Is Your Relationship Making You Crazy?


Do You Feel the Need to Spy on Your Significant Other?

Have you ever been tempted to spy on your significant other? Most of us have been a little "nosy" at times, but it usually never turns into an obsession as it does with my girlfriend, "G."

Since her divorce, G has had a difficult time finding "Mr. Right." I think she's afraid every man is going to cheat on her as did her ex-husband. She was totally blindsided by his affair with a much younger, very attractive woman. And to make it worse, he's now engaged to the woman. The humiliation of it all really took a toll on G's self-esteem. She faults herself for not recognizing the signs of a cheater and vows to never be made a fool of again.

In an attempt to even the score with her ex-husband, G only dates younger, very good-looking men. Sex plays a big role in her relationships and G uses it as a measure of a man's devotion toward her. She believes her marriage failed because she never made sex a priority. She allowed the responsibilities of everyday life to consume her and was often too tired or too busy for sex. She doesn't want to make the same mistake, so she's now making it a top priority. Of course, all the men she dates are quite happy with her new way of thinking.

I, however, see a troubling pattern emerging. G wants a committed relationship, but the men she has dated since her divorce only want a "no strings attached" sexual relationship with her. Her current boyfriend is no exception. During the fourth month of their relationship, he told her he wanted some "space." He said he needed a little more alone time. That was all it took to turn G into an undercover spy. Her trip to crazy land had begun. I've seen her travel down this road before and I knew it was going to get ugly. It always begins the same way--she cries for a couple of days and then the tears turn into angry suspicion. She spends hours agonizing over the possible reasons her boyfriend is distancing himself from her. After being cheated on in her marriage, she feels compelled to figure it out. Her conclusion is always the same--he must be interested in someone else. The thought of losing him to another woman is painful so she launches her plan to discover if her suspicions are correct. Her tactics include:

  • Checking his cell phone for calls and text messages to and from other women
  • Trying to hack into his email, but can't yet figure out his password
  • When she is at his house, she snoops around for evidence of another woman. She looks for lipstick stains on his wine glasses and checks the refrigerator for tell-tale signs he may have had company
  • Checking the pockets of his pants and jackets for evidence and reading every receipt to trace his whereabouts
  • Searching through his trash can for empty condom wrappers or crumpled paper with notes or phone numbers
  • Counting the number of unused condoms in his nightstand and keeping track of the numbers
  • Smelling his bed sheets for perfume
  • Asking if she can use his computer to check her email, but secretly checks his computer history for an account of his online activities
  • Snooping in his calendar in search of lunch dates or get-togethers with other women
  • Checking the online dating sites on a regular basis to see if he has posted an online profile
  • Driving past his house at night to see if he is home and if he's not, driving to all his favorite hangouts in search of his car
  • Putting his friends on the spot by asking them how he feels about her

Her desperate attempts to hold on to him are causing her sleepless nights and extreme stress. G is obsessed with knowing what he is doing and who he is with. It's frustrating to see her give away her power to someone who cares so little about her. After a divorce, the fear of rejection can be overwhelming and, for G, her fear is compounded by the betrayal of her husband. She worries she will never find a man who will love her and these insecurities are bringing out the crazy in her.

If you ever find yourself resorting to crazy tactics as G, it's a huge warning sign. It's time to make a better choice for your future. I think G is still emotionally raw from the pain of her divorce and should heal her heart before dating anyone. But she's just not ready to break up with her boyfriend. She's got more spying to do.