In an ideal world, says sex therapist and relationship counselor Dr. Ian Kerner, partners in committed relationships wouldn't hide anything from each other nor be suspicious of the other's activities. But Internet infidelity is such a problem these days, he argues, that sometimes you are justified in snooping on your partner's online activity.
You might not find out that your partner's cheating on you in the real world, Dr. Kerner says, but he might be committing emotional infidelity — that is, confiding in someone of the opposite sex, flirting with her, or even sending sexual messages. Research has shown that men don't think about emotional infidelity the same way that women do (most of them think it's not as bad as sexual infidelity), but it is a drain on the relationship nevertheless. If you've ever been with someone who checked out from the relationship and was investing romantic attention elsewhere without technically cheating, you'll know what he's talking about!
So when should you take this taboo leap into treating the person you're supposedly closest to like a crime suspect? I'll tell you after the jump, but you tell me — do you think it's worth taking this step, or are suspicions sign enough that it's time to bail? To see Dr. Kerner's list of signs you might need to start snooping,
- Does he spend too much time on the computer or other digital devices?
- Is he comfortable leaving Facebook pages or emails open when he's not at the computer?
- Does he keep in touch with exes or members of the opposite sex on social networking sites like Facebook? Does it make you feel uncomfortable, or do you feel like you should know more and you don't?
- Does your partner give you other reasons to not trust him — like flirting with others a lot when you are out together?
- Has the frequency with which you have sex decreased?
- Does your gut tell you something's wrong?