Intensely Personal Secrets

Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Curves.

There are secrets I have that I will never divulge here. And there are secrets I’ve been told that I will never divulge anywhere, whether  they are the secrets of those I love or of those I detest.

The Long-Awaited Honest-to-God Secret to Being Happy

We all  keep  secrets.  Yes,  even  diarists  who  openly share their  thoughts  with friends  in an effort  to make sense of life. But I finally  understand why people really keep secrets.

Real secrets. The deep, dark, intensely personal secrets that people often never share with another soul, or if they do, they spend the rest of their lives regretting it.

I remember  one occasion  when my ex admonished me for keeping secrets from him. He felt that a married couple  should  be  able  to  share  everything.  Absolutely everything. No matter how personal.  Ironic, but when I did share, I almost always felt decimated by his response.

Ironic, too, but he had plenty of his own secrets that he never shared with me, and some of them I never knew about during  the  course  of  our  marriage.  And  further irony…the secret he thought  I was keeping on that one occasion  wasn’t  it at all. I  tried  to blow it off as hey, women need to keep some secrets because it’s part of our mystique.  And  while  there’s  a  small  truth  to  that,  the thing hidden at that moment had to do with my feelings about a miscarriage  that  I couldn’t talk about to anyone right then because the emotions were too raw.

Yet I still have that romantic notion of being able to

share my deepest,  darkest secrets with the man I’m in a relationship  with. If I’m ever in another  relationship,  I would want that. It’s a way of truly merging with another soul, when you can share at that level.

But things conspire against most people to keep them from sharing with their significant others and those they love most dearly. Not secrets about a new lover or a hid- den mistress. Too often, a spurned or  neglected spouse wants  to  hurt  the  other  by  allowing  those  kinds  of “secrets” to come  out,  usually  in the  most  devastating way possible or as self-sabotage to force the spouse to be the dumper rather than the dumpee.

No, I don’t mean secrets that are used as catalysts or weapons. I  mean  secrets  that  truly are  secrets  and  are never shared with the most important people in our lives.

In fact, it’s often harder for people to share deep secrets with significant others than with strangers, which is why so many men pay  escort services to allow them to live out their kinks. They can’t risk the reaction of anyone important  to them.  They  can’t  risk  the  emotional  hurt that comes with the kind of rejection that means not just ridiculing a  particular secret but a fundamental rejection of the person as either  hopelessly  flawed or something that must be obliterated and  reconstructed  in a socially acceptable image.

(Do I hear an amen?)

We expect  to have personal  beliefs and preferences that  the  rest  of  society  doesn’t  necessarily  understand. Some of those secrets are kept  closely guarded because we’d lose our jobs, our families, our friends, our standing in the community. We’d be regarded as a joke. But bearing such secrets alone? That’s a heavy burden.

So there’s this idea of being able to tell your soul mate all your secrets, but for most of us, when we do, it’s met with some of the most intense hurt of our lives. Not only would society reject you, you think, but here’s this person who’s sworn to love you unconditionally  and the condition they just placed on loving you is synonymous  with you being the real you.

After that kind of treatment,  we’re  not so eager  to share our secrets with soul mates. We know the dangers. So we keep them  wrapped  up neatly  and stashed  in a place where no one can see them, lest our secrets become ammunition to be used against us in any and every petty battle.

And our soul mates respond with allegations  that we are shutting  them  out,  rejecting  them.  And  we  are.  If they’re truly our soul mates, then wouldn’t they be able to share   our   most   personal   secrets—without   repercussions—rather than leveling us for opening up  even more so than for staying closed?

I guess we never know how our soul mates will react to our secrets until we have the courage to show that part of ourselves, and too often with secrets hidden too long between mates, the eventual method of protection is one of deception, but it’s easier than openness. And then the relationship is doomed.

So why keep secrets? Simple. Secrets are about fear of acceptance.