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Internet Monitoring Software: “Spying” on Your Husband

Last Updated: January 22, 2018

Luke Gilkerson

Luke Gilkerson has a BA in Philosophy and Religious Studies and an MA in Religion. He is the author of Coming Clean: Overcoming Lust Through Biblical Accountability and The Talk: 7 Lessons to Introduce Your Child to Biblical Sexuality. Luke and his wife Trisha blog at IntoxicatedOnLife.com

Internet Monitoring Software for Your Husband

For the woman who is suspicious that her husband may be looking at porn or flirting with other women online, Internet monitoring software can help you find out the truth. Catching your husband “red handed” may help you know the truth, but it may cause other problems for your marriage down the road. Before using an Internet monitoring software, make sure you’re aware of these possible ramifications.

What’s the Difference Between Internet Monitoring Software and Internet Accountability?

One of the primary differences between Internet monitoring software and Internet Accountability is that monitoring often entails spying, and there are critical differences between spying and accountability:

  • Spying means the one being watched isn’t aware. Accountability means the one being watched is aware.
  • Spying is something done without consent. Accountability is done with full consent.
  • Spying can lead to distrust and suspicion. Accountability is done to rebuild trust.

Because of these differences, many women choose to use Internet Accountability Software rather than an Internet monitoring software. They realized that spying on their husband resulted in hurt feelings and distrust, rather than restoration. These women first talk with their husbands about their fears and suspicions, and together they decide to install Covenant Eyes on all their Internet devices. Rather than catching your husband “red-handed” using an Internet monitoring software, give him the opportunity to make better decisions online knowing he’ll be held accountable. Knowing his wife or a close friend will receive an Internet Report every week enables him to think twice about where he goes online.

(Click here to see a sample Report.)

Should You Receive Your Husband’s Internet Reports?

Occasionally we get messages from concerned women who receive their husbands’ Internet Reports:

  • “If I am my husband’s Accountability Partner, will it really help him to break bad online habits?”
  • “I’m tired of talking to him about the details on his Report. What can I do?”
  • “I want to get his Reports, but I’m not sure how to talk to him about them?”

If you and your husband have these concerns, here are four questions you should ask yourselves.

1. Has your husband given you the choice?

Many men who have given into online temptations have often caused strain in their marriage as a result. More times than not, there’s been some level of secrecy around the use of pornography or cybersex.

Also, men who want to stop looking at porn often want to keep their “recovery” private—just like they had a private porn life. They would prefer to keep their spouse out of it as much as possible.

However, if your husband wants to rebuild trust with you, it is important that he gives you the choice to know about how much you want to know about his problem. Looking at porn is his offense against you, so he should give you the option of receiving his Internet Reports.

2. What are the potential positive outcomes of receiving his Internet Report?

Most men who have their Internet Accountability Reports sent to their spouses are looking to put a psychological barrier between themselves and temptation. For many people this works very well. Before they mindlessly click on a questionable website, they think twice about it. They constantly ask the question, “Will my wife feel honored and cherished by what I’m about to look at?”

In addition, many women who receive their husband’s Report appreciate this as a sign of openness and honesty in their marriage. It is one way their spouse builds trust. Internet accountability says to them, “I am letting you into every part of my life.”

3. What are the potential negative outcomes of receiving his Internet Report?

For some, receiving a weekly digest of all the online temptations their husband has encountered in a given week proves to be emotionally taxing.

Many women don’t want to know the details of their spouse’s Internet history. Openness is one thing, but they know they will drive themselves crazy thinking about every temptation their lover faced, every link that he or she could have clicked on, or every link he or she did click on. For many couples this places a very unhealthy strain on their marriage.

For some women, receiving her husband’s Internet history in a Report feels too much like she’s being his mother, playing the role of “Internet cop,” or pressured to be his counselor.

Want more information to help you decide whether or not you want to receive your husband’s report? Read “Should My Wife Be My Accountability Partner.”

4. Who else should also receive his Internet Report?

Accountability works best when it is responsive. Accountability is not only about divulging information or giving someone access to your secrets. Accountability is also about hearing wisdom and encouragement from a wise friend who can help you.

This is why, regardless of whether you receive your husband’s Internet Accountability Reports, we recommend he sends the Reports to at least one other person of the same gender.

Why Wives Love Covenant Eyes Internet Accountability

There is no hard-and-fast rule when it comes to holding your husband accountable online, but as you keep the above questions in mind, you and your spouse should be able to come closer to a decision.

LauraLaura says: “Ryan told me about the power of being accountable to other men. He told me that he had downloaded Covenant Eyes on all of our computers and that a small group of men he trusted would receive full reports of all his online activity. Until this point, I had been the one looking over Ryan’s shoulder and ‘catching him’ from time to time. It was exhausting, not to mention humiliating. Now that his friends were by his side, I could step back and allow Ryan to develop his own internal passion to resist temptation. You can imagine my relief.”

