Secrets, Privacy & One Flesh Marriage

Brad says…

Have you ever tried to keep a secret from yourself? “I’m going to eat this extra dessert, I just won’t tell myself in the morning!” If only that worked, right! We can not turn off our brains in order to keep something secret from ourselves, but I know many men who regularly turn off their one flesh connection to keep secrets from their wife.  If it is not possible to keep a secret from ourselves, then why would you keep a secret from your wife who you are supposed to be one flesh with?

Obviously this view of marriage holds tightly to God’s view of marriage as One Flesh. Kate wrote previously in “Are We Two or One?  that we don’t believe that being one stops us from being individuals, but marriage is intended to dramatically change and grow those two individuals to become like one.

I recently read an advice article that suggested that wives should never go into their husband’s email account, and visa versa. I’m not going to jump into the right a wrong about snooping, but I want to challenge husbands about why they need a place of privacy, a place to keep secrets.

Break for a quick definition. Secrets are those things that you don’t intend on telling your wife.  Surprises are things that you are holding back because the end result will be an excited happy wife (christmas presents, trips, dinner plans together). Surprises are great in marriage, secrets are not.

There are many guys I talk to that would cringe if their wife started looking at their emails, or text messages. Lets say your wife needed a phone number you call regularly, would you care If your wife would picked up your phone and flipped through your recent calls list? Is that an invasion of privacy?

Kate and I work hard to not have any secrets between us. We both have individual email accounts but we both regularly go into each others, not for snooping, not for checking, but just as a matter of course. (i.e Kate checked the time of an event that was in an email someone had sent to my email.)

If you are having the thoughts of “that’s an invasion of privacy” or “I need my space” then I would challenge you to talk a long hard look at those thoughts. Why do you need that privacy? Why do you need space? I think many guys were conditioned to seek this privacy when they were teens, wanted to hide things from their parents. Teen boys regularly keep behaviors, thoughts, and feelings away from their parents as they transition from being completely dependent on mom and dad to being completely independent. This is a natural transition. But guys . . . we are supposed to be working on making the opposite transition with our wives. We are to leave our father and mother and becoming one flesh with our wife! The secrets we trained ourselves to keep from our mothers are simply dividing us from a connection with our wife.

I know that this is going to spark some disagreements, and I encourage you to leave a comment. I would love to know if you agree or disagree and why! I’m looking forward to a good debate in the comments!

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27 Responses to Secrets, Privacy & One Flesh Marriage

  1. I’m one of those men..& I think perhaps you give us a bad rap by grouping us all together & by suggesting that the importance of privacy is a man thing. There are women who like their privacy too & it’s not about keeping secrets with all of us. I’m a private person by nature and I don’t see anything in Scripture that suggest this is wrong. There is nothing I have that my Wife can’t be privy to but because of my preferences I prefer she ask rather than take the liberty to do so on her own. Same for my kids. & With me explaining & demonstrating this to my family it is then them that are in the wrong if & when they do & not myself. & So again I agree with your over all point, but not with the grouping together of us all or our reasons.

    • Wmaurice,
      Thank you for he ing us get this discussion started. I will agree with you that privacy and secrecy are not simply a man’s issue, however it is my goal here to challenge husbands. I also agree that privacy and boundaries are very important with children! We are not one flesh with our kids.
      You say you are private by nature, which is fine and I won’t challenge at all with the exception with the relationship with your wife. That is to be the one relationship that is different. I don’t see anywhere in scripture that supports keeping things from your wife. A good example of this is the Proverbs 31 husband and wife who clearly share information about things that traditionally would have been “man’s domain” finances for example.

      I would challenge you to ask your wife honestly about this. Does she feel that you keep secrets from her, or does she honestly feel she has liberty to see anything if she asks permission. I would also be curious to know from both of you what consequence this privacy has had on your journey to become one flesh.

