E-Mail Snooping Controversy: Is It Ever Okay to Check Your Husband or Wife’s Email?

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gmail screenshot emailAdvice columnist Amy Dickinson, who’s behind the Ask Amy column in The Washington Post, came under fire this week when she gave what many felt was absolutely terrible advice. A woman wrote to her saying that her husband hated her best friend, and because of that, frequently read their private e-mails to one another and used what he found in them against her. Amy told the poor woman that she was just as wrong as her husband for letting her friend get in the way of her marriage. In fact she practically let the woman’s husband off the hook. Commenters were up in arms over the fact that Amy didn’t further scold the woman’s husband for checking her emails.

In my opinion there are quite a few issues worth addressing here; email snooping being the first. This is something I just don’t do simply because I wouldn’t want it done to me. Married or not, we all deserve privacy on some level. I don’t go near my husband’s e-mail inbox unless I’m specifically asked to do so. Case closed. I’m not even sure I remember the password to his account, though I know he’s given it to mee many times before. It’s just a road I don’t ever want to venture down in my marriage. I might find something I never needed to and make more out of it than I was ever meant to. This ladies’ husband has zero right to go fishing through her inbox! I do agree Amy was wrong to let him slide so easily.

Now, the other issue here is what happens when friends and husbands don’t mix. There’s so much to this, it warrants a separate post for sure, but in the meantime I will say this: Your husband sees your friends through your eyes more times than not, and if he doesn’t like what he’s seeing you’re probably saying too much about he or she to him, period.

But anyway, lets have a heart to heart here.

Ladies, do you read your husbands’ emails? (Might want to comment anonymously if you do.) And if so, under what circumstances would you deem it okay to check your husband’s email?

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20 Responses to E-Mail Snooping Controversy: Is It Ever Okay to Check Your Husband or Wife’s Email?

  1. Christina says:

    I would never, NEVER, go through my husband's emails, texts, voicemails, etc, etc. The moment you feel like you need to, it's time to seek counseling, IMO. Where's the trust? I know my husband's passwords to everything, from email to iphone, but I never go into it unless he needs me to get something for him. (or, before I had my own smart phone I would play on his, lol!)
    And as for this man snooping through private emails between friends? That's a whole other issue. I GET IT when you think your spouse may be cheating on you, and you feel that you need proof. I wouldnt do it, but I GET it. What this man is doing? uh…… WTH? Reading private convos between friends? Does he have NOTHING better to do? As a matter of fact, is this person an adult? What grown man does stuff like this? ugh. And why hasn't she changed her passwords yet? It would have only taken one time for that ish to happen in MY house. smh.
    My recent post Wordless Wednesday – Serious About Breakfast

  2. the MRS. says:

    theMR. and I share a computer. So all our passwords are saved. He could check mine if he wanted to. I wouldn't care. I have nothing to hide. Plus I use my facebook more way more than my email anyway.

    There have been times Ive made comments from his facebook on accident, simply because he forgot to log out and I didn't realize it was his news feed.

    I felt more violated when Adam read my journal. Probably because it was from the time we were dating, and there was stuff about him in there. My thoughts and feelings about our relationship, the times he hurt me, the times I was mad, what I was debating in my head.

    That felt more personal than anything I would exchange with friends or family over email. I guess if you are in a good place there is no need to snoop & there would be nothing to find.

    ♥ theMRS.

    My recent post WHAT is even in Ethiopia?

  3. I totally check my husbands email. Not because I feel he's hiding something, but because I'm a natural snoop and I need to know everything that's going on. He doesn't communicate through email, but a lot of our bills, insurance updates and things are sent to his email, not mine and sometimes he forgets to check it. So I do. But I'm also a snoop. I also read his text messages. He knows this and doesn't care. He reads mine too. We both trust each other completely and neither of us have a problem sharing.

    If either of us had a diary, that would be something totally different. Because we do need something for privacy sometimes, and that would be something designated for it.
    My recent post Prescription: To Be Furiously Happy

    • the MRS. says:

      I like that you just said it. I snoop because I like to! Thats funny and honest. I bet more people snoop then would like to admit it.

      My husband and I met in Ethiopia, he wasnt used to communicating a lot through email. Just not as customary. If he did, I bet I would be all about it.

      My email is boring, nothing really to see. My important stuff all comes to work. We open each others mail, thats where all the bills/insurance stuff comes. If it went into his email box, I would for SURE check it. He never would.

      I do check his email when my parents mail is both. I will respond for him to my dad. Just to stop a fight from happening!

      ♥ theMRS.

      My recent post this made my morning.

  4. nylse says:

    I dont read my hsuband's emails as a matter of habit – only if he ask me to get something for him do i do so, and i really have no interest or desire in reading his email (its boring!).
    i have not had the need to check his email…i dont really know what circumstances would make me resort to doing so. i trust him.
    My recent post Rest & Reunion

  5. kita says:

    I check my hubs emails because I am nosy and I need to know whats going on. I don't do it on a daily basis just periodically to make sure he is not doing something without my knowledge. My hubs is not a communicator and he is very sneaky if I did not check his stuff and keep up with things I would be on the streets because he keeps things from me. I have to look out for my kids and myself in case of him not paying bills or not doing what he is suppose to do regarding money. I read my hubs texts also I am sorry we had had a problem with cheating before so my trust in him is low. I feel like everything should be an open book because there should be nothing to hide on both ends. I am a need to know type of person and I need to know. Everyone has there own opinion and I respect others each person does what they do for a reason.
    My recent post Comparing two companies

    • bossygirl1980 says:

      I understand.. I have all of my husband's passwords because I set them up… I am a naturally NOSY person so if something is up.. I will snoop not because I do not trust him but because IM NOSY. We've never had a problem with cheating but I have seen (on facebook of course) where women have sent him messages but he NEVER gets on there so I dont trip… But Kita hey you gotta do what you have to do.. If you feel like you are looking out for your kids..then GOOD FOR YOU!

