With the prolific use of smartphones, snooping in a relationship has never been easier. You don’t need to follow your partner, quiz their friends or coworkers to double-check if their story checks out or even hire a private detective to do the dirty work for you. All you need is your significant other’s phone in your hand. A few taps can reveal everything that there is to know about a person. Their interactions, social media activity, hotel and restaurant check-ins and even financial transactions. Just because it’s easy, doesn’t mean it’s acceptable? Checking partner’s phone surreptitiously points to grave underlying issues in the relationship and qualifies as a violation of trust. Did you know there’s even a psychology behind snooping? This is pretty serious stuff. So if you are the type of person who constantly monitors your partner’s phone and finds ways to check your partner’s texts, we have compiled 8 reasons why checking partner’s phone is never a good idea.
Checking Partner’s Phone Is Common Tendency
A recent study indicates that snooping in a relationship is more common than we like to admit. The cross-sectional survey of married couples was conducted online. The study revealed that cell phone snooping or checking partner’s phone has become a common phenomenon, most especially among individuals in intimate or romantic relationships. There are many motivations behind cell phone snooping in relationships but the core reasons point to a lack of trust and low self-esteem.
Despite knowing this, you still find that you can’t help picking up your partner’s phone and checking your partner’s texts? If this is the case and you are wondering if it is okay to check your partner’s phone, then you should also know that it is risky. In romanticizing the expectations of love, we often forsake the need for personal space. We keep confusing love with the phantom of possession. The idea of togetherness is not taking control of each other’s lives or being joined at the hip. A healthy relationship has boundaries that include giving each other space to grow as a couple and as individuals.
Should couples have access to each other’s phones? Maybe, if both partners are comfortable with the idea of sharing passwords and letting each other handle their personal devices and accounts without feeling as if their privacy has been violated. But checking partner’s phone and snooping around without their knowledge or demanding that they share their phone details with you even when they’re not comfortable doing so is wrong and you could end up losing your partner.
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8 Reasons Why Checking Partner’s Phone Never Ends Well
Some people are inherently private by nature and to them their space is sacred. In fact, personal space in any relationship is healthy and must be respected by the partners involved. No one has the right to invade another’s privacy.
Unfortunately, sometimes you might come across a partner who does not respect your personal space. They might wonder aloud, “Is it wrong to ask to see your partner’s phone?” And when you answer in the affirmative, they might rebuke you with, “Why would you mind if you have nothing to hide?” Such people miss the point that relationships are based on trust and much more. If confronted with questions like this, here are 8 reasons you can give them why checking partner’s phone is never a good idea.
1. It points to trust issues in the relationship
Suspicion is one of the leading reasons behind someone snooping in a relationship. Is he still texting his ex? Is she flirting at work? Was he at his office when I called him at lunch? You feel the need to go behind your partner’s back, checking your partner’s texts or worse, demanding they unlock and surrender the device to you. What does it mean when someone goes through your phone? You probably think there is someone else in your partner’s life even without any proof. This shows that there is a deep-seated lack of trust in the relationship. Checking the phone is not going to solve these issues but it can definitely make the equation more complex.
2. You are burdened with guilt
Some other reasons not to go through his phone would include facing guilt for your clandestine actions. What would happen if, while checking your partner’s phone, you do not find anything out of the ordinary? You would probably feel really bad. Worse, if your partner finds out, it could mean the end to a good relationship.
Even though you may convince yourself that sharing passwords and devices is normal, you know that you’re crossing a line here. The psychology behind snooping points to a lack of trust and a person’s own inner sense of insecurity and suspicion. No amount of openness in any relationship would win their trust. If you are one of these people, it might help if you consider what does it mean when someone goes through your phone?
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3. What if you uncover something damning?
Before you brush aside the question, is it wrong to ask to see your partner’s phone? Think about this, what if in checking partner’s phone you end up uncovering some secrets or damning details that could sabotage your relationship? For instance, your spouse is having an emotional affair with an ex. Or you discover bad investments and loans you had no inkling about. To confront them, you’ll have to first admit to having secretly checked their phone. Now, their transgression has been negated by your own. Instead of addressing the real issues of infidelity or bad investments, they would take the ‘offense is the best defense’ approach to level the playing field, disarming you in the process.
