Spying on Your Partner: Good or Bad?

Updated on November 4, 2017
theraggededge profile image

A long time ago I had a stalker. He still pops up now and then. I like to think I can help others in the same situation.

It’s very tempting to want to spy on your partner, especially if you suspect them of cheating. There are so many ways to monitor their behavior in this digital age, and adding an undetectable app to their phone takes a matter of a minute or two. Who could resist the idea of keeping an eye on their partner's Facebook activities, Whatsapp chats, browsing history, emails, texts, calls and location?

Yet, however tempted you are to do so, is it really acceptable to spy on your partner?


Do You Have a Moral Right to Spy?

It’s 99.9 percent likely that you do not have a right to spy on your partner. Every human being has a right to privacy. It is fundamental to our well-being and security. In some states and countries it is illegal to spy on another person unless you have a legal warrant.

Perhaps you feel you need to do this to reassure yourself that all is well? Maybe you have convinced yourself that you are keeping her safe? After all, you only need to confirm that he isn’t spending time with another woman. Once you’ve checked, you won’t need to do it again. Or will you?

The Spying Habit

Spying can become a habit. An addiction. An obsession even, if it gets out of hand. You’ll be glued to your phone watching their every move. Waiting for them to make a ‘mistake’. You’ll be reading meaning into their words which they probably never meant.

You’re getting a thrill from your snooping. Far from being reassured, you want to feel vindicated. You want to find something, anything to justify your own behavior.

When spying, snooping and monitoring becomes a compulsion - in other words, you cannot stop even if you want to - you must seek professional help.


Surely it’s OK to Check my Boyfriend’s Facebook?

If you have a mutual agreement, and he is allowed to check yours, then, yes, it’s fine. Otherwise, no. It’s still spying.

Ask Yourself These Questions Before You Spy

  1. Would you be fine with it if he were spying on you?
  2. Are you prepared to lose your relationship when she finds out?
  3. Do you think you are misreading the situation?
  4. What are your reasons for this lack of trust?

Think about how you would feel if you discovered your partner was doing to you what you are doing to them. Really try to understand how violated and hurt you'd be if your partner was watching you in the same way. Listening in to your calls. Knowing where you are every single second of the day and night. Would you be happy with that?

Let’s say she becomes suspicious that you are watching her. She gets her phone checked. Or maybe you slip up and mention something that he has never discussed with you. In most cases the relationship will end, right there. You lost everything.

Are you sure you are not overreacting? I had a boyfriend once, who having spotted a gorgeous convertible in town with the license plate letters, BEV, immediately thought I must be having an affair with the owner and began following me. He was that insecure. Perhaps her texts to her ex are not as incriminating as you want to believe? Maybe his flirty chat on FaceBook is innocent?

Where did this gnawing doubt and lack of trust come from? Has your boyfriend or girlfriend been unfaithful to you in the past? Were you cheated on by your ex spouse? Is it your suspicious, possessive and jealous nature to need to know what they are doing when you’re not with them?

How to Stop Someone Spying on Your Facebook Account

1. Get Log In Notifications
Log in to Facebook.
Go to the Settings Menu.
Select Security/Log in Alerts
Select ‘Get Notifications’ and you will receive a message anytime someone logs in to your Facebook from another device.

2. Log In Approvals
As above go to Security and click on Log in Approvals.
Click on the button that says “Require a security code to access my account from unknown browsers”.
You will receive a text message asking you to confirm a code each time your Facebook is accessed from an unauthorized device or unrecognized browser.

3. Make Sure you Log Out on Every Device
Go to Settings > Security > Where you're logged in.
Facebook lists every device, what it is, where it is and when the last log in occurred. Many of these will be old devices.
When you log out of Facebook on your current device log out properly’ rather than just closing the web page. On your phone, click the X.


I Need to Know Where My Husband Is Going

In a healthy marriage your partner will be open about where they are and where they have been. If you think your spouse is lying, then it is time to address the issues.

If your partner has requested that their movements be tracked because they feel vulnerable when out and about, that’s fair enough. Especially if your spouse is infirm or mentally unwell. It is also a good idea for parents of teenagers to be able to track their phone.

Should you feel the need to track your partner’s phone and monitor their location without them being aware, then you must know that you are invading their privacy.

