SNOOP, you say that you've sought help for your insecurities, but clearly you did not develop good coping mechanisms or strategies to resist the urge to snoop. While you should definitely not tell your boyfriend, you should start and/or more actively receive therapy for your insecurities.
Is snooping an 'addiction', or is it literally just a matter of willpower for this dude to stop doing it?
My husband and I have been together for over 20 Years. And he’s insecure. He worried constantly in the first seven years we were together that I was cheating on him. Which I wasn’t. I did find out that he’d slept with his ex a couple of times though. Generally I found when he was worried that I was doing something it was because he was doing it. After 7 years of being thought unfaithful I decided that I might as well get some benefit from the hassle. So if you want your boyfriend to cheat on you keep accusing him of cheating. We now have an open relationship that works for us and he’s much less insecure since he knows I’m not going anywhere. Just took 20 years.
@50WAMAROC @5: I can't decide if that story is depressing or inspiring.
@ ciods #6: we’re human, I think it’s both!
Yes, I can see why you wouldn't want your poor behavior to accidentally get unearthed during an argument because of how bad you would look. Your original betrayal of privacy was your partner's fault for "having some recurring problems letting go of peeking at his hook-up apps". Have you tried leaving subliminal hook-up app temptations to encourage him also "relapse" so you could blame him for your actions?
Why is the bf still on Grindr? Is this in a 'grass-is-greener' kind of way or does the LW fear there's something more?
Ankyl @8: Yes, I noticed that too -- his snooping is primarily the boyfriend's fault, only tangentially his own. That's the first thing that's going to have to change. Plenty of people "window shop" on hookup apps without ever making contact; if SNOOPS can't accept that his partner is one of them, he should leave. If he doesn't trust him after three years of his proving himself trustworthy, he should break up and deal with his insecurities before dating anyone else.
How do you just say it like its nothing, LW? This checking someone else's mobile messages. You're like the govt, thinking you have the right to do this, why? Don't snoop again and like Dan says stfu about having done so in the past.
And you unearthed an incident that hardly concerns you as you two were just newly together. Get a grip.
"Had I known this right away, I probably would have ended things then"

Really? You'd have ended it because he wasn't exclusive before your relationship was exclusive (and you assumed it was)? SNOOPS, please keep working on your therapy.
Wow. I'm trying to give this guy credit for at least having the self-awareness to understand he's in the wrong and should be looking elsewhere for guidance, but... wow. Excluding letters from the overtly deranged, I can't remember the last time I've found a LW so unlikeable.
Ahh, Dan's response is a cool balm on the itchy red annoyance provoked by this letter. I'm still surprised when people cling to their insecurities as if they are cute little personality quirks instead of character flaws. You shouldn't tolerate that shit, much less feed it.
I'm going to disagree with Dan and everyone here: you should tell him. You should tell him about the snooping, the insecurity, and ESPECIALLY that when you were not really exclusive but you expected exclusivity, that you would have left him if you knew about him having tried to hook up with others. Not to save your relationship, but to allow your partner to find someone better.

Yup. Really lay those cards out on the table. I would want to know if I was in his position.
Mr Rob - I'd suggest you change your name to Daniel, but perhaps The Merchant of Venice has been consigned to the Alt-Right. Ms Cute, have you a reputable opinion?
And now I will have that damn song stuck in my head for the rest of the week. Thanks Dan.

I’m late to this party, but I still wanted to leave my 2 cents. Because for a while I had the same problem as SNOOPS and I’m totally on board with Dan’s answer. Main difference between me and SNOOPS? My snooping happened during the first year of my relationship and my insecurities stemmed from the fact that my BF has had quite the colorful and variegated sex life and is still in contact with many former sex partners. It’s been another year and a half since then and I haven’t relapsed nor do I feel any desire to, because I’ve put that behind me for good.

In my snooping, I found both kinds of intel that Dan suggested: the damning kind and the “venting with a friend” grating but understandable kind. The catch? The recipient to those texts was always the same woman, who had been my BF’s occasional hookup before but definitely wasn’t his best friend.
I confronted my BF about what I’d found, partially covering my tracks in that I also had a legitimate backup reasons to look up that specific convo behind his back. I only went over the damning texts (him telling her he’d be at a future kinky event but had to bring his “deadweight”=me and, later, the two of them planning a hook up and him telling her what excuse he was gonna use with me) but my explanation of why those hurt me regardless of whether he really meant the “deadweight” comment maliciously or whether he was ever gonna meet up with the girl or just playing “fantasy hookup” (something he tells me was pretty popular on MIIRC when he was younger and sailing around the world) also covered the excusable but grating comments.
Basically, I didn’t appreciate the fact that he’d badmouth me to a casual acquaintance and former fuck buddy, also giving her the impression (founded or not) that he’d rather fuck her than me. I could understand venting to a best friend. Not to any rando. Especially not any rando who might still be interested in getting some dick from you.

After my last snoop and last conversation on the topic, though, I made the conscious decision of not looking at his phone anymore, for whatever reason. He showed sufficient contrition and understanding about my position and has since cut back on these kind of conversation and I’ve wanted to both trust him with it and avoid any unnecessary hurt if I were to stumble on more understandable-but-grating content.
I actually even told him so on the couple of instances when he asked me to look something up on his phone while he was doing something else/in another room.
Moreover, I’m much more secure in our relationship and his genuine love for me than I was at the beginning, so I really don’t feel the need to snoop anymore. We’re also pretty open, sexually: we don’t have an open relationship per se, but we do have other people in our bed, occasionally. So he does get variety, if he wants to. Which would make it even worse if he strayed, in my book, but I presently feel that he values what we have enough to not jeopardize it in that way. And we’re not at the three year mark, yet. If SNOOPS is still at that point at three years and counting, I agree that something needs to be done about it, both from his side (therapy) and as a couple (honest conversation about monogamy and monogamous expectations from both sides).

Oh! In my very early snooping I also happened to find some old emails from when we’d started seeing each other and I had gone to NYC for a week, setting up a hookup with someone met online. This other person had been a little late in responding and the thread closed on my boyfriend telling him that the GF was back in town, so it was a no go. I actually found that encouraging, since at the time we lived 30 minutes apart and his work schedule would have given him ample leeway to close that deal anyways.
I think something similar might have happened with SNOOPS BF: he exchanged preliminary texts with this other person but then the hookup fell through for some reason. And the reason might very well be that the BF already cared enough about his growing relationship with SNOOPS not to bother with other hookups.

P.S. You don’t actually have to snoop through years of texts/emails to find interesting content. You just have to search for the right keywords XD

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