Welcome to the 8th day of #LoveBlog! Today’s topic is Secrets. You can find the rest of this month’s prompts at the original post. It’s not too late to link up for yesterday’s prompt, A Servant’s Heart.
I have a tendency to repeat myself. I just get really excited about stories from my life, and then Dan ends up listening to them multiple times.
Blame my mother.
She often told me the same story or lesson multiple times. Whether this was a deliberate attempt to get through to me, or just forgetfulness from ADD, she managed to teach me a few things from her repetition.
Like the importance of not keeping secrets from your spouse.
Don’t tell me a secret if I can’t tell my spouse
My mom used to tell people, “If you don’t want [my husband] to know, don’t tell me,” when they asked her if she could keep a secret.
My mom wasn’t a blabbermouth who just couldn’t keep a secret. She also didn’t feel obliged to tell my dad every little secret of her friends.
But she always wanted to keep the option of open of discussing everything with my dad, while still respecting the wishes of her friends. Sometimes she needed to talk it over with my dad. Other times she didn’t. By letting her friends know her policy upfront, they could then decide if they were comfortable with my dad being included in their confidence.
I’m not quite as direct as my mom, but I also only have a few years of married experience. Plus I usually don’t need Dan’s advice or comfort for my friends’ secrets. In fact, usually when I tell him confidential details, it’s to keep him from accidentally saying something awkward the next time we see these friends. Like if someone just had an unexpected breakup or lost a job or some other upsetting life change. That way he doesn’t ask about the boyfriend or the job or whatever.
I extend this expectation of shared confidence to my married friends.
If I confide in you, I confide in your spouse
When I confide in my best friend Libbi, even if I’m specifically asking her not to tell anyone, I let her know she can talk to Henry. It helps that he’s my best friend too, but I also would never burden her with keeping a secret from her husband.
This goes for all of my married friends. (And long-time monogamously partnered friends, but I have less of those).
Each couple needs to set their own policy on keeping/sharing secrets with each other. I want to make it easy on my confidantes. I give direct permission for them to talk to their partners about my secrets.
Are sharing secrets ever a problem?
I just finished reading a new novel about two married couples. After years of miscarriages, one couple hires a surrogate, the wife of the other couple. Obviously there’s a lot more than that, but this isn’t a full book review.
The couple struggling with infertility fights over the husband confiding in his best friend. Why? Because naturally the best friend then confides in his wife. And his wife then tells everyone else.
If your spouse can’t keep a secret, then you should think twice about divulging your friend’s secret. If you really feel like you shouldn’t keep secrets from your spouse, then always be upfront to your friends that your spouse is a blabbermouth. Give your friends the option not to confide in you.
And maybe gently talk to your spouse about the importance of keeping private matters private.
When to make an exception
Hopefully if you’re old enough to get married, you’re old enough to judge whether or not your spouse needs to know every little detail of your best friend’s life. These are a few of the secrets I might share with Dan about our friends:
- buying a house
- getting pregnant
- having a miscarriage
- looking for a new job
- going through a breakup/divorce
- struggling with family issues
- getting a bad medical diagnosis
Normally, I tell Dan these things to share my excitement for our friends or to share my pain for our friends. These are all normal, if not always common, life experiences. I feel both secondhand joy and pain for my friends, and I turn to Dan for support.
On the other hand, these are secrets that Dan doesn’t need to know:
- anything about sex
- most health issues related to (cisgender) female reproduction
- surprises for other people that might be awkward to keep secret
Honestly, I determine pretty much everything on a case-by-case basis, which I imagine most people would do anyway. Even so, it’s good to keep a general policy of not wanting to withhold information from your spouse, and to let your loved ones know this policy.
Meet Your #LoveBlog Sponsor!
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Meet Your #LoveBlog Hosts!
Brita Long is the pink and sparkly personality behind the Christian feminist lifestyle blog, Belle Brita. While her first love will always be Paris, she lives happily with her husband Daniel Fleck in the Atlanta area.
Charlene is a 20-something wife and fur mamma living in Ohio. She uses her blog, Enduring All Things, to inspire young wives to keep God first and their husbands second in everything they do.
Tayler is a motherhood and lifestyle blogger at The Morrell Tale. She loves raising her kids, Rhys (2.5 years old) and Evelyn (1 month old). She also writes about her time as a teacher, her Mormon religion, books she’s read, and recipes she and her husband have created.
Enter the #LoveBlog2017 Giveaway!
I am so excited to include a giveaway for this year’s #LoveBlog! It started 02/01/2017 and runs through the end of the month. US residents only. I love my international readers, but international giveaways are more difficult to manage legally.
I will verify the winning entry myself before emailing the winner during the first week of March. If the winner doesn’t respond, I’ll start the process over again. Today’s sponsor, Blush, is giving away a $25 gift card (and free shipping) to their website!
What’s your policy on secrets in a relationship? I’d love to hear your thoughts!