'I think my partner is cheating on me, is it ok to go through their messages?'

·3-min read

Mel Schilling is a relationship expert, confidence coach and TV presenter who is passionate about educating, motivating and inspiring people to be their best. Mel’s advice is backed by her 20 years spent as a psychologist and aims to improve your relationships in life and love.

Question: I think my partner is cheating on me, is it OK to go through their messages?

Let’s take a beat before you dive into his messages, agreed?

Before you take any action, it’s a good idea to reconnect with the fundamentals of your relationship, the reason you are together and the glue that holds you together. When I ask most people this, the number one response they give is: TRUST.

Trust is one of the pillars of love and the most important element of all relationships.

Mel Schilling warns against looking through your partner's messages if you suspect them of cheating. Source: Channel 4
Mel Schilling warns against looking through your partner's messages if you suspect them of cheating. Source: Channel 4

So, you’ve found yourself in a situation where you are doubting your partner’s fidelity, his loyalty, his honesty and integrity. You suspect he is behaving in an untrustworthy manner. Now, why would you respond to this by acting in an untrustworthy manner yourself?

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If you want this relationship to be one of strength and positivity, why would you try to solve a problem by diving into his personal messages? Assuming you are prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt, what’s another way you could tackle this situation?

It may be time for an honest conversation. To get the most out of this conversation, I recommend you do some prep first:

  • Gather evidence – no, I don’t mean screenshots of his social media activity – I mean things he has said or done that have caused you concern. Be specific about what happened and how it made you feel.

  • Stay rational – try to stay out of the emotional zone as this can escalate quickly, and present your case in a logical, rational manner.

  • Tell him directly that you are worried that he is cheating and ask for his response.

  • If you believe that he has not cheated – negotiate the changes you can make in your shared communication and relationship to ensure you feel safe and secure.

  • If you believe he has cheated – you have some serious thinking to do about whether or not this is a relationship that is in your best interests.

Many couples survive cheating, in fact, some go on to enjoy even stronger relationships after the event. But you need to decide where you stand on the issue of cheating personally. How does this sit with your personal values and morals? When your head hits the pillow at night, what are the thoughts that run through your mind? If you stayed with a partner who had cheated, would you feel comfortable with yourself?

When it comes to the topic of partner-snooping, I think it’s always best to choose integrity over nosiness. Ask yourself: What would the BEST version of me do in this situation?

Mel's topline advice:

  • Reflect on the meaning of trust in your life and relationship

  • Ask yourself if you want to treat untrustworthiness by being untrustworthy

  • Consider offering the benefit of the doubt

  • Have a brave, honest conversation

  • Decide if cheating is a deal-breaker or an obstacle to work through together

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