Ask Natalie by Natalie Bencivenga

Stand Up to Controlling Husband

DEAR NATALIE: My husband and I have been married for about three months, and he is insisting that I get rid of my personal Facebook account, get rid of my personal email account and get rid of my Instagram. He wants us to have "joint" accounts because we are married, and he thinks that individual accounts are "not what married people do." I am all for sharing, but I have had this email account for years, and I enjoy connecting with my friends on Facebook. I use Instagram primarily for work (I am a fashion blogger part time), so I don't understand the issue with it. Is it wrong to have your own accounts when you are married? How do I talk him out of this nonsense? -- HUBBY OUT OF CONTROL

DEAR HUBBY OUT OF CONTROL: Sounds to me like someone has some issues with trust and respect. While I understand that people get paranoid about social media and the idea of their partner cheating, trying to control their activity online isn't a good look. There's nothing sexy about a controlling partner, and his behavior may end up driving a wedge between you. Sit him down and say, "While I understand your feelings about having joint accounts, I have always had these accounts and the world has not ended. Instead of jumping to conclusions, why don't we compromise and get a joint account while I keep my other accounts that I use for work and socializing with friends?" If he balks at that and still demands that you give up personal accounts, just stand firm. In fact, if he starts down this path, keep note of these behaviors. Usually controlling behaviors escalate over time. Does he act this way in other aspects of your relationship? Be wary about giving up any ounce of independence that makes you feel uncomfortable and remind him that you are your own person. He married you to be a partner, not a subordinate, and if you don't set those ground rules now, the relationship could become incredibly unbalanced and unhealthy in years to come.

Please send your relationship and lifestyle questions to or tweet them to @NBSeen. You can also send postal letters to Natalie Bencivenga, 358 North Shore Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

(This column was originally published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.)