LOVE Snooping/privacy boundaries

Deficient

New Member
Dec 22, 2010
105
Scotland
This is a recent issue for me (although it has happened with an ex as well) where my long distance bf had a bit of a skim through some of my msn chat logs while visiting me, then felt guilty and admitted to it, and confessed he's horribly insecure despite how faithful he knows and believes (and has now seen for himself) that I am, and asked if I can try to help him to not be so insecure bc he doesn't want to be "that guy".

That's the sparknotes on my situation. I've already decided how I'm dealing with it, but I'm curious about how others folks feel about this sort of thing or similar. Just a discussion thread rather than a "what do I do?" thread.


Are you sharing passwords and nothing's personal/private sort of folks? Or do you keep certain/most/all stuff to yourself?

Have you ever been snooped on? If so, how'd you react? If not, how do you think you'd react?


Both occasions I've been snooped on, two diff guys, they have looked at my chat logs and besides the obvious invasion of my privacy (not that I'm shedding tears over it this time, nothing to hide here) I feel it's an invasion of the privacy of the person with whom I was speaking on msn... i.e. my boyfriend is not part of the intended audience of those messages and some people share/discuss their personal matters with me and I doubt they were meaning for my bf to read these things. I think I have managed to drive that message home on both occasions but still, it's amazing how this never occurs to them?
 

peoplescar

my recent ex snooped my phone once because she was so insecure. i explained to her that what she read was being misinterpreted by her. she had told me she loved me and i wasn't ready to yet and was venting to a friend Jo Jo actually haha. people get insecure. after that she never did it again and we had no problems.

but those insecurites led to me not believing in her as a person and we eventually broke up pretty recently.
 

iwishyouwerebeer

you shut your cunt
Sep 1, 2006
31,941
I have always felt I have nothing to hide. Mr. Beer and I know each others passwords and whatnot, but I know he's not doing anything, and he knows I'm not doing anything, so snooping is pointless. However, I have been snooped in the past and even then I didn't care. Invasion of privacy? Meh, I never doing anything online that is worth being so private over :dunno:

If you care a lot about this guy then you are best off not being too harsh or judgmental, but instead try to notice his insecurities and when they are triggered. When you see them you can ease his fears by speaking up most of the time and having open honest conversations about how he feels about sometime in particular.
 

Subvert

New Member
Oct 5, 2010
310
My ex snooped on my emails and used past correspondance with boyfriends against me, he was a real jealous asshole. My current boyfriend sometimes goes through my phone but I don't really care, I have nothing to hide. I don't share my passwords because I'm quite sensitive about computer privacy, not for any particular reason other than historically I'm just like that. As for him I know his passwords and he thinks (wrongly but I'm not bothered) I sometimes check his facebook etc, but just like me he has nothing to hide.

Depends on why someone snoops, if it's just curiosity then meh fair enough but if you snoop yourself you should be mature enough to realise people have a right to privacy and you can't be affected or hurt by things that happened in the past.
 

Subvert

New Member
Oct 5, 2010
310
Also snooping can be way more painful than being snooped on. I went through a box of one of my ex's stuff and it was full of things from a past girlfriend and it really upset me at the time. I've learned just not to bother, it's not worth it and it's not worth putting yourself through it. You need to be reassured that the person is with you, nobody else, and there's reasons for all that.
 

deadmeat

OT Supporter
Aug 14, 2003
14,837
Lollifornia
Is it reasonable to feel that there's no reason to snoop until there's a reason? I have always been completely open with stuff, but the only time I felt compelled to look was the point at which my ex wife became ultra secretive with everything.
 

Subvert

New Member
Oct 5, 2010
310
Depends why they're snooping. If I wanted to make my s/o a surprise birthday party I wouldn't hesitate in logging onto his facebook and getting his good friends names from it. Often my boyfriend goes through my phone because I text people a lot for him and in the past I've not said the message right and he wants to make sure I did it properly.
 
