Should your significant other know your passwords?

I was speaking with my roommate’s girlfriend the other day. She mentioned that she knew my roommate’s passwords for email, Facebook, and other stuff, and I said that I’d never had a girlfriend ask me for those passwords. And if she did, I wouldn’t give them to her. She seemed rather stunned by this, and said I should give a g/f passwords after going out for about a month or so. “She’ll think that you’re trying to hide something,” she said, but I just want to have some semblance of privacy in my life.

And what if the relationship goes sour? A scorned woman could wreak some serious havok with my passwords. Of course that brings up the “do you want this relationship to last” question, the scourge of pre-nup agreements everywhere. Note that my roommate and his girlfriend have been going out since freshman year of high school (almost 6 years!) so she certainly has a different perspective than I do.

So, should you give your SO your passwords, or is privacy more important? Does it depend on what stage your relationship is at?

I don’t give Mr. Neville my passwords, and he doesn’t give me his. We each have enough trouble remembering all our own passwords, thank you very much.

That’s weird. I can’t imagine giving my husband my passwords. If he were so suspicious of me when we were dating that he needed to monitor my facebook and e-mail, I doubt we ever would have married.

Ivylad and I can access each other’s Facebook accounts, but that’s just because the computer has saved our log-in information. We keep an eye on each other’s Mafia and Restaurant City. He’ll do it while I’m at work, and I’ll do it while he’s resting. We have nothing to hide.

I agree with Anne Neville, although I’d give my wife my passwords if she wanted them. But “I should give a g/f passwords after going out for about a month or so” seems nuts to me.

I would never think of asking my boyfriend for his passwords. IMO if I feel like I need to be able to check up on him I don’t trust him enough to be in a relationship with him.

My wife and I know our important passwords (bank accounts and such), but the messageboard stuff we don’t even ask about. Why would I ever need to know hers?

Sealed envelope, stored where the wills are stored.

I would think that you would need to exchange passwords once you got to the point where they would be cleaning up your affairs if you died but once month of dating hardly seems to be that point I’m not even sure giving them a key to my house would necessarily be that point either.

On the other hand as situations come up, over for the weekend and want to download you some songs on iTunes, there is no reason to not give out passwords but just sitting down and exchanging a sheet would seem weird. Heck, I ask my friends for their wifi passwords all of the time.

My gf and I do not share passwords. In fact, the idea has never come up. In addition to all the other reasons I can think of, neither of us has the time to peek into the others’ private lives.

My husband doesn’t have my passwords because no situation has come up in which it would be helpful for him to have them. I know his because he only uses one (you tell him. I’ve tried). I’ve never accessed his email to “see what he’s up to”.

My sister has my password for facebook and I have hers for the same reason Ivylass mentioned. Gotta keep those cartoon farms productive!

I don’t think passwords is a “next logical step” in a dating relationship the way meeting the parents,“here’s a key to my place” or “I cleaned out a drawer for you” is.

Well, in theory my husband and I know each other’s, but in reality, I usually forget his because I don’t really care about most of his accounts, like WoW and whatever. He is a little better about remembering mine because he is more likely to need to access things like Netflix, for example, which is my account. We keep the passwords related to financials and other important things that would matter in the event of one of us dropping dead written down in a secure place.

Also, I just now asked him if he remembered where the secure place is, and he said no.

So I have no problem with it … but at this exact moment I couldn’t tell you what his passwords are, and he should be hoping I’m not the one that drops dead.

My last girlfriend asked, but I wouldn’t tell her. I told her that I wasn’t trying to hide anything. I’d happily log in to my computer and let her look around, but the password itself is need-to-know, and she doesn’t need to know it. She was mildly put off by this (mostly she thought I was weird). I see it a lot like shared finances. If she needed money, she could ask and I would have given it to her. But that doesn’t mean I’d put her on my bank account.

If we were married, I’d expect that our finances would be joined, but I still wouldn’t share my passwords (unless they were for things directly related to stuff that was joint, like bank accounts, etc.)

If you’re in a committed relationship with someone, the passwords for anything they might need to access if you were dead or incapacitated should be stored somewhere safe with the rest of your important documents (and in a sealed envelope).

A boyfriend asking for passwords to my email account etc., especially after only a month, would creep me the hell out. I may **choose **to share passwords for things with him at my own discretion.

I give my wife all mine but they are extremly long and complex and she can never remember them…not my fault.

I’m one of those that only uses one password for most everything (I know, I know) and SpouseO knows it. I also know his main one, but since he’s been setting up new domains and such lately, I think he’s been keeping a file of those passwords that I’m certain I could find if I wanted to. So yeah, we know each others.

However, I’d never in a million years use them to spy on him, in any way. If I want to use his accounts for whatever reason, I’d ask him and then probably do it with him sitting right next to me. For example, he’s on Facebook, but I’m not. One of our acquaintance just got married and apparently posted some wedding pictures on his Facebook page. I want to see them, and thought I’d use Hubby’s account to do so. When I go to do that, however, he’ll most likely be sitting right next to me to view the pictures too. Or he’ll be driving; I’ll just tell him who to search for. I’d never go into his accounts or email without his explicit permission. Same for him. It would just never occur to either of us.

I gave my girlfriend my PIN for my debit card once, because I was cooking and we needed something from the grocery store.

But passwords? I can’t imagine any reason anyone but me would ever need to get into my emails, my LJ account, or – heaven forbid – my SDMB account.

After a month? No way. But my wife and I know each others passwords for emails and some other things (the bank accounts are all shared anyway, so that doesn’t matter). I don’t think we ever made a big deal about it either way, it was just done at some point for convenience (“hey, can you check when my flight leaves, it was emailed to me”, “when does my amazon order arrive?”, etc).

I wouldn’t read her emails outside of obvious in-bounds items such as the above, and typically would tell her beforehand if I was going to.

The spouse knows the PIN to my ATM card (we each have our own separate accounts in addition to the shared one) because he often makes deposits to it (it’s easier for him to get to the bank). I trust him completely, but he still doesn’t have my email, social networking site (Facebook, LiveJournal) or my WoW password. There’s really no need for him to know them. Likewise, I don’t know his. I think he told me once, and I might have told him my email password once, but we’re just not the snoopy type. He has never given me any reason not to trust him, nor have I given him any not to trust me. I’m just a naturally secretive person (have been all my life) so I feel a little oogy about other people having my passwords.

Oddly, though, not about money. He can poke around in my bank account all he wants, but I’d feel strange if he read my (perfectly innocuous, for the most part extremely boring) email.

Oh, edit: No way in hell would I ever give anyone short of an extremely long term, committed relationship my password to anything. Call me untrusting if you like, but there you go. I’ve seen too many seemingly normal people have batshit emo breakdowns. Better safe than sorry.

A month seems a bit soon, at any rate. DH and I know each other’s email passwords, just in case - at one point he was traveling a lot for work and had me log in for things if he couldn’t get to it. I’m not logging in and reading his emails all the time or anything; just when he asks.

Heh - though it’s been tempting, since my birthday’s coming up and I could see any shipment confirmations! (I kid, I kid…)