      I really appreciate your willingness to share your points of view!
      God Bless,
      Brad

  2. My husband and I have both always had full access to everything – email, texts, phone calls, etc. with no problems. We both feel that it is simply a part of marriage to share this information. We firmly believe in *not* keeping secrets from each other.

    If you can share a home, a bed, a LIFE with someone, you certainly don’t need the “privacy” that the previous poster mentioned. Everyone needs their own space, but having full access to all of the areas that Brad mentioned is of critical importance to a marriage.

    I’d be very, very leery of the spouse who wanted me to ask permission first or who wouldn’t freely and openly share information.

    • Amy, thanks for weighing in. I’m curious if your husband has ever felt these things were invasions of privacy or not. And how you came to this place of great openness. Obviously, I agree with you but I think the challenge lies in how you get there.

  3. hahaha I”m sure every time my husband looks for something in my gmail account his response is “Good grief, there are 5,000 messages in every folder!” And every time I look for something in his, I think, “Oh what a beautifully sparse inbox!” We keep no secrets, but I also think it would be polite to ask instead of just going into eachother’s emails. That seems weird and untrusting. He might not want me giving him grief  over how much he spends on sports supplements or the surprise he was getting me from amazon. So I still believe in respecting each other’s space.

    • Gina,
      Thanks for weighing in! I’m going to agree with you, and I worked hard to try to focus on the WHY and not address the HOW. I’m hopeful Kate might tackle that difficult question in her reply. But what I really wanted to challenge was question why guys feel they need to keep things like email, or phone numbers as private. My real fear is that the separation that occurs can easily bleed into other areas, first it is keeping a present secret (which is fine), then it is keeping a communication secret, then it is just easier not to tell her something happened, or a bill was late, or whatnot. The secrets just seem to multiply once they start.

      Thanks for your comment Gina!
      God Bless,
      Brad

      [image: DISQUS]

  4. Ah – very timely post!  We’ve had a ‘death’ in the family last evening.  My husband’s computer just died.  Dead.  Hard disc failure.  For those of us whose life is lived on the computer, you can understand the anguish!

    Robert used my laptop last evening and this morning, recreating a powerpoint presentation – he’s speaking tonight in front of 60+ people.  (yes-it’s pretty intense around here this morning)

    (I’m getting to the point…) 

    As he finished with my computer this morning, he expessed his sincere thanks that I so willingly gave up the privacy of my laptop to him. 

    Hmmm.  Interesting.  I didn’t consider that my laptop was private!  It didn’t occur to me to think of it that way…  Is it a guy/gal thing? 

    We’ve always left our computer screens up and open – emails, etc.  I know all his passwords and he knows mine.  If he’s out and I’m at home he’ll often call and have me go on his laptop to look up details in emails, etc. 

    This post will be a great source of conversation us!  (we love discussing and talking about stuff like this).  Of course, I’ll wait till the drama of the death is less immediate…

    • Hi Lori! Thanks for sharing! We too have expereinced a recent ‘death’ of one of our computers. It is not fun! I am not sure if it is a guy/girl thing. I think that we all come from different families of origin and with different definitions of privacy. I also know that many times we just do things the way we think is best without communicating about them. I hope that these posts will encourage more talking on the subject. Hope your computer situation is better soon. Blessings to you and your hubby!

      Please go and check out Lori’s amazing marriage blog!
      http://encourageyourspouse.com/

  5. I totally agree in the case of email/phone (we’re an “ask first, even though you know I’ll say yes” couple) but i’m wondering about journals and blogs?

     I am working towards healing on a number of past issues and for me, journaling helps a lot. My favorite way is via a blog. I usually don’t make them private since no one I know will find it (probably) and the odd weigh-in from a stranger can be very helpful at times. My husband doesn’t complain, but I can tell he is a bit sore that total strangers are able to read it and he can’t. I thought I was doing him a favor by saying “it’s out there, but I’d prefer it stay my space” but now I wonder if I shouldn’t have told him at all. But THAT feels more dishonest to me than asking for that space.To clarify, it isn’t a “nag on my husband” blog (though the odd post does vent my frustrations before we have a rational conversation.) I suppose the advice I’ll get is to think about WHY I want this private from him, and that’s pretty simple. He tries to solve everything. He doesn’t understand the need to just vent and rant and let go, to say things I’d regret freely to noone and look at them later and think- wow, i felt that? I can now dissect it logically and figure out why, then solve the issue. If I talked to him for 45 min about how frustrated I am with *insert neurosis* I think it would strain our marriage, and having a journal gives me that outlet. 

