Husband Snoops on Wife’s Electronics
He seems to think looking over her shoulder is fair game – despite her requests not to
Her husband snoops on her when she’s on her computer or smartphone, despite her requests for him not to. “Invaded” reader asks advice columnist Amy Dickinson to weigh in, in this edition of “Ask Amy.”
I’m asking you to weigh in.
My husband thinks that it’s fair game to read my computer or phone screen over my shoulder, even when I’m clearly writing or viewing something private.
I’ve asked him many times over the years not to do this, but he refuses to stop reading my screens. He definitely doesn’t like it when I do it to him.
He is saying it’s OK because my activity is essentially out in the open.
Is it rude to read someone’s screens over their shoulder? Should I leave the room if I want privacy on my own devices?
Overall, I think it’s rude to continue to do something – almost anything – your spouse has asked you repeatedly not to do, especially if this behavior is not a two-way street.
Your husband may be aggressively trying to send you a message that he doesn’t want you to use screens when you are around him.
If you take a close and objective look at your own screen usage and see that there is a genuine imbalance in the amount of time you and he spend on your screens, then this gives you an opportunity to perhaps change your own behavior to demonstrate that you have received his rudely delivered message.
Otherwise, yes – whenever he does this, you should take your work into another room.
I have seen so-called privacy filters for laptops, although I’ve never tried one (no one in my household has much interest in what I’m up to). These screens allegedly completely block a screen from view unless the user is directly in front of the screen. This would also be very useful when working in a coffee shop or on public transportation – or in your kitchen.
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In the tradition of the great personal advice columnists, Chicago Tribune’s Amy Dickinson is a plainspoken straight shooter who relates to readers of all ages. She answers personal questions by addressing issues from both her head and her heart – ranging from when a husband snoops to DNA surprises. A solid reporter, Dickinson researches her topics to provide readers with informed opinions and answers. Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068
© 2021 by Amy Dickinson