Cell Phone Interaction and Married Couples

It is amazing how such a small device can cause so much drama. Within marriages all over the world, there is this debate over access to cell phones in marriage. On one hand, there are those that think that a marriage means that you are joined as one, therefore, you should have access to each others cell phone, at any time. Matter of fact, I know some couples that answer each others phone.

One the other hand, there are those that say that I do not need to see your cell phone, because I trust you, and there is not a reason for me to go looking in your personal cell phone. Unless you give me a reason, and if that happens, I will check.

Then there are those that believe that looking at each other’s cell phone are off limits, completely.

It’s not an easy conversation, the cell phone conversation. It’s not an organic conversation that will come up on it’s own “Hi honey, dinner smells good, would you mind if I see your phone?”

For us ladies, we are also dealing with male ego, which gets in the way of the conversation as well ‘my phone, my personal phone, my power’…ect.

At the end of the day, most cheaters are caught by either ell phone or computer (the computer I will discuss on another day). And I find it strange that it is a such a taboo topic in relationships. Well, I take that back. It is not strange, because it is a very difficult topic, and it triggers all kinds of power struggle and trust issues. So what do most people do? They don’t talk about it. They don’t talk about, at all. Most couples never have a conversation about cell phone communication until it’s a problem.

Honestly, I do not know the answer to the question of what is the right level of transparency in cell phone interaction in a marriage. I caught my husband by looking at his cell phone. Of course at the time I didn’t realize it, but for the most part (except for this one time), he had that darn thing tied to his hips like it was a hip bone or something. That should of raised my eyebrows but it didn’t. What is the right level of engagement with cell phones and married couples? I know after one has cheated, trust has to be rebuilt and the best way to do that is full transparency. But what about prior?

I think each married couple should engage in a conversation around cell phone interaction and transparency. It’s a difficult and uncomfortable conversation, but it just might save you drama down the road. Curious to hear what others feel around this topic.

17 thoughts on “Cell Phone Interaction and Married Couples”

  1. I for one DO NOT want to be the “warden” , I want to be the wife !
    I have never asked to look at my “H” s cell phone, computer , hell I don’t even open his mail.
    So no…. that is not something that has ever come up. If I thought he was cheating I doubt looking at his cell… would really tell me much.
    He would be smart enough to delete all texts, emails .
    If my marriage was so bad I had to resort to policing him…. forget it.
    It is the beginning of the end.
    I want a man… not a child that I have to worry about.

  2. I never thought much about checking his cell phone until his cell phone habits totally changed. He used to come home and leave his cell phone on the counter or in the cabinet or even on the charger. Now it has virtually disappeared from sight. When cell phone behavior changes drastically…..it is definitely a major RED FLAG!

    When he was still leaving it about I checked it to find a pass code on it. S0 several days later I casually asked him for his pass code as I could not find my phone and wanted to send my daughter a message. He was quick to look over my shoulder to make sure I was not going through it and stayed hovering until I completed the message. The next day it had a different code on it and it has now disappeared from sight all together but especially my reach. He keeps it with him at all times and even hides it next to him or under his pillow at night.

    My cellphone does not have a pass code and I leave it about charging unattended because there is nothing on it I need to hide from anybody.

    My theory is and has been: People that have nothing to hide, hide NOTHING!

    I have also caught him checking and sending text in the middle of the night from under the covers…. when he thought I was fast asleep.

    Do I think something is up? Hell yeah….

    I think its just a matter of time now until my worst fears become confirmed!

    Suspicious Wife of 30 years ;(

  3. It was a dramatic increase in text messages that alerted me. I am still torn between wanting to know and wanting to believe it’s over with the other woman. I know it is so easy to hide or delete texts so “full transparency” does not mean full disclosure. I want to snoop but if I find nothing it still doesn’t prove it’s over, just that he got better at hiding.

    1. Yes it’s a difficult spot, mamadrama I get what you are saying, unfortunately, it’s also a line that many men use to cheat ‘you should trust me’. And I think in most relationships that is how it starts out, full trust, I am not going to check his stuff, ect. But like Petra/Sophia said, when the behavior changes, that’s when you have a problem. And when the cell phone behavior changes drastically and they say ‘just trust me’ but your feeling are telling you something is going on, that is where is gets complicated, because it could be nothing, or it could be cheating. I never thought to check my ex-husband’s phone. Until he started leaving the house and coming back at 2-3 in the morning, ‘helping family’. Or until he started taking the phone with him everywhere. So when I got the chance to check, I found out he was cheating. And for some reason, many cheaters don’t cover up too well, they get lazy over time, very lazy. Petra, I agree, something is up, texting under the covers while he thinks you are sleep, not cool!