    • Hi Bonnie! Thanks for writing and sharing your thoughts. Hmmm . . . to be honest, I can see why your hubby is a bit sore about your blogging. Well not the blogging so much as the not keeping it private. If writing in a blog format truly helps you then go for it, but allowing that info to be “out” there for others to read, even if they are just strangers, would make me uncomfortable as well. This is Kate by the way. I think our hubby’s need to feel loved by respect. The fact that you may be sharing intimate (not sex related) details about him and your marriage, feels disresectful. You could just as easily write in a journal. I would encourage you to talk with your hubby about this topic. And if he truly has a problem with it, I would encourage you to shut down your blog. You will have to find another outlet for your writing. I think you will be able to, but you really don’t want to do anything that will make your hubby feel unloved in the way of respect.

      I hear you that it is good to vent! Don’t we all know that! 🙂 And it is wise to vent to others here and there, but really your hubby should be the one you talk to, perhaps after you write in a journal. Then you can talk to him about the highlights and not every little detail. Personally for me, Brad is my sounding board and I do not know what I would do without him. He lets me vent and talk to him about everything. I love that. Just some things to ponder and think about.

      I also hear you that you want to keep it private because he tries to solve everything! Many men do this. But again, if you communicate with him that you would just like to talk and that you are not looking for a solution, he may suprise you and just listen. Remember too that our hubby’s wanting to solve everything comes from a good place in them. If we are having problems, they want to help make those problems go away. It is not always because they don’t want to listen to us!

      Talking and communication is complicated, but if you work hard together, I think you will find that your hubby will be the one you most want to share the details of your life and day with! Give him a try!

      Thanks again for your thoughts! Blessings to you and your hubby! Kate

  6. My husband and I share everything, and this blog entry has got me thinking about how we started doing that in the first place.

    We married when I was 19 and he was 26 and at the time we were running a youth ministry through our church. We were also starting to enter into the world of social media as this was helpful in keeping in contact with some of the kids. So I think at first it was just a safety thing, we wanted everything to be above board with the kids etc so we had a joint email account. My husband and I have also just tended to use the same password for anything we have started since we’ve been together, simply to make our lives a little easier. I think we always had an understanding of the dangers of social media, email and texting and we have always wanted to live above reproach in that way…so we have always tended to OFFER access into each others worlds as an act of showing our one-flesh intentions. And as far as surprises go we tend to say something like “I have just organized a surprise for you, so don’t read any of my texts from (name)” or “I have just bought something online so don’t go into our paypal account for 3 days”

    So I think we started sharing things out of some practical reasons but it has become a great part of our lifestyle now 6 years down the track. If and when temptations arise, we know there aren’t pre-established places to  keep things that could hinder our marriage.

  7. My husband and I share everything, and this blog entry has got me thinking about how we started doing that in the first place.

    We married when I was 19 and he was 26 and at the time we were running a youth ministry through our church. We were also starting to enter into the world of social media as this was helpful in keeping in contact with some of the kids. So I think at first it was just a safety thing, we wanted everything to be above board with the kids etc so we had a joint email account. My husband and I have also just tended to use the same password for anything we have started since we’ve been together, simply to make our lives a little easier. I think we always had an understanding of the dangers of social media, email and texting and we have always wanted to live above reproach in that way…so we have always tended to OFFER access into each others worlds as an act of showing our one-flesh intentions. And as far as surprises go we tend to say something like “I have just organized a surprise for you, so don’t read any of my texts from (name)” or “I have just bought something online so don’t go into our paypal account for 3 days”

    So I think we started sharing things out of some practical reasons but it has become a great part of our lifestyle now 6 years down the track. If and when temptations arise, we know there aren’t pre-established places to  keep things that could hinder our marriage.

