My Personal Plea to You About Your Partner’s Phone

Do Not Take Your Marriage For Granted

It’s the Ok marriage that often leads to pain.

I have to warn you.

I am seeing an increase in clients who discover their partners are having sexting affairs.

Just in case you don’t know, Sexting is the texting of images and/or words that are sexually explicit.

Imagine that you discover your partner has been sexting with another person. You pick up their phone and see nude images and words to describe a variety of sexual acts that your spouse wants to have with this other person.

You’re not going to feel good about it.

Sometimes the sexting is rationalized as; they didn’t have physical sex, and it’s really not that big a deal. Sometimes the sexting they admit has been going on for years.

You’re definitely not going to like that.

Other times the sexting is the tip of the iceberg to a full blown affair that has been going on for a long time.

Now you’ll have to decide what you are going to do.

In every one of these situations that I deal with, I always ask about the state of the marriage before these affairs were discovered.

In almost everyone one of these situations, the marriages are described as Ok, or alright.

Here’s the ugly truth:

When I dig deeper, the marriages were far from Ok or being alright. Most of these people who have been betrayed admit that they had thought about getting a divorce years prior to the acts I’ve mentioned, but things were mostly Ok so they didn’t.

Couples are all too often sleep walking through life together, and the discovery of sexting and physical affairs is the brutal wake up call.

In my opinion, the sexting and the affairs are all symptoms of a marriage that has been struggling for some time. But the partners didn’t see any urgency to fix it and things seemed mostly Ok.

Please be smart:

Can you access your partner’s phone? Will they happily give you their smartphone and password?

This should not create a disagreement. If you are in happy, deeply connected, and trust filled relationship, there will never be an issue using your partner’s phone.

My wife has access to my smart phone any time she wants. She uses it often even though she has her own phone, which she can’t find from time to time. And I have access to my wife’s phone and password.

I want it to be that way. There is no valid reason on earth why I would need to hide my phone from her, nor should she feel the need to hide her phone and password from me.  The moment that occurs, trust has been lost, and the relationship despite all good appearances, is entering dysfunction.

If you find resistance to being able to access your partner’s phone please share this article with them.

If your marriage is simply Ok, or less than Ok, I urge you to reach out for help.

An Ok marriage is always on the edge of not being Ok.  An Ok marriage will not become happy, or great, or even good by itself. There is no upside to an OK marriage without effort to change it.

Without help very little happiness is possible.



Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,

Nothing is going to get better. It’s not. –Dr Seuss


The 7 Levels of Trusthworthiness Affecting the Intimacy and Happiness of Your Marriage

In the back of your mind you are wondering this about your partner:

Will you be there for me in the way that I need you to,… and when I need you?

  • And what happens to me when you aren’t there for me?
  • And what’s the impact of that on you, and on us?

This is a foundational aspect of trustworthiness in any relationship. 

Imagine that you want to talk with your partner about something that’s important to you. It could be anything at all.  A tiny piece of nonsense that you heard from someone, or a big thing about work, family, health etc…

In the moment you want to share something with your partner, and they aren’t tuned into truly listening to you, the connection between you wavers ever so slightly.

A small aspect of trust gets depleted.

  • Imagine this occurring often.
  • Imagine that you realize you can’t count on them.
  • Where trust goes, intimacy and happiness are certain to follow.

The mind begins to churn out thoughts that are going to begin to further deplete intimacy and happiness.

  • “Don’t I matter enough or deserve better than that from you.?”
  • “Don’t you care enough about me to pay attention?”
  • “What’s wrong with you…what’s your problem?”
  • “What’s wrong with me…don’t you love me anymore?”

This is only the beginning. The first domino has fallen. Conflicts will increase and communication will suffer. Intimacy fades fast.

Here are 7 Levels of Trustworthiness:

  1. Collaborative Trustworthiness- Both partners are equally focused on being trustworthy to each other, with shared vision, core values and relationship goals. This is ideal.


  1. Reflective Trustworthiness- I’m trustworthy only to the level that you hold me accountable. Pay attention to the little things you let me get away with.


  1. Paradoxical Trustworthiness- You should trust me even though I don’t trust you. This will cause bitterness and resentment. Are we aligned on the things that matter?


  1. Participatory Trustworthiness- I choose when I’m willing to be trustworthy. You don’t need to know what I’m doing over here. I’m trustworthy in other areas…kind of, maybe. A normally trustworthy person begins to be selective in their honesty. Honor your intuition and look for contradictions. Reinforce your shared values and honesty.


  1. Empirical Trustworthiness- I trust you only to the degree that I can verify. I will drive you crazy trying to control you because I can’t trust what I can’t see. Tell yourself the truth. Is this about you, or is your partner simply untrustworthy and you don’t want to believe it?


  1. Unconditional Trustworthiness- I trust you no matter what you are doing to me. This is how people get taken advantage of and blind sided with hurt. Lines must be drawn about what is acceptable and what’s not. Does your partner know where you draw the line with unacceptable behavior or neglect?


  1. Deceptive Trustworthiness- I appear trustworthy, but trust me at your own peril. I’m operating on my own agenda. I will lie constantly and the web of lies will grow and envelope you. This isn’t ever going to be a healthy relationship unless I wake up and change. What’s the likelihood of that happening?


 It’s the little things we fail to do that begin to tear apart the foundation of the marriage.

 This happens most often because we really don’t know any better. Do you demonstrate to me regularly that you value me in your life?  Do I matter enough to make the needs of our shared togetherness your priority?

Marriages can easily get put on auto-pilot because we are simply caught up in own busy lives.

  • Do you know to create a deeply connected and high trust relationship?
  • Will you prioritize us to make sure that you do your part along with me?

If there are issues of trust and increasing levels of conflict in the marriage, you will likely need outside help. Your emotions will get the best of you. Trying to solve the problem by fixing your partner will only backfire and make things worse.

Talk with me. I have helped hundreds of couples restore trust, love and intimacy in their marriages.

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