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?
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.
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.
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