Shelley Bridgeman 's Opinion

Dwelling on injustices, bad behaviour and modern day dilemmas.

Shelley Bridgeman: Do you snoop on your other half?

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Do you read your partner's emails? 
Photo / Thinkstock
Do you read your partner's emails? Photo / Thinkstock

Jools Oliver, wife of celebrity chef, Jamie has revealed that she snoops on her husband's communications to see if he's being unfaithful. Evidently, she checks his emails, phones and Twitter. (Mind you, over 2.4-million followers also keep up with Jamie via Twitter so she shouldn't beat herself up about keeping tabs on him through that particular medium.)

Surprisingly, Jools has garnered considerable public sympathy over this matter. I'd have expected those hyper critical, often undiplomatic social media aficionados to give her a hard time but many of them have applauded her honesty and found her vulnerability endearing.

The approval, of course, was not universal. Jools "obsessively stalks him via every conceivable communication stream" wrote a blogger for The Guardian in Jools Oliver, here's why you shouldn't check Jamie's emails and tweets.

The writer, who thought such snooping could easily lead to wrong conclusions being drawn, raised the issue of reciprocal rights: "Don't touch his phone. How would you like it if he touched your phone?" Good question: if I discovered someone spying on my emails and text messages I'd expect to be able to forensically examine their records as well.

Whichever side of the fence you happen to be on, you must admit it raises interesting questions about curiosity, privacy, self-confidence and trust levels within relationships.

How much nosiness is appropriate in a marriage? Do incurable sticky-beaks have more right to poke and pry than the rest of us? What about our rights to privacy? Does low self-esteem lead to doubting your partner or is her or his dodgy behaviour and less than pristine track record more of a factor?

For the record, I don't snoop on my husband but mainly for pragmatic rather than high-and-mighty reasons. It would simply be a waste of time for I know that - in the same way he keeps an uncluttered desk in an office almost sterile enough to perform open heart surgery in - he deletes emails and texts as soon as they're sent or received so the chances of harvesting much intelligence there is somewhat slim.

Besides, if he was truly hell-bent on illicit communications, surely he'd have the good sense to manage them via a separate and secret mobile device. I'll be hiring a private investigator if I ever need any dirt on him.

Do you keep tabs on your other half? Are you a straightforward snooper or do you deploy other techniques? And what, if anything, does snooping reveal about your confidence levels and the state of your relationship? Have you ever been spied on - and how did that make you feel?

Shelley Bridgeman

Dwelling on injustices, bad behaviour and modern day dilemmas.

Shelley Bridgeman is a truck-driving, supermarket-going, horse-riding mother-of-one who is still married to her first husband. As a Herald online blogger, she specialises in First World Problems and delves fearlessly into the minutiae of daily life. Twice a week, she shares her perspective on a pressing current issue and invites readers to add their ten cents’ worth to the debate.

Read more by Shelley Bridgeman

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