ADVICE: Confronting your significant other about snooping
Question: How are you supposed to confront your significant other about an issue you’re not supposed to know about? You found out by snooping.
It’s always difficult to confront your significant other about a situation, especially if he or she thinks you are unaware of what’s at stake. The truth is, we’ve all been there, done that. It’s human nature to “snoop” and be inquisitive. It’s not necessarily the right thing to do, but sometimes it’s the only option if the person you want to depend on isn’t being completely honest. So don’t be too hard on yourself for “going out of your way” to find an answer.
There must be a reason why you were snooping, first of all. Maybe it was a recurring problem, trust issue or suspicion of an issue. Did you confront him or her about the problem? For a secure, honest relationship, there is no question that shouldn’t be asked. If you didn’t confront him initially, you should have; that’s where you went wrong. If you did confront the person and suspected he or she wasn’t giving you the full story, which triggered your snooping, then you had a valid reason (but maybe not in his or her eyes).
Address the trust and honesty issue by itself – without discussing anything that you found out about. Put that aside for now. Make a plan to tell each other about concerns, worries, faults, problems or anything that can act as a barrier to fully trusting an individual. Let him or her know you may be hesitant to trusting for a period of time, and that’s normal. Trust must be built after it’s broken.
Then, confront him or her by admitting you were wrong, because you were. That way, the person has nothing to throw in your face and you put aside your pride, which is always a good way to start a disagreement. Just tell the truth. He or she faulted you by not being honest with you, and you weren’t being honest by snooping. Tell him or her exactly why you decided to take that extra step to find out for yourself. If it was something he or she didn’t tell you that you think you should know, talk about where the boundaries are in your relationship and if it’s something serious, there should be full-disclosure.
Next, address the issue itself. Tell him or her everything you saw, heard or read. If that hurts you, don’t hold back. Don’t let him or her belittle the situation by dwelling on the fact you found out by snooping. That doesn’t make the situation less important or serious.
When push comes to shove, everyone makes mistakes. The happiest couple on the outside can have issues on the inside. Unless it’s something that is seriously threatening your relationship, forgive him or her and move forward. The only way to gain trust and honesty back is by taking that step toward vulnerability, which isn’t always easy. But if that person is worth it, it will be worth it.
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