Thursday, January 21, 2010

He Said, She Said: Snooping through your partners email, is it okay?

All I asked of the contributors is that they take one side of the issue and tell us why they believe that! Comment and tell us who you agree with or what you believe or think! The topics are suppose to illicit a response and start a conversation in comments. Enjoy!

Topic: Is it okay to SNOOP through your partners email if you suspect them of cheating?

She Said:

To snoop or not to snoop, that is the question. For Hubman and I this is not a problem. We both have access to each other's email accounts and can read all emails, chats, etc. that are in our accounts. Hubman chats and exchanges photos with some very lovely ladies, and he lets them all know that I have access to everything and that I can see and read all. I like that, because one I do get to see some very nice pictures and two, there is no sneaking around going on.
I also go into Hubman's email not to snoop but so that I can either see his blog comments, or because his email is way, way more interesting than mine.

Hubman: It's true, my e-mail is pretty interesting, thanks to some lady friends in the blogosphere :-)

However, I know that not everyone operates this way. I think that if you have nothing to hide, letting your spouse have access to your email is not a big deal. If you have something going on like Christmas or birthday shopping and you don't want your spouse to find out what you are getting them, then locking them out for that period is fine.

Hubman: Around Christmas time, I asked Veronica not to go into my other e-mail account, the one in my real name, because there were messages from online retailers that I didn't want her to see. That sort of request is understandable and respected.

I can also see wanting to have your privacy. So, if you want to make your password available to your spouse but ask them to respect your privacy I think it is fine to do that.

The main question is, "If you suspect your spouse of cheating, should you check his e-mail account?"

And my answer is "Yes, but..."

The but is such: if you are going to look, are you going to be prepared for what you find? Do you really want to know? What are you going to do with this information if you find it? It's the same thing for checking the cell phone records, checking receipts or flat out asking your partner if he or she is having an affair.

I think that checking the email would be kind of a dead end, because your partner would be smart enough to have an email account and password that you do not know and would not check it on the computer that you share. The same thing with an Ashley Madison type account. If your spouse is really cheating, would they do it in plain sight like that?

There are many articles on the Internet and other media that help you ascertain if your spouse is cheating. However, I think that if most people listen to their gut and their gut tells them that something is off, then they should listen to their gut.

However, when you start looking, you have to remember that you might not like what you are going to find. Or your partner might be completely innocent and you are going to have to have a talk about why you are not trusting in their fidelity.

Either way, uncomfortable conversations are in your future.

Unless of course, you keep it open and above ground.

Another Suburban Mom (Not Safe For Work)

He Said:

Now I know if y'all read me at my place you probably think I am a skeptic on all things and maybe even suspicious but actually I am a very trusting person. I trust everyone until they prove to me that I can't trust them. When that occurs I terminate the relationship, whatever that might be. Business, casual, sexual whatever, if I can't trust you then in my opinion you are a low rent piece of trash that doesn't deserve my time nor my energy. I don't look for things to distrust about people, it always comes out in the wash eventually.

I am also pretty private myself. I do NOT want people plundering through my stuff, be that actual physical things or my words, thoughts, or correspondence with others. I would be pissed if someone plundered through my email or diary (if I had one) or something, and I wouldn't allow it if they requested it. I would instantly terminate a relationship if I found someone snooping through my stuff without DAMN good cause. Hell I don't like folks in my stuff at all! People don't even ride in my truck, yes that includes the bride, I bet in the 10 years I have had it she hasn't been in it 20 times.

All that being said I would NEVER snoop and never have. I respect others things and I respect other people so I wouldn't breech their trust unless it was a matter of life or death or imminent danger to my family or friends. People have a right to their things and their privacy and again if you read me you KNOW I am big on rights. This is very important to me. The same way that I hold a secret and seldom if ever ask a person to tell me something told to them in confidence.

Hell a whole of y'all have given me your email and passwords before for various reasons and I have never done anything outside of what you specifically asked me to do, and I wouldn't and I think those of you who have trusted me with those things knew that or you wouldn't have come to me to help you. Can you even qualify how low rent and how big of an absolute loser it would take to go through someones email or their things when access was granted you to help that person? Dang that would make you on the level with dust mite turds.

Snooping shows total lack of respect for the other person. To me it means that you yourself are hiding something or have a guilty conscious for some reason. Why would you not respect someone to the point where you plunder through their stuff? Why would you be part of a relationship where you can't trust the other person? Shouldn't you confront the person and just ask them? It also blatantly shows a lack of trust, of course, and I think it is born of a lack of self confidence when snooping on a partner or mate.

