BSH: Is It Ever Okay to Snoop on Your Mate?

Screen Shot 2013-04-28 at 8.32.50 PMOver the weekend, I attended a brunch where I had an interesting discussion with a few women, some of who hold a rather cynical view of relationships. The cynics believed that all men are capable cheating, and further this makes them justified in snooping through emails, cell phones, voicemails and stalking her significant other (and all potentials for the position) on social media. Their position: if you don’t check that a man is cheating, then how do you really know he isn’t?

Le sigh. 

Admittedly, this outlook isn’t exactly farfetched. According to a study on Men’s Fitness, 70 percent of women do an online search before agreeing to go out with a guy, and 63 percent of guys do the same before going on a first date. The same poll also found that 49 percent  of women have checked their lover’s computer history, and 76 percent go through the e-mail inbox if it’s “accidentally” left open.

If you’ve ever read anything I’ve written on cheating and snooping, then you know my position: this is ludicrous. All of it.

Do all men have capability of cheating? Of course. (All women do too.) Do all men– or women– cheat? No. There are people, including men, who don’t. There is a type of person who is or becomes dissatisfied or just desires what you aren’t offering and they leave to explore other horizons as a single person who can do as they please with no accountability to anyone but themselves. That’s the type of person we should all desire to be with.

If that’s not the type of person you believe you are with, snooping is still not okay. Here’s the thing, digging through pockets and cracking passwords is a sign that you don’t trust your mate. Trust (and communication) are the core foundations of any relationship. If you lack trust, then I have to wonder why you are there. And further, if you believe all men cheat and you’re not okay with cheating, then why do you even want a man? If you have this outlook, either you putting up with cheating or staying with a man who cheats is the inevitable outcome, no?

I threw that logic out there and was met with this: D, you can’t really know if a man is cheating unless you check. You should respect yourself enough to want to know the whole truth.

To which I countered: you should have more faith in yourself enough to pick a good mate and know when something’s up.

One of the women shot back that she was once engaged– her first of four times–  after six months of dating. Via snooping she found that the man she was betrothed to had a long-term girlfriend. She said she had no suspicions that there was another woman; she was just going through her routine look-see into his emails. “How else would I have known about her if I hadn’t looked?” she asked.

I countered that if she dated him longer– you know how I feel about dating for seasons to get to know people– she more than likely would have found out. I also think there were some major signs she must have overlooked. He’s juggling two serious relationships and she had no clue whatsoever that something was amiss?

Another woman added that she snooped on her ex and discovered that he had four women on the side. She knew something was up when they had plans to return home after a vacation, and suddenly he had to fly to another destination “for business.” So she snooped, found about the other women, and actually gave a call to at least one of them for more information.

“For what?” I asked.

She wanted details.

“But why did they matter?”

I was so baffled by her admission that I don’t remember her answer. (My core view on calling another woman to ask about your man is that is her man, not “yours”. I mean, she has more information on “your” alleged man than you do, right?)

Back to that first “thing” though: if you genuinely think your partner is lying, then whether they are or not is irrelevant. It’s still time to go, either to the exit, or if it’s worth it, to a therapist. A relationship without trust is inherently dysfunctional, and going nowhere fast.

I wish more women would recognize this, this being that it’s okay to just trust themselves. There’s no need to reduce yourself to a a crazed super-sleuth by digging through emails and social media platforms. They’re making a simple issue unnecessarily complicated. Trust yourself to pick a good mate. If you can’t trust him, leave. Find someone you can trust, and if you can’t do that, head to a therapist– it’s not the domain of a life coach– who can help you deal with your own trust issues.

And this leads me to a second thing: What if you snoop– with no intentions of getting caught, of course– and find nothing… but then your partner finds out you’re snooping? That’s a huge violation, a  flashing red sign that you don’t trust him, and a sign that he can’t trust you. What kind of relationship is that?

 

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This Post Has 22 Comments

  1. Lady Ann says:

    Hi Demetria,

    Thank you so much for sharing the view you hold on snooping on your mate. I whole heartedly agree with your stance and have always held that view. I believe as a woman your gut, instincts, whatever you call it, will always indicate when something is amiss in your relationship. If there’s a need to go snooping around you’ve already confirmed in your mind what you believe to be true. Thus, the decision really becomes if you’d like to retain an untrustworthy relationship. It’s just not healthy place to be in a relationship.

    Please keep the truth going and being the opposite voice in such matters.

    Regards,
    Lady Ann

  2. Kela says:

    If a person has to go snooping to get answers they should just be single

  3. SK says:

    Personally, I feel as though if you go looking for something- then you’re going to find it! If you have any inclination that your mate is cheating, then he is. You end the relationship and thats it.

