My husband(30M) and I(27F) have been married for a little over a year. I've always kept my phone password and fingerprint protected because I've hung out with IT people and seen the things they do to unlocked phones. So the locked phone isnt a new thing. I've never cheated and I've never given my husband any reason to think that I would. My daily routine is generally that I go to work then come home and hang out with him unless I go to class or hang out at my friend's house.
However, when I'm home, if I leave my phone unlocked and walk away from or turn my back to my phone he is on it. He's scrolling through my texts, pictures, emails, etc as quickly as he can before I come back or turn around.
If he sees a message from a number that I don't yet have saved to my phone he goes in and reads the conversation. When I catch him he always comes up with some reason "Oh, I was looking for that pic I sent you on Halloween." But then he'll ask about something he's seen in my phone "why do you have pictures of your feet?" I'll answer him honestly "After I get pedicures I take pictures of the designs I really like in case I want that same design again" and he'll drop the topic. Or he'll ask me about numbers that I dont have saved to my phone and who the person is and why I'm talking to them, I'll answer him but the behavior repeats.
When I bring up that I feel weird about him going through my phone he says that I shouldn't unless I have something to hide. I've explained to him that I dont have anything to hide but that my phone contains my private conversations with my friends and that it feels like an invasion of my privacy or like he's reading my diary. I've told him that I would gladly unlock my phone and go through it with him if it would stop this behavior but he refuses and says that I'm being paranoid about it and it's not a big deal. What are your thoughts on this situation?
rabid_floofball sought advice from Reddit on how she should handle her husband's snooping.
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
It's pretty clear there is a lack of trust.
Your husband doesn't trust you at all and that's a huge red flag for your marriage. How do you even know if you have anything to hide when you don't know what he's looking for in the first place?
Your husband is being completely unreasonable and I'm not sure why you got married to someone who has shown they don't trust you.
Well, something is going on in his life that has caused him to lose trust in you. I know you probably don't want to hear this next part, but a lot of times, his sudden lack of trust in you is him projecting on you because he's doing something untrustworthy himself. Has his behavior changed in any other ways recently? Has he started to spend more time at work or has there been a change in your sex life? I'd be concerned he's hiding something from you himself right now.
That's kind of what I thought too but as far as I can tell nothing has changed with him. He goes to work and then comes home. If he goes out he wants me to come with him. If I don't want to go he either doesn't go or he argues with me until I tell him that I need time alone and he should go with our friends. In those instances he'll send me pictures to show me what I'm missing out on. So I'm kind of at a loss for what it could be.
Consider counseling because hubby could be projecting.
He doesnt want to go through it with you because you could still 'hide something'. He is showing you and telling you that he does not trust you and no amount of compromise to ease his trust issues will make him trust you. Consider couples counseling to work through his insecurities together (although, logically, he shouldve gotten himself into solo therapy to change his insecurities himself, but).
If youre going to otherwise let this slide, youll just have to make sure your phone is always locked if it is not in your hand.
Thank you. I'm careful now about leaving my phone unlocked. I should have mentioned in the post that this is a new behavior for him in the past 2 months. I have no idea what caused the behavior change.
Be aware that it could be projection. He is doing something wrong, so he is trying to find you doing something wrong too to justify his wrong doings.
That's kind of what I thought too. I will note that when I'm texting with my friends he'll ask me about it i.e. who am I texting, what are we talking about, etc. I'm tell him who I'm talking to but will tell him that the content is none of his business as it's private and he'll drop the matter.
The only thing you can really do is try to talk to him about it and/or go to couples counseling together about this issue.
He's wrong to breach your privacy.
He is wrong. Everyone deserves privacy. I would never unlock my phone for someone to go through. It's not theirs. I don't care if I am calling my dentist for an appointment -- it's my private business.
He has issues with trust and you have issues with setting a boundary.
Don't accept being punished for having boundaries.
This is very problematic. You can just as easily turn his reasoning back on him - "Shouldn't you trust me enough as my partner not to snoop through my phone without permission? I don't do that to you."
It's a lack of respect on his part to invade your privacy, and beyond that it's even more worrying that he LIES to you about it. (Saying he was looking for pictures then asking about conversations.) You need to call him on this bullshit.
"Husband, you seem to feel the need to go through my phone and look through all my conversations to feel secure in our relationship. As you've seen multiple times, there's nothing worrying in there. Yet when I ask why you're doing this, you'll say you were just looking for a picture when I can clearly see you reading through all my messages. You'll even ask questions about them, all of which I've answered.
You have trust issues, yet by lying to me about your reasons, you're the one acting untrustworthy yourself. I don't appreciate you saying my very reasonable request to keep my private conversations private is 'paranoid,' when I've even offered to go through them with you. Yet more than the fact you're digging into my personal texts, it's upsetting to realize you don't trust me when I've given you absolutely no reason to think otherwise.
I know some part of you clearly feels guilty about this and knows it's wrong, because you attempt to hide your actions from me. How can we address this?"
There are plenty of reasons someone wouldn't want their partner going through their texts that aren't malicious. Maybe they're trying to plan a surprise for them. A friend discussed personal information that they didn't feel would be respectful to share with others. They wanted help bringing up a sensitive issue and didn't want to discuss it with their partner before working out their feelings and making sure they phrased it kindly. They shared they were feeling down about an unrelated issue with a friend and didn't want to burden their partner at the time.
He needs to respect your boundaries instead of blaming you for having them.
Lock your phone, obviously.
Be more careful about leaving your phone unlocked when he's around. Don't leave him any openings to snoop. A normal person in a good relationship who trusts you would have no issue with you keeping your phone locked, they wouldn't even notice you're doing it. If he brings it up and asks why you've been keeping your phone locked more than usual you will have strong evidence that HE is the one who is paranoid and has a problem.
Sounds like insecurity on his part, and that's not your fault.
He's insecure and lacks basic trust. Sometimes it comes from low self esteem and sometimes it comes from projecting his own suspicious behavior onto you or perhaps guilt from his own past. If I were you I would be interested to know which it is.
Lock your phone and see what happens if he can't access it.
He doesn't trust you and he's looking for dirt. Set your phone so it locks automatically after the shortest amount of time possible. See what happens after a few weeks of him not being able to look at anything in your phone at all.
Don't indulge his paranoia. If he asks about your phone, refuse to answer.
Completely stop answering his questions about anything on your phone. Responding to his suspicious queries will only serve to ensure that he'll continue to make them.
Tell him you're not going to respond anymore, and why, and that it's a hard boundary, not up for negotiation. Shut down any argument by changing the subject, and if that doesn't work, leave the room. Do not fight with him. Leave the home if he persists.
If that doesn't work and he's still suspicious, insist on counseling.
Ask to see his phone.
"I have nothing to hide and if you ask, I am happy to show you specifics. But I'm just not comfortable with you going through my phone; it's insulting. If you have concerns you need to tell me; because this is a new development, it's hurtful, and I've done nothing to deserve mistrust. What has changed? Because I want a marriage based on mutual trust."
Make it clear it isn't that you want to hide your phone from him; you'll show him specifics. It's his entitlement to your phone, the fact that it's new behavior, and is essentially disrespectful of your privacy and is insulting.
Get your hands on his phone too OP. Without warning. Casually in the conversation. "I'd like to see your phone as well." He will likely hand it over. Any hesitation, and this is projection.
Tell him to stop disrespecting you.
Don't leave your phone unlocked around him, his behavior is sh*tty and disrespectful. Tell him as much.