent man away from his wife/GF? How do you know that it really isn't just an innocent long-lost friends catching up, or that HE was the one who pursued her, the HE lied to your AND her? How do you know she even knew he was married/taken? Women who sleep with taken men aren't automatically whores who get off on knowing they're sleeping with your man, sometimes they're being lied to as well.

nonmember avatar India

Well bc in a lot of cases the worthless whore does know about the girlfriend, wife etc and isn't too fond of her bc he left their friends with benefits for the girlfriend or wife and what's the best revenge for that?? Or if the man has a fb with his girlfriend, and pregnancy posted up on it aand she still pursues. And or goes along with him that would indeed make her a whore. Sounds like someones been on the whore side a few times if you ask me. So in my case they knew very well who I was. But thanks for speaking on something u had NO clue about

cmari... cmarie452

Wow, someone has some anger issues. Because I can defend the women who are made the other women against the wishes I must be a worthless whore. Well I hope you're reserving some of that energy for your worthless husband. He's the one who cheated, those women had no obligation to you, he did. Good luck with your engagement, sounds like it's going to be one heck of a marraige. I'm glad you can forgive him but don't forget to put the majority of the blame where it belongs, on him. And just fyi, I wasn't speaking about your situation specifically, I was speaking about certain situations in general, but feel free to attack me because I'm rational enough to know there truly are some innocent women out there and they don't all deserve to be called worthless whores, then again I guess being a whore myself I would be biased.

Elizabeth Gronewald

If a man acted this way to his girlfriend would snooping be okay? Would violating that person's privacy be okay because some women do it? In the unfortunate case that he/she is cheating, then obviously snooping helped, but this is not a real solution to fixing an honesty gap in a relationship. There is no real trust with snooping. Also, some women are lied to by men who are already in relationships. Some men are lied to by women already in relationships. If the party that does not know about the other's relationship tries to continue the cheating after they find out, then they can be held partially accountable. That being said, men are not personal property. No man can be stolen from you. He can choose to leave you or cheat. Men have free will, and women do not own them, just as men do not own women. There are two parties involved in cheating. Two willing parties. Unless you have personally bought the man you are with and you have legal documents stating that you own him, he cannot be stolen.

nonmember avatar India

Well feel free to still feel the same way when your significant other is sleeping with the "innocent" other woman, who I bet will also know about you but she'll have no obligation to keep her legs closed. I'm sure my marriage will be wonderful, thank you! If a couple can get through things like this they usually come out stronger than most actually. And he didn't get out of it with no blame, most of it is on him but for the woman that did know about us, and still chose to sleep with him, that's a homewrecking whore, if u sleep withsome one elses significant other that is a whore plain and simple. If you really are innocent and being played just like the other woman, then I feel for you. Either way karmas a bitch and it will come back on both of them.

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