When is spying OK, not a sin to confess?

Discussion in 'Marriage and Relationships' started by FollowHim88, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. My question is if it is a sin I need to confess to my husband that I have periodically snooped into his stuff in order to ensure the truth is being told based on past betrayal and lies.

    Here's the situation: Two years agao, I was quite deliberately betrayed by my husband with another woman. This had gone on for over a year and even when asked repeatedly and specifically, I was lied too. I finally found out only because I just sensed something very wrong. In order to originally find out, I had to search in trunk of car that is always locked and found evidence of another address and showed up there and caught him "in the act". I won't go into the devastation I felt on that day. By God's grace and mercy, He worked me through this and since then we have worked with pastors to reconcile.

    However, in these two years, my husband refuses to be transparent about any banking accounts, cell phone, credit card. No statements are sent home and everything - his computers, cell are password protected that I do not have access. He still works with woman in question and with the economy being what it is, can be a "reasonable" answer. The reason he says he won't be transparent is that he is afraid I will question him to death on how he spends his money or simply doesn't want me to know what he has. I do believe there is nothing currently going on but the lack of transparency and secrecy hurts me and the fact that he won't trust me, like I caused this situation is heart breaking. I have tried to my wits end to be a good wife. I know I can be more affirming but his behavior towards me does not make that easy to do all the time.

    In the last 5 months, we have been working with a christian peacemaker mediator on the transparency issue, communication skills and the fact that my husband has not been able to face my family since the original event. I have been so troubled why after 2 years since I found out, why we can't move forward with trust and transparency. I told him that the fact that he keeps his stuff secret does not allow me to build trust after an affair. I think any wife would feel that way right? So as a step forward, I asked him to be transparent with the neutral third party peacemaker representative. He agreed.

    My issue is that I had the very rare opportunity to have access to a hard drive where he stores stuff. I looked on it. I found banking statements that were obviously revised as to what was provided to the peacemaker rep with the end result is that my husband was not honest with him either. I do not want to commit assumide or judge him.

    My question again is - was it a sin for me to snoop on hard drive and I need to ask forgiveness? Or would this be something God is OK with - wise as serpents, innocent as doves. I have been praying for God to reveal to me anything that hinders us and I feel like this does. I do not want to be that kind of person to be checking on things, I hate to have to do it and want to trust him but the only way I seem to discover the "truth" is to search it out for myself. And I find a lie....

    1) Do I need to ask my husband forgiveness or may I simply confront him that I have evidence or is it OK to claim that I wont' reveal the source. I do not want t could the issue. My experience is that when I confess my sins as I want to do when God reveals the, he uses this as excuse or justification for his own if see He is a person who has difficulty in examining himself, owning his own sin, log out of own eye if I am offering the log from my eye.

    2) If you were me, would you confront him with this evidence or let it ride? I don't believe he is having an affair but not sure what is being covered up. It could just be fear of me knowing too much, his own form of defense mechanism, protection because he is not trusting God will provide and care. I am trying to give benefit of doubt buit also do not want to be naive.

    I simply want an authentic, trustworthy foundation in Christ for us to move forward with and feel like he needs to know his sin is in the light and that God won't bless us spirtually with relationship and intimacy if there is any deceit that hinders us.

    I pray for the grace, mercy and glory of God to shine out of this situation.

    Please share your thoughts on my specific questions. Sorry for long explanation but wanted to give you all clarity for wisdom or discernement intot the situation you may have.
    marktan likes this.
  2. This is a difficult situation. The simple solution would be for your husband to be transparent. If he has nothing to hide, why all the secrecy? You are his wife, after all, not the IRS, the FBI, or even the neighbor across the street. Transparency would enable you to develop that trust that is important in a healthy marriage and which most men desire of their wives. And trust is a two-way street. What he is communicating to you is that he doesn't trust you with many parts of his life, parts which he ought to be sharing with you. But I know I'm preaching to the choir, here.

