Cell phones and technology are not the greatest things in the world, regardless of popular opinion.  Is it just me? Cell phones and the Internet seem to cause problems.

Should a husband keep his cell phone locked and not allow his wife to have access? This is the question.

J- has a history of keeping things from me. This also includes flat out lying to me. He also has a history of drug problems. He can be sober for years, then relapse without notice. He also likes to talk to certain females that do  not care that he is married or has children. About 5 years ago, he told me he was laid-off for the rest of the season from work. After going through his phone while he was sleeping, I learned he had been terminated. This is just one of the things he has lied to me about.

So the old arguments are starting again. His phone is locked and I am not allowed to see anything. He said that it is none of my business and he has the right to keep his phone to himself. His argument is that since I have my journal-a written book that no one is allowed to touch-that he should be allowed to keep his phone private. How is a cell phone on the same scale as a journal? My journal is not something that I share with anyone. His text conversations are between him and other people. These conversations are the source of endless marital problems between us.

The last time I had access to his phone was upsetting to say the least. He was looking for drugs and he was telling me one thing, but texting his friend something entirely different. I also found out that he was not coming home after work. He was leaving work early, going to his friends or going to the bar, then coming home at his normal time. At first, I did not say anything. Then payday came and I confronted him. That caused another argument that lasted over a week. He informed me that he should not have to come home right away and he should not have to check in with me.

His behavior over the last month has changed dramatically. Even our eldest daughter is avoiding him again. He spends less and less time at home each day, and when he is at home, he is glued to his phone. What is so important that I cannot see? During our recent argument over his phone and his secrecy, he snapped at me:

“Right. You just want to know about my other girlfriends.”

Cheating had not crossed my mind until he said this and a few other similar comments that do not need to be repeated. Why does a cell phone have to cause so many problems? When there is a 15 year history of lying and hiding things, why not just prove that there is nothing going on?

During the first few years of our marriage, I was controlling about my cell phone. I never locked it, however, I would become angry when he went through it. He would yell at me about messages from my friends. At one point in time, he actually used my phone to text a few friends, telling them off and telling them to stay away from me. Yes, they were male friends. Eventually, I realized the problems that were being created by not wanting him to look at my phone. Even though I did not like him going through my messages and responding to some of them, I learned to keep my temper in check. Since then, he has full access to my phone. I was accused of cheating numerous times, something I did not do. Ever since then, I leave my phone available for him to see whenever he wants. I thought this would help resolve our issues. Instead, he is angry with me because I no longer care if he looks at my phone. Now he is accusing me of trying to manipulate him by giving him access to my phone. I am so confused.

Yes, I see a therapist. With depression like mine, mental health is something to pay attention to. Even my therapist supports my choice to be open and let him have access to my phone. About a year ago, one of J- friends started texting me late one night. The guy was drunk and just wanted someone to talk to. J- was out of town that weekend. When he came home, I immediately handed him my phone and told him why. I asked him to read the entire conversation just so he knew what had been said. J- told me it was none of his business and he did not care if I was talking to this guy. Shortly thereafter, they stopped hanging out. I feel I was in the right to show J- the messages. There was nothing inappropriate about them, however, I still wanted J- to be part of it. Somehow the entire situation was turned on me like I did something wrong.

This latest round of arguments has resulted in the two of us barely speaking to each other. J- said he has nothing to prove and that he would rather pack his bags and leave before letting me have access to his phone. Full disclosure: my response was “there is the door. It only swings one way.” This week has been hell.

In any relationship, should one person lock the other out of a cell phone?