Searching For What You Don’t Want to Find
It’s a natural reaction.
Perhaps your partner has done something that makes you question their fidelity and you feel compelled to search their phone for confirmation.
Or maybe the lack of trust comes not from this relationship but a previous one and you’re determined to never be cheated on again.
You’re not proud of your reaction, yet you justify it. After all, if they are cheating, a little investigative work will pay off and if they have nothing to hide a little snooping doesn’t matter.
Or does it?
Apart from the moral ambiguities of snooping on your partner, searching for evidence of their misbehavior also hurts you. Here’s how:
We tend to find what we expect to see. If your fears have already convinced you that infidelity is occurring, you are more likely to conclude that anything you find is evidence that supports your belief.
It’s a strange place to be. On the one hand, you’re praying that you don’t find anything and that your suspicions are misplaced and everything is okay. Yet on the other hand, you want validation that your intuition is correct.
Snooping leads to anxiety for two reasons. First, you know on some level that what you’re doing is wrong. There may be a sense of guilt and a concern of getting caught. Secondly, you’re living in a state of limbo. Before you find anything, it’s as though your partner is both cheating and faithful. And that uncertainty is both all-consuming and crazy-making.
Atmosphere of Distrust
It’s difficult to be a loving and present partner when you’re focused on trying to find what your significant other is doing wrong. As your partner picks up on this energy, an atmosphere of distrust begins to grow. And here’s the hard part – even if your partner HAS been faithful, if they feel like they’re constantly accused of cheating, they may decide that they might as well do it.
Is it possible to find evidence that proves – without a shadow of a doubt – that your partner is faithful?
Does monitoring their activity have some sort of protective power against cheating?
Will continually looking for signs of infidelity bring you any sort of peace, functioning as sort of a credit monitoring service?
So if snooping can’t prove fidelity, can’t prevent cheating and doesn’t make you feel any better, why do it?