'Our Secret Makes Us Closer': 21 Couples Reveal the One Thing They Aren't Telling Anyone

Wendy Robinson | Mar 15, 2017 Love & Sex

couple clasping hands

When it comes to secrets in a marriage, keeping them from a partner is probably a bad idea. But keeping them with a partner is a whole different ballgame -- one that may even bring a couple closer together or take their relationship to a deeper level (even if the secret is something more challenging than joyful). These are the moments to live for in a marriage -- when a couple can work as a team, a super sneaky team. 

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For instance, when I found out I was pregnant with my first child, my husband and I decided not to tell anyone else at first. We'd been trying for months to get pregnant, and it felt special to know that we were the only ones who knew about this little life starting. It made the experience of my pregnancy a little more intimate before sharing with the whole world our wonderful news, and it was nice to just focus on our tiny, growing, family. 

To test this theory, I talked to 21 women who, as long as I promised to keep them anonymous, agreed to spill the beans on the secrets they and their husbands are keeping from the world. It turns out there are some secrets worth keeping and some that just make life and marriage harder. Read on for all the juicy details. 



    "My husband and I met in junior high. While most people know that we were high school sweethearts, almost nobody outside our immediate families knows that we gave a child up for adoption. I got pregnant when I was 15, and our parents really pushed for adoption. I don't think they ever thought we'd actually end up getting married, let alone stay together after that. We have three children now, and [our kids] don't know that they have a sibling they don't know. I hope someday we'll reconnect with our baby girl."



    "Nobody knows that my husband and I are going through bankruptcy. I'm worried someone will find out eventually. It feels really embarrassing, and we live in a pretty upper-middle-class area so most of our friends are doing OK. There's a lot of shame, but at least we're in it together, I guess." 



    "Our secret is that we are totally broke. Between student loans and credit cards and car notes, we have nothing in savings and are barely making it. The secret part is because my husband is trying to build a business as a financial adviser. We fight about money A LOT. But so far nobody else knows how bad it is." 



    "My secret isn't that juicy, but I know people get judgy about it: My husband and I have separate bedrooms! I love having my own space and not having to deal with his restless sleeping. We didn't really decide to not tell anyone, but I think we both just don't want people up in our business. But, for real though, separate bedrooms are the bomb dot com." 

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    "My husband is a very traditional kind of guy. So, he doesn't want anyone to know that we don't have combined finances. He wants people to think he is the primary breadwinner and that he runs the show. But I make more than him, and I keep my money separate. I think it is dumb that he thinks this should be something to hide, but it isn't worth fighting about anymore." 



    "Nobody knows we're married! We are planning a big wedding in the summer, the whole formal thing, but we actually got married in Las Vegas a couple of years ago. It is our little secret, and I think we both kind of laugh that nobody has figured it out. But I'm not telling anyone -- I want those wedding presents!" 



    "I got fired a few weeks ago and so far my husband is the only one who knows. I screwed up at work, and I deserved to be fired, but it sucks, and I'm embarrassed, and I don't want to talk about it. I'm really glad he's got my back on this."



    "My husband was recently diagnosed with a serious illness, and he refuses to tell anyone about it. So nobody, not even our families, knows that he is sick. I don't think I can keep this secret much longer. I'm tired and worried, and I need some support. But I feel guilty because I promised 'sickness and health,' right?"

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    "My husband and I are swingers! So, I guess some people know, but we aren't 'out' to friends and family. We'd get so judged for it. But I feel like it keeps us close, and we both like it." 



    "My husband cheated on me last year, and we very nearly divorced over it. My husband is a pastor, so we couldn't really talk to anyone about it. His church is pretty liberal and hipster, but I'm not sure they wouldn't have fired him. It felt very isolating to have to deal with this and have to worry it would cost us our financial future if someone else found out. It sucked and still sucks, really." 



    "Our secret is that we're engaged! My fiancé is still finalizing his divorce from his ex, so we're keeping it between us until all the messy details with their split is finished. We don't need her getting more mad than she already is." 



    "My husband cheated when we were engaged. The relationship was very short but resulted in his having a son. I know, obviously, but nobody else who is close to us knows. He pays child support, but the mom has full custody. I'm not sure how this will work long-term, especially once we have kids, but I don't want to deal with the drama of everyone else's knowing."



    "My husband's family thinks I don't drive because I'm from New York City. The truth is that I had a DUI and I quit driving after that. My husband knows about it but it isn't something I advertise, you know?" 


    "I'm a trans woman and we live in a very conservative area and my husband is in the military, so that is a double whammy. I'm not out as being trans and I won't be unless I feel like we're in a safe place. Our families know but our friends and neighbors don't and it is going to stay that way." 



    "My husband's dad is a Republican in our state legislature. My husband has asked me to keep it on the down-low that I'm a Democrat. I changed my party affiliation to Independent but I'd rather die than have voted for Trump and the party that supports him."



    "We're 420 friendly, which shouldn't be a big deal, but now that we have a baby everyone assumes that we don't enjoy a good time sometimes. Not true. As soon as I was done nursing, we went back to smoking once a week or so to relax. I don't like to lie, but since it's still kind of controversial or whatever, I'm keeping it private."



    "We recently experienced our third miscarriage in two years and we haven't told anyone. I'm not ashamed or anything. I'm just really private and it is just too hard to have to talk about it over and over. I think our families know we're trying, but we don't go into details, ever."



    "We're going to spill the beans soon, but right now it is still a secret that we're moving to France in about six months! We're going to have a family adventure for at least a year, which is something that we've been saving up for the last four years. I think it will be great for our family, and the planning part has been really bonding for my husband and me, but I know the grandparents are going to be really sad about it."



    "We have five kids and are secretly trying for number six. We get SO MUCH crap already for being a big family but I don't care. We want a full house. I've learned that people are excited for you for the first three kids but get weird for number four and five. I'm sure number six will get us lots of eye rolls and gossip. But Mike and I are very much on the same page about it."



    "I'm in recovery from an addiction to prescription pain meds. I'm doing great with my husband's support. For right now we are just taking it day by day. We've kept it private for now but I know we'll have to let other people in eventually." 



    "My husband's family is very traditional, so they'd probably make a big thing of it that I make a lot more money than my husband does. I'm much more career focused and will probably always be the bigger breadwinner.

    "My husband doesn't care -- he calls me sugar mama -- but they get weird about the head-of-the-household stuff. I just smile and nod when they say things that imply he wears the pants in our family."

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