Secrets, privacy and Facebook passwords

So, OK.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re married for fifty years or hooked up last night, but unless you’ve never had a partner and plan to carry on that way for the rest of your life, chances are you’re going to have to share stuff. Even if it’s just a bed. Amirite? Wink wink…

The more you like someone, the more you’re willing to share with them. The more you’re not so hot on them, you’re less likely to want to.

It starts simply enough…

  • Wanna share this pen? No problem!
  • Oh you forgot your toothbrush, use mine! (hey, if you’ve just spent the night pashing them, what’s the diff?)
  • Here, wear my socks!
  • Share a shower? Don’t mind if I do!
  • Of course you can turn the football commentary off and listen to Nickelback on the car stereo (no really, get out of the car, it’s over)
  • I’m pretty sure that the pair of us can manage with one Xbox controller!
  • Emergency contraception? Please, let me pay half at least. This is my responsibility too.
  • Here, let me unplug my half-charged phone so you can charge up yours. Seriously, it’s my pleasure!
  • Of course you can borrow my car! I’ll need it tomorrow, but we’ll sort something out!

Next thing you know, you’re saying…

  • This is OUR dog.
  • How about you sell your car and we share the Ford Fiesta?
  • Hey, how about closing your bank account and merging all your assets with mine?
  • How about whatever you own on this planet, I now own too.

Then you start saying

  • Well, she’s YOUR mother
  • Get out of MY house
  • What’s the difference if I use your razor on my legs?
  • Get over to YOUR side of the bed (or couch)
  • That’s MY iPhone charger, get your own
  • They were MY friends first

Hahahahaha, good times, good times…

:/

Seriously though, The Mister and I are pretty diplomatic when it comes to sharing.

We share a three-seater couch (we often have to play leg-Tetris to make that happen)

We share an extremely uncomfortable bed (sometimes we’ll switch sides if one of us really wants to sleep next to the window)

We share the iPad and most of our DVD collection. Except Downton Abbey and Mona Lisa Smile, oh they’re mine.

There’s a couple of things I will never, ever share with The Mister.

One is a Facebook page. The other? My passwords.

But you’re married! I hear the naysayers shriek.

OK, take a deep breath. I have a confession to make.

The thing is, I have never gone out of my way to rifle through a bloke’s belongings while he ducks out to pick up milk, it’s always just been a stumbled-upon, opportunistic peek.

It’s like eating KFC, it feels pretty good at the time but then you just end up with a downward-spiralling case of self-loathing.

There isn’t really much of an upside to being a bit of a snoop – from personal experience I’ve never discovered much in the way of cheating lovers or Swiss bank accounts. More like I’ve spoilt my own birthday surprises, that kind of thing.

Only one time am I ever-grateful for being a little bit crafty.

I was updating my CV on my then-boyfriend’s computer. After I made my updates and changes, I made a desktop file to save it in.

I noticed there was another file with my name on it.

I clicked on it.

My boyfriend had created this weird Excel spreadsheet.

It was like a timeline of the future – my future with him.

Stuff like ‘by xxxx date – engagement’, ‘by xxxx date –  marriage’, ‘by xxxx date – first child’.

And the dates? They were frighteningly near.

Instead I saved my CV to a thumb drive, deleted my work, closed the computer down, packed my bag and walked out the door.

Mind you, this was the same guy that arranged his bed to be in the middle of the room. Like it wasn’t shunted up against a wall or headboard. It was a bed with the rest of the room as a moat. I didn’t need too many more excuses to know this geezer wasn’t for me.

Hey, it’s one thing to have this stuff written down, but how about talking to me about it?

Can’t do that? I’m out the door.

This isn’t really about secrets, per se. It’s about privacy. And, just because The Mister and I are married, doesn’t mean we’ve suddenly thrown our privacy to the wind now that our signatures are on the same marriage certificate.

I don’t want to know EVERYTHING about him – not in one go anyway.

I will, however, expect that over the years, more and more little tidbits and never-told-before stories will occasionally slide out. Which is why I love him. There is still so much to know.

