I’m about to admit something that I’m not even a little bit proud of: I’ve been going through my boyfriend’s phone and reading his text messages. And before everyone gets all judgmental on my paranoid ass, I’m sure that more than half of you can admit to doing the same exact thing at least once, if not on a regular basis.
The thing is, I’ve recently realized that completely disregarding my boyfriend’s trust and going through his phone like a crazy woman isn’t helping me feel any better about anything. I used to think it would soothe my panicked nerves, that it would allow me to trust him. But due to my most recent experience with snooping, I’ve discovered that it’s actually probably one of the most terrible ideas I’ve ever had. (Tuffy Luv agrees!)
The first time I did it, it was on my long-term high school boyfriend. I knew he had a lot of girl friends, and I also knew that he was good-looking with a naturally flirty personality. All three combined made my insecure, 15-year-old self scared to death. After a few months, I had to know who he was constantly texting or calling, and I went through his phone. It started with just his most recent calls, but then it turned into reading all of his inbox and all of his sent messages – even the innocent ones he sent to his mom just in case they had some kind of clue to something more sinister. Eventually, I figured out his passwords, and I was regularly checking his email, his Myspace, his AIM, and even his Facebook – basically, I was addicted.
At first, I kept it quiet – but he eventually caught on. The last few years of our relationship consisted of me grabbing his phone from him every time he got a message, and him deleting every single thing sent to him. It was not a healthy situation. When we broke up, I promised myself that I would never disrespect someone’s privacy like that again, unless the situation really and truly called for it.
I kept that promise until last month.
I’ve been dating this amazing guy for almost seven months. He’s been nothing but wonderful to me, and has never given me any reason to not trust him. Plus, I’m more mature than I was when I was in high school. I’m more willing to trust guys and not disrespect them by going through their things. Or so I thought. A few weeks ago, we were lying in bed when he got a text message. Usually he tells me who his messages are from (he’ll just make a little quip about it, not that I ask). In fact, he is rarely on his phone when we’re together. But this time, he didn’t. I couldn’t stop being curious. I thought about it all night long, and in the middle of the night, when I woke up and he was sleeping, I did something I still feel guilty about – I looked through his phone.
I felt like an addict, going through his texts, my heart pounding, praying he wouldn’t wake up. Even though I knew what I was doing was wrong, I kept going. And you know what? I didn’t find anything. Nothing. The text I had been so worried about was just a girl his friend is dating wishing him a happy birthday. I felt indescribably stupid, and I also felt horrible for what I had done. But I’ve done it twice since then, and I honestly have no idea why. It doesn’t make me feel any better – it makes me feel awful. I feel terrible for not trusting him and going behind his back like that. And it also makes me feel a little crazy, like I can’t stop. Once I started, I had to keep doing it. It’s like a vicious cycle.
Not to mention the fact that I have no idea what I would even do if I found something from another girl. Confronting him would most likely mean admitting that I had snooped through his phone, and admitting that only makes ME look bad, no matter what he’s done. Plus, it can be so easy to misunderstand something. A text from a girl could be completely innocent, and I could just be reading too much into it. The information could end up making me feel crazy jealous for no real reason.
The thing that disturbed me the most? My friends’ reactions. I had at first planned on not telling ANYONE what I had done because of how embarrassed I was. But one night, during a bonding sesh, I ended up admitting it to a friend. Feeling completely ashamed, I waited for her disapproval – instead, she said ever-so-nonchalantly, “So what? I do that with every guy I hook up with.” A few days later, I told another friend. She just shrugged and said, “I’ve been doing that since texts were invented.”
Girls, if you’ve never done this, take it from me – don’t start. And if you do it all the time and think nothing of it? STOP. IMMEDIATELY. Nothing good can ever come out of it. Going through my ex’s texts helped to destroy our relationship. After this most recent incident, I really am never doing it again to my new guy. No one deserves being disrespected in that way, and it makes me feel disgusted with myself. There is way too much potential for arguments and trust being broken. It’s just not worth it. From now on, if I’m really uncomfortable… I’ll just be honest and straight up ask him about it.
Have you ever snooped? Is it ever OK to do it?