We live in a time of unprecedented connectedness. Technology allows us to learn and communicate in unique and powerful ways. Unfortunately, it can also empower a wandering spouse to live a secret life beyond the view of their partner. This digital age provides so many avenues for dishonesty to take root, and we must face this fact soberly. We must commit to getting ahead of the issue, not waiting to respond once tragedy strikes.
Now, technology is not the issue. Dishonesty and a lack of accountability are the true problems, and they manifest themselves through whatever channels are available. Nevertheless, it's so important for couples to put controls in place so that their digital lives can remain free from discord and dishonesty. My affair was birthed from a lack of honesty, and I used technology for my own malevolent purposes. In the wake of this, Hannah and I have learned so much on how to protect ourselves in this digital frontier.
One of the simplest ways in which we can forge accountability and transparency in our marriages is by allowing free access to our accounts to our spouses. There's this bizarre notion that, if your spouse looks through your emails, they're snooping. That's absurd. There's no such thing as snooping in marriage. Your lives are united as one -- you share finances, meals, children, and memories together. Give your spouse every password you have. Hold nothing back.
Honesty means having nothing to hide. We should desire that-- we should strive to live a life where we have nothing worth hiding. Check your partner's accounts. Honestly, that might be the thing they need the most. If they are ensnared in some secret sin, the only way it will come to light is if you are willing to get your hands dirty. Your willingness may lead to their deliverance. Do not look at snooping as a sign of distrust, but rather an action of deep concern for the health of your partner and your marriage.
Of course, a spouse that is bent on betrayal will find a vehicle for their dark desires. The purpose of promoting accountability in your marriage isn't to stop your spouse from hurting you at all costs. Accountability is a form of honesty, and we must treasure honesty in every form. We must foster these values in our marriage in hopes of deterring tragedy and unfaithfulness, all the while knowing that our actions can only reach so far. Do what is right. Your spouse needs you to guide them and keep them accountable.
Lastly, I want to encourage you to check out The Digital Defense Pledge, an initiative that Hannah and I have created to encourage honesty and communication in marriages. Review it, sign it, and e-mail it to us. Let's show the world that married couples can fight for their spouses and for the future of their own relationships.
(New to The Meaning of Repentance? Check out this introduction and read more about the authors here.)