Two therapists, who work in the same office, have different views on this controversial topic…or do they? Leslie Yaffa and Amanda Backus, both from Vaughan Relationship Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, find themselves discussing issues or questions that might come up in their jobs. Rather than keeping these valuable discussions to themselves, they decided to share it with you. First up – they discuss if your partner (in this example, they are speaking of people in a long-term, committed relationship) should have access to your phone?
The first question both therapists would ask of a couple or a client who came to them with this is question would be “Why do you need to check the phone everyday? What is it that prompted this?” The issue is probably bigger than the phone.
So, what issues might prompt someone to want to check their partner’s phone? Both Amanda and Leslie agree that trust is a major factor in whether or not there is a need to see what is on the other person’s phone. If there is a breach of trust, then the heightened anxiety of the situation might call for more reassurance. Periodically checking your partner’s phone after an affair has been disclosed, for example, would allow trust to be rebuilt. However, if, after a year you still feel the need to check their phone, that is something that needs to be discussed with a couple’s counsellor.
What if your partner is a workaholic? Amanda believes if you trust the time spent on the phone is work related, there would be nothing to find when you check. And, if you have an open trusting relationship, checking every once in a while, shouldn’t be a big deal. But…if you have to go through your partner’s phone everyday, then there is a question of why you feel the need to do that.
What about privacy? Do you need privacy in a committed relationship? Why? Amanda believes there is no such thing as privacy after having kids. And, if you are constantly sharing, there is no need for privacy because you develop trust. But Leslie wonders if a relationship can thrive without privacy.
Consent is key. If you are looking for something because you don’t trust your partner, then the problem is not the phone. But both therapists pondered if consent could be revoked under any circumstances and what would that look like?
Now it’s your turn. What is your opinion on this? Do agree with Amanda, that privacy isn’t necessary in a committed, long-term, trusting relationship – so looking at your partner’s phone periodically is just fine? Or do you agree with Leslie, that relationships need boundaries and privacy in order to thrive? Are there exceptions? And what about revoking consent?
Click below to view this fascinating discussion and then let them know how you feel about looking at your partner’s phone – yay or nay.