Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Having an Affair With Privacy

This guest post is in response to yesterday’s article: Man Sued For Reading Wife’s E-mail (How Much Privacy Should You Expect In A Marriage? )
by Reginald Williams

I recently received a call from *Chris Leake because he was experiencing a challenging issue with his wife. As we exchanged pleasantries there was a calm in Chris’ voice, but it appeared to be wilting under the duress of his puzzlement; reminiscent of ice melting in hot water.

Upon being introduced to Chris’ vantage point of the dilemma, it was clear that the problem wasn’t what he perceived, but that which he had created. His wife asked for some account information, but he chose the cloak of privacy and that ignited their disparity.

For me, one of the joys of reading God’s Word is the bible is an open book exposing all its grandeur as well as its guilefulness. God chooses to share with us the adulterous transgressions of King David; doesn’t edit the contraventions of Eli the priest nor does God hide the self-righteous indignant behavior of the religious scholars.

God does not believe in the ‘Privacy Act,’ nor should we.

Unfortunately too often we as husbands guard our privacy with the fervor of the CIA. Here’s some BREAKING NEWS: a marriage that has privacy issues as an ingredient will surly mature into a recipe for disaster. Privacy includes, but not limited to, shielded friends, secret Facebook accounts, hidden passwords or bank accounts.

As husbands we must cease the insolence behavior of believing that we can stand on our personal pulpit and preach that sermon entitled “My business is my business.” Your business ain’t your business, but y’alls business. You wouldn’t sign a 30 year mortgage with a broker you believed harbored secrets about the home you were contemplating purchasing nor would you enter into a business “relationship” with a partner whom fails to provide you with ALL the information you need or believe you needed to render a wise and prudent business decision. So why would you put your wife in a position that you would not agree to place yourself in?

When the harvest of privacy rises to the surface and it ALWAYS does, it’s like discovering a crack in the foundation of your expensive home and that’s never good. The crack in your home or the crack in trust devalues the value of both the home and your covenant.

Chris (a student who participated in a relationship workshop that I facilitated) wasn’t necessarily being secretive as much as he was being cautious – that’s understandable. However where he erred was in choosing against sharing with his wife, prior to their conflict, why there was a need to be guarded. Sharing his concerns – which were legitimate concerns – freely and openly, would have reduced if not eliminated the stress created that morning.

Truth, trust, honor, honesty; being a man of your word and expecting and demanding that someone trust and honor you can’t occur when you are having an affair with privacy.

*Name changed to protect Chris’ true identity.
Reginald Williams, an Award-winning journalist and Certified Relationship Coach, is the co-founder of Marriage Nectar, a marriage and relationship enrichment company and the author of the blog You can follow Reggie on Twitter at or contact him at

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