  8. My wife does not like when I try to fix her and I hate to admit it but it feels uncomfortable for her to try and fix me. It helps to have that open communication where talking out loud makes things seam dramatically clearer and a bit simpler. To express what I am going through with the exceptance of my wife. (not exceptance of the sin but that it’s ok and good that I am struggling and not ignoring it) that helps me to get through what I am going through. And I know that when I give her the same love and respect and treat her like she is a human being being transformed into the likeness of Jesus. And not as some one who is perfect and then has failed. Then I can start to be an anchor in the storm.
    P.S. It’s easier said than done. God help me to humble my heart. And see myself and my wife through your eyes.

  9. I understand the article and understand the hiding/secret part. But I don’t think they should be used with the same meaning as privacy.
    My husbands friends wife goes through her husbands emails. She will even respond to them. Now his friends will not include him in group emails of their men’s group because they share private struggles in their lives. If you allow your spouse to read your emails and texts you need to let the sender know. That’s what privacy is. A two way street. Sending a personal email or text does not give the recipient the right to share the contents to whomever they please, one flesh or not. Not telling me about his friends fears of getting a vasectomy or how much he can’t take his babies crying all night is t keeping secrets from me, it is respecting the privacy of his friend.
    I have all my husbands passwords but would never read his emails or texts without asking. It is respect for the other person. Plus, if I am acting terrible and he needs to vent or ask advice to a friend about what to do and I read what he wrote I would be crushed. I should not be privy to every private thought of his. I don’t want to! Nor do I want him to know every thought I have had about him when he had forgotten to do something for the tenth time. I think sharing everything just because your married is going overboard. Plus your friends would be very hurt to know that your spouse is reading their private thoughts to you.
    I know this wasn’t the full intent of this article but you should touch on this subject some.

    • Heather,
      Thank you for your comment. As a husband I can see both side of this. I agree that not everything needs to be shared, however on the other hand I don’t think that husband and wife should have any secrets. Asking your husband’s friend not to tell his wife something is problematic. However, asking her to hold that information in the same confidence that he should be holding it is essential. I’m torn a bit on this one, because I really feel that I should be able to share everything with my wife, but just because I can doesn’t mean that I am automatically going to run and tell a pray request that another guy told me. I really think the discomfort here is that this woman doesn’t appear to hold the information in confidence. That is possibly the main issue. My guess would be you knew about some of the pray requests too (maybe those were even real examples) but because you handled the information differently it wasn’t a big deal.

      Something to continue to think about. Thank you for your comment!

  10. I think that the prevalence of social media complicates this because many friendships are conducted somewhat through this. Private emails between friends (of the same sex) should, I believe be treated like visiting at a coffee shop. You’re husband/wife should know where you are and when (passwords shared) but the understanding should be that it is okay to have private times and safe places to share frustrations, fears, challenges if that be the case. Most people wouldn’t want their spouse sitting in on every conversation over tea, and neither would that friend. Those allowances are healthy I think. But the need for complete knowledge or fear based demands for privacy should be taken seriously as they are signs of mistrust. Knowing your spouse has your password should ideally feel the same as his knowing where and with whom you are having lunch. You should feel safe that he wouldn’t show up unannounced and listen in your conversation without your knowing the same way he should ask out of respect to check something in your email.

