Interesting Relationship Perspective, by Erin A. Alexander, LPC

IMG_0916I do a lot of couples counseling and healthy relationship counseling. I meet people who have some interesting and profound perspectives on things.

We’ve all heard about how the parties in a relationship feel justified in checking the other person’s emails, phones, and other accounts. They many times believe that they are entitled to have their partner’s passwords, just because they are in a relationship. Well, folks may not agree with my philosophy, but each person in the relationship deserves privacy. Just because you are in a relationship does not mean that you suddenly have to give up your privacy. Each person should have a CHOICE about INVITING the partner into the many areas of his/her life. No one has the right to just intrude on someone else. None of this facilitates a loving, trusting relationship.

Recently, I had a client who likened the situation to the criminal law process. He said that if the appropriate steps have not been taken to “search” his accounts, then he does not have to discuss anything. Whatever is found is “inadmissible”. The intent or motive for the search was for negative purposes, or it would not have been done in the first place. As we discussed this philosophy, I understood where he was coming from and agreed. If an officer does an “illegal search without a warrant”, meaning no permission was requested and granted, or if there has been no conversation initiated prior to the search, the partner’s “rights” (personal and emotional boundaries) have been violated, and there really can be no expectation of the normal “due process” or positive outcome. It will in essence, be a lose-lose situation.

The rationale for this thinking was that, first of all, boundaries are violated and there is no open communication. As I mentioned before, none of this behavior facilitates a loving, trusting relationship. For a healthy relationship, there must be open, assertive communication with active listening on both sides. There also must be respect for the boundaries of others, especially your partner.

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