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Please tell me all the reasons I should never snoop again.


jenm

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I snooped on my boyfriend. I feel disgusting about it. It was like some weird obsessive drive that made me do it -- we'd been having some problems, and things felt really distanced, and I just had this enormous compulsion to check that nothing weird was going on. So I read his email. And it was pretty innocent. And now I feel like the biggest a-hole in the world.

 

I never want to do it again. I know that it is destructive. But I also know that I'm going to be tempted. I don't think it's because he's inherently untrustworthy or because I have huge trust issues. I think it's about control. I've always been like this in relationships -- I feel like I have to know every little thing, or else it feels out of control. And not just in relationships...I generally just have this compulsion to know everyone's motivations for everything. I hate knowing that people could be keeping things from me and that I'd never know about it.

 

Can people please yell at me about why this is a terrible, destructive pattern, and why it needs to stop here?? I know it does, but I need support. Thx

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What if he had been cheating and you didn't snoop? You may have left yourself open to any number of STDs, some of which can be fatal. In today's world, snooping can save your life. I don't exactly consider it an honorable act, but a necessary one sometimes.

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Part of why I feel disgusting is because I didn't exactly discover *nothing*. I found out that his contact with his ex is a bit more extensive than he let on (but not to a degree that I'd call it lying). And I found out that he lied about another little thing. Again, not really a big deal, and I know why he did it (basically to not cause drama), but still... The thing is, I think people should probably be able to have a few secrets, to tell a few white lies. I'm sure I have. These aren't things that seriously affected our relationship, or that would have hurt me (or us) in the long run. I trust him to be honest in the big picture. But now I feel disgusting, not only because I violated his trust in me, but also because I know that he violated mine in these small ways, but that I'll never be able to talk to him about it.

 

What a mess.

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Bottom line being in a relationship needs to involve a certain amount of trust and respect for your partner- meaning he is entitled to his privacy just as you are yours. We are not each other's property, and no one has a right to snoop on anyone else.

 

If your partner exhibits shady behavior and you don't trust him then it's time for a talk with him, and if you don't like or trust his answers than honestly I see no point to being with him.

 

The OP admits that her snooping has more to do with her and her own insecurities than anything else, so my recommendation is to consider some counseling to work on those issues since it has been a chronic thing in her life, and eventually it is going to interfere with her ability to have a healthy relationship, if it hasn't already.

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Sorry, I find this to be flawed logic. If one expanded this thought process to all aspects of life then this world would be a very unpleasant place indeed.

 

In fact this is exactly how wars start - better attack the enemy before he attacks us. The pre-emptive strike theory

 

Under the heading of "what if's" - if a completely innocent person discovered he was being snooped on then would it not destroy the relationship? Major violation of personal space. To me, that would be a deal breaker.

 

I agree completely.

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Snooping did save my life onetime. An ex was sleeping with a girl with Herpes and other assorted STDs. He hid it most excellently. I found out when he left his email open on the computer. If I had waited until I suspected something, I would have been one infected lady! What if I hadn't snooped? Well?

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don't be so hard on yourself...i think everyone at some point in their life is guilty of it. I did once too and i felt like complete crap afterwards. The way I look at it, is that people do need their privacy and they won't tell you everything going on their life.

 

Just because they don't divulge every little detail about their life, it doesn't necessarily mean they are hiding something or betraying you. If you're boyfriend was doing something really shady, you would find out in some way. Because things that happen in the dark, will always come out into the light.

 

In a way, look at this a learning experience. After doing it once, it made you feel terrible. So now you know better and won't do it again.

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I feel your pain - I just finished going on mad snooping rampage. And unfortunately it's not my first time...I have some issues with trust as well (obviously).

 

I agree with getting counselling, as your insecurities and tempations to snoop again can get worse, and harder to control!

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I was with a very untrustworthy person (didn't want to admit it to myself at the time) constantly felt the need to snoop, constantly found something, had fights over it, there were promises made (that turned out to be lies) and kept going on in this mess.

 

With my current partner, I carried these insecurities, felt the need to snoop even though I knew in my heart he was an angel. Snooped, felt stupid, he kind of realized as I kind of did it in front of him We both laughed at it, I have never had the thought in my mind since... I guess for me it kind of was a result of who I was with and not who I was. Not sure if it is the same for you...

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I think you should take some time to decide whether this feeling of anxiety that is prompting you to want to snoop is just something about you and your past, or if it's based on some cues you might be picking up from him.

 

Address the anxiety and the cause instead of giving into it by choosing destructive behaviors. You feel that way for a reason. Find out why.

