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If you are in a relationship, is it okay to snoop around on your partner’s phone?  A new study shares that looking at your spouse’s or boyfriend/girlfriend’s phone without their knowledge can often lead to the end of the relationship.

Interestingly enough, in some cases, snooping on a partner’s phone actually created a stronger bond.  Researchers say that couples who were able to get past the loss of trust tended to have a “stronger foundation and friendship between them.”  And the person who found their partner looking on their phone, often saw the value of working past the incident and allowing their significant other to have greater access to their phone.

As a therapist, I am not a big fan of invading someone else’s privacy without their knowledge.  At the same time, if a person has nothing to hide, then openness and transparency shouldn’t be an issue.  Furthermore, if one lacks trust or is suspicious of their partner and feels the need to snoop on their phone, that should be a red flag.

Ideally, a person should have no trouble with their loved one looking at their phone … and at the same time, ideally there is enough trust in a relationship that one doesn’t feel the need to have to check their partner’s phone.

One additional thought, as I counsel couples where trust has been broken (like infidelity), I do advise them to allow their partner to have access to their phones (or tablets, laptops, etc.).  Trust isn’t easily repaired.  If a person is genuine about wanting gain back trust in their relationship, then being transparent with their phone and online activities is an important first step in building back trust.

The good news is, like the study shares, it is not only possible for couples to work past broken trust issues, but it’s possible to have an even stronger relationship moving forward.


*Eric Allen has his Masters in Counseling.  When he is not on the radio, he works as a private practice counselor.*

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Antonio Guillem


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