AprilApril says: “Covenant Eyes played a huge role by giving me the comfort of knowing that men that I knew and trusted to hold Darren accountable were keeping him on track. That was no longer my job. I didn’t have to worry about looking and finding something on his computer again. I could rely on other men to help Darren and to bring me into the conversation if they deemed necessary. To me, Covenant Eyes allowed me to heal as a wife and to begin to rebuild and renew my trust and respect toward my husband.”

CindyCindy says: “Chris’ computer and cell phone are monitored by Covenant Eyes software, which provides reports to his best friend, his boss, and me every week. Anytime that I have a question about a website he visited, he sits down with me and we discuss it together. His best friend cares deeply, not just for Chris, but for our marriage. He is a wonderful force in Chris’ life and pushes him to be a better man.”

Photo credit: geoffeg

  • Comments on: Internet Monitoring Software: “Spying” on Your Husband
    1. Evie on

      What if he finds ways around Covenant Eyes? Like on an iPad?

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        He could use our iPad app as well. The app was designed to work hand-in-hand with the iPad’s Restrictions features.

    2. Evie on

      He has it on there but chooses to use Safari to view porn so it’s not traceable. I don’t want to be his “mother” and set restrictions on his iPad but I guess I have no other choice. I was hoping there was another option. Thanks.

      Reply
    3. Evie on

      Another question… If he does a search on Google Images while on CE software will it register or only if he visits the site? On Safari it does not register in the history except for the Google link. Pics can be viewed without it being recorded. Just want to know if CE picks this up from a Google search?

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Our latest Mac update for Covenant Eyes and beta update for Windows are designed to improve filtering and reporting for Google searches. If CE isn’t picking up Google searches, please make sure you’ve installed Covenant Eyes 2.5.1 or 5.0.7.194.

    4. Tiff on

      I’m so thankful I’m not in a relationship that requires accountability software any longer. I pray for the spouses who are victims of their significant others temptations.

      Reply
    5. Mary P on

      I am finding that even with the accountability software and CE app on the iPad, he still finds ways to look at porn. 😔 Even if it’s just “soft porn” on a shopping website like Amazon or Walmart… I’ve set restrictions on the iPad but I guess where there’s a will there’s a way. I had to delete certain apps too because they would allow internet access and access to “soft porn”, such as shopping apps. I’m tired of being his mother. Without spending all day viewing every page he looks at on the detailed report, it just seems impossible to see if he “really” has made steps forward.

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        Hi Mary,
        Perhaps it’s time to reconsider your boundaries. Here, here, and here are some articles you can check into. You might also think about finding a therapist for yourself, someone who can help you process your emotions and think about what’s healthy for you. You’re definitely not his mother, and he should be doing his own work in recovery. If he can’t, then you’ve got to consider what healthy looks like for you under those circumstances. Whatever he chooses, you choose good health.
        Peace to you,
        Kay

      • Tiff on

        Please look into Qustodio. You can block almost anything. But do realize, once these men have a “taste” for pornography, they will stop at nothing to revisit. I’m years down the road. Unfortunately, if I leave this marriage my children will suffer. So, I stay. My partner that I once chose is a stranger, I feel rejected, isolated and alone. One day, I will get out.

    6. Michael Furman on

      I’m a network admin and security expert. My wife is accusing me of looking at porn after a single site showed up in recent tabs on my iPad. About 2 months back i also did a “vrporn” Google search as I had gotten a pair of goggles and was looking for where innovation was going on this and I always heard porn was where the money was coming from. My iPad has been used by others here at work but I am being accused. I’d like to put this software on my work PC, laptop, Android phone and iPad Pro. However when I suggested this to her she countered that I could “get around it” in some fashion. I am happy to have her receive the reports and see my activity for a few months as I have nothing to hide. Is there anything about your product that would allow me to “get around it” or somehow thwart it? Please I don’t want details on how I am just asking if it’s possible because if so then I will be unable to gain my wife’s trust unless this is bulletproof.

      Reply
      • Chris McKenna on

        Hello, Michael – through use of the Restrictions, if someone else owns the 4-digit passcode, it becomes incredibly difficult to remove CE from the phone. If you give her the rights to the 4-digit passcode, allow her to select it, allow her to toggle off “delete apps” and turn off Safari and the iTunes App Store, then she might regain some trust.

        I hope that information is helpful.
        Chris

    7. Irene on

      I think my husband secretly photographs me while we watch adult sited on our TV internet app .how do I prove this .and I have a fire stick and I’ve noticed he does strange pausing and alot clicking during a video

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        Irene, I don’t know how to prove that he’s doing this, but if you feel unsafe with him during any activity, then please know you are not required to participate. Any sexual activity that is coerced by him is sexual abuse. Please be safe and well, and only make the choices you are comfortable and happy with.

        Peace,
        Kay

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