We've seen this as a recurring theme around the boards for quite awhile, and the issue comes up a LOT over problems that have been found "underhandedly" in relationships. That is, during "agreed snooping", a partner discovers something that upsets them through their access to their partners' email, cell phone messages, or other media used to communicate with others.
Here is the place to explain your reasoning without judgment. What sense of security do you gain from knowing you can keeps tabs on each others' private communication at all times? Do you believe anybody (or your partner) who insists on keeping their email, IM or cell phone conversations private must have something to hide? How do you fare in regards to face-to-face communication? In other words, how much do you trust your partner to tell you about activity you might disapprove of?
So, let's discuss, shall we? Why do you think this practice is so prevalent? For broadening purposes, what do you also think of financial snooping, like shared accounts, or reviewing each other's bank statements? Any other examples can you think of? How do you think they're correlated with trust?
Posts: 4636 | From: USA/Northern Europe | Registered: Oct 2005
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I think when two partners are together they shouldn't really have to snoop, generally anything you can read on a myspace or facebook profile (for minor examples friends, future plans, birthday, astro sign, pets, exes, photos, likes and dislikes etc) would have been brought up between partners somewhere along the line. Its silly and almost controlling to want to check up on your partner consistently online.
I had an ex boyfriend who literally checked my myspace page at least ten times on the day we broke up and a heck of a lot in the days and weeks following it. He'd find me on forums and post under nicknames, he'd check my youtube account, my own personal site...Granted that having public profiles zaps some of your privacy away but it was very creepy and extremely excessive. He claimed he had a right to know what I was up to even after he got a new girlfriend. I've always felt that people are still distinctly different even if they are together and therefore some things should just be kept seperated (ie don't tell your partner your passwords, pin #, cell messages, email accounts) until you're 100% committed to one another (married even).
I'll admit I check my current partners profile once in a while just to see whats new with his friends. He's the same. I don't really feel all that secure from checking my partners activities...I figure if he really was up to no good he would be smart enough to cover up his tracks and I'd never find out about it. I insist on keeping my email, cell and other convos private but I really have nothing to hide. If I get a call from another guy I often casually mention that I had a chat with "______" today. He doesn't have to snoop, because I'm generally pretty honest and so is he.
How do I know that he would tell me if I did something he didn't approve of? Well, he knows that I'm not a mind reader so its a given that we have to talk if there's something on his mind. More often then not a simple explanation solves all misunderstandings before anyone assumes something awful.
Why is it prevailent? Perhaps its because people seek control? Or maybe its because people are choosing partners they doubt? Hard to say...everyone has their own story.
As for financial sharing I highly disagree with doing that kind of thing until you're actually married and 100% committed to each other. In teen relationships sometimes we have to learn the hard way that people are not who they say they are...sometimes what seems like love can turn into a nightmare. Most people are reasonable and return stuff after the break up. Others aren't as forgiving. My finances are my own for now, his are his own and we consider that perfectly alright.
Posts: 89 | From: Canada | Registered: Jun 2006
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I think that trust is central to a healthy relationship, and that snooping, even if it is "agreed" through sharing passwords, indicates a lack of trust, and it's very difficult for a person who feels they are under suspicion to ever prove that they're not doing anything wrong. In my experience, people who aren't trusted start to act jumpy and nervous because they expect to be accused of something at any moment--and of course, then the accuser becomes even more suspicious.
If there's something my boyfriend needs to tell me, I'd rather he tell me than I find it out by stumbling across an e-mail or a phone message. And I know that he would, because he has told me in the past about things he thought I might disapprove of. My position has always been that he doesn't have to confess to me every time he has a conversation with a girl at work, but that I appreciate his honesty.
It happens he did tell me his e-mail password, but I would never use it. In fact, now that you've posted this thread I'm thinking about asking him to change his password, because now I feel icky about having it. I don't like the idea of being able to keep tabs on him, any more than I would like it if he kept tabs on me.
It might be relevant that my boyfriend has seen someone close to him get hurt badly by a partner cheating on her, so maybe he feels like he needs to reassure me that he's remaining faithful. But if I didn't trust him, I don't think I'd be with him.
As to why it's so prevalent...maybe because it's just so easy to do, and the temptation is always there. And perhaps people feel that by proving they have nothing to hide, they can show their partners that they're trustworthy.
Sorry for the lengthy post--that really got me thinking.
Posts: 147 | From: USA | Registered: Jul 2007
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Mmm, I suppose i get a bit paranoid, and i hate myself for it but, i got a bit obsessive with my ex's myspace and new friends (while we were together)and there was this one girl.. well, you can guess, but even now months after we are over and im with someone else, i still check his and her myspace to see if anything is obviously going on. I suppose that isnt an invasion of privacy, but i dont think it was the most healthy thing.
And my current, i have hunted down all his ex girlfriends on myspace, just i suppose to compare myself, i know its not a healthy thing to do, its not even a matter of trust, its just a.. i feel the need to compare myself thing.
Although, after my ex and i broke up, and he knew i was seeing someone else, when i was asleep and he was staying at my house, he went through my msn logs with my current boyfriend and read everything i had said about him, which, admittedly were things i probably shouldnt have said, but we had broken up, i think he asked for it by reading my conversations, we had a big fight.. and then it was ok.
