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The need for transparency

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Noname2016 posted 3/6/2019 06:39 AM

Hello all. I am not sure if this is the right forum for this query but I have a curiosity about needing Whís Location and phone passwords after the affair is revealed.

In my case I had access to all of WHís phone while his affair was going on. He was smart enough to never have any evidence on his phone (deleting the chats / call records). I am now questioning the need for having access to his phones. What is the end game in that? There is not much chance that the affair is still going on because the other BS knows and I think threatened his WW with child custody etc etc. If WH still wants to continue the affair, he can easily buy and have another phone which he can keep in his office to contact the Ow. I mean there are a 1000 ways one can hide contact with another person if one wants to. So really having access to his phone(s) is going to achieve what?

I ask this because I see this a lot here about having total transparency post A reveal.

oldtruck posted 3/6/2019 07:12 AM

Because recovery ware can be used to find deleted
texts, emails, and so on.

Transparency is also the always the consequence of
being a WS.

Northerngal posted 3/6/2019 07:27 AM

I have to agree with the original poster. I have access to all electronics all the time - that heís home. But we arenít always together. He travels, I travel. Thereís no true sense of security with phone transparency. He had to put whatís app on his phone for work, he downloaded it in front of me, showed me the 2 overseas contacts. He didnít use an app to hide his affair, it wasnít foreign, it was a subordinate and it was text emails and phone. So his current use of whatís app is just a new app, no big deal. But it doesnít give me a layer of security, itís just info he shared.

So while I donít suspect anything, Iím not naive anymore to think he canít hide things if he so chooses. The security I had for years is gone. He blew it all on an 8 month affair followed by a solid year of lying. I believed his lies. I believe less now, my head just doesnít go immediately to ďoh, okay then, thatís good enough for meĒ, it just doesnít anymore, and itís been 4 years.

ThisIsSoLonely posted 3/6/2019 09:04 AM

In my case I had access to all of WHís phone while his affair was going on. He was smart enough to never have any evidence on his phone (deleting the chats / call records). I am now questioning the need for having access to his phones. What is the end game in that?

I also agree with the OP - transparency is a crutch, a band-aid, and a totally FALSE sense of security. I know this as that is what d-day2 taught me. My WH has since admitted (as f-ed up and horrible as it is) that he USED transparency as a way to "keep me off his back" while his A continued. The alleged transparency actually bought him more time/freedom to continue his A than if I were on him all the time because the transparency made me "believe" him but all I really believed in was the supposed confirmation it provided me of what he said. I didn't believe him any more than I ever had. - his phone: always sitting right side up right in front of me. His passwords: totally available to me. His email: left open all the time - no need to even know the passwords. The location services on his phone: always on. And on and on and on...and you know what: the A was still on too and hardly ever stopped.

All this transparency did for him was make him stick around after his work was done for a few minutes to delete everything...and yeah, a phone recovery tool can get that (I know - I paid a lot of money to do just that), but it can't get to the burner phone you don't know they have that's kept at work. It can't get to the work emails or the secret email account that is only accessed on the computer at the office. It can't get to the in-person meetings that go on while they are at work, or while you are at work. Monitoring and "transparency" can't stop any of that. And I know now that if he wanted to continue the A again he would get the work burner phone and stay off anything I could physically access to talk to the OW. He would be really hard to catch, and I'd have to wait for months, years maybe, for him to "slip up" and use one of those thing I had access to or talk to her in one of the 10 places I'd installed VARs or other recording devices (I never did this as a general practice but I might now in order to catch him if he were up to something as he knows I used a VAR and phone recovery software before), and maybe I'd have to do other illegal things (some of the VAR recordings I've heard of on here are patently illegal) and for me to still be on his tail after all that time, living like an anxiety ridden fool would mean that there was no trust - trust can't be built by false senses of security. You aren't trusting your WS because their phone shows you they are where they say they are - you're trusting the phone company to provide you with honest information because you don't trust your WS to do so. Period.

There is no way I'm living my life like that...if I wanted to be a detective or live a drama-thriller type movie life, I would have trained for that as a career, but more importantly, I think the "transparency" concept actually hinders trust building. Relying on some electronic leash to tell you to trust or not isn't you and your WS doing the hard work of determining IF you can rebuild that trust.

So I have to think about this for a minute: Do I even want to stay with someone who treated me like the enemy who I have to watch/monitor like a criminal? Who, after having an affair discovered, decides to hide it, purposely trick you, all the while knowing how much pain its caused/causing/will cause you? What kind of sick psychopath does that to someone else? Oh right - my WH, that's who.

