Yours & Mine

Should some things remain private in a marriage? Yes, I think some things should…My husband and I haven’t shared our e-mail or FB passwords with each other not because we have major secrets, but because we both believe we each need our individual space…I believe that my husband does not need to know about each and every conversation or e-mail I exchange with my family and friends because I am an individual and being married doesn’t change that…E-mails, in my opinion, fall in the same category as snail mail…I wouldn’t want my husband to open any physical correspondence addressed to me, and thankfully he doesn’t, just like he wouldn’t like me opening his mail without his knowledge…Sharing stuff with him is my choice…I would be completely smothered if my right to privacy was violated…I strongly believe that some things should remain private for a healthy and long marriage…

Some of my friends tell me our thinking is weird; by deciding not to share everything with each other at the beginning of our marriage, we had started planning for it to fail…I obviously don’t see it that way… Just because someone is exceptionally private does not necessarily mean that he or she has something to hide…I tell my husband everything, even things he’s not interested in – I just don’t want him to spy on me…Trust and love mean that you don’t need to know everything about each other and can give each other space to be who they are without you…

What do you think?

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47 thoughts on “Yours & Mine

  1. Totally agree with you. Also, mails and other activity on the net is not just about you, it’s about other people to. I wouldn’t want to share with my husband my friend’s secret. I may not hide stuff about myself but all I know is not just about myself, if you know what I mean.

    Me: Yes, I know what you mean…

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  2. Couldn’t agree more! Totally with you!

    ‘Trust and love mean that you don’t need to know everything about each other and can give each other space to be who they are without you…’ – Absolutely!

    Me: Ah! Good to see people actually agreeing with me…ALL my friends disagree…

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  3. “Just because someone is exceptionally private does not necessarily mean that he or she has something to hide…”

    Exactly.

    I have often read how people say that bloggers who write about everything are real and others are secretive. Everyone is real. Some just don’t want to put their private life on a public platform. That’s all.

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  4. Bones, people think that I am a bore to be not on FB and Orkut posting my vacation, home and latest car pictures. At least I am on twitter. My husband is a big bore because he dislikes all social networking sites including blogs. We are absolutely 14th century-made for each other couple. 😀

    He never reads my blog unless I asks him to. Sometimes comments are so funny that I want him to go through all that. Now he knows few names too.

    A couple shouldn’t have secrets about them but there is no need to share things that happens between friends.

    Me: My husband too doesn’t read my blog…I’m on FB but I don’t update my status much…I have friends who update 4-5 a day…And yes, what happens between friends should remain between friends…

    The other thing that has remained kind of private is my mobile phone…We don’t answer the other’s phone unless esp. requested to…I’m not interested in knowing who he has spoken to…

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  5. Funny you should write about this. About 35 years ago, when we set up house, close to where we both worked, my in-laws would come stay with us for long periods of time. That was the time the mail would be delivered to the house and not into a box. I remember the postman generally arriving after lunchtime (when folks were kind of relaxing , reading newspapers etc.). I remember keeping mail addressed to my husband aside, and going through my own mail, and my m-in-law, urging me to open ALL the mail. I also remember saying that I DO NOT open his mail, nor does he open mine, and my mother-in-law giving me a shocked look. I suppose, to her, it was my DUTY to check ALL the mail, and I was shirking 🙂

    Thankfully, no Orkuts, FB then. But those were interesting times ……

    Me: I had a colleague whose mother used to open his mail even when he was 28…He hated it but couldn’t tell her not to…

    The only reason I can think of for wanting somebody’s email password is to read his or her correspondence which is not a good thing and could also turn out to be dangerous…

    Yes, I’m sure those were interesting times…

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  6. I am not sure on what is right or wrong on this. My husband and I share all passwords on all our accounts and emails. We do not usually check each other’s mail unless there is a need. So far there has not been any issue with this and I do not anticipate any problem with this. We open each other’s snail mail as well. I think it is upto each household to follow what works best for them.

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  7. You’re absolutely right. But, strangely, people like us are in a minority. Many find it strange that I don’t even answer my husband’s mobile phone when he can’t. Not unless it’s someone I know well. With the wonderful missed call cataloguing facility, where’s the need? He knows exactly who to call back without my intervention.

