The Vicious Cycle Of Spying On Your Spouse & How To Stop
It can be tempting to think that if you keep checking your spouse’s phone and email for suspicious activity, you will find security and peace of mind. Unfortunately, the opposite is the case.
Perhaps it only happened that one time. You promised yourself it would never happen again. It’s not a big deal. But just like Jim Morrison’s spy, you suddenly know everything your partner is doing, everywhere they go, everyone they know.
This knowledge can help to quiet that part of you wishing to dig through your partner’s emails, texts, or social media accounts . . . for a time.
However, you’ll most likely find this habit is tricky to let go of, made even more difficult if something suspicious is uncovered.
How does one relinquish a habit that allows for peace to wash over you for at least a brief moment? A moment you feel vindicated in your relationship unease, validated amidst the distress that has snuck into your home, into your marriage.
This lucidity vanishes quickly as the need to spy, the need to know, is constantly at war with the part of you that wants to move towards something better with your partner.
It can become difficult to see that this digging only increases the vicious cycle of secretive habits. And become even worse if you decide to keep the spying from your partner, ignoring the power-packed by the lie of omission.
Numerous things boost this need to find knowledge.
Many times, it is spurred by the infidelity of a past partner.
The part of you that remembers the effects of this betrayal attempting to help you, to ensure you aren’t subjected to such pain a second time or that, at the very least, you’re prepared.
It might be stemming from a lack of trust, only creating more issues in the long run as this behavior is utilized to feed the mistrust.
The need to check your partner’s phone may have grown out of a lack of communication resulting from a distance in the relationship. This distance can increase suspicion. Who are they connecting with, if not you? Suddenly, you’ve become the spy in the relationship, which only increases the chasm between you and your partner.
It can be tough to turn that focus back on oneself.
If you find that you can’t stop checking, it can help to question what might fuel this behavior.
Ask yourself what is prohibiting you from merely having a conversation with your partner in an open manner.
This conversation can heighten vulnerability, but it will inevitably increase trust rather than create a cycle of dishonesty, which will inevitably keep you and your partner stuck.
If you need support in this venture, I recommend reaching out to a mental health professional who can provide you additional insight and advocate for your relationship’s health and success.
Paige Keppler, T-LMFT
Marriage & Family Therapist
Paige is truly an insightful
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