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Is It Okay to Go Through My Significant Other's Stuff?

Updated on May 3, 2020
Kyler J Falk profile image

Personal development is a never-ending activity in every aspect of my life. It's better that I change actively, than sit and wait for others

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We have all been there at one point or another, it is undeniable, where we get the burning urge to snoop on someone and go through their personal belongings. The motivations for such actions could range from past traumas to simple curiosity, and no matter what brought upon the desire it is a completely natural part of human behavior to want to know more about everything and everyone. However, it is important to discern when this behavior is welcomed and when it is unhealthy and/or inappropriate.

Caught Red-Handed

In the first year of my current relationship, I caught my girlfriend going through my phone in the middle of the night three times. Seven years later she still denies it!

It's Only Natural

Curiosity is a completely natural, and healthy feeling that humans experience all the time. It is, arguably, the most important facet of any human's psyche because it is what keeps them exploring and learning. To inhibit such an important feeling would be to deny yourself the capacity for positive experience, and even further to deny your own nature.

At one point or another we have all gotten curious about and snooped on other people. Whether it be our parents, friends, classmates, teachers, or significant others we've dug through some drawers or read some papers that weren't addressed to us. This is completely healthy behavior and should not be looked down upon, curiosity is never something to squash and invalidate.

This isn't to say that curiosity can't go beyond the level of healthy, because it can very well mutate, become damaging, and ultimately be worthy of deep concern for all involved.

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The Unhealthy Aspects

It is very important to notice when curiosity has become more than that, when it becomes a danger to you, those around you, and anyone else who may become involved. Many a curious individual has dug through their significant other's phones, computers, gaming devices, and other belongings to no real consequential ends. Obsessive behavior is what you want to keep your eye out for.

Take for example the three times I caught my girlfriend snooping through my phone in the middle of the night, I let her do it just to see where she went with it. Of course I wasn't doing anything to warrant snooping, but it was a new relationship and I welcome human curiosity. However, if she had continued to do this past the one year mark I would have put red flags all over the relationship and left her.

If your entire psyche, the health of your mind and relationship, and/or the safety of you or your partner depends on allowing you or your significant other to snoop then you have reached the level of unhealthy snooping. Snooping being a mandatory, constant behavior is a reflection of not only declining stability within your mind, but also declining stability within the relationship. If you can't trust your partner without snooping, then you should not be in a relationship with them.

Have you ever secretly snooped on someone?

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Trust Is Key

I cannot express this enough, trust between you and your partner is the key to long-term success in your relationship!

Not only is excessive snooping a sign that you don't trust your partner, it is a sign that you have some of your own traumas to overcome so that you are able to respect your significant other to begin with. Distrust is also widely equated to a lack of respect, and a relationship without trust and respect is one doomed to fail.

If it has been a year that you have been together, your partner is still warm and loving toward you and there are no warning signs of impending relationship doom, but you still want to be snooping on them every chance you get; well, I'd advise you do some soul searching and ask whether you or your partner is the problem in the relationship.

Rather than snooping through your significant other's phone, snoop through your own psyche and ask why you feel the need to do it in the first place!

If the answer is that you can't trust your partner, end the relationship. If you can't trust your partner without snooping, the relationship is not going to have its happily-ever-after.

If the answer is that you can't trust yourself not to snoop regardless of what you do or do not find, tell your partner and seek their help in solving your concerns without enabling your paranoia. A relationship does not need to end because past traumas are keeping you from living a healthy life, and a partner you can trust will be there to understand and assist in your full recovery!

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    • Kyler J Falk profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyler J Falk 

      2 weeks ago from Corona, CA

      "Remember: Trust isn't about NOT asking/avoiding questions.

      It's about whether you Believe the answers you're given.

      When someone loves you they seek to comfort and reassure you."

      I feel that this set of statements right here need to be highlighted as a stand out. As usual, scorpio, your way with words and the art of relationships is admirable!

