We were talking this morning about moving forward, and how we both really hoped we can get through this. But, he said, I can't spy on him forever, right? Well, no, of course not. But then I got to wondering... how long would I spy on him? Weeks? Months? Years?? I know how it works - your mileage may vary. But... I wanted to pose this question to successful R-er's:
How long did you continue to "check up" on your WS after you started R?
married 2y, together 2.5y
1 beautiful daughter, 23m
"Someday soon, I'm going to put my life together; Win or lose, I'm starting over again."
On our advice our newly married daughter and son-in-law are now sharing one facebook account. We told them of the nightmare stories we've heard of facebook and infidelity.
And I've told him he can do the same to my stuff. We use the same access codes for our phones and have access to both our emails. We've never used Facebook due to privacy concerns.
[This message edited by whattheh at 5:26 PM, August 17th (Saturday)]
We are almost 6 years out of a very successful reconciliation, and I still check my H's phone on very rare occasions. It's not that I think he's doing anything, it's just that I want to make sure he's not. He fooled me once before, and I will never allow him to put me in that position again.
So yes, you CAN "spy" on him forever. Or, in the words of a remorseful WS (my own), I can verify info anytime I want. Spy sounds like it's a game, and he's hiding something and waiting for you to find it, I don't do that. I verify.
*He* messed this up. *He* betrayed your trust. *He* must be willing to meet your terms (no matter what they are, whatever they may be) if he truly wants reconciliation with you!
At the same time, you also don't want to drive yourself bat sh*t crazy obsessing over his crap 24/7. So maybe random, unannounced spot checks from time to time? Really, it's up to you and when you feel safe enough to fully trust him again.
Try not to think of it as spying. Try to think of it as verifying. Verifying the trust you are putting in him. Every time you check and find nothing that trust grows.
Also ask him to be proactive in providing it for you. Seeing his effort also builds trust.
My fWS still won't delete any texts, emails, or internet history without offering for me to check it. I haven't check in months. It makes her feel good and me too.
trust but verify
This is the stage I hope to arrive at eventually. These days, I check his phone, e-mail, and FB regularly. I think he is perfectly willing to have me check up on him for the rest of his life. But for me, I feel like if I am still monitoring these things on a daily basis then we have not healed at all. I want to get to a place where I only check up because I randomly remembered that I hadn't done so in a long time. Or, as Scream said, if a red flag is raised.
you also don't want to drive yourself bat sh*t crazy obsessing over his crap 24/7
This about sums it up. These days it's down to somewhere in the 12/7 range. I'm hoping to get it to something like 2/2. Then after that maybe like 3 days a month tops... I guess only time will tell.
I'd honestly be kinda wigging out that he even asked me
You probably had to be there for the conversation to know that he wasn't asking like it wasn't okay. His comment didn't bother me because I agree that if I am still diligently checking his e-mail, FB and phone, say, two years from now, that would be a clear sign that we haven't made any progress. Honestly, I don't want to be checking them now. He completely understands that I don't trust him, and that I won't for a long time. We are only about a week out from the start of transparency, and just because I haven't seen anything doesn't mean there isn't something to find. I am just hoping that as the days/weeks/months go by, I find it less and less necessary to check....
To this day, even though his wife has never given him something to be concerned about, he sometimes checks up on her.
Once bitten, twice shy. I can understand that. Honestly, I think that's part of the reason why I'm giving WH another chance. I wouldn't trust any other man any more than I could ever trust him. If I moved on and got remarried, I'd probably check up on H #2 also. At least current H has a reason not to be trusted - it wouldn't be fair to someone else to carry his baggage...
I was honestly expecting to find something. Not sure what, but I'd know it when I saw it. I never did see anything. She never balked at how often I checked things (though she was concerned how it literally consumed my every waking moment). After a few months she started volunteering information I'd never even think to check and was coming to me about things all the time.
It was that moment where she went from being openly transparent to outright pro-active about it that my obsessiveness eased off. As time has moved forward the urges and desire to check up on things has waned tremendously. It came to a point where I just told myself that I was wasting my own time and my own life worrying about policing and checking up on someone else. My time and stress level are far more important to me than that. I told myself that if she should cheat again I'll likely find out and deal with it then. Being paranoid about something I fear may happen is pointless.
That said, it's my wife's efforts that allow me to not obsessively check. It's her change in behaviour and helping me. I still check things, mainly just her phone and occasionally email, but she's given me no cause to so it's more just a quick verify to ease anxieties. And that's the most important thing she's given me no cause to.
Surrender to the truth of life.