- How Do I know if My Spouse is Spying on Me? – Weinberger Divorce & Family Law Group
- r/breakingmom – [Update] husband was spying on me
- What to do When Your Spouse is Spying on You
- Why would my spouse spy on me?
- Your spouse might also be spying to get an advantage in a divorce or custody fight
- Criminal Conversation and Alienation of Affection
- How can I tell if I’m being spied on?
- Email and Internet monitoring
- Cell phone monitoring
- Landline monitoring and other bugs
- Being followed
- How should I respond when I learn my spouse is spying on me?
- Criminal Penalties for Spying
- Civil Suits for Spying Spouses
- My Husband Is Spying on Me
- What to Do if You Think Your Spouse is Spying on You
- Reasons for Spying
- Snooping for Evidence
- Potential Dangers of Spying
- How to Protect Yourself
How Do I know if My Spouse is Spying on Me? – Weinberger Divorce & Family Law Group
Spousal spying may be the newest form of spousal abuse and it is sadly becoming more and more common as technological advances make it easier for one spouse to spy on the other. How can you tell if your spouse is inappropriately tracking you?
Monitoring your cellphone: Yes, there are smartphone apps that allow not only GPS tracking of someone, but also afford a stalker the ability to read emails, text messages and record phone calls. This is not necessarily legal in New Jersey and these types of behaviors may be seen as in violation of the NJ Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Act.
How do you know if your cellphone is being tracked? Monitor your cell phone’s data usage. Programs are now available for download that can be placed on your phone but these programs are not immediately visible to the user.
However, they do utilize a lot of data, so a sudden spike in usage may be a clue that your smartphone is being monitored.
If you have reason to suspect your cellphone is compromised, you can bring it to a trusted professional to run a scan to see if there are such apps placed on your smartphone.
Check your laptop: Just as your smartphone can be monitored, software can be downloaded onto your laptop computer so that your movements can be tracked, your emails can be hacked or the websites you have visited can be checked. Again, this software is designed to not be visible to the user so that the spying can be done without detection. If you suddenly see an odd icon appear on your desktop, remove it.
your smartphone, your laptop can be brought to a trusted computer expert with experienced in detecting and removing tracking software from computers. Just be sure that you can truly trust the expert to not let any information get back to your spouse, especially if there is a threat of physical danger to you or your family.
Give your car the once over: Spying spouses have been known to put GPS devices in their significant others’ cars.
If your spouse seems to know where you have been without explanation, check your vehicle. These types of devices are easily obtained and easily planted in cars without their owner even noticing.
Check the common places they are left: the glove box, under the car seats and in the wheel wells.
If you do not locate a GPS device immediately but still suspect that your car has some sort of tracking device, it could be that the device has been more expertly hidden. Bring your car to a trusted mechanic who is familiar with tracking devices to give your car a thorough review both inside, outside and under the hood.
Spousal spying is a form of abuse and it is a way to attempt to exert control over a spouse. Know your rights. It is not okay for your spouse to be spying on you.
If you need help, reach out to a domestic violence organization near you. You can also call the National DV Hotline at (800) 799-7233. If you are in immediate danger, call 911 and leave the situation if possible.
Ensuring your and your children’s safety is the number one priority.
Keep Your Computers & Smart Phones Safe From Cyber Spying
Spousal Cyber Spying: Are You At Risk?
Obtaining a Temporary Restraining Order in New Jersey
When you are ready, contact us. We are ready to listen to you with compassion and understanding and give you the advice that you need to make sure you are safe. Call us at 888-888-0919 or click the button below.
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r/breakingmom – [Update] husband was spying on me
Update to this post from a few weeks ago.
I found the weird camera monitoring app open again on his tablet, and uninstalled it. Didn't say anything though. We had a couple of conversations and things seemed to be going well, I was making an effort to be more affectionate because I know when I am stressed I tend to withdraw.
Then a few days ago he worked the late shift again. After having a really lovely morning (I had a snow day which has never happened, so I was unexpectedly home) i had a few hours to myself before son got home.
We fell asleep really early, I have been knackered lately and we've both been getting sick so I ended up falling asleep at about 8pm.
