Should Joint Lives Mean Joint Accounts?

So many of us are ‘living’ online these days, as a way of ‘socialising’ and staying in touch with the outside world, but has the time come to share these more openly? Do we need ‘joint accounts’?

Marriage, (or for many a serious, long-term relationship) is the point in your life where you allow it to be no longer, entirely your own. You willingly share it with another, and experience the mutual benefits of each others time and company in everything you experience. You can relax, safe in the knowledge that you love, and respect each other, and that with these emotions comes trust… but this is not always the case.Technology, which includes mobile phones, emails and social networking sites is now one of the most commonly discussed problems in relationship counselling.

Both men and women are guilty of saying things they probably shouldn’t on the internet. Sometimes it is as serious as using it to manage an illicit affair, but more often it is flirty or ‘over-friendly’ messages or comments, communication with an ex or some photos which catch people out, sparking accusations of lies and deceit leading to a loss of trust that can be hard, or impossible, to recover. 

For many generations past and many (albeit, fewer) generations to come marriage has meant joint bank accounts. The bringing and sharing of finances a part of the bringing and sharing of a life, a way of opening what you have up to your partner in honestly and saying “this is what I have”. It is also a fact that living together means you share an address and a home phone number. This used to mean all communication habits were shared, but this as I have illustrated is no longer the case. Do we need this kind of transparency in our modern communication habits, as well as financial? Would we benefit from joint Facebook or Email accounts?

This way, anything addressed to one partner would have to go through the other. No more hidden conversations or photos, so no more suspicion? No more trying to peer over you partner’s shoulder while they’re at the desk, or the temptation to have a sneaky peek if they happen to leave it logged in. No more trying to guess they’re password or even contemplating hacking it if they are really are secretive! And then if you are unfortunate enough to find something, no more having to wrestle that guilt for looking mingled with the persistent doubt and distrust that goes with trying to justify what you have seen or read. 

Or maybe you trust your partner completely! But wouldn’t it be convenient to have a joint calender of events between all of your friends? No more battling out at the last minute who’s event will take priority when you finally get around to telling them, but knowing in advance so you can discuss it reasonably! People in the ‘internet world’ would see you as a couple and treat you as such. Perhaps that would be very welcome to you, fed up with being left out of your partners boss’s social gatherings or not acknowledged by their friends. Or perhaps the thought of always being un-separable claustrophobic or even nauseating.

After-all, you are still two separate people and sharing your life does not necessarily mean spending every moment together or even have a great deal of common interests. Or would a joint account just be too invasive, another wall of privacy broken down that you would rather leave standing? But then if you have nothing to hide, why would you be unwilling to share? As with all strong relationships, it comes down to trust and communication, and finding a balance that works for you.

Royalty-free Image: Couple discussing bills on bed

Image credit: Simon Potter, Getty Images

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