Should there be secrets in marriage? This dilemma has provided the plot for daytime soap dramas since Guiding Light was on the radio. Sunset Beach took the theme to another level. Remember with Olivia was cuckolding Greg and then got pregnant with what she thought was Cole’s baby, who Annie stole and gave to Caitlin who was married to Cole but pretending to be pregnant with his baby? (If it sounds confusing and FUBAR’d, it’s because it is.) So many secrets! I think Meg was the only honest character on that show, but she was dull and susceptible to emotional injury because of her sincerity. It annoyed me to no end that she got her happily-ever-after when the show ended.
I’m getting off track. This ain’t about Meg. This post is about Marshall and Malaka.
Yesterday, I called a good friend to catch up and caterwaul about life. In female relationships, there is a dance that we do to establish trust. I tell you a tidbit of information and wait a few weeks (in some cases, days) to see if it comes back to me. You in turn may do the same. If nothing comes back, I tell you a bit more. This cycle repeats itself over the course of many months until eventually we’re discussing bedroom theatrics and/or revealing the secret ingredient in Big Mama’s sweet potato pie. That’s the real mark of a trust relationship; that sweet potato pie.
So anyway, this friend told me something and said she would only reveal it on one condition: “You BET not tell anyone…not even your husband!”
And I, hungry for filla (the 411), agreed.
Ohhh…and it was good. Spine tingling good. I’ve been mulling over it for days and am amused and horrified in equal measure whenever I think about it. I am also plagued with guilt, because I have willingly accepted the charge of withholding information from my husband. But you know what the worst part is…what the most annoying thing is? My husband probably already knows about this “secret”, and has simply forgotten to tell me!
I don’t know how or where Marshall gathers his intel, but the man has already heard it all. It’s difficult to quantify the number of times I’ve excitedly burst into the house with news, only to be countered with a placid “Yeah. I heard that last week.”
Me: Hey babe! Did you know Felicia’s daughter just discovered the secret formula for Coke?
Him: Yeah. I helped her crack it at a student-led conference. Amazing, eh?
Me: Babe! Have you heard this new underground trap song? It’s called Booty, Booty, Booty Cake. Isn’t that CRAZY?
Him: Yes. God revealed it to me in the spirit. We were at prayer last night praying against its affect on this generation.
Marshall’s ‘I know’ response to everything led me to the false belief that he has also been keeping secrets from me; so I asked him about it.
Me: Dude! You aren’t going to believe this. They ACTUALLY have Pumpkin Spice Oreos. Isn’t that gross?
Him: Ugh! I know. In 2012, I was invited to taste test them before they put them on the market. What? I didn’t tell you about that? Must’ve slipped my mind….
And that’s how it’s been for most of our marriage – most of our relationship, really. He’ll become privy to juicy or interesting information and then
I’m looking at him as I type this. Look at him over there on his iPhone…scratchin’ his head and gathering information. Just swallowing all of the mysteries and secrets of the universe with his eyes. Humph.
It’s hard to be in this position because of the generation I was born into. The previous century was an era defined by secrecy. Secrecy was currency. There was a direct relationship between clandestineness and trust. The 20th century was the James Bond and Cold War age, where no one was who they appeared to be and everyone was just fine living next door to the Russian spy masquerading as a soccer coach next door as long as he brought beer to the Memorial Day picnic. Why? Because secrets! Today, you can’t even take a dump without attempting to turn it into front-page news. The 21st century is all about performance, exhibitionism and vanity. Nothing is a secret anymore, and the person who gabs the most is seen as the more trustworthy individual.
TMZ has proven this.
Can you imagine if TMZ had been around in the age of Martin Luther King? They would have destroyed his image, publishing audio of him groaning in bed with a woman who was not his wife and so forth. We would still be riding at the back of the bus, all because TMZ had to go run tell that. But who do we go to to verify if a political/celeb scandal has any merit?
If you’re reading this today, have no fear. The 70’s baby in me is strong. I can keep this not-secret secret from my husband. I’m gonna cloak and dagger this thing so hard, you’d think this was a scene from a medieval martial arts play. And in December, when the topic somehow finds its way into our discourse, I will be fully prepared for its natural conclusion.
“Oh. Yeah…I already knew that. In fact, I was seated at the right hand of Nostradamus when he predicted it.”
On a serious note, I don’t think that there should be certain types of secrets between spouses. There are topics that are absolutely each others’ business. These topics include – but are not limited to – issues with fiscal and physical health, anything pertaining to the children and the wifi password. Withholding details surrounding particular events breeds mistrust, and you can’t have a successful relationship where doubt forms cracks in the foundation.
Do you tell your spouse everything? Should you tell your spouse everything? Discuss! You’ve got 24 hours before the comments close. 🙂