How do I stop snooping?
September 19, 2012 7:32 AM Subscribe
Please help me stop snooping.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (29 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
My mother lies and gaslights regularly, and always has, about pretty much everything. She's lied about having life threatening diseases, about maintaining a relationship with someone who sexually abused me, big stuff like that. She's rarely been faithful or honest in any of her romantic relationships, or with family or friends. I grew up not ever trusting her, and for my own protection have always resorted to researching, finding stuff out on my own, verifying with other people, and snooping. Over the years, snooping has become a way of life for me - I don't trust anyone and I check everything. I hate it, because it's an invasion of privacy and it's dishonest, and because so often I find I have good reason for my lack of trust.
In the years we've been together, especially in the beginning, my boyfriend told me some lies of omission and did some serious bending of the truth. In past relationships he did some cheat-y type stuff. He's a terrible liar and usually confesses some time after, though not necessarily with all the facts. By then I usually already know more than he confesses, he's just filling in the details. I've always snooped pretty aggressively with him and he knows it (I told him), though I know he isn't aware of the extent. I've called him on some of the stuff I've found out, near as I can tell, he's been extremely straight-arrow with me for several months. Of course I don't entirely trust that and I'm always keeping an eye out for weasely shit. It makes me feel bad because I truly believe he has been true, honest and faithful to me for some time now, and while I have dialed it back, I can't seem to totally stop. (Especially since I've also found out some things about him - good and bad - that I know he would never tell me, but that I am glad to know.)
I've cheated in past relationships too - and because of my upbringing I'm a good liar and I cover my tracks well and I've never been found out. I am completely ashamed of this and am always trying to consciously avoid situations where I might have opportunity or reason to cheat or lie or damage any of my relationships (friends, family, romantic, etc), and when something happens I try to immediately be honest and upfront, even if I know it'll hurt. The snooping is the only place I can't seem to maintain control or be honest, and I realize it's as damaging as anything else I could do.
The internet nowadays makes it just about impossible to keep myself in check, there are so many ways and opportunities to keep tabs on pretty much anyone. I monitor my own boyfriend and family almost relentlessly. I know all kinds of things I shouldn't know about all kinds of people. I haven't mentioned it in therapy because I've done it to my therapist too.
A lot of things in my life are going really, really well, but I'm miserable with this. How do I stop doing this?