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Think twice before snooping through your boyfriend’s cell phone

In a recent email survey I did among friends and readers,  I learned 7 out of 10 women believe it is acceptable to snoop through their boyfriend’s cell phone if they suspect him of cheating.   So more than half of us believe it is okay to breach our boyfriend’s private information if we merely suspect foul play. 

Here’ is what makes this interesting.  Asked the same question, only 1 out of 10 men believe it okay to snoop through their girlfriend’s cell phone if they suspect her of cheating. 

In my personal experience I know many women who have secretly gone to great lengths to gain information from their boyfriend’s cell phone, computer, personal files, etc.   Some women make this a way of life.   I know several women who make a regular practice of accessing their boyfriend’s personal information as a means of preventive “auditing”.  They have rationalized this behavior in their minds as a way of protecting themselves from male betrayal. 

I don’t know how it happened but somehow 70% of women have culturally devolved to holding the belief that beaching someone’s personal privacy is acceptable behavior. 

News Flash:  Just as many women cheat on their boyfriends.  So it interesting to note that, in spite of this, the vast majority of men will not breach their girlfriend's personal information.  We have something to learn from men.  And it is something important. 

Girls, here are the reasons this is absolutely not acceptable behavior and the risks associated with it. 

1.  You are rationalizing poor behavior - Most women rationalize this behavior based on some level of seriousness they have assigned to the relationship.  But this is completely arbitrary.  There is no “level of relationship seriousness” that converts behavior from unethical to ethical.  “We’ve been dating 4 months!”  We moved in together!”  “He told me he loves me!”  Starting to get the picture on how ridiculous this sounds?   Get yourself out of this cycle. 

2.  You open yourself up to suspicion of identity theft - When you have access to a person’s PDA such as an iPhone or Blackberry, you have access not only to all of his communications such as emails, texts, and phone calls but also all of his private information including financial, banking, and credit records, medical information, confidential work information, friends and family issues, private journals, password lists, etc, etc.  If he learns you have breached his PDA device, he has no reason to believe you didn’t breach all of this information.  He is perfectly justified to suspect you may be planning to steal from him.   If he becomes the victim of identity theft, how could he not suspect you? 

3.  You have betrayed his trust beyond measure - Most men believe this is an absolute violation of their privacy and trust.  And they’re right!  He would be naïve to trust you again on any level.  Some men may forget about it pretty quick but in the eyes of more thoughtful men, you are a giant notch lower on the quality scale. 

So girls, get your information another way.  Rifling through your man’s cell phone is the easy, low-class way.  Don’t let anyone tell you it is acceptable.  If you absolutely believe he is cheating on you then either he is or you are paranoid.  One of those is true.  In neither case are you justified to access his personal information. 

I am not going to comment here on how this issue relates to married couples.  The game is different after a couple is married.  There are legal and other issues that enter into the picture. 

One last point: Hats off to men who apply the extra effort of protecting their information.  I have spoken to may men who have added passwords and coded their contact information for the sole purpose of protecting it from women they are dating.   I recommend this for everyone.