My Password is your Password // Spouses Weigh in on the Rules of Privacy in the Computer Age

I’m not going to name names, because I am not the kind of person who names names, so I’ll just say that someone who is married to me finds it excessively amusing when the following sort of thing happens in my family group:

Dina: I am so lucky to have my husband as a husband. And I feel like this is something that you all deserve to know.

Malky: Dina, we are so happy for you!

Menucha: Nice try, Dan.

See, the person who is not going to be named here at all but whose name rhymes with ban and starts with a D and is married to me is a big believer in natural consequences. If I leave the family group chat open, then I must be prepared to face the natural consequences.

The natural consequences vary, but they do share a very consistent theme.

Dina: I feel so bad for anyone who is not me. Because I am the only person privileged enough to be married to my husband.

Yaffa: Dina, this is getting excessive.

Dina: I CAN NEVER SAY TOO MANY TIMES HOW LUCKY I AM. If I wasn’t me, I would be jealous of myself.

Dina: I take back everything I have ever said about cigars. They are wonderful. My favorite thing is cigar smoke in the face and my second-best thing is when the house smells of cigar and my third best thing is when everything smells of cigar even after washing everything. Surrounded by cigar smoke is the only time that I am truly happy.


Given the sheer amount of times I have been falsely represented by the person I trust most in this world, this might sound unlikely, but I’ve never given the idea of password privacy any real thought. I think this is a result of two factors: 1. I think my husband is funny, and 2. I tend to forget my passwords, which, if you’re not careful, can quickly catapult you into the potentially never-ending spiral of death known as Guess-That-Password.

I do keep my computer locked, and my husband does not have the password, because he has shown himself time and time again not to be worthy of it. Kidding: Keeping the password from him is as per his request; while I need the computer for work, he would rather only use it when necessary. (Or for sending embarrassing messages to my family group under my name. Which he deems necessary.) But other than my computer code, I save all of the other passwords, so that my email, for example, opens automatically when I click on it. This is a good solution for everyone involved.

However, for people who are less password-ly challenged than I am, in this digital age in which we find ourselves, a new and valid question poses itself.

Spouses share everything from bank accounts to personal fears and insecurities. It might sound a little shallow, or silly, or personally jarring, but for many people, a great deal of their lives are online; from their emails to their banking, to their work space, and for some, their social lives. Is sharing passwords, therefore, to our email and other accounts, the next logical step in a marriage, which, after all, relies heavily on sharing? Are the passwords to our email and various other accounts part of that sharing?

For some, sharing passwords seems like a no-brainer. Spouses share everything else, so what’s the problem with sharing our passwords. They also feel that transparency builds trust, which spills over into the digital world as well.

But for others, just because it’s common and can help build trust, blah blah, blah, sharing passwords is not necessarily something they want to do, or even think of as a good idea. What of boundaries, which are necessary in any relationship?

The question still stands. Must one—or should one—share their passwords with their spouse? Why, or why not?

I posed this question, as I always do, to unsuspecting innocent people who make the mistake of keeping me in their circle of peers.

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