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Open sharing passwords vs. spying

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HowToLiveWithIt posted 5/27/2014 08:58 AM

We are still in R, despite a hiccup last week. And now I noticed she changed password on her company iphone. She did tell me the password on her own after Dday but we never talked about me checking her phone. At first I was devastated that she changed it and wanted to confront her, though I knew she will take very badly the fact that I am monitoring it, especially know that things are good.
This morning, when she checked he iphone, i noticed she has just changed one digit, most likely because she was forced to do it by the system.
But now I am thinking. OK I do not suspect her for anything now, but with her patternof past behavior, she may or rather will, be tempted again. With all the options in our life it is not easy to hide things, no matter how much openness we try to keep. Maybe it is better that she doesn't know I have access to her e-mail rather that her knowing I see it and using other secret channels. I know it it against the idea of trust and openness necessary for R, but on another hand, if this spying is supposed to give me peace of mind .. it has to be something she does not know about. any thoughts?

rachelc posted 5/27/2014 09:02 AM

a changing of passwords without my knowledge would be a dealbreaker for me, or at least a serious breach in trust. i have all my husband's passwords. I see him use them. Because I know I COULD get into his stuff I don't need to. Knowing the passwords is good enough for me.
Waywards just can't change the rules without the BS knowing, no matter how much time has passed, IMHO.

Others may have other advice?

tushnurse posted 5/27/2014 09:15 AM

You are operating from a place of fear.

If you and your spouse are R'ing, and she is doing all the hard work, she will be more than happy to give you her password, and hand over her phone. It's just what we do.

It has nothing to do with her current actions, it has to do with making you feel safe.

You need to have this discussion. Even 5+ years out in a healed relationship we share our passwords, for email, phone, apps, etc. It's not a big deal, nor should it be. And yes most of us with work phones have to change our passwords every 30, 60, or 90 days. Sometimes it slips our minds to let the other spouse know, but when asked is readily shared.

You need to talk about this.

HowToLiveWithIt posted 5/27/2014 10:17 AM

I agree with your point of me thinking from the point of fear. I am afraid to bring this idea in the open. She always had this very visceral reaction to my spying, whether she had something to hide or not. I do have to get stronger!

But second part of my question was that if the reason for checking her communication is to put me at ease, it will be much more efficient if she will not be aware I am doing it. My open control of her phone will put her into this victim mode, of being submitted to this humiliating ritual, that she understand was brought by her affair but still resents. In the same time it will not make me feel secure, as it is obvious that if she want to communicate secretly and she knows I am checking her email she can do it in other way.

rachelc posted 5/27/2014 10:32 AM

She always had this very visceral reaction to my spying,

as a former ww, I don't understand this. My husband also takes it personally if I spy. I do not.
I'm not sure it's a red flag or just people needing privacy. I don't need privacy. Former waywards, especially repeat offenders, shouldn't expect this. I mean, will some things be off the table forever? I think so...

karmahappens posted 5/27/2014 10:50 AM

I think a lot of waywards feel uncomfortable about the sharing of passwords. It is kind of strange to have everything be an open book when it isn't the norm.

But to not want to do it to provide the peace of mind to your spouse after their world had been shattered? I do not understand that.

My husband had to change his email password a few months ago because he suddenly got a ton of spam and strange mail. I didn't want the new password.

I just don't need it. There was a time it made me feel safe to be able to look and check and confirm...but let's be honest, if someone wants to cheat a new email, an app on the phone that's hidden, a burner's all too easy.

Having the passwords can be a false sense of security. I liked being able to gauge my husband's reaction about my looking at his stuff more than the looking itself.

He wasn't threatened by it, never questioned why I looked and easily gave up his phone or personal property when I wanted it. That was what started to make me feel safe, not the act of looking.

wert posted 5/27/2014 10:58 AM

Maybe it is better that she doesn't know I have access to her e-mail rather that her knowing I see it and using other secret channels.

If you are in R I don't think the above is a good idea as a matter of general direction. Constant deception on either parties part is not a good idea. Not to mention a lot of work.

My two cent is that a WS, for the rest of the relationship as defined by the BS, has lost privacy (as it applies to the above). They need to give the passwords up freely and forever. When they change they need to let the BS know. A fear on their part of being spied on is just silly if they are being honest. Moreover, I would add that if serious concerns, such as distancing, odd behavior, etc arise, full and total investigations can begin by the BS as they see fit.

IMO, after an A, it is just the cost of business for the WS. It should be on the table that this is the how things will go down.

take care...

