I developed an habit of snooping around in my relationship of almost two years and I finally got caught snooping through his phone the the other night (up until this point he didn’t know how I knew things that I called him out on).
Is there anything I can do for damage control? Do men get over such behavior? Help!
Let me tell you a story. I once knew this guy who had a habit of sneaking around and cheating on his girlfriend. He told her that they were exclusive and that she was the only girl for him but he would continue to sleep with multiple girls he met.
He says to me, “How do I get my girlfriend to trust me? I get this feeling that she doesn’t trust me and I need her to…”
Now, while you are reading this and smacking your forehead in amazement at his audacity, it really speaks to the same thing here…
That guy wanted trust and yet he wasn’t trustworthy – there was no reason that he should deserve anything other than the suspicion he “earned.”
My point here is that it’s important to remember that no matter what happens, you did in fact violate his trust and privacy on a pretty deep level. If it were me, I would dump you without a second thought. You can’t have a meaningful relationship when it’s not built on a solid foundation of trust.
But I want to help you here, so this is what you’ll need to do if you want a chance of repairing your relationship:
1) Explain your actions.
Now that you’ve been caught, he’s probably thinking about all the times that you “just knew” something and he probably feels like a fool. And in addition to thinking of all the times that you probably violated his trust and privacy in the past, he is probably pretty certain you’ll do it again in the future, especially if times get tough and you start to worry.
If he’s even going to consider continuing to date you, he’ll need to be certain that you’ll NEVER snoop again. Ever again.
In order to believe that, he’ll need to:
- Understand why you snooped.
- Understand what you were feeling to make you feel like you had no choice.
- Understand that you’re sorry and that you know it was wrong.
- Understand what you’ll do from now on so that you’ll never do it again.
2) Face the music.
Once you’ve said your piece, you need to let him say whatever he has to say. Don’t argue with him, don’t fight him and don’t try to justify your actions or defend yourself. There’s no spinning this, you’re in the wrong here and if he feels you’re trying to squirm your way out, he’ll just dump you straight up.
3) Tell him you love him and that you only snooped because you were afraid you’d lose him.
OK, now that you’ve listened to him (REALLY listened and let it seek in), now it’s time to let him know how much you value him. You love him and you were afraid you’d lose him – and that’s why you felt compelled to snoop and risk violating everything with him. You felt overwhelmed by your fears of losing him because you love him so much.
4) Apologize and NEVER, EVER, EVER snoop again.
Once you’ve shared how much you love him and talked it through, it’s time to sincerely apologize.
When it comes to trust, there’s only one way to get it: be trustable. Trust is earned and frankly, if you’re not trustworthy, you don’t deserve it.
You can’t fake being trustworthy – humans have incredible instincts to pick up on liars and cheaters.
Guys pick up on when you “know something” and now that you already have a strike against you, he’ll be especially sensitive if he gets the sense that you know something you shouldn’t have known. If he decides to stay with you, he might even set a “trap” to test to see if you’ll snoop again.
So I would urge you to go legit from now on.
Again, I can’t guarantee he’ll stay or even give you a chance to defend yourself. But following those steps will give you the best possible chance of redeeming yourself and repairing the damage to your relationship.
Hopefully this will be the wake up call you needed to stop snooping going forward – it’s not worth it. Better that you learn to communicate with your partner versus violate their privacy.
Hope it helps,