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Old 02-19-2012, 12:50 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Privacy and boundaries in relationships

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Highly personal topic. Me, my opinion is that the only appropriate privacy in a marriage is the privacy you have on a toilet. Everything else is fair game.
I really had to laugh at this comment ...in our world, I can honestly say ....this is the only thing my husband doesn't want to share with me, his moments wiping his ass....seriously.

Otherwise his world is mine, he offers it willingly, no question is off bounds.

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I used to think nothing of telling him what I was reading, it's no big deal. Until he started taking that information and using it against me. He has ridiculed me in front of other people (a fairly intellectual crowd) for reading a low-brow bestseller. During fights he has told me I'm "f'ed up" and neurotic from reading self-books. When I first joined Al-Anon I was immersing myself in program literature, and he commented derisively every few days to ask me if I was ever going to read anything different. So I just got to a point where I felt that I didn't want to give him any more weapons in my choice of reading material if it was something that would potentially get thrown in my face down the road.
I am THE 100% Tranparency woman on this forum- did a thread on it.... I understand it does not work for all (your situation is one reason it can NEVER work)

I want that in my marraige - I want that in a spouse , a willingness to allow me into his world in a trusting manner in all things, and I give from my end as well. We are both approachable, understanding, humble about our own faults & forgiving of each other - always ..... we wouldn't have it any other way, we are on the same page & it is 1 thing (among many) we LOVE about our marriage..

But in your situation....... it is very obvious from what you say here...your Boyfriend has derailed & twisted any hope for you to be more willingly open with him .....due to his belittling you at every turn, by taking your private moments and plastering them as weaknesses to others in your life, he might as well hold up a sign! ....

He has taken your interests to better yourself & threw them in your face - emotionally spitting on you -saying "look at you ...you are defective"... When accually he is the defective one for needing to belittle you like that !! This is so very obvious... he has issues.

He could be the poster boy for...."This is how to act if you want your significant other to become secretive and hide things from you !!"

I am with the others.... move along.

What is sad to me about this is...because of what HE has done to you & how it has made you feel, pushing up those boundaries even higher...... you may go on to meet a GOOD man who is capable of TRUST in all things, even allowing him access to what you read, how you think....that would never belittle you...but just sincerely wants to know & understand you better... but you will hesitate to allow him into your world.

That is the shame in all of this.

Anyone who belittles others when they are vulnerable - well - it speaks volumes about THEM ! That is the bottom line in these things...those are the types we need to PUSH out of our lives -if we are seeking a wholesome genuine "give & take" relationship based on mutual respect and love.
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Old 02-19-2012, 01:01 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Privacy and boundaries in relationships

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I really had to laugh at this comment ...in our world, I can honestly say ....this is the only thing my husband doesn't want to share with me, his moments wiping his ass....seriously.

Otherwise his world is mine, he offers it willingly, no question is off bounds.



I am THE 100% Tranparency woman on this forum- did a thread on it.... I understand it does not work for all (your situation is one reason it can NEVER work)

I want that in my marraige - I want that in a spouse , a willingness to allow me into his world in a trusting manner in all things, and I give from my end as well. We are both approachable, understanding, humble about our own faults & forgiving of each other - always ..... we wouldn't have it any other way, we are on the same page & it is 1 thing (among many) we LOVE about our marriage..

But in your situation....... it is very obvious from what you say here...your Boyfriend has derailed & twisted any hope for you to be more willingly open with him .....due to his belittling you at every turn, by taking your private moments and plastering them as weaknesses to others in your life, he might as well hold up a sign! ....

He has taken your interests to better yourself & threw them in your face - emotionally spitting on you -saying "look at you ...you are defective"... When accually he is the defective one for needing to belittle you like that !! This is so very obvious... he has issues.

He could be the poster boy for...."This is how to act if you want your significant other to become secretive and hide things from you !!"

I am with the others.... move along.

What is sad to me about this is...because of what HE has done to you & how it has made you feel, pushing up those boundaries even higher...... you may go on to meet a GOOD man who is capable of TRUST in all things, even allowing him access to what you read, how you think....that would never belittle you...but just sincerely wants to know & understand you better... but you will hesitate to allow him into your world.

That is the shame in all of this.