HowToLiveWithIt posted 5/27/2014 11:08 AM

thanks guys it was helpful, still am not sure if to talk to her about the password or just leave it off the table, and check it when I feel the need. Mostly i want to see if the there was phone contact with OM, so far she is clear of any contacts

karmahappens posted 5/27/2014 11:13 AM

It is more than ok to ask for the password.

Your feeling safe should always be a priority for her.

Ask her!

HowToLiveWithIt posted 5/27/2014 11:44 AM

My point is that seeing nothing wrong in her phone will be much more reassuring if she does not know i am checking. Knowing she knows I am checking her password will make me thinking that she might be using some other channels, .. when I am in bad way that hopefully will be less and less often as our R seem to be doing well.

Btrayedby2 posted 5/27/2014 14:20 PM

I am in a similar situation in that I like to check on the cell phone and FB accounts w/o my wayward spouse knowing. However shortly after d-day he changed his cell phone code and after discovering that I was checking his FB account (in which he was communicating w/ new women) he recently changed that password as well. Now I know that I won't even consider R if I can't trust him and I can't trust him if I don't know what he is doing (which I have expressed to him in those exact words). However I know if I ask for the passwords I will find NOTHING on FB or the cell phone b/c he will know I am monitoring those things and I feel he will just find another way to communicate w/ woman if he wants to.

rachelc posted 5/27/2014 14:22 PM

Btrayedby2 - the fact that he won't share these is probably enough to know that he's not remorseful.

tushnurse posted 5/27/2014 14:26 PM

My open control of her phone will put her into this victim mode, of being submitted to this humiliating ritual, that she understand was brought by her affair but still resents

Wow you have this all twisted around. If she truly resents this, and is playing the part of victim, then you need to have your guard up, this is not true R. Now there is being gunshy about asking questions, and doing things that piss your partner off in R, however.....YOU should be able to ask anything of her at anytime, and she should be more than happy to comply. Real R does not have the WS play the victim. Real R the WS is the one who says, "oh hey I had to update my work password, it's 1234 for the next 90 days."

There is NOTHING humiliating about it either. Would you be humiliated if she picked up your phone and looked through it?

Those with nothing to hide, hide nothing.

HowToLiveWithIt posted 5/27/2014 14:54 PM

well I believe that she will do it if I ask, but this will not prove to me that she is not hiding anything, it will only prove to me that she is ready to do something hard and unpleasant to prove she is not hiding anything. This is important, but may not be worth it.

KatieG posted 5/27/2014 15:03 PM

I was where you are until very recently and I realised I wasn't in R until it happened. Yes methods of communication can be found but it's a feeling I got when all passwords were out and all access was ok, really ok. My WBF is happy when I check because he knows I will find nothing and he knows he can go a small step on the trust ladder.

I found some stuff by looking and rather than check with him I jumped to a wrong conclusion. He wants me to feel safer. Listen to the advice on here, if she's still defensive and saying it's an invasion of her privacy she is not totally interested in R.

rachelc posted 5/27/2014 15:05 PM

Real R does not have the WS play the victim.


we struggle with this at our house.

When the WS plays the victim it then becomes all about them and not the safety of the BS. Not sure why this is such a hard lesson to learn for the WS.

HowToLiveWithIt posted 5/27/2014 15:10 PM

Thanks Guys, maybe I am overreacting still thinking in the mode we used to operate before DDay when I had only suspicions and she was aggressively defensively fighting them. I will take your advice!!

knightsbff posted 5/27/2014 15:41 PM

There is NO WAY I would feel victimized or resentful of my BH checking up on anything. He has all passwords. If I have to change them I usually tell him or write it down for him right away. If I forgot and he asked for a password I would happily give it to him and apologize if I had forgotten to.

I am happy for him to have access to anything I have and happy for him to check up on me any way he wishes. I am where I say I am and I am doing nothing that would upset him. If he checks it only tells him that my actions match my words. I am consistent and honest. It's great for him to discover that! Why would I resent it?

My husband has given me the gift of a lifetime. Resentment or begrudging compliance boggles my mind. It makes absolutely no sense. This is what I want more than anything, what is there to be resentful about?

If your WW is resentful I think she has some work to do. Something is not right.

Badhurt posted 5/27/2014 17:09 PM

She is the one who cheated, three times if I read right. That disqualifies her from having any say in what you do to feel secure. If she reacts poorly to anything I would remind her what happened to you when you trusted her completely.
Don't let your conscience make you vulnerable again

HowToLiveWithIt posted 5/29/2014 10:35 AM

Thanks for encouragement. I did tell her that it bothers me that she changed her password (I did figure out the new one so I knew there was nothing she was actually hiding). She said she had to change it and gave me a new one even without being directly asked. It was all matter factly and we did not discuss our feelings about it, but still I think we had another positive step towards true R. thanks guys!

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