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He Said, She Said: Snooping on Your Significant Other

One of the most important ingredients to a successful relationship is the establishment of trust. Having trust present between the two individuals is a key indicator to a healthy intimacy between partners and an essential element for a relationship’s survival. When you trust someone greatly, it brings immense self-confidence and is the tough fabric holding together your dynamic. However without trust, one cannot have the confidence to share their memories, feelings and emotions, and who you truly are to someone else. Having trust is so important to a relationship and involves a bit of vulnerability on both involved in order to deepen the bonds and stand by the boundaries built. When you extend trust to someone else, there is no doubt about the honesty with the person involved. If you cannot trust your significant other, you will have to find ways to rebuild trust or ultimately, go your separate ways.

Cellphone - Woman

Image Credit: Alamy

With technology fast becoming a part of our day-to-day lives, some feel our daily devices are promoting secrecy while others are finding ways to conceal their private affairs through social mediums. With such forms filling our world, temptation arises and can create much doubt and unnecessary drama in an existing and healthy relationship. If that’s the case, is it ever okay to snoop on your significant other? According to a 2011 study from Retrevo, 41% of women have snooped on their spouse’s/partner’s emails and call history without them knowing; while 32% of men have done the same. Modern technology feeds many new ways to spy on your partner without getting the reality show Cheaters involved or going through the laundry or checking for love bites. With the increasing media attention on celebrity cheaters, or perhaps as people begin to learn what are some of the clues to look for in a cheating partner, the percentage who have admitted to spying on someone they’re dating increased significantly within a year from the study’s initial date. Retrevo’s 2010 study found that 8% more of men were snooping, and 11% more of women.

Last year, The Daily Mail discovered that 1 in 3 women believe it’s acceptable to snoop on their partners if they feel they are cheating. And according to a January 2013 poll by the same newspaper, going through your partner’s cell phone is now the top reason why cheating and affairs are exposed. So is all the snooping paying off? Sure it is. It’s been noted that 17% of those who spied discovered their spouse was in fact cheating, but is it right to do so?

This week we hear from Shauna of Frankfort, Kentucky who admitted to snooping on her significant other and discovered a friend she never knew he had. Should Shauna’s boyfriend have introduced her to his “girl” friend? Plus, what’s the big deal looking through his things? Our writers help her out and provide some insight into her relationship predicament.

He Said She Said P2 - Shauna February 7 2014

Kathleen says…

Shauna, you’re certainly in a complicated predicament! Personally, I am all about having friends of both genders outside of romantic relationships. I think it’s healthy and I encourage it, so I have no problem with your boyfriend being very close with another girl. What concerns me is the fact that he hasn’t been completely honest with you. If they’re as good of friends as he says they are, surely her name would have come up at some point, don’t you think? I wouldn’t force the issue of you meeting her, but I would look for opportunities to include her in groups in the future. I’m sure there’s absolutely nothing to worry about as I don’t think your boyfriend would be taking the big step of moving in with you if he had anything to hide.

However, with you two moving in together, you need to learn to respect his privacy and space. You should trust him enough to not go through his emails, phone messages, etc. From a relationship perspective, it’s so terribly important for him to feel trusted and respected. In the future, rather than snooping through his things, why not be transparent and have an open, honest conversation? I think you both would benefit from a good heart to heart. Best of luck!

Chris says…

Shauna, I would say that if you guys are going to move into together, it’s important to discuss a few things. I agree with all of Kathleen’s points. There is nothing wrong with having a close friend of the opposite sex, but it is a little curious that she hasn’t come up or met you in the years that you two have been together. But maybe it’s as simple as he’s just a little shy or possessive of his friends. If he says that she isn’t an issue, take his word until it becomes apparent otherwise.

Either way, no matter how curious or suspicious you are, it’s never a good thing to look through his emails and phone – unless he tells you to. This is pretty much an invasion of privacy, and while you two may now be sharing a place, it doesn’t mean that each of you can’t have your own private things. I think that you two may need to have an open talk about how things could (or how you would like for them to) work out. It may save you the headache of arguments down the line. Good luck!

Andrew says…

I’m in the same boat as Kathleen and Christopher. I think if your boyfriend is moving in with you, it’s doubtful that he has anything to hide, but I think, like Kathleen said, honesty and openness might benefit your relationship. Rather than snooping, even if something is just “there” like his emails or phone, it is better to ask him. It shows you trust him to tell you the truth, rather than going behind his back to find things out.

While I agree that it’s a little suspect that he hasn’t mentioned her before, it could simply be that he didn’t deem it important. Both my boyfriend and I have friends groups with guys and girls in them and, generally, neither of us tell the other which friends were hanging out with unless we ask. Maybe next time he hangs out with his friends, ask who and if you’re uncomfortable with him hanging out with her, deal with that issue separately.

I do, however, think it would be better to meet her and see how they interact with each other before you pass any judgments on his relationship with her. And remember to be confident in your relationship with him unless you have sound evidence to feel otherwise. It makes you look like the bigger person and you never want to fight or breakup with someone over a non-existent issue. I wish you the best, Shauna!

Tania says…

Shauna, I think Chris, Kathleen, and Andrew made very good points. When moving in with someone, you really need to be able to respect and trust them. I am a firm believer that trust is a two-way street but keep in mind, you broke his trust by violating his privacy and if you keep it up, he will definitely keep to himself and clearly that’s not what you want. I don’t think your boyfriend would seriously want to move in with you if there was something stirring between him and his ‘girl’ friend, don’t you think? Moving in together is a big step and if you can’t trust him enough, maybe you’re the one who isn’t really ready. In many ways, it seems like you’re a bit insecure about your direction with him and could very well be making a mountain out of a molehill. You speak of entitlement as if he’s property in some way.  He’s not.

I don’t think it was right of you to snoop through his things. It’s one thing to turn the volume down on his phone, but it’s another to click on emails and end up reading them for however long he was in the shower. Frankly, if he isn’t sharing any content from his emails with you, remember that it’s none of your business as harsh as that sounds. It is good that you confronted him because you do owe it to yourself and you don’t want to be stuck in a relationship with doubt because I can assure you, like jealousy, doubt is arguably one of the most salient conflicts people in relationships face. Like Kathleen, I do find it odd that he hasn’t introduced you to her or even brought her up but there are many men (and women) who care to compartmentalize their relationships. That’s at their own discretion and you can’t keep pushing him to let you in when he isn’t emotionally ready. Have you told him about all your good friends? How about good male friends? When he’s ready to introduce you to her, he will. Echoing Kathleen and Andrew’s thoughts, look for opportunities to include her in group events in the future; and with Chris’ advice in mind, if your boyfriend tells you upfront after you confronted him that the girl isn’t an issue, take his word unless you are feeling something else. And by feeling, I don’t mean, the urge proceeding doubt that has you snooping on him again. Good luck, Shauna!

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If you seek advice from our writers, email us at thehudsuckerblog@gmail.com! Perhaps your question will be featured in our next installment.

While our team of writers have given their advice with the best of intentions, they nor anyone of this site assume responsibility for your actions or the results of them.
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