    • Abbey,
      I agree with you and I think it is for each couple to work out the difference between privacy / intrusiveness and openness and secrets. There should be a line that every couple has that the person says, “oh I need to make sure to tell my spouse about ____”. Maybe it was just a “I ran into so and so at the coffee shop” or something but it important to have that line…

  11. Things my husband wouldn’t tell me: 1. where all the bank accounts were 2. where his will was 3.where his multiple safety deposit boxes were 4. purchase of a truck 5. purchase of 30 model airplanes, which he never built 6. wouldn’t say goodbye to me or children when he went to his mother’s home every weekend for 30 years. 7. about a letter from boss with allegations of sexual inappropriatness with students. 8. kept a room locked in the basement. I had enough. I left after 30 years. If he doesn’t want to be in a partnership, let him live on his own.

    • Mavis,
      I agree those are concerning secrets to have in any marriage. I have to imagine that level of secrecy grew over time. I’m guessing he didn’t come home from the honeymoon and go into his locked basement. Unfortunately secrets can be a side effect of issues with in a marriage, not the cause. I’m not minimizing your experience, or saying this is appropriate, only encouraging you that the issues are probably deeper and need significant help to root out. I encourage you to find a Christian counselor or pastor who you can talk to!

  12. Hello Brad and Kate,

    I have never replied in any of these sites before, but I am giving it a go. I hope I am replying in the context of your article. Anyway, I have been married for almost 30 years now. I love my husband so much. I think the world of him. He is, was, and will be the only man in my life. Well, I was 17 years old when I gave myself up to him. He was 24. However, now, 30 years into the marriage, I feel used and dishonoured. Within 13 years into our marriage, in 1998, we accepted, Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. Then he confessed his affairs to me. One of our HH leaders, in 2006, once advised my husband that he should not have had confessed his affairs to me because it will linger on. Well, of course it will. I am not a robot that have no feelings! I am human! The wound is deep. I know Jesus’ wounds are deeper, but hey.. I do try my best to be like Jesus, but I am not perfect like HIM. However, having said that. I on the other hand, had personal loans amounting to $30,000 which my husband says to this day is $60,000. I used the money to pay off store cards that I used to buy clothes, food, and some niceties for the kids as they were growing up like Playstations, Barbie dolls, Legos, when I could have had bought those cheap blocks or dolls and video games, I suppose, from WalMart or Woolies, or at the Reject shop. I had never used an iota of those credit cards to cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, affairs, etc. I don’t smoke or drink. However, he states that the gravity of the affairs is just the same as the gravity of the dollars. I know we both kept secrets, I kept mine for only 2 years, his was 13 years. That was not the end of it, I found out after a year, in 1999, that he had a private yahoo email that he was keeping for 6 months. I asked him what his password was, I sensed that he was very uncomfortable with my asking and he was giving me a wrong password. When I asked again, he still gave me a wrong one. The third time I asked, he gave me the correct password. I then asked if it was alright to go into his email. He said it was ok, but I sensed some discomfort from him. So, I looked into his email, and I saw that he had deleted a lot of conversations he was having with his old friends in high school and at his past employment with his best workmate. They were also speaking in a dialect wherein I would not understand. However, there was a new email that came in in which he was not aware of, and the thread of the email was of my husband asking his old friends how his “crush” in High School is and how many children does she now have. I must let you know that these friends of his to whom he remains in close contact with to this very day remain best of best friends with his crush, to this very day, particularly the wife of the man. His friends made a comment in their email such as “Why? Does it still hurt?” My husband answers with, “Yes, it does still hurt?” Meaning it does still hurt that his crush in high school busted his offer of love to her, because at that time she already had a boyfriend. I gathered, my husband never pursued her after, though he wanted to, because it was his pride that took over. My husband is a prideful man. That response of my husband to his friends haunts me till this day. I would have felt honoured if he would have not asked of how many children she already had. Why? Did he wished they were his children with her instead? I would have felt honoured if he answered them with.. “No, It doesn’t hurt, because I am very much in love with my wife”. But NO! That response stabs me till this day. I sometimes question God, “Lord, have I given my life and my love to the right man?” This