I Spy on Her to Take Care of Her

There was a story in the British press a couple of years ago. A woman discovered that her geeky husband had installed tracking and monitoring apps on her phone and those of their teenagers. He did it without asking them or giving them an explanation.

At first the woman was mad with her husband but after thinking it through, she decided she was okay with it. She felt safer.

If you are justifying your spying in this way, then you should be able to open and up-front about it. Tell your partner. Or better yet, ask them first.

When Spying on Your Spouse Is Okay

In some cases, spying is fine because it has been sanctioned by the other partner. If a couple is trying to rebuild trust in their relationship then the ‘guilty’ partner will offer up their personal account passwords: Facebook, email, etc. in order to put their spouse’s mind at rest.

At the beginning the betrayed spouse is able to check on his or her partner’s activities whenever they want to. As they become reassured that the misdemeanor was a one-off, they become more secure and checking will naturally begin to decrease.

Where Is the Love in Your Relationship?

You must know these facts:

  • If you are suspicious, you can’t be feeling love.
  • If you are insecure, you aren’t feeling love.
  • If you are jealous, you aren’t in a loving state.
  • If you are addicted to snooping, you are not expressing love.

Love cannot exist in you when you are feeling negative emotion. It isn’t possible. Love and fear (because that is what all this boils down to - fear) cannot exist side-by-side.

What Do You Think?

Is it ever okay to spy on your partner? Have you been spied upon or spied on someone else? How did it turn out? Please share your experience.

© 2017 Bev

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    • theraggededge profile image

      Bev 3 weeks ago from Wales

      You are right on all counts, LaTrice. You can never reassure someone who cannot be reassured.

    • Miss Liberty31 profile image

      LaTrice 3 weeks ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I absolutely enjoyed reading this article. I believe spying on your significant other isn't a good idea, because it doesn't put anyone's mind at ease. Despite doubts and suspicions, it's best to address your concerns clearly.

      It's not necessary to make assumptions without knowing the truth. My ex-boyfriend lashed his insecurities out on me, even though I wasn't doing anything wrong. If he had any questions, all he had to do was ask. I was unable to keep the door of communication open, so ending the relationship became the best option. There was nothing I could do to put his insecurities at rest.

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image

      Sakina Nasir 10 months ago from Kuwait

      Right! :)

    • theraggededge profile image

      Bev 10 months ago from Wales

      Absolutely, Sakina. I could never continue a relationship where there was no trust. x

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image

      Sakina Nasir 10 months ago from Kuwait

      Great hub Bev! :) I believe spying is not a good thing. Even if you have doubts or suspicions, you should clear it with your partner. It's just like assuming things without knowing the real truth. Thankfully, I haven't been spied by my fiance and vice-versa. A relation needs to be open. Doubts and insecurities will inflict negativity and drive away the trust and love.

    • theraggededge profile image

      Bev 10 months ago from Wales

      I agree, dashingscorpio, the ultimate passive aggressive weapon. Thanks for your comment.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 10 months ago

      Is it OK to Spy on your Partner? No!

      If you don't trust your mate the relationship is over.

      The purpose of spying is to (confirm) one's suspicions.

      Assume you are correct!

      Unless you have a history of being paranoid or insure there is no reason for you to ignore your gut instinct.

      If something doesn't (feel right) to you it's probably not right for (you). Essentially the urge to play "private detective" is an ego exercise to be able to confront one's future ex with proof that they didn't outsmart you.

      If cheating or whatever it is you suspect he/she is doing is a "deal breaker" then move on. Life is too short to be running surveillance.

      Not many things are worse then getting caught snooping through someone's things. Suddenly they go from being a "suspected cheater" to you being seen as a paranoid insecure psycho "stalker"!

      Naturally they will tell all of their friends, family, and possible people in your inner circle about your antics of snooping through their phone, reading emails, following them around town, checking their browser history and Facebook page. Justifiably people are often scared people who creep around.

      In many ways snooping is the ultimate "passive aggressive" act. Instead of communicating what your feelings or thoughts are you pretend like you're happy and quietly look for proof to confirm what you suspect.

      If you don't trust someone you will never be "all in" in the relationship. You will always be "holding back". Needless to say it doesn't mean you should automatically trust everyone that comes along. Allow people time to (earn) your trust and if you still don't trust them move on. You have no reason to doubt yourself.

      Know yourself, Love yourself, Trust yourself!