To me what is important is not the transparency itself, but the discussion that ensues around it. Do I trust my WH? No. Sadly, not at all - not in the long run. Even though he is doing a lot of the things that are said to be part of the good work that he needs to do. Do I believe him when he tells me things? Yeah, for the most part, but not always. We talked about this yesterday: rebuilding trust and what he/I can do about that going forward if anything, as I don't see R being worth attempting if there isn't a way back to a decent amount of trust. We had a lot of ideas/suggestions - it was a good brainstorming tool really - but the one thing that wasn't on there was transparency. Once it's been used against you, you truly realize what a worthless placebo it really is.

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 1:16 PM, March 6th (Wednesday)]

sassylee posted 3/6/2019 09:52 AM

So what does the opposite of transparency do for you if youíre attempting to R? Hereís your phone. Put on a password I canít crack. Change your passwords on your email accounts and deny me access to phone records. Thatís better!

Having transparency did not offer security. It did not offer immunity from future or ongoing betrayals. What it did was narrow the channels for communication so they were more apt to screw up. I wanted transparency so I could have the truth about my life. And if he was going to continue cheating g - I wanted him to do it right away so I could restart my life. I was devastated when he discovered Iíd enabled findmyiphone. I didnít want him to be faithful out of fear of being caught...I wanted him to be faithful because he valued remaining in this marriage and valued my mental and emotional health. You know - with access to his cellphone - he was limited to pay phones and I still caught him because heíd googled ďhow to make a long distance call from a pay phoneĒ and then Tried to hide that search by entering other how to searches so it wouldnít auto-fill. Still got him - they slip up and that allows you to make informed decisions about your life.

ChamomileTea posted 3/6/2019 10:50 AM

No form of electronic transparency is going to be a guarantee of good behavior. We do it anyway though because it promotes the ideal of team-play. It can also slow a cheater down enough for their better angels to influence their choices.

That said, I took a brief look at your posting history and you're dealing with a sociopath with episodes of psychosis. When you posted your second DDay at the end of January, you didn't know what those terms meant. I trust that you're more informed now. So, you understand that a sociopathic person with poor impulse control and episodic psychosis is a person who can lose control of their grasp of reality and act on it.

This is NOT a typical cheating scenario. I don't want to be an alarmist, but your situation sounds like it has the potential to become explosive. If I were to give you advice, it would be to focus your attention on the physical safety of you and your children.

STLLOST posted 3/6/2019 11:34 AM

I understand the need for transparency but I also agree with the statement what's the point. During one of the many false R's my wife decided she was going to be transparent with me. I told her it was hard to do because we were separated and living in different places. When I questioned her one time about not being home when she said she was because I walked the block to her house and found her car gone she was mad and said I ran to the store to get some wine. She was pissed off that it was an issue that she just went to the store. So then she offered to put the location enabler on her phone. I pointed out well what would that do because if you're telling me that you're home, you'll just leave your phone at your apartment so it will look like you're there. She got to the point of why even try then because I wasn't going to believe what she said and there was no way to prove it. I tried to tell her the more times she's just honest with me the trust will build back up. She also said she couldn't live her life feeling "micromanaged". I pointed out that I had access to everything I was asking for before the affair so I wasn't understanding why it was an issue now.

ThisIsSoLonely posted 3/6/2019 11:49 AM

So what does the opposite of transparency do for you if youíre attempting to R?

I don't mean that if your WS says "no, I won't give you that" that you should just shrug and say "okay" and keep pressing on. I mean that their reaction to that request and their showing you through THEIR actions that things are as they seem are the only thing you can rely on. Asking for passwords etc is fine to give you a feeling for how your WS reacts to that request but don't rely on that at all to "prove" to yourself that things are on the up and up and don't put yourself in a position where you are the detective, checking up on someone all the time, as that will eat you alive.

It means that I have accepted that I have to trust myself - 100%. If something is bothering me, I come out with it, immediately. It means that I have to not allow myself to go into that "maybe this means this and not that" or "I'm not sure and I don't want to rock the boat so I"m not going to say anything and his phone is clean and his emails are clean etc and end up doubting myself" and it's too bad but my WH has to deal with that now and who knows how long. If I find myself in the position where I think things are still going on or I can't live with the fact that they might, I need to leave. I don't need to waste a second of my life going forward trying to catch him. Period.

I did not mean change your passwords so I don't know means that even though I know them I don't rely on that AT ALL. Like 0%. I don't let my "seeing" what is happening convince myself that indeed that is what is happening - so I don't bother looking. Before, transparency was a must because I believed I would know what is happening and I allowed it to override my gut feelings. That was foolish. The transparency issue is impossible - because you're still left with the "maybe my WS is just better at hiding it than before" - so you get no further along. It is the ultimate false sense of security and there are enough d-day 2s (and more) on here (mine included) to clearly establish that "transparency" PROVES nothing - nothing at all.

