Relationship Connection: Should I care if my husband won’t give me his phone password?

© Author/Flickr user: Cubmundo / CC-BY-SA-2.0

Question

I am newly married and I have an amazing husband. We were in a long distance relationship for two years before we got hitched. We’ve been married only three months now. We don’t have any kids. The only problem I have with him is that I am always open to him, but he is not open to me. I want to tell him my Facebook password and my email passwords but he doesn’t want to know. I have given him my cell phone password but he is not interested. I don’t know his phone password because he has never given it to me and whenever he enters his password he enters it discreetly. He’s very protective about his phone. When he is texting, he is very careful that I don’t read what he’s texting. I don’t like this because then it makes me feel distant from him. I want to feel close to him. Besides this, we are very open with each other and feel comfortable telling each other anything. I don’t know if it’s okay or normal for a husband to not want his wife to know his cell phone password. What should I do?

Answer

This is becoming more of a relationship challenge these days, as we now live in both a digital and a real world. Knowing you have access to both creates more security and safety in marriage. Some might accuse you of just being insecure, as if that’s immature. However, you are feeling insecure in your new marriage because your husband is essentially telling you that you’re not welcome into part of his life.

Jason and Kelli Krafsky, authors of “Facebook and Your Marriage” make the following suggestion: “Share your username and password with one another. Transparency is crucial to ensure trust in a committed relationship. Exchanging login information provides accountability and emotional security for both of you.”

Even though your husband may have excellent reasons for hiding his text messages from you and keeping you out of his phone, shutting you out without any explanation will only heighten your fear. It will be important for you both to take the time to understand why you both have such strong feelings about this issue. You need to hear his reasons as much as he needs to hear your feelings about being shut out.

The process of merging two lives in marriage isn’t something that automatically happens at “I do.” The marriage of two individual lives with different backgrounds, tendencies, personalities, needs, and preferences is a lifelong process that requires tremendous patience, humility, gentleness, and trust. You’ve stumbled on the first of many realizations that your husband isn’t you and doesn’t see things the same way you do.

You can try demanding that he give you his passwords, and he may go along with it dutifully. However, it’s not going to help reassure you about your fears. My hunch is that he has some strong reasons for keeping you out of his phone.

Instead, I encourage you to start by giving him the benefit of the doubt and talk with him about his need to have electronic privacy. He may not even understand his motivations, but talking about it can help you both better understand his and your reactions.

Healthy marriages are built on the secure knowledge that our spouse is accessible and responsive to us. Having access to each other’s lives does provide more security, even if we don’t always know everything our partner is reading, writing, or saying. In fact, the more you’re shut out from your husband’s life, the more you’ll want to know in an effort to know you’re safe in the relationship. Hopefully he can see that the more access you have to his world, the less need you’ll have to see everything he’s doing.

You might find that as you both talk that his reasons for needing privacy make sense to you and it will be easier to give him the space he’s seeking. The reason this will be possible is because he’s now opened up his internal world to you, which gives you more reassurance that you’re safely connected to him. I know you’re not interested in reading every text message or email on his phone. Instead, you need to know he’s open and available to you, even if he needs some personal space. If he continues to block you and won’t talk about this, I encourage you to get some help for your new marriage so you don’t set up long-term patterns of insecurity and mistrust.

Stay connected!

Geoff will be holding a 2-day couples workshop on April 25-26 to help couples deepen their connection and strengthen their marriages in a fun and interactive setting. Visit http://www.geoffsteurer.com/marriage-workshop for more information. This workshop is limited to 10 couples.

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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: facebook.com/GeoffSteurerMFT

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

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41 Comments

  • Joanna March 26, 2014 at 8:35 am

    People who have nothing to hide, hide nothing.

    • JOSH DALTON March 26, 2014 at 9:20 am

      I agree! My phone number is attached to both the wife and myself. I don’t communicate with chickenheads anymore so I have nothing to hide either! Get rid of the cell and get rid of the problems that go along with it. My wife really has her own life when it comes to her cell and the fact that people only communicate via text. Its rude! oh well, “you people” can go on looking like idiots with your head hanging low scrolling endlessly through your contacts list and facebook. I will go through life with my head up and looking towards the future and a happy marriege.

