IS SHARING PASSWORDS A RELATIONSHIP MINEFIELD?

Is sharing passwords a matter of trust or an invasion of privacy? Trust is perhaps the strongest bond a couple can have, yet it is amazingly fragile. As intimacy increases, so can the polarity of ‘Come closer but give me some space’ that we can experience. That bond of intimacy can also become a leash that awakens our need to define ourselves.

An expectation or demand to share our social media, email and cell phone passwords or the refusal to do so can become epic battlegrounds with intimacy and trust versus autonomy and privacy. I’m single…just thinking ahead. Someone asked the question and it intrigued me. What do you think?

Some people’s thoughts on the PROS of sharing…

“No secrets! It’s a sign of trust.” Many in this camp consider the password exchange a deal breaker.

Google reports that 67% of internet users in committed relationships share passwords. 27% shared an email account.[1]

“Yes. Share.” It shouldn’t establish trust but confirms that it is there.

The New York Times reported that for some teens, it’s become the digital version of a promise ring.[2]

You can monitor your spouse’s communications, with whom and what they say. Catch them if they cheat. Of course, it’s a good idea.

OR….not (is what instantly came to my mind when I heard that one.)

It might prove perfect for the cheating spouse, especially if the dynamics of narcissism or some other controlling dysfunction rules your lover or spouses’ actions.

Why would they consider it perfect? Because they’ve given you their passwords. You trust them now. They’ll pay cash instead of using a credit card, might assign nicknames and communicate in simple code on their phone or email…or buy prepaid phone and lie to you with impunity.

Or, you might be as unwilling to invade their privacy as I was, even though I had the passwords all along…decades. When I finally did look at his email it wasn’t to discover his relationship with another woman, but to confirm it. It did surprise me that they went back two years too many. Looking at his credit card bill on a strange evening turned out to be the ‘lie trap’ that triggered me to finally walk away.

Interestingly…he thought he’d deleted all the emails from his inbox and trash. I scrolled through his ‘Sent’ file and found enough threads to turn my life inside out. If he’d known, perhaps he would have better covered his tracks.

I will admit that finding those things was how I discovered…little by little, the brilliance of life beyond a dysfunctional relationship. Yet I still believe in a loving relationship, privacy is a vital component.

 

Reasons to say no to sharing… 

Privacy and secrets are not the same thing. The balance hinges on intent and trust.

Trust and faith in your partner can quake the relationship when either feel a privacy invasion.

Anne Frank was dead, when they published her diary.

You may violate your friend’s confidence when sharing something meant for you only, with your live in or spouse.

Don’t attempt to plan a surprise party for their 50th birthday.

It can erode our sense of self and drive us to need distance…room to breathe. Relationships need oxygen.

Demand to grant them the ability to snoop could be an insult to a faithful partner.

I choose to share my life with you, not disappear into or shadow you.

Only things that don’t need light can grow in the shadow of someone or something else.

Hello! I’m still here! Glad you’re here and there, too!

Whatever your thoughts on the matter, it may be a beneficial discussion to have when you consider getting into a serious relationship. 

[1] http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/02/11/couples-the-internet-and-social-media/

[2] https://www.npr.org/2012/01/23/145650781/the-dos-donts-and-risks-of-password-sharing

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