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Deficient

New Member
Dec 22, 2010
105
Scotland
Is it reasonable to feel that there's no reason to snoop until there's a reason? I have always been completely open with stuff, but the only time I felt compelled to look was the point at which my ex wife became ultra secretive with everything.
I don't suppose everybody has a reason, or at least not a reason pertaining to their present relationship, but might still snoop. I suppose the classic example is the person who got cheated on/screwed over by a past partner, who then feels compelled to snoop to ease their (irrational) fears over their present partner. In that case, there's no reason... but there's a reason? If that makes sense.

If you care a lot about this guy then you are best off not being too harsh or judgmental, but instead try to notice his insecurities and when they are triggered. When you see them you can ease his fears by speaking up most of the time and having open honest conversations about how he feels about sometime in particular.

That's pretty much the approach I'm taking so I'm glad someone confirmed my thinking. I am open and honest (probably excessively so) and all he managed to find out during his snooping sesh is that I tell him just about everything anyway, and anything I don't tell him is either of no interest to him or not really his business (in the case of my friends' personal shit).

I've nothing to hide and we have each other's facebook passwords, he's welcome to log in and peruse but never has. I'm not really concerned over the "invasion of my privacy" as things stand, but I'd like to know that perhaps, if I were having issues with him for example, I can seek an outside opinion over msn without him reading that shit. That's an example I can think of where the privacy thing might be important to me. For now, I'm not too concerned, but I don't want to set a precedent where my chat logs are fair game, there's still the issue of the other participant in the conversations and their privacy.

The whole thing mainly upset me because I got to see a side of him I wasn't already familiar with and it just shocked me, since I had no idea he was insecure and that the distance was affecting him in this way. I was sad that he didn't feel like he could communicate it to me before all this. So hopefully some good will come out of it all in terms of him communicating his feelings, and me noticing when he's feeling insecure and doing what I can to help him with it.
 

THoC

Well-Known Member
Feb 5, 2007
7,349
ive never shared my pw w. any of my SOs bc its the same pw i use for everything. however, i leave my laptop open w. easy access to my emails/fb/etc...

i have nothing to hide. if she snoops it doesnt bother me. the only time it would is if she saw something "shady" bc she read it out of context and attacked me for it. if she simply asked i would explain and not be bothered at all.
 

D7

OT Supporter
Dec 20, 2008
6,406
My ex hubby and I shared passwords / used the same passwords so we had less to remember. I think its a must in a committed relationship.

The good news is that most snooping is caused by being younger and insecure. The other good news is that people who engage in this behavior after having a fair amount of dating experience throw up a red flag.

I've been "snooped" on a few times (mostly when I was younger) and its always been because they were dishonest and that caused them to be untrusting of me. If there was an actual problem they could have approached me and had a conversation about it. I don't have anything to hide from them :dunno: I've always had open online chat and verbal phone conversations with my friends in front of SOs, with my friend's knowledge, and the convos are always very frank and nothing held back.

Kind of a side note, I've been impressed with a few of my friends' relationships with their SOs where we've been chatting on the phone and a subject comes up where there are feelings involved and they can openly communicate with me in front of their SO without it being an issue. I consider those the best relationships :h5:
 

Falconer

Well-Known Member
Jun 23, 2006
65,535
Copied from my post in another thread:


Snooping is justified if you have suspicion and find something.

Of course, some people cannot live with the guilt of snooping, so it's a personal decision they have to make. Other people prefer truth over comfort.

I don't give a shit if my gf snoops. I have nothing to hide :dunno:

I know I'm in the vast, vast minority with this opinion. But at least I'm not hypocritical about it.

Falconer's Rules for Snooping:
- Don't snoop just to snoop
- Only snoop if you have suspicion (legit suspicion, not just boredom :rofl: )
- Don't be hypocritical. If you are snooping, your SO is probably snooping as well The moment you first look in their drawer/computer/whatever, you lose any and all right to get pissed if you find out they were snooping on you at any point in the future

But seriously, I don't give a shit :dunno:

In a way, snooping is almost commendable because it shows the person is doing their homework and doesn't just blindly trust. I prefer to date cynical women anyway rather than women who believe everything at face value. "Extended warranty? How can I lose!" :mamoru:

I guess I understand the "omg invasion of my privacy" aspect, but really, what are you hiding? We're not talking about random people looking through your shit; we're talking about an SO that you've spent years with and are considering spending the rest of your life with. What are you keeping from them?


