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Why do Some People Snoop on Their Relationship Partners

If you’ve ever considered snooping on your partner’s mobile phone, laptop, iPad, or another device, you’re certainly not alone. A 2019 survey by the Pew Research Center found that 34% of Americans had looked through their current partner’s mobile phone without their knowledge.

When struggling with jealousy or trust in your relationship, the thought of taking a quick peek into your partner’s digital life may have crossed your mind. The question is, what impact can this have on your relationship?


This guide will examine the different reasons partners snoop in their relationship. It will weigh the significance of this action, plus advice on spying in a relationship.


Why Do Partners Snoop in Relationships

To answer this question, it’s necessary to break down the process of spying on your partner. First, a partner will entertain doubts about possible distrustful or illegal activities their significant other might be engaged in.


If you feel the urge to snoop on your partner, some of the following may be true about your relationship.


There Is a Lack of Trust

Trust is a non-negotiable element for relationships to thrive. A study of young couples found that trust in relationships not only encouraged faithfulness and vulnerability—it also promoted emotional intimacy.


When trust is lacking on one or both fronts, doubt may cloud innocent statements or promises made by a partner. Changing behaviours on their front can set off warning signs that spark suspicion.

In these scenarios, reaching for their phones or other devices/means becomes necessary to get to the root of these doubts.


There Are Suspicions of Infidelity

If you observe that your partner is keeping a distance from you, or is more engrossed than normal on their devices—this can be troubling to your mind.


On one hand, there is the chance you are overthinking the possible behaviour change. Because cheating allegations can be dicey, keeping such thoughts inside can seem like the best choice. On the other hand, a simple, confrontation-free way to allay fears is to have a quick look at things for yourself without your partner knowing.


While these are valid, insecurity, doubt, and jealousy fan the flames that encourage spying in relationships. These are not traits of a healthy relationship.

Partners Shy Away From Hard Conversations

When partners struggle with open communication and vulnerability, this leaves room to sidestep these two barriers by any means necessary.


If your partner is unwilling to speak about a disappointment suffered during the week, you’re likely to go in search of their phone for answers. The same goes when looking to make sense of a growing distance from your loved one, etc.

When partners are unable to speak honestly about their present feelings, there is ample opportunity for negative influences to set in.


Is It OK to Snoop on Your Partner?

When participants in a survey were asked this question, 42% responded that it was never OK to do so. Twenty-eight per cent of the men and women respondents, however, believed certain rare situations called for partners to snoop in on their loved one’s affairs.


Snooping into your partner’s private affairs is a direct breach of their privacy. Unless you and your partner have prior agreements to freely go through the other’s devices—looking through their pictures, messages, email, and other means of communication can count as a breach of trust.


It also doesn’t help that snooping may produce one of three outcomes. First, nothing is found, leaving you saddled with the guilt of invading your partner’s privacy. Second, something is discovered through improper means. This will raise questions about how you learned that information. Third, your partner finds out that you snooped and they feel that their privacy has been violated.

Spying on your partner is likely to bring more harm than good because it encourages secrecy and distrust


between partners.



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