Posts: 76 | From: Australia | Registered: Jul 2006
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I've never had access to the e-mail inbox, cell phone or personal websites of a partner. And it would never have occured to me to ask. Similarly, I've never handed out passwords to a partner or agreed to them checking my text messages.
I'm of the opinion that if you feel you can't trust the person you're dating and need to keep tabs on them, you should probably re-think that relationship.
Being in a relationship means being honest and open with each other and being able to communicate. And it does not mean being stripped of any and all privacy. I trust my partner and I don't need to know what he's up to every second of every day, and vice versa. I'm confident that he'll share anything of importance with me, and I do the same for him. Anything else would signal to me that there's a slightly unhealthy dynamic.
-------------------- Johanna Scarleteen Volunteer
"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand Posts: 9192 | From: Cologne, Germany | Registered: Sep 2005
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Just broke up with boyfriend of 8 months..........really great guy on the outside....loving attentive. I am 40 he 29. Problem was that I did not trust him. He always got text messages and never told me who they were. When I got them I would always say " oh so and so said ...." just out of respect. I did not have to but did not wantt o behave like I was hiding something. Anyway, I got weirded out and started reading them..All these girls sometime s they would joke about sex or have the messsage would be deleted. I never told him but I was really freaking out and I just finally asked him, he had nothing to say...but just friends. He wasn't even that convincing. My gut was always in a knot and I decided just to let him go. It did not feel right. That was a week ago and he calls crying but explains nothing. I am second guessing myself but I have asked SEVERAL times to explain and all he says is I LOVE YOU. This is just got good enough. Staying strong..
Posts: 1 | From: New Jersey | Registered: Aug 2007
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I'm naturally extremely EXTREMELY paranoid of everyone and everything. I have no idea why but I just am. It really upsets me to even see him casually talking to another girl. I hate myself for it so I don't tell him about it unless it's a recurrent thing (I.E. if he talks to her every single day and starts blowing me off for her, etc.) Which he has.
This sounds a bit silly if you're not into MMOs and understand their mental/emotional effects, but several times I'd be on my character and ask him if he could help me with a quest/dungeon and he'd always say "Sorry, busy". I'd assume that he was about to go somewhere but I'd open my Friends List and see that he's just sitting in the main town not doing anything. After a while he'd go to some insanely low-level dungeon (which he definitely would not just do for fun) and then when he was done he'd just log out of everything and [assumedly] go to bed.
That made me suspicious so I added a girl that I knew he was close to and saw that they'd both be in the main town together when he'd tell me that he was busy and that they'd both go to the same dungeon and then both log out. I'd look on MSN and see that they're both online but when I message either of them they'd ignore me, eventually both logging off at the same time.
Yes, I know that most normal girls wouldn't become upset over things like that, but it did manage to upset me. Every time I confronted him about it he'd say to "Not worry about it" or to "Leave him to his business". I'm starting to teach myself to just brush it off and talk to male friends of my own when he's with her, but it still worries me. My insanely low self-esteem probably dosen't help either.
As for his game accounts, e-mails, forum accounts, etc. I don't have the passwords to any of it. A few times in the past he's given me his MMO password but has changed it as soon as I was done using it. I admit that I have tried to guess his e-mail password before but to no avail. That was more just curiosity as to whether he kept his inbox as cluttered as he kept his room, though.
I'd never ask him for his passwords though. I'd never even ask him for a URL to his myspace/whatever. He's asked me for some of my info before and I've given it willingly because I really have nothing to hide. If he asked for something really serious though, like my PIN or the admin password to my forums then I'd tell him no because those are things that I can't risk anyone messing around with. However suspicious I am of him, though, I'd never ask him for anything like that. Even if he gave me his password, I doubt I'd log on his account more than once or twice out of boredom.
A lot people try to snoop around in their partner's private life because usually it's right there and available, there's little risk of being caught, it's relative to their interests, and (women especially here) they worry a lot about whether or not their partner is who they say they are. Any of that a ton more could drive someone to "research" their partner.
It seems like women do it a lot more than men do, though.
Posts: 21 | From: North America | Registered: Oct 2006
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My partner and I do have access to each other's emails and text messages and such, because sometimes there are emails or something that we need to get to, and also because we have nothing to hide or keep secret from each other. Often I will say "Hey I got an email from your mom today. She says..." and he will reply that he already saw it.
This kind of openness doesn't bother me, because I have absolutely no desire to partake in any behavior or conversations that may seem suspicious, and I tell him anything that he might find anyway. (The exception would be surprises for birthdays or Christmas, and I more carefully hide those). I trust that we will talk about any activity that either of us disapproves of, but even more so that we will not engage in those activities.
I think financial sharing is a different story. We share costs, but we do not have shared accounts. Perhaps after we're married, but it seems to complicate things because it's easy to overdraw and harder to keep tabs. We have not discussed this yet because it has not yet been an issue. We have pretty similar values when it comes to spending so I have no doubt that we will find something that works for us.
Snooping behavior seems very common, perhaps because of fear of hurt or betrayal? I'm not really sure. It seems that often people can be hurt by the things they find when snooping.
Posts: 213 | From: Spain | Registered: Oct 2003
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