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Privacy/Snooping in marriage

HangingInThere2's picture

This subject came up in my last post and since it’s a big issue currently in my marriage I would welcome some feedback.

What amount of privacy should each of you as individuals have in marriage? Share everything, share most, mostly keep to ourselves?

Is it ever okay to snoop? Look thru things of the other secretly? This is probably a bad sign of trust in a marriage if you do this but sometimes don’t we all get a bit suspicious?

Currently this is a big issue in my marriage. I have done a bit of snooping on my husband, just being honest. I don’t know if I snoop to ease my mind that nothing is going on or to find out if something is going on and he’s not telling me about it, if that makes sense.I guess my levels of concern about what’s going on behind my back, what’s being kept from me about money (is he hiding money and giving to the kids, is he changing beneficiaries on insurance and our retirement funds) and what plans with the skids is he making that he just hasn’t told me about yet. So yes, I’ve snooped. I feel terribly guilty about it! He has discovered my snooping and called me out on it. In fact now when we get in an argument he seems to always bring that up, “but you invaded my privacy”.

Needless to say I’m locked out of all his tech stuff,, phone etc. The result however is that by being locked out of everything and not feeling I can look at any damn paper of his without “invading his privacy” it makes me feel more suspicious. Is he trying to cover up things and that’s why this is such a hot button issue for him? Though I don’t think he’s having an affair but the result of being locked out of everything starts to make my mind wonder why this is all such a BIG deal and the result is it just makes me more suspicious.

Is he hiding stuff from me that if I found out would greatly/negatively effect me and our marriage? I like some privacy as well but if he looked at anything of mine I don’t think it would greatly/negatively effect him or our marriage. I guess that is  my way I try to sort it out.

I agree that each of us deserve some privacy in a marriage  but I guess I’m not sure what the norm in this area is for most marriages?


Guilty Snooper



STaround's picture

If I thought my DH was not honest with me about money, I would have one foot out the door. Did you find anything?

warenb82's picture

I find myself doing this sometimes. He’s created big insecurities in me from the past. I try to over come those but it’s hard when he has to deal with his EX. He told me about a conversation last night but I always feel there is more. He’s admitted to not being open with me about contact with SD9 because of the way I react. I do not have an issue with SD9 it’s the EX. She’s very manipulative and vendictive. And on top of that uses the SD9 as leverGe 

notasm3's picture

Financial infidelity is probably a bigger deal to me than sexual infidelity. I am more concerned about my bank accounts than my vagina.   But maybe that is because DH and BM have zero interface.  She is happily remarried to a man who does not want her to have anythig to do with SS.  He and I are basically on the same page even though we have never met.  

I don't think that I "snoop"  on DH - but my DH cannot remember ANY of his passwords - so I keep them.  I can't tell you how many times he's asked me what his password is.  I occasionally look at his phone call and text history - but mainly out of curiousity whether SS34 is speaking to him or not. Not because I am questioning what DH is doing - but what SS is doing.


Winterglow's picture

Given his reaction, I think I'd ask him straight up what he's hiding, what he's ashamed to let you know?


shamds's picture

i have told him i refuse to be at any family events sd’s will be at. Because hubby never discusses with me sudden change of plans, is vague on the schedule. We have 2 toddlers and shouldn’t be detouring 2hrs to pick up sd23&sd14 who live together when eldest sd has a car and can drive but has daddy play taxi. Now i’m stuck in a car with 2 toddlers for 5 hours minimum when it should have been 2-3 hrs max. Thats a big issue for me it’s involving our time but yet i am never consulted

also sd’s keep doing inappropriate things to my daughter to make her appear dirty and messy in front of family, they feed her things they shouldn’t to a then 2 yr old which would make her real sick and they do not respect boundaries. They get in our car and its on and on about bio mum and stepdad, then they tell us they told about us to bio mum blah blah blah. 

Then hubby tells them to be ready on time and they aren’t then we leave and its ok we need to check we locked the front door... this is frustrating and unacceptable to me and so i refused to go and hubby assured me last time plans wouldn’t change that it wasn’t guaranteed they were coming when full well they were in communication and coming and hubby assured me we wouldn’t dtour to pick them up which was bullshit and they always change their plans last minute and hubby agrees to pick them up without telling me.

i’m expected to accept and tolerate it and deal with frustrated toddlers and smile like its all good.

so last time i told hubby do not lie to me i will not go. So now if there are family events and i ask if skids are coming, hubby says no, i do check his phone to confirm and if he is lying to me i tell him i will not go with our toddlers because he isn’t respecting my boundaries.

the last time i refused to go this was very out of character for me with his family as his sisters always look forward to me and kids being there. Wait for the next visit and they’ll have a sit down and ask hubby “ok whats going on, your wife isn’t here with kids and this isn’t normal, what have you done?” Hubby is afraid of getting grilled by his sisters and i think i need to push him to that point so he had to tell him about this disrespect from skids and lack of respect for boundaries and others etc and hubbs sisters are great at addressing these issues...

thats as far as it goes. When sd’s messages crap about bio mum hubby is voluntarily showing me these messages at how ridiculous and messed up it is

lieutenant_dad's picture

If I'm suspicious of something, I'll just ask DH to show me his phone/CC statement/insurance policies, etc. I'm not going to go around shopping. If he won't share, then we have a problem. If I thought his reaction to me when I ask would be gaslighting or abuse, I'd be one foot out the door with the other one bringing up the rear.

