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stop-before-snoopingAs someone who felt the sting of infidelity and ended up deciding to file for divorce as a result, I know how tempting it can be to snoop. But before you make that decision, stop what you’re doing and rethink your next steps. Snooping can actually make matters worse because it’s a form of self-torture. Here are the primary drivers that make snooping on your significant other’s phone or email a bad idea.

1. You may not like what you find.

But, you may be saying, isn’t that the point — to catch my partner in a lie so there will be some justification for whatever I decide to do next? No. That’s not it at all. If you’re looking for evidence that there is something off about your significant other, everything you need to know is probably right there in front of you. Trust your gut on things. If there is an instinct that something is wrong in the relationship and your spouse or SO is being less than forthright, level with them. Have the difficult conversation and address your fears. When you start playing private investigator, you put yourself in the situation of discovering the affair firsthand. However difficult it may seem having that conversation and finding out in a more open way, it’ll feel that much worse when you actually see the texts and the emails that are being sent behind your back. Take pride in who you are as a person, and don’t stoop to their level.

2. It creates an addiction.

Addiction of any kind is seldom a good thing. If you decide to snoop prior to filing divorce papers, then it’s likely that behavior will continue with other relationships in the future. Voyeurism and obsession are not good qualities for a healthy relationship, and if you’ve learned anything at all from surviving infidelity, then the next person you date will deserve more respect than you going through their texts and emails while they’re in the restroom.

3. You could actually be breaking the law.

Consider, for a moment, that your significant other or spouse is a doctor or nurse. Opening up their private information could mean that you come into contact with confidential medical records. Accessing these records could mean you’re breaking the law, and that leads to a whole new set of problems.

In Summary

If you’re worried that your spouse or SO is cheating, stop beating around the bush and confront them about it. Do so in a non-accusatory manner and wait for their reaction. Don’t do anything that will compromise your own integrity, or put others in jeopardy. If your worst fears are confirmed, then you’ll know whether to file the divorce forms or work through your marital issues. If your spouse isn’t cheating, then they’re liable to resent the implication, but it will at least shine a light on what’s going wrong with your marriage.

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