  6. I.White says:

    I know all my husband's passwords, but I do not check his email. The only time I may go in is if I am looking for a bill that I did not receive through my email since his address is listed as the alternate. I completely trust him and he trusts me.
    My recent post Therapy Session: The M-I-L

  7. I don't read his e-mails unless he specifically chooses to let me read them. I know the passwords and can log in at any time but if I don't have to (I sometimes set up accounts). I see no problem with looking through each other's e-mails but there should still be a line drawn somewhere. In Jia's case there's enough trust and respect to snoop but it's not meant to be vindictive or in search of something sinister.

    We have access to each other's accounts and have the same level of trust as Jia's relationship but we typically don't read each other's e-mails. Just don't have much of an interest in doing so.
    My recent post Through My Lens – Photos in Black and White

  8. I don't read John's emails. And he doesn't read mine.

  9. lilzbear says:

    Moment of truth, I snoop. But is it really snooping if the husband know I do it? I second @untypicallyjia said: I snoop because I like to! Yes, I find myself reading his emails because I am nosey…but also, our bills/statements are sent to his email and mine, depending on who signed up, so if I need to check when the Comcast bill is due or something, I will log in to his account to click on the link sent to his email address. And since we share a lot of the same friends, often I can't tell if it is his Facebook newsfeed I am reading or mine when I jump onto our shared computer.
    My recent post Musings

  10. Chasing Joy says:

    I'm not married yet so I don't know what I'd do. In a past relationship I did not snoop but he did cheat. In another relationship I did snoop and found suspicious but not definate proof of any cheatig. I hope in whenever I marry I'll be so secure I'll feel no need to snoop at all.
    My recent post A Joyful Craft Project

  11. I don't check my husband emails, text, voicemail etc. and he doesn't check mind. He could if he wanted….really neither of us want to check our own! They are usually filled with bills due, task list, spam, etc. However, we don't hide these things for example if his phone rings I can answer it, if I want. I choose not to do so. Same thing, he can answer mine.
    I just don't think you should go snooping around, without reason. This just sounds like looking for trouble and causing possible trust concerns.
    My recent post I Got a New Attitude

  12. Marcy says:

    I don't check my husband's email, and I wouldn't like him checking mine. I am not hiding anything, but it would seem weird to have him snooping around and vice versa. The husband in the story was very out of line! I would change my passwords if that happened.
    My recent post Cardio Tennis

  13. The Student says:

    I don't read any of my hubby's accounts. I don't check his cell phone or bill or even his bank account. The reason…I have passwords to everything and so does he. I hope he wouldn't be dumb enough to give me all that information and then do something obvious enough to get caught. As wife…I have his social security number memorized…(yes hubby…that's a threat, lol). Even still…I've never check his credit or anything like that. We don't really have any secrets.
    My recent post 365 Reasons I Married My Husband (Reasons 71-77)

  14. Garrett says:

    I was wanting other people's opinion about this. Me and my wife have been married 4 yrs and I love her with all of my heart but a lot of stuff has changed in that time period. We were Really close at the beginning but it slowly changed after her having our baby girl. When she was pregnant I told her that I was going to take care of the house and everything so she can have a smooth pregnancy and after she had the baby she still didn't do anything after the baby plus with me being in the army and trying to take care of everything has been really hard for me. I have been trying to get her help with things and it seems like she still expects me to do everything so I continue to do it because I don't want to cause an argument. She primarily just sets on the couch but whenever we go places she will go with me. Our marriage has been a little rocky for a while but we worked out our differences. Well about three months ago her cousin had a friend on Facebook and he was a guy that lives in Massachusetts and is a chef. They started talking about recipes and when I was in dc I didn't know she logged in on my iPad to her Facebook before I left and I noticed that he was flirting when he was messaging her and that he said have a good night heart symbol and she said you too with a wink she found out I was on her face book and changed all the passwords. When I came back from dc she sets in a separate chair then me and is on her iPhone or laptop all the time and she also has kept her iPhone a lot closer to her I asked her to set with me when she was on her laptop and she said that she was setting over there because the charger was over there they talk all day everyday on Facebook. I and I am scared I am losing my wife will someone please give me their opinion and what I can do.

  15. I dont read my hsuband's emails as a matter of habit – only if he ask me to get something for him do i do so, and i really have no interest or desire in reading his email (its boring!).
    i have not had the need to check his email…i dont really know what circumstances would make me resort to doing so. i trust him.
    My recent post

  16. The research is very important and essential the elements foot he success are increasing and becoming modern in nature the students are required for the success to become vigilant and up to date.

  17. making controversy is the common problem for the internet user. the entire online community might be face this type of unethical problem on their daily life specially when you are becoming a celebrity than you must fall in that kind of unnecessary problem. that is why we should avoid each kind of controversy which is creating by others.

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