The Little White Lies That Are OK to Keep From Your Partner

Sometimes keeping things to yourself is really the way to go.

woman keeping secret
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In my line of work people's secrets often provide the fodder and motivation for their seeking sex counseling in the first place. Burdened by something they never dared mention to their lover or "regular" therapist, and which has been troubling them for months or years, they present themselves before me, figuratively lay prostrate, and amass the courage to tell me about a fantasy, behavior, or feeling they can barely speak of out of terror and embarrassment.

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Although there is a wide range of fantasies and practices that can be housed in the human psyche under the heading Erotica, the common experience of those struggling with such content is the shame, isolation, and torture they feel as they try sorting through it while simultaneously deciding if they should tell their partner about it. 

The smitten will often describe their partner as their "best friend" implying they can tell them anything without fear of reprisal or rebuke. Their sense of pride in having landed a BFF and lover in one is unmistakable. Sadly, coupling with your best friend is not a recipe for keeping sex alive over the long-haul. Here-in lies the value of being able to discern between what is private and what is secret. Differentiating between the two is absolutely necessary if you want to stay coupled and have great sex throughout your tenure as a mated pair. 

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Coupled relationships have the unique and often unfortunate quality of hidden receptor sites for unnecessary upset. Make no mistake about it—being coupled and sharing so many things with someone every day: your bed, your food, your bathroom, your children, your families, pets, cars, etc. can catapult even the sturdiest ego into the land of hurt feelings and subsequent undue processing over absolutely nothing. This warrants taking pause on a regular basis to determine if what you're about to say is necessary or worth it.

Believe it or not, there are things that are simply unimportant, uninteresting, and none of your partner's business and best left unsaid if you want to keep sex—and the peace—between you. Plenty of people don't have working knowledge of this. They're under the impression that talking about everything and doing everything together not only fuels harmony and sexual intimacy but is also a silent mandate for the mated. Nothing could be further from the truth.


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Casually mention to your partner, who is a size 10 brunette, that you not only checked out the Big Beautiful Babes website but also found yourself turned on by the full-figured blondes you saw, or that while you were waiting at the luggage carousel you flirted with the guy next to you and you may be really sorry you did. If you have no plans of pursing the blonde or "Mr. Luggage Carousel," then I suggest you keep this to yourself.

Secrets and private things are closely linked, without question. But as I see it, a secret has the potential to ruin everything, less so a private matter. The tricky part is deciding which one is which and there is no hard-and-fast rule. This takes sorting through and is often best accomplished with a truly objective, informed, and attentive listener who can keep their own bias out of the conversation. 

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As I see it, the over-arching question you have to answer is whether or not what you're thinking, feeling, done and/or are doing has dismantled your fundamental integrity or not. If a choice you have made has led you into a life of duplicity, then you have a problem on your hands because you've become a liar. Keep in mind that fantasies and actions are decidedly different, as are single actions versus repetitive ones. 


When you first met your partner you weren't privy to most of their private thoughts. This added to the attraction between you. There's no reason to give this up after you have made a commitment to be together. In fact, many things are better left unsaid.