Are Secrets Okay?
Some time ago, my husband -- then my boyfriend -- asked me never to look at his old datebook. I said that I wouldn't. Then he went away for a weekend, and I couldn't stop thinking about that datebook. What didn't he want me to read? I tried to stop myself, but curiosity overpowered my best intentions. I searched and found several datebooks, photos, letters -- all sorts of things that were none of my business.
I studied all of it as if I were studying for an exam. He used his datebook as a diary -- I learned about past girlfriends and unrequited crushes, and discovered that he thought our first kiss was "magical"! Then I carefully put it all back where I'd found it.
"In an ideal world and marriage, no secrets are okay," says Carole Lieberman, MD, a psychiatrist who hosts the Internet radio show Dr. Carole's Couch. "Even the tiniest of secrets closes off a part of a spouse's heart. You're always aware that you're being dishonest, and this creates distance."
Yes, but we don't live in an ideal world, right? And really, is it dishonest to not point out that the pediatrician is kinda hot? Aren't some things better left unsaid?
To find out, I turned to more experts, such as Tina Tessina, PhD, psychotherapist and the author of Money, Sex, and Kids. She and others confirmed for me that, in fact, you needn't share every single feeling or deed. No, you don't have to tell your man that you think the kid's doctor is cute. Other secrets, such as a dent that you put in the car's back bumper, do need airing. Still not sure where to personally draw the line, I looked at some other real-life examples.