Do You Snoop?

By snooping, I mean look through your partner’s stuff without their knowledge, not some hip-hop jargon of which I probably have no idea of which I am speaking.

I was chatting with some girlfriends last night and one of them mentioned an article that she read on the Today Show blog. (Video embedded below).

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The short version: Woman allegedly cheats on husband. Man allegedly looks at her email because he thinks wife is cheating. Wife allegedly says man allegedly “hacked” her computer and allegedly invaded her privacy. Husband allegedly says he thought kids were in danger from the lover, and allegedly the emails prove it. Lawyers allegedly say, if they convict him, ” we better build more courthouses, because there won’t be enough room for all the cases coming to trial.” Actually, that last part was not allegedly, because I saw the guy say it in the video.

According to the news report, the law was primarily meant for hackers going after financial gain, intellectual property or identity theft – not snooping spouses.

Now, I am no lawyer. Nor do I play on on the internet. So, again, I have NO IDEA what I am talking about. But I am kind of on the side of the dude. AS FAR AS GOING TO COURT.

Don’t we have more serious issues to deal with in this country than this?

But, AS FOR THE INITIAL SNOOPING? I am with the gal.

I just don’t get it.

Maybe I am lucky in that I have a trustworthy partner, or maybe it’s just not in my DNA, but the thought of logging into Bryan’s email seems so bizarre to me. Weird and icky. Like trying on his underwear. Or smelling it. Or smelling it and then trying it on. Which trust me, I never have done.

I know snoopers, though. Several of them, actually. And it seems like such a slippery slope. He looks and sees something. Wonders what it is, makes an assumption. She can’t believe he did that to her, so she is going to do it right back. And sees something else, out of context maybe, or maybe in context, who knows – point being – it’s not hers to see. And an insidious cycle of miscommunication starts.

It seems to me, that if you feel like you want to snoop, it might be better to step back, and have a conversation with your partner first. And work through that weird, icky feeling before you go looking at email.

Yes, I understand, in this case they were separated, and he says he had the kids at heart. And maybe that is different than a current relationship where you are working through current issues.

But I would still rather talk through my problems than go around smelling Bryan’s underwear.

This article has 23 comments

  1. FireMom

    I have my husband’s passwords. He has mine. I don’t think either of us have ever logged in to the other’s accounts with purpose of snooping. Usually it’s a, “I’m in a non-Internet service area and I need the confirmation code for xyz. Can you login, search of xyz confirmation and tell me the number? Thanks.”

    We have pretty open waves of communication though, so maybe we’re the minority on this one.

  2. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    Exactly. Bryan and I have each other’s passwords, and use them to admin type stuff sometimes – point is, he is free to look but I know he won’t.

  3. zipper

    I hear you but I actually think sometimes it is good to snoop, just check in. Maybe I am crazy.

  4. Meghann

    We’re like Firemom and her husband. We have an open email policy in our marriage. My husband calls me his secretary because I go in occasionally and clean out all his junk mail for him, which is something he never does.

    I digress though. I’m allowed into my husband’s email, and he is allowed in mine. We don’t go around reading each other’s for kicks, it’s more if we need the other to check something for us, like Firemom said.

    The only time we cut each other off is if we’ve bought a gift that we don’t want the surprise spoiled. Even then, no passwords are changed, it’s just “Hey, don’t look in my email till after ‘x’ date, I don’t want your surprise ruined.”

  5. Janet

    OMG, seriously???? You are so right! Do we have NOTHING else to worry about???

  6. Joansy

    So . . . my mother-in-law returned home after a week in the hospital, and we stayed with her for a few days, and I was busy at work so I had Billy pack my clothes, including my suit because I had court in the morning (as I am a lawyer, though I don’t play one on tv), and I was on my period, and he forgot to pack my underwear, and I’m not about to go commando in my expensive suit, especially while on my period, and . . . I wore his clean, freshly laundered underwear just long enough to stop and buy some new ones. It did nothing for me. Honest. And now you know one of my biggest secrets.

    But I still don’t read his e-mail.

  7. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    joansy – that may be the best comment EVER.

  8. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    Interesting Kim, tell me why it’s different with kids. I mean that sincerely.

  9. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    And I haven’t quite formed an opinion about snooping on kids. I need to think that through a bit.

  10. Fear and Parenting in Las Vegas

    I don’t snoop, but, in a prior relationship, I did start asking questions when things didn’t add up. In the end, I’m glad I did.

  11. Jennifer

    I think snooping is not a good idea either. Having open email policy is fine, my hubs and I both know each other’s passwords but we don’t snoop or ever even look at each other’s emails.
    I agree with Kim – your kids email is a WHOLE other ball game. I say this with great experience with teen daughters. As a parent you would not allow your young children to do certain things because it harms them. Teens are no different – they are not always the wisest in decision making and while you want them to learn from mistakes; some mistakes you would never want them to have the chance to make. It is more about protecting them when they are naive enough to not be able to protect themselves.

  12. Kim Hosey

    1. I always think that phrasing is funny. Right or wrong notwithstanding, “snooping” ≠ “hacking.” If it’s something my husband’s computer-illiterate grandmother could do, it’s not hacking.

    2. I’m completely with you on both counts, as well as in the we-have-bigger-fish-to-fry department.

    3. Nope. I would never snoop on my husband. I trust him completely, but when there’s a problem, I’m quite comfortable enough making his life miserable in person. I would say if the trust is broken, it’s broken. Snooping isn’t going to improve a situation, no matter what you find.

