Thoughts on Privacy, Growing Up and Marriage

Growing up I struggled to have some sense of privacy.  Those of us of a certain age will remember telephones as a device which had a cord that kept you tethered to a confined space.  We had two phones growing up.  If I used the one that was in a slightly more private area my mom would be sure to start buzzing around.

If I received a letter via snail mail, it would be a mistake to keep it around if it contained anything vaguely controversial.  Once I’d sent a friend a letter confessing I had mixed feelings about going through the Confirmation process in the Catholic Church.  She wrote me back, my parents found the letter and the parts where she referenced my feelings…well there was trouble.

I’d always had this notion that if you had a letter sent through the post office, it was for you alone, and it would be illegal to someone else to open it.  A few times my mom “accidentally” opened my mail, including my bank statement.  Because she accidentally opened it, she still then had grounds to yell at me about the information contained in the bank statement.

Experiences like that growing up taught me to guard my privacy more closely.

The digital age has changed things of course.  We do little personal communication via snail mail.  Many of us don’t have a landline, so there is cord to confine us to a limited space.

Some married people think that you should be open and let your partner have every possible password..for your phone, email, etc.  I don’t think that it is necessary, and honestly it isn’t a topic my husband and I have ever discussed.  Just because I am married doesn’t mean my husband needs to know the details of an email, etc, that a friend may have sent me…and vice versa.

What about you do you think you have the right to your spouse’s passwords?  Do you open his or her mail?

8 thoughts on “Thoughts on Privacy, Growing Up and Marriage”

  1. My mom was a lot like yours growing up (including the yelling), and I deeply value my privacy. I have nothing to hide from my husband, and yet at the same time it’s important to me to maintain some sense of having a little private world that’s just mine. I think he feels the same way. So no, we don’t deliberately share passwords, but we don’t deliberately hide things either. It would just never occur to me to look at his personal accounts and I don’t think it would occur to him to look at mine. We’re so similar in that way that it’s a non-issue.

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  2. I have always felt if you read my mail (e or otherwise) and read something you don’t like, tough. You were uninvited into my personal space. My passwords are there for me, not anyone else. I don’t feel it’s hiding anything, it is having personal space and personal privacy. The same goes for your significant other’s passwords, mail, etc.. If you or your significant other feels a need to see everything, there is an issue. Been there, divorced that. 😉

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  3. That is a really interesting subject you raise. I personally think every individual is entitled to some privacy. Just because you are married it does not mean you should have to entirely give yourself and every private thought up to somebody else. Would someone who loved you really want you to give yourself away entirely? I do not have my husbands passwords, he does not have mine. If I have any concerns or questions I ask him. I would never want to snoop, or intrude in private conversations he might have with his friends. We all deserve some space I believe, to be us, to share different thoughts with different friends, or just with ourselves (as I do in my journal). If there is trust between two people, we should be able to give each other space to breath. My view, anyway. Thank you for making me think about it :). An interesting topic

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  4. My husband and I do know each other’s passwords, but that’s because we trust each other not to read personal messages to just one of us. As for the snail mail, we don’t open cards or letters addressed to each other, but I do open bills, business mail, and that sort of thing no matter whether it is addressed to him or me, because we handle our money jointly so there are no surprises there.

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  5. My husband and I have each others passwords, but it’s because we trust each other. There is nothing of mine that he doesn’t have access to. While he has this access, he doesn’t use it unless he asks permission to do so, right down to going into my purse and getting my wallet if I need it. He always asks, as do I. I don’t have time to try to track him. If I have to do all of that, why be married? The only reason we have exchanged passwords and such is because we have shared accounts, and because sometimes we need access. We want to be able to move freely in case something happens to the other person and they need access easily. I check the emails (because he’s not on board with a lot of technology), while he checks the actual snail mail (because I don’t like paper). It’s all about what comfort level works within the marriage.

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