IBhate
 

NCS

Active Member
Apr 2, 2002
5,674
i raise a red flag with all my girlfriends because NO ONE TOUCHES MY COMPUTER, AT ALL, EVER. when i am at home alone i lock with password out of habit.

however, i keep porn on my desktop (as in browse OT, oh she's hot, right click save as) and i'm not hiding anything. i am just completely anal about knowing every click that happens on the machine on which i work.

for this reason i have been snooped on. i never got really mad but i became very aware they gave me a "get out of jail free" card.

while i have been tempted once or twice to snoop - i never have. the underlying thought is "i prefer not to know"
 

Falconer

Well-Known Member
Jun 23, 2006
65,535
I keep all my work and business stuff on my computer. No one touches it either, without asking me first.

That being said, I assume if my gf is at my place alone that she's looking through my computer :dunno: But I only expect it to happen once, since she wouldn't find anything, and therefore reaffirm trust. And that being said, I have nothing to hide so I don't care.

I'd prefer if she asked first (just so I can watch and make sure she doesn't delete any proprietary business data or anything), and I'd have no problem saying "sure, look through my computer." Or my phone. Or my desk drawers. Whatever :dunno:

And I expect the same from her with no hypocrisy or double standards.

This becomes more and more true as the relationship goes on and becomes more serious. If you're with a serious LTR and you're hiding anything, you're probably an idiot.
 

JBunni

New Member
Apr 15, 2009
1,021
east of here
My husband and I share a computer and pretty much know each others passwords, so there really isnt a lot of snooping to do. We leave our facebook pages open when we're done, which is really more annoying haha, having to log out of his and then back into mine every morning.

We both have access to each others phones whenever we want.

We just dont really have anything personal/private. I used to have a private journal that just helped keep track of my thoughts, but now I tell him most of what I would write down, anyway.
 
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Deficient

New Member
Dec 22, 2010
105
Scotland
Kind of a side note, I've been impressed with a few of my friends' relationships with their SOs where we've been chatting on the phone and a subject comes up where there are feelings involved and they can openly communicate with me in front of their SO without it being an issue. I consider those the best relationships :h5:
This is a fair point, actually.

Having said that, I recall the previous guy who snooped on me, he wasn't snooping out of paranoia, instead it was because I had to put an msn convo of ours on hold one time for 30 mins while I dealt with a friend having a major crisis of the mental health sort, which he was very sensitive about, wary of people knowing about and had confided in me about in confidence. In other words, none of then bf's business. Then bf later snooped the convo to satisfy his curiosity on what my friend's situation had been. Just gross, no? He had no right to do that and I can't imagine why anybody would disagree? The funny part was, while snooping for my friend's personal info he picked up some unpleasant info about me, which is probably the only reason I got to find out he snooped.

Since nobody I speak to on msn knows my bf personally, I will assume they would prefer he not know about their personal info unless he strikes up a friendship with them or they ask me to pass something along specifically. It's not for me to decide.

But it's not like I'd be closing live chats or hanging up phone calls if my bf walked into the room. I just mean, it seems a bit much to read through whole chat transcripts when you're not meant to be party to the chat. It'd be a bit like him secretly picking up the other phone handset in another room and listening to a phone call of mine without me or the other person knowing. Just a bit off imo.
 

deadmeat

OT Supporter
Aug 14, 2003
14,837
Lollifornia
There's a difference between satisfying a curiosity and mistrust at that point. If he's just being curious then there's no "need" to snoop. It's 'not your business' not 'not your business because I'm pulling some dick on the side'.

Also in regards to the previous comment about people who have been cheated on in the past... I would hope that I would feel less inclined to want to snoop because I intend to go out of my way to try to dins someone who feels the same way about cheating.
 
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Deficient

New Member
Dec 22, 2010
105
Scotland
What about something that's maybe inbetween, beyond curiosity but not quite mistrust?

