Image by milena mihaylova
I’m just going to rip off the metaphorical waxing strip early on so we can shake a tail and move on to a less preachy, more chortley type of a read. Spousal spying is, on the whole, a sign of bad times. Whether questionable behaviour has given rise to uncomfortable suspicions or your noggin is suffering from fractured self-esteem, leading you to mistrust, misjudge and misbehave, there’s no getting away from the fact that to spy is to take a steep step up a one-way staircase.
Even if a bit of gentle snooping seems harmless and reassuring, it’s unlikely your partner will see it that way, particularly if it becomes a common occurrence.
What are the risks?
It’s a snowball of a slippery slope of a wafer thin tightrope of a conundrum. A gentle nose around can turn into a sleuth-like snoop and, before you know it, you’re relationship is at risk whether you find evidence of foul play or not.
Always the first casualty, without exception. Whether reading someone’s diary, browsing through their emails or snatching their phone the minute they leave the room, there are very few legitimate excuses if you get caught.
If you don’t find any cause for concern then you are in the doghouse and at the mercy of your partner’s forgiveness. If you strongly suspect your partner of wrongdoing and are simply going after the evidence, this would imply that you trust them about as much as you would a cat babysitting a goldfish. As far as unpleasant catch 22s go, it’s a corker.
Spying On The Spy
It’s an addictive sport; go to any forum and you’ll hear stories of how occasionally checking through your partner’s phone quickly becomes a habit. From there it’s a short leap to hacking their mobile with a SIM card reader.
I have a friend who started by reading her husband’s diary and, before long, didn’t bat an eyelid as she popped a GPS tracker in his van so she could keep an eye on his whereabouts, constantly. In her case, she vows it has nothing to do with trust; it’s about control. But if your self-esteem, security in your relationship or peace of mind relies on these time-consuming, all-consuming habits, it’s a symptom that you’re either with the wrong person or you could greatly benefit by pouring that energy into improving your own self-regard.
There may be some occasions where the violation of trust is a price worth paying. Legal considerations following the breakdown of a marriage, suspicion of unlawful or dangerous activity or simply an emotional need to bring resolution to an unhappy situation may require cold, hard evidence.
Whether you’ve assessed your situation and decided with open eyes that the ends justify the means or you simply can’t curb an insatiable appetite for nosiness (and darn the consequences!), if you’re going to do it, you may as well do it right.
Take a glance at the web browsing history of your partner’s laptop: it can be dull as a brush or illuminating in the extreme.
Popular social media sites have done amateur spies the great service of adding check-ins to status updates. Not sure your partner is where they say they are? It’s easy to catch them out using Stalkboo… erm, I mean Facebook.
A quick search engine goggle will produce reams of sites offering services from web-monitoring software to phone-hacking practices.
Bugs, Cameras & Teddycam
If you have the money and are committed to your spying cause, bugs or audio listening devices are freely available online. But, again, beyond bugging your own phone, be aware that there are legal implications to your sleuthing.
Readily available and designed for stealth, tiny spy cameras can be hidden in anything from your alarm clock to your wardrobe to supply you with the evidence you’re looking for.
So, before you turn your favourite stuffed toy into a Teddycam, consider why it is you need to seek answers this way. Only once the tough questions have been asked and you have a full understanding of why you’re about to delve into the dark arts of spousal spying, should playing Spook become a pastime.
Do you have experience of launching your very own covert mission on your partner’s privacy? Share your best spying stories with us.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Claire Hovey is a writer and blogger with a list of foibles long enough to be measured in furlongs. By far her biggest is her insecurity and she has often been tempted to wade into the email inbox of her other half. She writes for Fly on the Wall.