still creates an argument between us, because to this day, he continues to deny that I am not the one he really intended to marry. I believe I was a fluke. I was so naive, so ignorant, so innocent, I guess my Mom triggered his conscience before, when she commented, that my husband was “victimising” me, that he decided to marry me in church. I questioned him, “Why ask your friends how your crush is?” “Why such interest?” “Why go on to ask how many children she now has?” Then I go on to ask myself, “Why?” “Why can’t my husband just be open to me?” “What is it that he is hiding?” My husband says that he was just asking “innocently” how she is? I don’t think so. That was just a response he had to give me because he knew very well the reason why he asked. He even told me that he needed to have his own privacy too. That shocked me to the core. Is that how he sees marriage? We claim to be christians! But what is a christian marriage to him? One that keeps secrets?
    He also didn’t want me to go into his work email because he says it’s work email and “they” will find out. I, however, happen to have, per chance, been able to go into his work email, because he went into his work email through our computer at home and he forgot to log out in all the windows, that I was able to see his contacts. I was again stabbed to the heart, (virtually speaking), when I saw the work email of his high school crush in there. I asked him about it, and he continued to deny it. I copied paste it and emailed it to him, but he continued to deny it. He never wants me to go to his work email. He continues to deny that he accepts private emails in there, when he forwards private emails from his work email into our shared email, (go figure). Since social network came out, he is constantly on Facebook, first thing in the morning, and last thing at night. I honestly believe that he sends emails to these friends of his crush, about my insecurities and about our marriage woes, that is why he does not want me to go to his work email. It would be good if he was proud to put our photo together as his profile picture. But it seems that he is not proud of me as his wife. His crush seems to be prettier and “sexier”, I have grown heavier, though a lot younger. I have let myself go though the years, as I had my career and family to care for. My husband never thought of doing anything together with me on a constant basis.
    I must also add that my husband is an IT expert, so he knows the ins and outs of the net and knows how to hide things in the net. Many times, I want to give up, because many times I have caught my husband pretending not to be going to the net. I often question myself, “What have I done wrong?” My husband says, I don’t respect him. Whenever he says that, it depresses me, and makes me feel low, and puts my self-esteem down. Because God knows, I do try. I am not an extrovert as my husband. He loves mingling with other people, that at times, he forgets that I am with him. He says that my pouting is disrespecting him. He knew before he married me, that I pout a lot, that I frown a lot, sometimes, I am not aware I do it. He says I want to control him because I monitor his computer log ins, that I always want to be with him. My husband is also a basketball addict, he has been playing basketball almost three times to four times a week since we were married. It was only after his appendicectomy in 2011 that he reduced his playing basketball. I honestly and sincerely told him that I didn’t like the team he was with. I didn’t feel comfortable with them, because I do not trust them. I do not trust my husband any more. All I ask from him is that he regains my trust, but there does not seem to be any effort from him to regain my trust. Is it disrespecting him when I cannot trust him? Is it disrespecting him when I am writing these to you? Whenever, I needed reassurance from him, I ask him, if he loves me, he answers yes. He says that he is mine, and adds that he loves me the way a cat loves a fishbone. (?) But if he does love me, why this constant pursuit and constant close relationship with friends of his crush? My only strength now, as I grow older is that I will continue to hold on to God’s word that nothing is kept in the dark. That EVERYTHING WILL ALWAYS be revealed. I hope though that it would not be too late. No secrets are kept, because secrets kept are those which are often wanted to be kept in the dark. I will continue to serve the Lord through serving my husband and my children in the best way I can whether my husband sees it as serving or not, whether he sees it as respect or not.
    What am I doing wrong? What disrespectful actions am I doing wrong to my husband. Is replying to you, disrespecting him?
    My husband are growing apart, first with his basketball as his priority, then his friends, the now came Facebook.
    Kate and Brad, I am grateful to your article. I long to have a Christian marriage, but will I ever have one knowing that I do not own my husband’s heart.
    Knowing that secrets do ruin marriages especially with the advancement of social network and technology. I have since deactivated my Facebook account.
    Please pray for me to have strength.

