Many partners tolerate all sorts of partner behavior out of fear of loneliness. Now, while loneliness is a huge problem with a serious toll on your mental health, you shouldn’t endure toxicity or abusive behavior by your partner to avoid it.
One of the aspects of this toxicity is a partner that’s too controlling, sometimes even to a degree where they’re spying on you. Here are the top eight signs that they might fall under this category.
1.Inexplicable change in behavior
The first sign of trouble is their sudden change of behavior. They might show excessive interest in your devices or be more protective of their own devices. They may quickly accuse you of seemingly random things and get dodgy when you ask them for the origin of this suspicion.
At the same time, they may be “too nice” feeling guilty (especially over digging deep into your personal life and finding no evidence).
A partner spying on you may ask unusual questions even over seemingly benign matters. For instance, you may be retelling a story from work, and they may interrupt you to ask something unrelated to the story.
A partner doing something wrong is also more likely to be defensive even when you’re not accusing them of anything (at least in your mind). These indicate that there’s something wrong in your relationship, even if no spying is involved.
The simplest way to tell that someone is spying on you is for them to express knowledge that you didn’t share with them. This means they’re either watching you, tracking you, or talking to someone behind your back.
Now, keep in mind that sometimes you’ll forget to share something. This is a real problem; you need to think twice before accusing anyone or jumping to conclusions. An even bigger problem is that this is a direction in which they’ll try to gaslight you.
In this situation, the best thing to do is to confront them immediately and watch out for their reaction. Also, remember that no one feels comfortable when confronted (even if they’re completely innocent); still, their non-verbal communication may be more indicative than you think.
3.Recognizing a tracking app
When did you last see an app you don’t recognize on your device? Sure, you get many apps by default that you never pay much attention to, but how many apps do you actually have on your phone?
Spyware is easy to spot, even if you have little experience in this field. Still, there are two things to keep in mind here.
First, you should read a bit about the most popular options. When looking for a spy app, chances are your partner will pick one of the big ones and not go for something obscure. So, check out what type of spyware is available as an app.
Second, you shouldn’t expect to see this spyware on your desktop. No one is that incompetent; if your partner is, you don’t need a list to help you figure them out.
4.Sudden privacy changes
There are a lot of subtle hints that someone else’s looking through your accounts and devices. A platform (like an IM software or social network) will usually remember your devices and notify you if someone else tries to log in.
However, someone who has thought this through will take measures to ensure that this isn’t as easy to notice.
They won’t change your password since this may log you out and notify you of the change. What they may do is deactivate two-factor authentication (2FA). They might also add a new device so that you don’t get a notification when they log in.
Disappearing and modified posts are also something to be aware of. After all, if someone sends you a message and you know that you haven’t opened it (yet the notification is off), someone else might have access to your platform.
5.Strange financial transactions
Both spyware and private investigators cost money, which means if a partner is spying on you, there’s sometimes a financial trail back to it.
Remember that a partner often accuses you of something they, themselves, are doing. In other words, one of the reasons why they may suspect you of taking a hotel room in the middle of the day is because they might have done the same in the past. This is something that you should be aware of.
A partner who is spying on you is often also financially abusive. Financial control and physical control often go hand in hand. Financial control, however, is a bit subtler, yet, it’s an important indicator. This is also one of the early warning factors that the relationship that you’re in may be toxic.
Not all spying is done with subterfuge. Many people just can’t control what’s on their minds, and this invasive behavior may sometimes seep into direct questions. More often than not, a partner not feeling secure in the relationship might eventually cross the threshold of your privacy, but it will first start with invasive questions
The most common categories of these questions are regarding past relationships. These questions usually beam with insecurity. A person wants to know how many partners you’ve been with, and they may even inquire about your feelings towards previous partners.
This is not an indicator that they’re spying on you, but it is a sign that they’re not confident enough in the relationship. A confident partner will confront you or outright leave you when they feel you’re hiding something.
A partner lacking the confidence to do any of these things will likely resort to spying. In other words, it’s a risk factor.
7.Strange behavior around devices
Generally speaking, people who spy on others in 2023 behave strangely around various devices. When you take your phone, they may peek over your shoulder or pay special attention to how you put it down (which side is up).
They will also hide their own device. After all, the app that they’ve installed on your device probably has a corresponding app on their device. They can’t risk you seeing it. This means that they may be hesitant to let you touch their device. Even asking you to bring them their phone will be out of the question.
More importantly, what will they do if a private investigator they’ve hired calls them? Answer in front of you? Year, right!
Also, to install an app on your phone, they have to access it. There’s nothing wrong with a partner taking your phone to move it to the other end of the table or touching your devices. Now, they’ll act weird while doing so.
8.They’re more jealous than before
The most interesting thing about this point is that it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Sure, they may be showing more jealousy because they “have” the proof or believe that they do, but the fact that they’re so jealous means they’re also more likely to start spying on you shortly.
The bottom line is that even if it doesn’t lead to spying, too much jealousy never leads to positive outcomes, which you should always look out for.
Regardless of your relationship status, you have the right to your privacy
You’re entitled to your privacy, whether you’re someone’s parent, partner, spouse, or employee. An infringement on this is more than just a privacy violation; it’s a sign of disrespect and a lack of trust. Recognizing this behavior for what it is might be the most important thing for your integrity.