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Wise Guys: Do Men Snoop On Their Partners?

Tue, Jan 12, 2010

Advice, Wise Guys


photo by Ollie_Crafoord

Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the following: Do men snoop on their partners? (E.g. reading their texts or emails when they’re in the shower, listening in on phone calls, etc.)

colin_adamo_100Straight Single Guy (Colin Adamo): Unless it’s an emergency situation, we just don’t want to know. For most men, ignorance is bliss. We’ve got so many more interesting things to do with our time (with inventions like XBox, internet porn, and fantasy football) that digging through your dirt to discover something juicy would just be a distraction. If we have serious suspicions we might snoop as a last resort — so if you catch your man red-handed you know something is up and it’s time to have a conversation.

terence_100Gay Committed Guy (Terence): To paraphrase the wise sage Whitney Houston: “If six of y’all went out, then four of you were really cheap — ’cause I found your credit card receipt.” Hey, I do the laundry around here, so it’s a completely plausible scenario in my home. I don’t want any gum left in his pockets accidentally mucking up the washing machine, ya know? But it wasn’t until nine years into our relationship that I snooped through his cellphone, and I only did it because of some relationship insecurities. After discovering a whole lotta stuff I didn’t want or need to know, I then got to feel more insecure. So I’m sure men snoop, but does it help? Nope. Does it make a situation worse, crank up the distrust, and create an environment of deception? You betcha. My advice, let karma run its course. It’ll all wash out in the end.


anonymous_suitStraight Married Guy (Matt): I feel like most of the stories I’ve heard from friends involve the woman snooping on her partner, but I’m sure plenty of men snoop, too. I’ve snooped in partners’ emails twice. One time the girl had cheated and I confirmed my suspicions, and the other time a different girlfriend had written some emails to an ex that were sexually inappropriate… so while it wasn’t technically cheating, I felt at least the tiniest bit justified in my snooping. It’s a shameful business, and my feeling is you deserve what you find — which is why I made a deal with myself not to snoop after the last incident caused a major fight and left me feeling really shitty about both my partner and myself for quite a while.

Our “guys” are a rotating group of contributors. Colin Adamo is an undergrad at Yale University where he directs the biennial Sex Week at Yale; the other two are a little shy. To ask the guys your own question, click here.

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10 Responses to “Wise Guys: Do Men Snoop On Their Partners?”

  1. Johnny Says:

    Bit of a broad question… it’s like asking “Do men cheat?” Some men do, some men don’t, some women do, some women don’t.

    I dumped my GF hard and fast for snooping on me a few months back.

    Two words: inadmissible evidence. I will not even discuss whatever a woman may find if she snoops on me. I immediately shut the discussion down and break up. Even if she makes her way back into my life, she will never, ever get closure from me regarding what what she saw. That’s my default policy on snooping: inadmissible evidence. You don’t even have the right to mention it to me.

  2. Spes Says:

    My current husband wouldn’t bother snooping on me. He seems to have more of the mentality of Colin. However, my ex-husband snooped through my cell phone and actually called some of the numbers to confirm that they matched the name assigned to them–creeeeepy.

  3. Madamoiselle L Says:

    My Man and I have Trust in each other. I don’t snoop on him, never go through his wallet, e mails, etc, and he leaves my stuff alone.

    I have a couple of times looked at his history list, but he had referred to some, er, videos that he watched alone on the net, and wanted me to see them. He didn’t know how Mozilla “History” worked, or the name of the site where he saw them, so I viewed the videos and showed him how to view the history later. But, that was with consent, and for something he WANTED me to see. Not snooping.

    I think Trust is something a couple NEEDS to build. Snooping is just so……insecure and needy and often brings up things that are seen as having more impact on the relationship, when in reality most are just innocent things.

    I think if you DISTRUST your partner enough, either get some counseling, to help YOU get over your insecurity and trust issues, or if you have “enough” information something bad is going on, get out. What good is “proof” going to do, if the damage is already done? And IMO, if you have to snoop, the damage is already done.

  4. amo45 Says:

    Yes! they do and unfortunately just as women do they make things up from little pieces of what they THINK they find sad yes,but true.I’ve cared deeply for men who because of their own insecurities didn’t trust me.

  5. His Baby Mama Says:

    My baby daddy snoops on me all the time. He imagines in his own head that I would cheat on him. I love this dude so much but all he does is cause me stress that is not needed. Once he placed a tape recorder in our bedroom…of course nothing was on there but in his head he heard a male’s voice (must have been the t.v.)…and violated is what I now feel..the feeling stays rather he is here or not….this has been over a year and the accusing of cheating has still continously comes up…the other snooping is of my phone…and personal belongings. He says I have skeletons in the closet but it is him with the dark past (but i am not concerned of it- i want to focus on the now and the future). After the tape recording incident he proposed ….but how is it possible for us to wed IF HIS CRAZY ASS DOES NOT TRUST ME!? I am coming to the point where I do not think he loves me. How can you not trust someone and in the same sentence you say I LOVE YOU?!!

  6. Michelle Says:

    My boyfriend snoops to find dirt on me constantly. I’ve asked him about it several times and he’s admitted that he doesn’t fully trust me. I don’t have anything to hide and I’m not exactly an open book so it doesn’t really bother me at the moment but what happens if this never goes away? He left the house (yes we live together amazingly) and I used his laptop which he left running. What I found left me almost speechless: instructions on how to clone a sim card… WTF

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  9. Kim Says:

    My current boyfriend emailed my X boyfriend from 5 years back. My current BF created a fake profile of a woman, contacted my X saying she (he) was new to the area and was looking for friends. My X took the bate and my current was digging to find out about my past sexual experiens with him. I just ended the relationship yesterday….psych!

  10. Taylor Says:

    My now ex girlfriend was and still is addicted to snooping through my emails, phone, internet history, everything she could find.

    After we broke up she is over here packing her things and googling all of the numbers on the caller id on my landline. I changed all my passwords a while ago to try to get her to kick the habit but that only made things between us worse, like i now had something horrible to hide when i told her straight up i was fed up with her snooping and demanding to know answers about google searches i did drunk when i was alone on my boat at 4am (i sleep on my boat its parked out of town).

    As far as i am concerned any partner girl or guy who snoops should get the boot immediately. Its more trouble than its worth and the problem is theirs with their trust issues not yours for what they find that they dont like. I never cheated on my girlfriend she never found anything like that.

    The reality is that everyone has a private life that will show up in their history whether its porn, being drunk and looking up hookers but not hiring them, looking at a dating site or reading articles about weird stuff or having secret fantasies. No matter what it is it is PRIVATE for a reason. Actions count, internet history trails dont.

    I only learned she snooped once a long time ago and once a few months ago, but now i figure that she was probably snooping every night when i was asleep and only confronted me when she found stuff she didnt like. I was with her for almost 4 years. Thats an awful lot of snooping and turning up empty but continuing to do it.

    People who do this are crazy and will drive you to cheat. My now ex certainly did. I was craving the attention of other women because of her brooding – i never went looking for it – the obsessive snooper will show his/her true colors in ways that will damage the relationship even if you dont catch them.

    This is because your communication will break down. They will not be engaged in healthy conversations with you. Of course, why bother straight up asking you anything when while you sleep they can get the “real” goods? Everything you say they have their doubts and will double check later. They will brood about things and silently fume when the evidence is too inconclusive for them to outright confront you.

    I have learned my lesson. Catch them snooping even once, break up with them and move on. Not worth the hassle because even if your nose is clean it will only send them digging deeper.


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