Mr. and Mrs. Charles have been married for 10 years and keep no secrets from each other. They run a joint account and have access to each other’s phone. Mr. Charles allows his wife to pick his calls, while Mrs. Charles grants her husband unfettered access to her social media. They are best friends and have been living happily ever since they exchanged marital vows.
However, Kamilu and Joromi have been arguing over this issue. While Kamilu thinks this is a fiction, Joromi strongly opines that every married couple should emulate the Charles. Just like Joromi and Kamilu, many couples struggle with how much information they should share with their better half. For many allowing your spouse pick your calls or hold your phone, is unthinkable. Let us see what Joromi and Kamilu have to say about this.
Kamilu: That story of Mr. and Mrs. Charles was lifted from Mills and Boons…
Joromi: You don’t believe that people have that kind of relationship in their marriages? Kamilu talk for yourself, I know you can’t because you have so many skeletons in your cupboard.
Kamilu: In every marriage, trust should be the foundation and if my wife trusts me and I also trust her I don’t think there is any reason why she should snoop on me.
Joromi: Are you saying that when your phone rings and you are in the bathroom your wife can pick your call on your behalf? After all, you both trust each other.
Kamilu: Pick my call ke? She dares not. Our love no reach that level. No matter the number of times my phone rings my wife cannot pick my calls. Why should I even leave my phone when I am in the bathroom? Wherever I go my phone goes with me, even when I am asleep my phone is always in my pocket or under my pillow.
Joromi: I really don’t understand the kind of relationship you have with your wife. If you love someone I don’t think you should hide anything from that person. So if you let your wife have access to your phone or password that is only an extension of trust in your marriage and it also symbolises intimacy.
Kamilu: Joromi the marriage counselor. Don’t you know that women cannot be trusted with everything?
Joromi: So what are you doing with a woman you cannot trust? Why marry her if you can’t even trust her with your phone or social media password.
Kamilu: Joromi are you high on codeine? Social media password bawo? That one is even worse. Abeg! There should be a place for privacy in loving, trusting and relationship, please. Moreover, my request for this doesn’t mean I am a bad person or cheating on my wife.
Joromi: Oh! I know your type; even you know your social media inbox is worse than a pornography hub. Only God knows how many body parts are in your Facebook inbox. I am sure the number of nude pictures from your girlfriends will make some ritualists green with envy.
Kamilu: (Laughs) Leave that matter joor. Joromi! Joromi! Joromi! How many times did I call you?
Joromi: You called me three times.
Kamilu: How many ears do you have?
Joromi: What sort of question is that? Okay, I have two ears.
Kamilu: What do you use those ears for?
Joromi: Say what you want to say joor! I don’t have time for all these.
Kamilu: You have been watching too many Hollywood movies and those things are not applicable to a
Nigerian husband. Don’t let your wife have access to your phone. As a man, you need some level of privacy.
Or are you trying to tell me that your wife knows the amount of money in your account too?
Joromi: Of course she does.
Kamilu: Mogbe! (I am dead!) I need to speak to your mum. Hian! I think you have eaten vegetable.
Joromi: This isn’t about me being jazzed. You see, when a spouse is defensive or secretive about his or her phone that is usually a symptom of a kind of unhealthy behaviour in a relationship. I am not talking about infidelity alone but also inappropriate interactions with the opposite sex are usually common with people who are secretive about this.
Kamilu: Unfortunately, despite your age, you are still thinking like a child. How can you hand over your life to a woman, an ordinary woman?
Joromi: From the day I walked my wife down the aisle, she became a part of me. So, should I not then allow a part of me have full access to my phone? What you are doing to your wife simply means that you have secrets you don’t want to tell or there are some certain behaviours or activities you don’t want to reveal to her.
Kamilu, it simply means you have skeleton in your cupboard.
Kamilu: Enough of your turenchi! Do you think granting my wife access to my phone can stop my infidelity to her? Do you think it can stop her from snooping? Do you think that can make our relationship more intimate? You see in these matters of the heart you do what works for you and keeping my phone far away from my wife works for me. I think being a married man doesn’t strip me of my privacy.
Joromi: You know the truth. The last time we went clubbing and you forgot your phone at home you almost had a heart attack and we had to drive back to your house at 1 am. You put the lives of all of us at risk and you are now trying to prove to me that it is all because of privacy.
Kamilu: Don’t go there, brother. I think I have a right to electronic privacy and no one can take that away from me. After all, I am the head and so I should be in charge of my home.
Joromi: Mr. “headmaster” so your wife too should be able to keep her phone far away from you sebi?
Kamilu: Hmmm….well if I want to check her phone as the head I should be able to have unlimited access to her phone, after all I paid her bride price so I own her and her phone.
Joromi: Did you hear yourself? You are a selfish man! If you are going to lay down a rule, make sure it is applicable to both parties and stop that “head of fish” nonsense you are talking about. Your wife is not a child and neither is she a piece of furniture! How much be the bride price sef?
Kamilu: How I run my home is my business!
Joromi: But I am telling you that the way you are running home, you may be heading for the rocks soon! Any form of deception or secrecy in a marriage is toxic. If you want a healthy marriage you need to value transparency over personal privacy. When a spouse operates in secrecy it creates distrust and disunity in marriage.
Kamilu: Keep on blabbing marriage counsellor, I am going to buy myself that latest iPhone with the fingerprint sensors that recognize up to five and then I won’t have to worry about somebody snooping on me again. Bye!
This is my take on this issue: I believe that healthy marriages should be built on the secure knowledge that your spouse can gain access to everything you own and be responsive towards it too. So what is your phone integrity? What would happen if you immediately drop your phone unlocked and your spouse picks it up? What would your spouse discover?