This time around I think I kind of invited the snooping with my own honesty.

I went out for drinks with a couple of friends, one of which propositioned me while drunk and continued propositioning me later after we both got home and caught each other on msn. I told my bf this, bc I'm open and honest and telling him stuff is what I do.

No prizes for guessing whose chats he perused.

I think I understand his desire to look and see for himself what went on. All he saw was that I reported things exactly as they happened.

I worry a tiny bit that he might be a well-concealed psycho jealous guy but then it's not like he's just plucking ideas of shit to get paranoid about out of the air and being completely irrational. And he has never made any attempt to dictate who I spend time with or what I do. So he's surely fine?
 

Viper

Livin' la vida scrotum
Sep 22, 2004
76,571
In a van down by the river
I went out for drinks with a couple of friends, one of which propositioned me while drunk and continued propositioning me later after we both got home and caught each other on msn. I told my bf this, bc I'm open and honest and telling him stuff is what I do.

Here's the part that didn't add up to me. To me, it would seem that if he was propositioning you while you were out with your friends, then why would you go home and get on MSN with him that same night, knowing he was still drunk?

In this case, I think all you see is how honest you were about it, and perhaps what your boyfriend thinks/feels is that you were *trying* to make him jealous.

And that may not have been your intent at all. It just seems, logically (which is how he probably thinks), that if you got propositioned by this guy earlier, then why the heck would you go home and continue a conversation with him? A conversation that inevitably led to him propositioning you more (and that is probably logically perceived by the drunk guy as you having interest in him and playing hard to get).

Like I said, I'm not saying that's what happened or that was your goal. I'm just offering one possible interpretation that might've been had by your boyfriend when he thinks logically about it.

It's little, subtle things like this that make the difference in building trust in a relationship. And with that, you added just the slightest hint of mistrust to the relationship (and you probably didn't even realize you were doing it). And yet, if he were to call you on it, you have an out: you SHOWED him the conversation, so what do you have to hide? So, in that sense, you add just a little hint of confusion there...just a little (possible) chink to the trust that's between you.
 
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Deficient

New Member
Dec 22, 2010
105
Scotland
Here's the part that didn't add up to me. To me, it would seem that if he was propositioning you while you were out with your friends, then why would you go home and get on MSN with him that same night, knowing he was still drunk?

You're making a fairly giant leap by saying I got on msn specifically to talk to that guy?

I signed in to msn to talk to my (as mentioned, long distance) bf whose primary mode of communication with me is msn. Who I had not spoken to that day due to having been out at a bar with my friends. Who I promised to chat to once I got home.

The other guy arrived online later once I was well into a convo with my bf, saw me online and initiated a chat. Foolishly I didn't just ignore him, and he continued with his shit. I knocked him back again, and told bf what happened shortly thereafter.

Am I just supposed to not tell my bf what happened? What is the protocol in this situation?
 

Viper

Livin' la vida scrotum
Sep 22, 2004
76,571
In a van down by the river
You're making a fairly giant leap by saying I got on msn specifically to talk to that guy?

I signed in to msn to talk to my (as mentioned, long distance) bf whose primary mode of communication with me is msn. Who I had not spoken to that day due to having been out at a bar with my friends. Who I promised to chat to once I got home.

The other guy arrived online later once I was well into a convo with my bf, saw me online and initiated a chat. Foolishly I didn't just ignore him, and he continued with his shit. I knocked him back again, and told bf what happened shortly thereafter.

Am I just supposed to not tell my bf what happened? What is the protocol in this situation?

Remember, I'm not assessing the situation. I'm offering one possible interpretation he may have made from it (and you know? I could be wrong with that...I'm just throwing out how it could be more than just "he's psycho jealous" and offering you a logical thought process that he mimght be having).

My big point here is:

It doesn't matter what you DID, and it doesn't even matter what your explanation/defense for it is so much, as it matters what HIS interpretation of what you did is.

And that's not to invalidate you. I'm offering that as something to consider if your aim here is to understand.

If you're trying to understand, and you want to effectively work through the situation, then it's far more important for you to understand your partner's reasoning behind it (to truly understand it that is), than it is for you to communicate your reasons for doing it.

