True Life: Confessions Of A Keyboard Warrior

You think he might be cheating and his phone is sitting right there, potentially packed full of damning evidence. What do you do?

woman using laptop computer

Here’s a thorny dilemma: Your guy’s MIA and you’re super-suspicious. Here’s another: You regularly read a blog and you decide the author needs to be taken down a peg or two. So, what do you do? Do you hack his emails or leave bitchy comments on the blog? Under cover of anonymity, five STELLAR readers tell us the lengths they went to get back with an ex, uncover cheating, or troll a website. All names have been changed.

I hacked my boyfriend’s email

Rachel, 29

“Fiachra and I had been together since college, and we were living in a shared house. But when one of our pals moved out, and a seriously glam friend-of-a-friend moved in, things started to go haywire.

“I wasn’t too worried at first. She was actually a nice girl, and sure, Fiachra had his eyes popping out of his head – I mean, what guy wouldn’t? But then he started staying up late at night on the pretext that he had a show he wanted to watch, or a game to finish, and I kept on going to bed alone, while the two of them were laughing away in the sitting room. I felt really paranoid but whenever I tried to raise it with him, he’d act as if I was crazy.

“I couldn’t get anything out of him by confronting him and his phone was glued to him, so I did the next best thing. I guessed his email password and hacked into his Gmail account. It was all there: They’d been carrying on for weeks, and their whole relationship was laid out in a series of emails that went from flirty to explicit, so I dumped him and moved out.

“I made it worse by reading Fiachra’s emails for months afterwards until a friend sat me down and gave me a stern talking to. I’d been torturing myself reading these happy, in-love emails, so I had to stop. Once I did, I was able to move on and I could see we were college sweethearts and we’d outgrown each other. We just hadn’t realised it at the time.”

I manipulated my ex using Facebook

Clara, 31

“I broke up with Damien in the first place because he just left everything to me: Paying for the apartment, the car and the bills. He didn’t have a job, and the pressure was too much, so I ended it. But we’d gone out for two years, I had huge feelings for him and I had wanted to marry him.

“Because he lives in a different area, I never saw him out and about after we finished. I looked at his Facebook page every once in a while, out of curiosity – and I noted he’d a new girlfriend – but when I saw he was single again I made it my business to see if I could get him back.

“I was delighted when I saw he’d actually changed his profile picture as well to one I’d taken on a trip we’d made to Paris, so I was hoping I was in his head already. Then I messaged a mutual friend of ours on Facebook, asking did she fancy going to a pub, which was actually his local. He liked the post and wrote below that we should get a few of us to go, and we got talking from that.

“It worked: We got back together and I never told him what I’d done. He actually admitted to me that he’d looked at my Facebook page occasionally and I made a joke of it and slagged him off. Ultimately though, it ended up that he was a knob and I shouldn’t have bothered my arse. But if I didn’t try again he would have always been the ‘What If’ one. And no, we’re not still friends on Facebook!”

I trolled a beauty blog

Niamh, 25

“I used to read this really popular beauty blog all the time and it used to make me so mad. The girl running it got sent all this stuff for free, and I just didn’t think she was all that. Like, why did she deserve to get free trips to spas and bags of make-up?

“So I started leaving bitchy comments below all her posts. Things like, “that foundation makes you look sad and old,” and “you look like shit.” She banned me from commenting, so to get to her, I sent an email to tell her exactly what I thought, real no holds barred, awful stuff. That she was a bitch, didn’t deserve her success and that everyone hated her, she was fat, I’d ruin her…

“Eventually I stopped trolling because she never replied, but a couple of years later I was at a conference and she was a speaker. The topic was how to handle negative feedback. I recognised the abuse I’d given her in what she was saying but what really shocked me was that while she didn’t identify me by name, she’d actually known full well who I was all along.

“I hadn’t realised that it’s not really possible to be anonymous online. She’d found my Facebook page and she knew my home address. It hit me how mean, stupid and childish I’d been and how generous she was in not exposing my nastiness. I still don’t really know why I did it. I guess I was jealous and bored and looking for attention, but I’m really trying to be nicer now.”

I checked his Facebook messages

Nadia, 23

“Phil and I had been going out for seven years and we were on our second year apart due to our studies. At first things were fine but then I became aware that he was constantly giving me this ‘always busy’ signal. He’d previously cheated, and I was trying not to worry.

“So I decided to check up on him. He’d left himself logged in on Facebook on my phone, so his messages were just there to be read. Straight away I could see stuff between himself and a housemate about crazy nights out and how Phil had hooked up with a girl. And I discovered it wasn’t the first time, either. I felt sick; I told him I’d read his messages – and I knew he’d cheated.

“He apologised and things were okay for a while, but when he came home for Christmas, he blanked my calls for two days before telling me ‘we need to talk’, and I’m sure you can guess the outcome. I really should have dumped his sorry ass first! I don’t feel bad about the way I found out either. I’m very glad I read his messages, because if I hadn’t, he’d have cheated on me again in the future.”

I snooped on his phone

Laura, 25

“After three years together, Alan started to become distant. He’d refuse to come on holidays with our friends, or on weekends away. Before that we’d socialised as a couple regularly, so it was weird. Then there was a situation where he was meant to come out for a pal’s birthday dinner, but he never showed, and it turned out he’d been at a party until 5am.

“He also owed me money which he point-blank refused to repay. When I asked him for it, he turned it all around and called me a loan shark! This went on for five months and I was just so suspicious about his behaviour, so when I saw his phone sitting on the charger, I checked it.

“When I read his messages I discovered Alan was still in contact with his ex girlfriend, and that he owed her money too. She wanted her cash back as well, and I just felt scared and devastated when I realised, and discovered that he’d been in contact with his ex all this time too.

“So I confronted him and no, he wasn’t surprised. He said he hadn’t been unfaithful but I broke up with him anyway because I no longer trusted him. While I do feel what I did was wrong, I think it was justified, and I also feel really relieved that I don’t have to worry any more.”