And there is a difference between privacy, secrets and lying. Big differences. But in this case, my privacy is still something that’s mine and I control who gets in on it or not. The Mister gets in on it big time – but he still asks if it’s OK to hop in the shower with me. I still have the right to say no, and I do say it often, but not because I don’t want to. It’s more the fact the shower is horrifically compact – it’s not a particularly sexy experience, it’s more laughing and ‘get out of my way’ and shrieks of taking turns of getting the cold tiles on your back.

Sometimes that ‘get out of my way’ comment can get suddenly very hostile in that cold little shower.

We do share one general email that was set up while we were sorting out the wedding stuff – I think that if you’re organising something huge like that it’s good to have a simple email that you both have access to.

We also have our private email, which is usually our work email. I don’t want, nor should have, access to that. The thing is, again a privacy issue, I am a news producer by trade, he works in a government department. It would be a massive problem for his workplace if I had access to that stuff. In fact, even if he’s sitting on some amazing information for a story, it’s released to all the media outlets – I get no special treatment or heads-up or anything on a story. The only thing I get to do is that when I have to call him on official business, I tend to call his direct line, which is really the only perk.

We do not have a shared Facebook page. And we never will.

If The Mister has is Facebook page open, I now just log out for him and carry on.

About three years ago I looked a little further than I should’ve. Like I said, nothing good comes of doing shit like this.

As it turned out, I had a very bad (over)reaction to a very straight-forward conversation he had with his ex-girlfriend.

I since learnt that she almost died from a meningococcal-like condition and he cared enough to see how she was holding up. Especially since she was alone in a London hospital.

Now days, I couldn’t care less if he messaged her or any other guy or girl to say hello or share the latest YouTube goat video with. Hey, I do it all the time.

We’re clearly in a much better place than we were a few years back when we were still sussing each other out and figuring out boundaries.

Sharing money is like sharing a shower or listening to Wilco. Sometimes you’re into it, sometimes you’re not in the mood.

Do I still have that secret little bank account on the side if I ever need to run away to Rio? Yes I do and have absolutely no dramas in saying so.

It’s not really there for Rio though. More ‘small Croatian village’. The Mister has no access to it, but he knows it’s there. I think he garners some relief that I have a small stash tucked away – which I have fished into whenever we’ve been in a bind. So it’s not really a secret. But it gives me a sense of securing myself if I would ever need to.

Like my Grandma Joanie says ‘it’s better to have and not need, than to need and not have’. She’s a smart lady. That saying especially goes for those moments when you think ‘hmmm, should I take a jumper?’

The Mister doesn’t even know who I am voting for in the March 9 state election (can you hear society’s fist-shaking outrage at my decision to not disclose this to my husband?)

Passwords to our online things are tricky things.

You’re not supposed to share them, but some of us feel like if we don’t share them with our significant other, we’re being naughty by ‘hiding something’ and that the other isn’t trusted. Or whatever.

The way I see it, I’m glad I don’t know his passwords to most things. Mainly as I HAVE ENOUGH PASSWORDS TO REMEMBER and often find myself at work bashing away at my computer keyboard in a blinding password rage before crying to IT to put me out of my misery and reset the damn thing.

What is a good idea, is to include your passwords (et al) in your Will. That way, when you’re dead and buried, access to stuff can be a little smoother and less distressing to your partner… or whoever gets bestowed as your Will’s gatekeeper.

I guess this is a roundabout way of saying that just because you’re married, or de facto, or have a boyfriend, girlfriend or whatever, it doesn’t always mean you’re suddenly one entity. One person plus one person equals two people. If you became one entity you would be this weird 150-kilo four-armed, two-headed beast. And let’s be honest, you’d fit right in in Tasmania.

Your privacy isn’t something you should be compelled to ‘give up’, rather something that you can share with someone – but only on your terms. And only if you want to.

***

Something to consider from someone who works in the media…

I’m being selfish here but consider a Facebook photo album of a couple of pics that you’re happy for the media to use if anything godawful was to happen to you. Don’t forget to give that album some slightly looser privacy settings too so we don’t have to ‘friend’ a dodgy mate of yours just to access a photo or two.

HEY, IT HAPPENS.

Otherwise you could end up with the only photo they could get hold of…. and it might be that bleary-eyed one from the Mustang Bar that you thought you deleted.

Advertisements