14 August 2016

Password dilemma

Bursting with energy, I felt ready to embark on a fun-filled tour of Jinja town. However, for the couple I travelled with, things didn’t seem to go as well.

No sooner had we left, Mukono, than things started going downhill. By the time we reached our destination, my cousin was seething. “Michael, why don’t you trust me? If you have nothing to hide, why won’t you let me have it?” she started. By ‘it,’ she meant her husband’s bank account PIN. He had insisted on withdrawing the money we needed.

“Why should a man distrust his wife like this? I have no idea about how much you earn, any of your bank accounts, the password to your email, not even the one to your mobile money account! Now in case anything happens to you, where can I even start from?” she belaboured. His passwords. All these accusations and the resultant cacophony were all about this.

Case of trust
“For single people, their passwords are private. But in marriage, the two become one which calls for boundless sharing, no secrets,” says Christine Aine, a businesswoman. A man who reveals his passwords to his spouse, she believes, fosters trust .

“Often, there comes a time when one party becomes suspicious of the other. If a man trusts his wife to divulge such information to her, she will not worry,” she thinks.

Josephine Nampala, a housewife, can’t agree more. Before her husband told her the PIN to his bank account and passwords, she says, there was mistrust in their marriage.

“When my husband said he wasn’t willing to reveal his password, I wondered which people he communicated with that he didn’t want me to know of. Facebook is an avenue through which some men get in touch with desperate women who end up becoming their side dishes. I couldn’t rest before I had the password to Eric’s Facebook account,” she explains.

Eunice Lamwaka, a student at Makerere University Business School, broke up with her boyfriend because of similar circumstances. “Trust is key in relationships. When I sat near my boyfriend’s phone, he panicked. On suggesting that we share passwords, he refused!” she says.

And for her, that was enough proof that he couldn’t be trusted.
“Otherwise why would he be so hesitant? He either had other girls or was a ‘serial flirt’ and he never wanted me to find out,” she reasons. Asked if she shares her passwords with every guy she dates, she says; “For the record, I have only had two boyfriends so far and yes, I have shared my passwords.”

To or not to share your password
For Steven Magambo, 30, to reveal his password or not, depends on the password in question. “I have various passwords which I treat differently; there are some that I can freely reveal to my wife.

I can’t reveal the PIN to my savings account ,” he explains. adding: “I have an email address for work-related issues whose password is strictly out of bounds. My wife has no reason to ask for it. The same applies to the password to my Facebook and Twitter accounts,” he maintains. However, he says he has a general bank account whose PIN his wife knows- one through which he sends money whenever he is away. The password to his mobile money account is known to his wife too.

“Life is unpredictable, in case I fall ill or get involved in a nasty accident, my wife should be able to access that money,” he says. Unlike Magambo, Allan Kayizi, a graphics designer, can never reveal such information which he considers highly confidential. As far as he is concerned, her demanding to know his passwords is a sign of mistrust on her part.
“ If my wife trusts me as much as she wants me to trust her then why should she even want to know my password?” he wonders. The first sign that a relationship is heading south, according to him, is when one partner starts treating the other with suspicion. A man who gives in to his wife’s wiles of giving her his passwords is biting more than he can chew.

“I have been married for three years and I have learnt that women are alarmists; they cry foul even when they see a cat! You may reveal to her your Facebook account password and should she just as much as see a friendly message from a female friend or colleague, she will throw tantrums and call you names for ‘cheating on her’!” he explains.

All too often, relationships face challenges and the issue of privacy is one of the many, which if not handled well could cause havoc. In most cases, people have varying views on privacy. As such, there is need to define bounds of disclosure in a relationship. How much is too much regarding the information one reveals to one’s spouse?

Expert says
Joseph Musaalo, a counsellor at Uganda Christian University, Mukono, says privacy is sensitive in a relationship. To reveal or not such information depends on:
• How long the two have known each other.
Before revealing such crucial information to your spouse,consider how much you know her.
• Consider how binding the relationship you have with the person is. Otherwise you may reveal your information to an enemy who will use it against you.
• Consider why his spouse wants to have his passwords. For a woman to demand her husband’s private information like passwords, there must be an underlying problem which has to be solved.
• If a woman thinks her spouse is giving her reason to be suspicious, it is better to talk to him about it.
• Couples should not police each other around for it has detrimental effects. Openly talk about these issues as they arise, instead of demanding for each other’s private information.


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