When most people walk down the aisle and say, “I do,” they envision a relationship that will last forever. It can be difficult, at the beginning of a relationship when two people are looking forward to the promise of all that the future has to offer, to ever imagine that things might turn out otherwise. Unfortunately, however, for any number of reasons, marital relationships can become strained, and one spouse or the other – or both – may engage in behaviors that they shouldn’t.
When this happens, and particularly if evidence of marital misconduct has been discovered or is strongly suspected, one spouse often experiences the temptation to spy on the other. This is, after all, human nature – and in our world of “smart” technology that seems to be growing ever smarter, spying is easier than ever. Some of the different methods of spousal spying commonly used might include installing spyware on a phone or computer, placing hidden video cameras around the house or in a vehicle, or even installing a hidden GPS tracking device on a car. There are also keylogging devices that can be installed on computers, and recording devices that can be installed on phones.
Unfortunately, the ease with which we can spy on one another also makes it far more difficult to resist the temptation to do so. Nevertheless, if you are considering spying, you should make every effort to resist that urge, if at all possible. Although you may want to feel vindicated, or to confirm or deny your suspicions, spying can actually bring about a number of unwanted legal consequences, as we have explained in other articles on this site.
On the other side of the coin, if you believe that you are the spouse who is being spied upon, what should you do? Particularly if you have done nothing wrong in your marriage, you may wonder why your spouse is spying on you. There are several reasons that the spying may be happening including, but not limited to:
- Worrying that you are drinking, using drugs, or spending time with someone you shouldn’t;
- A concern regarding the manner in which you are spending money;
- A worry that you are only pretending to work when in fact you are doing something else;
- A worry that you are spending time with someone else and engaging in an inappropriate relationship.
Another major reason your spouse may be spying on you is to get an advantage in an upcoming divorce or custody battle, or to file a claim against you for alienation of affection, or criminal conversation, and a court will consider marital misconduct by a spouse very seriously.
These are only some of many reasons why one spouse might decide to spy on the other. The truth about human nature is that sometimes, people get paranoid worried. If your spouse has had others cheat on them in the past, then there may be the worry that you will do the same, even if you have done nothing wrong. On the other hand, if you are actually cheating on your spouse or engaging in some of these other behaviors, there may be signs that your spouse is picking up on, even if you don’t realize it.
How Can I Protect Myself?
Needless to say, if you are engaging in these behaviors, the first thing that you should do to protect yourself, and to save your marriage if you desire to do so, is to make every effort to stop immediately. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to take the necessary measures to help yourself do so. This may mean seeking counseling, group therapy, or other professional interventions, if those would be helpful. Ultimately, these sorts of behaviors, if proven, can have a negative impact on a number of issues that may be very important to you in a divorce proceeding – issues like child custody, support, property division, and more. Making the effort to stop these behaviors is well worth it, before it is too late.
Even if you are not engaging in these behaviors, however, you may understandably want to know if your spouse is spying on you, as you suspect. While spyware can often be very difficult to uncover and identify, the good news is that there are ways to do so. Consider the following helpful advice as it pertains to commonly used methods of spying:
- Available access: Sometimes, you do not even need to identify spyware at all. In fact, your spouse may not even be using it. Your spouse may simply be checking your computer or your phone when you are not using them, particularly if you are not protecting those devices with a password. To help ensure that this is not the case, change your passwords frequently and make sure and that you are the only one who has access to them. Doing so will go a long way toward protecting your privacy and ensuring your peace of mind.
- Smart phone spyware: As they say – there’s an app for everything – unfortunately this also means that there are often apps used for spyware. In fact, if your spouse has access to your phone, he or she may have installed a program on your phone that is spying on you entirely without your knowledge. These apps take information, including texts, call logs, pictures, and other data from your phone, and transfer it to a third party without your knowledge. Because these apps can often be difficult to identify, often leaving no traces of their presence on the phone, if you strongly suspect that your spouse may be spying on you wiping your device or restoring it to factory settings is always a good option. Additionally, keeping your phone up-to-date helps to defend against various security threats including spyware.
- Use available anti–virus software: If you believe that your spouse may have installed other spyware on your desktop or laptop, you can try using an antivirus program like Norton or McAfee which may be able to either detect spyware or prevent it from being installed in the first place.
- Check your vehicle closely: If you feel it is possible your spouse may have installed a GPS device on your car, you should of course give your car a thorough inspection. You may check common places that these devices are placed, including glove boxes, under car seats and in wheel wells. If you do not locate a device, but still believe that your car may have a tracking device in it, bringing it to a trusted mechanic who might be familiar with these devices and where they are placed is also a wise decision.
Contact the Law Office of Dustin McCrary Today
At the Law Office of Dustin McCrary, we have represented countless clients as they go through the divorce process. We understand the difficulties that couples can encounter during a marriage, and the strong temptation that spying can present. We encourage everyone to resist that urge, for any number of reasons. If you have additional questions about spousal spying and how it might affect your divorce, or if you believe you’re being spied upon, you should certainly consult with a qualified divorce attorney who can help you. We would be honored to have that opportunity. Don’t hesitate any longer – call us today.