He texted me and then texted my mum (who lives with us), who woke me up just before he got home.
We stayed up to talk a bit.
I happened to look over his shoulder and saw his old fucking phone set up on his bedside table, pointed right at me (it was super obvious, we have these baskets with holes in them and the phone was propped up just so the camera was lined up with the hole). I saw it, stared for a bit (partly to try and make it clear that I had seen, partly because I was trying to stop the internal rage that was telling me to throw it out the window).
Anyway he seemed to realise what I'd seen, but kept up this weird act he didn't know. Until I reached over, pulled it out and said 'you have to stop that.' Then he finally seemed to realise he couldn't lie about it anymore.
I asked him why, and he said it was because he was paranoid that I didn't love him anymore. So it's he thinks I am cheating? But I say we live with my mum, she is here almost all the time. I am practically NEVER home alone.
The other day was the first time in months that I was by myself, because I work Monday to Friday and if I am home then son is also home. If I am out then I'm almost always out with son, except for 2 hours twice a week when I go to sports practice.
So even if I wanted to, where the fuck does he think I would find the time or opportunity?
He has said sorry and he has removed the app but I just… Idk. An apology doesn't mean a whole lot because the only reason he even admitted it is because I caught him 'in the act' and there was no reasonable deniability. Even then he sort of tried. He ended up crying the next morning.
I barely slept, he kept trying to do that annoying sleep cuddle thing which was actually grossing me out. I was a little mean when I spoke to him about it. Told him his lying sneaking behaviour reminded me of my dad, who I have a pretty bad relationship with.
And that although I am not going to go crazy on him, he has really broken my trust.
I reread all the comments on the original post and a lot makes sense. It's really hard since this is part of a bigger picture and I don't want to write a novel. But seeing that he feels it's ok to set up cameras to watch me…idk it's all sorts of fucked up.
I can't work out if I am over or underreacting. I am not a ragey shouty type. I am really angry and upset but I feel really calm at the same time. I just don't know where we go from here. He just seems to want it to be normal.
I think he is making a bit more of an effort to be nice where I actually don't really want to talk to him. I am kind of skating by and acting normal but it's it's because I can't be bothered with having an argument that goes nowhere.
I will stop writing now because this is already really long and basically just a vent at this point :/
Edit: just wanted to check in and say thank you all at once for all the comments. I have read them all today and am thinking a lot.
I have a really good support network around me, I am close to my family and if it came to it I could leave. I don't feel in danger even though that might seem mad. I am just trying to ask myself if I feel this is deal-breaker stuff or if I want to work it through.
I do want to work it through for the sake of our son but I am struggling to feel real love for my husband at this stage.
I'm waiting on a free live chat with a relationship counsellor so I can get my thoughts out and see about getting to talk to someone as a couple, though I don't know what he would say to that.
Lots of your comments really resonated with me and it's helped me to ground myself and know that I'm not making a big deal over nothing. I do feel part of me is feeling pretty done with the relationship. Another part doesn't want to let it go so easily. Fuck, it would all come out just before Christmas though.
Anyway, thank you all. I really, really appreciate it.
What to do When Your Spouse is Spying on You
You may trust your spouse – but does your spouse trust you?
You may have something to hide or you may have nothing to hide, but either way knowing that you’re being spied on feels a terrible invasion of your privacy.
Some forms of spying aren’t just offensive – they’re illegal. Information a spouse uncovers about you via illegal spying can’t be used against you directly in a divorce action or custody battle. However, if the illegally obtained information leads to legal sources of information, and your spouse can cover his or her tracks, then your spouse’s spying could end up hurting you in court.
The fact that your spouse is spying on you is also a warning sign that your relationship is in serious trouble.
Why would my spouse spy on me?
Your spouse might spy on you for any number of reasons.
Most commonly, spouses who spy are looking for evidence of an affair. But spouses may spy for other reasons as well:
- A spouse may spy to see if you’re drinking, using drugs, or spending time with people your spouse consider dangerous or a bad influence (such as an ex).
- A spouse may be concerned that you’re secretly spending more money than you should, or stealing from a family business.