You can have open access without snooping. What you have to trust is that your partner will do the right thing in the first place but will also be open to showing proof. On the flip side, you should trust they are doing what they are supposed to be doing and only verify when it's needed. If you (general) are ALWAYS suspicious and ALWAYS think they are doing wrong, why are you still together? Or why aren't you working on yourself?

I can access DH's phone and paperwork anytime I want to. Knowing that I can is enough for me to trust he isn't doing anything shady. But I know if I started snooping (and I define snooping as looking without asking or telling him I'm doing it), DH would feel violated and I would lose the privilege of accesing his stuff without his consent and him being there. It goes both ways.

Harry's picture

Each one should have access to bank records, insurance records, retirement records.  Each should know what there others paid check is.  Both should be in agreement in on how,  money is handle.  Both paid checks are deposited.  What bills have to be paid that month.  How much monry is budget for food, clothing, retirement, savings, entertainment, vacation, repairs,  Birthdays, Holidays rain day , and some personal money for coffee or what ever.   I don’t believe in locked phones.  There is nothing on my phone that is secret 

If you follow this there no need for snooping.  Looking at the checking account is not snooping, looking at retirement accounts is not sbooping.  If you think you need to keep secret in a marriage, there is a bigger problem 


SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture

Disengage your money and your life insurance etc from him and his spawn! Put all of that on lockdown like he’s done with his.

Willow2010's picture

 Is he trying to cover up things and that’s why this is such a hot button issue for him?


Yes…yes he is. 

DH and I are open books.  If he ever locked me out of phone, or computer, we would probably be done.   

I think most people are inherently nosey.  Most that say they are not, are kidding themselves.  Lol

 I don’t care.  I have nothing to hide.   

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

I'm split. Personally I think for a marriage to be successful that secrets shouldn't be kept. Being fully open and transparent both keeps the other spouse in the know AND prevents anyone from even being tempted to use their secrets (imho).  I think transparency and full honesty is needed. (but that's also an opinion and may not work for everyone).

I think secrets leave too much. Once you start keeping secrets, more get easier and easier to keep. Which leaves your partner further and further in the dark. And I think opens up doors for being sneaky that aren't appropriate for a marriage. The transparency helps prevent thoughts of distrust as well and keeps trust flowing in a relastionship (imho)

However, even with transparency, I don't think daily snooping is really appropriate either. If you feel you need to snoop that much, you've either already been burned, OR the spouse is doing something that is causing the suspicion. Either way, not super healthy to constantly snoop.

On the other hand. if the spouse is feeling the need to lock everything down like that. It leads me to believe he has something to hide.

justmakingthebest's picture

I responded on the other post but basiclly my stance is 2 fold.

On one hand you have the right to individual privacy. On the other you shouldn't keep secrets from your spouse. 

DH and I both have full account access to eachothers bank, email, cell phones, etc. There is nothing that we keep secret. I don't snoop. I have never felt the need to. I have had to access his things and he has had to access mine from time to time because we asked eachother to do so. I did not go looking through his checking account when he asked me to send a bill pay over to soandso. I could have. I just didn't feel the need to. 

In my opinion if you are snooping, things are wrong. Something is making you very insecure. You are feeling something pretty serious and questioning your spouses intentions. Get to the bottom of what is bothering you. If your spouse has done nothing wrong, tell them what you are/were feeling and tell them that you went looking for something to justify their behavior/attitude/financial issues. Tell them that you need more communication so that you don't feel like you are going crazy here. If you do find something - an affair for example- Leave. That is simple enough. Just take the proof with you when you go. 

tog redux's picture

"Don't we all get suspicious?" 

NO.  I don't have the slightest suspicion that my DH is doing anything that I don't know about and should know about.  I don't know his email password, he doesn't know mine.  He knows my phone password and he's welcome to look, but he doesn't. 

We have a joint account that we each have access to, of course, and we both have private accounts too.  I don't know his password and he doesn't know mine. But we tell each other how much we have, and I'd give him my password if he wanted it, it just hasn't come up, BECAUSE WE TRUST EACH OTHER.

Privacy and Secrecy are not the same thing.  I want the ability to email my friends, post on steptalk or reddit, go to whatever site I want, etc. He feels the same way.  It's not "keeping secrets" to want your own privacy, they are vastly different things.

People looking through each other's email/phone/website history etc, would be a nightmare relationship to me.

When I start getting suspicious of DH doing anything that he's keeping secret and I want to snoop, I'd feel my marriage was on the way down. 


Ispofacto's picture

DH and I have complete transparency in our relationship.  We both like it that way and wouldn't settle for anything less.