I can’t stop snooping on my wife

I had suspicions that my wife was keeping something from me and may have become bored with our marriage. I am away with work a lot. We have young children and she finds being a stay-at-home mother very frustrating. She is a good-looking, attractive, extroverted person who is very good at connecting with people. She has always told me that she likes having male friends, as she likes the variety of conversation, as in not all about kids, laundry etc!!

I checked her phone and Facebook Instant Messaging page and found correspondence with two different men, which really hurt me. These were not sexual in nature but were much more intimate than I would have liked.

I confronted her about the situation and, of course, she initially went crazy that I had snooped. However, I think she understood the depths of my anxiety and assured me that she has not been unfaithful. I believe her that she has not been physically unfaithful but I am concerned at the level of emotional connection with one of them in particular. The other guy has the hots for her for sure but I do not see him as any sort of threat to me.

While I believe her that she is just friends with these two guys, I have become addicted to checking her phone whenever I can. I know the code for her phone but not her Facebook page—if I did I am sure I would check that too.

I have also followed her on a couple of occasions recently (never found anything—she did exactly what she said she was doing on each occasion).

I desperately want to get on with our life but am unable to stop this madness. If I am caught, my marriage could well be over.

I know that there is nothing to this other than friendship but I can’t stop snooping. I keep justifying it to myself by saying that I am just looking for reassurance that she is telling the truth.

Please help me to stop and to get over this awful phase of my once happy life!!

Response:

Rather than snooping on your wife, try a different method for dealing with the problem.

Snooping can be addictive. Experiencing uncertainty and seeking of information can be rewarding at physiological level. The sooner you stop spying on your wife, the better.

But, in order to stop spying on your wife, try to address the problem in a way that resolves the underlying issue and replaces the rewards you get from snooping.

The best way to do this is to plan novel and exciting activities for the two of you to do together. Do something original, different, out of your normal routine. Such activities create a sense of excitement, bring people closer together, and give couples something to talk about.

Novel activities are also rewarding at a physiological level (like snooping).

Doing novel things will help your wife with her boredom, help you with your snooping, and it will improve your relationship as well (see boredom kills).

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