      • Adrianne June 3, 2018 at 9:58 pm

        If you are worried, maybe use some sort of tracking software or hire a PI? I’m working on a TV show where PI’s are offering services . You can contact SPYFIX6 at GMAIL dot com if you want to know more, but I think only do that if it is really worrying you. I’m no expert, but a lot of people lock their phones just for personal safety (having my phone stolen recently I’m glad I do). But it does seem odd to me that he changes his password as soon as you know it. That seems like a red flag to me.

    • Suspicious? March 26, 2014 at 11:45 am

      People who have nothing to hide, aren’t suspicious and demanding.

      • Royalredus March 26, 2014 at 9:13 pm

        Ooh, that’s true too! Good one.

      • YB August 15, 2014 at 1:55 pm

        Absolutely spot on! Suspicious and demanding is sometimes an indication of reverse psychology… they are doing something wrong and imagine their partner must be doing the same.

    • Chirs October 26, 2014 at 12:11 pm

      I am the same with my fiancé. I have nothing to hide, however; even though we are in a relationship and living together we both should still have a certain amount of privacy as human beings. I think that wanting to look through every bit of someone’s emails, or Facebook messages, text messages etc. is just a fact of being nosey, and no one should be forced to loose all of their to anyone. My fiancé takes my phone and looks through it occasionally, and it get on my nerves!

  • Maudie Fricker March 26, 2014 at 8:54 am

    You’re married now, so time to grow up. He needs a little privacy and you should want the same. I say this as an older married person. Keep some of your own identity and who you are without giving it all away. If you are suspicious and can’t control wanting to know what he’s texting, occupy yourself otherwise. Get a grip.

  • Ange March 26, 2014 at 8:56 am

    I agree with Joanna, but I don’t ask for my husband’s passwords. I trust him implicitly. If you think that makes me naive, so be it. My husband likes to know I am confident and trust him to do the right thing. To hound him incessantly for a password is similar to saying, “I don’t trust you, I think you’re doing something you shouldn’t and I’m going to catch you.” That’s not how you build trust in a relationship. I value his privacy as much as I value my own.

  • DiAnna March 26, 2014 at 9:15 am

    I’ve been with my husband for 12 years, and he doesn’t have access to my FB, email, or phone. Why? Because it’s mine. I require some area of my life to be mine alone. If this means that I’m hiding something, then I guess I’m hiding something. Ya know – like my friends discussing their private problems with me that are none of his business. Yep. I’m a deceptive, manipulative monster because – while I love him dearly – I’m just not willing to subjugate my entire being to his domination. So sue me.

  • JOSH DALTON March 26, 2014 at 9:21 am

    (marriage) sorry. I going to catch flak.

  • DNA Check March 26, 2014 at 9:43 am

    He ought to ask for a DNA verification on the children. In Utah, there may be a possibility they ain’t his.

  • But Seriously March 26, 2014 at 10:10 am

    You women are in Utah. You should consider yourself lucky if he buys you shoes.

    • anna thomas March 26, 2014 at 11:34 am

      Excuse me? Exactly what was your comment supposed to mean? That men in Utah are creeps and treat the women like slaves, or that women in Utah are so backwards and ignorant that we should be grateful for whatever crumbs a man throws us?
      Neither scenario is correct and both are ignorant. If you hate Utah so much, stay out of the state, we don’t want people like you here.

      • Dude March 26, 2014 at 2:54 pm

        Yep, with the narcissistic behavior of men in this state, women ought to be happy just to ride in his monster truck (let alone drive it), hear about his hunting with his buds (let alone go huntin’ with him or shoot his guns), and if he’s seeing some chicky on the side, well, that’s how it is in Utah and she either should like it or leave.

      • Anna is one of them March 26, 2014 at 11:23 pm

        Hey Anna, what’s the matter? Did he hit a nerve? It is PROVEN that Utah is the worst state for women’s wages compared to men. There are so many women around here that are all jacked up on pills because they hate their life, and their situation. I bet you are one of them.

    • Dude March 26, 2014 at 2:56 pm

      What does the guy do if the dishwasher quits working? Tells her to get back in the kitchen.