- A spouse may suspect that ( Don Draper in Mad Men) you’re only pretending to go to work.
- A spouse may wonder whether you’re actually going to college classes – especially if he or she is helping to pay your way.
Some people are just suspicious – paranoid even. If your spouse has been cheated on in the past, then he or she might be particularly concerned about it happening again. If you’re the one who cheated before, then your spouse has good reason to be suspicious.
Some people are insecure. An insecure spouse might want the reassurance that you’re not cheating or lying.
Some people are controlling. They know knowledge is power and they want to have power over other people. Knowing what you’re up to – even if it’s completely innocent – makes them feel they’re in charge.
If you are cheating or otherwise hiding something, then you may be leaving clues all over the place – a whispered phone conversation, a quick change of computer screens, unexplained expenses, etc.
Maybe your spouse has asked you straight out about these things; maybe he or she is afraid to.
Maybe your spouse just wants to know the truth – even if it hurts – so he or she can get on with life… maybe without you.
Your spouse might also be spying to get an advantage in a divorce or custody fight
In North Carolina, a spouse is entitled to alimony if he or she is dependent on the other spouse and if the court concludes that awarding alimony would be fair under the circumstances.
One of the factors a court will consider is marital misconduct by either spouse. If a court finds that the supporting spouse committed adultery, then the court must order the supporting spouse to pay alimony to the dependent spouse.
If the supported spouse or both spouses committed adultery, then the court can use its discretion to either award or deny alimony to the supported spouse.
It’s not considered “marital misconduct” if one spouse condoned the adultery of the other. Thus, if one spouse knew that the other was cheating, and forgave or accepted it, then the court would not consider infidelity a factor in awarding alimony.
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The same issues apply in the case of post-separation support.
Courts can also take adultery into consideration when making decisions about child custody.
Although an affair will not generally be an issue when it comes to the division of property, if a cheating spouse spent significant marital assets on the affair, then the affair is relevant.
For example, did the cheating spouse buy expensive gifts (such as jewelry) for a lover? Did the cheating spouse spend money on hotel rooms or vacations with the lover, or even set him or her up in a “love nest” apartment?
Criminal Conversation and Alienation of Affection
A spouse who suspects an affair may spy in order to uncover evidence that could support the filing of a civil lawsuit for criminal conversation or alienation of affection against the spouse’s paramour.
The lover may be required to pay damages for:
- Loss of consortium (marital affection and fellowship, including sex),
- Mental anguish,
- Damage to health (due to stress and other factors), and
- Loss of financial support by the cheating spouse.
The injured spouse may also seek punitive damages against the lover.
How can I tell if I’m being spied on?
Your spouse may be spying on you in any or all of a number of ways:
- Monitoring your mail, email, phone calls, and/or text messages
- Monitoring your use of social media (such as )
- Tracking you or your vehicle using GPS
- Having you “bugged”
- Watching you via video surveillance (including via a “nanny cam”)
- Having you followed by a private investigator
- Following you personally
Email and Internet monitoring
Your spouse may not need any special software or gadgets to check your email. He or she may simply check your computer or smartphone when you’re not using them, if they’re not protected by a password.
Your spouse may also know (or be able to guess) your passwords and get into your email and Internet accounts that way.
Your spouse may also install spyware in your computer or cellphone that will allow him or her to remotely monitor your emails and the websites (including dating sites and chat rooms) you’re visiting.
Keystroke logging (also called keylogging or keyboard capturing) software and hardware can allow your spouse to track every character you enter – including passwords to your personal financial accounts. There are tools (such as this one) you can use to detect whether there’s a keystroke logger installed on your computer.
So how else can you tell if you have spyware on your computer?
An anti-virus program, such as McAfee or Norton, should be able to detect spyware (or prevent it from being installed in the first place). If you don’t have anti-virus protection on your computer, you should get it for a lot of reasons – spying by your spouse is the least of your worries.
Cell phone monitoring
Your spouse may be able to install a program phonesheriff INVESTIGATOR that allows him or her to view your text messages, call history, GPS location, contacts, photos, and other information. This particular program works by intercepting your iCloud backups, so if you change your iCloud password it will stop working.