    Me: I recently read somewhere that sharing passwords with one’s spouse reinforces the relationship by sending the message that you trust him/her…This got me thinking and analyzing my own relationship…Guess who broached the topic first – your uncleji…

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    • I can’t believe it! Arvind knows one of my passwords and he’s told me his a few times, but I never can remember. But we respect each other’s privacy. There’s no sneaking a peek into email. He doesn’t even dig into my handbag unless I ask him to fish something out. Somehow the thought of someone going through my bag makes me feel extremely violated, even though there’s nothing of consequence there. My older son’s been at it a few times in his quest for breathmints, and I almost hit the roof. I can’t explain why I feel this way.

      Me: I sometimes get irritated when A asks if he can take money from my purse – what’s there to ask? But I’m glad he does though…

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  8. Thats fair and square… in my house I was once really reprimanded coz I opened a letter addressed to my mom !! we have a very clear policy ever since I can remember that people open their own mails… !

    I mean I dont mind sharing passowords but I have never been asked… ! Like soli my wife totally hates networking sites and despises blogging half thanks to my craze… I try to get her to read and even keep talking about the jokes that happen in leg pulling… somehow she is just not at all interested.. !

    but as far as letters are concerned we both dont open each others… and its fair… every one is an individual… even if they are couples ! 🙂

    Me: Naughty Hitchy! Were you punished? No food, maybe?

    My husband always looks at me with a guilty look when I ask him if he reads my blog…Initially, it used to bother me but now I think it’s alright – it’s something I do and is mine…

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    • lol… it was in those days… when you wouldnt believe… they would reprimand me by forcing me to eat… !! lol… I was young then and extra curious… !

      My Dad & Mom were always clear in that… and it simply rubbed on… ! but that is not to say i dont get tempted lol… not letters but when i see a parcel… sigh.. !

      Me: When you see a parcel, you think,”I wonder if there’s food inside”

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  9. I guess each couple calibrates according to their own compatibility and comfort.

    I know couples from both sides…where lines are drawn and respected as also those who believe that everything can be shared and yet do not feel the lack of individual space.

    At home, we do not have many rules. Most correspondance is electronic so letters are rare. Wife looks after most of the mail and that pertains to bills, investments, subscriptions…….Come to think of it, mobile phones are not checked for calls. Mails from relatives are for everybody…..We hardly bother about what is there on each other’s FB a/c. She does read my blog only at my insistence……

    I am not sure whether we wanted it this way or it has just happened to be like this. It may also be a factor of how secure each partner is or how comfortable each one is. I am sure if there was a lot of professional mail coming at home, then one would have to be careful to draw specific lines…

    Me: My husband and I had an arranged marriage so we thought it would be wise to state our expectations…I mean, not answering the other person’s mobile phone or opening mail that wasn’t addressed to us were things we did even before we were married, so it carried on after…Sharing e-mail passwords and ATM pins were somethings we thought was expected of a married couple and so we clarified our stance…

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  10. Like others here have said, I think each couple has to evolve their own comfort level; there is no one right or wrong. The problem comes when one person thinks such sharing is not needed, and the others thinks it’s a must. My husband and I know each others’ passwords but we don’t usually login and check each others’ mail etc; it’s understood that each person would prefer to read their own mail.

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  11. Isn’t that wonderful? Sharing a space and yet having your own, but not growing apart! I think that is the perfect balance, but wonder how many couples actually achieve it, or for that matter are on the same frequency about it. I believe we are all individuals, and need some private space about us, its not about secrets or hiding, but its about knowing that you don’t HAVE TO share EVERYTHING!

    Me: It’s good to know you feel like I do! WOW! I’m finding so much support on this forum…For a minute I thought I was weird…

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    • Why weird? Every person, every relationship is different. And everyone has their own way of working things out isn’t it? Even the completely-into-your-life thing works for some, and its good as long as they are on the same frequency. What matters most is tuning into each other, that is what I think! 🙂

      Me: I’ve found that Indians are quite judgmental, and in Singapore esp., they are not afraid to criticize…

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      • I think when people move out of the country, they become more orthodox, more rooted into the ‘culture’. Happens everywhere in the world I think. Maybe that is the reason Indians abroad, have a stricter set of rules, than the Indians actually in India.