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 12:04 PM, March 6th (Wednesday)]

ThisIsSoLonely posted 3/6/2019 12:03 PM

It can also slow a cheater down enough for their better angels to influence their choices.

I guess this says it all for me. If my WH needs something to slow down his choices, then I am not interested in playing along anymore. D-day2 changed everything for me in that regard as "slowing down choices" as I see that for what it is: just another form of the pick me dance (aka: please don't make that call, send that text, go meet her somewhere and pick me instead - barf). I've made this abundantly clear. He also knows that in no uncertain terms that continued wayward behavior for me is an absolute deal breaker. He can ask me "is X okay?" and I'll tell him yes or no and why - and we can decide together if we can both live with what I need and what he needs. If he can't go along with that then I'm done. Basically, there are a lot of ways to me being done and only one real way (if any at all) for me not to be, so in that regard, the choice is his. He still has control, albeit a different type.

So yeah, if I ask my WH to give me the password to something right now, and he doesn't comply immediately, I don't need to know any more about it - I'm done. End of story. I don't need to look any further at what the change is/could be hiding. It's over. If he seems shifty about something and his answer doesn't satisfy me and he gets defensive and/or fails to help me feel better about it...yeah, you guessed it...I'm done.

The fact is, I don't look...I ask now because the monitoring was driving me bat-shit crazy before. The hiding from my WH to look at things to see if anything was different...screw that. It made me feel bad about me and him and the world in general. It was depression-creating, crazy-making.

My boundaries and needs are iron-clad. You created this mess, so either you partner with me to help me get through it or you don't. The choice is yours. If you think my request is unreasonable or you aren't okay with it - EXPLAIN why to me, and if I'm okay with your explanation than fine, if I'm not and you won't bend then we have nothing to talk about. I want to feel better and all the transparency in the world isn't going to help that barring wearing a recording device 24/7 that he cannot alter - and how gross is that?!?! The rest of it to me is nonsense.

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 12:06 PM, March 6th (Wednesday)]

ThisIsSoLonely posted 3/6/2019 12:15 PM

I wanted him to do it right away so I could restart my life.

So did I Sassylee - so did I. After d-day 1 I thought I had that - I did not. I could not believe that he would string me along after d-day 1 - it seemed impossible to me, yet that's exactly what he did.

What I had was "transparency" that I used to allowed me to convince myself that my gut feelings and his other actual observable behavior wasn't indicative of what was really going on. All that the alleged transparency did was stop them from talking so frequently and making them feel more restricted as to when/where they could make contact. In a way it escalated the excitement over meeting/talking as it was less frequent/more rushed/more covert. Yeah - love that - all the while I was sitting at home or at work believing that what I "knew" via phone records and locating devices showed I could believe his words.

When I finally decided to believe myself again I set a trap for him to feel safe enough to contact her outside of the workplace where all the monitoring in the world woudln't hadn't gotten me anywhere. It took precisely one time for me to use a very non-transparent method (aka VAR) to record his call to her from our house as he KNEW I wasn't there because my phone proved to him that I was 4 hours away at a friends for the night. In a nutshell, once I determined I should trust myself I decided to show him "transparency" wasn't a one way street so I enabled locator on my phone as well so he could know where I was. So I used "transparency" to give him the same false sense of security he was using transparency for with me. It worked like a charm. He was already on the phone with her when he got home from work as he'd called her from the car and proceeded to have a 2 hour conversation with her filled with "I love yous" and other shit...and that is why I don't believe in transparency at all.

Trust yourself - you're all you've got.

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 12:19 PM, March 6th (Wednesday)]

ChamomileTea posted 3/6/2019 12:31 PM

If my WH needs something to slow down his choices, then I am not interested in playing along anymore.

If cheaters didn't need to improve their method of decision-making, they wouldn't be cheaters. They'd have made better choices all along.

The bigger story for this OP though is that her WH has some very serious mental health issues. Monitoring his phone could very well be tantamount to rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic. So, while I agree that the subject of "transparency" makes for good discussion, I'm concerned there might be a safety issue in play.

ThisIsSoLonely posted 3/6/2019 12:51 PM

If cheaters didn't need to improve their method of decision-making, they wouldn't be cheaters.

Absolutely agree - but that isn't going to come from monitoring or transparency. It's going to come from within...from therapy perhaps, or acceptance, or a whole host of other things. Calling someone else - reaching for something else - and seriously, and I believe this as my WH did attempt to "end things" with his AP dozens of times, but it would always rekindle while he was at work, eventually - regardless of transparency. I guess my point is that I'm not going to "help" him not contact her anymore by watching - I'm through with hurting myself.