I personally think that is juvenile. What am I a 12 year old girl? That is really kind of 7th grade if you ask me. How can people live that way? Suspicious, worried, jealous, scared. I have never ever picked up my brides phone and scrolled through it, that's candy assed B.S. if you want my opinion. I have never looked at my brides email and I know the password. I have never even looked through the nightstand on her side of the bed. I just ain't gonna live like that. I refuse to spend my time worried about what she might be doing or thinking or who she might be doing it with or thinking it about. My true take on it is regardless what she did do or think about it ain't gonna measure up to the real meal deal she has anyway. Short on confidence I readily admit I am not, and I also admit I have zero cause to be!

An old man told me once "if you tend your garden son you never have to worry about weeds".

I tend my garden. I don't fear weeds, I have no reason to.

He Said is OUT. (Not Safe For Work)

Now Comment away!


Another Suburban Mom said...

Very good points Sage and said very strongly. However, sometimes I feel that if your partner is doing something wrong and won't own up to it, then a little snooping may be necessary if you want the truth.

Unknown said...

I agree with Sage however I have also beenin the situation where somethign came to ME that should have gone to hubby. He has a thing for boobs. I will be honest.. and a certain supposed friend was sending him pics of herself topless. I have his pw but had NEVER gone into his email but the thought crossed my mind that day. First she is no longer my friend period and secondly he had to deal with his crud. had he been honest about it I would have not had a problem (aside from the fact I have huge NATURAL boobs and cannot fathom why he likes looking at fakes..) but I didnot enter his email until he told me too and came clean. He swears he never asked said friend for teh pics she just sent them.. either way they were both in the wrong for being so secretive about it. IF you don't think it is wrong then y are you hiding it is mymotto...

MommyLovesStilettos said...

I'm with Sage on this one.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

It does suck to always have to live in fear or distrust, fear of losing your loved one whether physically or emotionally.

But if you can't trust them then Sage has a good point, "why be in the relationship"?

But as humans are a curious nature and speculative to boot, most people want solid evidence to either ease their minds or catch their partner in the act! Which kinda is worse huh? And Veronica made a good point, most likely if they are any good at cheating you won't even know the email account they are using to correspond with!

But I think it does reflect a low self confidence on the one snooping. Confront them, and either trust their word or live miserably always second guessing them, or leave the relationship.

I know that not having trust can ruin a relationship faster than anything else!

And like singedwingedangel said if you have to hide anything from your partner including snooping, then I say it's wrong! :)

SciFi Dad said...

I think there's a difference between snooping and sharing. To me, snooping implies a lack of consent and awareness of the other party.

My wife and I don't snoop, but we do share email passwords. I typically don't use them, unless I need information that she has but I don't (like when I was planning a surprise party and I needed email addresses for her friends).

Another Suburban Mom said...

All interesting points. However, if your partner is cheating and you confront them and they deny it and you suspect them of lying are you just supposed to sweep it under the rug and live with it?

Let the self-doubt build up and the resentment and god only knows what until you burst?

And if your partner is cheating, wouldn't you want to know to protect yourself emotionally or physically as the case may be.

I don't think you should just snoop, but sometimes you need answers and if your spouse is not being forthcoming, then sometimes you have to snoop.

Denise said...

Wow... loaded question actually. I see two sides to this coin and they come from two very different relationships.

If passwords are hidden and phones are locked, yeah, I'm not digging that. I want to know what there is to hide/lock.

My husband knows my passwords and I know his. His emails are boring. Mine usually are regarding work, and boring. Neither one of us are interested in looking at either.

The phone however, is a different story. He has this bad (and very frustrating habit) of not telling me the "ex drama". She'll text him with some BS sometimes and he'll avoid telling me for obvious reasons. I will look through his phone texts to make sure he's told her about certain things I've asked him to. Like during Christmas time I asked him to tell her to send the kids with RED shirts for pictures. Only one shows up with a red shirt and he swears he told her. So get frustrated with her. After looking at his texts, he told her at 9pm the night before, and we picked them up the following morning. So it was HIS fault b/c he knew several days in advance.

Snooping is different than checking up lol. Sometimes I just want to know who to be mad at dang it!

Denise said...

And of course, be prepared to handle what you may find out.

Brooks said...

