Is it Acceptable to Check Your Partner’s E-mail and Text Messages?
In 2007, the women’s social networking site iVillage published research showing that of 2551 respondents polled, 77 percent said they would check their partner’s e-mail or texts.
It’s not clear what percentage of respondents would check for evidence to support suspicions they had about a partner’s cheating, or how many would routinely check to make sure that their lover wasn’t straying from the straight and narrow, but regardless of the reasons, why would someone feel compelled to check a partner’s in-box, and is this not an indication of something amiss in the relationship?
Ask any woman who’s ever found herself flicking through her lover’s e-mails (and it’s always a case of flicking through, never perusing), and most often she’ll give you a good reason for doing so. Even if she can’t think of one, the casual flicking through the emails implies that she’s little else to do and that she’s doing no harm as she’s at his computer anyway…
You get the picture. Because it’s usually relatively easy to check a lover’s e-mail and cell phone messages, many people don’t readily connect the actual act with any degree of stealth: it’s not the same as opening a letter addressed to a lover which involves both the physical act of tearing open the envelope, and the resultant evidence, both of which would make us all think at least about before doing it.
Can You Resist Snooping?
It’s perhaps easy to understand why a woman or man who’s been the victim of a lover’s deception in the past would find it difficult to resist looking at a partner’s e-mail given half the chance, especially in the first stages of their relationship when the ground may still be a little unstable. And given the integral role that technology now plays in all communication, it could be that that particular woman discovered her ex-lover’s cheating via e-mail or text messages.
It’s a fairly safe bet that the majority of men and women who check their partner’s e-mail or text messages do so because they think that they need to.
It’s therefore going to be very difficult for her to turn a blind eye to the sound of her lover’s cell phone bleeping that he’s received a text message at two in the morning…
For a couple who have been together for a number of years, the question might perhaps not be “do you give access?”, but rather “to what do you give access?” Some couples have joint e-mail accounts and so get to see every e-mail that their partner receives.
Is it better to Keep Some Things Private?
It’s a bit like having a joint bank account: and it can do just as much damage if one or both aren’t careful about what comes in and what goes out. But some couples, or rather at least one half of some couples, are highly organized and practical people and want their partner to be able to access their e-mail account in case of emergency.
For example, if your lover is in a fatal accident and you need details of his or her bank accounts, credit cards, etc, all this information could be held in accounts to which you have no means of accessing without the right codes and passwords – all of which are contained in your partner’s main e-mail account.
If you do want full access to your partner’s e-mail, for whatever reasons, this might seem the best grounds for asking for it. However, don’t be surprised if your partner responds to your request that there’s a note of the e-mail password attached to his or her will which has been left in a safe place!
While some people have absolutely nothing to hide in their e-mail they may not want their partner to access it; in much the same way that they wouldn’t want their partner to read their text messages, or their snail mail. It’s not so much that they don’t like the idea of being spied on, rather that they feel that they’re entitled to a degree of privacy in some areas of their life.
While it’s great for two people to have the same hobbies and interests and friends and beliefs and bank accounts, sometimes it’s nice to have something that’s just yours.
Trust is the backbone of any strong and stable relationship. Without trust a couple will undoubtedly resort to checking e-mail, text messages and voicemail.
It’s a fairly safe bet that the majority of men and women who check their partner’s e-mail or text messages do so because they think that they need to. Perhaps they believe that their partner is deceiving them and they need some sort of proof before confronting them about it. But when do you start checking your partner’s in-box? Is it when he starts flirting with your neighbour? It is when he starts working late?
When he tells you that he’s arranged to go on holiday with his best buddy? This sort of situation can’t be seen in black and white, however, and if you ask any woman why she snooped on her lover she’ll probably respond with something like, “I just had this feeling”.
Clues for Infidelity
Sadly, however, looking for clues of infidelity, regardless of where you look, usually results in a broken heart. Insecurity and jealousy can quickly feed the imagination and any woman or man looking for signs of their lover’s cheating will probably find them – or find enough of a sign to keep them searching for others until they’re painfully satisfied.
Trust is the backbone of any strong and stable relationship. Without trust a couple will undoubtedly resort to checking e-mail, text messages, voicemail, wallets, pockets and anything else they believe will yield signs of whatever it is they suspect their partner of doing.
Even if there’s nothing to find and a woman confronts her lover with her suspicions only to be told, “Don’t be silly, I love you,” if she’s still not satisfied she’ll continue searching until she either finds some scrap of evidence to back up her claims or has to give up the fight for the sake of her own sanity.
It may have given us more efficient communication channels, but technology hasn’t changed basic human nature.