In relation to the OP, I don't know their situation - but it sounds to me like the general consensus is that the WH got some serious problems and transparency is the least of the concerns here. Getting out and getting somewhere safe is the only thing at this point. Screw infidelity for now - SAFETY is paramount.

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 12:53 PM, March 6th (Wednesday)]

IslandGirl4418 posted 3/6/2019 13:06 PM

If you are at the point where you need to electronically monitor someone, it's already over.

farsidejunky posted 3/6/2019 13:07 PM


Gently...because she may not be the only AP.

That phone is the key stone that is holding his proverbial wayward arch in place. Remove it, and the entire thing crumbles.

You MUST see the phone without him deleting anything, or you should refuse to reconcile.


Zero negotiations.

Unbroken78 posted 3/6/2019 21:23 PM

Secrets are lies.

Privacy is another word for hiding.

People who hide things, have things to hide.

Honest people don't need secrets from their spouse or privacy from the person they love. Only liars and cheaters demand to keep secrets from their spouse.

sassylee posted 3/6/2019 23:51 PM

If you are at the point where you need to electronically monitor someone, it's already over.

No. I monitored the shit out of my husband for the first 18 months...then less and less as trust was slowly and incrementally restored. A big sticking point for me was the possibility of a burner phone. Every few weeks Iíd tear the house and garage up searching for one...trying to look for signs of distress when Iíd announce I was cleaning the basement or garage. Iíd never actually do is not my forte....

But eventually - after seeing the consistent change in my husband and not finding anything suspect, I stopped digging in his phone and stopped searching for evidence of a continued or new affair. I was able to heal and find strength in my own fortitude. And with all that, we were able to build a new marriage. Every time my husband was where he said and was doing what he promised, it was another coin in the trust bank. Itís been nearly 7 years I have no regrets about offering R.

Listen, I get it if thereís too much damage or not enough effort by the WS for a BS to want to attempt R. I get it being a dealbreaker. But I think if you believe your WS deserves a chance at R and youíre willing to offer it, then transparency is a must...whether it be electronics, passwords or polygraphs.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 11:53 PM, March 6th (Wednesday)]

OrdinaryDude posted 3/7/2019 00:12 AM

Not everyone is a tech wiz, so sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesnít.

For me itís just a gauge, not a guarantee...I donít have to find anything at all, simply refusing transparency is reason enough to D, and that is a permanent condition to stay in the M.

oldtruck posted 3/7/2019 03:40 AM

There is a never ending way to conduct an affair
under the radar.

Transparency makes it harder to go under.

Though what transparency also does is it allows the
WS to repair the broken trust.

The1stWife posted 3/7/2019 05:35 AM

The reality is anyone can and will cheat if they want to.

I no longer worry about the last OW - it is the future unknown potential OW that is more of a threat.

I stopped monitoring and checking up because it had more of a negative impact on me. I refuse to police him.

I also know I can leave this marriage at any time and for any reason. If I suspect he is cheating again - itís over. There is no opportunity to discuss or explain - because thereís no chance to reconcile or get past the issue.

My H could potentially walk out the door and be the biggest flirt all day long, come home and think there is nothing wrong. If I suspect that is his behavior - that shows such disrespect that it no longer makes sense to be married.

Transparency- itís great it is there. But I do not believe it will stop an Affair.

Bobbi_sue posted 3/7/2019 06:16 AM

I fully agree that transparency is not a guarantee.

But I will say that after D-day#2, my H offered all passwords and told me that I could check up on him any time, any day the rest of our lives, indicating check the garage, search the house, car, clothes, whatever (for things like secret phones, chargers, any other indicators something might be going on). And I could call him at work or anywhere, any time for assurance he was where he said he is. This was his idea, not something I requested. He did not read books or this forum, and I never discussed "transparency" with him so it was as if he thought of this concept on his own.

It has been 13 years and this remains consistent. There have been more years in our M after the A than before. And in all honesty, the second half of our M is better than the first and we have grown closer than ever.

This, along with other consistent actions and behavior did work to allow me to rebuild trust for my H. But one thing happened after being cheated on by 2 husbands, multiple D-days in first M, and 2 D-days in this marriage. I will never trust another human being 100% again in my life. A promise I make to myself is to not lie to myself if things don't seem right and there are red flags. If my H should at any point betray me in that way again, I will divorce him faster than he ever thought a divorce possible. There are no guarantees for any of us, but little things they are willing to do might help some along the way. Most importantly, I remember that the only person we can control is ourselves. What we need is a plan for what we will do if we get betrayed again.

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