Why You Shouldn’t Snoop Through His Phone
Mistrust and jealousy are relationship killers
There’s no faster relationship killer than mistrust. Anyone who snoops through their boyfriend’s phone because they’re worried that he’s cheating, or talking to other women, is setting themselves up for disaster.
One of two things happen when you snoop. You either find what you’re looking for and you feel miserable, or you don’t find it and it gives you momentary relief, but then you’ll soon stress out again because you haven’t addressed the underlying issue – mistrust.
Our relationship experts share their thoughts on why a woman should never snoop through her boyfriend’s phone and what should be done instead.
Snooping becomes a habit
Dr. Scott Carroll, MD, a psychiatrist, said that there are several reasons a woman shouldn’t snoop:
- It quickly becomes a habit: Once you do it, it is that much easier to keep doing it.
- It teaches you to not trust him: Every time you snoop, you reinforce in your mind that he is not trustworthy and that you don't see him as trustworthy. Before you know it, you are snooping in his email and then following him around.
- What if you see something suspicious? You then have a conundrum. Do you admit that you snooped and ask him to clarify something or do you keep your snooping a secret and quietly torture yourself with your suspicions? The problem is that you lose either way. If you admit you snooped and ask for clarification, he knows you don't trust him. When a guy suspects that you are the jealous, untrusting type, they often start hiding what they do because the one thing guys fear more than a hot mess is a jealous mess. It is often just a matter of time before the lack of trust eats away at the relationship like a cancer, killing it slowly from then inside. The sad part is that there was probably nothing to whatever you were suspicious about.
Carroll said, “If you are shaking your head and think no man can be trusted, then I think you need to look at yourself and ask why do you always attract cheaters, when most men don't cheat (only about 10-15% of men in committed relationships cheat). The other thing is that if he really is a cheater, he is not going to leave incriminating information on his phone for you to find.”
There is a solution. Carroll said, “I think it is better to create a culture of trust and honesty in your relationship. If you have a open and honest relationship, where he isn't afraid that you are going to flip out and get jealous, he will tell you things like his ex called for some innocent/appropriate reason, or that his ex is crazy and is stalking him and that he's thinking about getting a new phone number."
Remember, if he really is cheating, you will find out eventually and snooping won’t make a difference, he said, “Real cheaters will lie to your face and convince you that you are the crazy one. Find something that's merely suspicious on their phone won't do you much good. You will have to catch them red handed or just leave them because they are jerks (it goes with being a cheater) without ever knowing they cheated.”
Snooping itself is a breach of trust
Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D., is a psychotherapist and author of Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting about the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage. Tessina said that snooping is a breach of trust and if he catches you, he’ll lose respect and trust for you.
But if you really think your man is cheating or there’s another serious problem in the relationship, talk to him, she said. “Keeping secrets causes stress and anxiety, which is harmful to health because it raises blood pressure, depresses the immune system and is implicated in cancer and heart disease. Because secrets are difficult to
keep, the problems that arise when they are found out increase the stress level.”
The way a woman handles being alone with her boyfriend’s phone shows whether she respects him and his privacy, said Carl H. Shubs, Ph. D., a Beverly Hills, Calif. psychologist who specializes in relationships.
“If she snoops, it says she doesn't trust him If she has a sound foundation for not trusting him given the history of their relationship, that's one thing. Then it's a statement about him and whether or not he is trustworthy. If it's based on her past experiences with other people, then it's a message about her and her insecurity. If that's the case, this would be a wonderful opportunity for her to talk openly with him about her insecurities and fears. That can be a scary and risky thing to do, but doing so can help to create greater intimacy and trust between them," Shubs said.
Whatever you do, don’t snoop through his phone. If you have an issue with your boyfriend, talk to him about it. If you can’t openly discuss something with him, then you’re not in the right relationship. Communication is the key to healthy, lasting relationships.