If your Apple iPhone is “jailbroken,” then it’s especially vulnerable to spyware.
If YOU didn’t jailbreak your phone, then your spouse may have done it in order to install spyware. Here’s a site that will let you find out and restore the phone to the factory settings. Make sure your phone is backed up to iCloud before you reset it!
Landline monitoring and other bugs
Your spouse may have the expertise or resources to bug your home, office, car or (landline) phone. Here are some signs that you might have been bugged:
- You notice odd sounds or volume changes on your phone.
- You can hear sounds coming from your phone even after you hang up.
- Often when your phone rings there’s nobody there, but you can hear a faint tone, squeal, and/or beep.
- Your TV or FM radio suddenly develops interference.
- Your electrical wall plates are place.
- You notice white-wall dust or debris on the floor.
Although it’s sad to feel that you have to “look a gift horse in the mouth,” a present from your spouse in the form of an electronic device (such as a clock radio, boom box, or CD player) or even a teddy bear may hide a bug or a surveillance device.
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How can you tell if you’re being followed?
- Be aware of your surroundings. Don’t always be staring at your cellphone or listening to music. Really notice the people you see and the cars that drive by.
- If you’re driving, slow down, and notice if a car behind you slows down too. If you’re on a highway, pull into the right lane and drive the speed limit (or just below it).
- If you’re walking, stop suddenly. Have you phone set up to take a “selfie” and then use it to peak behind you and see if someone’s waiting for you to start moving again.
Although this is an old-time thriller cliché, you can also hire a private detective to find out if you’re being followed and “follow the follower.” You can read more here about hiring a private investigator.
How should I respond when I learn my spouse is spying on me?
You have several options when you discover that your spouse is spying.
One response is to be totally open and totally transparent. Admit to any wrongdoing and seek counseling to repair the damage to your relationship.
If you haven’t done anything wrong (and don’t plan to), offer to share passwords and “friend” each other on all of your social media accounts. Install an app such as GPS Tracker in your smartphone that will let your spouse see where you are at all times.
Another response is to explore why your spouse felt the need to spy on you. Is the problem with your spouse, with you, or with your relationship? You may need couple’s therapy to resolve these issues.
You can also decide to make it much harder for your spouse to spy on you, and hope that he or she quits trying. For example, you can use (and change) passwords on all your devices, use anti-spyware software, and have your home and office swept for bugs.
You may decide that the spying indicates your marriage is irrevocably broken and seek a divorce.
If you feel your spouse should be punished for violating your privacy, and especially if you think that your spouse may be a danger to you or to others, you can seek criminal penalties or civil remedies.
Criminal Penalties for Spying
Some forms of spying are violations of state or federal law.
For example, if your spouse is found guilty of violating the Federal Wire Tapping Act, at a very minimum he or she can be ordered to stop the illegal acts. For example, a court can order him or her to remove spyware from your phone or computer, stop recording your calls, etc.
If your spouse previously violated the Act and continues to do so, he or she can be subject to fines of $500 for each violation.
Your spouse can also face up to five years in prison for violating the Act.
Violation of the North Carolina Electronic Surveillance Act is a Class H Felony. Damages to the victim are calculated at the rate of $100 per day, or $1000 total, whichever is greater. Under the state law, you can also recover punitive damages to punish your spouse, and attorney’s fees to pay your lawyer.
Civil Suits for Spying Spouses
Under North Carolina law, you can bring a civil action against your spouse (or former spouse) for invasion of privacy by intrusion.
This tort is defined as follows:
One who intentionally intrudes, physically or otherwise, upon the solitude or seclusion of another or his private affairs or concerns, is subject to liability to the other for invasion of his privacy, if the intrusion would be highly offensive to a reasonable person.
Forms of intrusion include:
physically invading a person’s home or other private place, eavesdropping by wiretapping or microphones, peering through windows, persistent telephoning, unauthorized prying into a bank account, and opening personal mail of another.
In 2012, a former Sheriff’s Deputy was sued in Brunswick County, North Carolina by his ex-wife after he used spyware to monitor her emails and Internet activity. A jury awarded her $25,400 in compensatory and punitive damages.