  • Bub March 26, 2014 at 11:26 am

    After my 2nd marriage I learned that it’s best to keep secrets from them because they’ll always find a way to use things against you in the divorce, and there will be a divorce… 😀 😀

    • Brian March 26, 2014 at 12:52 pm

      One doesn’t have to read very many of your comments to appreciate the validity of the statement “there will be a divorce” as it relates to you and your marriages, but speak for yourself. I’m happily married (almost 20 years) and intend to stay that way.

      • Bub March 26, 2014 at 2:24 pm

        And I’m already bored of your wife and never even met her…

    • Accounts March 26, 2014 at 5:09 pm

      If you gave her/him all your bank account passwords, one day you will find your accounts empty, and the passwords to her/his accounts changed.

  • Dana March 26, 2014 at 11:31 am

    First off, grow the *ed. ellipsis up.
    Second, if you need help after only three months of marriage, with something as silly as passwords, you were never ready to begin with. You’re being childish. I’m glad your husband is not giving in to your demands. We have enough “girley men” in the world.

  • Smart man March 26, 2014 at 11:50 am

    I hide financial information, because if I didn’t, she’d spend every dime on shopping sprees, dinners, gifts and other frivolous spending opportunities. It’s because of my sense in savings, that we can afford a car without having to 100% finance it. My motto is to save today for tomorrow, while her’s is spend today, spend tomorrow, charge on credit card if there’s not enough money. Giving her access to my accounts would be like giving the liquor store keys to an alcoholic.

    • Bub March 26, 2014 at 2:25 pm

      Man up, let her know who’s boss.

  • Grizzly Haan March 26, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    america!

  • ThePughster March 26, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    Ugh. As someone who simply finds peace of mind in knowing I have a place to go that is solely my own… I can’t handle women who are so insecure that they need to know what I’m writing to my old high school friends on FB. Not only that, it demonstrates to me that there is an inherent LACK of trust within the relationship.

    I’ve always been this way. When I was a teen, I absolutely hated when I’d find my parents in my room. I wasn’t hiding anything they’d find questionable. I merely hated that I had no place to call my own – and the fact that my parents obviously didn’t trust me – despite giving them ZERO reason to not trust me.

    You can try and justify and embrace your insecurities – or you can learn to trust your SO. Or – realize you can’t trust them and move along.

  • Disher March 26, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    My husband and i both respect each other and trust one another. I dnt try and control him nor does he try to do the same to me. He gave me all his passwords and access to everything which is the same for myself as well. If the person you dated really loves you they give you that space whenever we disagree about something we leave each other alone then talk about it later after we both cooled down.leaving as it is doesn’t fit things. We both work but that doesn’t mean i spend all his money we talk about what we need to pay for how much to save and what we can spend there is no me or i in a mariage. Exspecially right after you have kids.

  • JAR March 26, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    What a joke subject and some off the wall comments (mine included). everyone needs some space. example 1: a wife is in the bathroom, door locked, “hey! what are you doing in there for so long? says the hubby. I’m taking a bath dimwit, says the little lady. Oh, I thought you were texting someone behind my back.
    example 2: The IRS called honey. They want to know how many times a day you pick your nose. And have you tried to signed up for Obama Care yet.And do you like the ACLU better than the NRA?
    And yes, I’m married to a snoop too.

  • Mary March 26, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    I never asked for any of my husband’s password and I noticed he kept them in a notebook. Never checked. However, if I was newly married and my husband was quite secretive about what he was doing I probably would have him investigated. lol. Many years ago my uncle checked on my cousin’s secretive husband and he was leading a gay lifestyle before it was PC. Saved her wasting more years on the bum.

  • Brian Daniels March 26, 2014 at 10:42 pm

    Different things work for different people. Because of that I don’t know that there is a best way, or general rule, in regards to privacy within a marriage between 2 spouses. That said, I have, and will continue to keep, as open a relationship as possible with her and would hope she does the same. Obviously thoughts are private and it’s impossible to share EVERYTHING. Aside from thoughts (which cannot always be conveyed because of the constant process of thinking), I try to keep my life an open book with my wife… passwords included. It’s worked for us for 20 years, but may not work for someone else who prefers more privacy within marriage.

  • San March 27, 2014 at 6:25 am

    There are going to be a lot of things in marriage that you cannot control…this is one of them. Sooner or later you will see what’s on there.