    God Bless and more power to your ministry,
    Shezza

  13. Hello Brad and Kate,

    I have never replied in any of these sites before, but I am giving it a go. I hope I am replying in the context of your article. Anyway, I have been married for almost 30 years now. I love my husband so much. I think the world of him. He is, was, and will be the only man in my life. Well, I was 17 years old when I gave myself up to him. He was 24. However, now, 30 years into the marriage, I feel used and dishonoured. Within 13 years into our marriage, in 1998, we accepted, Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. Then he confessed his affairs to me. One of our HH leaders, in 2006, once advised my husband that he should not have had confessed his affairs to me because it will linger on. Well, of course it will. I am not a robot that have no feelings! I am human! The wound is deep. I know Jesus’ wounds are deeper, but hey.. I do try my best to be like Jesus, but I am not perfect like HIM. However, having said that. I on the other hand, had personal loans amounting to $30,000 which my husband says to this day is $60,000. I used the money to pay off store cards that I used to buy clothes, food, and some niceties for the kids as they were growing up like Playstations, Barbie dolls, Legos, when I could have had bought those cheap blocks or dolls and video games, I suppose, from WalMart or Woolies, or at the Reject shop. I had never used an iota of those credit cards to cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, affairs, etc. I don’t smoke or drink. However, he states that the gravity of the affairs is just the same as the gravity of the dollars. How is that? I know we both kept secrets, I kept mine for only 2 years, his was 13 years. That was not the end of it, I found out after a year, in 1999, that he had a private yahoo email that he was keeping for 6 months. I asked him what his password was, I sensed that he was very uncomfortable with my asking and he was giving me a wrong password. When I asked again, he still gave me a wrong one. The third time I asked, he gave me the correct password. I then asked if it was alright to go into his email. He said it was ok, but I sensed some discomfort from him. So, I looked into his email, and I saw that he had deleted a lot of conversations he was having with his old friends in high school and at his past employment with his best workmate. They were also speaking in a dialect wherein I would not understand. However, there was a new email that came in in which he was not aware of, and the thread of the email was of my husband asking his old friends how his “crush” in High School is and how many children does she now have. I must let you know that these friends of his to whom he remains in close contact with to this very day remain best of best friends with his crush, to this very day, particularly the wife of the man. His friends made a comment in their email such as “Why? Does it still hurt?” My husband answers with, “Yes, it does still hurt?” Meaning it does still hurt that his crush in high school busted his offer of love to her, because at that time she already had a boyfriend. I gathered, my husband never pursued her after, though he wanted to, because it was his pride that took over. My husband is a prideful man. That response of my husband to his friends haunts me till this day. I would have felt honoured if he would have not asked of how many children she already had. Why? Did he wished they were his children with her instead? I would have felt honoured if he answered them with.. “No, It doesn’t hurt, because I am very much in love with my wife”. But NO! That response stabs me till this day. I sometimes question God, “Lord, have I given my life and my love to the right man?” This still creates an argument between us, because to this day, he continues to deny that I am not the one he really intended to marry. I believe I was a fluke. I was so naive, so ignorant, so innocent, I guess my Mom triggered his conscience before, when she commented, that my husband was “victimising” me, that he decided to marry me in church. I questioned him, “Why ask your friends how your crush is?” “Why such interest?” “Why go on to ask how many children she now has?” Then I go on to ask myself, “Why?” “Why can’t my husband just be open to me?” “What is it that he is hiding?” My husband says that he was just asking “innocently” how she is? I don’t think so. That was just a response he had to give me because he knew very well the reason why he asked. He even told me that he needed to have his own privacy too. That shocked me to the core. Is that how he sees marriage? We claim to be christians! But what is a christian marriage to him? One that keeps secrets?
