To be psychologically healthy, we need some privacy and solitude. Even when we’re in love, we need time alone with our thoughts, and time with friends. We can’t be intimate with a partner without being in touch with the innermost parts of our private selves. And guess what? That means we need to leave our sweeties alone with their thoughts and friends, too. We don’t have the right to know everything they think. When we enter into a monogamous relationship, we should get exclusive rights to what is between our partners’ legs, but not to what is between their ears.
In the information age, this becomes more difficult. The dark side of trust and privacy is suspicion and snooping. So you need to balance openness with privacy when it comes to social media. Here are some guidelines:
- Accept your spouse as a friend
Add your spouse on Facebook (and share this column with him). Your spouse should be one of your best friends. If he’s not, you may be married to the wrong person.
- Don't give out your passwords
Don't give or ask for passwords for email or voicemail accounts. Privacy is healthy.
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- Share some messages
Discuss or forward messages that impact the relationship, such as correspondence with exes, or from people flirting with you—the original version; no edits allowed.
- Don't snoop
It feeds paranoia. If you have reason to believe your spouse is being dishonest, confront him. If you are snooping and can’t stop, pick up your smartphone and make a smart call to a psychologist so you can address the underlying issues.
- Communicate daily
Get real, not virtual. We can’t get intimate online. Let your heart, mind and voice have some real face time with the one you love. Turn off the computer, and turn each other on.