If You Go Searching, You’re Sure to Find Something

Back in April I recorded a podcast with a group a ladies for Moms Like Her “Moms Wine Too” event (you can find her blog on WordPress also).  It was recorded on Mommy Matters Wine Down podcast (Go check it out on Apple, Google Play or SoundCloud- It’s amazing, and I’m on there a lot!). The host, Antonia asked how we felt about checking phones-doing the checking and getting checked. There were mixed feelings throughout the room, but I was confident in my answer. You should be able to check your spouse’s phone!

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard the saying, “don’t go looking or you’ll find something” when it came to being in a relationship. “Once you go searching, you’re bound to find something.” When I think about it, I’ve only heard the saying directed toward women. It’s what she’s typically told when she has that gut feeling that her significant other is cheating on her.

Ultimately, I believe that both men and women should be able to communicate about whatever thoughts, feelings and insecurities they may have in the relationship. For example, if you’re uncomfortable with the amount of time your spouse spends on their phone at night, you should address it. The issue comes in when one has addressed it but is still unsatisfied. The sensible thing would be to bring it up in conversation again, and if you don’t see any change you free yourself from the relationship. Majority of the time, that’s not what happens. We need proof! Proof that nothing is going on, or proof that something is going on. What’s the first thing you do? You search through your spouse’s phone. The phone is the gateway to text messages, voicemails, call logs, emails and social media. But according to the masses, you shouldn’t go looking because you will in fact find something you won’t like.

To be honest, I do believe that you shouldn’t have to go searching through anyone’s phone; however, I don’t believe that you should find anything when you look. I think it’s unhealthy if you have to hide your phone, or an argument ensues if you do not share your pass code with your significant other.  Here’s why I personally believe that passwords should be shared:

  1. If there is an emergency, who do I notify besides the authorities? I’m pretty sure your next of kin would like to know if there is an emergency.
  2. If my phone is broken or has a dead battery, can I easily use your phone? Am I on the same level as a stranger and you dial everyone’s number for me?
  3. When you’re married, there’s no such thing as privacy (I’ll explain further).
  4. There shouldn’t be anything in your phone that is inappropriate!!

I know many people are testy when it comes to sharing pass codes to phones. I can understand why; it’s your phone and your privacy. But what happens when there is an accident that causes you to be hospitalized? If it’s serious enough for a stay in the hospital, I believe it’s important for someone to be able to get in contact with your loved one(s) immediately.

I also stated that there is no such thing as privacy when it comes to marriage. This is solely my opinion! The only secrets that exists between my husband and I are surprises for one another, or the privacy of our friends/family. For example, I will tell my husband who I’m talking to and that it’s about a private matter so that he won’t become skeptical about why I keep turning my phone away from him. Otherwise, it’s an open book. I realize everyone does not operate this way, but it works for my husband and I. We could literally take each other’s phones for the day and be just fine.

The last point, and the biggest point is that there shouldn’t be anything inappropriate or needing to be hidden in our phones! I disagree with society’s consensus that when you’re in a relationship, what’s in your spouse’s phone is none of your business. Yes; this is a portion of your relationship that you have to grow to. I don’t expect, or believe that as soon as you begin dating, or enter into a relationship you should drop the passwords into each other’s hands. I know there is a trust factor and it takes time to build, but it is not okay to go through a relationship and into marriage with secrecy.

I am appalled when someone finds something inappropriate in their spouse’s phone, the response is “well you shouldn’t have gone looking.”  The focus should be on the fact the person shouldn’t have found anything in their spouse’s phone. How many times have you watched a reality TV show and the woman finds inappropriate text messages in her man’s phone? The guy’s response is usually, “what were you doing in my phone?” It’s like the wrong doing takes a shift. While myself and some others may feel this way, there are some who are genuinely not bothered by this topic at all. They don’t want or need to know their significant other’s password, and don’t want them to look through their phone either. If that works for you, perfect! However, it doesn’t work for me.

I’m one who firmly believes in the phrase, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.” So if  you’re reading this, I challenge you to have a positive and candid conversation with your significant other and discuss the open door policy when it comes to looking through each others phones. This subject should not be approached in an argumentative manner. It can quickly go from feeling like a request to feeling like a demand. It’s no fun being given an ultimatum or being told to do something like you’re a child.

I’ll end with this… The next time someone says, “don’t go looking or you’ll find something,” tell them “there shouldn’t be anything there when I go looking.”

 

 

No New Friends (Or Old)

One of the things my husband and I do a lot of is talking. Our conversations range from world hunger to fashion trends, from childhood memories to going back to complete a discussion that got heated a month ago. It was when James became a truck driver my junior year of college that our communication life changed. Our long distance relationship depended on long phone conversations in order to make us feel closer to one another. Ever since then, it hasn’t mattered whether I was in school, working or at home, we talk all day almost every day. Even when he’s driving locally and I see him in the evenings, we talk up until the moment I pick him up from his truck. There are many topics that we discuss, but I’ll start by sharing this one. The question was, when you’re married, should you be allowed to have friends of the opposite sex?