      Sophia – you are spot on, “full transparency” does not mean full disclosure. Where there is a will to cheat, there is a way. And if you are in the stage where you are trying to figure out if he has stopped, I don’t recommend constant snooping, it will drive you insane. Just trust that if he is still doing it, you will find out, your alert senses are on high, you are going to find out without much digging. Also make sure he understands the rules that you establish during this time, it should be very clear to him what is tolerated and what is not. So if he violates what you established, you know he is not serious about making it work.

  4. I have to say I was the confident spouse of 21 years. I could not get my husband to have phone sex nor send sexy messages. But low and behold…because of work situations we lived apart. I went on a trip and came home to his email being open. I never once had thoughts about looking at his phone or email accounts. But, there it was, proof of a long term affair. It took my breath away. I gave him three times of round about questioning to come clean. He never did. So I had to call his partner and do a three way confrontation.
    I think Ann Landers was right. She stated in the early 70’s that the computer would be the downfall to marriages across the nation. She just never knew how far technology would go.
    Anyway, after him coming clean, things are still not great. I am 5 months from d-day. We had hysterical bonding like crazy for three months. I went on a trip with my daughter and tried to get him into phone sex or messaging on the computer. He says he is so filled with guilt and ashamed that he did that with her it is too hard for him to touch himself unless I am right there with him.
    It makes me so frustrated that so much is taken away when an affair transpires. They dont even think about the damages that will happen. Not only are we in m.c. I now think we need to find a sex therapist to help him deal with this. Like I said, how the hell did she get him to to acts that I never could. And to top it all off, he says it wasnt as deep or as fulfilling as sex with me. Plus he had no feelings for her…really…Yes, says the mc. Men can lead a woman on just to keep them available for whatever sex they desire.
    I want to leave but he has many health issues at this time.
    God will get me through this but it is really hell at times.

    ps…can you tell I havent shared with anyone other than counseling….arghhhhh

    1. Hi Beth,

      It seems like your husband might have what’s called the Madonna-whore complex. It’s essentially a theory that some men want to have the wife as the angel wife that has normal sex. And they also want a whore to do all the nasty things with. And the two can’t mix. Meaning the wife can not do whore things, the husband can’t connect the two because he holds the wife as the ‘wife’ and somehow has put in his head that the ‘wife’ or ‘mother of my kids’ can not be dirty in bed.

      It sucks and this mentality plays out quite often. My ex-husband, the same way. I would try to talk dirty – he would have none of it. But guess what – tons of dirty messages to the OW. At first I was hurt by it all because I thought he cheated so he could do all those things with her, and I felt like I could of played those games. But knowing what I know now, he had the complex to where he couldn’t do those things with me because I was the ‘wife’. When you get a chance, you should google this complex, it might bring you some awareness into what is going on. Take care.

  5. My previous letter states that my husband overall behavior changed. I found questionable items in his car and his cell phone all but disappeared out of sight altogether. The flags kept popping up so I actually hired a private investigator. On the second day of surveillance my worst fears were validated. While I was at our vacation home for the summer with my son
    he was regularly hooking up with singles and other tawdry women, all the while lying about his whereabouts. My entire world, everything I ever believed about my husband of 29 years is now a big question mark. I do not know how long this sexual addition has been going on but I now have to question everything in this marriage.

    Today I took the first step forward and got tested for the entire list of sexually transmitted diseases as I am determined to take my power back at all costs. I cannot possibly see a way out of this situation other than divorce. This marriage and my trust can not ever heal from such destructive, narcissistic behaviors.

    I am trying to wrap my head around this fact slowly and methodically. I am an emotional wreck and have not slept well in weeks. The stress of this all has even given me a painful case of the shingles. I must hold on and pretend all is ok while I gather all pertinent financial information and plan my strategy forward. He does not know that I know and that I actually have video romancing and kissing a thirty something woman whose occupation appears to be a stripper. To say that I am totally devastated is an understatement. This behavior clearly is a deal breaker and has little regard for our marriage and my well being and health.

    Trying to cope and take everyday one step at a time.


