Is It OK to Check Your Partner’s Phone?

woman going through her partner's phone

Healthy relationships rely on trust. To establish it, you must have absolute transparency. This means being honest and forthright with your partner and giving them unreserved access to your life.

However, where do you draw the line when it comes to trust and transparency? Take, for example, your partner’s phone. Have you ever gone through it or felt tempted to do so without asking them? Or would you mind letting them use yours without your permission? How does it reflect on establishing trust in your relationship?

A recent study reveals that as many as 50% of Americans surveyed have snooped on their better half’s mobile phone. This is a significant finding that sheds light on modern-day relationship practices in a digitized world.

But is it acceptable to look into a spouse’s phone? Let’s explore this further.

Is It Okay to Go Through Your Partner’s Phone?

The simplest answer is a resounding no.

Snooping on someone’s phone, whether it’s your significant other’s or a total stranger’s, is a violation of privacy.

Secretly checking mobile devices without consent is similar to intruding into people’s digital diaries. Besides, it’s simply wrong to sneak behind someone’s back and check their personal messages, calls, and online activities. It signals a lack of respect and trust.

Remember, everyone needs space and boundaries, even in intimate relationships. Invasive practices that breach your partner’s privacy are bound to ruin the relationship.

Having said that, there are always exceptions to the rule. Sometimes, you can have legitimate reasons for checking your partner’s phone.

For example, you may suspect your spouse is cheating on you, taking illegal substances, or engaging in illicit or unethical activities. In such instances, it would make every sense to find evidence to substantiate your fears, especially if confronting your partner isn’t a viable option.

However, if you ever face a similar situation, it’s important to weigh the potential consequences of your action and what you stand to lose. Never go through a phone based on unfounded suspicion. Find other ways to uncover evidence where possible to ensure there’s a justifiable reason for breaching your partner’s trust and privacy.

Why Do People Snoop on Their Partners’ Phone Activities?

many Americans snoop on their partners' phones

An individual could choose to spy on their spouse’s mobile phone for a variety of reasons. While not all of them are acceptable, some may hint at critical underlying issues commonly affecting relationships.


Some people are overly inquisitive. They could be impatient to learn more about someone they’ve just started dating, and may take matters into their own hands by snooping on their new partner’s phone.

However, constant prying to feed curiosity can continue long into a relationship, creating a nasty habit that eventually leaves spouses feeling led down and hurt.

Past Trauma

A person who was cheated on could have lingering feelings of betrayal that may result in insecurities, distrust, and intimacy issues. These could cause them to spy on their significant other in search of reassurance, even when their current partner is loyal to them.

But no one can control everything that happens in life or entirely prevent negative incidents from recurring. So, letting go of past emotional baggage is a must when embarking on a new relationship.

If you struggle to deal with it on your own, consult an experienced therapist for professional guidance.

Relationship OCD

This obsessive compulsive disorder involves repetitive thoughts that create doubt and worry about a relationship.

For instance, a person could repeatedly wonder, “Does my partner really love me?”, “Am I good enough for him/her?”, “Do they feel the same way as I do about this relationship?”, or “How long will this last?”

Obsessing over such questions could lead to severe anxiety and mental distress. This can result in extreme behaviors, such as being constantly suspicious about a partner’s phone activities, jeopardizing the relationship and causing hurt and despair for both partners.

So, it’s important to seek support from friends and family and speak to a licensed therapist if you suspect you have relationship OCD.

Sudden Changes in a Partner’s Behavior

Suspected infidelity is one of the primary reasons people spy on their significant other.

Being unusually withdrawn, constantly getting home late, a sudden interest in appearance, and similar behavioral changes atypical of a spouse could make anyone wonder whether their partner is cheating on them.

In such a scenario, they may feel compelled to learn the truth and verify their concerns, especially when they’re unable to get an honest answer from their partner.

How to Tell if Your Partner Is Hiding Something on His or Her Phone?

Here’s how to know whether your significant other is keeping secrets.

  • Secretive Behavior

Does your partner take their phone with them everywhere, even when they go to the bathroom? Are they reluctant to hand it over to you when you need to make a phone call or use the internet? If so, there’s a high chance they’re hiding something.

  • Excessive Phone Usage

A sudden jump in phone usage is a telltale sign of infidelity.

So, pay attention if your boyfriend or girlfriend spends hours on the phone, messages people at night, or regularly walks out of the room when they need to answer a call.

  • Deleted Phone Content

Missing text messages or emails in a thread is often a red flag of suspicious behavior. A deleted search history on the browser is another warning sign.

  • Suspicious Messages

If someone sends your partner suspicious messages and they don’t want to show them to you, then it’s a sign that there’s probably a third person in your relationship.

If you want to find out who your partner has exchanged unusual messages with, a reverse phone search can help you learn more about a number’s owner.

  • Password-Protected Communication Apps 

Many people apply a screen lock to protect device data in the event they lose their phone. However, if your partner’s phone has regular messaging and social media apps password-protected, they might be attempting to prevent you from finding something you shouldn’t.

In Conclusion

According to studies, a significant number of people sneak a peek at their partner’s phone. The reasons for this are many, although not all are legitimate.

If you truly care about your better half and want to nurture a long-term relationship with them, give them space and learn to trust and respect them.

Having said that, certain instances, such as suspected cheating or illegal activities, could warrant checking your partner’s phone. However, ensure your suspicions are substantiated before you choose this route.


Should couples in a healthy relationship have access to each other’s phones?

Some people provide their partners unrestricted access to their lives from the get-go. They’re often comfortable sharing everything and anything, even each other’s phones and passwords.

However, it’s perfectly normal for a couple to appreciate and expect personal space. In fact, experts encourage setting boundaries to create a sense of balance in a relationship.

This is because everyone is different when it comes to needs and expectations. Understanding and respecting this is imperative for nurturing a long-term relationship.

What does it mean when your partner won’t let you see their phone?

It doesn’t always mean they’re cheating on you or up to no good.

Your partner may have their own reasons for valuing their phone privacy. For instance, it could be to safeguard confidential information relating to someone else or even to protect you.

What should you do if you suspect your partner has gone through your phone?

Keep in mind that your significant other might have legitimate reasons for breaching your privacy. For example, they could have a different definition of boundaries in a relationship or they may have underlying insecurities and unresolved trust issues from a past negative experience.

So, talk to them calmly without blame or accusations. A conversation could help you understand your partner and their motives better and determine your next steps. 

Meanwhile, changing your phone’s security codes and notification settings is also worthwhile to prevent such incidents from happening again.

Can a relationship survive snooping?

In reality, a lot will depend on the reasons for prying. But often, snooping can create more problems than solve them.

Communication is a better option if you genuinely want to find answers, alleviate your concerns, resolve issues, and minimize hurt and damage to your relationship.

I still want to check my partner’s phone. Am I wrong for this?

If you have doubts about your partner’s activities and suspect cheating or anything else, then going through their phone might help you assess the situation. It’s especially beneficial for those whose spouses don’t tell the truth about themselves when there’s almost enough evidence to prove them wrong.