Good Wednesday to all of you!

We get a lot of emails and comments through this site, and one of the things that we noticed is that many of you “spy” on your cheating spouses in order to catch them in the act. So along that line, here are this week’s discussion questions:

First of all, should you spy on your spouse in the first place? Why or why not? If you do spy, how do you do it? If you do not spy, how do you really know that your spouse is being honest with you?

Please feel free to share any of your “spying” escapades either in the comment section or the Forum.

As always, please reply to each other in the comments. Each person leaving a comment is not an isolated incident. Also, don’t forget to utilize the forum!

Thanks again!

Doug & Linda

    28 replies to "Open Discussion: Should You Spy on Your Spouse?"

    • michael

      At first, every one wants to regain their control of the situation. That first out of control feeling is the worst.

      Some will do it by cutting ties. If there is little to tie you together this may work.
      Some will search and discover because their scared of loosing all the things that hold them together. But ultimately they want some sort of control back. They want to know if there is anything that may keep them together.
      Some will search and search because they want a reason to cut their ties. Search for a way to say “see this is why we shouldn’t be together”. And it will help them move on to what will make them happy. Because they too have been unhappy.

      Ultimately its to regain control.

      Either way, looking for more or not looking for more you will probably never know the full truth.
      Can you ever believe what your spouse is telling you to be the full truth. NO. No one gives everything to anyone. With or without the affair. Before or after an affair. No person tells anyone 100% of the truth when it comes to matters of the heart.
      Its to high of an expectation to have for any person. Including your spouse. To expect that is to set yourself up for more unhappiness.

      • admin

        Michael, you bring up a good point about how we are all guarded when it comes to matters of the heart. So you are saying that many spy in order to regain control? I can agree with that. Do you think that we should all hook our spouses up to lie detector devices, have their phones bugged and computer monitored in order to regain that control?

        • michael

          Well that opens up a whole lot of issues. No I don’t think we should demand 100% truth from anyone. IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN. Even with all those suggested ways, you will never know what they think inside. And you can’t ask questions about what you don’t know.

          On the flip side of that do you really want you’re spouse to know every dark hidden secret. Anyone that says they have no secrets at all is lieing. We all keep something to ourselves.

          It can be as little as picking your nose to catching a friend cheating on their spouse. From thinking “wow your best friend is hot”- to “I didn’t know your best friend was the girl I slept with last week at the party”

          What really matters is what you do with what you feel. This affair has, unfortunately, brought up feelings I had gotten over long ago. And now I question whether or not I should have done something when I chose not to so long ago. It brings up feelings that I thought I got over long ago that I now struggle with doing something about.

          Its what you decide to do with those feelings that determines who you are.

          • admin

            Well put as always, Michael. I imagine there is a point where there are things you don’t want to know even if you could.

            • michael

              I told her today that I need things like the when, where, and why’s of things. Not all the what’s of it. Or as my friend says. The gory details.
              Good news. She took a step towards healing today. She told me quite a bit of stuff in general about the affair and told me something I didn’t know before. I am ok with it because she told me and I didn’t have to find it on my own when I least expect it. it will be easier to deal with out in the open.

            • Doug

              Michael, That is very good news. Now that she seems a little more open to discussing things that should help your recovery (and hers). Keep us updated please!

    • Duane

      I didn’t suspect a thing for 18 months so I never spied. Afterward though I went through emails, phone bills, phone messages, everything trying to piece together where I was during that time. I also needed to check her journal and emails for any sign of where her head was at. I felt it was awful to do that, and yet, she wanted to be in the marriage, but wasn’t. If she wasn’t talking I had to find out what she was thinking somehow. Overcoming our greatest stumbling blocks came about because of my snooping.

      I also couldn’t resist visiting their favorite haunts. I wanted so desperately to catch them so I could at least know where I was. it didn’t occur to me that by not catching them I also could know where I was.

      In one of the thousand books I’ve read since January there was one author who felt that if every spouse realistically considered their mate capable of such behavior we would all be better off. I tend to agree so a little snooping isn’t bad. in fact, there was a moment I suspected something very early on. I kick myself every time I think of it. Snoop. Ask questions. There should be no secrets in a marriage. None.

      • admin

        Duane, Thanks for joining in. So if the affair is over, do you continue to snoop just to give yourself peace of mind, and can you get to a point where trust is rebuilt enough that you don’t feel the need to?

        • Duane

          I do continue to snoop because wife is still conflicted albeit to a much smaller degree. I continue to check her phone and email, but thankfully there has been nothing. I feel she is out of her fog. Luckily her lack of sentimentality allows her to release herself from her AP sooner than some. She tells me he is 90% gone from her mind. She is now dealing with her own issues in order to work on our marriage. I snoop less and less, but always seem to wonder.

