Is eavesdropping in your significant other’s email account okay? Simply put, no. You should never give your significant other the password to your email address, nor should they expect to have yours.
Is this because you shouldn’t trust each other? No. In relationships, you need to be able to value your own privacy and to respect each other’s privacy. You need to have complete trust in each other.
Why is it inadvisable to share your email passwords with your significant other? Imagine this scenario: A woman innocently gives her boyfriend the password to her email account so he can check on something for her when she isn’t able to access a computer to do it herself. She doesn’t bother to change her password afterwards, and he remembers his girlfriend’s password.
At some point later on, he feels suspicious that she’s flirting with another guy. So what’s the first thing he does? Of course, he checks her email. He might even try the password on other online accounts of hers. He may not find anything, but once he eavesdrops, he gets into the habit of checking her email. He may even become obsessed, or worse, addicted to this behavior. He knows it’s wrong, but he can’t help using this “advantage” to keep a virtual eye on his girlfriend.
If his girlfriend ever found out, he’d be embarrassed and ashamed of his behavior, but he can no longer help giving in to the tempttation to continue checking her email. In a way, he may feel that as long as she doesn’t know he’s checking her emails, it’s okay for him to do it.
Should a Relationship Like This Continue?
Scenarios like the one described above happen frequently.
I often give advice on long-distance relationships both online and off. I’ve come across many eavesdroppers along the way. Most of them are genuinely good people that innocently acquired their significant other’s password. If your significant other gave you their password, would you feel tempted to go read their emails? Even if you didn’t have a reason to be suspicious?
Once most habitual eavesdroppers start, they aren’t able to stop. That’s why people should not share their passwords with anybody, not even their significant other.
What if you’re an eavesdropper, and you stumble across something to indicate that your significant other isn’t being truthful, or is communicating with somebody they shouldn’t be, or worst of all, is cheating? My advice is to confront them. If you have evidence of their wrongdoing, let them know that you know. Don’t keep silent in an effort to keep your eavesdropping a secret.
In this scenario, your relationship has trust and honesty issues. If you hope to save the relationship, you need to get everything out in the open. Relationships can’t survive if they include dishonesty, distrust, and secrecy. You’re both guilty of wrongdoing. Take the opportunity to get everything out in the open and to make things right again.
Eavesdropping is an Addiction
Even if you didn’t dig up dirt when you eavesdropped, you need to stop doing it. This can be difficult if you still have your significant other’s password, especially if something happens to give you the urge to check.
If you’re eavesdropping, you’re having issues with trust. There’s no better time than now for you to start working on learning how you can trust again. As with any behavior that’s addictive, the only way to overcome that addiction is to remove yourself from temptation. Change your behavior as soon as possible. Let your significant other know about your eavesdropping, so he or she can change the password and remove your temptation.
As long as you have the password, you’ll be dealing with that temptation. If they have nothing to hide from you, they could take it well, or they’ll be upset that you couldn’t trust them. Either way, they’ll want you to trust them, so they should be willing to work on your trust issues with you.
Tempted to Eavesdrop?
If you aren’t eavesdropping and are reading this to find out if snooping is justifiable or ever okay, the answer is still a resounding no. If you feel like you need to find out something out, the only proper way to do so is simply to ask. This is true even if you feel suspicious that your significant other is up to no good\.
Eavesdropping is a sign that your relationship involves trust issues and poor communication. Generally, people who come to me seeking advice on long-distance relationships are experiencing problems occurring due to poor communication.
Couples generally avoid discussing their own personal concerns because they fear they’ll rock the boat. They’re afraid to ask the questions that have been creeping into their thoughts, like “Are you cheating? They resort to eavesdropping to discover the truth. But how good is evidence that you can’t use? You don’t want your partner to know that you’ve been eavesdropping.
The best thing to do is to bring up issues. Talk things out and ask questions when you need to. Staying quiet and letting the issues overcome your relationship without saying anything will not benefit your relationship.