The Secrets That All Wives Keep
Shilpa • onRelationship 12 years ago • 6 min read

We asked 900+ married women what they conceal from and reveal to their husbands. Here's what they said. How do you compare? by Joanna Philbin a.. | b.. Who is more honest: men or women? 72% of you said: "Women tell the truth more often."

28% of you said: "Men fess up more readily."

Are little white lies ever okay to tell your spouse? 71% of you said: "Yes."

"As long as it's not about the fundamentals of marriage. Men don't want to hear everything anyway." -Melissa, Pasadena, MD

29% of you said: "No, a lie is a lie."

"Even small lies can have big consequences. Complete honesty works." -Laurie, Philadelphia

When a girlfriend asks you not to tell anyone her secret, do you tell your husband? 57% of you said: "Yes, he is my ultimate confidant."

"I'd want to share that intimacy -- but I'd kill him if he repeated it!" -Dawn, Chicago

43% of you said: "No, I wouldn't betray my friend's trust."

"Besides, if I told him intimate things about my girlfriend, he'd look at her differently." -Nicole, Bakersfield, CA

Have you given your husband a compliment that wasn't true? 65% of you said: "Nope. I call it as I see it."

"Insincerity benefits no one. If I tell him to change clothes, he can take it." -Tiffany, Columbus, GA

"I never do that because my husband already knows he looks good!" -Donna, Des Moines

35% of you said: "Yep. I boost his self-esteem."

"He has pants that make his butt look fat! I say he looks good to protect his ego. I bet he does the same for me." -Kristen, Mount Union, PA

Have you ever lied about how much you paid for a purchase? 66% of you said: "Of course."

"I told him a designer bag was a fake." -Joanne, Suffern, NY

"He's frugal. It's not fair to deny myself things we can afford. I told him our $500 DVD player cost $200. We're both happy." -Dawn, Chicago

34% of you said: "Never."

Is not telling your spouse something the same as lying? 70% of you said: "No way."

30% of you said: "Oh, yeah!"

Have you ever hid a purchase from your husband? 60.5% of you said: "Certainly."

"When I buy new shoes, which he thinks is frivolous, I just leave them in my car. Then I'll put them on in the car on days I want to wear them." -Kristen, Mount Union, PA

39.5% of you said: "Not a chance."

"If it's a purchase that I feel uneasy about making in the first place, because he would question it, then I shouldn't be buying it." -Melissa, Winsted, CT

Have you lied to your husband about the number of your premarital sex partners? 80.5% of you said: "No, I've been up-front about my past."

"I'm not embarrassed about the people who've been an important part of my life. They've contributed to who I am." -Mary, Danbury, CT

19.5% of you said: "Yes."

"I don't tell him everything. I'm sure he hasn't told me everything. There are things that are better left unsaid." -Nicole, Bakersfield, CA

Have you talked to an old boyfriend and not mentioned it to your husband? 68% of you said: "No big deal. I told him."

32% of you said: "I kept it quiet."

Have you ever invented an excuse to avoid having sex with your husband? 52% of you said: "Nope."

"I don't make up stories when I'm not in the mood. Why should I have sex when I don't want to -- or be afraid to say so?" -Emily, Reno, NV

48% of you said: "It's happened."

"I make excuses all the time! My husband shouldn't wait until 10pm to put the moves on me when I'm really exhausted after a long day." -Nancy, Los Angeles

Have you ever faked an orgasm with your husband? 52% of you said: "Oh, yes!"

"My husband is one of those men who thinks that if a woman doesn't have an orgasm, then she's not having a good time. So I'll fake it to save his feelings." -Wendy, Chicago

"There's a point where you just think, 'Enough already.'" -Dawn, Chicago

48% of you said: "Oh, no!"

"Faking an orgasm is just denying yourself pleasure. Why should I remain unsatisfied?" -Laurie, Philadelphia

Do you have a fantasy you've never shared with your husband? 55.5% of you said: "He knows my erotic thoughts."

"Letting my husband in on my role-playing fantasies has made our marriage more fun and interesting." -Melinda, Pittsburgh

44.5% of you said: "Yes!"

"I'm too shy to tell my husband that I often fantasize about us making love in public places -- on a park bench or under a restaurant table. I'd never do these exhibitionist things. But if I told my husband, he'd want to follow through on them - then I'd really be in trouble!" -Susie, Santa Fe, NM

Are white lies okay in marriage? Or does deception of any kind lead to marital problems? John Gray, Ph.D., author of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus and a Redbook Marriage Institute advisory board expert, weighs in.

Why it's okay to lie about crushes: "The number-one secret couples keep from each other is an attraction to another person. People have fantasies about other partners all the time that they never plan to act on. Men's fantasies tend to be sexual, while women's tend to be relationship-oriented. But most married couples keep quiet about this so as not to hurt their spouse's feelings, and that's okay. Most people couldn't handle having a spouse say to them, 'My fantasy is to make love with our neighbor.'"

Why you should tell the truth about shopping: "A big source of stress in marriage is money. So it's not uncommon for husbands and wives to deceive each other about their spending habits, because they fear that being forthcoming will garner them criticism and stress. But in the long run, when you hide this from your partner, you're not being open and don't trust that he'll support your decisions. This eventually builds up and gets in the way of communication and passion. You reach a point at which you can't honestly talk to the person you've chosen to share your life with!"

What about telling someone else's secrets? "Women view the telling of secrets as a way to increase intimacy and say, 'I'm sharing this because you're special.' If your husband is your best friend, then it's natural to want to confide in him. But you need to be certain he'll keep the info private."

Is there such a thing as a "harmless" white lie? "Nearly everyone tells one occasionally to avoid hurting their spouse's feelings. But your goal is to have more integrity, to not get into the habit of telling white lies. Honesty empowers you; it keeps how you feel and what you say in sync. That balance and openness gives you personal energy and, ultimately, gives your marriage more strength."

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  • Guest 9 years ago
    I think that unconditional marital honesty, especially with respect to sexuality is relative. What I mean to say is that many mature compatible marriages seem to operate around reassuring your partner of something that isn't possible, or is likely obviously untrue (like asking if ones partner is curious about other partners, or curious about sensations related to size or physical traits). While I believe this to be true I feel the most gratifying experience a couple could have together is achieved by embracing our carnal tendencies, and in a sense indulging them (through roles if it is necessary to operate guilt free). The most fulfilling experiences I myself have had have come from previous fantasies that caused me discomfort or insecurity.... not saying it is your medicine... but it worked for me.