Cate Blanchett seems to think the reason her relationship has been so successful is because she shares an email address with her husband of 16 years. I can’t think of anything more horrifying. I wouldn’t want to read all the mundane things my partner is emailing, and I wouldn’t want him reading mine either. There has to be SOME secrecy in a relationship, right?
I don’t feel comfortable with even my best friend looking at my phone. Who knows what naked photos I sexted to a guy or what I was looking at that day. Nobody needs to know that I was Googling “vagina green discharge” or “celebrities small penis.” Some things don’t need to be shared with anyone.
The thing with reading your partner’s emails or texts is that EVERYTHING is taken out of context. Of course if you see a text that says, “can’t wait to f*ck u” it probably means what it says. If you see a text from a woman who’s name you don’t recognize that says, “so great meeting you today” it could easily be totally innocent and work-related, or a stripper your boyfriend met when he said he was going to meet some old friends for drinks.
If you’re looking at your partner’s texts and asking them about every single person they talk to, it gets annoying, and shows that you have literally zero trust in them.
I’ve been a victim of cheating, so I do have a lot of compassion for women who don’t trust their partners. Trust also takes years to build, so wanting to know NOW if the person you’re with is a total monster makes perfect sense.
But I’ve read emails of past boyfriends, and I wish I hadn’t. It’s a huge invasion of privacy. I suspected them of cheating (which they were), so in the end it kinda worked out I guess. I justified my actions because I did find out they were lying, but the truth would have come out whether I read their email or not.
I didn’t really have to see my ex write things like, “I want to put my tongue in your ass” to a 23-year-old escort, but I did. I’m wondering if I had never read that, would our break-up have been more amicable? Like, am I better off not seeing that stuff? Or is it good to see how horrible the person I dated was? I’m a huge fan of “ignorance is bliss,” but in this case I think it’s better I knew the truth.
I have a very heightened sense of awareness when it comes to relationships. I notice everything and analyze things that shouldn’t matter. It’s actually something I’m trying to do less because it’s exhausting and mostly pointless. I’ll do things like see a new girl a guy I’m dating is following on Twitter and assume he’s flirting with her. I’ve developed a generalization that all men are salacious animals based on my prior relationships. Better cautious than vulnerable is my life motto (I also carry my cat around like she’s a baby).
I’ve dated guys who were much older, more successful, and had more power over me in an uncomfortably imbalanced way. Meaning: They had money and could ditch me for another girl very easily. One of them had a past with strip clubs and hookers, which I NEVER got over. I was always paranoid that he would call up a hooker if he was bored or I was out of town for a week.That relationship was doomed from the beginning, and he ended up cheating on me. My paranoia was there for a reason, but I should have ended that relationship the minute I started to doubt him. Learning experiences are so much fun, right?
I have been on the other side of this, too. Last summer I dated a guy who was very intense and competitive. I was seeing other people, as I assumed he was too. He got really crazy and insecure and thought I was going on dates with lots of other guys. I had hung out with one other guy a few times but he didn’t need to know. We weren’t in a committed relationship and I had only known him for a few weeks.
One night, while I was staying at his house, he woke me up at 3 am and interrogated me about a guy I went on a date with a few nights prior who was visiting from another city. He said his “friend’ had seen us out and knew that I went to his hotel after. He also knew a few other days we hung out, which was weird because I had never mentioned it.
I was so confused. I asked who his “friend” was and he wouldn’t tell me. He knew details about that night that only I would know. It really scared me. I started to think he was following me or getting people to spy on me. I didn’t even think about how he could’ve read my texts because I have a code on my iPhone, and only monsters read people’s texts.
It took me a while to realize that the only way he knew some of the details was by reading my texts. He probably saw me put in my code, because I don’t really make a huge deal out of hiding it.
At the time, I was texting with my best friend about her relationship problems, and with my sister about family stuff. He probably read all of that too. I wouldn’t want to know private stuff happening in his life, but he decided it was OK to invade my privacy, even though I had hung out with him less than 10 times.
Had he been a boyfriend for over a year, and I was cheating, I would understand. But not after barely knowing someone. That’s some serious bullsh*t. Being jealous can be charming at times, but other times it can just be straight-up obnoxious.
My friend’s ex-boyfriend had her passwords and was reading her email for about six months without telling her. She was cheating on him with another guy for a few months (real shitty on her part) and her boyfriend saw that, but never said anything to her. That’s actually creepier than just reading her emails. She would hang out with him like nothing was wrong, while he knew if she had been with the other guy recently.
One day he confronted her, and had all her emails printed out that she exchanged with the other guy. To think you’re getting away with something, then find out your boyfriend was reading your email for six months without telling you is SO INSANE!
I’ve come to a point where I would only be in a relationship if I completely trusted the other person. It took a few bad boyfriends to get here, but the minute I feel any suspicion of him cheating or a need to want to read his emails, I know it’s not right. Why would I want to be with someone who makes me nervous every time we have to be apart?
It’s tempting to want to know what is really going on in your partner’s head, but if you think they’re being shady, they probably are, and you need to find someone who doesn’t make you want to read their texts at 3 am.
This article originally appeared on xoJane.