Wow. I guess that I am lucky in the fact that my husband and I both know each others passwords, etc and neither of us has anything to hide. We are way to busy to worry about stuff like that. If I was every suspicious of anything I would check all the possible 'outlets' to get info to back it up and then confront him. He is my husband and we are not supposed to keep anything from each other, right?

Anjeny said...

Since this topic is about the spouse, I'm gonna have to agree with Sage on this one. I think a person should be secure enough in themselves that they shouldn't try snooping around in their spouse's emails just because they suspect their spouse is cheating.

Veronica, you brought up a good point..."I think that checking the email would be kind of a dead end, because your partner would be smart enough to have an email account and password that you do not know and would not check it on the computer that you share. The same thing with an Ashley Madison type account. If your spouse is really cheating, would they do it in plain sight like that?" My answer to that is that most definitely not, a cheating spouse would be clever enough not to leave evidence laying around like that.

If I suspect my spouse is cheating, I wouldn't waste my time snooping through his email, he's a computer whiz, I know he'd cover his track on the, I'd just send a PI after him and have him pay for it...yep, a bit more dramatic that way, but at least that way, I'm getting a definite or productive result.

Hubman said...

Well Veronica, if I suspected that you were cheating on me, damn right I'd go through your e-mail. I'd also check the browser history and anything else I could think of. I might even install software to register all of the keystrokes made on the computer.

Why? because if I suspected you were cheating, I'd want to be damn sure that I was right before I confronted you with it. I'd rather snoop and be wrong than not snoop and be the chump whose wife is screwing around behind his back.

Open question for everyone here- anyone blogging without their spouses knowledge? If so, why do you hide it? I wonder where this falls in the whole trust thing Sage talks about.

Anonymous said...

My husband doesn't know about my blog. Not that I have anything to be ashamed of on it.

He knows I read blogs, and if it has ever occured to him that I blog, too, he's never said. He thinks social networking like myspace, fb, twitter, blogs are silly and doesn't understand why some people enjoy connecting with others, reading about others, or journaling through blogs. He's a very private person and doesn't appreciate the internet at all, lol.

I keep up connections w/ friends and family that's moved w/myspace, which he knows about and has seen my page. I don't use fb or twitter. I choose to keep my blog to myself, though, as I would a diary. What I write is a variety of stuff, nothing extremely personal or racy, so nothing that would shock him. But I do think he wouldn't like that I discuss our kids and family stuff, however mundane it may be, even though I am practically anonymous. I'd also be embarrassed to have him read what I sometimes consider my inner thoughts. Would he think I am ridiculous? Bitchy? Mean? Dumb? I guess I am insecure about what I write, but it's mine and I don't want ANYONE that I know to read it. Even if I were to ever be a published author I'd use a pen name. It'd be too "baring" to have people read what I write and know my name.

Besides, I couldn't vent about him if he knew ;-)

Just Jules said...

I believe in privacy 110%. I have never gone through my hubbies phone- ever. I have picked it up 1, yes 1 time in consideration of doing this but set it down faster then if it were fire hot. What was I doing, why would I consider it. I have his work email password and our home email is the open.

He does not have the password for my email nor does he want it.

My other thought on this is same as Anjeny... if he is stupid enough not to cover up his tracks on his phone and computer then he wants to get caught and will eventually anyway.

My hubby is gone most of the day working, if he wanted to cheat he could. I would drive myself batty worrying about it. So, what do I do? I trust. yep - that is it..... ohhhh, and I make sure what he has at home is better then what he could find out there ;)

Just Jules said...

Ohhhh, and if I suspected he were cheating on me? That was another question.... I would be a little more creative then looking at sources he can cover himself on. I would follow him, track his activities - this would be more telling.

Also, my hubby does know I blog. However, I can see where keeping it private would be an option. Not all people are as understand about social networks. Plus, some just don't understand that social connection thing through the internet. Some are more private and don't feel like having their business out there and feel like it will be in these sources (I know this was hubby's fear/deal)

He is coming around slowly and even comments on my blog now :)

jam said...

we dont have each others passwords. that's his private stuff. i dont need to know what's there. if he wants to share with me fine or not. we've been together 35yrs. i told him a long time ago. if he was playing with another woman. to bring her home we'd all have fun. i'm with sage on this one. veronica made a good point about if a person was cheating they'd have a separate email account and not do it on the home computer. my husband thinks blogs; social networks; chatrooms etc. etc. etc. are a waste of time. i enjoy reading blogs. but i would not write a blog or post pics. once out there no control over stuff.

