I was just on the Facebook posting pictures and tagging people in pictures, and I was thinking about how my brother-in-law and his wife (not the ones who just got married, but the other ones) share a Facebook account under his name, and how if I wanted to tag her in photo and have her know that she’s been tagged in a photo, I would have to tag her as her husband instead of her, which is kind of weird.  And that reminded me that I’ve been wondering for some time why exactly someone would want to share a Facebook account with her or his spouse when it’s just as easy to have one of your own.  But then, I’m the kind of person who thinks it’s more convenient for spouses to have their own e-mails, so what do I know?

I actually think I know why people do this.  I mean, I assume it’s for the purposes of full disclosure, so you know what each other is doing online in the old social networking sense.  I can’t think of any other reason, unless you are extremely, wildly lazy–or alternatively, just not really interested in Facebook.  Either of those latter two reasons would make sense when someone is just piggybacking on a spouse’s account, but it doesn’t explain why married couples set up a joint account as John Jane Smith Johnson or John Smith Jane Johnson or some similarly awkward moniker.  Theoretically John and Jane could have separate accounts but just share passwords so there are no dirty Facebook secrets, but then that feels more like spying on each other, rather than just having it all out there in the open.  I guess that makes sense.  It’s just not how my spouse and I roll.

My husband and I not only have separate Facebook accounts and separate e-mail accounts, but we don’t even know each other’s passwords.  If my husband asked for my password, I’d probably give it to him.  Well, no, maybe I wouldn’t, because when I’ve accidentally kept myself signed in on the computer, he’s done grossly unfair things with my status updates, so giving him my password is just asking for more of the same.  Actually, I think I’ve had him check my e-mail for me and given him my password, but he never remembers stuff like that, and actually I think he doesn’t want to remember.  I mean, certainly he doesn’t want to be bothered with remembering, but aside from that, I think he doesn’t care to know in the first place.  It’s not because we trust each other (although I think we do–except when it comes to Facebook status updates, in which case we definitely don’t), but because we like to give each other space.  Or rather, we each like to have our space and therefore allow the other their space.  Even online, where all sorts of nefarious ne’er-do-welling takes place and destroys marriages (or so I hear).

I know there are some people who think it’s quite dangerous for married couples not to have this full disclosure and full access to each other’s online business.  I just haven’t given it that much thought beyond the fact that my husband isn’t remotely interested in most of what I do online.  He reads my blog(s), but he doesn’t know the password(s) for my blog account(s), and if he suddenly wanted to have that kind of access, I would be kind of creeped out, frankly.  If he wanted access to my e-mail, I would be creeped out.  I reckon most spouses who share e-mail accounts don’t actually read each other’s e-mail but only read what they assume is intended for them, but the idea behind sharing your e-mail account is that theoretically you could read each other’s e-mail, so if one of you is getting e-mail from an ex-lover or something, at least the other is aware of it.  But that brings me back to the fact that if you were inclined to carry on with an ex-lover or the Mafia or whatever, you would do that secretly anyway, not with your joint e-mail and/or Facebook account.  So yeah, I’m back to not getting it.

I guess my problem is that I’m insecure.  I’m extremely fond of my privacy.  Not sneaky, destructive privacy like having affairs or doing drugs, but you know, just ordinary-I’m-not-inclined-to-share-this-with-you-at-this-particular-moment privacy.  For example, if I’m planning your surprise birthday party.  Huh?  How’s that for a benign secret?  But that’s not really what I’m talking about.  When I’m writing a blog or a story or whatever, I like it to be private until I decide I am ready to share it.  Just like I don’t want my spouse to read my thoughts, I don’t want him to read my blog posts or even my e-mail until I decide it is okay for him to read it.  I like to think that there’s a sphere where I can be alone and have private conversations, but even as I type this, I think that sounds suspicious.  “Private conversations”–what does that really mean, Madhousewife?  What sort of “conversations” do you need to keep “private” from your husband?  Well, nothing that interesting, I assure you, so maybe I’m just a naturally closed-off and paranoid individual.  But I think it’s more that I’m persnickety about maintaining an independent identity.

Technically, I’m not an independent person.  I’m a very dependent person.  I’m dependent on my husband financially to an extent that probably ought to scare me (but doesn’t, for some reason).  And here we are, living in the same house and sleeping in the same bed, and he knows when I’m in a bad mood and the vagaries of my menstrual cycle and all this other information that he probably doesn’t even want to have, but there it is because we are married and we share a life.  But I want my space.  I not only want time to myself, but I want a place to think my own thoughts and have my own relationships and yes, have “private conversations” about banal things that aren’t of any concern to my husband and wouldn’t harm him in any way if he knew about them but he doesn’t need to know about them, and so I don’t share them.

The funny thing is that I started out thinking that spouses who share everything are weird, but the more I talk about it, the more weird I sound.  And actually I don’t think of these sharing-everything people as “weird”; it’s just not my thing, sharing everything, so I can’t relate to the experience of desiring that, let alone doing it.  And I actually think I am probably the weird one.  You’re worried about my marriage now, aren’t you?  Well, don’t.  Everything’s fine.

And even if it wasn’t, I wouldn’t tell you.  Well, no, I probably would, but I haven’t, so there it is.  It’s fine.

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