4. You’re infringing on your partner’s personal space
In a lot of cases, people look through their partner’s phone not out of suspicion or doubt but solely out of curiosity. By checking partner’s phone, they just want to keep a tab on what’s going on in their partner’s life. You can blame it on an inherently control freak personality or jealousy over their partner spending copious amounts of time hooked to their phone. Either way, the answer to, “Is it wrong to ask to see your partner’s phone?” remains a definite “Yes, it is wrong.”
If you respect your partner’s space, you’ll be surprised at how this naturally makes them gravitate toward you more. Having space in a relationship helps both you and your partner cultivate your personalities, pursue your own interests and even have your own sets of friends. Moreover, it gives both of you the bandwidth to process emotions and thoughts. It’s a win-win scenario and one of the good reasons not to go through his phone, or through her phone.
5. The need for surveillance turns obsessive
In many cases of infidelity, the urge to check partner’s phone after cheating can become almost obsessive. If despite the cheating, both of you decide to stay in the relationship, then trust is the foundation to build upon. The tendency to obsess about your partner’s phone and checking your partner’s texts, could spell doom for the relationship.
How do you know you are displaying obsessive behavior? Do you find yourself just sitting around waiting for a chance to get down to the business of checking partner’s phone? Or, when they’re not around, do you realize you cannot stop yourself from thinking about who they may be talking to, or chatting with, in your absence? Obsessiveness about anyone or anything is unhealthy. Eventually, these thoughts will take up all of your mind space and lead to mental and physical health issues, not to mention a possible breakup.
Communication is the key to establishing trust and resolving conflicts. If there is something bothering you, talk to your partner about it. Maybe even establish protocols for use of cell phones when you are together. Don’t let cell phones ruin your relationship. One tip could be that while cooking and having meals together you can both decide to put your phones on mute and keep them far away from the dining table. That way you can enjoy communicating face-to-face.
6. It will sabotage closeness
There may already be trust issues that are triggering this tendency of snooping in a relationship. You’re aggravating an already grave problem with this secret surveillance. When your partner learns about it, and they will, sooner or later they may view it as a violation of trust. This build-up of mistrust on both sides will only widen the gap and sabotage your closeness.
It could even lead to infidelity because your partner feels unloved and uncared for. By giving into the urge for this secret surveillance act of yours and checking phone after cheating, you’ll be aggravating an already grave problem, setting up a vicious cycle of infidelity and snooping. Whenever these thoughts cross your mind, ask yourself, what does it mean when someone goes through your phone? Write down these points and remind yourself that checking partner’s phone can damage your relationship rather than protect the closeness you desire.
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7. It brings an unhealthy power dynamic into play
By checking partner’s phone, or even checking your partner’s texts, you are establishing an unhealthy power dynamic in the relationship. One that makes you feel in control and leaves your partner feeling vulnerable and exposed. The basic equation of equality in the relationship goes right out of the window in such cases, which can be detrimental to the health of your relationship.
Hidden under layers of trust and suspicion is also a sense of power, a need to control that drives the psychology of snooping. Power dynamics shape every relationship. Sharing resources and power uplifts a relationship. Negative power dynamics impacts relationships adversely and could even damage your partner’s sense of self.
8. Your focus shifts to finding faults with your partner
Instead of working on solving your end of the problems, you are fixated with finding faults with your partner for the sake of blame-shifting. If you feel the need to check your partner’s phone, there is undeniably something wrong with your relationship. Instead of working on your problems, you are focused on finding faults with your partner for the sake of blame-shifting. The whole point of being together is defeated when your focus is on finding that one mistake with which you can crucify them and absolve yourself of any wrong-doing. There is no way a relationship can thrive in such a toxic environment. That’s definitely one of many reasons not to go through his phone, or through hers.
Quit Snooping and Focus on Fixing Your Relationship
If you really want things to work out between you and your significant other, you must quit snooping and fight the urge to check partner’s phone. Instead, look for a healthy approach to fixing your relationship. The first step in that direction is to have an honest conversation about your suspicions and lack of trust. Ask for more transparency in the relationship, if that’s what you need to feel secure.
The main reasons are a lack of trust and probably low self-esteem. If you find yourself drawn toward checking your partner’s texts, try to restrain yourself. Even better would be to have an open conversation with your partner and find ways to build the trust and reassurance you need.
No, it is not normal to check your partner’s phone. It points to a character or psychological flaw within yourself. In some cases, couples can work through these issues by discussing them openly. In other cases, you might need the help of a professional therapist, a good friend or family member you trust.