Why Snooping Through Your Partner's Stuff Can Wreck A Relationship

Photographed by Natalia Mantini.
The allure of your partner's unlocked phone or laptop can be intoxicating, even if you don't have a particular reason to go poking around. But just because the temptation to snoop is very common, that doesn't mean it's a good idea.
Oftentimes, people snoop because they feel like they need to fill in the blanks about what's going on in their relationship, or like they're being left out of something big and important, says Lisa Brateman, LCSW, a psychotherapist and relationship specialist in New York City. If that's the case, it's usually a sign that there are bigger communication issues going on that need to be addressed, she says.
Or if someone has been cheated on before, they might be prone to paranoid traits like snooping, says Michael Brustein, PsyD, a clinical psychologist in New York City. "They might be hyper-vigilant about other people and have trust issues," he says. But there's not always a concrete reason why people snoop, and some people just do it because their own worries or insecurities about their relationship have developed into actual fears, Brateman says.
If you want to snoop, ask yourself if there's a better way to find out what it is you believe you need to know, Brateman says. (Usually there is.) For example, instead of diving into your partner's Instagram DMs, you could say, The other day you mentioned seeing some of your ex's Instagrams. It made me wonder if you're still in touch with them? "If there's some burning question that you have, the best way to do it is to just have the conversation about it," Brateman says. Although it can be scary, talking to your partner about something that's bothering you is way easier than trying to snoop without getting caught — and it's the healthy thing to do.
Ahead are a few more solid reasons why you shouldn't go through your partner's stuff.