    • ruth

      If I did not spy I would not know that he is still trying to get in contact with his mistress, even though he keeps telling me it’s over. Today at 9:15 am when I am at work he is looking for her online. I spy because If I see contact and plans for them to meet then I know it will never be over and it will be time for me to move on. I have to know, I just have to. I have been going thru this for 2 yrs now enough is enough. If he cant stop well I will have to.

      • Doug

        I understand Ruth, and I agree that spying can be important to people for a variety of reasons. You’re a saint for putting up with this for 2 years!

    • ruth

      Not a saint Doug, just want my marriage to work. If I have to walk away from it then I want to be able to say I gave it 150% and did everything I could. Love is blind but not dumb LOL.

      • Doug

        I understand. I hope that eventually your husband appreciates all that you have been through and done.

    • RAC

      I’ve decided to give up snooping on her b/c it’s been terrible for my health. Well, okay … at least not snooping as much. But my last snoop was interesting. No calls; no texts on her cellphone. I asked her why, and she said she had turned it off. And you know what, I think I believe her, tho not one-hundred percent, b/c that’ll take awhile.

      • Doug

        RAC, That’s a step in the right direction anyways.

    • michael

      She mentioned maybe wanting to post here but I know it is difficult for her. She has a hard time opening up. But I think todays topic would be a good one to write a few words about. Yesterday was hard for us but as I told her this morning we’re still here.

      • Doug

        I sense some good progress going on, Michael.

    • Michael's Wife

      Where to start my husband has wanted me to comment on this site for a long time it seems like. I want you all to understand I’m not good with emotions and feelings, alot has happened to me in my life and it hurts to put it in writing. I try everyday to just not think about anything and focus on whatever is infront of me at the time.

      On this topic of snooping Michael did alot of snoop I,m sure he still does and I’m ok with that. I have been trying for the past 4 months to tell him the truth about my affair and it’s hard. Yesterday I told him somethings and I know it’s just a start, but I hope he knows this will take longer for me because I block things out. I don’t know how much if sorry is really enough. I did hide things from him and yes it was for the fear of hurting him more. Sounds good when I say it, but to read everyones commets about it I understand it’s stupid. I’m putting my best foot forword today to work towards a better tommarrow, with Michael.

      • Doug

        Michael’s Wife, Welcome, welcome! I’ve heard so much about you. I’m glad that you are making this step. I know it might be hard to let loose of feelings, as I was that way at one time. It was hard at first for me as well. Thanks again for sharing and we hope to hear more from you. Doug

      • michael

        In an older post I said that I wasn’t ready to say that I was proud of my wife. But today I think is a good time to say it.

        I am proud of my wife for taking these first steps to heal together.

        I am proud of my wife for everything she does on a daily basis to make my life easier.

        I am proud of my wife that she can finally say that she understands how I feel.

        I am proud of my wife that even though she was pressured and in some way wanted to leave that she fought that urge. Whether or not if it was out of fear of loosing everything and destroying our home. Fear that she would be left without even him when she did. Or after time the fear of loosing me.

        I am proud of my wife that she that even though she feels at times now that I might leave she hasn’t given up.

        I am proud to be her husband through pain and sorrow. And through joy and happiness.

        I am proud that she said yes to me on our wedding day. Even though it scared the hell out of her.

        I’m proud to be here with her today.

        I love my wife and always will. Even though at times she scares the hell out of me :).

        • Doug

          Michael, Great stuff! I’m happy for you.

    • Last2know

      Michael’s wife welcome, I am very proud of you for posting and Michael should be proud of you as well. Just like you said ” one step at a time”. Michael has said ” he needs to be in control and know everything” have you told him what part he played in making you stray? What has changed in your marriage to make you want to stay and work it out?

      • michael's wife

        Last2know asked what has changed in our marriage to make me want to stay? Well where to begain for a period of time we got lost in the everyday stuff and stopped paying attention to eachother. We grew further and further apart from eachother until I don’t know we just did not want eachother. We were both at fault in this we just didn’t make the time to be togther. We were the couple who took the kids everywhere. While other couples make time to go out and leave the kids with a sitter, Mike and I would take the kids with us.

        Now that we are working things out we make time for eachother, we talk more, hang out more. We have gone to dinner togther a couple of times without the kids. We sleep in our bed and it’s just us no more kids. I now I’m seeing how stupid I was in this whole thing, and I feel at times that we won’t get through this and it scares me. I discovered that I talk in my sleep or I think I do cause last night was great and as I was falling asleep Mike got upset. I have no idea what I said or was saying, but I’m worried today.