Anyone who belittles others when they are vulnerable - well - it speaks volumes about THEM ! That is the bottom line in these things...those are the types we need to PUSH out of our lives -if we are seeking a wholesome genuine "give & take" relationship based on mutual respect and love.
very well said, as usual.
at least in MOST cases
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:27 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Privacy and boundaries in relationships

TwoDogs, you will find that on this website most couples share EVERYTHING. Many members feel that if you do not have full disclosure, you must be doing something wrong.

My husband and I do not read each others mail or listen in on phone calls. He does not hover over me when I am on the computer, nor do I with him. I need a certain amount of privacy to feel comfortable.

I once dated this fool who kept badgering me about the number of men I slept with. The more I am pushed, the less open I become. I do not like to be forced to do anything, especially from men. "Why are you ashamed??!" I looked him in his eyes and said "There is no shame. It is just none of your damn business, so stop asking me!"
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:05 AM   #19 (permalink)
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My wife was the one early in the marriage who tended to be more inquisitive about the details of my day to day. Wanted to know who called, what was that letter about, and what is the book about that I'm reading. But we made a distinction of not talking about our right to privacy as much as making it a subject of granting trust. I told her that some of this made me feel that she doesn't trust me, and she learned to balance the level of questioning to keep it at a level where she is just interested in my life. It was a balance that worked for us.

I do think that whenever we focus more on ourself, and our right to privacy, instead of the importance of giving trust to each other, it can say alot about the health of the relationship. He made a big mistake when he used your openness to hurt you. It hurt the relationship. I really think that the focus should be on the ways that he has broken something that was working beautifully, from a relationship point of view, if that makes sense. He should work to get you to a place where you aren't threatened by his interest in you.
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:15 AM   #20 (permalink)
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My wife was the one early in the marriage who tended to be more inquisitive about the details of my day to day. Wanted to know who called, what was that letter about, and what is the book about that I'm reading. But we made a distinction of not talking about our right to privacy as much as making it a subject of granting trust. I told her that some of this made me feel that she doesn't trust me, and she learned to balance the level of questioning to keep it at a level where she is just interested in my life. It was a balance that worked for us.

I do think that whenever we focus more on ourself, and our right to privacy, instead of the importance of giving trust to each other, it can say alot about the health of the relationship. He made a big mistake when he used your openness to hurt you. It hurt the relationship. I really think that the focus should be on the ways that he has broken something that was working beautifully, from a relationship point of view, if that makes sense. He should work to get you to a place where you aren't threatened by his interest in you.
i agree there has to be trust in the relationship.
with that said i also believe things should be open for your partner.

when me and my exgf were together we were open about things.
i never did go through her things but it was comforting to know i was able to with no backlash if i wanted to.

im not sure if she went through mine or not but she was certainly allowed to if she wanted to.
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:19 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Okay, I kept reading because I knew someone was going to come along and completely minimize what your guy is doing, and the very LAST thing he is doing is showing any kind of "interest in you." That is a bunch of crock. The guy is an abuser, and you are being abused. Please read the link below. You will find him written on every line.

Romeo's Bleeding - When Mr. Right Turns Out To Be Mr. Wrong
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:28 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Okay, I kept reading because I knew someone was going to come along and completely minimize what your guy is doing, and the very LAST thing he is doing is showing any kind of "interest in you." That is a bunch of crock. The guy is an abuser, and you are being abused. Please read the link below. You will find him written on every line.

Romeo's Bleeding - When Mr. Right Turns Out To Be Mr. Wrong
i believe this to be true.
if used in the wrong way it is a terrible thing.
and he is doing that with you op.
i cant figure out why youre still there.
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:32 AM   #23 (permalink)
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i agree there has to be trust in the relationship.
with that said i also believe things should be open for your partner.

when me and my exgf were together we were open about things.
i never did go through her things but it was comforting to know i was able to with no backlash if i wanted to.

im not sure if she went through mine or not but she was certainly allowed to if she wanted to.
I do agree that there should be openness. Complete openness. I would think that most people discuss all but the fine points before choosing to marry, also. But there are usually underlying issues when privacy becomes a concern in small issues, like this. Instead of focusing on privacy, focus on what is hurting the relationship, keeping unity from thriving.
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:34 AM   #24 (permalink)
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I do agree that there should be openness. Complete openness. I would think that most people discuss all but the fine points before choosing to marry, also. But there are usually underlying issues when privacy becomes a concern in small issues, like this. Instead of focusing on privacy, focus on what is hurting the relationship, keeping unity from thriving.
true
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:45 AM   #25 (permalink)
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I’m just posting to get an idea of what is “normal” in relationships because I’m unsure of myself in this area. Sorry if this is long, I’m trying to give an accurate picture.

