My Confession Of Sneaking A Peek

by Sherry Riter in Lessons of Life

Do you ever sneak a peek?

Do you cross the line of respectful privacy?

Maybe you don’t feel like this is being disrespectful?

I have a mixed feeling about the question that I posted on the poll which was “Do you look at your sweetie’s text messages when no one is looking?”

I was actually surprised that most of you answered, “No, never!”

Does that mean:

  • You have a wonderful relationship full of trust.
  • You don’t care.
  • You are turning a blind eye to their inappropriate texting or calling.
  • You lied…LOL

Jealousy is a tiger that tears not only its prey
but also its own raging heart.


What exactly does it mean to be jealous? According to Webster’s Dictionary:

  • intolerant of rivalry or unfaithfulness
  • disposed to suspect rivalry or unfaithfulness
  • hostile toward a rival or one believed to enjoy an advantage
  • vigilant in guarding a possession

When one person believes there is a rival for the attention, love or affection of their partner, the natural feeling is jealousy. It really isn’t a problem until the actions of the jealous partner become obsessive in order to control their partner. They may check text messages, emails and monitor or limit phone calls to other people. This obsessive behavior is going to cause both partners to feel resentful and creates toxicity. When jealousy becomes obsessive, the mind will go over and over innocent actions creating unrealistic scenarios that the obsessor believes prove their partner’s guilt. If they are honest with themselves, they know that this behavior is based on fantasies of the mind which result in unwarranted accusations.

Obsessive jealousy is rooted in low self-esteem. This is something a person has to live with every day, every minute. It can be a living nightmare. While trying to satisfy their feelings of adequacy, the supposed “guilty partner” suffers too. Constantly trying to prove “innocence” is tiring and hurtful if there isn’t any unfaithfulness. These explanations to comfort the jealous partner are usually a waste of time. The lack of self-esteem usually goes back to childhood and has caused the obsessor to constantly fear that the people or person they love will disappear…constantly feeling the person of their obsession is going to leave.

Whether or not the obsessive partner realizes that they have a problem, the actions are usually the same. In order to “cure” obsessive jealousy, it is necessary for the person to “heal” the pain that was suffered earlier in life. For instance, if a child’s parents obtain a divorce, many children suffer feelings of abandonment. If not treated, they can and often do grow up to become obsessively jealous companions. Obviously, a person can not just “get over” being jealous. They must first look within, admit there is a problem and then seek the help (usually professional therapy/counseling) necessary to heal.

The “seeking help” step is often very difficult. Let me suggest that there is a step between admission and therapy/counseling. That step would be called self-help. There are many excellent books that were written specifically to aid in understanding and overcoming obsessive jealousy. A few that I can personally recommend are:

Whether you are the obsessor or the object of the obsessor, reading these books is not an easy task. It requires you to see within the tormented mind and broken heart of the person that you love or yourself. Skimming through these books is like not reading them at all. Most self-help books are filled with stories of other people’s struggle with the problem being discussed. Reading about their life is necessary. You can not skip these parts of the book because you feel that they are irrelevant and still hope to actually obtain the help you seek.

When we are no longer able to change a situation,
we are challenged to change ourselves.

~Victor Frankl~

Change is not easy. Many people find it too hard to change or to live with someone who will not make the effort to change. In order to be successful through this journey of change and healing, everyone involved must be patient. I looked up the meaning of being patient in the Webster’s Dictionary which reads:

  • bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint
  • manifesting forbearance under provocation or strain
  • not hasty or impetuous
  • steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity
  • able or willing to bear patiently

There isn’t a short cut in this process nor quite simply can there be impatience.

Now, the moment of truth…I have been both the jealous companion and the object of a jealous companion. Personally, I found it easier to the obsessively jealous person because I was in control. Everyone say together, “She must be a control freak.” Honestly, it was easier being obsessive because I KNEW that I could change if I set my mind to it. I can’t, however, make anyone else “do” or “want to do” the steps necessary to change their own flaw. It is hard to watch someone you love suffer while also having your own feeling of helplessness in the situation. If you are currently “obsessing”, I encourage you to be honest with yourself and seek help. You will feel such a sense of freedom and a huge weight will be lifted from your heart and mind. If you are the person who is being obsessed, encourage your partner to seek help, do not enable their behavior and have more patience than you have ever practiced.

“Patience is the companion of wisdom.”
~Saint Augustine quotes (Ancient Roman Christian Theologian~

This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 angelcel July 14, 2009 at 6:02 am

Hehe…'Do you ever look at your sweetie's text messages?' The answer to this would be 'No'….because there rarely *are* any to be seen! We both regard mobile phones mostly as a nuisance. My husband also struggles with the 'predictive text' which he hasn't figured out how to turn off yet (there's never a child around when you need them) and while I carry a phone it's never switched on. I think we belong to another era! 🙂


2 Vickie July 14, 2009 at 6:25 am

The only person who texts my Husband is me:) Though I have a few people who text me and one time he answered my SIL back with an inappropriate comment. Was not happy with him. He was joking, but my SIL got confused and I had to explain to her what my Husband was texting. I told him he was no longer allowed to text people on my phone. He can read my texts, he just can't answer them for me.


