In a recent interview with The Sunday Times Magazine in the U.K., Jools Oliver, the wife of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, admitted that while she considers her relationship with her husband solid — they met as teenagers — she snoops around in his private communications to confirm his faithfulness.
“Yeah, I’ll check his emails. I’ll check his Twitter. I’ll check his phone. Everything seems fine. He says I’m a jealous girl, but I think I’m fairly laid-back, considering,” confessed the 36-year-old mother of four who has been married to the chef for 12 years.
As the wife of an international celebrity, Jools may be in a unique position to worry about who is tweeting or texting her hubby when she’s not around. But the former model’s comments didn’t go unnoticed or unremarked upon by the U.K. press who took the opportunity to interpret her confession as evidence that all may not be as solid at the Oliver home as appearances indicate.
One Guardian writer took a comic approach to educating Jools on the perils of snooping. Tongue firmly in cheek, Zoe Williams cautioned, “never go near your husband’s emails. How are you supposed to know whether Magda is 21 or 65, or whether Vicki signs everything with an ‘x’, or if ‘thanks for your insights’ is code for a rude activity? You can’t know; you’ll then have to find out. It’s a full-time job that destroys the institution it was devised to protect.”
Williams took a lighthearted approach to Jools’s confession, but commenters were more harsh, suggesting that the kind of casual suspicion Oliver confesses to negates the bonds of trust in a committed relationship. Some even made the argument that fear of present infidelity is a sure a way to guarantee a future affair.
And yet, few of those casting judgment on Jools’s actions felt willing to share their own tales of ill-conceived snooping and sideways glances at their partner’s Blackberry, iPhone or laptop. How common is this form of espionage in a relationship? I’ve got a suspicion the occasional peek at a beloved’s email account is more common than infidelity itself.
Is it a breach of trust and an invasion of privacy to read a text or two? Surely. But is it also occasionally the all-too-human/ordinary behaviour of a loving, if nervy partner? You bet.