Relationship Connection: Should newlyweds share personal accounts?

Question

I’m a newlywed and my husband and I came to a conclusion when we got married that we should have joint bank accounts and I was all for it; however, my husband was not. I’m always open to him. I want to tell him my Facebook password, but he doesn’t want to know it. I give him my cell phone password, but he is not interested. I used to know his phone password, but he changed it. Now, he is suddenly interested in having a joint bank account and I feel if he is not open with other things then why should I have this joint account?

Answer

I can see how his moving-target responses are confusing to you. Sounds like it’s a good idea to slow down this discussion and pull together a plan you can both agree on when it comes to access to each other’s information.

As I’ve counseled before in previous columns, I recommend married couples share full access to passwords, bank accounts, and any other private information. If one is truly united with their spouse, I can’t think of any reason why they would set up secret passwords or secret accounts. The only exception to this rule relates to professional boundaries, which are regulated by privacy laws.

This doesn’t mean that couples need to have the same bank accounts, email addresses, or social media accounts. This simply means that couples should have equal access to these personal accounts.

It doesn’t matter that he doesn’t care to know your social media or cell phone passwords. He may not care to know, but you’ve made it clear to him that you intend to be fully transparent with your account information. If he’s withholding account information from you, it will naturally raise suspicion and create mistrust.

Find out from him why he doesn’t want you to know this information. He may have strong reasons for wanting to protect his information. Perhaps he was financially or emotionally betrayed in a previous relationship.

If that’s the case, work toward a solution where full trust can be experienced by both of you. This may take time, but as long as you’re both working toward complete unity, it will be more bearable. Simply blocking you out is not a solution that will build trust and security.

His willingness to have a joint account is a good sign that he wants to have full openness with you in one are of your marriage. Start there and then continue building the discussion of full and open transparency with all areas.

If you get stuck and feel the trust slipping away in your relationship, you might benefit from sitting down with a marriage counselor who can help you understand where to begin building trust in your marriage. Don’t play games with your husband, but use this an opportunity to state clearly your need for openness and trust in your marriage.

Stay connected!

 

Geoff Steurer is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in St. George, Utah. He specializes in working with couples in all stages of their relationships. The opinions stated in this article are solely his and not those of St. George News.

Have a relationship question for Geoff to answer? Submit to:

Email: geoff@lovingmarriage.com

Twitter: @geoffsteurer

Facebook: Geoff Steurer MFT

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

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7 Comments

  • philiplo October 10, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    They’re newlyweds. Maybe he’s a little scared of losing himself in the new “them,” and takes comfort in knowing there are one or two things that are his alone.

  • Hataalii October 10, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    I know this doesn’t help this particular couple, but all of this is stuff that should have been discussed and settled long before the marriage ceremony took place. (Among about a million other things.) If two people are looking at spending the rest of their lives together, they’d better have these things worked out before they tie the knot. Anything less, is just juvenile, and speaks to the mental capacity and dedication of both parties. . .

  • MY CASH October 10, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    If you have separate accounts when you met and dated, what’s the big rush to combine them into one? What about retirement accounts they may established long before they found “the one”? You don’t need to combine accounts. You can keep them separate and assign each other as beneficiaries. Simple.

  • Craig October 10, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Dear Mrs. Newlywed….
    DO NOT LISTEN TO THIS therapist.
    KEEP YOUR privacy. Keep your passwords and MOST of ALL, Have a SEPARATE bank account from your husband that he does not have access to. That money should be for YOU and YOU alone. There is NO REASON why anyone needs their spouse’s e-mail, phone or any social media passwords unless they are extremely insecure.
    My wife and I have a joint account that we use for household related expenses….insurance, taxes, repairs, etc. But, she also has her own money and she uses that for a night out with the girls, clothes, spa day etc.
    The fact that your husband is now willing to have a joint account is a BIG RED FLAG. Is he having money problems ? Expensive hobbies? Unexplained expenses. His sudden willingness to have a joint account is N O T a good sign that he wants to have full openness with you….it’s a sign that he now wants your money.

  • Banker101 October 11, 2013 at 8:42 am

    Many married couples have individual accounts for mad money and guilt free spending, but they also have joint accounts for household expenses rent/grocery/bills. Checking accounts are free and with internet access you can have your pay deposited to your individual account and then transfer the agreed amount or % each paycheck. The separate and joint accounts is a respectful and accountable way to avoid fighting about money including judgement on your partners spending/saving habits.

  • tom October 11, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    You sound like you all need to grow up. Spouses should have all money combined or at least access if ever needed. Once you are married selfishness and lack of truSt is what gets you divorced. If you want to hide things from eachother then you should re think your choice to get married. Money issues are the leading cause of divorce. Once you’re married,you are a team. Act like it.

    • philiplo October 11, 2013 at 9:40 pm

      The responses to this article have been well reasoned and respectful. Then you came to tell us all what we have to do to fit your narrow definition of marriage and trust. Nobody in the comments said anything about hiding things. Do you speak from experience about divorce?

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