With thinly disguised irritation I replied, “ I don’t think you understand. These men are liars and cheats and if we know he is cheating we have every right to snoop. If someone has nothing to hide then surely they have no objection to you going through their phone or e-mails – right?”
“No – not right. Firstly, I have nothing to hide from anyone but I object strongly to anyone going through my personal mail, messages and correspondence. It is a complete invasion of privacy and a disregard for boundaries that are required for any healthy relationship. Has it ever happened to you?”
“Yes, now that you mention it. Gene would open all my mail as though it had been addressed to him and yes I resented that even though there was nothing to hide. That doesn’t count though if some-one is doing something to me. Surely I have the right to find out what it is?”
“Phil, you already know what it is. If you are snooping on his phone or his computer you already know he is cheating otherwise you wouldn’t be. You tell yourself that you are snooping for confirmation. You aren’t. It’s a symptom of your obsession. You want to know her name, where he met her, what she looks like, what he said, what she said, when they met and how it is happening”.
“Yes, that’s right and I had every right to know and I felt fine about snooping until I got it. I have sat with pieces of paper on the floor putting together puzzles of notes and e-mails that have been torn up”.
“Fabulous and what did you do with that incontestable evidence that you had so carefully processed in the crime scene of your bedroom?”
“Well I confronted him of course and told him how disgusting and reprehensible he was. I gave him all my evidence so that he couldn’t lie and he would have to confess.”
“Yes, and then what did you do? Did you leave him? Was it a deal breaker now that you knew her name and the amount he spent on having dinner with her? Did he confess or did he keep lying and telling more ridiculous stories that you then attacked with the same vigilance? What exactly did you achieve from all that careful detective work?”
“Well I had the truth”.
“No Phil. You already had the truth. What you got was the detail. What you needed was either to have the strength and readiness to leave him or the resources with which to do that. You didn’t find either of those things in the phone, the briefcase or the computer. You didn’t find anything you needed. You did however lose respect for yourself and you lost a strategic advantage”.
“What are you talking about? What strategic advantage?”
“Had you been a warrior you would have kept quiet about what you knew. You would have allowed him to under-estimate you and get increasingly sloppy. You would have sought a counselor to help you make this a deal breaker or you would have begun to feather a nest egg that would have given you the resources to leave. Had you been a warrior you would have waited patiently for an opportune moment to act instead of throwing what turned out to be nothing other than the proverbial tantrum”.
“Sue, in those days it was like an itch I had to scratch. I had to know, find out, confront him, act out my self-righteous rage, be right, and be the victim and then the martyr”.
“I understand the feeling. However we are talking about warrior training and a warrior is not compelled to scratch an itch at the expense of a strategic advantage. That is not the behavior of the warrior. The warrior skills would have been to allow him to under-estimate you. Then you would have had the advantage of time to plan and prepare. That is the way of the warrior. Keep your mouth shut and your rational mind on high alert”.