Or, to say it another way (and this is something I liked in Stephen Covey's materail): Seek first to understand, then to be understood. And I've tried that, and it's amazingly effective. I can't get over how much smoother a conversation goes, and how much quicker it gets resolved, when I suspend my need to defend my point of view for a few minutes and take the time to understand the other person's viewpoint.

Otherwise, you'll just wind up talking at each other, rather than to each other.
 
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Deficient

New Member
Dec 22, 2010
105
Scotland
No worries, I just wanted to quickly knock on the head the notion that I may have invited or encouraged my friend's sexual advances. Not that it matters to you of course, really it matters to bf. ;)

But yes, that all makes perfect sense and I see what you're driving at here as far as understanding the thought process that drove him to anxiety and insecurity in this instance. And it's a little hard to take that I pretty much caused the situation, even though it's patently obvious that I did, because I would never want him to feel upset or insecure on my account. Quite seriously, I'll put the question out to all, what is the protocol for telling your partner you got hit on? Does it vary depending on if they are insecure? Guide me here, I've never dealt with someone who is open about feeling this way??

TBH, I don't really think he's a psycho or even jealous, I was being a little flippant there, but I can't really say for sure what's going on with him until we have the serious chat we mean to have and assess how serious his insecurities are and really dig into it all. At the moment, the fact that he is insecure at all is news to me, yanno?

That was a helpful response, though. Thanks.
 

Viper

Livin' la vida scrotum
Sep 22, 2004
76,571
In a van down by the river
No worries, I just wanted to quickly knock on the head the notion that I may have invited or encouraged my friend's sexual advances. Not that it matters to you of course, really it matters to bf. ;)

But yes, that all makes perfect sense and I see what you're driving at here as far as understanding the thought process that drove him to anxiety and insecurity in this instance. And it's a little hard to take that I pretty much caused the situation, even though it's patently obvious that I did, because I would never want him to feel upset or insecure on my account. Quite seriously, I'll put the question out to all, what is the protocol for telling your partner you got hit on? Does it vary depending on if they are insecure? Guide me here, I've never dealt with someone who is open about feeling this way??

TBH, I don't really think he's a psycho or even jealous, I was being a little flippant there, but I can't really say for sure what's going on with him until we have the serious chat we mean to have and assess how serious his insecurities are and really dig into it all. At the moment, the fact that he is insecure at all is news to me, yanno?

That was a helpful response, though. Thanks.

You're welcome.

And yeah, I too hate it when I see how I caused a situation that is giving me grief. But there's a silver lining in that cloud in that when I *do* see it (no matter how much like "eating crow" or "swallowing pride" it feels like it) clearly, I then am able to see that I have the power to change (or influence) it for the better if I want. Like, you gotta see the hard truths about yourself before you can move beyond them and make your situation something different than it is right now.

Anyways, it'll be interesting to see how your situation pans out if you have a discussion like that.
 

D7

OT Supporter
Dec 20, 2008
6,406
...I worry a tiny bit that he might be a well-concealed psycho jealous guy but then it's not like he's just plucking ideas of shit to get paranoid about out of the air and being completely irrational. And he has never made any attempt to dictate who I spend time with or what I do. So he's surely fine?

I wouldn't worry too much about that, assuming he's in his mid to early 20's. Guys that age are insecure about themselves in general. They have a Keeping Up With The Joneses mentality. The first thing they notice about any other man is what he could possibly offer his gf and thinks his gf also not only notices these qualities but also desires them. Typicaly knucklehead behavior; I think like this therefore my girl thinks like this. We all know men and women think the same, right? They grow out of this unless they are truly a psycho jealous guy at heart.

...Am I just supposed to not tell my bf what happened? What is the protocol in this situation?

You can't win, pass the beer nuts. But seriously, I've played that both ways with the same guy (my bf at the time) and nothing I did was satisfactory :ugh2: Now you can talk to him and ask him how that works for him and if you get a clear cut answer then follow that but he'll probably still act like someone pissed in his Cheerios.
 

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