Friday, September 12, 2014

Keeping Secrets from Your Partner

Does this topic make you nervous? It makes me nervous.

It might be who you spend time with, or what you spend money on, or how you really feel about your ex or your partner's mother. You might have a big secret like never having an orgasm with your partner, (no cheating just vibrators), or you have a seemingly less harmful secret like you say you are vegetarians together  but you eat burgers and fries when you are alone.

Are they secrets or just nobody's business? It's about the relationship--you know that. I have lied about clothes I bought, when I shopped, and yes, sometimes who I saw that day. What he doesn't know can't hurt him--I actually believe that's true. But what I know for sure (me and Oprah) is that what he doesn't know will usually hurt me.

I have had to learn that over and over. My secrets become my paranoia:  I decide not to mention the card from my ex and a week later I find myself wondering what he's reading on his phone. If  fake an "O" I'll  later wonder if he's having as a great a time in bed as he says. It always comes back to burn me and that, inevitably hurts us.

Now here are the facts so we don't feel shamed and alone in this: The Normal Bar--a statistical study of American relationships --reports that 43% of men and 33% of women have kept major secrets from their partners. And even 27% of the happiest couples (studied and confirmed happy) keep secrets from each other. The most common secrets include emotional and physical infidelity, masturbation, shopping and spending, and secret eating, smoking and drinking.

Maybe the criteria for your secret needs to be: Why am I keeping THIS secret, what do I fear would happen if I kept this behavior but not as a secure  And what am I risking if and when this is revealed?

1 comment:

Kathryn said...

Oh, yeah. My relationship is characterized by more transparency than I've ever experienced. But I still lie - by omission - when I eat something I'm ashamed about. Shame is what makes me keep food secrets, despite the fact that my guy knows about my food addiction and is incredibly non-judgemental and supportive.