    4. It’s an entirely different situation with kids, however. If/when my son starts his online life, I plan to snoop regularly and shamelessly.

  13. keli @ kidnapped by suburbia

    I do not snoop on Ken. we actually use the same password for all of our stuff, so we could snoop in each other’s email accounts, but I just cannot wrap my head around doing it. 

    as for him snooping on me? my gosh, I have no life. I mean, I’d have to have an affair right in front of my kids if I were going to have one, because god knows I have NO privacy around them.

    and I am so exhausted lately that if Ken was getting it somewhere else, I might be a little relieved. maybe he wouldn’t bug me so much for it.

    as for snooping on my kids, it is a trust thing, IMO. like I trust Ken because he has gained my trust from being honest with me throughout our years together. but am I going to be able to trust my daughters to be honest with me when they are 14? if they are anything like I was at 14, then that is a big, fat no. so I plan on snooping a little. like glance thru texts and email subjects just to make sure they aren’t corresponding with strange men or convicted felons. you know, the usual. seriously, the Internet kind of scares me as a mom of two girls … my snooping will mostly be to make sure they are being smart and safe.

    Sent from my iPad

  14. Brandi

    I was raised in a very privacy friendly household as did my dude. We dont dig through each others stuff and we have separate accounts for everything.


    my guy calls me a digger. When I go to friends houses, I cant help but dig. I open drawers, shuffle through papers left out, and just pick stuff up to look at it. I mean, the friend is in the room so Im not being creepy about it, but yeah, this is what I do. No idea why.

    So no, not a snooper, but definitely a digger.

  15. designHER Momma

    I do not smell anyone’s underwear. And I often leave my underwear wide open in the kitchen, just in case someone needs proof that my underwear does not smell.

  16. Anonymous

    I am going to post as anonymous cause i don’t want to get flamed – but I have snooped. I really did think my husband was cheating, and I felt I should check to see before I accused him of anything. I didn;t feel all that great about it – but in the end, I found nothing and felt better about our relationship.

  17. The Twin Spinner

    What are they hoping to find? Does anyone really WANT to know that her husband is cheating on her? Well, I mean, yes, of course you do, but that’s not how I want to find out. I don’t know how I would prefer to find out. But I do know that I get this icky feeling in my tummy when I know I’m doing something I shouldn’t or I might find something I don’t want to find.

    Related (or not), I heard a woman on a radio show one time talking about how women needed to secretly sock away money for if and when they are left by their men. Talk about pessimists! Hubs and I have such a great relationship that I can’t even fathom this. I mean, If I found out HE was hiding money, I’d be so pissed, and then to find out that it was in the potential demise of our marriage? Well, I’m sure that would be enough to end it right then and there.

  18. Tia

    I was married for too long to a cheater. Now I have a shared password policy. I have no intentions of looking but like knowing that he feels he has nothing to hide from me and vice versa. It is purely for my peace of mind.

    As for my kids I am definitely an online snooper. I check the history on our computer constantly. They are not yet old enough to have their own email or facebook but we have talked about the fact that those will not be allowed to be blocked from me. Same policy as with my partner I have no intention of looking but I feel I should be able to check up on them if I have concerns about their behavior(s).

  19. StLmom

    I totally agree with you. I think snooping is messed up and wrong, but I also think dragging every occurrence into court could cause a huge problem. I read the article too, and in fact, this was a huge topic of discussion in my community on Twitter yesterday. I also don’t see ever “sharing” an email address with my spouse. Ew. I do not want the crap he probably gets and I have no doubt he doesn’t want mine.

  20. Kim Hosey

    Sorry; I did see your very quick response and I do have more to say on kid-snooping, I think. I just went very crabby and brain dead, simultaneously, and couldn’t put more than two words together. I do think it’s different. I will have to think/write more on this, maybe, but I guess it boils down to I would rather neglect to do something to make my kid like me than neglect to do something to protect him. I do trust my son. If I think something’s up, I ask. Still, the first several times I asked “Did you put your clothes away?” I trusted him … and verified it anyway. I guess I see it kind of like that.

    I’m a skeptical fact checker with everything in life. I only ramp it up because I’m also protective, but it’s no less than what I’d do with any claim anyone feeds me. I guess in this case my husband’s the exception, not my kid. Because, well, he’s a grownup. And my husband. That should afford advantages once in a while. 🙂

  21. Megan

    I totally agree, Aimee! It’s ICKY! I would never snoop.

  22. Anonymous

    I wouldn’t call the husband or I snoopers but-I’ll grab his debit card from his wallet if I misplace mine, he will root through my purse for my card, saline drops, chapstick.
    The same goes for dresser drawers. I do the laundry so I have to go through his pockets.
    We do have each other’s passwords, as well as those of our daughters. We occasionally go through our daughters’ cell phones & ipods.
    My husband works 90 miles away and our daughters are in school. I could cheat on him all day every day if I was so inclined but wouldn’t consider it.

  23. Linda

    We know each other’s passwords (or since both our laptops are single-user, the password is saved). But why would I check his email? I think I did ONCE. And that was to prevent him from finding out about a surprise I was doing for him, I did something dumb and invited him to his own event! Oops.

    I would hope MOST people have trustworthy partners. The idea that couples have shared email addresses is so foreign to me. I talk to my friends about Law & Order and cute socks. I doubt my gov’t employee husband wants to be privy to my (silly, but important to me) drivel.

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