3 La Belle Mere UK July 14, 2009 at 8:45 am

Thanks for stopping by my blog. As a stepmother, who is married to a man with an ex-wife in tow, this issue comes up a lot for me and I have learnt to "talk myself down" every time I get a twinge of jealousy. But it's taken 2 and a half years to be able to do it!!! I wish I'd known about these books earlier.

Love your blog

B x


4 Tammy Howard July 14, 2009 at 9:50 am

I used to be terribly jealous, but am much less so now. There are remnants… because you're right – it isn't just something you 'get over' because you think you ought to…


5 Moms Fighting Fat July 14, 2009 at 10:02 am

This really is a great topic for discussion…My honest answer is "no, never", however, deep inside I find myself very tempted to check now and then. Without going in to detail, I have a good reason for wanting to check my spouses messages. But, I'm my mother's daughter and I just don't have it in me to go through with it.

You can't have a good marriage without trust, it's either there or it isn't. It can cause strife when one partner always feels "watched" and the same goes for the "watcher."

Have a wonderful day and again, I'm so glad I found you on SITS because your blog is awesome!

Hugs ~ Sandy


6 Mountain Woman July 14, 2009 at 10:29 am

What an interesting post. Lots of food for thought there. I've found as I've aged and matured, I don't have the same jealousy issues I had when I was younger. Perhaps it is all about feeling secure within yourself. I've been on the receiving end too and that's scary. Great post, great suggestions and fabulous reading list.
Thanks for letting me know about my blogger issues when you visited my blog.


7 When Pigs Fly July 14, 2009 at 11:34 am

Thanks for stopping by my site. My husband doesn't seem to text but is attached to his Blackberry constantly. I guess I don't worry about it. Neither one of us is really the jealous type.


8 Drama queens mum (Kimberly) July 14, 2009 at 12:33 pm

My hubby & I don't text. But I wouldn't peak.


9 Multiple personalities.. July 14, 2009 at 1:05 pm

Your post is very thought-provoking. I think jealousy can send any relationship into Dante's 7th circle of hell…it's just NOT a good place to be in. Do I look at my hubby's texts or emails or answer his cell phone? Yes, but only because I know he absolutely has no problem with it. He's just that kind of person, very open, honest, and nothing to hide. I would only feel I was disrespecting him if I was doing it behind his back. As for emails, I do check them because otherwise he never will or he forgets his password every other day anyway! Me on the other hand, I do have privacy issues, and he never looks at my cell phone msgs/texts, or look in my purse or email, without asking. We respect each other's level of privacy, and we just don't let jealousy become a factor in our marriage. We both have dealt with jealousy in our previous relationships, and we both know that this time around, neither of us wanted that to happen again. Yea, I know, it sounds overly simplistic, but I don't really have any kind of step by step guide on how to not let jealousy into a relationship…it's just a matter of doing it, of coming to an honest understanding and acceptance of each other, totally and whole-heartedly.

Thanks for posting this, it's incredibly well written and inspiring, as always!


10 Dancinbackwards July 14, 2009 at 1:25 pm

I wish your poll wasn't closed! … I've done it. =) But it was an accident OF COURSE!!


11 Peterson Family July 14, 2009 at 2:07 pm

No, I don't look at his text messages. But if I did it wouldn't be a big deal. We are pretty open and honest about everything. We even have a log book for passwords so that if anything ever happens we know where to get them. I think if you trust each other, it's not a big deal!


12 Scrappy Girl July 14, 2009 at 2:29 pm

My hubby never texts…I do peek at his emails occasionally. He is the most jealous in our relationship and I do not entertain it.


13 Carol July 14, 2009 at 3:59 pm

I don't look at his e-mails, never check his phone, why, because he would never be able to handle more than me in his life. Smile. I am a handfull.


14 Tiffany July 14, 2009 at 5:20 pm

Thanks for stopping by and saying hi! I wanted to pop over and do the same 🙂


15 The Blonde Duck July 14, 2009 at 5:26 pm

I never check his e-mails or messages. They're his!


16 Dee July 14, 2009 at 6:57 pm

I'm with Angelcel.

We don't do text. My hubby complains his fingers are too big and the screen in too tiny.


17 Angel July 14, 2009 at 9:54 pm

Just stopped in from SITS to say hello


18 Angel July 14, 2009 at 9:55 pm

zjust stopped in from Sits to say hello
I really like your blog!


19 Melissa B. July 15, 2009 at 1:25 am

I check out his text messages if I can find my reading glasses first…it's hell getting old, ya know!


20 Lady Di July 15, 2009 at 2:18 am

Hmmm, very interesting. I hate to say this (maybe I'm a cynic) but I think some people are lying (like a rug) about checking their significant others texts, etc.

My hub and I look at each others phone whenever we want. We're not "keeping tabs" or anything like that. I have nothing to hide and he has nothing to hide and there is no top secret information being held on our mobile phones.

I guess if I had a hub with privacy issues, I would respect his boundaries. However, honestly I can't say I would NEVER sneak a teeny weeny peak. It would be less about the jealousy and more about just doing something I wasn't supposed to do…I'm kind of naughty like that 🙂


21 Helene July 15, 2009 at 3:26 am

My husband never texts but I have to admit that sometimes I'm guilty of checking his "most recent calls" (both incoming and outcoming). I have trust issues that go way back. He's never given me a reason to not trust him but I still find myself checking.


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