Should a Wife Have the Right to Snoop Through Her Husband’s Phone?


Hi Dr. Buckingham,

I have been married for six years, and my husband and I grew up in different countries (I in the U.S. and he in the Caribbean). He was very honest with me from the beginning about his extensive sexual past. I was a virgin when we married. He keeps in contact with a lot of people from his homeland via social media. And I recently found out he was speaking to someone he used to sleep with (but didn’t consider to be a girlfriend); she was reminding him of the intimate times they had together and sending naughty pictures, and from what I saw, he didn’t tell her to stop. I told him I was uncomfortable with it, and he told me it was nothing serious, he was just “joking around” with her; he has since blocked her on all his social media accounts.

The problem is I found this out by going through his phone (I know it’s wrong). To be honest, I’ve done that on and off since we got married. Because I don’t know all his friends from his home, I felt this was a way to get to know who he was speaking to and what kind of relationships he had with them (male or female). This time though, the issue with this girl really threw me into a dark hole of insecurity, and I am continually pestering him about it. He didn’t change the passcode on his phone. But he has demanded that I stop going through his phone because he feels like he’s constantly being watched when he’s home and because he feels I’m hurting myself more than him when I do that.

I really do want to stop going through his stuff because it has caused other problems in the past. My question is: how can I feel comfortable to trust his word again fully when I feel he is now so overprotective of his phone? My biggest concern is that he will unblock this girl and start talking to her again now that he knows his wife won’t be going through his phone anymore.

Do I have a right to snoop or does my husband have a valid point—Should there be privacy in marriage?

Thank you,

Mrs. N

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Hoodwinked: I’m Single, but Dated a Married Man


Dear Dr. Buckingham,

I recently dated this guy who appeared to be the right man for me except he never had time for me. When we were together we had great times. However, I would only see him every other weekend. After six months of dating, I asked him why he had never introduced me to anyone in his family including his children that he talked about frequently. He told me that he did not bring women around his children until he knew that things were going to work out between them. As a single mother, I understood and respected his view so I did not mention it again.

I enjoyed his company and we spent the majority of our time together hanging out in my favorite places and occassionally at my home. I never made a big deal about going to his place because he made things very convenient for me. However, after nine months of dating, I told him that I felt that it was time that I learned more about his family. He said no problem, but nothing happened. I started getting concerned so I purchased him a new cell phone as a gift. He was excited, but he did not know that I had a tracker place in the phone. This is when everything came out.

After hanging out several times, I noticed that the phone showed him returning to the same place. I looked up the location and decided to investigate. I parked down the block and watched him come and go with a woman and two children. I let a few days go back and decided to call him. I asked about the woman and children. He did not respond immediately, but eventually told me that he was married. I felt like passing out and I was so angry with myself for letting this happen. I felt totally violated. He was married, but was acting like he was single.  Three months have passed, but I am still traumatized by this experience. I do not want any single woman to experience what I experienced.

How Can Single-women Identify Single-husbands?


Ms. Hoodwinked


Dear Ms. Hoodwinked,

I am truly sorry that you were hoodwinked and violated. Unfortunately, in this day and age, this behavior is becoming more common. There are a lot of men who claim not to be involved in any type of serious romantic relationship, but are married. I am glad that you allowed your intuition to guide you into Inspector Gadget mode. I am also glad that you are concerned about preventing this from happening to other single women. Given this, here are 5 Behavioral Indicators that can help single women identify husbands who claim to be single. Please be mindful that these are just indicators. If you are suspicious about the man that you are dating, please investigate further.

Exhibits “Overly” Accommodating Behavior

“Single-husbands” are notorious for being overly accommodating. They go out of their way to please and make things to convenient for women and rarely complain. Being accommodating is not a bad quality, but “overly” accommodating can be problematic in any relationship.

As you stated, “we spent the majority of our time together hanging out in my favorite places and occassionally at my home. I never made a big deal about going to his place because he made things very convenient for me.”

During the honeymoon phase (first two to five years) of a relationship it is not uncommon for individuals to go out of their way to please their partner. However, anything done in “excess” will and can cause problems. Whenever you meet a person who places their needs on the back burner, please proceed with caution and increased vigilance. Selflessness is a great quality, but so is self-care. Bottom line: pay attention to interactions that appear to be unusual (never met any of his relatives) and/or creates apprehension.

Engages in Secretive Behavior

Secretive behavior can include many things, but phone mannerism is easy to recognize. Does he receive “secretive” phone calls that must be taken in privacy? If you ask who called, he say, “It’s not important or “we have to trust each other in order to grow in this relationship” or “please respect my privacy.”

You never hear their conversations unless they are talking with guy friends or family members such as siblings or cousins. Also, you are instructed to call them at certain times and they do not answer your phone calls outside of scheduled timeframes.

Triggers Uncomfortable Feelings in You

You are probably dealing with a cheater if your intuition or gut feeling tells you that something is not right. If you feel slightly uncomfortable or disconnected, please pay attention to your intuition. Remember that a “gut feeling” is a feeling worth exploring. If you feel that something is wrong, there probably is. You should always be upfront and express your concerns. If you still feel uneasy and cannot shake off what you are feeling, you probably need to move on.

Keeps a Tight Schedule

Single-husbands are not very flexible individuals and will occassionally express anger if you ask them to change their plans. They are usually accommodating, but only if arrangements do not throw their schedules off track. As a matter of fact, being overly accommodating is way to disguise their need to keep a tight schedule. Women are so impressed with being catered to that they do not recognize that they are being controlled and held to a schedule.

Loves to Set the Dating Agenda

By setting the dating agenda single-husbands can avoid being seen in places that their wives visit. Also, there is a high possibility that single-husbands will not date or seriously connect with single women who like to do the same things as their wives. Managing the dating agenda allows them to dictate interactions and avoid being caught.

I hope the behavioral indicators outlined above are helpful. The best thing that single women can do to avoid being hoodwinked by married men is to move slowly with open eyes. Some single women get so excited about being connected that they jump in with their eyes closed. A woman’s intuition and heart is her guidepost. I did not say that a woman’s emotion is her guidepost. I said intuition. When you do not feel something is right, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.

Best regards

Dr. Buckingham

If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please click here and receive a response within 72 hours.

Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.

I Married a Serial Cheater: Is Walking Away the Right Thing to Do?


Dear Dr. Buckingham,

I read a posted letter to you from Young and In Love and I saw myself in this. The only difference is, I am 54 years old and have been married to my husband for 28 years now.  We have four kids, all past the age of 18.

I have been sacrificing for so long living with this cheating husband of mine for my children’s sake and I have always blamed him for making my kids and me suffer. He doesn’t care how I may feel regarding his infidelity because he does it again and again. I feel he knows I get hurt but he does it anyway. Read more