What Sharing Accounts Reveals About Trust

Personal accounts are designed to keep our accounts, well, personal.  But the part that annoys me is that I can never seem to remember my usernames and passwords.  

For that very reason I really appreciate that I can “tag along” on some of my husband’s accounts.  Two heads are better than one when trying to remember the correct combination of four lower-case letters, two upper-case letters, a symbol, and a secret handshake.  There are two primary and frequently-used accounts that my husband Victor and I share—a bank account and Facebook.

I never thought much about it  until I recently saw a post on Facebook that said, “A joint account means someone has been caught cheating before.”

At first I was offended.  But I soon let it go because I remembered hearing someone criticize couples for the opposite reason: “Nothing says, ‘I’m cheating,’ like a separate account,” they said.  Hmmm, you know sometimes, you just can’t win.

But it got me thinking: What does sharing or not sharing your accounts say about your relationship?  I concluded that our reasons have everything and nothing to do with trust.  Contradictory, I know, but hear me out.  

When Victor and I have shared an account, it has been by invitation.  For example, the reason we have a joint Facebook account is because Victor invited me to use his account.  I didn’t insist that we share the account so I could keep an eye on him.  I actually used to have my own account, but rarely used it.  As more and more of our mutual friends came onto his friend list, he asked me if I minded if he changed his profile name to VictorAndAllison so that we could connect with our friends more easily.  

Or take the bank accounts: Victor and I had separate accounts, of course, before we were married.  He invited me to join his main account.  He didn’t have to do that; he wanted to.  Today we both have separate and joint bank accounts, and the reasons relate mostly to what those accounts are designated for.  

Honestly, if a person is going to cheat by delving into the secret account, then they are going to do it with a joint account too.  People are quite clever when it comes to deceit.  Cheating means that they have already tossed morals to the wind, so whether their account is private or shared is not going to stop them from making bad choices.  

So you see, I believe that our account status has nothing and everything to do with trust.  I trust my spouse to be faithful to me because he promised he would be.  I don’t rely on an account to keep him accountable.  If he has a mind to cheat on me, Facebook and Bank of America aren’t going to stop him.  

For Victor and I, it boils down to consideration.  I think our trust for each other is strengthened when we treat each other with consideration.  I remember how nice I thought it was that Victor invited me to use his Facebook.  But if he had never made such an offer, it wouldn’t necessarily mean that he’s shutting me out of his life.  I think everyone deserves a little privacy.  And if we are being considerate spouses, then we will be willing to give both invitation and privacy.  We trust each other, so we consider our accounts settled.

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