Should I tell my husband everything? He says that keeping secrets from each other is harmful to our relationship.
The short answer: No.
Right now, I’m writing a supposed tell-all book. But there’s no way I would tell all, and it’s not because I can’t remember everything.
Privacy matters. Hopefully everything I’m putting in my book either has entertainment value or it spotlights a lesson worth reading—like don’t let a bank robber steal your heart and never have drinks with a married A-list celebrity who is a notorious womanizer because The National Enquirer will find out and hunt you down. The things that won’t make it in the book are my secrets that are nobody’s business but mine. No husband or boyfriend is going to get those secrets out of me.
And yet, for our sanity, sometimes it feels good to tell somebody all our secrets, even the stupid humiliating ones like peeing in your panties during a third-grade spelling bee.
There’s a guy who knows this better than anyone and his mission in life is keeping your secrets. You can tell him anything and no one will ever find out. His name is Frank Warren and his address is PostSecret, 13345 Copper Ridge Road, Germantown, MD 20874. You send him an anonymous postcard with the deep, dark secret that your husband says he wants to know and, voila, you’ve told someone so it’s technically it’s not a secret anymore.
Telling the wrong secret to your lover can cause a nightmare. What’s a “wrong” secret? Well, I had no intention of letting anyone know that I’d had some wild times with Mel Gibson after I’d learned he was married. He was kind and respectful to me; he didn’t deserve the bad publicity. Then one day in 2004 I got a threatening email from someone identified as “firstname.lastname@example.org”. It opened with “We are a company which digs up info on people and sells it to the highest bidder.”
After my secret became international news, the affair haunted every relationship I had—for years. Men asked to sleep with me so they could prove they were better than Mel. Some women wanted to sleep with me to find out if they were better than Mel! So the secret-that-was-no-more became more dominant in my relationships than the here-and-now.
Everything was bared, like when I was in the fourth grade and one day we played a game called “poles.” The tether ball on the playground had been taken down so only the pole remained. We decided to climb up the pole as far as we could then twirl around all the way down to the bottom. Whoever swung around the most times was the winner. I won, but everybody saw my pettipants. At least they were clean.