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The Worst Thing You've Seen On Your Partner's Phone

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Artwork by Anna Jay
Picture the scene: you’re at home on the sofa watching The Affair with your partner when they decide to pop to the shops to pick up some snacks. Once they’re out the door, you see it. It’s right there. Their phone. Their whole life in one little gadget. So, what do you do?

Well, according to new research, 41 per cent of you are flaunting every relationship privacy law by picking up that phone and diving straight into their texts, Facebook messages and internet search history. Of course, the chance to snoop on your partner is tempting but it doesn’t come without a cost. Are you ready to open that particular can of worms? Who knows what you might find: suspiciously long text conversations with someone you’ve never heard of; multiple visits to Pornhub; U2’s touring schedule. They just might not be the person you thought they were.

We asked around to find the very worst things that people had found on their partner’s phone when they decided to go Sherlock, while others open up about being caught out themselves. Get ready to update your passcode.

Phoebe, 27

"I didn’t actually snoop but one night I was lying in bed with my boyfriend fast asleep next to me when a message popped up on his phone. His phone shows a preview of the message so I had a quick glance only to see it said "I'm horny" from someone called Sarah. I confronted him about it in the morning and he told me it was someone he'd had a thing with before we met two years ago and they hadn't been in contact since. I took his word for it and we're married now. He's kept the preview messages on; I think it's his way of letting me know I can trust him."
Ben, 25

“I became rather worried about a former Significant Other. It came about because I looked on their Instagram, which you'd think was a safe space, as you can’t even show a nipple, but they had been looking up porn stars (who, curiously, do have profiles.) Unless you “clear search history” on your settings, anyone can easily access who you have been looking up. I figured that if the Significant Other was searching for that sort of thing on Instagram, the wettest of social media, then I could only imagine what they were looking at elsewhere.”

Jessica, 30

“Recently, I got rather annoyed with my husband at a wedding when I spied on a Whatsapp group chat that he had going with his old schoolfriends about an upcoming stag do: pictures of busty Bavarian bar maids carrying trays of pints accompanied with messages reading ‘5 more days!’ I told him to grow up.”

Melissa, 22

"I suspected my boyfriend was cheating on me and he has one of those phones that unlocks with his fingerprint so, while he was asleep one night, I took his thumb and unlocked his phone. I know that makes be sound awful but I don't care. He was cheating on me and even had naked photos of this other girl on his phone."
Kate, 27

"I was dating a guitarist in a band and he asked to borrow my phone to show me a YouTube clip and when he opened up my browser it went straight onto Google images of his band. I could have died."

Susie, 24

“I was out on a Tinder date at a restaurant that was going pretty well. We decided to take the night on and go to a cocktail bar in Soho. I borrowed his phone to look up the address of a place I liked when I found "mature escorts mayfair" in his Google searches. I left pretty soon after that."

Jenny, 26

"I found Facebook messages between my boyfriend and his ex-girlfriend talking about how much they missed each other and how things just weren't 'the same' with me. I was devastated and left him soon after. I never told him I found those messages and everyone thinks I dumped him. It's a pride thing."

Grace, 31

"I went through my boyfriend's photos on his phone and was horrified to see pictures of a stag do in Spain he'd recently been on. There were tons of strippers and people passed out drunk, which I could handle. What I couldn't handle was a picture of my boyfriend urinating on another one of his friends."

Sophie, 32

“I wanted to look up cinema times when I was at my boyfriend’s house but my phone was out of battery. He was having a shower, and I know his pin, so I just picked up his phone. On opening his internet browser it pulled up YouTube with a ‘tribute’ video to Rachel Riley from Countdown. I never said anything but it was disappointing. I got a C in my maths GCSE.”

Ashley, 28

"First it was Rob, age 15, in a message to his friend: “I told her I loved her but I didn’t mean it and now I don’t know what to do.” Then it was Elliot, age 18, in a message from his now pregnant wife: “I’m sorry about what happened, please don’t feel you have to tell her, I hope we can still be friends.” Lastly, Nick, age 25: “What the f*ck mate! Not cool, you were all over my sister, it was really embarrassing, please apologise to her.” After that I vowed never to read a phone again. And I haven’t."
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