Background: SO and I have been in a relationship for a little over 3 years; we are in our late forties. We do not live together, nor do we have plans to do so in the foreseeable future. We both work, although he earns about half of what I do. In addition, he has had some periods of unemployment and underemployment in the past, plus overuse of credit (high debt), so he is in a position of just barely keeping his head above water financially. In contrast, I was raised to value avoiding debt, frugal spending, and an emphasis on saving so my financial situation at this stage of life is pretty good. However, my expenses are naturally higher than his – I own my home and he is a renter, so my regular housing costs are triple what his are, plus upkeep and maintenance. He doesn’t own a car (he has never been a licensed driver) and I do, so I have all the expense associated with that as well. Neither of us have children.

Most of our time together is spent at my house. We eat supper together most nights, and I bear most of the cost of that. He will occasionally chip in for groceries. I also drive him back and forth between his place and mine plus drive him to other places that he needs to go; he seldom gives me gas money. We generally trade off on paying when eating out, and we have each paid our own expenses when taking trips.

All along he has made little digs at me for being “cheap” and pinching pennies, which he has said were teasing/joking if I’ve commented in return. I definitely get the sense that there is some resentment toward me because I make and have more money, although he will acknowledge that his situation is the result of choices he has made in the past.

However, the comments have been getting a little more nasty and pointed recently. I happened to mention the interest rate on my line of credit (which I have NEVER used) was really low and not long afterward he mentioned that he wished someone would loan him the money at a lower rate of interest to pay off his credit card. I didn’t bite the hook; there’s a significant amount of money involved here, and I don’t think he’s a good risk for that sort of personal loan. Nor do I think that this sort of financial arrangement is a good idea in a romantic relationship. His brother ended up loaning him the money.

A while later he was facing some really steep dental bills and was venting to me at length about this. Again, I didn’t bite. This time he actually lost his temper and became quite angry at me, accusing me of not “helping” him and not being “supportive” by not offering to help pay his dental costs. I was appalled at his attitude, so then he back-pedalled a bit and said that he was only expecting me to make the offer and he would have refused anyway. But I got a creepy feeling in the pit of my stomach that he has a bit too much interest in my money.

More recently, he has been putting pressure on me to get cable for my TV. I don’t watch TV on my own and I think in 30 years of having my own household I’ve had cable for a total of 6 months (they had a deal on, lol) and got rid of it because I wasn’t using it. He wants me to get cable because he sometimes likes to have the TV on at my house, and the antenna reception is really lousy. I just keep telling him it’s a waste of money for me. The latest was a discussion about taking a trip to the UK and I basically shot down the idea because of the cost, knowing that he is still paying his brother for the loan and has the new dentist debt (but I didn’t say specifically that HE couldn’t afford it, just that the trip was too expensive). Then he said, "Well you could treat me..."

Now he’s kind of nattering at me about this daily, making remarks about such-and-such being “free, unlike cable and trips”, calling me (sarcastically) “indigent”, stuff like that. And it’s ticking me off, particularly considering I figure I already carry more than half of the relationship expenses. Nor do I like being pressured about how I manage my finances.

Am I being too tight-fisted? Is there really an expectation that the higher-earning partner carry the other one? Or is this guy trying to take advantage of a free ride?

If you've made it this far, thanks for reading! (I should mention that I may not respond to posts right away, as I will be in and out of here during the day.)

Why are you still with the guy? What is it that’s keeping you with him?


He wont ever change. Least not while you are with him. That’s guaranteed.

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My SO and I have quite different views on an individual's right to privacy within a relationship, and I know when I've read similar topics on here there have been diverging opinions.

