So I write for a Blog and give my ‘professional advice’ to some of the questions that come up.  Here’s my response to the latest question this past week

Should couples share e-mail/voicemail passwords                                (my response is below)        

Most of the couples I see going through the turmoil of an affair share one thing in common; The discovery of ‘private’ emails, voicemails, texts etc. that confirm/prove some kind of betrayal has taken place.  It always strikes me how common the stories seem to be.  The suspicious partner begins to sense/believe something is wrong, and does what any suspicious person does… look for evidence.  Most partners if not all who do the ‘snooping’ also always have to figuring out ‘how’ to get into the voicemail, email etc. because they haven’t been ‘given’ the passwords by their partner.

Then a funny thing happens. Once the affair has been discovered,  and (for the couples who choose to stay together) after the crying, begging and pleading to ‘take me back’ the ‘cheater’ then begins to try and ‘prove’ to their partner they have changed, and have nothing to hide anymore; and what is one of the first ways they do this?!?!?! BY GIVING THEIR PARTNER/SPOUSE… full access to EVERYTHING… passwords for their emails, voicemails, even passwords for work emails at times.  So my thought is, why wait for something to happen before you give your partner full access to your passwords etc. 

I have learnt that if there is no suspicion/concern partners won’t be checking, but if there are concerns, then it is important for them to be addressed.  In the same way that a previously cheating partner will demonstrate their trustworthiness by giving ‘all access’, a person who has nothing to hide, but wants to seed security into their relationship should be willing to be open and transparent to their partner including sharing passwords if their partner deems it important to have.

If you are in a relationship with a person who isn’t able to trust you, and feels insecure then this needs to be addressed, and believe me that keeping your passwords from them (especially if the topic has come up) will only make their concerns/suspicions worse.

I do think it is helpful to have openness and complete transparency within a marriage when it comes to e-mails, voicemails etc.  Although this won’t guarantee that there will never be infidelity, it is a measure each party can take to minimize areas of potential risk (i.e. private e-mail accounts, voicemails etc.)

C

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