Despite commonly-used phrases like "honesty is the best policy," people keep secrets from others for a number of reasons. You might decide not to tell a friend that you lost your job, embarrassed about what happened or by the fact that something that's unfortunately often looked at as a status symbol isn't part of your identity anymore. You might not tell your family that you and your partner have been struggling or that the two of you broke up, waiting instead for "the right moment" to break the news. Below are the biggest secrets men hide from their partners, which, if your partner is a man, you might want to know a bit more about.
Everyone keeps secrets from time to time; no one is a completely open book (even if they insist they are). And things that you'd deem are temporary secrets or secrets that include a nice surprise for your partner probably aren't too damaging to keep, but there are probably some other secrets that you (and they) are keeping as well. In some cases, you might not realize that they could actually be things that are actively hurting your relationship, while in other cases, you might think that they're totally innocent (even if they might not be, long-term).
If your male partner is keeping some secrets from you, there are some subjects that might be more likely than others.
1. That They Look At Porn
It's not uncommon for men to keep their porn watching (or viewing) a secret. "Men often keep their sexual behavior secret because they fear judgement," Bianca L. Rodriguez, MA, Ed.M, LMFT, a licensed marriage and family therapist, tells Romper in an email exchange. "As pornography has become easier to access many clients I work with find themselves tuning in more frequently and require more intense visual stimulation. Many men feel disturbed that they are aroused by aggressive or obscure content." Because they're worried that they'll be judged, they'd rather not disclose what's going on.
2. The Stock & Bonds They Own
Investments are another thing that men often keep hidden from their partner. In a survey conducted by SafeHome, stocks and bonds was one of the top five secrets about finances for both men and women, however more men kept these a secret than women did.
3. That They Feel Embarrassed About How They Look
Unfortunately, people almost assume that women will feel a certain way about how they look, but what's not as frequently discussed is that men can have negative feelings about their appearance as well. Rodriguez says that this is something she's seeing more of in her work with clients.
"More and more men are coming to me exhibiting symptoms of body dysmorphia," she says. "Often suffering in silence, men feel ashamed to discuss their insecurities about their physical appearance because it’s not considered 'masculine' in our culture. Normalizing this experience can help your significant other open up. For instance, when you’re watching TV and see a representative of the ideal male appear share what it’s like when you see this type of unattainable image in your gender."
4. How Much Money They're Spending
You might expect that women would keep this a secret more commonly than men, since that's too often the gender stereotype, but there are a lot of men keeping their spending habits hidden from their partners as well. As noted in SafeHome's previously-mentioned survey, nearly 12 percent of men surveyed said that they keep their spending a secret. So, really, it's universal.
5. How Often They Look At Porn
Rodriguez says that men also often keep how often they watch or look at porn a secret too because they're embarrassed. That doesn't necessarily mean that they're looking at it all the time, but whatever you think the frequency might be, might actually be different than the true reality of the situation.
6. Issues Related To Their Family
Unfortunately, men also keep secrets regarding family member's mental health issues, money problems, and the like from the past. "Any mental health issues, suicides, financial troubles can be sources of shame for them and therefore they don't talk about it, but it can lead to problems if the wife feels the husband is being protective," Lynn R. Zakeri, LCSW, a licensed clinical social worker, tells Romper in an email.
7. Embarrassing Sex Stories, Especially From When They Were Young
It's pretty understandable why men (or anyone) might not want to offer up all the details about their embarrassing sex stories. Rodriguez says that this (and how often they view porn) is often related to experiences from puberty and that many men have embarrassing stories from back then. She recommends sharing your embarrassing stories if you want to get them talking about their own.
8. If They Have Inheritances
Inheritances can also be the source of secrets for some men, Zakeri says. "Sometimes the husband has this fear that if the wife knows, she will go on a spending spree even if there is not past evidence of this," she explains. "This stems from their own financial-related anxiety (many people have this!) rather than their trust in their wives."
If you or your partner are keeping these kinds of secrets from one another, but you wish that you could convince your partner that it is OK to share, Zakeri has some advice for you. "Be a good listener and don't make assumptions," she says. "People talk more when they feel they are safely sharing information."
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