Husband's reaction to her snooping heightens wife's suspicions

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Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.

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DEAR AMY: I have never had reason to be concerned about my husband's fidelity, but a single event has me worried, and I need your advice. Last week I sat next to him, grabbed his cellphone and punched in the password (I know the password because I have seen him enter it, and it's quite simple). He looked over, saw what I was doing, and literally batted the phone out of my hand. He then proceeded to admonish me for "snooping." When I questioned his reaction, he was adamant that he was merely protecting his privacy and that he was not hiding anything. I can't help but feel suspicious because of this uncharacteristic behavior. Am I just being a worrywart?

-- Worried Wife

DEAR WORRIED: Based on the evidence you present to justify your behavior (none), I think your husband has more reason to question your fidelity (i.e., trustworthiness) than you have to question his.

After all, if you witnessed him grabbing your cellphone and punching in the security code, wouldn't you question his motives and actions? Wouldn't you feel he was behaving in an untrustworthy manner?

My point is that you have created the justification for snooping (your husband's "uncharacteristic" reaction) -- by snooping! Going through someone else's cellphone is like opening someone else's mail. Whether it is junk mail, a bill or a letter from Mom -- if the envelope has someone else's name on it, you shouldn't open it.

Even people who have nothing to hide have a right to privacy.

So -- what is your real justification for doing this? You're going to have to come clean with your husband and simply ask him to reveal to you what you want to know.

You have every right to expect him to be transparent, but you're going to have to deal with this like grown-ups.