FINAL FRIDAYS WITH COUSIN MARS – IS PRIVACY REALISTIC IN MARRIAGE?


I can think of many benefits of waiting until entering your 30s to tie the knot. However, one fairly common challenge like-minded individuals often face is figuring out how and what habits and behaviors to abandon. Many topics can fall under this umbrella, but I’d like to specifically discuss privacy. Individuals over 30 are generally more set in their ways than their younger counterparts; often leading to a more interesting adjustment period. According to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, Privacy is defined as freedom from unauthorized intrusion. For almost all aspects of life, except marriage, this definition is simple. Although I have siblings, for many years I grew up as an only child. Perhaps my view of privacy stems from only child syndrome. However, a Mars post on privacy as it relates to spouses has been suggested by several Triple B followers. Whew…At least I’m not the only person navigating this awkward and often silent battle.

Let us assume someone has had their own bedroom since the age of 10. Also assume the same person has maintained a cell phone for over fifteen years. Other than parents snooping through their room during teenage years and possibly a crazy ex-beau meddling with their cell phone, one might truly feel as though there was freedom from unauthorized intrusion.

Let us fast forward to married life and parenthood. In all likelihood at least one bank account is shared, each other’s social security numbers are known, bills are somehow divided, and if cars are possessed you each have keys to the vehicle(s). Funny thing is at least one of you probably stakes major claim of a portion of the closet/kitchen/basement/garage. Often one talks of some section of the home as “my space.” If nothing typed so far is viewed as outrageous, is it crazy to believe that some spouses truly consider their phone, computer, drawer space, and/or that certain section in the house “off limits?” I understand that this is one of those topics that ten people can have ten drastically different opinions about.

This Final Fridays post will not attempt to answer any questions or claim to provide the solution for any current tension, but instead act as a forum for you all to share how you have or plan to address some of these issues. Before you begin to allow your assumptions and past heartbreaks to lead your thoughts, I want to be clear that I am not considering the expected privacy of those leading double lives or possessing any negative intent. This post is solely addressing the often awkward adjustment of letting down that final barrier of singledom to married life and attempting to learn how to live with less personal space due to marriage and/or parenthood. I’m looking forward to your honest insight in openly discussing this taboo subject.

Read a another hot-button post (on maintaining friendships of the opposite sex while married) from Mars here.

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    Comments

    1. Excellent topic to explore, Cousin Mars! Dialogue can truly enlighten and strengthen.

    2. Great Article and definitely one that is defined by each household differently I’m sure!!!

    3. I’m not touching this one with a 10′ pole.

    4. Great article! I do think forums like this ones, workshops seminars on relationships can be so helpful.

    5. Bridgette Bridgette says:

      Another thought-provoking topic, Mars. Unlike you I grew up very close to my sibling, but we pretty much always had our own ish. From bedrooms to televisions to toys to stereos to books. And our parents didn’t play borrowing clothes and such from friends. Other than my freshman year of college and a semester abroad in London, I’ve never had to share my personal space with anyone. And I definitely wasn’t used to sharing my financial information with anyone else. No one paid my bills but me so I didn’t think that was necessary. Post marriage I’ve had to compromise in aspects of how I was used to living beyond what I anticipated. I was more independent than I realized. But as someone recently told me, “Marriage is a big step. But it’s one of a million steps.” Is this adjustment always easy? Heck, no. But we’re taking it one step at a time, figuring out what does (and doesn’t) work for us — together.

    6. I feel some privacy in marriage should not be considered detrimental to the relationship. There are certain areas of life that should be an open book but other aspects can be for ‘personal reading’ lol.

      Hypothetical situation- Cousin Mars calls me to share a personal situation/issue that he rather keep private pertaining to something in ‘his’ life there should be no expectation to discuss conversation with my spouse. But that’s all I have to say since I will probably be sleeping on the couch for tonight.

      Great article

    7. Cousin Mars says:

      I expected this post to get some of you going. Don’t hold back…keep the comments coming.

    8. SpikesDtr says:

      I just read this quote in the Christian publication “Our Daily Bread” and related it to this post immediately. “The measure of love is what you are willing to give up for it.” But, like LD, I don’t adhere to absolute disclosure.

    9. This is definitely a topic to explore in the next Cupcakes, Cocktails and Conversations.

    10. i’m listening, cousin mars.

      listening is good.

      listening allows one the flexibility to “inch” their way towards intimacy.

      “intimacy?” you say.

      yes. figuring out how to maintain/change previous (read: when you were single) levels of privacy is about the most intimate thing one can do. nobody really thinks about the things they’d like to keep to themselves until they’re…well…no longer by themselves.

      so just in case “the one that (almost) got away” doesn’t get away, i’m listening, cousin mars (and lady b).

      keep talking.

    11. Hmmm, a lot to say regarding this post but I’ll keep it simple. I think marriage should definitely usher in open and shared aspects of the couple’s new life together. But I do feel that certain things should be allowed to be kept private or kept as “mine” for the sake of maintaining some semblance of discretion and self-identity . Conversations with close friends/family, toothbrushes and clothes are the big three for me.

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