Why spying on your partner is a bad idea

With the New Year quickly approaching we can all take stock of our past behavior and resolve ourselves to make healthy changes. If you are someone who regularly checks your partners phone, location, or social media activity, this is one behavior you might consider changing,

Based on multiple surveys conducted from 2019 through 2022 between thirty-seven and sixty-eight percent of people admit to spying on their partner. These surveys indicated that people under age thirty-five and female partners are more likely to engage in the activity than older people and men and most say that their partner has no knowledge of these invasions of privacy.

Why do we spy

The most obvious reason people spy is to determine if their partner is cheating or likely to cheat. We may also spy to see if they are engaging in activities or behaviors that they’ve committed to stop like drinking, doing drugs, gambling, visiting strip clubs or watching pornography but no matter what we’re looking for, we’re really just searching for assurances that they’re being honest and committed to us. For one reason or another, we do not completely trust our partners and spying is a way to gain validation without confrontation.

Why we shouldn’t spy

One of the key foundations of a healthy relationship is trust. If your partner gives you reason not to trust them, that’s a red flag that should not be ignored. The healthy way to address this is through having an open dialogue and if the situation persists, leave. If your partner isn’t giving you reasons to doubt them but you still have trouble trusting them, you may be bringing unresolved issues from your past into your new relationship. This isn’t fair to your partner. You should be open and honest about any doubts or concerns that you have with regard to honesty and infidelity so that you and your partner can work on these issues together.

You may start out by just scanning his inbox one time and tell yourself that you’ll never do it again but the fact is spying on your partner can become addicting. That’s because the validation that is received from verifying his fidelity is short lived. We keep checking because we want a continued sense of security.

Spying causing undo stress and anxiety. Once you go down the rabbit hole, there’s no going back. Let’s say you’re checking out their social media and find an attractive new friend. You want to know who they are, how they know each other and if they’re communicating publicly or privately. The next thing you know, you’re spying on a stranger’s social media, checking emails, texts, direct messages, likes and comments on photos and posts and any other ways the two might be in contact. You grow more anxious with each step in this process and just imagine the stress you would feel if you lost access to your partners device before you completed your search.

Trust goes both ways. Spying on your partner is a violation of their privacy. I’ve been in long term relationships with men who refused to go into my purse even when they had permission because that was my private space and they didn’t want to violate it. Imagine how one of those men would feel if they found out that I was checking their phone and cyber stalking their Facebook? How would they ever trust me again?

What will you do with the information once you have it? Ask yourself what you’ll do if you find out that your partner is being dishonest or unfaithful. Will you confront them? Will you leave them? What will you do if they tell you that you’re misinterpreting their activity or reading too much into those likes on that persons selfies? If you think you’ll be satisfied with them telling you that they won’t do it again, you’re probably wrong. You are more likely to continue the spying to make sure they’re not lying.

Your dishonesty in your efforts to prove that your partner isn’t betraying you is an actual betrayal of your partner. 41% of women who admitted spying on their partner said that they probably wouldn’t end the relationship if they discovered infidelity. In cases like this, spying is simply a way to get the upper hand in the relationship. It’s a way of saying, “You can’t get one over on me,” and relationships are supposed to be partnerships where both partners are equal. If you feel you need the validation that comes from having the upper hand, you’re not in a healthy relationship.

Simply put, spying is unhealthy for you, your partner and your relationship. If you feel the need to spy, you should seek to address the underlying reason for the behavior and work to resolve the problem or address the personal insecurity.

This article originally published at https://medium.com/@tomilynchromance/why-spying-on-your-partner-is-a-bad-idea-c176039315ec