My Husband Is Spying on Me
Is your husband or boyfriend spying on you? If you suspect they are snooping, they probably are. What are the reasons a man might spy on his wife? What should you look out for, and how you can prevent someone from spying on you?
- He suspects you of cheating.
- You’ve cheated in the past.
- You cheated on a previous partner.
- He is cheating.
- He needs to control you.
- He is addicted to spying.
- He’s a sociopath.
- He’s genuinely concerned for your well-being.
Your husband regularly questions you about your activities and the people you talk to. By this I mean he makes it nitpickingly obvious he not simply asking interest. It’s a regular occurrence and you feel you are being interrogated.
He unerringly and creepily knows what you have been doing, the arrangements you make and where you’ve been. He mentions things that you know you haven’t told him. When you query how he knows, he flatly denies doing anything wrong and suggests that you are paranoid.
Your phone or computer displays odd activity, uses up more bandwidth than usual and needs frequent recharging.
You feel uncomfortable, as though you are being watched.
It turns out that many snoopers are sociopaths, or exhibit sociopath tendencies. One of the giveaways is that the sociopath is a total control freak. He will outright demand that you give him access to your devices and all your passwords. Of course he will convince you that it is only because he loves you and wants to keep you safe.
If you attempt to defend your privacy, he will make sure you know that you can’t hide from him. He’ll recount your conversations with obvious glee. He’ll turn up where you least expect him to. He may siphon money from your bank account. He’ll hack your and post messages that embarrass you or make you look a fool.
He will want to know where you are, who you are with and why. It doesn’t work both ways though – he guards his own privacy with practiced determination.
Very often a man will monitor his wife’s activities in order to make sure she doesn’t discover his own infidelities.
In this way he is able to make his arrangements around her schedule, ensuring that he doesn’t get caught. If he knows you are shopping with your sister, you’re unly to be home for a couple of hours.
In any case he’ll know exactly when your car is heading home because he is using GPS to track its progress.
It is ridiculously easy to hide cameras all around the home. Technology advancement means that the tiniest, pinhole camera can record and transmit clear images. The same with microphones.
You can do a physical sweep – turn all the lights off and walk slowly around checking for tiny LEDs which will indicate that a device is active.
Or you can purchase a reasonably inexpensive bug sweeper to help you track down the spying hardware.
Pay attention to:
- Light fittings and lamps
- Underside of furniture
- Dark spots or flecks on walls – could be the location of a pinhole camera
- Audio equipment, in particular speakers
- Ornaments, pictures and flowerpots – anything which is a semi-permanent decor item.
To check your car for GPS tracking devices you will probably need a bug sweeper. It’s difficult to look into all the places where a tracking device may be hidden on a vehicle.
Places to check include:
- Glove compartment
- Nooks and crannies on the dash
- Under the dashboard
- Inside the bumper
- Anywhere there’s a gap in the bodywork
- Under/around the roof-rack
- Below the bodywork
- Under the hood/trunk.
Having said all that, there is almost no need for the snooper to go to all the trouble of installing and setting up cameras in your home and GPS tracking on your vehicle – all they need to do is take control of your computer, tablet or phone’s camera and microphone, install keylogging software on your laptop, and install an app (which can be done remotely these days) on your phone. They don’t even have to be geeky to be able to do this. There are many spyware applications and devices available.
- Always use a strong password or fingerprint recognition for your devices. Avoid pattern swiping – it’s easy to hack.
- Make sure no-one is looking over your shoulder when using a password.
- Take note of any strange coded messages. They can indicate that the phone is transmitting data or the app is updating itself.
- Increasing battery drainage may indicate data transmission.
- Install anti-virus software and regularly run a cleaning app.
- Set your phone to flight mode when not in use.
- If you are convinced your phone has been hacked then reset it to factory settings, making sure to back up all your contacts first.
Does your husband regularly hack into your social media sites? Social media is one of the snooper’s favorite methods of keeping tabs on you. Doesn’t matter how often you change your passwords, they keep doing it. Check out “Is it OK to Spy on Your Partner?” for ways to keep people your account.