I thought I was going to be able to provide you with two sets of answers, one from me and one from James, but thankfully we saw eye-to-eye on each scenario. The scenarios were as follows:

  • What if your spouse had a best friend of the opposite sex prior to your marriage?
  • Can you or your spouse gain new friends of the opposite sex (i.e. coworkers, church, school)?
  • If you or your spouse has close/good friends of the opposite sex, but doesn’t talk to them on the regular, should they be cut off?
  • Should you or your spouse go out with friends of the opposite sex without your spouse being present?

What if your spouse had a best friend of the opposite sex prior to your marriage?

This scenario is pretty tricky. I think I can speak for all women when I say that the idea of our man having a female best friend doesn’t bring us the slightest amount of joy. Our guard immediately goes up because we can’t imagine another woman being close to our husbands other than the women in his family (i.e. mother, sister, grandmother). You fear that the two are closer than friends, and you feel uncomfortable with him/her sharing personal information with them before you. You ultimately want to be your spouse’s very best friend. Some women will run the moment the man mentions having a female best friend, while others will stick around and do their best to befriend the woman. For the most part, I would guess the same goes for a man regarding his lady having a male best friend as well. James and I believe that if your spouse has a best friend of the opposite sex, he/she is not new to you. You should have met this man/woman when you started getting serious in the dating phase. While you’re boyfriend and girlfriend, you’re getting to know this friend and everyone (spouse, best friend and yourself) is making an effort to build comfort in the relationship/friendship. That means creating boundaries. For example, it is no longer acceptable to just go out to eat or hang with your friend of the opposite sex without first letting your significant other know. This will eliminate any insecurities of cheating and secrecy. Once you’re engaged, your spouse’s best friend doesn’t need to be your best friend, but he/she should definitely be your friend also. You all should be able to hang out together without any hesitation, and the need to hang out separately without you is not necessary. At this point, you are able to truly make the decision on whether you can deal with this friendship. If you just can’t get along with your spouse’s friend, it is his/her responsibility to end that friendship in order to move forward with your relationship. Once you’re married, you have accepted that this friendship is okay with the both of you and there is no confusion, disrespect or jealousy surrounding the friendship.

Can your spouse gain new friends of the opposite sex (i.e. coworkers, church, school)?

Depending on your personality, it is inevitable to avoid gaining new friends when you’re at work. It is important to be intentional about new friends being both you and your spouse’s friend. Once you’re married, there’s no such thing as a person of the opposite sex being only your friend or only your spouse’s friend. If you or your spouse don’t have any interest in gaining a new friend, it’s both your responsibility to make each other comfortable and confident in your being friends with that individual. How do you do that? By respecting your spouse and his/her feelings toward that friendship. If they are uncomfortable with the type of conversation you’re having with that person, shut it down. Honestly, that goes for any friendship, but I can definitely understand putting up a fight for one who has been around long-term versus a new friend gained through work. For James and I it’s about comfort, respect, confidence, communication, and reassurance.

If your spouse has close/good friends of the opposite sex, but doesn’t talk to them on the regular, should they be cut off? 

In our opinion, if you don’t speak to your friends of the opposite sex on a daily basis, there’s no need to end the friendship or acquaintance-ship. We agreed that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with having an adult conversation to catch up with one another. For example “Hey! How are you? How’s the family?” or “Hey, I know that it’s been a little while, but I value your opinion and need your advice on something.” The friends that do need to be cut off are those who contact you with “Hey stranger” or “Hey big head.” I repeat, it’s crucial that you keep boundaries in place. You shouldn’t text anyone of the opposite sex after a certain time. It’s up to you and your spouse to set the time.

Should you or your spouse go out with friends of the opposite sex without your spouse being present?

If your spouse is not aware, the answer is absolutely not. Doing that shows a lack of respect and can make your significant other insecure and no longer trust you. We’ve all heard the saying, “trust is easy to lose, but hard to gain back.” If you value your spouse and your friend, you will always let your spouse know when you are meeting with them.

When evaluating your friendship(s) with anyone of the opposite sex, take yourself out of your shoes, and look from the view of your spouse. If they took a look at your text message thread, what would they see? Does your spouse know the password to your phone? Are you comfortable with leaving your phone around them? Do your friend(s) make an effort to include your spouse in your plans? There are several questions you can ask yourself, but let’s be honest, as an adult you know right from wrong when in a mature relationship. I’m not one to judge because I am far from perfect, but I’ve noticed that people make excuses to stay in their single ways when being in a marriage. When being married, your way of thinking and actions have to do a full 360. You can not operate in singleness when married, and if you do your marriage is deemed to fail. I’ve also noticed that some people think that when you get married you lose yourself or your identity. False. Your spouse becomes a part of your identity. When getting married, you are gaining a new part of YOU. Change your perspective and look at your spouse as an addition to your identity and not a source of subtraction. All in all, it’s about finding what works best for you and your spouse. If you two are on the same page, then what everyone else thinks doesn’t matter.