    I wouldn't worry about whether you need to confess a sin at this point. I want to think about that one for a while. I think the first thing I would do is talk to the mediator about what you found out and see what he suggests as to how it ought to be handled. I gotta go to work pretty soon, so I'll think about it and pray on it tonight. In the meantime, I'm sure some of the other forum members can respond.
  3. Thank-you, I await any answer to prayer on this. I did inform my mediator and he does agree that conversation should take place. With the peacemaking material, they focus on the 7 A's of confession which centers around take log out of own eye and confess anything. That is where my confusion comes in. I don't like that I had to find out information for myself (snoop) but my intent for doing so was for results of truth, understanding, and repentace, not condemnation.

    Peacemaker mediator advice: I would suggest you take your Peacemaker brochure and pray thru the 7 As of Confesssion and see if the Lord prompts you with anything you need to add to what you have written here. It should be interesting. The 7 A's of confession are below. Of course my husband can use these, but do I lead off with them because I sinned. Not sure the conversation would get any further if I stated I searched his drive device. Vs. saying I am protecting my source like a jouranlist.

    "Seven A's of Confession."
    • Address everyone involved
      • Avoid if, but, and maybe (don't make excuses)
        • Admit specifically (both attitudes and actions)
          • Apologize (express godly sorrow for the way choices affected the injured person)
            • Accept the consequences
              • Alter your behavior
                • Ask for forgiveness

  4. Very cool. Please keep us updated.
  5. According to Bible and God, once adultery has been committed, the husband and wife are no more.
    The Greek word translated “marital unfaithfulness” in the Bible is a word which can mean any form of sexual immorality. It can mean fornication, prostitution, adultery, etc.

    So seeing he is no longer legally your husband in God's eyes, I do not see anything wrong with you snooping on him.

    God bless your heart, best wishes.
  6. I have worked with many couples who are trying to rebuild their marriage after marital unfaithfulness and this issue is often a huge stumbling block. (it happens similar in either gender but I'll use husband as the one having the affair since that was the case here). The wife is understandably hurt, she feels the strong need to know everything so that it all makes since and so that she can "prevent" it from happening again. The husband, even when repentant feels trapped because he can't answer all of the questions his wife wants "exact dates, why?, when? ect." Add to that the very natural miss-trust and frequent questioning that happens can will shift the emotional relationship from husband/wife to husband/mother... and no one wants that!

    The wife has every right to get all of the information she needs to start to rebuild trust. When issues come up weeks, months, or years later it is perfectly acceptable that the wife should be able to ask questions and have them answered. One of the goals in counseling is to work out how this transparency will work in the long run. This is often based on reconditioning the idea of transparency in marriage! I usually tell husbands early in the recovery process that they need to get it all out. Every detail, every story, everything! Leave nothing unsaid and then start to rebuild trust. With the understanding that if anything comes out after the fact it will re-erode the trust back to where it started or even worse! After that time of getting it all out there, and getting all of the wife's questions answered she needs to stop digging for more information behind his back. Or that will just result in more loss of trust too! But that isn’t all! Then we work on developing long term transparency!

    If the goal is to return to a Biblical "one flesh" marriage communication and transparency needs to change. Think about it, you know when another part of your body is hurting. God's vision for marriage is that we are as connected with our spouse as if we were one! Complete transparency=no need for snooping!

    I understand this is the goal, and you are stuck nowhere near this end, so what do you do now? My question is what would convince you that your husband has not returned to his sinful ways? There is probably nothing that would convince you that you could get by snooping, you would just think you haven’t found anything YET and keep up your search. Snooping is not the answer, you will never be able to rebuild trust till you can talk to your husband about what it feels like for you to be in the dark. Start with your emotions, your fear, be transparent yourself and ask him to help you to trust him.
  7. Thanks for your input, Brad, I was hoping you would weigh in on this thread. It would be interesting to be able to talk to the husband alone and see what is driving his desire for secrecy. What is he afraid will happen if his wife knows where he is, what he's up to, what's happening with the finances, what he's struggling with, etc. 'Cause you know there are struggles if he still works with the "other woman" and they have any kind of contact. Doesn't necessarily mean he's being unfaithful (though secrecy is not a good sign), but there's gotta be some significant emotional tension there.

