To tell or not to tell your dark secrets to your spouse?
Every good marriage counselor will tell you and your spouse-to-be to discuss matters that can be the root cause of your future problems and eventual break up. You are told to discuss finances, religion and spirituality, career goals and relationships with other people of the opposite sex.
Our relatives and friends however, sing a different tune. You are told that your money is your money, but his money is YOUR (plural) money. You are told not to discuss your past with him, some things he doesn’t need to know. We are told that some things are best kept secrets; it will be the best for all of us.
And in the same breath, you are told to keep matters between the two of you, well, between the two of you. “Do not air your dirty laundry in public,” they chant. Who do you listen to? What do you do? It’s enough to make your head spin.
So how do you know what to tell your significant other and what to keep from him? When do you tell your best friend, or maid of honour, or mother how he has a big contract at work coming?
Do you divulge to him that you ran into the guy who broke your heart years before you met him and he wants to have a coffee date with you? Do you tell him about that abortion that you procured when you were a naïve first year because you preferred the risk to your life than having to face your parents?
When do you say, “Enough!” to the secrets?
I believe as a couple, you need to set boundaries as to what is acceptable and what is not. This is no longer about you and your parents. You are starting a new life with a new person with whom you will grow old and raise a family.
Opening up about your life before your husband or wife to be is important. Though it is argued that ignorance is bliss, the past always has a way of catching up to people.
That little boy that you abandoned when you got his mother pregnant at 16 will show up at your doorstep asking for his inheritance. Those people that you sold drugs with when you were a stupid daredevil will turn you in.
Even if your secrets don’t blow up in your face, the weight of them will make your life less blissful than it could have been.
You do not need to take this as the gospel truth; I may not know what I am saying. But I do know that you will sleep so much better at night.
However, DO keep secrets pertaining to your marriage. No one needs to know about every single quarrel that you have had or any personal details of your spouse. You need to learn this from the onset, way before ‘I do’.
But some things need to be talked about with a third party, especially if it entails your health such as issues with fertility. If you do choose to seek the assistance of another person to help solve marital problems, let it be a neutral party, not relatives who will take sides and make the situation worse.