Relationship Trust Advice When You Have
"No Choice" but to Spy
By Susie and Otto Collins
When you feel forced into a corner, it can seem as if you
have no choice but to take certain actions. It can feel kind
of like the dog who snaps at the person who's got him or her
backed up against a wall.
Maybe your partner has cheated in the past and you feel
certain that infidelity is bound to happen again.
Or perhaps your mate has a tendency to lie and it's
difficult for you to know what you can believe anymore.
There are countless situations that might be happening in
your love relationship or marriage that have you feeling as
if you're forced into a corner, backed up against a wall.
It may appear that you have no other choice than to spy on
your partner. This seems, to you, like the only way to find
out what's really going on.
Spying might take the form of logging in to your partner's
personal e-mail account without permission or looking
through past phone calls he or she has made and received on
the cell phone.
It may also involve you literally following your mate
without him or her being aware that you are checking up.
We aren't here to judge you are bad or wrong for spying in
these or other ways-- or for even considering them.
We do, however, want you to re-think your assertion that you
have "no choice" but to spy. We encourage you to make a
well-thought out and
conscious decision before you proceed with any (or further)
The thing about spying is this...
When you spy you can obtain more direct information about
what may or may not be going on when your partner is not
Unfortunately, your understanding of this information may
not be accurate.
You could end up even more confused or misled after spying.
This may lead you to continue spying until you are
accustomed to primarily relying on this form of
We have to ask, is this really how you want to spend your
time and energy?
It could also be that, through spying, you find out that
your partner actually is telling the truth. Now you, not him
or her, is the one who has undermined trust in your
How might your mate feel to learn that you've been rifling
through his or her private papers, for example?
Stop and think before you act.
Above all, we urge you to stop and really think and feel
into yourself before you spy. Ask yourself why you feel such
an urgent need to check up on your partner in this way.
Is it absolutely true that you have "no choice" but to spy?
What other ways might you get more reliable information
about what your partner is telling you?
How might you rebuild trust with your mate so that you can
feel comfortable and able to believe what you are hearing?
What are the benefits you perceive to spying versus the
risks? Which weighs more heavily?
It is likely that none of these are easy questions to
answer. But we want you to at least consider them before
moving ahead with your spying plans.
Will spying change how you feel about your relationship?
Another big question to ask yourself when you are
considering spying, or continuing to spy, is this:
Will what you find out by spying significantly make a
difference in the choices you are making for your
If your ability to trust your partner is so strained and
weak that you feel like you have no other choice but to spy,
it clearly indicates that there is a lot of disconnection
and distance in your
Even if the results of your spying prove to you that your
partner is "innocent" and worthy of your trust, the fact
that you felt strongly compelled to spy demonstrates that
healing needs to happen within you and between you and your
You can listen closely to what you want for yourself and for
your relationship without having to spy.
When you come upon beliefs that you are simply unsure of,
set those aside. Keep returning to what you want and need
for your future.
Rely primarily on what you know to be true and what you feel
called to do next.