To Spy or Not to Spy...That is the
By Susie and Otto Collins
Fear, worry and suspicion can drive us to do things we might
not otherwise do.
When your fears are that your partner is having an affair,
you could find yourself acting in ways that are simply not
in your nature.
You might feel compelled to spy on your mate in order to
find out once and for all if he or she is cheating.
We can understand how you may be feeling. Nobody wants to be
taken advantage of, betrayed, or made out to be a "fool" by
a cheating partner.
When you choose to spy, however, it's important to know that
you are crossing into some dangerous territory in your
There are scores of websites and even products that assist
people's efforts to spy.
You can even purchase software that allows you to record
your partner's computer keystrokes unbeknown to him or her.
This allows you to track what your mate has been doing
Other means of spying in a love relationship or marriage
might involve secretly checking your mate's cell phone
records, listening in on his or her calls and conversations
or even paying a detective to record evidence for you.
There are many questions you could be asking yourself about
why your mate might be acting in particular ways and what
actions you should take to get to the truth.
But the real question is, what kind of relationship do you
As painful and destructive as infidelity is to a
relationship, spying is also a trust-eroder.
As justified as you feel to spy in order to confirm or
disprove your suspicions, it is indisputable that spying
will not help you and your mate move closer together.
We are not saying that it is never a good idea to spy in a
There certainly are complicated situations and there are a
few circumstances in which spying could seem like the only
way to get the information you need to move on with your
If you want to rebuild your relationship and re-store trust,
however, we urge you to think very carefully before you
decide to spy.
Look at your motivations.
Before you install that spy software on your partner's
computer, step back and take a look at your motives.
Be as honest with yourself as you possibly can be.
Are you mainly wanting information?
Or are you also feeling a desire to control your partner in
Are your fears or even paranoia driving you to spy without
real observable evidence?
These might not be easy things to admit to yourself that you
are feeling, but it's very important that you know clearly
what's prompting your impulse to spy.
Look for other sources of information.
Perhaps there are alternative ways to gain the information
you want other than spying. Who can you trust right now?
Maybe a friend who can take as objective as possible a view
of your situation can be of assistance.
Ask your friend if he or she would listen to your fears and
worries as well as the observations you've made about your
Listen to what his or her opinion is of your situation.
Hearing an outsider's perspective might help you gain
clarity about what your next best step.
You might also consider asking your partner for more
We aren't suggesting that you lash out with accusations or
allegations that he or she is having an affair as you demand
Instead, you could request specific information about
particular situations as calmly as possible.
If you choose to request information from your partner,
you'll have to rely on your own assessment of whether he or
she is reliable in that moment.
Try not to make this determination in advance of your
Look at what you ultimately want.
As we said above, a bigger question than "Should you spy or
not spy?" is "What kind of relationship do you want?"
This is at the root of it all.
If you are considering spying on your mate and you fear that
he or she is having an affair, it is evident that you two
are disconnected and that trust has been weakened in some
Your worries might spring from past experiences you've had
or they may be linked to dynamics in this current
Either way, it is time to look at what you ultimately want.
You can give your deep and honest attention to whether you
want to stay in or consider leaving this relationship.
Or you might decide that you really want to give this
relationship another try and that you'd like to explore ways
to rebuild trust with your mate.
Allow yourself to be guided by your answers to this basic
question, "What do you want?"
Spying is a strong action to choose.
If you decide to take this approach to address your
suspicions that your mate is cheating, do so with the
understanding of the potential aftereffects.