What Are The Cell Phone Rules For Married Couples?

cell phone rules for married couples

By Jackie Pilossoph, Founder, Divorced Girl Smiling, the place to find trusted, vetted divorce professionals, a podcast, website and mobile app.

An email I got from a reader got me thinking, what are the cell phone rules for married couples? Let’s start with this: Let’s say your spouse goes into another room and his or her phone is sitting right there on the coffee table. If you start looking at your spouse’s texts and emails, are you:


1. Doing something wrong? Yes and no.

2. Doing something unethical? Yes.

3. Being a psycho? It depends.

4. Being really really insecure? In some cases.

5. Listening to your gut because your gut is telling you he is cheating? In A LOT of cases.

6. Being non-trusting because your ex cheated on you in the past? Could be.


These are all potential reasons why someone might snoop and read their spouse’s texts, emails, and social media pages. But, should there be cell phone rules for married couples?


Read this email I received from a reader:


I am on my third marriage. My first husband of 22 years cheated on me. I dated the man I am with for almost 2 years before we got married. This is also his third marriage, and he was also cheated on by his first wife. His second wife used him for a Green Card.

We have only been married for a couple months and our first big fight was over me looking at his phone. I must admit I did this without him knowing (I thought). He confronted me and I told him I wanted to see what the kids are doing. He never shares this info with me. Two of kids tolerate me and one hates me!

I think he overreacted by telling me if I wanted a divorceI should just go get one. Just for looking at his phone! I admit I’m very insecure and I have told him this. He is a very patient man and it takes a lot to anger him. Do you think he overreacted?  I want this to work!


Here is my reaction to this. First, this woman was cheated on in the past, so naturally, she is sensitive to cheating. Her husband should understand that and if he truly was being considerate, he would give her open access to ANYTHING of his and say, “Honey, I know you are insecure. You can read anything you want of mine because I want you to feel secure and loved and know you aren’t with a cheater this time.” Wouldn’t a reaction like that be delightful?


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She told him she wanted to see what the kids were doing, but we all know that was a lie. She should have been honest. But also, why doesn’t her husband tell her what the kids are doing? Isn’t it kind of her business since she is now his wife?

I also don’t like that the kids “tolerate” and “hate” her. Honestly, the kids don’t hate her, they are just tired of their dad continually getting married. I know that sounds judgmental, but I believe these two people could have waited and been just as happy getting to know each other (and their families) without jumping back to the alter.


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Everyone probably would have been happier letting it breathe for a few years. I truly don’t understand why people rush into marriages—especially after a second marriage doesn’t work out.


So then, he says to her “If you want a divorce, you should go get one.” What is that all about?? They JUST got married. It doesn’t sound like she wants a divorce, it sounds like she wants to be included more with his kids. It’s not unreasonable, but again, it’s a difficult situation. I’d love to hear the kids’ perspective.


Here’s another thing. She has told him she’s insecure. He knew that going into the marriage. Maybe he thought putting a ring on her finger would make her less insecure. He was wrong. Engagement and wedding rings don’t make people more secure. ACTIONS do.

A loyal spouse who is trustworthy and who makes you feel loved and safe. That’s what fosters security. But also, a person has to work on themselves to be more secure. Therapy and other things that promote self-confidence are ways to build feeling secure.


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I think it’s kind of ironic that she used the words, “patient man” and  “it takes a lot to anger him” describing her husband. Really? If he can fly off the handle and talk about divorce because he caught her looking at his phone, he clearly lacks patience and he has anger issues.



Look, I don’t really know the cell phone rules for married couples.  I’m not going to say that looking at your spouse’s texts is OK, that it’s acceptable behavior and that everyone should be an open book. That is a personal choice and everyone has the right to share as much or as little as they want with their spouse.



That said, if this guy married this woman knowing what she was like, he got upset either because he is hiding something, cheating, or just frustrated that his marrying her didn’t make her more secure.


In any case, I don’t like it at all, and I feel for the woman because she wants her marriage to work. How can she make it work? She needs to calmly talk to her husband and tell him why she snooped. Be honest and open about it, and tell him that her insecurity caused the snooping.  They would benefit greatly from couple’s therapy because this fight is stemming from some much deeper issues.


If the couple’s relationship was healthy and happy, he would have smiled or giggled when he noticed her looking at his texts. I mean, they’re newlyweds!!! They should still be in that gaga phase of the relationship, right?


I wish this woman all the best, but she needs to stop looking at her spouse’s texts, and start looking at the deep rooted relationship issues they need to work on.

Like this article? Check out, 9 Signs of a Healthy Romantic Relationship



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    Jackie Pilossoph

    Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

    Jackie Pilossoph is the Founder of Divorced Girl Smiling, the media company that connects people facing with divorce to trusted, vetted divorce professionals. Pilossoph is a former NBC affiliate television journalist and Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press features reporter. Her syndicated column, Love Essentially was published in the Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press and Tribune owned publications for 7 1/2 years. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University. Learn more at: DivorcedGirlSmiling.com

    2 Responses to “What Are The Cell Phone Rules For Married Couples?”

    1. ValleyGirlWalking

      I found out about my husbands affair when I found a text message from another woman (over 10 years younger) on his phone. It was my first time checking his phone. The weeks leading up to that night, I had seen a change in my husband, a distancing from me. I don’t know why but I just acted on instinct and looked at his phone and there she was!

      The tricky thing is, I had been openly trying to communicate my worries to my husband in those weeks before, checking in if he was ok, I actually asked him, ‘there isn’t someone else you’re interested in is there?’ He proceeded to gaslight me, tell me I was insecure, I was paranoid, I was distant.

      Do I feel sad I had to check his phone to find the truth? Yes. Am I pleased I found the text message from the other woman? Yes! Ignorance definitely isn’t bliss in this situation, as I would rather be in the awful position I am in now (he has left me for her) than be naive to his deceit and betrayal.

      I believe that instinct is a powerful thing and sometimes, we have to be brave enough to act upon it. Great post!

      • Jackie Pilossoph

        I swear, when you find out the cheating is valid (and that you are not insecure and psycho) although it’s devastating, it’s validating and you feel relieved. I think making someone feel paranoid and like they are insecure is worse than the actual cheating! Just own up to it! Why punish the person you are cheating on??? It’s infuiating!!


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