Naturally

Trust: theory vs practice

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There seems to exist an inconsistency between theory and practice of relationship modes of thought. At times we all: the media, my friends, me, recite the politically correct view on certain relationship expectations, but when it comes to our own relationships there’s a dissonance between what we’re publicly reciting and what we’re practicing. Now my question is not about why this is the case but rather the discrepancy between how we talk about the concept of “trust” in particular, and how it might be realistically applied.

We've all heard of the proverbial “right to privacy” when it comes to technology in a marriage. What appears to be the prevailing thought is that a spouse’s accounts, passwords and phone shall remain private and protected because if you truly trusted your spouse you would not need to be privy to their social media accounts and devices.

Although my empirical evidence indicates that in application it’s more like: If my spouse is trustworthy then he/she would not feel the need to hide their social media accounts and phone from me.

I must admit, I see more logic in the latter mode of thinking than the former. When you marry you have shared access to a home, possessions, bank accounts(?), and the most valuable of all: each others bodies. And despite all this physical, emotional and logistical intimacy, a spouse would still feel the need to hide their social media accounts and phone from their spouse? It seems excessively cautious for a spouse with nothing to hide. Or am I missing something?

To be clear, I am not talking about an overbearing and jealous spouse who feels the need to track their partner’s every move. I’m not even suggesting a spouse use their access to check their spouse’s accounts frequently or ever. I’m merely suggesting that when both spouses know they have the ability to access each others accounts it’s showing that you trust them with that access and that you yourself are trustworthy. Does it not?

Trust is a conduit to security. As humans, our primary need in any environment is to feel secure. Feeling secure in your environment and with your life is the most basic human need. Given this, would it then not make sense that we would need reassurance of that security in a marriage and a spouse intentionally hiding their phone and accounts is a threat to that security?

Would you be content with your spouse not allowing you access to their social media accounts and phone?

Would you feel a greater sense of trust and security if your spouse was happy to share these details with you?

If you’re willing to share yours with them but not them with you, would this make you curious as to why?

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Prepare for this thread to be picked apart like a carcass in the African desert!

Simple, plain cut answers. 

1) No

2) Yes

3) Yes

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14 minutes ago, Naturally said:

Although my empirical evidence indicates that in application it’s more like: If my spouse is trustworthy then he/she would not feel the need to hide their social media accounts and phone from me.

I must admit, I see more logic in the latter mode of thinking than the former. When you marry you have shared access to a home, possessions, bank accounts(?), and the most valuable of all: each others bodies. And despite all this physical, emotional and logistical intimacy, a spouse would still feel the need to hide their social media accounts and phone from their spouse? It seems excessively cautious for a spouse with nothing to hide. Or am I missing something?

This does seem to be the unpopular view these days. Nevertheless, it is one that I fully ascribe to. You pointed out the fallacy of inconsistent application of trust in certain parts of a relationships but not others. It's the same argument I have against the issue of pre-nuptial agreements. When you get married, you are essentially placing full trust in the other with your safety and the well being of your children, yet you don't trust them enough with your material assets and money? Seems an awful lot like a disjointed sense of priorities. When you get married, you are no longer "two" anymore, you become "one." I believe in order to reflect this unity to it's fullest sense, both people ought to remove the words "mine" or "yours" from their vocabulary as much as possible and replace it with words like "us" or "ours."

To answer your questions, I fully believe that being completely transparent with each other regarding passwords, emails, social media etc. requires a much better sense of trust and security than keeping them private. In fact, I don't want separate accounts on those things. Ideally I would want a single joint email or social media account. If you are going to say you fully trust your spouse, then prove it. Actions speak louder than words. If I was in a relationship with a girl who was hostile to the idea of sharing these details, my trust in her would be seriously put into question. Secrecy and hiding things from each other are stuff that often times destroy marriages. They have no place in a truly trusting marriage.

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1 hour ago, Invincible said:

Ideally I would want a single joint email or social media account.

Reminds me of this meme :P 

dear-couples-with-joint-facebook-account

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Personally, I feel like the trust goes the opposite way. By giving me the information, he is showing me that HE trusts ME...not that he wants to prove that I can trust him. What I mean is, he trusts me to not go snooping around just because I can. He trusts me to talk about any issues I might have, or worries I might develop. I'd do the same for him.

Let me give an example of what I mean...

My mom, when we were growing up, never invaded our privacy. Our purses, our rooms, and our diaries, were our private places. I gave her my diary to hold for me because I trusted her to not get into it. She did not ask me to keep it, but I trusted her. The deal in our home was, 'You have your privacy. If I feel that I have a reason to NOT trust you, I will talk to you and I will go through belongings while you are with me. I will never go through anything without you present'. This is how I feel. I'll give him my information because I trust him to talk to me, and it goes both ways. Once, again, I feel this is something that would be discussed before marriage.

So, do I think that there is a big deal in todays world with people talking about trust, but then saying they do not want to share this information for lack of privacy? Sure. IN A MARRIAGE. As two single people? No, of course not.

Of course, there is also the argument that, as a married couple, it's only responsible to share the information. It should all go into the category of 'what if'...a folder, if you ask me. A folder of all important information, in case of death. Which should be updated regularly, but that's a different subject.

OK, here's an example of why I feel it's important to share that information. Let's say I'm married, and something happens to me and I pass away unexpectedly. My husband knows that I have, over the years, made a lot of friends online, around the world. Some very dear friends. Without my information he would have no way of informing them, and I just don't think that would be fair. This just one reason I'd think it was a responsible thing to give him my information.

I, myself, am not one that sees any reason why two people should have combined social media accounts, or email accounts, even when married. I do see there are reason why they MIGHT want to, but I don't see anything wrong with NOT wanting to either. I know a few couples that share accounts, because neither of them uses it for much. They don't share regular status updates. For one, my uncle...he uses their account to check out political/religious stuff, and to share his thoughts. My aunt just uses his account (with his name, and she signs hers) because she only uses it to tell people happy birthday, or such matters. So, in those cases, I get it. For people like me, and others like me, who use ours to share how we feel, and our thoughts on matters? I see no reason not to keep our individual accounts, as we are still ourselves and have our own thoughts. We are still individuals with our own minds and I feel we deserve to have those individual spaces to express ourselves. Just the other person should have the information...just in case it is needed, not to go snooping around.

Again. Just my feelings.

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