Peeking in my boyfriend's cell phone was a sign the relationship was broken

Mary Duncan

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*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.

I am a big believer in privacy.

To me, journals are sacred, and should never be touched by anyone but their owner.

A journal is where I pour out the deepest, darkest, most secret parts of my soul that I don’t want to share with anyone else, and God help someone if they picked up one of my journals and read it.

You don’t always want to know what other people have to say about you.

This is why I also believe the privacy of cell phones is almost as sacred.

Nowadays, cell phones contain your whole life.

Your plans, your contacts, your photos, your conversations — everything that you’re connected with on a daily basis can fit in the palm of your hand.

That’s why phones should stay out of your hands if they don’t belong to you.

It’s not your right to know everything.

Some people seem to think it’s their right to have their partner’s cellphone passcode.

If he won’t give me his passcode, he has something to hide,” one of my friends said about her boyfriend.

She checked his texts and Facebook feed regularly to see whether he was talking to other women — even though she had no reason to believe he was cheating on her.

I think back to my early days of dating — before cell phones were a thing normal people had.

I wasn’t demanding to read my boyfriend’s journal if he had one.

I wasn’t snooping around his bedroom looking for love notes or through his AOL Inbox.

Because it all comes down to trust.

People who snoop on their partners have trust issues, plain and simple.

If you can’t grant a person their privacy and keep your hands off their phone or their journal, it means your relationship is somehow broken, because if there were genuine trust there wouldn’t be invasive snooping.

I think the need to invade other people’s privacy comes from insecurity inside yourself and it’s time to reflect inward and question what’s going on in your relationship or your own head that is making you do it.

Do you really have suspicions that your partner may be cheating on you?

Then talk to them about it, don’t try to go digging up evidence you may not ever find.

I made this mistake once, and I regret it.

I wish someone had given me this advice years ago when I was in a relationship with this guy, Dan — a relationship that was certainly not based on trust.

I had suspected that Dan was cheating on me with someone else, and one morning when he was in the shower I picked his phone up off the bedside table and started scrolling through texts he had with another woman.

I’m glad I found out, but I was shattered to find out that way.

I shattered myself by invading someone else’s privacy, and I regret doing it and still obviously think about it to this day.

Every relationship needs privacy.

If you can’t afford to give your partner privacy in your relationship, something in your relationship is broken — period.

It may be a lack of trust, a glut of suspicion, or just your own insecurities ruining everything, but either way, it can’t be had in a healthy relationship.

You need to communicate, not snoop.

Every human being needs and deserves privacy, and we need to give that to the people we care about.

If you’re finding yourself with your partner’s phone in hand, ask yourself why you’re doing it.

What is the symptom of this brokenness that is causing you to break your partner’s trust in you?

The answer is worth finding out.

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I write about relationships and parenting, life, society, people, and sometimes also beer.

Connecticut State
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