Life Advice



Ask Amy: Husband snoops on wife’s private writing

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I'm asking you to weigh in.

My husband thinks that it's fair game to read my computer or phone screen over my shoulder, even when I'm clearly writing or viewing something private.

I've asked him many times over the years not to do this, but he refuses to stop reading my screens. He definitely doesn’t like it when I do it to him.

He is saying it’s OK because my activity is essentially out in the open.

Is it rude to read someone's screens over their shoulder? Should I leave the room if I want privacy on my own devices?

– Invaded


Dear Invaded: Overall, I think it’s rude to continue to do something – almost anything — your spouse has asked you repeatedly not to do, especially if this behavior is not a two-way street.

Your husband may be aggressively trying to send you a message that he doesn’t want you to use screens when you are around him.

If you take a close and objective look at your own screen usage and see that there is a genuine imbalance in the amount of time you and he spend on your screens, then this gives you an opportunity to perhaps change your own behavior to demonstrate that you have received his rudely delivered message.

Otherwise, yes – whenever he does this, you should take your work into another room.


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