No, don't snoop through his phone!

HARARE - Recently, memes and chain messages flooded the social media after a judge ruled that evidence gathered by a spouse who had snooped through their better half’s phone was inadmissible in court.

The judge simply ruled that it was an unethical way of gathering evidence.

I cannot even believe I am wasting over 1 000 words talking about people who snoop through their partner’s phone.

However, the fact that this couple needed a judge to say it means we should probably talk about it. So, this week; we talk about the classic relationship mistake; that is going through a partner’s phone.

We have all been there. You are laying in bed. Your significant other is in the shower. Their phone is right next you. You know the password. It would be so easy to take a peek without them ever knowing.

Just a quick peek to make sure you can trust him. So what do you do? To snoop or not to snoop? That is the question.

Everyday social convention would argue that looking at someone else’s personal devices without their permission is a major breach of trust and a big NO.

Nevertheless, this does not seem to stop people from doing it. I recently polled my followers on Twitter about their thoughts on this topic and the responses were strong, but varied.

People’s opinions ranged from “Absolutely not okay under any circumstances” to “I’m so grateful I checked my partner’s e-mail because I found out he was having an affair and I left him.”

Interestingly though, a lot of people responded that even though they felt it was “wrong” to check a partner’s phone or e-mail without his or her permission, they admitted that they still did it anyway. So one’s beliefs about snooping may not actually influence their actions.

I will say this once and for all, especially to the ladies. This very act screams insecure and defeats the whole purpose of the relationship.

I always tell you people that Mbuya Nehanda died so that Zimbabwean women could be emancipated and the fact that some of you are snooping through men’s phones assures me the woman is definitely turning in her grave.

I can almost see the picture, pulling your muroyi game just to wake up in the middle of the night to go through his phone…

For what???

I believe that when we are tempted to engage in this behaviour we are really trying to address some larger issues in the relationship or in our own psyche.

Trust is an essential part of any relationship. Without it, it is pretty impossible to have a productive one.

When certain things happen that cause a person to have a hard time believing in their partner, it is difficult for a relationship to continue on the right foot.

The betrayed party may choose to start doing crazy things to ensure that their loved one is faithful again.

Moreover, even when the former cheater is being faithful, the scorned partner may still behave erratically and check up on them out of paranoia.

The paranoid things people do to confirm the fidelity of their mate include popping up at their job unexpectedly, making surprise home visits, and watching them from afar without them knowing. But one big mistake people do when trust is gone is snoop through their partner’s phone, check their text messages, search through pictures and look through contacts for unfamiliar names.

Some people even take it a step further and check e-mails!

Prowling through your significant other’s phone is one of the worst things you can do. It can open up so many doors of disappointment and strife that you may not be prepared to deal with mentally or emotionally.

There is an old saying that goes, “Seek, and you shall find,” and it is very true. Or as one male colleague crudely put it, if you go into a snake-pit in search of snakes you’ll definitely get bitten!

If you go looking for trouble in your partner’s phone, you just may find it.

Before you even decide to make that bold move, ask yourself if you can handle what you may find, what your next move will be, how you plan to confront your mate about what you saw if it was incriminating, and how you plan to explain to them why you were going through their phone in the first place.

Ever wonder what your reputation is like in the world of dating, or if you even have one?

Well, believe it or not, everyone has a rep or dating resume that people often refer to if they are admiring you from a distance and want to get to know you better.

One thing you do not want to follow you from one relationship to another is being known as the crazy chic or paranoid dude who lurks through phones trying to find anything suspicious.

This tag will automatically put potential mates on guard and have them giving you the side-eye before things even get off the ground.

Trust, trust, and more trust is the foundation of any successful relationship. Searching through your mate’s phone shows that you do not believe in the person you are with and what you have is not what you thought it was.

Anytime you are compelled to look through your partner’s phone without permission, it is a sign that things are headed south.

If this is the case, it may be best for you to move on because not only have you lost a certain level of trust in your better half, but once they find out you have been prying in their phone, they may not be able to trust you either.

This thing works both ways.

Having confidence in your partner and what the two of you are building is a great thing, but once that trust is gone, it is definitely hard to get it back.

While no one is perfect and people will make mistakes in life, everyone deserves the basic right to privacy.

If you have an issue with your companion and you are wondering about their fidelity, ask them about it directly, rather than going around playing CIO on them.

