Cracking into your partner’s phone

Crime of passion or invasion of privacy, perhaps a little bit of both


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A crime took place at a friend’s house recently. I had been out with her that morning and as we were driving back to her home armed with our morning coffees she asked, “What are the chances that he’s looking through my stuff right now?”

The “he” she was speaking of was her boyfriend. For the first time, she had left the guy alone in her house to go for breakfast with me. “Not a chance,” I told her. She didn’t look entirely convinced. That’s because my girlfriend has looked through past boyfriends’ drawers when they left her alone at their places.

“He seems really nice and a stand-up guy. He would never do anything like that. I don’t think the thought would even occur to him to do something like that. Plus, it’s only women who think about doing stuff like that,” I told her.

Wrong. W-r-o-n-g. WRONG. Her boyfriend had gone off to work by the time we arrived back at her place. But there was a note on her kitchen counter that read, “I love you, but there’s something that’s been bothering me for a while, so let’s talk about it on Saturday. I love you.”

Well, of course my girlfriend (and me for that matter) couldn’t wait two days to find out what was “bothering” him. I watched as she dialed his number and spoke with him. Next thing I knew, she was hollering, “You’re disgusting! Who does that? And I know you didn’t just look at my e-mails two weeks ago. You looked at them this morning while I was out. I know it.” She hung up the phone. Before I could find out what had happened, her phone rang. It was her boyfriend again. More screaming ensued. “Admit that you looked at my e-mails today!” she yelled. I watched her face growing furious. “So now you’re a liar, and I can’t trust you,” she yelled before hanging up on him again.

It turns out that her boyfriend had indeed looked through her BlackBerry. She had recently bought a new phone and had left her old one on her kitchen counter. And her boyfriend of three months had looked through it. “Not only that,” my friend moaned, “he had to plug it in and charge it because I know the batteries were dead and he also typed in my password.” (Granted her password was “password.”)

My friend, in her words, felt “violated.”

She asked me if she should dump him. Now, most of us would immediately jump to saying, “Yes! What he did was psychotic.”

If this had happened in their first week of dating, I’d definitely tell her to dump him. But since they had been dating for a couple months, and he had never done anything wrong, I piped up that of course what he had done was wrong, but he needed to be punished, not dumped. This is mostly because both my girlfriend and I have cracked into guys phones before. It’s very easy to do.

I told my friend that this was a crime of passion.

“You know, he’s really falling for you, and now’s the time for him to panic about it,” I explained.

I have other friends who have cracked into boyfriend’s e-mails. One desperately tried it while her guy was in the shower. “I knew I only had a few minutes. And I only had 10 tries.” She couldn’t crack in. “It’s like you’re on some sort of high when you’re doing it. You know it’s wrong, but you can’t stop yourself,” she explains.

I’m guilty of these crimes of passion, which sounds better than saying, “I’m guilty of invasion of privacy.”

Guys, we gals have very good peripheral vision, too. One friend used her peripheral vision while her husband was typing in his pass code as they lay in bed. She had waited for months for this opportunity, and for months she had checked his BlackBerry after seeing him type in his password.

But, to make a sweeping generalization, when I’ve cracked into boyfriends’ BlackBerrys, and they’ve found out (because I can’t keep a secret) they may have been slightly off-putting, but overall, they thought it was kind of cute, and they seemed PROUD that I would go as far as I did.

But when a guy cracks into a girl’s phone, it comes across as creepy and obsessive.

My friend punished her boyfriend accordingly. She rarely took his calls or responded to any of his (numerous) apologetic e-mails that followed for the next few days. Then they talked it out. Was it a crime of passion or a massive invasion of personal privacy? Likely a bit of both.

It’s easy to blame this on new technology, but the truth is this behaviour is no different than having someone root through your pockets or purse or even paying a private detective to have your signifigant other followed.

All relationships are based on trust and at the end of the day we are either true to each other or we aren’t. No amount of snooping will ever change that.

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