Your romantic partner is typically someone you think you know quite well. The two of you share deep parts of your life, building more and more trust as the relationship progresses. However, as one viral Reddit post has recently shown, even the closest people keep secrets from one another.
It all started when u/dusty_ninja asked other users on the platform, "What is the darkest thing you have kept from your partner?" The answers immediately came pouring in, ranging from icky and cruel to sad and heartbreaking. Here are some of the most memorable ones.
I never told my wife that her mother tried to have sex with me. It was early in our marriage when we were living with her to save money for our own place. Her marriage of 28 years had ended badly and she was emotionally fragile. She was very drunk and was absolutely horrified at what she had done when she sobered up. I promised not to ever tell my wife and I never did, even when she and I were fighting near the end of our marriage. Some things are too cruel to do, even when you're trying to hurt each other.
Sometimes we feel a desire to "unburden ourselves" to someone we just started dating. But they aren't necessarily interested in a long-term relationship and/or feeling obliged to keep our secrets. Trying to connect with another person but keeping a healthy distance can be tricky.
Dating coach Hayley Quinn, who helps men and women to build confidence and get their mojo back, told Bored Panda that "it's good to be authentic with people we meet, and be our 'true selves' so we can work out if there's a connection. However, you can miss the mark of authenticity and crash land into oversharing if you do this before you've had a chance to build trust."
To explain her point, Quinn invited us to imagine revealing our deepest, darkest secret to the barista who serves us our morning coffee. "You wouldn't do it, right? With social relationships we have to phase into openness and before we share, make sure the other person is on the same page. Make sure you check out if they're happy with where the conversation is going by making statements like 'let me know if I'm going off on a tangent here' or 'you can tell me if this is too much information for date 2.' This also brings levity to the interaction. Finally, make sure that interaction is 2-sided. You don't want to dump all your emotions on a person without being willing to also hear them out."
He wanted to find a shark tooth so badly after I found one at the beach. So I went and bought a small bottle of shark teeth from the gift shop, spread them out all over a strip of beach we were hanging at and marveled at every shark tooth he brought me. I can never tell him the truth.
I cheated on my wife....when she wasn't looking at a family pot luck.
My wife and her sister put their peanut butter cupcakes side by side on the table and her sister makes crazy good cupcakes. My sister in law made peanut butter cupcakes with real peanut butter filling AND filled it with Reese's Peanut Butter chips. My wife only put a tiny bit of peanut butter topping on hers with no PB filling. I kept making excuses to go back to the dessert table and scarf down my sis in laws cupcakes especially when little kids were near it to make it look like they were eating most of the cupcakes. Didn't even touch my wife's cupcakes.
According to Sheri Stritof's article on VeryWell Mind, which has been reviewed and approved by psychiatrist Carly Snyder, we do not have to share everything with another person if things get serious as well. We have the right to privacy in any relationship, including with our spouse, partner, and family. In a healthy commitment, both parties have to acknowledge the sense of emotional and physical privacy needed for their mental well-being, otherwise, ironically, a couple ends up limiting their intimacy with one another, not enhancing it.
Hayley Quinn agrees to this line of thinking. "Being in a relationship is not a contract to disclose everything about our lives. For a lot of people it's important to have built a degree of trust before being candid: you may not want to tell someone about your past on date 1, but by 2 months in you may feel more comfortable to be open," she said.
"The important question to ask yourself when it comes to when and if you should disclose information is whether it would make a material difference to the relationship today. Things like health conditions, criminal records, children all will have a bearing on whether someone is happy to continue building a relationship with you. Also remember that ultimately you need acceptance from your partner, so rather than fearing you're going to put them off, prioritize instead finding someone that supports you totally."
I’m from south Louisiana and my dad is in a Mardi Gras Crew. Every year he’s on a float throwing beads.
My husband has never been to Mardi Gras so his first time he was so excited and it was at my dad’s parade. Normally people on the floats throw the “good beads” to kids or women that will flash them.
I told my husband that if you yell “throw me something mister!” loud enough the people on the float will give you the “good beads.”
I told my dad and he told his float buddies, when their float came around my husband was screaming like a banshee “THROW ME SOMETHING MISTER!”
