(As told to Tuli Banerjee)
A letter of confession from a wife who spies on her husband
It’s a gloomy winter night and instead of being tucked up in bed with a comforter, I’m standing in the hallway, all chilly and shivery. Reason – I have something to confess to you… Yes, I check your mobile phone for SMSes and WhatsApp messages every night after you go to sleep.
Having heard from our friends about women catching their spouses having extramarital affairs, I always have thoughts of framing you in the same scenario. I know you don’t even know that such a thought might have struck me. Had you known, the very next moment you would have told me, “NO! That’s not possible.”
You are too attached to that phone
But I have my reasons to doubt you. I often find you fiddling with your iPhone and I feel you try to be too protective about it, hinting that there’s surely something that you are trying to hide from me. So, often when I try to get your cell phone by saying I want to play a game on it, what I actually do is secretly check your text messages or IM chats.
You may call me a maniac and that I have developed voyeuristic tendencies, but I can’t help it. I have become addicted to checking your texts. It is not that I want to blackmail you after checking your online conversations. I just browse through your texts to see if you consider someone more attractive than me or you find your office colleague a better confidante than me.
I am insecure about your love
I hope you do not get a mild heart attack when you read this letter and come to know that I have been snooping on your texts. Why the fuss? Isn’t your phone just a tool to communicate? I am checking just to get rid of my fear and insecurities. Please bear with me until I come to terms with my insecurities and gain back my trust in you… rather in myself.
Sometimes I introspect myself and am not impressed by what I see. I don’t consider myself a drop-dead gorgeous or breathtakingly beautiful woman. I never imagine anyone being intimidated by me, because I know the tiniest part of confidence I display, even that is fake. People around me may not always detect it, but deep within, I know the truth. The truth is: I am an insecure woman – insecure of your love for me. I fully accept the truth and desperately need to neutralise it before it damages our relationship beyond repair.
Related reading: My husband lied to me so I think he is sleeping with other women
Your snooping wife.
Mallika Pathak says
Mallika Pathak is Specialising in marital therapy including abuse; coping with partners dealing with severe mental illnesses.
Infidelity at the tap of a finger
Smartphones have made lives extremely easy. Everything can be done at the touch of a finger. Unfortunately, the flip side is that it has made humans insecure. At our core, we are territorial beings, just further evolved so as not to display it openly like animals do. We all like our territory and we hate if someone enters it. We try to make sure we safeguard it in the best possible way. In the era of digitalisation, and in the world of smartphones, this has become difficult. Connectivity is at our fingertips. All our socialisation is on platforms offered by our phones. You can keep in touch with people who live in an entirely different continent. It’s that easy!
This brings us back to the territorial behaviour topic. Relationships are ending because spouses catch each other cheating frequently. Statistics suggest that the most common way that people have found out about cheating partners is through cellphones and social media. Whether it be emotional cheating in the form of sending messages that indicate platonic feelings towards some other person, or physical cheating by means of exchanging sexually provocative pictures or messages, cellphones make it easier. Like we know, just with the tap of a finger!
Respect personal space, become more secure
The almost lethal combination of the following two things is an easy recipe to initiate the cheating-voyeuristic tendency cycle. 1. Easy availability of means to communicate discreetly (messenger apps, specific app locks, phone locks, etc.) and 2. The very fact that social media has very conveniently given us a platform to express our happiness by posting seemingly perfect pictures while battling with self doubt and seeking constant external validation from the outside world.
Modern-day relationships are almost under a hanging sword. It’s becoming more and more easy to cheat and hide it. On the other hand, our own self-doubt and insecurities lead us to peep into our spouses’ lives to seek reaffirmation about their feelings towards us. It’s important that people in relationships understand the meaning of trusting each other. No matter how social we are outwardly, there should be respect for each other’s personal space.
No matter how social we are outwardly, there should be respect for each other’s personal space.
Whether checking a spouse’s phone qualifies for being called a breach of that personal space or not, is for the couple to decide. To find the right balance of trust, honesty, and communication, is the ultimate goal of a healthy relationship.