  6. Hello ladies it’s been awhile since I been on this chat site. Just some brief info for the women who are not sure if their husband is texting other women or not, just look at the cell phone bill. If you don’t pay the bill learn how. If you click on the usage of the husband phone number, then click on view call detail or text detail all the numbers he has called or received will show up. Then do a reverse phone search and then you have your answer. Or you can setup a pc monitor, the one I used was Web Watcher Data.com It recorded everything and took pictures of the sites he was on. This is an invasion of privacy on your spouse so you can not use it in court but you can use it to make a decision about the rest of your life. It’s very hard to learn about your spouse this way and they are truly mean as they talk about you to these other women. So be prepared to be hurt. If you want to pretend it’s all in your head go ahead and try to forget it all. But when you gut tells you something is up it is!!!!! Hope my info helps others in this difficult time in our lives.

  7. Beth, your comment on Anne Landers was right on. My knowledge of my own marriage down fall was when we got our first computer in 91 and the first thing my husband and his friend lookup is porn sites. They stared at that pc for hours as if they were 15yr old boys. I knew then my marriage was in deep shit. It was a gut feeling and I should have listened then. My husband became addicted to porn and sex sites and has his world come crashing down when he was 48yrs old. On line affairs texting sexting you name it he did it. He also became an alcoholic during this time, so I was dealing with two addictions. After 5 yrs of fighting, separation twice, my job loss because of the stress he finally got help. AA helped him realize that he was cheating on me emotionally for 5yrs. He never once thought he was. He was just having fun, his words. Today I am still with him but I don’t trust him. It’s been 2yrs since the last time I caught him doing anything. Iam still not emotional available to him and he knows it but doesn’t want to lose me. So I stay. Honestly it would have been better if he just died.

  8. Found my husbands text messages. He bartended with this woman and picked her up and brought her home. He said it was all job related then why did he delete the texts? He lied to his children he told them that I was nuts and going crazy. Then he confessed the next day that it was a friendship. I am having a hard time believing. I went to get the phone invoices and it showed that he also called her when I was at work. He said that he would do anything to save our marriage of 39 yrs. I need some advice. I also confronted this women and the stories did not match. She was to nice and invited me in her home. I am thinking of doing a two way call and having my husband tell her that I know everything then if she says what’s there to know or how did she find out that will convinces me. Is this s good idea?

  9. My husband was contacted on FB by the woman he had a physical affair with 40 years ago when he was married to his first wife. She wrote “just to catch up”. In days, they were phoning each other (and hiding it from me and her husband). It lasted 16 months before he forgot and left his email open to their love letters (thankfully, we live hundreds of miles apart). I was completely devastated and blindsided by the loving things he said to her and by her effusive declarations of undying love–even a couple of very sexual exchanges!! Between bouts of crying and thoughts of suicide, I learned to read our cell phone bill. They exchanged about 1650 phone calls (not all connected, but almost all placed by HIM and 600 texts and 100 emails). He swore it was over that night and showed me how he was taking her phone number out of his phone but he didn’t show me that he had assigned her a pseudonym in his contacts and when I subsequently learned about that (found an email addressed to a man saying how much my husband loved him?? It was her and he had not stopped calling). It took him 7 weeks after I caught him to stop calling her.
    We went to counselling, together and seperately. The therapist said it was very common for men to continue an affair for a while even after the wife finds out and even if he intends to end it (to let her down easily?) YES, this was an affair–an emotional affair and perhaps more hurtful than a purely physical affair! The therapist also said that his behavior was probably a true example of OCD–like people who feel compelled to wash their hands 35 times a day are not really obsessed with clean hands, but with the act of hand washing, he was probably not really obsessed with her but with the act of callng and texting. Still, there were hundreds of lies and deceptions and all those hours of preferring her company to mine (17 thousand minutes of calls plus the FB, emails and texts)! It has been two years since I found out and I am still depressed, unbearably hurt and jealous.
    I know the other woman–not attractive, not young and certainly not very bright ( even H admits this), so what was fun about spending all his free time talking to someone like that? Was it just ego (she called him the love of her life and the greatest man in the world)?
    So far I have resisted the temptation to send my proofs to her husband, but I hate it was my husband and I are suffering and she has “gotten away scot free”. I even think that he allowed her to believe he really did love her, but could not leave me after all these years (which I know is not true).

    1. Marge/Allayfig/Petra/LisaP
      You can set up the call, but be expected to be disappointed, those calls typically do not go as planned. I think you already know what’s going on. No guy picks up a woman at a bar and takes her home as a friend and deletes the text messages. He needs to own up, if he is willing to do anything, the first think is to tell the truth. I told my husband he better tell me everything because if I ever find out he lied about anything, it’s over. Cheaters will deny, deny, deny. Tell him he needs to come clean. You can’t repair a marriage with him keeping lies. I would focus the attention on him, not the OW. You don’t really know her and her intentions, but you know your husband and the obligation to you to be faithful. That is where you focus. I wish you well!