Tonight he accused me of "withholding intimacy" because I asserted (what I believe to be) my right to my privacy. A few nights ago he had asked me what I was reading on my e-reader and I said it was a self-help book, without going into further detail -- it was a book about emotional unavailability. I avoided telling him specifically which book it was because in the past he has immediately personalized the subject ("Oh, so you think I'm emotionally unavailable??") and has also mocked me quite nastily for reading self-help books. I did explain this to him at the time and he denied ever doing it -- he says I must have misunderstood him. There have also been times that he has criticized the novels that he's seen me read, saying that they're "stupid". So I'm a bit wary of revealing my reading material!

Bottom line, unless I'm reading a manifesto on how to murder one's SO and escape undetected , I don't see why it matters what I'm reading. Normally he can just glance at the cover of the book and know the answer in a second; he doesn't have that advantage with the e-reader.

So tonight he started in on me about being secretive and said he had just been making conversation, whereas I was "rude and hostile" by refusing to anwer his question about the book I was reading. I explained that, in a general sense, people have the right to not provide information according to their own boundaries -- he seems to feel that posing the question obligates the other person to answer, that he is somehow entitled to have his curiosity satisfied. The same if he asks me "What are you thinking about?".

He got pissed off and walked out. Over this.

My question: how much privacy can an individual reasonably expect within a relationship?
Healthy relationships have no privacy because there are no secrets and they have no secrets because there is nothing to hide and no reason to hide it. You have a relationship that is very far from healthy. It will never change because your partner will never change no matter how much you moan and complain about him.
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Old 02-19-2012, 12:53 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Okay there is intimacy and there is intrusive, abusive behavior.

This guy falls in the latter category.

I stand corrected with the new info.
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Old 02-19-2012, 02:33 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Highly personal topic. Me, my opinion is that the only appropriate privacy in a marriage is the privacy you have on a toilet. Everything else is fair game.
Agreed. I have Very old school ideas about marriage. We're MARRIED not two single people that just happen to live under the same roof. All this new found privacy some married folks seem to need makes me wonder if they might not be better suited for an open marriage.
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:22 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Why are you still with the guy? What is it thatís keeping you with him?


He wont ever change. Least not while you are with him. Thatís guaranteed.
Good question! I can't put my finger on the answer because it seems to be multi-faceted.

Since that post about the money issues I've actually broken off the relationship twice but he keeps worming his way back in, mainly by contacting me to ask me to justify why I'm breaking up with him (this is where the "I'm a great guy!" schtick comes in). I know that part of it is the amount of time we've spent in each other's company, which leaves a huge gaping void when I dump him... I end up feeling vulnerable and allow myself to get sucked back in.

Oddly enough, he's been carrying his own weight financially much better since the first breakup. Which may be a result of the fact that he has stopped paying his brother back the money that he borrowed, since brother is going through some serious mental health issues and isn't in any shape to call him on it right now. (Yeah, nice guy, huh?)

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Healthy relationships have no privacy because there are no secrets and they have no secrets because there is nothing to hide and no reason to hide it. You have a relationship that is very far from healthy. It will never change because your partner will never change no matter how much you moan and complain about him.
I know this, I really do. I think what I needed was some reassurance that "it's not you, it's him" because he's been so damned skilful at convincing me "it's not him, it's me" all along.

River, I did read Romeo is Bleeding.... he's a Narcissistic Controller, to a T. With some passive-aggressive stuff thrown in there for a little variety.
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:32 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Instead of focusing on privacy, focus on what is hurting the relationship, keeping unity from thriving.

No offense intended... but no freakin way. Don't waste your time trying to figure out how to keep the unity thriving....

You aren't married, you don't live together, so BREAK UP. Period.

Disrespect is a DEAL BREAKER. It just shows how (for whatever reason) that person doesn't not connect, or truly understand real intimacy.

Kick him to the curb.

And it's not about him being too nosey. Its about him belittling you. There is no room in a normal, loving relationship for that. Ever.
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:56 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Disrespect is a DEAL BREAKER. ....
And it's not about him being too nosey. Its about him belittling you. There is no room in a normal, loving relationship for that. Ever.
I've actually told him versions of that at several points. He counters by sneering at my ideas of what is normal, tells me that it may be true for "perfect" people but "normal" people sometimes do behave like that, and calls me "overly sensitive". (The irony is that when he's having one of his emotional self-pity binges and I don't react the way he wants me to, I then get accused of being "insensitive"!)

As long as I didn't open up to anyone about the negative things in the relationship, he was able to convince me that I was in the wrong for my views.
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