If you cannot love and trust the one you are with, then be with someone else you can trust because searching through their phone and their personal items will only bring heartache and pain to you.

And while you are so busy looking through their phone, you may be missing out on someone better who’s looking for you.

While I really understand the temptation, as I have felt it (and in my younger days even acted on it), I would like to share a few arguments as to why violating your partner’s privacy could be far more hurtful to you, and the relationship, than it is helpful.

Additionally, I would like to present some alternatives that might help you better achieve your long-term relationship goals.

The biggest downside of being a snooper is that it can become addictive. Checking someone’s phone is like scratching a rash. It itches so you believe that by scratching it you will get some relief.

But instead, the more you scratch the more it spreads and the more scratching you need to do. The best policy is to never start scratching at all. Even if you do not find anything suspicious when you check, the act of checking has now become associated with the feeling of relief.

So every time you seek relief, you may feel the urge to do so through snooping.

Apart from the addiction, snooping is definitely almost always a lose/lose situation. If you check your partner’s phone you are faced with the dilemma of having to deal with the outcome of your actions.

If you found nothing, the relief you feel will quickly be replaced with guilt and now you are stuck with the uncomfortable feeling of knowing that you violated the privacy and trust of the person you love and they have done nothing wrong.

If you actually do find something that indicates wrongdoing you have to decide whether to confront the person (and admit the fact that you did something unethical/illegal) or sit in silence while the knowledge eats away at you. Both of these sounds like pretty awful situations to be in.

During the first year of my marriage I used to wonder what his family and friends thought of me, so I would check their conversations about me.

Then, one day I came across messages from his sister, I genuinely liked her, but she was bad-mouthing me to him about my decision not to have children until we were financially stable, I was very heartbroken.

But, this experience taught me that it was better to just remain in the dark about some things.

Besides, if you want a trustworthy partner, be a trustworthy partner. If you suspect that you cannot trust your partner and you check their devices, now you are the untrustworthy one.

Treat others the way you want to be treated. If there is a quality you value in a partner, you should come to the table fully with this quality.

Another downside of snooping is that you may put other confidential information at risk. Many people have confidential work-related information on their phones and computers.

If you are snooping on your partner’s communication devices you may cause major problems for them professionally.

In certain professions it could actually be a security violation or put protected health information in jeopardy.

Is satisfying your curiosity worth putting your partner’s job or professional credibility at risk?

Until next time, do Mbuya Nehanda proud and resist the urge to go through your partner’s phone. Always know that the urge speaks to deeper underlying fears.

    Comments (4)

    I was of the impression that a married couple are one and that they own everything jointly. Thus, his toothbrush is equally hers for don't they kiss? Her phone is his and his hers. She can go through his phone in any manner at any given time in or without his presence while he can also do likewise with hers. That was my belief until now because there is that part about getting to know professional information that should be held confidentially.

    Seedman Mtamandeni - 26 June 2016

    Seedman, yes i beliv we are one and the usage of phone is not all about checking my messages, i think she/he can use my phone to to make a call only when she/he does hav airtym in the phone. Bt stalking thru an individuals phone to msgs that belong to you is just to extreme and might be catastrophic.

    bob - 4 July 2016

    Seedman, yes i beliv we are one and the usage of phone is not all about checking my messages, i think she/he can use my phone to to make a call only when she/he does hav airtym in the phone. Bt stalking thru an individuals phone to msgs that belong to you is just to extreme and might be catastrophic.

    bob - 4 July 2016

    what messages would you want to hide from your partner? Obvious they are dubious messages. if they are clear msges wy hide form my spouse? I sleep with him/her under the same blanket, bath with him/her, naked and what secret is more importand than my nakedness? we Zimbos takes things too far, if you are prostituing yes you will argue that noone must peep on my phone, if you are a man married to a working women, and she recieves messages during odd hours, will you not be curious to know the origins of the msges and vice versa? My heart wont skip a bit if I forgert my phone at home with my wife, she wuill gladly tell me of all msgs she recieved during my absence and responding to some, why do I fear, lets not live in bondage people, jus be open in all you do, marriage is solemnised by the most high God, to become one flesh, can I hide something on my right hand so that left hand must not see?

    marcus - 31 July 2016

    Post a comment

    Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
    Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
    - Editor

    Your email address will not be shared.