This question was posed today in a relationship forum. When do you think it's all right to violate your partner's privacy?

One thing I know from workin with couples is that they often have different needs for privacy. Sometimes both people are completely open with each other and have no secrets. Other times, you will find two highly private people who connect and each respects the other's privacy because they want the same in return.

The challenge comes when one partner is more open and the other is more secretive. The open partner will often take the secrecy to mean the person has something to hide. That is not always the case. However, the person willing to share everything often doesn't understand the person who needs privacy any more than the privacy person understands the open person. Their vulnerabilities are different.

If you want to maintain a strong relationship, then I would suggest allowing your partner the privacy he or she needs which one exception. If your partner has betrayed your trust and is genuinely seeking forgiveness, then I often recommend the person who broke trust needs to open up everything to his or her partner until trust can be reestablished. However, this is done with full knowledge of the person. I don't recommend snooping without the person's permission.

If you are in a relationship where you don't trust your partner and feel the need to violate his or her privacy, then I would ask you are you really getting what you need from the relationship? If you have to wonder what he or she is doing when not with you, then why stay in it?

So what do you think? Have you ever snooped around without permission? What did you find? Would you do it again? Do you think there is justification for it?

 

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