Anonymous said...

ASm: I can see that side for sure but hat would just be for proof on the way out.

Singed: great motto and that is different than snooping for sure!
LOL @ huge boobs!

Anonymous said...

SS: I re-agree with yoU!

Shelle: Curiosity killed the cat, and the snooper, be damn sure before asking/snooping that your REALLY wanna know.

Anonymous said...

ASM: I see the getting answers thing for sure, I think though if the relationship has deteriorated that far your decision should already be made.

Denise: see I'd go the reverse way, I'd NEVER want to know what the ex is doing provided it wasn't detrimental to the kids/hubs/you. The only outcome when you involve yourself in the minutia of the Ex drama is make you feel bad/mad/sad etc, so why put yourself through that? Why add additional strain o your relationship with your hubs? (additional to what is normal between man and wife)

Anonymous said...

Anj: Good point @ the PI!

Hubman: The reason I hide it is because she is worried and concerned that I would cheat, even though I haven't. She has been around me for 20+ years and she knows the reaction I get when women are around. Not something I try to get its just what seems to happen. She fears I'd trade her in, why she thinks that I have no clue but she does. THAT is exactly the fear and lack of self confidence I was talking about. I don't suffer from either. It drives her insane tho, no need to make that worse. I never said anyone should trust me, I said I trust everyone until they prove I can't!

Trusting NEVER makes anyone a chump, ever.

Anonymous said...

When I pushed send a thought hit me.

Why would care about looking like a chump? I could care less if someone thought me a chump. Or for that matter whatever someone thought about me. I'm a grown ass man I don't need folks to confirm me or my thoughts and I don't allow them to affect me by their thoughts about me. Others don't control how I feel about me, so hell with em.

Very telling though, that statement is.

Anonymous said...

Brooks: we see that differently! I wish shed keep all that babble to herself!

Anon: there ya go, sounds like a good reason not to tell him!

Anonymous said...

JJ: good girl @ put it down. Smart play. I could be wrong but if he was cheating I think you'd know it, sense it.

Jam: I posted your pic!!!! hehehehe

Hubman said...

So let me get this straight- you hide all of your blogging activity from your wife because is real-life you're such an irresistible babe-magnet that she gets jealous and it would be just as bad if she found out about all the women you know online? So you're just looking out for her? Aren't you just the kind-hearted soul, hiding things from your wife for her own good.

Trusting someone and being a chump are two different things. When I referred to being the chump, I'm thinking of the guy whose wife is having an affair, he has no goddamn clue, but half the neighborhood knows she's banging the guy down the street while he's out working one of his 3 jobs. THAT guy is a chump and it has absolutely nothing to do with how he feels about himself.

And yes, I do care about what others think about me. If someone else looks down on me for feeling that way, the hell with them....

Anonymous said...

Thats the way she tells it bro. She'll tell it to whoever will listen. I don't see it that way obviously, but she does. I have tried to understand her take over and over but I can't. She cares what others think

I can't imagine living even one minute giving a damn what someone else thought of me. That would be a tough tough place to be in. That would mean someone would have to consciously think of what others think of them then work to change that due to some arbitrary others opinion. I don't know if I could do that if I tried, the internal conflict must be horrid. Everyone has to have their own meter on how they self judge I guess I am tickled mine doesn't depend on what others think of me.

You are spot on about someone else looking down on you, stay with that theme and you'll be better off for sure. Never let em look down on you, for any reason, that would be caring about what others think of you.

Seems to be a bunch of conflict in your take, on one hand you state you care and on the other you don't. It also seems easier to choose a side than to sit the fence. I don't look down on chumps, people who care about what others think or fence sitters though and nobody else should either. And nobody should care if others look down on them for being any of the three or anything else.

Another Suburban Mom said...

I also care about what people think of me. I care about what my boss thinks of me, and my co-workers as I would like to have their professional respect.

I also care about what my family thinks of me as their opinions matter to me and goodness knows I have opinions about them.

And my friends, see family.

And since you go through such trouble to spare your wife's feelings, obviously you care very very much about what she thinks.

Another Suburban Mom said...

As a last word, if you reasonably suspect your spouse of cheating, sometimes you need to know.

If only for that "information on the way out" or also to protect your health. Not everyone who cheats might be practicing safe sex.