        Me: Yes, I agree with you…

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  12. “Trust and love mean that you don’t need to know everything about each other and can give each other space” That is very aptly put. Space for different people means different things and it is neither fair nor desirable to lay down one norm for all along one or two dimensions. What needs to be found out by two people who love each other is what works best for them.

    Me: True!

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  13. I agree with you, but I have learnt that we are all different. I also need my space and privacy, but my husband is exactly the opposite. Although we generally don’t read each other’s mail or snail mail, sometimes my husband asks me to check his mail and so I do know his password.

    Once my dad was in Punjab for a few months, and my kids and I went to spend a weekend with him (we were in Delhi then). His wardrobe was clean but untidy and I hesitatingly reorganised it a bit – although I was sure I was wrong. Guess what? He was delighted. My sister and my daughter are the same – I have had all their passwords at some point of time. If I forget they call and give it when they want something done in a hurry.
    My father did the same thing…

    Me: You are right…People have to find what works for them…What I hate is when people pass nasty comments when they don’t agree with you…How could we be setting ourselves up for a disaster just because we expected some privacy?

    My sister’s husband doesn’t let her use the internet – he checks her e-mail for her…As a result, we’ve stopped e-mailing her, we just call…

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  14. Ohh I think somethings should be private…and even if the spouses know the password they should not start using their partner’s account. One of my friend’s husband uses her orkut account to spy on her male friends, uploads photos to see what comments she gets…etc. This is bad!

    Me: If she knows, why doesn’t she change her password? A lot of spouses are like your friend’s husband… I feel having your partner’s password would make you itch to check his/her e-mails etc. …Human nature…

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  15. yeah I am with u on that we dont know each other’s password though we wont take it to a level that we wont tell if need or emergency be

    we dont answer each other’s phone unless some family member or a very close friend is calling and the other person is not around to answer…

    we have friends that are not common

    basically we have a life without each other too and we keep a balance between it, i think its important for the relation

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  16. Well said. We know each others’ passwords but know that neither is curious to see what the other does with their private email accounts/FB/orkut etc. We don’t even answer each others’ cell phones unless it is family calling! Opening others’ mail is of course out of question. It is important to have that faith in each other.

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  17. My wife and I don’t see each other’s mails either. But we know the passwords in case of emergencies etc. What people find strange about us is that our finances are separate.

    We split the bill in restaurants (or keep a running count of who’s turn it is to pay). When we went to the US for my wife’s work, it was decided that she would pay the house rent/bills etc since she was earning much more then and I earn in INR.

    Our investments are separate as well (though we have common goals).

    Me: Since I’m not earning, my husband pays for everything but when I was, I used to pay some bills like my daughter’s school fees…We also have separate accounts…

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  18. Guess it depends on each couple… me and hubby knows each other’s passwords but rarely checks the emails unless a specific email needs attention…

    but couples need to give space to each other else the relationship will be strangled.. nd your post reminded me Khalil Gibran’s take on marriage…

    But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
    And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

    http://www.katsandogz.com/onmarriage.html

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  19. Pingback: Tuesday Reading. Popular Indian bloggers dish out great content.

  20. Oh !!! Yeah !!! We need our own space. 🙂

    Even I tell my hubby, all the things under the sun and the moon, but neither of us try to read other’s mails or messages.

    And congrats on the Blogadda Tangy Tuesday pick !!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Me: Thank you for letting me know about the Blogadda thing…

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  21. I guess the boundaries defining privacy in a marriage or even a live in relationship are more to do with the two people involved and level of understanding and trust between them rather than a socially generalized defined norm or measurement.

    Also the fact that such an understanding goes a long way in keeping these two people together. What we fail to understand is that every human being needs to be secure within oneself before opening up to an extent in any form, the security comes from a level of personal space in each individual which might differ.
    For eg : If my Mom, has a college reunion party at our place and dances with almost all her mates, it hardly bothers my Dad, to the extreme sometimes my Mum asks him after the party that did he feel jealous. In this case its clear that my Dad’s level of security & space in a relationship is more than that of my Mum, thus she wants to trigger a response like yeah maybe a little jealous. Sometimes not getting a response kind of puts her off….