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Aldonza, I think you sort of hit the nail on the head. That's what I'm trying to figure out. I think the desire to snoop is coming from a couple places. The fact that I've experienced it before (if I'm honest, in pretty much all my previous relationships) makes me think I'm sort of prone to it. But there's also the fact that my bf and I were friends for years before we got together, and that I know that he was a really sketchy bf to his last gf...so I guess it's hard to truly believe that he won't be sketchy with me. And there's the fact that he's a really intensely private and independent guy...very sociable with tons of friends, but operates sort of as a lone wolf. Has *a lot* of female friends -- one of those guys who genuinely gets along better with girls. Has a history of sleeping with his female friends (but not since we've been together, obviously). And a huge factor is obviously the fact that we're long-distance right now.

 

And there's the fact that lately he seems a little less completely enthusiastic and smitten. Which maybe says more about how completely and totally enthusiastic and smitten he was for the first few months...and I know that can't last forever...but lately he just seems a bit more distant. We're less likely to accidentally stay on the phone for three hours talking about nothing...and I notice that he seems to put less effort in to keep our conversations rolling. The thing I can't figure out is if this is just the normal "coming down from the honeymoon phase" stuff, or whether it's indicative that something's up.

 

I guess it's all that stuff together that drives me want to want to find answers. I don't want to be the crazy, neurotic girlfriend who always wants reassurance, but I do feel like something feels weird, and even though he's never directly given me any reason not to trust him (i.e. never cheated, lied about something important, etc.), there are all these factors that (maybe unfairly) do make it difficult for me to trust him implicitly. It's not that I *don't* trust him, it's just that I don't know if I can yet. I guess that's what I want to find out. I've never been very good at the whole "blind faith" thing...

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10 yrs ago I would have said people who snoop are nutty, but after an ex from 7 yrs ago, was cheating on me over and over and I found out by an accidental snoop, I say SNOOP AWAY!

Had I never snopped, I would have never known he was truly a nut

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OK, so it's *probably* that things are just cooling off and you're noticing that his behavior is changing. Women pick that up as a subtle emotional clue. I think the best thing to do is to respect your anxiety, but direct it differently. I'd probably say something like, "Hey, I noticed that you seem a little withdrawn, is something going on?" He might surprise you by opening up about something that's got him wound up.

 

If he insists nothing is wrong and continues the withdrawing behavior, you can take a more direct approach.

 

"I don't like how distant you seem. Is there a good time for us to talk about that?" Let him pick the time, but make sure that you do make an appointment to talk further.

 

Address the cause and the symptoms will stop.

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I agree with Aldonza on this one. And I will share my experience, this is mine and should not be extrapolated to possibly be your experience.

 

I noticed something was not right with how my girlfriend was acting. We are in a LDR (she's in grad school, I'm still an undergrad), and I just noticed something wasn't right.

 

Well, the semester ended and she came to my place and seemed ok for a bit. Then we had a talk and she didn't seem very happy in our relationship. I thought that this was a very sudden change from just a couple weeks ago, and got very suspicious.

 

I ended up snooping and found out that she did cheat on me. That was really hard. Since then, I snooped a little bit more. I realized that in no way was this snooping helping me. In fact, it made me feel horrible.

 

So it kind of came to a head when I downloaded all of her journal files onto my computer. I knew I didn't want to read them, but I wanted to know what she was thinking that she could hurt me so badly.

 

I ended up deleting all the files without reading them, and I feel like that was the right move.

 

We are still together, at least for now. We are taking some time apart to think about what we both want.

 

The point is that I feel better about myself after I deleted all those files without reading them.

 

That being said, I still want to snoop from time to time. I have made a counseling appointment to work on my trust and self esteem. It might be a good idea for you to do the same thing. If we end up breaking up, then the counseling should help me with my next relationship.

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My bf at the time had been telling me how we were gonna get married. A trip was coming up, and I thought he would do it there. After one year of not even occurring to me of his unfaithfulness, I entered search term "Ring" to see if he had gotten one for me. He's poked around in my email before, and I didn't care. But with his, low and behold, endless emails to strange women over the whole entire year we had been dating saying "give me a ring" with his phone number. With discussions of dates he's had with them, potential plans, etc.

 

I condone snooping, when you feel something's awry, cuz if the other person has nothing to hide, what does it matter. 70% of guests in a person's home looks in the medicine cabinet.

 

But what I'm trying to say here...you found nothing, but a small shred of contact with an ex. Let it rest. If you feel compelled to do it again...remind yourself, there was no shadiness in the first place, probably no shadiness in the second place either.

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Snooping is a basic violation of something we all hold dear, and that's privacy. To violate that tenant is something I refuse to do, and will not condone in any relationship. To even think that violating one's privacy is permissable goes against every foundation that makes a relationship strong. If you feel that you have to snoop, you either need to consider why you're in the relationship to begin with, or you need to figure out why you have trust issues and fix that.

 

To say a violation of my privacy is a deal breaker is an understatement. There is absolutely no excuse for it.

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4 Reasons To Forgive Yourself
4 Reasons To Forgive Yourself

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