How to Catch a Cheater: To Snoop or Not to Snoop?

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When you suspect your girlfriend or boyfriend is cheating, the next question that arises is to snoop or not to snoop? For some snooping is morally abhorrent; for others like Danine Manette, snooping is a must.

Danine Manette is a criminal investigator and an unabashed snoop, but she’s the first to tell you that it has nothing to do with her job. She simply likes being on top of things. Danine routinely checks up on her kids’ online activities and monitors their cell-phone logs and browsing history, and takes an occasional peek into their backpacks. But for Danine, that’s good parenting. Snooping is a little different with her husband.

Let’s make this clear: Danine believes within every relationship there is a certain expectation of privacy. “I don’t think you should enter into a relationship doing the occasional snoop. If you have to do that, there is obviously a problem,” says Danine. But .. and this a big but … Danine argues, once a partner cheats, snooping is fair game. “The truth of the matter is I’ve been the victim of infidelity in the past and don’t EVER want to be blindsided like that again. Does that give me a license to snoop henceforth and forever more? Sure it does. In my opinion, once someone betrays trust in a relationship, they forfeit their right to a blanket expectation of privacy. ”

How to Catch a Cheater Tip No. 1: Signs You Should be Snooping

The aftermath of cheating isn’t they only reason you should snoop. There are other red flags. So, how do you know if you should be snooping? Look for signs that he is cheating or that something else is amiss. If he is arriving home late or large sums of money are disappearing with no explanation, Danine argues that those warning signs merit snooping. But ultimately, Danine advises, knowing when to snoop is all about knowing your partner. “Look for strange and unusual behavior in your partner and other warning signs. For example, if there are creditors calling your house, but as far as you know you have no money problems …” which, argues Danine, is a good reason to snoop.

How to Catch a Cheater Tip No. 2: Best Places to Snoop

Knowing where to snoop depends on two things: What you suspect is going on and your partner’s behavior. If your boyfriend is running out of the room every time he takes a phone call, Danine advises checking cell-phone records. If you wake up at 2 a.m. and your boyfriend is still on the computer, install a spyware to monitor his online activities. If you think this person has been in contact with someone from his past, you may want to start looking through his social networking profile. “What is the area of the rift?” asks Danine. “Find that out and focus your efforts there.”

How to Catch a Cheater Tip No. 3: What to Do if You’ve Been Snooped

But what if you are the snooped and not the snooper? Danine argues that if you’ve violated the trust of the relationship, then you should expect to be snooped. “If you’ve cheated you should be handing over your passwords and security codes for all your personal information, so your spouse can check up on you,” Danine says. However, if you’ve done nothing and you come home to find your husband rifling through your sock drawer, Danine cautions against getting defensive. “Ask him ‘What are you looking for?’ or ‘Can I help you find something?’ If your partner is snooping on you, it’s because they feel insecure about your relationship. Sit them down and ask them how you can help them overcome that insecurity.” In sum, start a dialogue — not a fight.

What do you think? Do you think snooping is ever justified?

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