        • Doug

          Michael’s wife, I feel that you are making great strides as a couple and are beginning to open up to each other and see both sides of the situation. I feel that Doug was unable to completely come back to me until he was able to understand how we both contributed the problems in our marriage and that many of those problems had little to do with the love we felt for each other. We were also very child centered. Everything we did involved the children and during that time we lost what it meant to be husband and wife. We stopped doing many of the things we used to enjoy so much, we stopped having fun together. I have found that when we are able to have fun and relax those little things that use to upset me so much aren’t very important anymore. Now I cherish the time we have alone and I feel off if we don’t have the opportunity to connect and spend time together.

          You also have to understand that there will be times that Michael will experience some sort of trigger and become upset. It may have nothing to do with something that happened at that moment or something you did or didn’t do it just comes upon us suddenly and causes us to be sad and upset. If you continue to be transparent and open with Michael those triggers will occur less frequently and he will be able to push them aside or feel more comfortable sharing them with you. Patience is the best advice when trying to heal from an affair. It is not easy or a fast process and you have to constantly look at where you are today compared to where you were a month ago so you can see the progress and not get discouraged. I hope our website can help you heal and move forward in your marriage. Linda

    • Heartbroken

      In my situation, I feel it is less about the act of spying and more about the need for transparency. In a healthy marriage, people should not feel they need to hide things from each other, and generally, if they do, they are things they know they should not be doing. Transparency gives accountability. Accountability provides trust. Trust is the foundation of any strong relationship.

      For 16 years, I never once questioned my wife, and it never even occurred to me to doubt her, but her behavior became so unusual a year ago that I could sense something was wrong. That intuition probably saved our marriage.

      Certainly spying as an obsession is not healthy, but in moderation, I think, would be a natural event following a confirmed indiscretion. It can eliminate those lingering feelings of doubt and allows you (me) to focus on positive things to improve our marriage without the fear of the unknown. Spying, in that sense, is just a symptom, or result, of a larger problem.

      Having said that, today we are communicating better than ever before and I question her less and less frequently. We share all of our online account passwords and communications. We have agreed that neither of us will chat. We know that she and I both have full access to e-mail and phone records and can check on each other whenever we feel like it. I don’t ask anything of her that she can’t ask of me. The trust is slowly being rebuilt and in the same spirit as Michael and Michael’s wife, we are also taking it one step at a time…

    • Denise

      Today is my first day seeing this forum. My husband and I are scheduled to see a marriage counselor this week. For the past 10 months my husband has been having what is classified as an emotional affair. I know that he felt that as long as everyone’s clothes stayed on that it is not an affair and I was just being jealous. Behavior included going to lunch with her every day, bringing her beer to the office when she was having a bad day, calling her on her days off, lying to me about things between them that would seem insignificant other than they were lies,etc. I told him I couldn’t take the Little lies anymore and they are as hurtful as big lies because he felt the need to be secretive about her. Recently he got a blackberry and his email goes to it. He had two golf tournaments over 2 consecutive weekends and he said he didn’t think she would be there. I wanted to check if this was one of his little lies. So I snooped. I found little flirtatious messages back and forth. It felt like a punch in the stomach. I didn’t tell him what I did or what I saw. I simply asked him to go to counseling with me. It has been a very quiet past few days in our household. I think he knows that I snooped and what I saw. I actually forwarded the msg to my email so he doesn’t try to convince me that I saw something different. We have to make decisions now about what each of us wants and if the marriage should continue. If he continues to deny that this relationship is inappropriate I feel that I cannot continue our relationship.

      • Doug

        Denise, thank you for sharing your story and welcome to our blog. Perhaps counseling will bring the important issues to light and you and your husband will be able to work them out. Good luck.

    • HarrieB

      Denise. Your story could be mine. And Heartbroken, yours too. It was some intuition on my part that led me to snoop, and I feel that was what saved the marriage (I hope!). I didn’t know what I was going to find but was fairly sure I would know it when I saw it and it turned out to be loving text messages when we were on holiday….and the rest is history..except that it happened again (with the same OW) about 18 months later, and I wonder whether the EA stopped during that time or whether temptation reared its ugly head a completely separate time. Either way, my H has shown his displeasure at my snooping, though has also magnanimously said he will forgive me for it! (He has even said on numerous occasions what a good friend she was, and how she probably saved our marriage!!!) Anyway, what amazes me is the hypocrisy – that lies and cheating and exclusion are acceptable behaviour, whereas reading someones text messages is not. EAs are degrading – I feel degraded that I reached that dark humiliating place where I felt I HAD to snoop, and he (and she) were degraded because their deceit, lies and cruelty became acceptable everyday activities and neither of them thought it was wrong or dishonourable when it was going on (they even found numerous reasons for justifying or excusing it). Sorry everyone, I’m having a bad day (after a really good spell just recently) and needed to vent. Michael’s wife – welcome and thanks for your honesty and your humility – that takes courage. I am SO pleased for you both, you sound like you are making such good positive steps forward. XX

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