  4. Lilakoy says:

    Hi, Belle,

    I agree with you 100% on the theory of ‘all men cheat’ and their ‘snooping girlfriends/wives’. My friends say I am living in a fantasy if I think my man hasn’t cheated or isn’t cheating. Guess I am living in a fantasay.
    I believe when in a relationship there’s nothing but time. Time to get to know each other; time to learn each other; time to realize if this is or is not the person for you. What is the rush? With this being said if he’s cheating there will be warnings, signs, red flags etc! Here, is the only time when I say a woman should ‘snoop’. I don’t believe it when women say they had no idea, no clue he was cheating.

  5. the girl says:

    I completely agree with you. Completely.

  6. Char_Mayne says:

    Hi Belle,

    I completely agree with everything you said, I’m the exact same way as you. I look at it like this, if I give my heart to a man than obviously I gave my trust to him as well. I’ve been cheated on and never knew for a while but it came to me and found me. I was shocked as ever but I didn’t have a clue or had any reason to believe he was cheating because I trusted him. It’s like the old saying “What’s Done In The Dark, Will Come To Light” and it sure as hell did for me and I wasn’t even one bit curious or suspicious. But I guess it’s different for some people.

  7. This is so true. If you have to snoop as a part of “regular maintenance” in a relationship then it’s not worth it. Move on. If this is something you do all the time then maybe you are the one in need of some maintenance.

    • emmy says:

      100% I’m with you. I never understood that regular
      maintenance snooping either. If it needs to be a second job of me trying to figure out passcodes and what not, miss me with that B.S.

  8. I agree with you…if you don’t trust then whats the point of you being with him…if you continue to do that then your going to miss out on a great relationship…seriously i think all of them need to hop off whatever high horse they are on…because everyone cheats you can’t just say men only cheat..women cheat to…

  9. Joan says:

    it’s my own opinion that it depends on the foundation basis on how the relationship did start off. was it based on fear and not Christ principles? Most of the flesh based relationship geared by fear generated by not wanting to miss out or be lonely. Do both parties get to know each other if they actually want to be in a relationship ? So when trails and temptations come across, both parties handle it differently.
    The same instinct that raises the red signal was ignored before, after, during the relationship. Used only to satisfy the curious mind, and ego (that’s where snooping comes in).

  10. Avril says:

    Snopping doesnt make you any better than the person who’s cheating. You will know if you trust yourself and if you’re not confident in what you have to offer you should be by yourself until you get there. You’ll mess around and get your feelings hurt when you find nothing or sometimes something your not ready to accept. Enjoy it and stop over thinking everything. If they love you they will give the information so you can make a choice to stay or go.

  11. One vital point that is missing from the argument is this:

    If your partner is trustworthy, why wouldn’t he make himself completely transparent thereby voiding the need and opportunity to “snoop”? The very fact that one needs to “hide” something is an indication that something is wrong. In any relationship, both parties should be working towards complete transparency and no one should feel comfortable with being “left in the dark” about an area in one’s life.

    • netralicious says:

      I totally agree 100% about your statement. I in fact, have snooped numerous times and before he gave me a reason too I was never that girl. I wish he was will to be “transparent” so that I no longer find the urge to snoop.

  12. frenchie86 says:

    As someone who has snooped…I still agree with you.
    Because I have always had the thought and was taught to think….”TRUST NO ONE”. When a woman lets their guard down, and start to feel a sense of trust…they automatically think “something is wrong” or “its too good to be true”. They like to believe that they are strong enough to not put up with cheating, yet sometimes set themselves up for it. My past snooping hasn’t given me the satisfaction to know “my man loves me” it only made me think “he’s sneaky and maybe deleted it”. Once my snooping caused me to question myself, and feel some type of insecurity then that’s when I looked deeper into myself and less into his phone. I’m NOW, pro communication, and anti-investigator. And my husband appreciates me so much more because of it. We are the best we’ve EVER been. We’ve been through some tough situations believe me. But I’m blessed to be in a relationship that has taught me about me. And taught me about God.

    • bombshell says:

      I agree with you on this! The act of snooping probably has more to do with one’s past experiences as well! Communication is key as you say! What I am concerned with though is the mate who may be a pathological liar so I understand if some people just need the evidence! I don’t think it is black and white!

      • frenchie86 says:

        You’re definitely right, it isn’t black and white. Its all a learning experience. It all comes down to, if that mate really has YOUR best interest at heart. Pathological liars are selfish. They do things to benefit themselves and manipulation is their top trait. Some men and women are just easy with words, and can deceive you. Some men and women do try communication before snooping, at least I did. But once I got that proof it made me more angry, because I “knew it”. So now, if something don’t feel right…after talking, getting therapy; and you feel the truth still hasn’t came out. Leave. Proof will only make you angry and give you a negative view.

  13. There is no simple answer to the question of whether or not a woman should snoop. For some women it may be because of a lack of confidence, but for other women it may take strength to look through his things for confirmation. My parents were married for 40+ years and my mom had the utmost respect for my preacher father and for his personal space and NEVER looked through his things. Then she had a feeling something was wrong and for the first time, looked through his papers.

