By MPHO MOTSIE-MABUDA
Let us start by what these words mean….
Secret – Something kept hidden or unexplained/something kept from the knowledge of others
Private – Belonging to or the use of one particular person
Most of us have a past in regards to relationships and sexuality. When you get in a relationship there is an expectation to share with your partner. The question comes, what do you share and how much of your past do you share. Is it really necessary for you to share your financial status, sexual health, sexual history, history of infidelity, sexual fantasies, sexual beliefs and even past sexual trauma? Should there even be room for Secrets and/ or Privacy in a relationship, marriage?
It is very important to open up about your past if it could affect your partner’s health, finances or the course of your relationship.
Every healthy romantic relationship should have some privacy though. What do I mean by this? In a relationship we must always keep our individualism. Couples who lose that individualism risk ending up feeling like brother and sister, with not much excitement and intimacy in the relationship. Healthy privacy tends to assist with a great sex life. Couples need to have hobbies outside the relationship/marriage.
Examples of having privacy in a relationship
• She has a girl’s night every last weekend of the month
• He plays soccer with his boys every Friday night
• She enjoys hiking by herself as a form of meditation
• He plays video games in the games room every Sunday for two hours with no disturbance from the kids and her
None of you are obliged to share what happened during your private time, but if your partner asks you something about that time, you should be able to answer truthfully. Be careful though because too much privacy, has the possibility of becoming a secret.
A secret on the other hand is any thing that you do knowingly, and if your partner would find out, they would be hurt. Secrets are kept hidden because they make you feel shame and fear.
Examples of Secrets in a relationship
• You lost your job but you wake up every morning and pretend you are going to work
• You got a promotion and a raise but don’t tell your partner
• You kissed your co-worker
• You lost all your months salary on a pyramid scheme
• You are addicted to porn
Transparency is very important in every relationship. Never intentionally hide anything from your partner. If there is no transparency then trust can be broken. Once trust is broken it is very hard to get it back.
In my opinion there is only one good secret that is allowed in a relationship, and that is planning a surprise for partner, whether be a party, gift or even a romantic holiday!
All the others are just too much work and stressful, not worth it.
Mpho Motsie-Mabuda is a Relationship and Sex Coach -0636805704