    You could always tell him that he can have your password and ask for him to reciprocate…but I’d do it by also stating “…I know we are learning how to be married and that doesn’t have to mean giving up every private thought…”. My guess is he’s talking about something besides women, or one of his friends is up to something.

    My cardinal rule to staying married has been not to ask more of my husband than I would from my best friend.

  • BSMETER March 27, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    It’s too easy to get married, and far to easy to get divorced these days. My advice is not everything is about you. Think about others for once.

  • bb September 5, 2014 at 11:58 pm

    Guys this is total bs and u know it! They are married. If that guy has a problem coughing over a … password, something is up. Ladies NEVER go against your gut. And if thats what u think men, guess u wont like the idea of high raise in pay f go r women in Utah and women sitting their own … wile the man works to pay for everything. Is that all u guys are good for??? Working payi my bills and keeping cell phones private so bi r wife does not find out ur watching PORN ad taing to other women/exs????? SHOW HER WO IS BOSS AND YOU’LL EVENTUALLY COME HOME TO AN EMTPY HOUSE AND NO FUTURE WITH HER WHILE SHES SHOWING YOU WHOS BOSS STARTING OVER WITH A REAL MAN WHO IS WILLING TO COMMIT AND WORK TOGETHER AS A MARRIED COUPLE SHOULD AND THAT SHALL BE THE FATHER OF HER CHILDREN!!! LAUGH THAT ONE UP BOSS
    Ed. ellipses.

  • open September 10, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    Privacy is for single people. Once you get married everything should be in the open. There is no need for passwords hidden from each other unless you are hiding something. If you won’t give a password because you feel it is your privacy I would think about what you are doing. If your spouse asks you kindly for your passwords and you don’t give it you are making yourself look guilty(you may be). You are causing your spouse to doubt the trust they have in you. Why would you want privacy! You are married! Not saying you stalk each other but yes you should be open with each other.

    • evey October 16, 2014 at 12:23 pm

      Completely agree with OPEN. Marriage is about two people joining together for a life of love and trust. Trust in my opinion is something that is earned over time, not given. They are married and he is definitely hiding things from her. He has nothing to hide hides nothing! And Trust but Verify!

  • Criss October 1, 2014 at 4:10 am

    My husband had access to my phone and my emails etc He however never offered to give me his passwords. But I trusted my husband wholeheartedly so i never asked. But what a fool i was . I recently found out he was having an affair. A lot of the information i found subsequently were on his computer. I only started digging through his stuff after I found out about the affair Now I realise that he had a lot to hide and by not sharing his passwords made it easy for him to Lie and cheat

  • vietnamguru1 June 29, 2015 at 7:34 pm

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  • anybody home June 29, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    I think the SGN has been spammed by Vietnamguru1. Do you really want to help people buy viruses?

  • Roger November 30, 2015 at 7:23 am

    *Do you suspect your partner (husband/wife/girlfriend/boyfriend) might be sneaking behind your back and having an affair?
    *Do you want to hack;
    *Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Instagram or any Social Media?
    *Phone, Whatsapp, BBM
    *Any Email
    *Do you have an examination you want and you want the questions hacked and leaked to you before the examination?
    *Do you want to hack into you university or college portal to change your grades/GPA?
    *Do you need the service of a PI to help investigate someone online?
    *Do you want to hack-proof yourself and protect your online accounts from being hacked?

    Ed. ellipsis.

  • John May 5, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    I don’t usually buy into this sort of stuff but if you really need to check on your partner’s sincerity, employee’s honesty, recover your email passwords, Social networks (i.e Facebook, Twitter, IG), change your school grades, clear your criminal records, gain access to bank accounts. … (referral omitted)
    Ed. ellipsis and omission.

  • Brian December 4, 2016 at 8:57 am

    Please stop wasting your time and money on fake hackers and contact a professional hacker today.Do you want to break into any website or any social network account? i.e Twitter,Facebook,Whatsapp,Instagram,snapchat etc. Do you want to gain discreet access into your cheating wife/husband phone so to know if they’ve been cheating or living a double life? Do you want to clear criminal records? Do you need to hack into any email,telegram, or you need to geta phone hacked? Do not lose your money to fake hackers. I’d suggest you contact a certified and professional hacker …. He offers the best hacking services plus he delivers results on time and he’s very reliable.
    Ed. ellipsis.

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