Privacy vs Secrecy

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Privacy vs Secrecy

I am a great proponent of our individual rights of privacy. Everyone needs a certain level of privacy. Occasionally, I really like to have some time to myself, just to clear my head and remember what I want to accomplish before my time on earth is done. That being said, I also recognize there are subtle, yet significant, differences between the desire for privacy and secretive behavior. So how do we draw the line between privacy vs secrecy?

If I want an hour alone in the bathtub, just me, my book and scented bubble bath, that is a typical example of privacy that I am sure just about every mom can relate to. If  I never let my cell phone out of my sight, have it password protected (and I don’t let my husband have the password) that is secretive and suspicious. I don’t mind my husband having access to my phone because I don’t have anything to hide. However, a woman who is having an affair would keep her cell phone locked and keep it with her at all times. That kind of behavior might just be obsessive, but in the context of certain situations is more about secrecy than privacy.

Privacy does not include: hiding bills, or preventing you from having access to financial records; staying up late on the computer so you can’t see what they are doing; leaving the room every time they get a text message, or going out of their way to keep you from seeing anything on their phone; or keeping information from you, like where they are going to be.

Anytime we have a consultation with a new client, one of the pieces of information we ask about is if something has changed in your partner’s behavior recently. If your spouse’s actions or choices are suddenly different from their normal or typical patterns, and seem a little odd to you, don’t ignore those feelings. Maybe you questioned them about a particular behavior, and they gave you a reason that doesn’t feel right you. Trust your instincts. In our experience, there is usually a reason behind the new behavior.

I am a great proponent of faithfulness in marriage. Privacy has its place, but secrecy is dark and dangerous and the playground for infidelity. Secrecy never makes a relationship healthier.



Shawn is the Business Manager for Owens Investigations, and a licensed private investigator.


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