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 

      2 weeks ago from Chicago

      "..trust between you and your partner is the key to long-term success in your relationship!" - Very true!

      However trust much like respect is EARNED over time.

      People who blindly trust everyone they cross paths with are a conman's dream! The majority of times when people snoop it's because they don't trust (themselves) choose a loyal mate.

      Maybe they've been cheated on and lied to multiple times in the past. Ignored "red flags" or didn't know how to recognize them.

      When one's words and deeds don't match up it shouldn't be a surprise if it causes your mate to "raise their eyebrows".

      People have a desire to prevent heartache for themselves.

      As Ronald Reagan said: "Trust but verify."

      Nevertheless snooping and spying on someone is WRONG.

      No matter how one justifies it they know they'd be upset if someone did it to them. Everyone expects some level of PRIVACY whether you're in a relationship or marriage.

      A lot of people snoop in order to prove they're right about their partner cheating on them. They want to "bust" them!

      Others are just scared of being more "emotionally invested" in someone then he/she might be into them. They're looking for a reason to "pull back" before they're "all in" and if they can't find anything wrong then they will relax and follow their heart.

      There are some folks who are willing to ask hard questions.

      Their mates may be offended by their questions.

      Remember: Trust isn't about NOT asking/avoiding questions.

      It's about whether you Believe the answers you're given.

      When someone loves you they seek to comfort and reassure you.

    • Kyler J Falk profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyler J Falk 

      2 weeks ago from Corona, CA

      I tend to agree, Brenda, but at the same time I'm always the type who either trusts someone or I trust my own gut and cut them out of my life ASAP. If I can't have a conversation with them about my suspicions before I start snooping, then I also wouldn't want to be in that relationship. Had an ex who always dug through my phone when I wasn't looking, never found anything and then it turned out she was the cheater.

      It can be a very complicated situation, that is for sure, and I'm not wholly convinced that there is any wholly good approach. We do our best with what you know, and I suppose that is all we can ask of ourselves.

    • Brenda Arledge profile image

      BRENDA ARLEDGE 

      2 weeks ago from Washington Court House

      Kyler,

      This is a good write.

      I understand snooping is not a sign of trust but once in a while if you get that nagging feeling that something is wrong and there are no answers.. trust your gut.

      Your instinct is usually right and proof is usually on that phone.

      Not that it's a good idea.

      It's hard to trust when one has lied before no matter how hard that one tries.

    • Kyler J Falk profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyler J Falk 

      2 weeks ago from Corona, CA

      It sounds to me like you had absolutely valid reasons to be snooping, Charlotte, less so on the paranoid and ruminating side of things and more on an instinctual level. However, if I am mistaken in that assumption then it is good you recognize the root causes of what is causing you distress.

      I prefer the more personal approach to things, and even at the very beginning of a relationship, even since high school I've told my partners if they are going to cheat I'll let them go without quarrels. Unfortunately even establishing that dynamic doesn't work, and much of that can be brought back to shaming people for natural feelings of curiosity.

      An extremely complex topic that deserves much sensitivity, and I thank you for offering your fair input.

    • Charlotte Doyle profile image

      Charlotte Doyle 

      2 weeks ago from Texas

      It's the only way I discovered my ex was being unfaithful. I also discovered that another ex made a secret dating site while we were together. You're right, though, if you can't trust your partner, end it all, right? But as for me, I need evidence before ending something. It seems that for some, trust has to be earned. It shouldn't be this way, though, but the world can be a cruel place...that's why the Bible says that two people should be equally yoked in order for things to work out. It's extremely difficult, though, to not snoop...after discovering unfortunate, dark secrets in the past that had life-altering consequences...it does become a cognitive behavior issue after a while, much like obsessive compulsive disorder. Try, obsessive rumination. I bet that most people who check their significant other's stuff suffer from obsessive rumination. Thanks for your thoughts.

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