Spying and snooping on your spouse can create a lot of marital discord. However, many people admit that they frequently check up on their spouse’s activities! It’s important to take a look at the damage that your behaviors may be causing to the relationship if you find yourself spying on your spouse.
What constitutes spying?
Looking into your spouse’s activities without permission constitutes spying or snooping. Today’s digital world offers endless opportunities to spy on your spouse’s day to day activities. Reading email messages, viewing text messages and call histories, logging into your spouse’s social media accounts, or listening to your spouse’s voicemail messages all constitute spying.
Of course there’s still good “old fashion” snooping techniques as well. Checking your spouse’s pockets, going through a wallet or purse, or looking through mail or other documents counts as spying as well. Even reading your spouse’s diary or journal or any other major invasion of privacy constitutes spying.
There are also more extreme (and more disturbing) forms of spying. Some people go so far as to hire a private investigator to follow their spouse and report back on their activities. Other people use GPS tracking devices attached to their spouse’s vehicle to monitor their whereabouts all the time. Yikes!
Problems with Spying
Whether you are reading an occasional email or hiring a private investigator, spying is problematic. It can create some big problems. And if you are spying and snooping already, it may signal your marriage already has some significant problems.
Your spouse has a right to privacy. Spying on your spouse violates this right. You will damage the relationship and likely lose a lot of trust when your spouse finds out. And it’s not a matter of “if” your spouse finds out, it’s a matter of “when.” At some point, you’ll get caught spying. And then you’ll either have to come clean, or lie to cover your tracks.
Another problem with snooping and spying is, what are you going to do with the information you discover? A lot of people set out to see if their spouse is cheating. Well what if your spouse isn’t? Then, what damage have you caused the relationship? If this is the case, you’ve been the one to betray your spouse.
Let’s say you do find that your spouse has had an inappropriate conversation with someone. Then what will you do? Unfortunately, if you confront your spouse it may lead to your spouse trying to change the focus to your snooping rather than the inappropriate conversation.
If you suspect your spouse is cheating, you may then examine everything with such a degree of suspicion that you may think all signs point to an affair. However, some of the things you stumble across may actually have an innocent explanation. But if all you are looking for is evidence of infidelity, you might think everything constitutes proof.
Spying can consume some people’s lives. They spend their time and energy focuses on how to check up on their spouse’s activities. This energy could be better spent improving the relationship and working on being the best spouse you can be.
Examine your reasons for not trusting
When you don’t trust your spouse, it’s important to look at the reasons why not. Perhaps you have been hurt in past relationships and you are afraid of being hurt again. Do you think that spying will be helpful?
Spying or snooping won’t prevent your spouse from cheating. It’s important to remember that your efforts are not going to help the relationship. Some people seem to spy to prove their “hunch” that their spouse is in fact cheating. Other people seem to snoop just to make sure that their spouse is still faithful.
Although many people think they just need to snoop a little to “make sure” their spouse isn’t cheating, it usually doesn’t end. Instead, people then become almost like addicts where they just need to constantly satisfy their curiosity.
Ask yourself, is what you are doing helping the marriage? Some people might say “well it reassures me that my spouse is faithful so that helps.” If you are struggling to trust your spouse, spying won’t make you trust any more. In fact, it can usually have the opposite effect and cause trust to breakdown further as you betray your spouse’s loyalty.
There is one exception where it can make sense to “spy.” However, since in this case your spouse gives you permission, it doesn’t even really constitute spying. When one person has been unfaithful it can make sense as part of the regaining trust period to give the other person full access to all information in an effort to regain trust. This can help the other spouse see that the affair has ended but it should only be used in some circumstances and only for a limited time.
Repairing the marriage
If you don’t trust your spouse or if you tend to spy on your spouse, it’s important that you seek help. A healthy marriage is built on trust, respect, and loyalty. If your marriage lacks these characteristics, it’s likely there are some serious underlying issues that need to be addressed.
Building trust takes time but it can also be lost in an instant. If for some reason you don’t trust your spouse, consider professional help. It isn’t likely going to get any better on its own. Don’t think that spying on your spouse will manage your jealousy, anxiety, or suspicions. Instead, it’s likely to make things worse.
If you are fairly confident your spouse is cheating, spying won’t help. It isn’t likely to give you the satisfaction you are looking for either. If you and your spouse have lost trust, it is important to seek professional help right away.