I have been reading The Straits Times Life! Editor Sumiko Tan’s column about herself when she was still single and now as a married woman. Her column intrigues me for it was real and mostly about her own life. I love her columns to bits and it was something that I would read every Sunday morning without fail and sometimes I hoped that I was an Editor just like her of an important section of The Sunday Times, given my penchant for writing.
However, today on 19 August 2012, I read with awful distaste and utter horror that my favourite columnist Sumiko Tan has openly declared that she reads her husband’s emails and smses without any qualms on Page 21 of Life Section called Reflect. To me, everyone has their fair share of privacy and private space and it is with this mutual respect for our own private spaces that my marriage has lasted nearly a decade and with 2 kids in between.
What Sumiko Tan has written in her column today made me really sad. Why? Because she is a respected editor who has a great job and earning a good salary. I simply do not comprehend why she had to stoop so low to reading her spouse’s smses and emails. If my husband knew that I was privately sieving through his emails and smses, I guess divorce could be very well be on the cards. Even if I get my husband’s nod and approval to read his Government letters, I still feel that I am violating his privacy.
What Sumiko has done, definitely does not embody someone who is self-confident, assured and trusting. Instead, she personifies a “small-minded” woman, who is unconfident and apprehensive and someone who does not trust her husband at all. Everything about marriage after 4 years is based on grounds of love, trust, tolerance, responsibility and respect. Sumiko’s husband “H” seems like a hen-pecked husband to me who has no mind of his own. If he does, he would put his foot down and told her that his emails and smses were private. They were private because the emails and smses were addressed to him for his reading and action, not to anyone else.
I am not too sure why Sumiko has to scroll through her husband emails and smses and getting his permission to do it. Is it insecurity on her part or is she just too overbearing? If she wanted to find out if her husband was cheating on her, she could jolly well hire a Private Investigator and catch the hateful couple in action. With evidence, you would have more standing in Family Court where divorce and custody hearings were being held. I tried but I could not find a befitting reason for her to indulge in her husband’s private emails and smses when she is earning good money and is a respected editor in her own right.
My favourite columnist has just turned from being a superwoman whom I used to respect, to a pathetic and repugnant human being, and I feel sad for her. A marriage is meant to be, only if you have worked at it by supporting your other half and believing that whatever he is doing is righteous and honest. If you are snooping around reading your husband’s emails and smses and giving yourself excuses that you are merely a busybody, you are so misled by your own mind. If a marriage is based on checking up on what the other half is up to, then you might as well live alone.
Sumiko, my favourite columnist, stop what you are doing. Don’t read your husband’s emails or smses anymore and give the poor guy his privacy. Set boundaries of what you can or cannot do being a confident, self-sufficient and trusting wife. Even if you are given permission to read, please refrain from your busybody indulgence. If you continue with what you are doing, a REAL sexy or slutty email might soon drop into your husband’s Inbox.
In the cyber world, you can create an alternate Gravatar of yourself and you can also create many different free Email Accounts from Gmail to Yahoo Mail to Hotmail. You can also numerous Facebook accounts, 3 mobile phones and 3 Blackberries. Your husband might even have own another private rental place. So what? If he loves and cares for you and treat you right, I think this is enough. Call me stupid or what, but I respect my husband’s privacy and I also expect him to respect mine. Open your heart and value your union, express your trust for each other and overlook the little bumps and mistakes on your journey called marriage. Just be mindful that sharing is one thing, intruding is another.