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Is It OK to Keep Secrets From Your Man?

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A sexpert has the answer.

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Guest blogger Elizabeth Kuster: In this let-it-all-hang-out, reality show world we now live in, it seems like everyone is revealing everything about themselves to anyone who'll listen (including strangers on YouTube). But what if you have a secret you don't want your man to know? Is it OK to stay mum, or will keeping it to yourself keep you from experiencing true intimacy?

Let's say that suddenly, for no apparent reason, your husband has started to spout off against abortion. And let's further say that you yourself had an abortion long before you met him -- only you never told him. Would you feel pressured to confess? Would you feel like a hypocrite, and worry that his feelings for you would change if he knew the truth? Just how unhealthy is it to keep a secret from your man, anyway? Hilda Hutcherson, M.D., gynecologist and author of "What Your Mother Never Told You About Sex," offers this advice:

If it's in the past, nothing can change it, and it doesn't affect your health or life in any way now, keep your lips zipped. "If you have a secret in your past that could cause a serious problem in your current relationship, and it doesn't really make a darn bit of difference if he knows it or not, then don't tell," says Dr. Hutcherson. "Especially if him knowing it could ruin your relationship and/or make him look at you in a totally different way. I mean, does he need to know that you had gonorrhea five years before you met him, or that you slept with X number of guys, or whatever? No. If it's not part of the present in any way, and if it won't make a positive contribution to your relationship--and may very well make a negative one -- then it's OK not to tell."

Still undecided? Consider the consequences. "You have to weigh the risks with the benefits," notes Hutcherson. "If it's something that's over and done and you've repented to yourself and your God about it, then there's no benefit to telling. Some people think you should be totally honest all the time, but there can be negative, hurtful consequences when you tell someone something unnecessarily. The potential harm to the relationship -- and to your partner -- outweighs whatever good may come of it. In fact, if telling him will cause him pain, then it's actually selfish to tell."

Remember: Just because you're married doesn't mean that your partner has to know everything about you. Says Hutcherson, "Why should he know everything about you? You don't know everything about him! And anyway, if the subject really was a deal-breaker, he would have brought it up before the two of you got serious."

Do you keep secrets from your man?


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11 comments so far | Post a comment now
matty January 26, 2009, 2:28 PM

The way I see it is if you are asked directly, then you must tell the truth. If you aren’t, then volunteer nothing. Sometimes we are better off not knowing certain things.

Wendi January 26, 2009, 9:14 PM

I think that if it is something that is major in either persons eyes, then you should not keep it a secret. If you have had an STD or abortion, that is major and your spouse should know. Those are things that could come up later in life for some weird reason and then he would be hurt and mad that you didn’t feel that you could confide in him. Not to mention the fact that keeping a secret will only tear you up emotionally. Own up to it and talk it out with your spouse. You are who you are because of the things you went through in your past and that is the person they fell in love with. So be honest, and show that you can be open with him.

Chrissy January 27, 2009, 12:02 AM

We talk about everything. If I feel he is being one-sided in a personal belief or opinion or he, I, we call each other on it and try to help the other become a “bigger” person. Doesn’t always work, but it makes for good conversation. Just because someone did something that is against what you believe in, doesn’t make them a bad person. I think it takes a small person to not be able to understand the differences amongst people, what it is that made them become the person they are today, and to appreciate those differences for what they are-a direct result of our own life experiences. Personally I wouldn’t want to be married to someone like that. I know too many people who can’t truly talk to each other and they are unhappy.

Amy January 27, 2009, 12:47 PM

You absolutely should NEVER intentionally keep anything from your spouse. A marriage can never achieve full, true intimacy if there is a wall of secrets (or even one big secret) between the two of them.

Is it always easy to reveal and work through a secret or problem? No. Of course not. However, the end rewards of intimacy and trust are WELL worth it!

London February 5, 2009, 11:00 AM

Sometimes we need to leave the past behind. If it’s an issue that you feel may resurface in your present relationship, then you should tell your spouse about it, if not zip it. Confessing things might harm your relationship, your spouse may view you differently or there could be a ‘what if’ situation, where they’ll wonder if you’ll do it to them. If it’s not necessary or essential to your present relationship, take my stupid advice and forget it. Been down this road before, confessed something and it actually ruined my relationship, my spouse started losing trust in me because he was always wondering.

Rick February 10, 2009, 4:29 PM

My wife let slip that she’s had 4 affairs behind my back during the 18 years we’ve been married. It just so happens that this came out during a couple week period where she asked me for a divorce.
We’ve since agreed to work on restoring our relationship, and I can’t imagine trying to work through the reasons for her needing a divorce without knowing and considering the equally important reasons for the affairs. We are making positive progress, and had she never shared those secrets, we’d be making only a partial recovery. Unfortunately, she kept the affairs secret for many years, and never would have told me had it not been for the frustrations she was feeling at the time.

Roxanne March 25, 2009, 4:24 AM

I wish my ex-husband would have told me about his addiction of XXX movies, XXX magazines, XXX internet printed pictures. I had to find a cabinet and closet shelf of this stuff and catch him in an awkward situation squeezing himself to this stuff. Apparently, our sex life wasn’t good enough and he wasn’t man enough to communicate the issue. After finding out what was going on for years; our marriage completely failed. Ladies beware, when he is not home, do an investigation of his stuff. It will save you years of misery and woe.

Brandy December 15, 2009, 5:54 PM

I think that if you are asked directly about something then YES you should tell but if it has to do with your past and doesn’t affect your relationship you have built then maybe it’s not worth saying.

Kanu February 4, 2010, 3:59 AM

There should be no secrets in a serious relationship. You do not attain true intimacy that way. You can only attain virtual intimacy that will get dealt a blow by reality when the truth about your secrets surface from elsewhere than you. Nothing is really a secret so far as you are not the only witness. So if you love your partner, tell them things and trust them enough to understand, even if its not immediately, over time the. My girlfriend cheated on me and lied about it for a whole year. I gave her one year grace to speak the truth at the end of which if she didn’t, I will quite the relationship. eventually she did and we are closer now than before, and I had known all along.

cheapviagra8369 August 30, 2010, 4:16 AM
Arlean Shipton December 20, 2010, 6:03 PM

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