- Withdrawal. If your husband or wife withdraws from you and appears to be lost in their own thoughts. On its own, this is not a reason for divorce but added to some other behaviors will indicate that their mind is not on you.
- Sex becomes less frequent. Excuses seem hollow. S/he is glad when it’s over.
- They start hiding their phone… and cell phone bills. Alongside this, they spend more time texting and emailing. Their phone is their constant companion. Should it ring or sound a notification, they are on it as fast as a rat up a drainpipe. If you reach for the phone they are visibly on edge.
- When you challenge them, they become angry. Not escalating irritation, but full-on angry.
- They are frequently late home. They are not always where they say they’re going to be.
- You feel that something has changed between you.
It’s important to remember that these signs are not certain indicators that there is a third person in your marriage. There could be any number of reasons why your spouse is acting differently. Anything from a health concern to planning a surprise birthday treat may be at the root of a sudden change in behavior.
The key is to open a conversation about why you are worried. Put the emphasis on you rather than on your partner. Their reaction will often be a big clue as to what is going on.
If your spouse is eager to reassure you, they may offer you their passwords so you can put your own mind at rest by checking their internet and phone activity.
Remember that spying on them without their permission is a violation of their privacy.
Have you ever been tracked by your husband or wife? Did you confront them? Did your marriage survive the experience? Please tell us anonymously in the comments below.
What to Do if You Think Your Spouse is Spying on You
Everyone has a right to certain privacies, even from your spouse. If you discover that your spouse may be spying on you, you will ly feel your personal space has been invaded and your trust has been betrayed. Whether you believed yourself to be happily married or headed toward divorce, when your spouse starts spying it could indicate some serious marital issues.
Regardless of whether or not you have anything to hide, the actions of a snooping spouse can lead to very complicated problems, especially if you are already in the beginning stages of divorce.
Reasons for Spying
There are many reasons someone might spy on their spouse. One of the most common reasons for spying is to determine if the spouse is cheating.
However, spouses might also snoop to find out who you are talking to, what you are doing with your free time, what money you are spending and where, and other details of your life.
They also might be cheating themselves or have other secrets they wish to hide and spy on you to see if you are suspicious.
If you are headed toward divorce, or are already going through the divorce process, your spouse might also spy on you to find evidence to use against you in court.
Snooping for Evidence
If your spouse is spying on you in order to find information to use against you in court, it is extremely important that you protect yourself. While it is illegal to use stolen evidence in court, it is possible to find loopholes. If your spouse learns something incriminating while spying on you, but hides the evidence, that information could come back to haunt you.
Potential Dangers of Spying
Some people may look to prove their spouse is cheating to obtain more money in the divorce. However, because Washington is a no-fault divorce state, this will not affect alimony or property division directly. However, certain evidence could be used to impact child custody, child support, or alimony in different ways.
A snooping spouse could find proof of planned vacations or large expenses, which could hurt your chances of receiving alimony or might affect how assets are divided in court. Pictures or other evidence of drinking or doing drugs could be seriously damaging in child custody cases and could hurt your relationship with your children, too.
Even if the photos are misrepresented, they could still harm your case in court.
How to Protect Yourself
If you suspect your spouse of spying, you should take immediate action to protect your privacy. If you and your spouse live together, keep your private documents locked away or stored at a friend or family member’s house where your spouse can not get to them.
Also, protect your computer, tablet, and phone with new passwords that your spouse will not know.
Choose obscure, strong passwords as opposed to memorable dates or names that your spouse could easily guess.
If you think your spouse may have installed spyware on your phone, consider doing a factory reset (after backing up your important data, photos, etc.) or having your phone checked by a professional.
As for your social media accounts, it would be much safer if you refrained from posting anything during your divorce. Your posts or shared pictures from friends could be used against you in court and simply aren’t worth the risk. Even if you aren’t social media “friends” with your spouse, they could still obtain information about your social media activity from other mutual friends.
Share any concerns or evidence of spying with your divorce attorney before you take actions against your spouse. They can provide you with a rundown of what is legal, what isn’t, and the appropriate responses that will help you with your divorce case.
For help with your divorce, contact McKinley Irvinat our Washington office.