    Turns out he had a mistress he was supporting for the past ten years. She found the evidence right away. My dad is the last person you’d have suspected. What was my mom supposed to do? According to your rules she was supposed to leave a 40 year marriage because her gut (which turned out to be right) told her he was cheating. No, I’m sorry, we are imperfect people in an imperfect world, and sometimes confirmation is needed. My mom copied his records, filed for divorce, and got a very favorable settlement as a result of “snooping”. It didn’t hurt that my mother’s attorney subpoenaed the mistress, whose name my mom knew because of cancelled checks she’d found. He only admitted the affair after her attorney presented the proof.

  14. I disagree. I snoop and I think it’s just part of the due diligence I do while in a relationship. Some, not all, men lie. And some, not all, do it very well. I don’t have the time to waste hoping to learn by waiting through “seasons” (and while becoming more invested through time, etc.) in a relationship if I can learn independently early on whether there is something amiss. I tell you from first hand experience. I had no reason to suspect the man, at all. And only found out that he was cheating because he was stupid enough to forget a card that the other woman gave him out on his windowsill, in plain sight. I didn’t find the card through snooping. I saw it because he was dumb enough to leave it out in plain sight. I was shocked that he cheated because he seemed so sincere and I thought we were happy. But what I learned from that experience was that if he could cheat (as much as I had trusted and believed in him) then anyone could. Better safe than sorry. Snooping is not always about mistrust or personal insecurities. Sometimes it’s just about due diligence, being smart, and protecting yourself. Trust but verify!

  15. Carrie Pink says:

    Demetria,
    I actually agree with you hands down, snooping is a road to disaster, but it takes some relationships more time to get to this point of comfort than others. I’m a firm believer in going through the seasons to get to know someone as well, but better believe no relationship is long lasting without rough patches along the way, of various magnitudes and scopes, which may include moments outside of one’s usual character, and no one is immune to those moments no matter how tough or untouchable we think we are.

    Certainly the desire to snoop comes from a lack of trust and dare I say insecurity, that ignites a spiral that often cannot be recovered from. The whole purpose of a relationship is to enjoy another person, fully and that cannot happen when you do not trust or feel insecure. Comfort in your skin and your relationship is what erases all those desires to snoop. That or ego. lol. I know for me personally I never wanted to snoop because I was too cocky believe a man would ever cheat on me… was I wrong, sure, did I ever give in and snoop? unfortunately yep, did I regret it? hell yes because now I’m carrying a sin as well.

    All this to say, not snooping comes from a point of comfort in a relationship, but emotional baggage, conveniently disguised as past experience influences how long it will take someone to reach that comfort level. I think everyone gets there at a different time and can’t be faulted for not having the breath and depth of growth to understand that in my opinion.

    Appreciate your perspective, just wanted to acknowledge the grey area in a subject you make appear very black and white.

  16. T. Tattles brought me here. DBelle, you’re right! Their backlash has very little to do with this blog.

    When one wants to control your thinking, your moves, if it wasn’t this, it would have been

    something else, they would have protested against.

    “Personal space” is the vital component to any healthy relationship–including friendships.

    And you mentioned no names herein. How James Hannah said it? “If the shoe don’t fit why give-a-

    sh*t?”

    Folks need to adopt studying the numbers, cards, cause “3″ & “5″ & some “9s” may find it very

    difficult to be committed. Know your math, and his too.

    But I will give them this, when something just don’t feel right inside, and he’s not being wholly

    forthcoming, for one’s own safety they may have to “investigate.” Looking at that ID channel

    and that Snapped show too, sometimes the guy is just looking for some extra fun, yet who

    he chooses to have “this outside fun” with may be “a sandwich short of a picnic basket!”

    And her ill-logic may compel her to go after his mainstay. Oh, yes, the wife (or mainstay) NEEDS

    to have the heads-up on this outside person! Don’t mean to serve up some “L.I. Lolita Teaz,” but:

    The “non-factor” can make themselves a factor by showing up at your front door! Gotta be privy

    to certain “items” even if you do decide leave ole boy.

    Now, clearly, this is an extreme circumstance.

    “…people seek external validation and when you don’t give it to them they make it about you and

    come after you.” ~Iyanla Vanzant

    D, you didn’t “validate” the sentiment of the other ladies at that brunch, hence, their backlash. Sigh…

    The snooping female really is insecure and she mistakenly thinks that controlling her guy will

    make her feel “secure.” Not.

    D, if she finds nothing, not only will she still not really trust him [cause she don't trust herself], and

    he certainly won’t trust her.

    But you know what else? Suddenly…she’ll tire of him. The good loyal guy. As rare as that is,

    still..he’ll become boring. Then…yep, you guessed it, she’ll cheat!

    Life: One Big Ball or Irony!

    Sigh…

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  18. […] their partner’s phones, and felt justified in doing so. The only one who disagreed was a blogger named Demetria, who said that she didn’t want to be in a relationship with a man she didn’t trust. She […]

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