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

Stock image, St. George News

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 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!

Ed. note: This column was first published March 24, 2014.

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, 2015, all rights reserved.

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14 Comments

  • ladybugavenger December 30, 2015 at 9:04 am

    Oh ya, he’s hiding something….be discreet with your passwords and texts….don’t be so willing to give him everything…stop it now!!

    • ladybugavenger December 30, 2015 at 9:09 am

      If you keep giving givin giving and don’t get the same in return, your marriage is doomed. If it doesn’t stop and you keep giving giving giving and not getting the same openness, your emotional and mental health will be harmed. He’s destroying your 3 month marriage. Sounds like he wasn’t ready to be married. #stopmakingexcusesandjustifications.

  • Matthew December 30, 2015 at 10:29 am

    I think the title of this article should be changed to “Should I care if my spouse won’t give me his/her phone password?”. It can go both ways…

  • 42214 December 30, 2015 at 11:34 am

    Get pregnant as soon as you can, it will save the marriage.

    • ladybugavenger December 30, 2015 at 12:26 pm

      Hahahaha

    • .... December 30, 2015 at 1:49 pm

      TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT !

    • .... December 30, 2015 at 2:01 pm

      If you get pregnant now you can divorce him and get like 3.000 dollars a month in child support. and get all the free Utah living assistant cheese and milk you can eat and drink. and then he can go back to his boyfriend. and then you can write an article about how bad the free cheese tastes.

  • Hataalii December 30, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    You and your husband need to have a heart to heart talk. It sounds to me like there is a very good chance that he is feeling very uncomfortable in “sharing everything” with you, because he needs some space in his life. Not because he has anything to hide, but just because he feels that he should still have some areas of his life where his privacy is respected.
    It is not necessary for spouses to constantly share absolutely every aspect of their lives with each other. He has told you he isn’t interested in knowing your passwords. That should tell you two things. One, he trusts you, and two, he respects your privacy. Try extending him the same courtesy.

  • Rainbow Dash December 30, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    I agree with Hataalii on this. Sit him down and let him know exactly how you feel about this. if he is willing to share with you, he will. He may feel, as Hataali said, uncomfortable with sharing every stinkin’ pinkin’ aspect of his life with you at this juncture. His feelings in this should be honored and you can broach the issue later on. My advice is to cut him a little slack and show him that you trust him by letting him have some space and adjust to married life. My parents have been together for over 30 years. They do separate things to this day. That said, they know where the other person is at all times. This is one of the “rules” of their relationship and they trust each other enough to allow this to occur. If one has a problem or concern, they talk it out and come to a resolution. This is what works for them and I think that you should try it.

  • anybody home December 30, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    Forget all the “good” advice above. Pay attention to this: “Besides this, we are very open with each other and feel comfortable telling each other anything.”

    Can you see the huge red flags waving in every direction? Besides not letting me know anything about what he’s doing with his phone or texting, we are very open and blah blah blah.

    Get out now before you have kids. This guy is immature, sneaky, conniving and manipulative. Is this really what you want for the rest of your life because that’s what you’ll have. Guys like this (and women, too) do not, let me repeat, do not change. He might agree to that heart to heart talk but he’ll be dying to get back to his phone while it’s happening.

    He doesn’t want to know your passwords not because he trusts you but because this would mean he would be expected to give you his…Guys who can’t be trusted don’t do a lot of trusting either.

    Let me guess – you pushed for the marriage. And you are the one who moved so you could be together.

    • Roy J December 31, 2015 at 4:22 pm

      ANYBODY is exactly right on this.

  • .... December 30, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    Forget any advice above….pack it up and leave

  • 42214 December 31, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    Are all these “touchy feely” articles made up or based on real counseling experiences? Either way, most of them seem dumb.

    • .... December 31, 2015 at 4:44 pm

      Yeah anywhere from dumb to stupid is right . some of these articles are as interesting as the documentary on. The mating habits of the northern Bolivian swamp slug

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