Is It Okay to Check Your Partner's Phone & Emails to Make Sure He's Not Cheating On You?

Say What!? 53

cat checking emailCheating used to be so cloak and dagger. I mean, you'd have to go hunting for receipts or check bank statements to see if your significant other was stepping out on you. Now, though, thanks to the influx of social media sites and smartphones, you barely have to turn around to see what your partner's been up to.

So should you? Should you check in to make sure your partner is being faithful?

My vote is no.

With the availability of information at our fingertips, it can be tempting to see what our partner is doing in his or her off-time. He could be chatting with an ex, or chatting up someone he met on Facebook. He could be exchanging naughty pictures! You just don't know.

Until you do. And when you do know, you can't unknow that sort of thing.

I'm not suggesting that we turn a blind eye to our partners, pretending that the possibility of infidelity doesn't exist. Far from it. I'm merely suggesting that there are other, better ways to determine whether your partner is being faithful.

Namely, by asking him or her. Based upon his or her reaction, you should be able to tell one way or another if something is up.

I'd rather be accused of being "crazy" than accused of invading my partner's privacy. I think even now, in the age of the Internet, people deserve their privacy. If he's talking about me to another woman? Maybe he needs to vent to a female ear. If he's talking about a hot chick to a buddy via Facebook? He's being human.

And frankly, I don't need to know about it. Planting seeds of doubt is hard to turn back from.

If, by all means, your partner acts cagey when questioned about cheating, ask for proof. But ask for it -- don't go seeking it out. Because what you might find could be the answer ... but more likely, you'll just find out that your partner is human.

And if he should catch you snooping through his or her private emails, calls, texts, and Facebook messages? Well, that's a hard one to get over.

I say let sleeping emails sleep and do your communicating with your partner, not with a computer.

What about you? Do you check your partner's email or Facebook?


Image via NathaniaJohnson/Flickr

cheating, commitment, exes


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Nycti... Nyctimene

Elderly -- I definitely get what you're saying and sure, it's possible and of course if someone thinks they can use it as an opportunity to fix something then that's what they should do if they feel it's a relationship worth hanging on to. 

From my personal experience though, that's not what happens. People who snoop rarely let go of that feeling that "He's up to something" and even if they don't find something on that first snoop it doesn't tell them that they're insecure and need help or to be more trusting, they usually seem to just feel that they haven't dug deep enough or in the right place to find the evidence. If they dug his phone and didn't find something it's time to move on to his emails. If that doesn't yield anything either then they move on to his computer history. EtcEtc. It basically just snowballs and one place leads to the next and the next.  
At which point yes, I do feel that the relationship is pointless because no one is enjoying it anymore. The snooper spends all the time paranoid, hurt and worrying and the other person spends the entire time arguing over personal space, boundaries, etc. It's probably better just to move on and find someone you can trust than stay with something you clearly don't.  

kelti... kelticmom

I agree with Nyctimene. If you start digging, even if you don't find anything, usually that feeling is going to persist, and you get more paranoid and start picking apart every little thing. This causes the other person to become annoyed and resentful, and before you know it, you've sabotaged your relationship. When instead of sneaking behind the others back, you could have sat down and had a heart to heart about what you are feeling and what your worries are. Would you want to know that your partner doesn't trust you and is constantly checking up on you and going through your messages behind your back?

elder... elderlywoman

Yeah - I can see where you're coming from ... not very often are people able to take a step back and look at their own behavior to see what role it's playing in their relationship.....most of the time people just come at things with the mentality that it's always the other person's fault.  I still maintain that snooping was the best thing I ever did in my previous relationship (and even taking a step back and seeing if I did anything wrong in that one - I didn't -- the guy has been a serial cheater and womanizer which I did not know about) - but it's not something I would ever WANT to feel the need to have to do.  It's a very unpleasant feeling and having been in that situation before and knowing my intuition - if I ever even felt that need sneak up again in a new relationship - I'd pull the plug immediately.

Bruic... Bruickson

My husband and I know each others passwords to everything. There are occasions when I'll ask him to check my Fb for me or he will ask me to check his email. There is no need for us to snoop on each other because we don't keep any secrets. But that's because we've been together for so long and the trust we've built is solid. But you better believe if he started acting shady I would ask him what's up. And if he said nothing was wrong but his behavior proved otherwise I would trust my intuition and check things out.

@Coles_mom, I suggest you ask your husband what the hell is up. Waiting for the other shoe to drop is no way to live and the stress of it all is not good for you. There may not be anything going on but if there is you can use that information to either work together with your husband to save the marriage or find the courage to move on. You are not alone in this. There are so many women who have been in this situation. I have friends who's husbands have cheated and with a lot of work their marriages are now stronger than they ever were. I also know women who have left their husbands because of this and they are now happier than they ever thought they could be. You owe it to yourself and your child to be the happiest momma you can be. The truth will set you free and I wish you the best of luck!

mande... manderspanders

I'd say the women who think their husbands tell them *everything* are a bit naive; I think women who vote no haven't been cheated on.

With my ex, I had the intuitive feeling that he was up to no good...after 8 years of lies and cover ups (no matter how much snooping, how much therapy, or how much openness) I was right...and he refused to allow me open access to any online accounts, to his cell phone, etc. He was a serial cheater, and has borderline personality disorder, and is a liar. Unfortunately I didn't know before I married him; but better late than never.

My husband now, we have access to each others online life, we have nothing to hide...I didn't request open access, and I haven't ever thought he was cheating. I haven't snipped, and don't have A paranoia about it, even after all that happened with my ex. But you better believe if I ever had that gut feeling, I'd look at everything I could access on him.

justj123 justj123

When I was married I use to say the first thing in a marriage is trust If you do not have trust in a marriage then you do not have a marriage.  It is as simple as that.  I am divorced now (no not because of this reason) and currently seeing a man who is in the process of a divorce.  She is trying like hell to hold on to him by making his life "sheer hell" .... A few weeks ago we were leaving to go out of town for the weekend just to get away for a few days after the holidays and he was at my house to pick me up.  She blew up his phone with 15 calls/text messages about a "business deal" that could have waited until he got back on Wednesday.  I finally told him to go and call her.  He did and she actually wanted him to stay and made the appointment for him the VERY NEXT MORNING just to spite me!!!! He goes back to his office and since they still have a "business" relationship together she looks at his phone and at his business e mails.  I do not send anything to his business e mail.  She found out about me from the billing on the phone.  My cell number kept coming up and I was not "in the system" as a client so she asked him who I was? 

Franc... Francess33

No it's not okay. It's also against the law. Please educate yourself on state laws regarding this. You could be opening a can of worms you don't want. 

tuffy... tuffymama

Considering I handle all of DH's family business, all the finances, and some of his professional things, I have full access to his email, Facebook, LinkedIn, texts, voicemail, etc. We are open books to each other. If there are no hiding places, nothing can hide. A couple of years ago, some young girl from work was chasing DH and he had no clue that's what was happening. I let it play out a little while and dropped the hammer on her. I can trust him all day long, but I will never make the mistake of trusting another woman around him.

the4m... the4mutts

We have full access to everything of eachothers. The only thing is, we have an agreement, if we're wanting to look at eachother's stuff, we have to tell eachother. I'll tell him something like "hey your phone went off while you were showering, im going to check it." And he doesnt care. Same with me & my phone/email.

Its not snooping if you have permission.

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