      To see all of that data of the affair is traumatizing, and difficult to get over those images. Based on experience, I will tell you, a lot of those messages are part of the ‘cheating’ game. It’s played everyday all over the world. The husband tells the OW whatever she wants to hear, if she is ugly, then she is ‘beautiful’. He wants to leave but can’t leave the wife due to obligations. I miss you, I love you. All the cheaters say the same thing to keep the OW interested. Doesn’t mean it’s true, remember that.
      I know that the therapist says that he has OCD and that it is common for the husband to continue the affair, but that does not excuse his behavior. For it to be two years, you still seem to be in a lot of pain. Has the focus of the two years been on the recovery of the marriage or on your personal recovery? Both recoveries are important. In your recovery you learn to love yourself, despite your husband. You learn that no one should be in charge of your happiness, expect for you. You learn that you are empowered. If you don’t feel that way, it’s time to focus on you and building yourself up. It’s equally important in the journey.

      Sorry for you to find out this way, but glad you now know. It must be hard knowing and him not, having to engage with him knowing the truth. But you are strong enough to know what you can and can not handle. I know sleeping is hard, eating is hard, but you have to force yourself to do it. I use to wake up with my nightgown drenched from sweating, my body could not handle it. I will tell you to be careful, your health is important during this time. You are going in the right direction by looking at this strategically and making sure you have yourself together. Once you tell him he will probably deny, but it’s hard to deny when there is video. Take care, most importantly take care of your health the best you can.


      Good to hear from you! I hope all is well!!

  10. I didn’t catch my husband cheating via his cell phone – but that IS how I caught his hidden porn use!

    We had given birth to our son, and the doctor had given us the go-ahead to resume intimacy. I was thinking, about time! My libido’s always been high and the nine or so weeks had been killing me, even though I’d offered to, ahem, keep pleasing my husband. My husband kept rejecting me, though. It was upsetting for me, but I tried to push it away.

    Until one day…

    He handed me his phone and asked me to download pictures of our baby son onto my computer. I did. Imagine my surprise when his time/date-stamped porn cookies also downloaded, complete with explicit imagery! I looked at the dates. He had began watching porn *after* we had been told we could resume sex! Not before! WTF!

    I wasn’t sure how to bring it up. Decided to make it look innocent. I invited him to sit on the couch with me so we could look at a slideshow of our son’s pictures (read: all the pictures from the recent download). He was drinking a soda. In the middle of the photos of our sweet boy, the porn photos surfaced. He was so shocked he spat out his drink! 😀

    Then the excuses started… 🙁

    Even considering the months of pain that followed (no, he didn’t quit, and yes, he continued to reject me in favor of the porn for another ten months), it’s still worth it to think back on that moment when he spat out his drink and chuckle a little. 🙂

  11. Should add: my friends coming to me, his stupidly doing it when he didn’t think I could see, and even once a video he took of a girl on his iPod were what outed his cheating. >:o

    1. Thanks for sharing Sylvia, I got such a good laugh out of this, I could only imagine your husband sitting down thinking that he is about to see pics of his newborn, them bam!! LOL. It reminded me of a post I did about crazy moments during the affair, I put the link below, if you click you will see some more funny moments. You actually inspired me to think about having a new page on the site just for these stories. It is so painful to go through, having a section where we can just laugh for a bit might give a bit of humor relief to an otherwise dreadful experience! As a side note, getting rejected and knowing he is watching porn for months, how cruel!!! At the same time, he seems like he is hooked on porn.


  12. I just want to know if when home and a spouse’s cell rings, and the other spouse sees it’s their mother-in-law or brother-in-law and the spouse is in the other room or outside, are spouses answering the phone and saying hello to the brother-in-law and letting him know the spouse is in the shower…or outside….and have small talk and then tell your spouse that the person called. Or, walk into the other room with the phone and say, “it’s your brother….” and give the spouse the phone. You know….sort of like the old days when there was only a land line in the house and anyone could answer it. I’m not interested in whether or not it’s right or not to sneak on each others phone; or have access. I just want to know if spouses are cool with answering each other’s phones when at home and you can clearly see the person calling is a family member or close family friend that you both know/talk with, etc…..the scenario I put forth above. Thank you one and all!

    1. Hi, every marriage is different. Within the married couples I have talked to, there is an unspoken rule of don’t touch my phone – ever. I do not think that is the right set up, but it is the most common unfortunately.

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