    But that aside people who end sharing too much will always be insecure…. I wish they understood that they had lives before they got married as well, and that there are some things in life that should be personal to keep the human being content, no one appreciates their life to an open book.

    Me: That’s why I feel people should live a little before getting married…Working, partying etc. makes one understand oneself and be secure in one’s skin…

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  22. Congratulations on the blogadda pick Sraboney!! Truly well deserved!

    Me: Thank you!

    I had once received a comment from ‘an anonymous Indian daughter in law’, whose husband monitored her internet usage, including her email. She had absolutely no privacy, and I remember advising her to create another account, unknown to her husband. I agree it’s absolutely incorrect for anybody to rightfully expect to be provided with another person’s passwords.

    Me: My sister’s husband monitors her mail and doesn’t allow her on the net so she can’t create another ID…What a pain!

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  23. Well said! I agree 100%. One needs one’s own space in a marriage which is really a foundation for many happy years together.
    I know many wives who shamelessly login to read their husband’s mails and vice versa. Somehow I cannot relate to that.

    Me: A very dangerous path to tread…Can open a can of worms…Even I can’t relate to that…

    Each of us is an individual first and only then a spouse.
    I agree completely about trust and giving each other space.

    Cheers
    Preeti

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  24. Absolutely agree with you, though I have been brought up in an environment which looks askance at such an attitude. I myself have been very possessive about my space right from my childhood. I didn’t like my parents (read mother) going through my things which she often did and which made me fume impotently. It was not as if there was anything to hide, but I simply didn’t like the violation of space. But after marriage you are sort of expected to have no space of your own. I don’t open my husband’s snail mail. I don’t share passwords though my husband does ask me to check his mail sometimes, but I promptly forget his password after that!!
    Of course it depends on each couple to find their own ‘space’ and I agree with Apu, “The problem comes when one person thinks such sharing is not needed, and the others thinks it’s a must.”
    I so loved Kamal’s comment. He is absolutely right!

    And oh, CONGRATS on the Blogadda pick. 🙂

    Me: Thank you!

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  25. Just playing the devils advocate here….every one has some secret hidden somewhere in the closet…so while privacy and space are the right examples to voice,but one cannot completely remove an element of doubt.methinks it requires some serious self belief and mind control……what if there was something….

    Me: True, but isn’t it better not to know? I mean, if I had my husband’s password and I suspected something, I would be tempted to check his email and that would open a can of worms…I think it’s probably better not to know…

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  26. //Some of my friends tell me our thinking is weird; by deciding not to share everything with each other at the beginning of our marriage, we had started planning for it to fail…//

    I would even go so far as to say that in fact “sharing” each and every thing (and being all over each other to the point of suffocation) is a sure recipe for a marriage to choke, if not fail.

    As Khalil Gibran says, “…fill each other’s cup, but drink not from the same cup”

    “For the pillars of a temple stand apart,
    And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”

    You’re right in keeping things balanced 🙂

    -gauri

    Me: Gibran rocks!

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  27. Different topic: The poorest nation in the western hemisphere is jolted by the biggest quake in the region in modern times. I once read a book on what makes some nations poor and some rich – and the conclusion is this – thinking. Mind-set. Positivity or the lack of it.

    If only English educated Indians stop seeing their nation as a waste land where only evil exists, India will be in much better shape. But can that happen while our Macaulay system exists? We don’t spread negativity in our homes, why don’t we spare our nation?

    Me: If you would like to comment, please stick to the topic…

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  28. Yes, yes and yes. I agree with you totally. I find it rather suffocating to be so unnecessarily transparent. I have nothing to hide. Also, I feel any relationship that anybody shares with anybody is unique and there should not be space for another person to step in and introspect, spy, whatever.

    I knew of some people who when they date share each other’s mail id’s and let the other person in on their passwords as a declaration of their love. If anything, that kind of syrupy love makes me sick. And when the romance goes awry, you are left with nasty mails and a lot of other crap that comes with the territory.

    Me: How can people share passwords while dating?

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  29. I really appreciate your comment on my blog. Coming here for the first time. You are a gifted writer. A wonderful post here. I compeletly agree with you here. Marriage is exactly what Gibran says, rather it shud be. Kudos for such views. keep sharing.

    Me: Thank you!

    Like

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