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sudra posted 3/2/2014 17:50 PM

I often read folks posting here who feel guilty about going through their spouses "stuff," i.e., phone, email, etc. Or I read that a BS says that their cheating or suspected cheating spouse is angry that the BS went through his/her stuff.

Our MC is of the firm belief that, from the get go in a marriage, each spouse should have total access to the other's accounts, devices, etc. Before there is a suggestion or suspicion of cheating.

It's about being accountable for one's actions. How likely are we to talk badly about our spouse, talk about our marriage to another person rather than our spouse, join a dating service, whatever, if we know that our spouse, at any time, can look what we do?

It's about being a team in a marriage. We will be open to one another to build walls around our marriage. We love each other enough to want to protect our marriage. We know that at any time, one of us could be tempted or on a slippery slope. The openness and accountability can help if one of us is ever in that spot. Our marriage is more important that our "privacy." (Secrecy, really.)

Not only that, but what does it say to our spouse that we are willing to give him/her that access from the beginning without fussing about our "privacy?"

I agree with our MC. I was very apologetic after discovering my husband's EA from an email totally by accident. (He was not angry, luckily, even though we handled it badly in so many ways.)

I keep reading that married couples expect to have "privacy" in their life. That's not what marriage is about. Yet they're not talking about privacy: they're talking about secrecy. We care only if our spouse knows what we say/read/write/do if it would bother our spouse.

If my husband can read any of my emails or texts or facebook chats at any time, what harm is there? Honestly, never in nearly 22 years of marriage have I written anything to anyone I would feel weird about him reading. I think he feels the same, except when he didn't. And that was when he was cheating on me. Yet even then, he knew I should and did have access to everything. It's why he immediately bought another cell phone when the affair started.

I also read folks post that they even feel bad for checking AFTER his/her spouse has cheated. The BS doesn't want to be "that person" checking up on the WS. I disagree. Heaven help us if we don't feel free to verify fidelity and veracity after an affair. We shouldn't think, "I should trust my WS and I don't want to check on WS." We should think, "We value our marriage and each other enough to be open with each other."

Just my thoughts today on this. I've read these comments all too many times and I feel it's a misguided approach to marriage and intimacy. The reason we marry is to be open and intimate with our spouse - not to worry that he/she may find out what we're doing via our electronic devices and accounts.

Privacy is not the same as secrecy. By all means, close the bathroom door when you doo-doo, but don't tell me I cannot look at the text messages on your phone when I want.

Mhiimg65 posted 3/2/2014 21:14 PM

Totally agree. In all my years with WH, I thought we had total openness in everything. It wasn't until after the fact, I realized I had been an open book, and he hadn't.

MC, and books, his IC, etc. has made him realize remorse only happens with actions, not words. Suddenly, the actions are happening, he is being totally honest and has given me access to everything.

I believe this action can help heal any relationship if both parties can agre

norabird posted 3/2/2014 21:33 PM

This is so spot on Sudra. And a lesson I hope to carry over into my next relationship!

hurtingfool posted 3/3/2014 00:58 AM

I had all access. We would occasionally use each others accounts. I found out through fb that something was going on.

She was angry when I saw her ongoing message and confronted her. Didn't make sense, still doesn't, since she knew I could get on there any time.

sudra posted 3/3/2014 06:46 AM

I actually thought I was posting this in the Reconciliation forum... Oh well. It's not bad for JFOs to consider this as well.


Mhiimg65: In all my years with WH, I thought we had total openness in everything. It wasn't until after the fact, I realized I had been an open book, and he hadn't.

I totally understand this. I always thought we had a better marriage than so many - not perfect but pretty good. And I said so often and thought he felt the same way. I didn't realize until later that HE never said it. Turns out he thought after the first years that "we wouldn't make it."

I think we sometimes assume our spouses agree with what we say and do, when in fact, they just keep their mouths shut and never tell us how they feel.

Hurtingfool: I had all access. We would occasionally use each others accounts. I found out through fb that something was going on.
She was angry when I saw her ongoing message and confronted her. Didn't make sense, still doesn't, since she knew I could get on there any time.

I'm not saying its a foolproof way to affair-proof a marriage - it didn't work for us either. At least I didn't have to feel bad about checking, and he never fussed about me checking. And I do think that couples who feel this way have a better shot at being infidelity-free. Certainly AFTER infidelity, it's a must.

RollrCoasterRydr posted 3/3/2014 07:11 AM

"I think we sometimes assume our spouses agree with what we say and do, when in fact, they just keep their mouths shut and never tell us how they feel."

This is what I found out with my WS. He was the youngest of a large family and never felt or was made to feel as if anything he had to say was of any value. He brought that into our M. In my family, it was completely different. Once we were adults, we were allowed and expected to be able to weigh in on things and be able to intelligently support what we said. It was assumed that we loved each other but that there would be times that we didn't like each other. As a result I never tried to draw my spouse out in a conversation.

As far as openness... I believed in that too. I didn't try to hide anything. My thoughts are that there are some things should be confidential... information that isn't ours to share... like the confidence of a friend. I am also in I.T. and have information of clients that should not be shared. My expectation is that I shouldn't have to hide it... that if my spouse sees something he knows he shouldn't be reading that he would respectfully stop reading it. Sadly, early on in our M, I found out my spouse didn't feel the same way. I was in a discussion with my pastor/friend who was sharing some difficulty in his life via IM and stepped away from the computer. My husband came to the computer and started typing to my pastor trying to pass himself off as me. He meant it as a joke, but I felt it was a serious violation and have always locked my computer screen since then. After seeing this post, I realize that I should have called him out at that time.

NeverAgain2013 posted 3/3/2014 07:44 AM

I just think there's a HUGE difference between privacy and secrecy. I respect my fiancee's privacy but he doesn't hide anything or erase things. He doesn't act shady and he leaves his phone and computer around the house with no password protection - they're 100% accessible.

Those who have nothing to hide, hide nothing.

castellana posted 3/3/2014 12:34 PM

I am one of those people who feels sick every time I check my WHs email/text. Like I am doing something wrong. Then I think about the things I've kept secret over the years which pretty much amount to 1. After 35 I started getting low lights when I get a haircut 2. I use toenail polish to hide some seriously unpretty toenails 3. WHs cooking is awful

His secrets: secret meetings with AP. Dinner with AP. Spending money on AP. Sex with AP. Serious big lies to wife, children, family.

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