The privacy rules that healthy couples naturally follow
Posted 11:01 a.m. Monday
When it comes to privacy in a marriage, what are the boundaries? Is it OK to hide things from your spouse or not give them the password to your email account? It can be tricky to know what kind of privacy rules you should have in a healthy relationship, but to help you out, here are four rules that most healthy couples share:
1. Disclose everything about your past
You should know everything about your spouse’s past — the good and the bad included. It's vital you understand their past so you can appreciate and understand the journey your significant other went through before meeting you.
Knowing the past also helps avoid unpleasant surprises. Hiding something is never a good idea ... it will usually come out one way or another. Hidden secrets also hurt your spouse much more than if you had just been up front about it in the first place. If your spouse truly loves you, they will love all of you — your past, present and future included.
2. Nothing is off-limits
You shouldn't be afraid to share any texts message, emails or conversations with your spouse. This doesn't mean you have to share every exchange you have with other people, it just means you're open. If you’re asked about the messages between you and a neighbor, there should be no reason you get upset about the request.
Don’t feel your spouse is being paranoid, snoopy or invading your privacy if they ask to skim through your emails. Because, let’s be honest, there is no privacy in a marriage. If you start resisting or hiding things, that only creates suspicion (and you definitely don’t want that). A healthy relationship has a balance of knowing you could pick up your spouse’s phone and look through the messages without them getting upset, but not doing it because you trust them.
3. There are no such things as secrets
When it comes to marriage, secrets don’t exist. Besides keeping a surprise gift or party a secret, there should not be any secrets between the two of you. When you start keeping secrets, you start hiding who you really are from your spouse.
A healthy relationship is open and honest. Your spouse knows your every doubt and every concern. Having such open communication is what brings you closer as a couple. If there is something you are afraid to tell your partner (or don’t want to share with them) it causes a divide between you two. It doesn't seem like a big deal, but the more secrets you start having, the bigger that divide gets.
4. Respect is key
There has to be respect between the two of you. Respect for privacy and respect for the person you are married to. Respect is key. It may not seem like you respect your spouse if you need to know their past, their every secret or their email password, but it is incredibly respectful. It shows how you want to uphold an honest relationship. It shows that you want to fully trust them and know they love you. If you are constantly second guessing every move they make and questioning every interaction, it will tear you apart. A healthy relationship knows that respect can only be gained by instilling that level of trust within the relationship.
To put it simply, if you feel you need to have privacy from your spouse, you are limiting the potential for your marriage. Healthy relationships are not build on lies and deceit (no matter how small they may seem) but rather love and trust. To get to that point, stop hiding things from your partner. Reveal secrets and keep the lines of communication open so you can both share a healthy and happy marriage.
Megan Shauri graduated with a bachelors in Anthropology and a masters in Psychology. She lives in Orange County, CA and is a mother of twins. Contact her at Meganshauri@gmail.com