Privacy vs. Secrecy: “My husband has blocked me from his facebook and other social media accounts.”

"Marilyn Silver Screen" by Mimi Stuart ©

“Marilyn Silver Screen” by Mimi Stuart ©

“My husband has blocked me from his facebook and other social media accounts. He told me firmly that he will not negotiate about protecting his privacy. It’s his private life. The things that he talks about with his friends and whom he talks to are his private domain. His phone, computer and social media and his online attachments are his private world.”

Privacy and secrecy in a relationship

Your husband is trying to defend secrecy, not privacy. There is a clear distinction between privacy and secrecy in an intimate and shared relationship such as a marriage. Secrecy will ultimately destroy your relationship and your marriage.


Individuals should maintain respect for each other’s privacy, such as having personal space alone or writing a journal, for example. This differs from furtive relationships and behavior that may impact the primary relationship.


Secrecy and marriage are fundamentally incompatible. When there is no trust, there is no commitment to the relationship. Trust has to be earned, not blindly given.

Keeping secrets and having outside, off-the-radar relationships – male or female – undermine the primary relationship. Even if these relationships are “only” online or emotional relationships, they will still undermine your primary relationship if they remain secret or if they become energetically more powerful than the primary relationship.


Trust has to be earned by transparency, honesty, and considerate behavior. When you decide to marry someone, you decide that your primary emotional and physical relationship is with your spouse. You decide to live your lives together and give up some of your freedom. You make this choice because the payoff is a loving, trusting relationship.

It is important to have your own individual pursuits and friends, but not if they are secretive in any way. Each individual should try to flourish as an individual while being considerate, truthful, and open to his or her partner. Secrecy and marriage are incompatible. However, flourishing as an individual and having a good marriage are not incompatible.

If you want a great marriage, you will not want to put your spouse in a position where he or she has to play detective and is otherwise restricted from any aspect of your life. If you want a loving, fulfilling relationship, you will not want to block each other from social networks or have secret passwords to hide things from each other. Instead you will behave in a way that promotes the trust and the love you share.

by Dr. Alison Poulsen

Read “Creating Trust: ‘Don’t you trust me? Despite my faults, you know I love you.’”

Read “Can I trust you?”

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