Many couples wonder how much information they should share with their spouse—does everything have to be out in the open or are some things best kept private? Rabbi Shmuley talks about privacy in marriage and what information should and should not be shared with your spouse.
If you feel like your spouse is hiding something, Rabbi Shmuley says that you should talk to them about it, rather than snooping. "It can be incredibly destructive to a relationship," he says. "Snooping undermines trust and makes a husband and wife feel like they are strangers to each other." If your lack of trust develops, Rabbi Shmuley suggests getting guidance from a professional.
Instead of snooping, couples should create an environment where there are no big secrets in the first place, Rabbi Shmuley says. He shares his advice on what should and should not stay private.
What should not be private:
Your e-mail accounts. If your spouse wants the password to your e-mail account, she should be able to have it, and vice versa. "E-mail is a very intimate form of communication—it's the equivalent of having your own P.O. box," Rabbi Shmuley says. "Giving your spouse the password is the same as giving them an extra key. It shows you have absolutely nothing to hide." In addition, you should never have a secret e-mail account, he says.
Your cell phone information. "Your spouse should not want to check your phone logs or text messages, and he should never do it secretly," Rabbi Shmuley says. Think about it like a house phone—calls are common knowledge to everyone in the house.
Your daily activities. Spouses should be open about where they went during the day, Rabbi Shmuley says. This is especially important when business travel is frequent in a relationship. "It can help a couple stay intimately connected, even if they're hundreds of miles away from each other," he says.
Your money. Rabbi Shmuley says both spouses should be totally open about what they have and what they spend. "Secret bank accounts are a big no-no," he says.
What should be private:
Your romantic past. "You can share what you want, but try to think about what the intention is when you share it," Rabbi Shmuley says.
Your thoughts. You're not obligated to share everything you think, especially if it could be hurtful to your spouse, Rabbi Shmuley says.
Your faith and political views. "Many people from different religions and political stances marry, but that doesn't mean that you need to adopt the other person's views as your own," Rabbi Shmuley says. "Two people of different religions or political parties can happy co-exist under one roof."
Printed from Oprah.com on Wednesday, March 12, 2014