DEAR AMY: I frequently read in your column about people snooping into their partner's email or texts and how that is a breach of privacy. I disagree. No part of either my phone or computer is private from my husband. He is too lazy to log out of my Facebook account and into his, so he just reads mine (he never comments for me, though). If I wanted to hide any portion of my personal life from him, I think it would mean that I was doing or thinking something that I shouldn't. If we live authentic, honest lives, there is nothing to hide. Our privacy should be shared privacy. Please explain what is wrong with my thinking.

-- Confused Reader

DEAR CONFUSED: There is nothing at all wrong with your thinking.

Some couples don't close the bathroom door when they use the toilet; what is considered "private" is different for different people.

If you don't consider anything on your phone, mail or social media to be private, then your husband isn't violating your privacy by looking at it. However, having private conversations or correspondences doesn't mean a person has anything nefarious to hide; having private thoughts, utterances or writing simply means a person gets to have an interior life that isn't shared.

Transparency is important in intimate partnerships. I interpret this as "I will tell you about relationships, financial dealings, family or work-related issues that impact you or our relationship. I will answer any questions about these issues honestly." This level of personal privacy requires trust on both sides.

When trust has been broken, marriage counselors often prescribe an opening of all privacy doors, with unfettered access to all communication. But if trust is already established (or once trust is restored) must those doors remain open? I'd love to run responses and thoughts about this issue from other readers.


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