Privacy versus Secrecy…there is a difference!

“HOW DARE YOU INVADE MY PRIVACY!” your spouse screams at you.

You suspected your spouse was cheating and decided to look through their Facebook chats, IM logs, cell phone text messages, and email account.  You found proof of infidelity and confronted them with it, and as a result they are now accusing you!  They committed adultery, lied to you, and tried to cover it up…but now somehow you are the “bad guy” because adults deserve some privacy in their relationships…right?

Actually NO!  And I see where the confusion lies. There is “privacy” and there is “secrecy” and the two are not the same thing.

Privacy is when you close the door when you’re getting dressed or going to the bathroom. To go to the dictionary, it’s the state of being free from public attention. But notice that it’s not a matter of “being who you’re not” or in any way lying or hiding things…it’s just modesty.  Privacy is a need for solitude and connection with the self. It’s a way in which a person can retain full control of one’s actions and ideas without responding to feedback from someone else. Giving a person space is important. The degree to which people need solitude and privacy varies.

Secrecy is when you purposely cover, hide or keep something concealed in order to mislead. Again to go to the dictionary, it’s something that is kept or meant to be kept unknown or unseen. So for secrecy you are deciding ahead of time to keep something hidden and purposely cover the real truth.  Secrecy is an act of hiding things that one doesn’t want to be seen. Often, this isn’t innocent at all and the reason for secrecy is to prevent disapproval or conflict. One hides something in order to keep it going, even when one knows that there will be a problem if it is done openly. There can be innocent things done secretly (planning surprise parties, self-improvement projects, gift-shopping, or even working out one’s issues), however, any time that secrecy involves making another person an ally instead of your spouse, any time that secrecy involves interacting with someone else in a way that would hurt your spouse, and any time that secrecy is done for the sake of concealing dishonesty, there is a problem.

Every individual should indeed have some privacy in their life, meaning they have the ability to have their own space, dress without public attention and so on…because they are not hiding who they are or what they are doing or who they are doing it with. But in a marriage, there is NO ROOM for secrecy. NONE. Your spouse is the one person in the world who should know you intimately and with whom you would open up and reveal the little things!

On Tuesdays I join this Godly Link-up:

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