For today’s discussion, I did some research. I read other people’s opinions and I realized that there are so many diverse opinions on this issue; so which indeed is the right one? I will give us some people’s opinion today and the end of it all, I will tell you what I truly think so the onus is on us to determine what works for us. When I say “any privacy in marriage”? I mean is there a point where we have to draw a line on what our spouses can keep to themselves? Is it really okay to check our partner’s phone every chance we get? Is it okay to open our partner’s mail? Is it okay to eavesdrop on every telephone conversation or to ask who they are speaking to after every phone call?
Dr Willard F. Harley had this opinion: “Snooping is reasonable. What are some of the red flags that would lead a spouse to snoop? The biggest and brightest of them all is for you to claim a right of privacy. If you were to refuse to give your spouse your password to your computer, social networks, or to cell phone records, or to what you do with your time away from each other, that would trigger almost anyone’s curiosity. What is my spouse trying to hide? So if your spouse has been snooping on you, and you haven’t been having an affair, don’t discourage the snooping. Instead, address the red flag. What have you been doing that makes your spouse worry? Give your spouse all of your passwords, provide your spouse with your schedule, be available by cell phone throughout the day, and be willing to give a full account of everything you do and anywhere you go. Don’t tolerate secrecy in your marriage. Snooping usually reflects a spouse’s loss of trust. That loss of trust is usually caused by red flags that should be addressed in a marriage. Even if no affair is actually taking place, the snooping itself should not only be encouraged to help provide evidence that mistrust is unwarranted, but it should also trigger a serious effort by the suspected spouse to remove the red flag.
Manis Friedman had this to say: “We are insulted when those we love don’t tell us everything. We accuse them of ‘hiding’ from us, and we are hurt. But if we try to peek behind the curtains of someone else’s privacy, you won’t get any closer to that person. Quite the opposite: you’ll become estranged. In marriage, our most intimate relationship, respect for privacy is fundamental. A husband and wife have the right and need for a curtain that says, ‘yes, you can come into my life, for better or worse, till death do us part, but don’t peek where I don’t want to be seen. Don’t look at what I am not comfortable exposing about my life. And don’t expect from me what I don’t want to give. Be thankful for what you get and do not expect what the other person doesn't have. Many relationships break up due to unfair expectations. Having unfair expectations means failing to recognize and respect another person’s borders. And that constitutes an invasion of privacy. What drives us to invade another person’s privacy? Why do we need to know everything? Maybe we are insecure. If we could know everything that was going on in every part of our spouse personality, we would feel more secure. We don’t suspect that our husbands or wives are secretly horrible people. We are not afraid of evil, just surprises. We don’t want to be caught unprepared. We look at our grandparents and great-grandparents, and we wonder, why did they stay together? How could they? How did our grandmothers not see our grandfather’s glaring fault, inabilities, and handicaps? How could our grandfathers not see our grandmother’s failure and weaknesses? Most of the time, they didn't. If they noticed them at all, they looked away, because it would have been an invasion of privacy. The reason you don’t notice is not because you are so kind, so wise, and so magnanimous that you overlook your spouse’s fault. It’s not overlooking; it’s having respect for your mate’s privacy.
Debra Macleod had this opinion, “Private passwords and secretive texting have no place in marriage. Infact, they are antithetical to the very nature of marriage. Not only do they lead to suspicion, fear, stress and doubt, they also cause couples to engage in adversarial, judgement-laden arguments that chip away at their partnership. When it comes to this issue, it is absolutely true that those who have nothing to hide- hide nothing. Engaged couples are usually in a happy place; however, marriage has its ups and downs. Behaviours that may be acceptable now-such as having private passwords-often become problematic as the years go by. Today’s technology, particularly social networking sites and texting, provide easy opportunity to begin extra-marital friendships that can quickly turn into affairs. If your marriage is going through a rough patch, it is all too easy to seek secret support from a ‘friend’ via texting. This leads to a dangerous situation. Not only is the marriage in weakened state, but texting between opposite sex friends can quickly become sexual due to a false sense of safety and intimacy this medium provides”.
My take on this is simple: Marriage is indeed a whole union that requires all transparency to work, it goes beyond love, trust is a major essential. While it is important for us not to keep secrets and hide any part of our lives from each other, snooping around is not a healthy habit either. It is a terrible trait of distrust and when we find ourselves doing that all the time, then we need to check ourselves. I can never accept that checking your partner’s phone every time they go into the bathroom is healthy. If there is a doubt somewhere, then coming out and talking straight about it is just golden. If you feel you need to know, then ASK!!! Privacy will not be an issue if you are in a good place in your home. You check their phones if you have to but there is no compulsion about it. It does not become habitual, it should not become obsessive. Making our partners feel like they are being constantly watched never brings out the best in them. If you feel your partner is snooping around behind you, check yourself to be sure you are not giving room for doubt and if indeed you are not doing anything to make them insecure, then talk about it because it might be a seed of bigger problems.
Let us live, learn and grow for the journey is still far and it is not for the fainthearted!!!