In our relationship education classes we teach the necessity for each individual to bring their uniqueness to the relationship in order to create a healthy and strong bond. Your individuality is important. When you fail to honor it your fullest potential won’t be realized which consequently prevents your relationship from being as strong as it could be. With that being said…your individuality is not the only reality of a relationship. In order to relate to someone you have to take the other person into consideration. This is where many people have problems. It’s difficult to balance who you are with what your relationship is. The difficulty of juggling the two dynamics often plays out when it comes to privacy issues. In the below article from AOL BlackVoices a closer look is taken at individuality and privacy and when it could pose a problem in relationships.
By Shirea L. Carroll
With a committed relationship, you’re often expected to share your fears, your goals, your money, your home, your hopes and basically your life with your partner. However, why do people get so hesitant when their partner asks them to divulge something like their email password?
For some of us, privacy in a relationship is a big deal. No wait, a really big deal. Those who don’t understand the need for privacy in a relationship, are often labeled as the person with “trust issues,” and the person that needs the privacy automatically viewed as if they have something to hide. In actuality, the concept of ‘yours vs. mine,’ in a relationship is delicate, and very situational.
Privacy, or lack thereof, isn’t always a matter of trust, but can also be attributed to ego, experiences, the people involved in the relationship, the length of the commitment, and what one may or may not consider private. You can’t force someone who was raised as an only child to be more open to their mate who was raised in a family of seven, and given little to no privacy at all. Nor can tell a woman who has had an ex-boyfriend that has scammed her in the past to be less private with her bank account info — even if she loves you dearly.
You can try and sugar coat it, but shutting a person out of an aspect of your life is what privacy means. In order to avoid confusion or conflict, you should do your best to get on the same page with your partner regarding the privacy in your relationship. If you are the person who is quick to give, “If there is nothing to hide,” speech like the national anthem, then a secretive person might not be the most ideal match for you in a relationship. Sadly, many of us don’t put enough emphasis on issues of privacy within a relationship and find their views differ from their partner.
Whether or not privacy should exist in relationship can only be answered when the couple sets boundaries, revises those boundaries after time, clearly communicate, and respect each other. Ultimately, both people need to stay sane for the relationship to work. Check out the most common scenarios where privacy often comes up as an issue and when the want for privacy should be red flagged.
Separate Bank Accounts
RED FLAG IT: If you never knew the account existed, or the person refuses to start a joint account. As long as you are aware there is one, then there’s no need to keep harassing the bank teller every Friday try and add your name to the account.
Cell Phone Password
RED FLAG IT: If a separate situation regarding trust occurs and the cell becomes the only evidence to determine the truth, and the person still adamantly refuses to share the password. Until then don’t go trying different combinations until you reach the max for retries, resetting their whole damn device.
Email/Social Networking Passwords
RED FLAG IT: If every time you walk in the room to walk past the computer they are minimizing windows or ready to shut the computer down. *side eye*
Purses and Wallets
RED FLAG IT: If she tells you that you are to NEVER to go through her purse, but she goes through your wallet or briefcase all the time. Double standards aren’t establishing fair boundaries.
Special Rooms and Sections In The Home
RED FLAG IT: If your partner starts putting special bolts and locks on certain rooms and drawers — which you had access to before — to ensure you never go in them. A random need for privacy is a valid eyebrow raiser.
RED FLAG IT: If they are hesitant to tell you details about the destination, who they are traveling with, or how long they plan to stay. Don’t let him tell you that he’s going to Puerto Rico and bring back shot glasses that say Montego Bay.
RED FLAG IT: When looking through photos together, they want to skip through certain pics, or there are events and people in the camera that never made their way into day-to-day conversation. “I know we been together for eight years and I said I only had three sisters, but the guy on the left is LIKE a brother to me…”
This should always remain private. Reading a person’s journal gives you access to a person’s inner most thoughts, and it’s never fair to invade this level of privacy.
RED FLAG IT: If you can’t remember when they got an American Express Card, or why they are getting Sprint phone bills while they currently use a Verizon cell phone.