If you don’t have trust in your personal relationships, you have a dysfunctional relationship.
Period. Full stop.
Don’t read through each other’s private messages (in any medium). Don’t censor their phone calls. Don’t obsess over who they did (or didn’t) see at the mall, or work, or gym.
Sure, you can ask your significant other(s) who they’re talking to, or about what, but recognize that it’s an ask, not a demand. (It isn’t consent if it can’t be withdrawn, after all.)
Sure, you can quote Dan Savage as saying that sometimes snooping is “retroactively permissible”, but let’s face it: If you thought you had a reason to snoop, you’d already started to mistrust your partner(s).
Because the other things that Dan often says are that “you can’t unlearn what you’ve learned” and that “relationships aren’t a deposition”.
Because if nothing else is true, this is:
Everyone – everyone – needs a space to vent privately about their significant other(s).
It doesn’t matter how good your relationship is. Having a place to privately blow off steam might be what allows you to have a good relationship! FSM knows that there’s times – before my compersion kicks in – that I’ve had private meltdowns with a friend… only to be fine the next day because I could vent to a kind ear. Sometimes I’ve run ideas or concerns past someone outside the relationship to see if I was being an idiot – and I am an idiot often enough to keep using this tool to keep myself in check.
You still have to use your words. You still have to communicate with your partner(s). You have to address your brain weasels, and stomp them into nothingness.
It’s okay to have a place to vent as well.
And if you don’t trust your partner to have that space, then you know exactly what you need to be working on in your relationship, and right away.