    FollowHim, the simple, straightforward answer to your specific questions is that you sinned in that you did something you know your husband wouldn't have wanted you to do. You should come clean and repent of that as is befitting the idea of transparency. I am hesitant to suggest you rush out and do that right this very moment, however, because it's not a nice, tidy issue of an act isolated from all the other dynamics in this scene. If you do confess, he still needs to be confronted with what you discovered. Your sin does not negate what, in my opinion, is his sin. And, in my opinion, you discovered information which you really ought to be privy to in the first place.

    It boggles me that your husband apparently wants you to trust him, yet seems to be unwilling to do the things necessary to nurture that trust. You can't build trust through secrecy and lies and putting up barriers. What is he afraid of, and what are those fears based on? I really hope your mediator is competent and sharp because there are a lot of knots to be untangled here.
  8. This is such a hard situation and I believe you have received a lot of good information from the other posters. But know that I am saying a prayer for you and your family right now. Keep us updated :)
  9. seems to me he is or likes to lead a double life.if he likes privacy thats one thing,been caught out is another.he carries on hideing give him the chop.or tell him to change or chop him.if you prefer to stay then stay.your decision.
  10. Hi everyone, thank you for your prayers, words of wisdom and encouragement. I wanted to give you an update. I did confess the things I needed too and then presented my husband with what I needed to gently rebuke/confront him about.

    I did confess that I continue to struggle with an occasional need to snoop because I fear not being told the truth (which is actually a valid fear). I also acknowledged the he has been hurt by some other actions that I took (such as 2 friends packed up all his stuff after the affair came out and we dropped them at the other secret apt but still that action hurt him). So, I didn't want to excuse my implusive response and I could have been more mature but I explained my intent/motive was not to hurt him but that I did not want to see him, that I was too hurt but that I have grown in the Lord the past 2 years and now I wait on the Lord even when faced with a difficult situation.

    So it is very good to take log out of own eye no matter how someone may have hurt you. However, for the purpose of this discussion, I also did not want my confession to be used to deflect a deeper issue, being lied too. I explained I would talk about more details later about my acquire information but that he needed to address my concern.

    He did confess his actions but what he has been hiding is that he has continued to keep his own separate place, the place where he conducted his affar but insists he is not having one that it is just a safety net should our marrige not work out. Well, our marriage is not going to work out if there are secrets - how can God bless that? I do not know what to believe or trust. I have prayed about this and laid out some boundary's that I need - that if we are going forward he must imediately give up the place, be FULLY transparent directly with me, engage in counseling, get a christian male mentor/friend to talk with each week. If he is not willing to do this than we need to separate until he is willing to do this. Yet, I will be honest, even if he is willing to do this, I do not know how to believe or trust him again. Because he lies unless found out vs. choosing to be convicted as a Christ follower and tell the truth on his own. I know separation needs to be for purposes of reconciliation even though I don't "feel" or see that happening. I know God can resurrect any dead thing. But God also denies things too. I am awaiting my husbands response to this all - at the moment he is avoiding the issue and/or making me out that I don't care about him and stuff like that. I am very weary of living without peace especially this month, with our Lord's birth, the Prince of Peace. God bless you all.
  11. I cant imagine spying,because I have grown to a place with the Holy Spirit that he for warns me of things or brings a friend to tell me something.I have been married almost 16 years now and it hasnt been easy but I havent ever even thought about spying on my wife because she seeks to build a world wide minestry and we cant do that if we are dishonoring one another.
  12. My advice is to talk to him and let him know how you feel, tell him everything on your mind and put it in the open. About the locked phones and stuff, sounds like something is being hidden, let him know that you want to trust him.. The past is the past but if hes still committing adultery then you need to know.. Yall are husband and wife and there shouldnt be any worries about these things everything needs to be in the open and yall should talk more, it should be no problem for a lady to look through the husbands personal stuff seeing how in marriage you two joined together to be one flesh coupled together. You need to communicate more.

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