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To Spy or Not to Spy...That is the Question
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 relationship.

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 online.

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 want?

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 relationship.

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 life.

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 some way?

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 partner's behaviors.

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 information.

We aren't suggesting that you lash out with accusations or allegations that he or she is having an affair as you demand answers.

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 communication.

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 way.

Your worries might spring from past experiences you've had or they may be linked to dynamics in this current relationship.

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.







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Relationship Coaches Susie and Otto Collins
PO Box 14544, Columbus, OH 43214
Contact Susie or Otto about Relationship Coaching by calling 614-459-8121.
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