I Looked Through My Boyfriend’s Phone Because I Thought He Was Cheating—He Wasn’t And He Dumped Me

I thought my boyfriend was hiding something. He’d been a bit distant and distracted for a while, so I decided to snoop through his phone. I was pretty confident that I’d find hard evidence that he was cheating on me but I ended up getting more than I bargained for.

  1. I found nada. Nothing. Zippo. Not a single thing on my boyfriend’s phone looked suspicious. I checked through his emails, I checked through his photo gallery, I checked his Facebook… nothing! I should’ve been happy about this but I just wasn’t. What was going on?
  2. I’d been wrong about two things. The first was that I really expected to discover he was cheating on me. The second was that I thought it was okay to snoop. Is it just me or has snooping sort of become less of a big deal than it used to be? Perhaps because so many people do it. A 2014 study found that one in five men and one in four women check their partner’s phones without their consent. But why did that make me feel it was okay to do it? I had no right to violate my boyfriend’s privacy and I felt guilty about my actions instead of euphoric that he wasn’t cheating.
  3. I was bitten by the snooping bug. I felt guilty after snooping the first time, but then thought, “Maybe he’s just cleared his phone of evidence!” Yes, that had to be it. So, a few weeks later after we had a huge fight, I looked through his phone again to check that he still wasn’t hiding anything. Again, I found nothing. I was sort of addicted now, checking his phone regularly to ease my anxiety that he was cheating.
  4. I didn’t trust him. The issue was that I clearly didn’t trust him. Otherwise, why would I be looking through his phone all the time? It’s like I was hoping to find something to incriminate him but it never happened and I just kept feeling like a bad person every time.
  5. I came clean about what I was doing. I stopped snooping after doing it about six times and was consumed with guilt. I decided I had to tell him the truth of what I’d been doing behind his back. He was furious with me and ended the relationship.
  6. I couldn’t blame him. I had lied to him, gone through his personal phone, violated his privacy and—probably worst of all—suspected him of cheating when he hadn’t. I’d been so worried that I couldn’t trust him, but how could he trust me? Ugh.
  7. He said I had issues and he wasn’t wrong. He told me I was jealous and insecure, which I really believed at the time. I mean, why else would I have snooped? But more than that was going on…
  8. Snooping was a symptom, not a disease. No matter how much I tried, I just couldn’t seem to trust this guy. I had no evidence that he was doing anything shady behind my back, but the fact that I felt I had to snoop clearly showed me that there was something going on. Maybe he wasn’t going to cheat on me but we just weren’t suited to each other and my feelings were trying to tell me that. Whatever the case, something was clearly off in our relationship. My feelings had been there for a reason.
  9. Snooping is stooping to a crappy level. I won’t snoop again. I realize how silly and destructive snooping can be in a relationship. The worst is how it made me feel like such a loser. I didn’t want to be the kind of person who lies and goes behind my partner’s back. Even if they’re cheating or doing something else that’s shady, I don’t want to snoop because it means I’m just stooping to their level.
  10. I was searching for a reason. Looking back, I can see that I didn’t just snoop to discover my partner’s supposed cheating. I was also searching for a way out of the relationship. I hadn’t been that happy with this guy because I couldn’t trust him, and it was like I was trying to find a reason to GTFO of the relationship.
  11. I should’ve just left with class. I shouldn’t have snooped—I should’ve just left the guy. At least then I would’ve left with my dignity intact. By snooping, I’d become the bad guy. I became the very thing that I hated—a liar.
  12. When he dumped me, it was a relief. I felt horrible and guilty because my bad behavior had destroyed our relationship, but a while after our breakup I really felt relieved to be out of the relationship! Leaving it had been the right decision and I’m sure he agreed.
  13. I don’t need stress in my life. Snooping caused me a lot of stress because I’d felt such guilt for doing it. However, I’d also been stressed out in that relationship because it was so exhausting being with someone I thought would hurt me at any second. It’s like I was constantly on guard, waiting for the other shoe to drop, waiting for him to cheat on me. I didn’t deserve to put such stress on myself!
  14. I needed to trust myself. I couldn’t trust my ex, and I shouldn’t have felt I needed to do something drastic to prove it. I should’ve just trusted my own feelings and judgment so I could’ve walked away and found happiness instead of leaving behind hostility. At least he’s happy and in love with someone else now. That makes me feel a bit better.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.