I’ve had this question for a while, though I’m sure it has been asked plenty of times already. It recently came up again after I read an article on password sharing.
My ex-boyfriend chided me several times for not respecting his privacy, such as when I read his email without his permission (and saw his communications with other women), and once when I read the writing on a napkin left on the kitchen counter. Should email and text messages be kept private? Or are the ones who say so the ones who have something to hide?
A male friend of mine who is happily married told me that he and his wife are very open with each other. I’m not sure if they read each other’s email. They aren’t friends on Facebook, which gives me the impression that they don’t want to drag any of their drama into the public light, and that they trust each other to not be messing around with Facebook friends.
Some people claim that sharing passwords is an indication of trust because you’re trusting the person to use it responsibly. However, if something turns sour, it can end in mutual destruction.
Other people have argued that trust is not knowing your partner’s passwords and believing they have nothing to hide. Furthermore, they point out that a relationship cannot be healthy when each person does not have privacy or a life and friendships that are separate from the relationship.
What do you think is a good balance of openness and privacy for a couple?
What if you snooped and found out your SO has been cheating on you?
Originally written 1/31/2012