Advice Column

Maggie Bain is a Relationship and Intimacy Specialist with Family Medicine Center on Blake Road. She is also the only certified Sex Therapist in The Bahamas.

Every week Maggie answers questions submitted to Tribune Woman in the hopes of helping individuals with their romantic problems.

Q: “Should my partner have access to my phone, emails etc? How much access should we give one another? If I don’t want my partner to have the password to my phone does that mean I am hiding something or not being transparent?”

A: The Million Dollar Question!

These questions are brought up by many couples and are a clear indicator of how the internet has affected our relationships. Giving password access makes us question all aspects of trust, as well as exposing doubts, within our relationship. In fact, it was only a few weeks ago that I discussed this exact dilemma on Spence Finlayson’s show – Immediate Response, ZNS. Not surprisingly, there was a wide range of comments, but the overall sentiment was – “ If you don’t have anything to hide- why hide it”

Now this is very interesting because, for many people, the very idea of this degree of openness goes against their personal belief of privacy. For them, this is a definite no-no. They do not feel that anyone, even their partner, has the right to know every aspect of their life. They respect their partner’s privacy and expect the same in return.

However, what happens if you have personally experienced deep betrayal, in your life, and the internet has played a major role in the truth being exposed. Perhaps, you have identified it as the root cause of a relationship breakdown and understand the veil of secrecy surrounding forbidden passwords, therefore you know it needs to be eliminated.

Understandably, it’s not surprising that the whole discussion around password access often causes couples to argue. It can bring up feelings of paranoia, unwarranted suspicions, and also tamper with self-esteem and self-worth. If not fully addressed, all of these negative emotions have a way of eroding at the foundation of trust in a relationship.

So this brings us to the very heart of this discussion..

Are you really protecting your privacy or holding a secret?

By definition, privacy is the right to be left alone. However, for many, this contradicts everything believed to be necessary for healthy intimacy.

Secrecy, on the other hand, is the deliberate withholding of information, and the implications can affect the relationship from moving forward.

This is quite different from privacy, and so I suggest you ask yourself this tough question…
Is my intention and motivation behind ‘not allowing my partner password access’ driven by fear and shame?

If the answer is yes, then I will leave you to think deeply about possible scenarios should your secret be found by your partner.

Now, you may perhaps be wondering- “So what is the answer?”

As with any difficulty in a relationship, it is so important to talk about it from every view point. For example, how it is affecting the present moment, but also potential outcomes that could transpire, should an agreement be broken.

Hopefully, you will both reach a genuine consensus that the decision concerning each other’s passwords is for the betterment of your relationship. Words must match behavior, otherwise there will be a breakdown of trust, which may cause serious damage to the union.

For couples, who are in sync with each other, this is resolved simply and amicably. This is because they generally have similar opinions and they both believe in fair play. They have learned how to be on the same page as each other and understand it ‘Takes Two To Tango’.

As a Relationship & Intimacy Specialist, I am reminded how precious love is and how short life truly is for passwords to cause havoc in our intimate life.

So my final answer is – Find a way that’s a win-win for both of you!

Relationship and intimacy specialist Maggie Bain– also known as the Bare Naked Coach– has returned to the Bahamas to help local couples repair their relationships. She will be answering questions which she has received for Tribune Woman in the hopes of helping individuals with similar romantic problems. The column comes out the 2nd & last Tuesday of each month.

Maggie Bain is a relationship and intimacy specialist with Family Medicine Center on Blake Road. Book a consultation at 702-9310 ext. 130 or click here to book an appointment.

Publish Date: Tuesday, August 1, 2023, The Tribune