HEARING the phone ringing, Juliet Owen-Nuttall picked up the phone and opened a message for her partner Daniel.
It was from a friend, confirming plans to meet him that night.
But the mother-of-one doesn’t snoop on her other half.
She has permission to see all texts, emails, direct messages and photos on the device – because they share the same phone.
While most couples have personal cell phones, there are a few that have one between two or two joint devices that share an account.
Rather than being an extreme form of espionage, they see it as a way to remove the source of suspicion and distraction that can cause unwarranted arguments — and emphasize that it makes their relationship worse. they are more durable.
This is in contrast to a recent survey which found that more than 7 out of 10 people admitted to using their partner’s cell phone without their knowledge, while more than half admitted to checking text messages. of the partner.
Juliet, 48, admits that in the past, she didn’t always take Daniel’s calls with innocent motives.
After their cleaning job fails and his move abroad goes wrong, she begins to nervously check the phone messages behind his back, trying to find evidence of deception.
But since that difficult fix a few years ago, the pair have worked to build their trust — and now they use each other’s phones openly, often sharing the same device.
Mother-of-one Juliet, a reproductive health specialist, says: “For us, it’s intimacy.
“We now have a very deep and completely honest level of communication with each other.
“Sharing information gives us connections that we don’t have with others.
“I feel like a better partner for Daniel because we have no secrets.
“When you go through a difficult period, the sexual nature and that aspect will suffer.
“But when you communicate with complete openness and trust, sex is much better and you feel closer.
“It also means we don’t have an issue with other people checking in on you if you’re apart, which can cause stress.
“Some of our friends and family obviously thought it was a little weird.
“We got comments like, ‘We don’t share stuff like that. It is private’.
“They also don’t like the fact that they don’t know which of us might be reading their messages.”
When the couple ran the cleaning business together, they shared a phone for five years and didn’t have a personal cell phone.
“We have one for work and one for personal use,” says Juliet. People don’t always know which of us is replying to messages.
But after the company ran into problems in 2016, they temporarily reverted to using their own phones.
Our plan to move abroad failed, meaning we had to live in two different countries for six months and needed our own phone, says Juliet.
“When we see each other again, I want to know what he did.
“It was like an internal alarm going off that something was wrong.
“I feel insecure and worried about our relationship.
“I admit that I took a look at Daniel’s phone because I was so distrustful that I couldn’t check.
“I also love it when we share a phone because I can trust him completely.
“I thought it was Daniel but after working with my self-esteem and confidence, I realized it was really my own problem.
He never did anything to make me feel that way.
The couple now live in Henfield, Sussex, with their three-year-old daughter Lyra.
Daniel, 41, works as a pastry chef and travels often for business.
They went back to using the same phone after the rudimentary patch, but when Juliet became pregnant, they decided it made sense to have two devices for emergencies.
Juliet said: ‘Now that I’m on Daniel’s phone, I don’t feel anxious or need to rummage through his pictures and messages.
“We are apart often but I trust him and I trust my intuition.
“If I feel there is something wrong in our relationship, we will communicate and work through the problem together. I’m not prowling.
Respectful and positive
“I think cell phones can really make couples nervous and create arguments.
“Your brain becomes suspicious and goes down paths it doesn’t need to go down.”
She added: “In the past, I used to check his phone in hopes of finding something to start a big argument, thinking I would find some connection or solution to the problem. annoyed.
“Over the years, we have learned that treating each other with respect and speaking positively about our relationship has changed the way we interact.
“Even though we have our own cell phones today, we still have access to each other’s devices.
“The only thing we don’t do now is answer for each other.”
From their first date, Ipswich couple Katie and Danny Bloomfield knew they wanted to be completely open with each other.
The couple experienced suspicion around how toxic cell phone use can be and wanted to recapture how couples typically interacted before technology got in the way.
The couple – who are partners in a real estate business and have six children aged two to 20 – often swap cell phones during the day and say it’s not a big deal because they have nothing to do with it. hide.
Katie, 39, said: ‘We don’t have any secrets from each other so our phones are open notebooks with shared IDs and passwords.
“We both believe our marriage is stronger because we have the freedom to read each other’s phones if we want.
“Through previous relationships, we have seen first-hand how much secrecy with phones can tell.
“We see it with our kids, too, and it shows when they hide the phone screen from your view.
“By sharing our phones, we hope we are modeling healthy relationship behavior for them.”
Katie and Danny, 41, started dating in 2017 after a night out, before getting married and starting a business two years later.
Katie said: “I was single for a long time and became skeptical. It was Danny’s honesty that was truly fascinating.
“We told each other everything right away.
“From day one, we agreed to always be completely transparent with each other.
“One of the ways we do that is with a shared inbox and a linked phone calendar.
“You can’t email me without Danny seeing it — everything is in one place.
“We are busy parents running a business, so there is a constant flow of information and appointments.”
The couple also isn’t worried about invading the privacy of friends who might want to private message one of them.
Katie said: “We don’t sit and check each other’s phones to read every correspondence.
“We don’t snoop, we just share and keep things open.
“We are each other’s true halves. I want him to know all about me.”
TIPS THAT THEY CAN SCAM
SECRET behavior over the phone can raise suspicions that your partner has bad intentions.
Private investigator Ali Harris, of Miss AM Investigations, says there are clear warning signs that your fears may be well-founded – but you don’t always think so.
“If they suddenly take their phone everywhere, such as in the bathroom and when putting their kids to bed, that could be a sign,” she says.
“Another person is taking their calls outside, even in winter, as well as changing passwords.”
Keep an eye out for any new or unusual apps, whether it’s a social network, dating site, or messaging app — or a new second username.
For example, Telegram and Signal can delete both ends of a message thread after a certain time.
Ali says that snooping on someone’s phone for evidence is unlikely to yield results.
“Many people hide their tracks by having another phone that their partner doesn’t know about, or they set up new free e-mail accounts.
“If you find the charger doesn’t fit your phone, they probably have a second device.”
And if you want to access their messages, be careful.
The law says you need consent to access someone else’s phone, unless you can argue that they’ve given you logins and permissions.
Otherwise, you risk heavy fines and up to two years in prison.
Ali said: “I would never check anyone’s phone because I expect the same courtesy.
“If you suspect your partner is cheating – in my experience, 60 per cent of that is when you have strong suspicions – you could be experiencing something you don’t want to face.”