Have you ever cut the price tag off a new dress so your boyfriend or husband wouldn’t find out what it REALLY cost? Have you ever told your friend she looks thin and great when in fact she looks awful? Have you ever secretly been attracted to someone other than your partner? Have you ever lied about how much money you make? Have you ever covered up for your kids? Have you gotten Botox and not disclosed? Have you ever faked an orgasm?
Well, if you have ladies, you’re not alone. Women are secret keepers and liars it just so happens! But what do women hide, and what do they tell? Studies show that women keep secrets from their spouses about anything from having an eating disorder, to spending, to stuff about the kids. They also show that women keep secrets from other women about weight, cheating on partners, and about the achievements of their children. Finally, studies show that baby boomers, those in the highest income brackets, and married couples are more secretive than all other.
Now I remember all too well when my husband, (who was my boyfriend at the time), bought me a gold bracelet for our one-year “going out” anniversary. I had received a huge teddy bear for our six-month anniversary all complete with roses… aww what a romantic! But the gold bracelet came after the year. And let me tell you, man was it U-G-L-Y. I mean, not to him of course. He told me it took him an hour to choose it. It was this mix of white and yellow gold that came braided together in a snake-like fashion. I must have been a great liar/actress, cuz when I saw it, I so “honestly” blurted out, “It’s gorgeous! I love it!” Only after we were married did I tell him the bracelet was so damn ugly, I shuttered every time I looked down at my wrist. And so, recently, at a friend’s Gold Party, I hocked it for cash! Am I the best wife or what??
In fact, there is a book called “Little White Lies, Deep Dark Secrets” from author Susan Barash, that talks about just this. She speaks about how even since we are little girls, we are encouraged to keep secrets. From, “Don’t tell daddy what happened at school today,” right up to adulthood, and lying about all sorts of things, such as calling in sick at the office when you’re just looking for a day off. In this book, Barash talks about how women justify lying, using it as their armor and shield. I’ve seen this first hand. This is something like, for the “greater good” we don’t tell the person the truth. We do this to “safeguard” the person. Women have truly become adept at lying and keeping secrets.
But it can be truly agonizing to have a secret. So when do you keep a secret and when do you tell? This is a very complex issue. One that takes more than one blog post to cover. And the truth is, no one can tell you when a situation is best to tell the truth, and when it’s best to keep your mouth shut. What I hope for you to take away from this post is, in my opinion, the truth really does set you free. No matter how hard it may be to tell a friend, a loved one, a child the truth, I think it’s necessary. When my grandmother was dying, no one told her she was dying. We did this to protect her. But, imagine if she had had people she wanted to apologize to, or to gain closure with in her life? That choice was taken away from her. And I think that’s not fair.
So, if you opt to tell the truth, perhaps try it with grace and integrity:
- Start by being honest with yourself. Let’s keep things real, people.
- Let the other person know that it’s simply your opinion. It’s all about perspective. Example, “For me, I don’t particularly like the outfit on you, but maybe that’s just me.”
- Telling the truth doesn’t have to be a “tell-all” session. You can still maintain boundaries.
- Be gracious and sincere. You can always say something like, “I hope I haven’t offended you, but I thought you would really want to know the truth.”
- Accept that not everyone wants to know the truth. Telling your best friend her husband has been having an affair may be the right thing for you to do, but doesn’t mean it’s going to be well received by her. Be prepared.
- Know in advance how you are going to handle the situation should things get tense. If it evokes an argument, know how to make a graceful exit. Explain your intentions were always the best.
- And finally, tell the truth for the right reason. It isn’t about being judgmental. It’s about honesty and integrity. Rules by which both men and women should live by.
So, ladies, tell us, what secrets and lies have you kept over the years from friends, family and partners? Share with our readers. And finally, some food for thought. Turns out, we are NOT the best secret keepers after all. A recent survey shows, WOMEN CANNOT KEEP A SECRET FOR MORE THAN 47 HOURS. Yikes!
Happy Monday, friends! Now… what to make for dinner… ugh!!