There are few things more painful than discovering the love of your life has been breaking the bonds of your relationship and violating your trust by cheating on you. There are instances whereby people accidently discover the deception, and then there are times when people put forth effort to conduct social surveillance on their partners. I've experienced accidental discoveries and I admit that I've done some snooping in the past. I'm not at all proud of my behavior and, because of how it made me become someone I didn't recognize, I swore I would never again stoop that low. I feel that if I reach the point where I feel I need to snoop on my partner, I need to end the relationship, be it in the early dating stage or within the bonds of marriage.
Image: Harsh Agrawal via Flickr
There have been a number of programs people can use to trace their partners' behavior, at least technologically. You can plant trackers on cars, monitor online activity on computers, and now, you can even monitor activity on your partner's cell phones. A "Boyfriend Tracker" app is making controversial waves in Brazil because it allows users to install a program that silently dials the user so s/he can listen in on conversations, send duplicates of texts messages to the user's own phone, and a number of other functions that give installers full access to whatever happens on the phone.
This is absolutely bananas!
The app, which has been downloaded over 50,000 times in the first two months, comes with a disclaimer:
A disclaimer on that website stipulates the app is for "social and recreational use" and absolves the developer of responsibility for any misuse. The first line of the download instructions says a woman installing the tracker on her boyfriend's phone should do so "with his consent."
Aside from being a complete violation of privacy and is the most outward display of "I don't trust you and therefor should not be with you" imaginable, it will drive you crazy!! Trust me, you don't want regular updates about what your partner is doing. You don't want to become so consumed with what s/he is doing that you begin to lose precious time from your own life, time wasted reading logs, texts, emails of activity. You don't want to learn things about your partner that s/he is not willing to share with you openly because it only leads to tension between the two of you. You begin to wonder why you haven't been informed of certain things and you'll likely struggle to get past feeling that you're not important enough to share certain things. It isn't that you're uninimportant; people share what they're comfortable sharing when they're comfortable sharing and not a moment sooner. You're going to have to accept that and resist the urge to peel back layers before they're ready to be shed.
Again, if you've reached the point when you have to snoop, you really need to consider walking away before you endure anymore of the pain and tension caused by being with someone you cannot trust. If you have questions or doubts, ask your partner and share your feelings, making clear why you have these concerns. Try not to be angrily accusatory because that will likely lead to immediate defensiveness, and you'll be no more closer to the truth than you were before you asked. You'll then have to decide if you're going to take the answer at face value and leave it alone. If you're still uncomfortable and suspect your partner isn't being fully honest, I think that is the beginning of the end. Whether or not you obtain the evidence you need to prove or disprove your suspicions, you're probably still going to have them and that spells nothing but trouble going forward.
If you've snooped in the past, you don't have to continue. If you're committed to maintaining a strong relationship, take a leap of faith and keep an open mind and heart. If it is meant for you to discover cheating, you will. What's done in the dark ALWAYS comes to the light. I don't think its worth destroying your soul agonizing over alerts that your partner is hanging out with friends...just like s/he confirmed earlier.