    He also didn’t want me to go into his work email because he says it’s work email and “they” will find out. I, however, happen to have, per chance, been able to go into his work email, because he went into his work email through our computer at home and he forgot to log out in all the windows, that I was able to see his contacts. I was again stabbed to the heart, (virtually speaking), when I saw the work email of his high school crush in there. I asked him about it, and he continued to deny it. I copied paste it and emailed it to him, but he continued to deny it. He never wants me to go to his work email. He continues to deny that he accepts private emails in there, when he forwards private emails from his work email into our shared email, (go figure). Since social network came out, he is constantly on Facebook, first thing in the morning, and last thing at night. I honestly believe that he sends emails to these friends of his crush, about my insecurities and about our marriage woes, that is why he does not want me to go to his work email. It would be good if he was proud to put our photo together as his profile picture. But it seems that he is not proud of me as his wife. His crush seems to be prettier and “sexier”, I have grown heavier, though a lot younger. I have let myself go though the years, as I had my career and family to care for. My husband never thought of doing anything together with me on a constant basis.
    I must also add that my husband is an IT expert, so he knows the ins and outs of the net and knows how to hide things in the net. Many times, I want to give up, because many times I have caught my husband pretending not to be going to the net. I often question myself, “What have I done wrong?” My husband says, I don’t respect him. Whenever he says that, it depresses me, and makes me feel low, and puts my self-esteem down. Because God knows, I do try. I am not an extrovert as my husband. He loves mingling with other people, that at times, he forgets that I am with him. He says that my pouting is disrespecting him. He knew before he married me, that I pout a lot, that I frown a lot, sometimes, I am not aware I do it. He says I want to control him because I monitor his computer log ins, that I always want to be with him. My husband is also a basketball addict, he has been playing basketball almost three times to four times a week since we were married. It was only after his appendicectomy in 2011 that he reduced his playing basketball. I honestly and sincerely told him that I didn’t like the team he was with. I didn’t feel comfortable with them, because I do not trust them. I do not trust my husband any more. All I ask from him is that he regains my trust, but there does not seem to be any effort from him to regain my trust. Is it disrespecting him when I cannot trust him? Is it disrespecting him when I am writing these to you? Whenever, I needed reassurance from him, I ask him, if he loves me, he answers yes. He says that he is mine, and adds that he loves me the way a cat loves a fishbone. (?) But if he does love me, why this constant pursuit and constant close relationship with friends of his crush? My only strength now, as I grow older is that I will continue to hold on to God’s word that nothing is kept in the dark. That EVERYTHING WILL ALWAYS be revealed. I hope though that it would not be too late. No secrets are kept, because secrets kept are those which are often wanted to be kept in the dark. I will continue to serve the Lord through serving my husband and my children in the best way I can whether my husband sees it as serving or not, whether he sees it as respect or not.
    What am I doing wrong? What disrespectful actions am I doing wrong to my husband. Is replying to you, disrespecting him?
    My husband are growing apart, first with his basketball as his priority, then his friends, the now came Facebook.
    Kate and Brad, I am grateful to your article. I long to have a Christian marriage, but will I ever have one knowing that I do not own my husband’s heart.
    Knowing that secrets do ruin marriages especially with the advancement of social network and technology. I have since deactivated my Facebook account.
    Please pray for me to have strength.

    God Bless and more power to your ministry,
    Shezza

    • Shezza, my heart hurts for you and I have been where you are. I know it’s almost been a year since your post, but I felt compelled to reach out. Regarding what is disrespect, I highly recommend spending some time at this website… http://Www.peacefulwife.com It has blessed and changed my life for the better!!

  14. My wife is a clinical psychologist and she will be able to answer theis matter properly from a psychological perspective. But I answered your question why I would have secrets for my wife, to myself and realised it would be better for me not to be married. The mere thought of being completely one with not just my wife but any other women should we get divorced scares the hell out of me. Why would any person want to be so funeralble to any other human being? That is just insane and opens you up to hurt, hurt and more hurt, being jumped on, screwed over and abused emotionally. I therefore prefer my “own life” and from your article it is clear that this desire is a wrong one to have when you are married. I will arrange some sessions with a therapist…Clearly I have issues. 🙂