Hubman said...

Sage, let me ask you this- you're self employed, right? Do you give a damn about what the people who pay you for goods or services think of you?  Maybe not Sage the person, but Sage the businessman.  I suspect that you do care if they get a good deal with you or not, because you'd want their business again.  So I'm skeptical of your statement about not giving a damn.
Where you see conflict in my statements and horrid internal conflct, I see distinctions based on context.
Do I care what my co-workers and supervisors think of me? Do they see me as a dedicated professional who can be counted on the get the tough jobs done and who rises to the challenge? You're damn right I do. Do I care that my kids look up to me, respect me, and see me as a positive role model? Of course!
Sage, you know what I do for a living and the uniform I wear.  When I'm traveling to and from work each day, maybe stopping in a store to pick up something on the way home or getting my kid from after-school care, do I care what the random person thinks of me? Yes, because I have a professional obligation to project a positive image to the people I randomly encounter, due to the uniform I wear.  While it would be nice if everyone felt that they had that obligation (for the most part), some of us have to.  And don't take that the wrong way, I take great pride in the uniform I wear and take pride in fulfilling the personal obligations that come with serving our country.
But in other contexts, I don't care.  If the random person in the blogosphere thinks negatively of me in some way, oh well.  Even at home, as a parent my kids don't always have to like me.  Parenting isn't about being nice to them, at least not all the time.

Just Jules said...

I get both sides of this argument.

I gave up caring what people think of me a long time ago. I have been much happier. What I mean by this is that I no longer try to be a person I believe others want me to be. Instead I am me, take it or leave it.

Does that mean that I walk downtown with my *ss hanging out on the arm of another guy? nooooo. However, that is not who I am either.

My husband is a teacher - his/our reputation is everything in the town. While I take that into account with my/our actions (very little p.d.a. etc.... I do not let it effect who I am in my core. I am not out to impress people with falsehoods.... you know?

So, in conclusion what people think of me does matter. But, they better like me for who I am. I won't act out of sorts because reputation does matters. But, I as a person know better.

So, in effect you are both right in your own arguments. However, this argument has gotten away from trust and snooping. Get back on track before I spank you both....and you like it ;)

Just Jules said...

I am just gonna comment so I can get my name back on the "good commentor" board.... well, and I forgot to follow comments ;)

DGB said...

You do both make really good points. If there was really a relationship where one person truly suspected the other of cheating, I can see why that person would snoop. In the end, if that person is in fact cheating, the ends seem to justify the means. Both parties have broken the trust. HOWEVER, there are a lot of nervous, insecure people in relationships out there who may be snooping not because they have a strong suspicion or proof, but because they aren't secure in their relationship for X,Y or Z. This is where I wholeheartedly agree with Sage.

I have the utmost trust in my relationship with WonderWife™ and I believe that she does of me. I am loyal as a bloodhound and while she doesn't go through my stuff, I have nothing that I'm hiding. But if she were snooping around, it would be a HUGE betrayal of trust.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

Heck, I care what people think of me to an extent. I don't want people to get the wrong impression of me. I do and act in a way that I hope is classy and maybe even more of an example to some. So of course I do care to an extent what people think.

But I think DGB hit it right on the head and what most people seem to be saying... if you are snooping at all, as DGB stated, "they aren't secure in their relationship". Which is the key.

If you suspect at all that your spouse is cheating than it can only be downhill from there. The fact that you could even contemplate that your spouse would cheat means that trust has already been weakened and that someone in the relationship is insecure... when someone cheats they are insecure I would say. Which could and would rub off to the other partner (which we call a gut feeling) and in turn make them insecure. Awful cycle.

Trust is strong, until it is tested, and then it becomes as fragile as a butterfly's wing.

Great insights everyone!

tiki_lady said...

i am very much like sage. I trust openly until you give me something to distrust you with and then instead of getting mad and steaming off or pouting. I just throw you out like yesterday's trash. Rarely rarely are you given a second chance. but, I am a very trustworthy person. I wouldn't snoop into his male nor would I want him to do the same. Before you snoop or are tempted to snoop you get a bad feeling and I close the door on the bad feeling and don't do it. If there is something I want to read or see. I just ask the hubz about it, or if he minds if I look at it. It is a non issue. I agree about one being secure with themselves but I also think that trust should be a mutual and earned thing between 2 people.


"you shouldn't have looked through my phone", my response was..."Well you shouldn't have cheated on me".