Some issues remain ever-valid. So far we’ve got society and a premium continues to be placed on happy, longlasting marriages, then you can always expect that the conversation on what it takes to make a marriage work for long will never cease being part of our relationship talk repertoire.
Cheating and all of its attendant angles and dimensions will always be spoken about, too. Because, hey, when have people never cheated?
And as it is, the age of technology and social media has contributed its own quota to the list of things we may always have to talk about.
Access to one’s partner’s mobile devices and other private gadgets – a right or privilege?
So, to quickly make one thing clear, there is a presumption here that your partner should have some form of access to your device[s].
The question now is how far is that access to be taken? Is it obtained by right, the moment y’all became a couple, or is it something subject to being granted.
Is it something you can’t be denied of, or something that is freely given because the other person deems it the right thing to do?
To simplify the question further: should a man automatically get access to a woman’s devices when the relationship begins or does the woman retain the right to either give it or withhold it?
What privacy? I don’t remember that being part of the marriage deal. When I get up in the morning, my wife sees me in all my unadorned, pudgy gutted, hairy-legged, bad-breath surrounded glory.
If ever there were a time when she might wish that I would want privacy… that might be it. But the truth is marriage and privacy don’t really mix.
“When you choose to spend the rest of your life in emotionally and physically intimate contact with another person, transparency is simply part of what you bargain for.
“An invasion of my privacy? I don’t think so. It’s an invitation to intimacy.”
Some of the people I asked have similar opinions.
Joy says: “In marriage it should be automatic... in other forms it can be flexible. Marriage is no longer child's play and damage cannot be afforded.”
It’s a privilege, according to some others
Believers in this, such as Kemi, a Lagosian, say that you are not entitled to these things as a matter of right. It is meant to be granted.
“I feel everyone is entitled to a level of privacy even in relationships. Plus we all have some things in our lives which we'd prefer to leave unseen or unsaid, things we're not proud of and these gadgets sometimes happen to house those things so please do not touch my gadgets without my approval. Boundaries, please,” she says.
Adeola, engaged to be married, also tells me the same thing.
“With my own relationship, we are an open book - I check his phone when I please, and he can check mine. If there’s nothing to hide, I do not see the big deal in your partner having access to your digital footprints.”
But, according to her, the relationship is open because she and her partner both realise that that is the best way, not because it is an entitlement.
They both see it as a privilege, as opposed to regarding it as a right.