Sunday, July 3, 2011

Privacy in Relationships

It was Sunday afternoon, when I decided that I did not want to take a nap and add to the already increasing hours of sleep. So, I took the newspaper of the day and turned through the pages. And found an article which had the theme whether "ethical spying" on spouses should be tolerated. There was a snippet of a quote by the owner of a match-making company. This lady observed that spouses should share the passwords to their electronic world, may it be cell phones or mail accounts or other sites where they are members. Also that, spouses should allow each other to read the text messages in their cell phones (!!).

Now, my argument for and against this clause may seem radical to some, while I hope that at least a few will agree with me partially, if not totally. I pride myself on being a scorpio, who has her own little world inside her. So, I can accept it without qualms that I have secrets. If not great ones, then at least silly ones which are not always for the world to know, even for the people closest to me. So I completely disagree with the lady who advocated a complete sharing of information between spouses. We have our space and individualities, and being who we are, it’s a basic necessity to have a world of ourselves. I must make it clear right now before people start thinking that I prefer clandestine behavior, that I do not. I only advocate the cause of having one’s space. If you have recently watched the Bollywood comedy Pyaar Ka Punchnama, you might try to equate me with the lady there who was apt in repeating the phrase “I have my space… Don’t tell me what to do” and kept on doing things that she herself knew was not right. Please do not do so. I think of myself as a responsible individual who believes in personal privacy, and I do not see anything wrong in doing so.

It is a common issue with housewives to sneak around their husband’s cell phone or diary and try to find out what’s going on, and even if the poor innocent man was only having a text conversation with a colleague, she’ll make a Himalaya out of the mole-hill. Many of the marriage counselors these days advise their patients not to intervene in the privacy of their husbands. And it is practical too. The man works at office, has tensions related to a thousand problems and when he gets back, he receives cold shoulder and hot glances from the over-zealous wife. How do you expect the man to handle a Mrs.Marple after a long 10hours of job?

I do not support the issue of “ethical spying” when it is done by the husbands as well. The wife, just because she is termed as a “weaker sex” by orthodox society, does not count as a person bound to her husband by terms of violation of privacy. If she is a working lady, she has every right to have conversations with her colleagues. And if she is a housewife, which does not make her any less of an independent individual as far as her personal space is concerned, she should have the freedom to use her Right to Speech.

I understand that such ideal situations do not exist, and as Subhash Chandra Bose had once opined, freedom needs to be taken and cannot be offered on a platter. But according to me, spouses simply need to trust each other with their lives. If there is no love lost between them, the marriage is a sham. Then there remains no need to take the trouble of spying and worrying. If you trust him, you’ll know that he might enjoy a little flirting with a female colleague, but at the need of the day it is you whom he loves. She has you in her heart and you’ll trust your heart with it if you love her, in spite of the second and third glances she gets from men at her office party.

Isn’t it pretty annoying to have to report to somebody constantly?? Doesn’t it feel like you are submitting your daily reports to your boss at the office?? Well, if you like it, fine. But whenever it becomes a compulsion, a rule between people, it creates claustrophobia. It does for me at least, and I accept it. I believe in personal space, for both the partners. There should be honesty, loyalty and trust. if yes, there needs no tracking of text messages or call records or mails. That will be bad news for Emotional Atyachar people, for then, they’ll run out of their job of tracking infidel partners and airing the juicy gossip on television.
Nevertheless, if fidelity and love exists, why need we personal espionage system? We know them better to decide whether they are worth the trust or it’s better to just leave the cheat and move on!


Unknown said...

i really second your opinion.

chatterbox unplugged said...

Agree with you. There is an argument that some people resort to..."I am jealous only coz i Love you" That is so lame ! Love can go for a toss if there is someone breathing down your neck ALWAYS ! and it is not only reading texts etc..if i might add it is also at times about a zillion phone calls a day, an sms about every teeny-weeny detail..nauseating.

subhajit said...


sidhubaba said...

True. What we fail to realise is that with a change in time/culture map, a lot of other negotiations are needed. One cannot expect a prehistoric kind of enslavement any more.

Modhura said...

being a fellow scorpio, i totally agree..n it's best when ur spouse/bf/gf knows exactly how much space u need n on d other hand, exactly when u need him to act a bit possessive ;) coz i'm sure, we all like our share of attention too! :p

Simantini Sinha said...

@Chatterbox unplugged - I hate being questioned!
@Subhajit - Trusting each other still rocks!
@Sidhubaba - Agreed.
@Modhura - True enough. A li'l bit of this, and a li'l bit of that is what makes life beautiful!