Checking a significant other’s phone without their knowledge or permission which is a serious invasion of one’s privacy is arguably one of the biggest causes of failure in relationships
Sometimes it starts as something normal because you both assume you have nothing to hide from each other, but as time goes on, it becomes some sort of obsession, ‘stalkerish’ even, and a source of insecurity.
From reading messages to checking the gallery for incriminating photos, or deleted items in one’s recycle bin, checking your partner’s phone can never be a good thing, according to experts.
A mother of one named Scovia Mutesi says that her husband developed the habit of going through her phone when he got a job that required him to travel out of the country for a certain period.
“Whenever he would return home, he would wait for the opportune moment to check my phone and see who I have been talking to or chatting with. When I found out, I raised it with him, and instead, he got agitated, asking me if I had something to hide,” Mutesi says.
Although she had nothing to hide, her husband’s habit continued to grow, until he started acting insecure, reading into every message and coming up with all sorts of arguments based on the messages he saw in her phone, some of which he misinterpreted.
Experts says smartphones have added complexity to relationships and nobody knows where to draw the line where privacy is concerned. There is always something in your phone that can upset your partner, it doesn’t have to be real. For instance, calling people ‘honey’, ‘cherie’ or ‘darling’ can trigger insecurities in your partner or spouse, even though it might not have any other meaning.
Below are a few things you should know before you check your partner’s phone, all of which could be a recipe for disaster in your relationship.
1. Trust issues
When you are running through your partner’s phone, chances are you will always have trust issues. There are messages people receive that can be a source of discomfort.
Experts suggest that going through your partner’s phone might mean you are feeling insecure in your relationship or thinking your partner is hiding something from you. This can only create more problems in an already faltering relationship. You should keep away from your partner’s phone if you want to avoid trust issues.
2. Violation of privacy
Checking your partner’s phone without their permission can be a violation of one’s privacy. Taking away one’s privacy can be a cause for cracks in a relationship.
There is nothing discomforting as finding out that your partner runs through your phone behind your back, without your knowledge. The urge to check your partner’s phone is a red flag that all is not well in your relationship.
3. Breakdown in communication
Checking through your partner’s mobile phone can lead to a breakdown in communication. Experts say the things you see can lead to quarrelling or not talking at all. Sometimes it can even breed v.io.le.n.c.e and a total breakdown in communication. In extreme cases, it can lead to v.i.o.l.e.n.c.e.
4. Divorce or separation
Snooping through your partner’s phone can lead to worse consequences including divorce or separation when in an actual sense it could have been avoided in the first place. In Mutesi’s case, she contemplated ending the marriage when her husband’s insecurities threatened her own safety.
In some cases, your partner or spouse can take screenshots that can be used to blackmail you or used against you in case a court case comes up. Sometimes it doesn’t have to be tangible evidence, rather something to justify whatever accusations they have against you.
Experts claim if you feel your partner has been acting secretive or different in the recent past, you should bring up this topic and have a candid conversation. Tell him or her what you have been feeling and try not to accuse your partner. This way you avoid all the issues raised above.