Keeping Secrets and the Right to Privacy
You have the right to privacy in any relationship, including in marriage, family, or group. In any relationship, you have the right to keep a part of your life secret, no matter how trivial or how important, for the sole reason that you want to do so. You also have the right to spend some time alone and with only yourself.
It is healthy and wise to honor the sense of emotional and physical privacy needed for yourself and your spouse. Otherwise, ironically, you end up limiting your intimacy with one another, not enhancing it. You can’t be truly intimate with your mate without being in touch with the innermost parts of yourself too.
Is Honesty Always the Best Policy?
There are valid reasons for keeping a secret from your spouse. You shouldn’t have to defend not revealing embarrassing or hurtful moments from your past. It is possible that the secret involves someone else who asked that the story not be told. There are many couples who have been married for a long time who have personal secrets that they haven’t shared with their spouses. The sense of space and the sense of a private part of oneself is important to many individuals.
Secrets that can hurt your marriage are ones concerning:
- job problems
- not paying bills
- lending money
- not revealing an illness
- seeing family and friends secretly
- lying about how you spend money
- keeping an addiction or substance abuse habits hidden
- legal problems
- having an affair
When to Stay Quiet About a Secret
If you are going to share a secret or difficult issue with your spouse, realize that the following times are not a good time to reveal this:
- At bedtime.
- If either of you is drunk.
- When either of you are in a stressful situation.
- During periods of grumpiness.
- When you or your spouse are angry.
- When either of you are tired or ill.
- When your spouse is already dealing with bad news.