Is it Ever OK to Read Your Partner's Texts and Emails?

As I stare into a computer monitor decorated with password-bearing Post-It notes, I’m alerted to a text from my non-password protected phone. In case there was ever any doubt, I don’t care about protecting my personal correspondence.

With three emails addresses and countless social media accounts open at all times, my utter indifference toward private communication seems to work for me. That’s not to say this lazy approach to privacy¬†works for everyone. Case in point, my husband. He’s an alphanumeric/special character password kinda guy who religiously logs out of social media accounts and would never, ever dream of a password Post-It disgracing his monitor.

Is that to say he’s up to no good? No. Just because he’s got nothing to hide, doesn’t mean he’s an open book and I can respect that. In turn, just because I’m too lazy to ever log out of anything doesn’t imply an invitation by default.

Look, I’ve been cheated on in the past. I totally understand the gravitational pull to read a partner’s personal texts and emails, particularly when they’re guarded, giving off mixed signals, or acting suspiciously – but do those behaviors warrant a breach of personal privacy?

In a recent article on The Frisky, author Rachel Kramer Bussel strongly advises against snooping on a partner’s emails or texts, saying, “If there’s something I want them to know, I’ll tell them, and, I would hope, vice versa. I believe privacy is important in relationships; that’s not to say you can’t express curiosity or doubt or suspicion if that’s what you’re feeling.” Exactly. If you have reason to be doubtful or insecure about your relationship, you’d be far better to address your concerns outright before stooping to seedy investigative methods.

Daily Mail’s Samantha Brick feels differently, claiming her husband’s emails, voicemails and texts are as much her business as they are his and admittedly checks them daily. Apparently Brick believes the monitoring of her husband’s correspondence protects her marriage from ill-intentioned she-devils. That hardly sounds healthy to me. Where is fundamental trust Brick should have in her husband to handle his personal correspondence in a way that honors his personal integrity?

While I appreciate self-preservation against suckerdom, if you suspect your partner is cheating or engaged in an emotional affair, snooping where you don’t belong is not only dangerous, it’s damaging to the very trust your relationship needs to survive.

Is it ever OK to read your partner’s emails and text messages?

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Article Posted 6 years Ago

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