Secrets in Relationships

Secrets in Relationships

Why do some women keep secrets from their husbands?

Women tend to keep secrets from their husbands for a variety of reasons;  it could be from intense amounts of shame, to fear of losing the relationship, to past relationship wounds, to the fear of the packed away emotions exploding out and losing control, etc.

Some secrets in relationships are buried for good reasons….and keeping those secrets hidden, kept inside, can create a sense of feeling in control and emotionally safe.  These deep, dark buried secrets are scary for many to open up and share the vulnerable issue.  It can feel as if they won’t be able to maintain control, and that the over flowing emotions may not ever have an “end” in sight.  It can simply be scary to open up, to feel the emotion.  Feeling the emotion alone can be terrifying, and the unknown of what could happen if they open up Pandora’s Box…and not ever being able to put it back.

secrets in relationshipsSome secrets are only exposed to a specific person, depending on the closeness and emotional security.

If we peel away the layers of human interaction, people ultimately have a need to feel safe and secure with others if they expose a secret, take a risk and get vulnerable with their mate.  Safe and secure meaning: the relationship may be at a loss, fear of being judged, attacked, and/or fear being misunderstood. And if a partner does not take the risk to share the personal secret, it is most likely attached to this concept of not feeling safe and secure about the relationship.

What are some secrets that a woman never has to tell and why?

Well, that’s obvious….a woman’s weight and age.  These are two “NEVER have to tell” rules for women.

On the other hand, women don’t need to tell any secret to their mate if they don’t want to. Plain and simple.  Non-disclosure is choice, yet it can come with various consequences in the long run.   Overall, there are very few things that people can lie about where it doesn’t come with some sort of obstacle, problem, or impact on a relationship.

The dangerous part of keeping a secret from your partner is generally not the content of the lie, but it is the act of deception.

The caution is to think about the impact it would have on the relationship if your partner found out later on down the road.   Some white lies or omitted information can still come off as lying or hurting a relationship.  Determine the severity of it and how it may come across.  You don’t have to expose every little personal detail of your past.  Share at your comfort level.  It is your choice.

There are few things that are justifiably “better left unsaid.”  Here are the never-tells and why:

  • Ex- Relationships: As much as you want to be honest with your partners, men really don’t want to know how much better in bed your ex-boyfriend was than him.  Be satisfied with the knowledge of your previous sexual experiences and understand that your relationship will be better for your dirty little secret to be kept unsaid. In truth, all things from a previous relationship…things that were private between the two of you, should be treated delicately.  Go on the verge of caution when discussing your sexual experiences with your ex.  Men take much pride on their bedroom performance.  He might hate to know that you lied to him, but he might hate even more knowing about your ex’s performance in bed.
  • Readiness: Some things are very personal, such as a molestation or rape, and your inability to even discuss the topic may lead to half truths and lies.  Although these items may be best shared eventually (and the sharing may help you heal), the timing is vital and if you aren’t ready, then it isn’t time.  Start at your own individual counseling and then work your way up.
  • Your Friend’s Secrets: If you have been told something in confidence, there is no reason to break that trust and share the secret with your partner.  Tread lightly and pick and choose.  Maintaining a secret for your friend may lead to a web of lies, so once again tread lightly.  If you told your friend that you would keep the information a secret, keep that secret to the best that you can.

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About Jennine Estes, MFT

Think of me as your relationship consultant, I'm your neutral third party that can help you untangle the emotions and help you figure out what's really going on. I am a Marriage and Family Therapist in San Diego, CA. Certified in Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples. Supervisor. I write relationship and self growth advice for my column Relationships in the Raw. Creator of #BeingLOVEDIs campaign. MFC#47653