My dad and his friend pelted my husband with their best beads. When we were leaving the parade my husband was flexing all his nice new beads and thinks Mardi Gras is the best thing ever.
Didn’t have the heart to tell him that I told my dad to do that. He just thinks that because he was so enthusiastic, he got all the good stuff.
I freakin HATE Dungeons & Dragons.
It bores me to tears.
Yet I've orchestrates an elaborate lie that gives the illusion I love it as much as he does and once a month I have to spend 5 hours sitting through a session bored to tears.
I do this simply because its one of the few hobbies in his life he gets to enjoy and I want him to have someone to play it with.
It's been going on for 5 years now, and I have no way out lol
It's OK though, the amount of joy I see he gets from playing it gives me comparable joy. So I don't mind that much.
Secrets that can hurt your marriage are ones concerning:
- Having an affair;
- Job problems;
- Keeping an addiction or substance use habits hidden;
- Legal problems;
- Lending money;
- Lying about how you spend money;
- Not paying bills;
- Not revealing an illness;
- Seeing family and friends secretly.
But there are some things you might consider keeping to yourself, like:
- The exact number of people you've slept with;
- How great your ex was;
- Finding your partner's best friend really hot;
- Hating someone in their family or close friend circle.
At the end of the day, every couple decides where to draw the line. They both, however, need to play by the same rules.
Sometimes I buy a chocolate bar when I go to the grocery store and eat it before i get home…
Not that dark, but I really really did not like her wedding dress...
I have anxiety attacks when my SO is away. We joke about me believing he's dead when I don't hear from him often enough, but it's real. Like hyperventilating, heart racing, crying, rocking back and forth-real.
He loves going on roadtrips and does landscape photography. I can't ruin that for him.
I was born with only one hand. I have rheumatoid arthritis in the one hand I have, and I know it’s spreading. I have osteoarthritis in my lower back and scoliosis to the point where I am most likely going to need spine surgery. I’m only 31 years old. I can’t do this for another 50+ years. I am in such bad pain now and it’s only going to get worse. I have thought of suicide but I can’t do that to my husband and kids. I don’t want my husband to turn into a care giver. I can’t envision not being able to take care of myself.
That the real root of my trust issues stem from how I was sexually assaulted by my extremely religious godparents’ son when I was 11-12. It first started out with comments about my body, how I was “filling out”, then it evolved from there. My parents would send me to their house for whole summers and I particularly remember that one, my mom came to visit and I practically begged her to take me home. She adamantly refused even after I told her I was not comfortable and was scared and she still left me with them. I guess from there I just slowly stopped trusting the ones closest to me.
Exactly how bad of a person I used to be before I met her. She knows I was into drugs and some other dumb stuff, but she doesn't know the depths of depravity I delved to in order to fit in with the people I mistakenly wasted my time with.
I was crying, and told my boyfriend someone had kissed me.
He asked if it was his 30 year old cousin.
I said yes.
He asked me over and over if anything else happened.
I was 15. I said no.
Just how much I depend on her. For our first eight or so months of marriage, my wife and I were never apart due to moving around and being in lockdown. Even now we're hardly apart since we both work from home.
She doesn't know just how sad I get when she goes away. I miss her so much, and all I really want to do is curl up on the bed and wait for her to come back. I lose my smile, I lose interest in all my hobbies, everything. Once she gets back though, I'm alright again.
That I feel trapped and I hate myself and my life and I really just want to disappear and move away and leave my wife and three kids so they can finally be free of me, I feel like such a burden and so guilty that my kids love me, they’d be better off without me.
She's my ex now, but, she had just revealed to me some very, uh, confidential information, info I understand I'm one of only four people to know. She asked me if I have any deep secrets like that. I lied and told her I didn't, but the truth is, my grandmother by marriage (no blood relation) sexually harassed and abused me as a preteen and teenager. Literally nobody irl knows. I've never told anyone.
My wife asked me not to pee in the shower. I told her I wouldn't but I do it every time I shower.
I am able to talk about many morbid things I have experienced and witnessed, I could be open about how many girls I have slept with, but if the truth got out that I once had a boyfriend years ago and I still find men attractive, I am afraid that it will be over.
I have experienced enough rejection from women whenever I opened up about my sexuality
I suffer from chronic depression. My SO is super sweet and supportive, but I am afraid of unloading too much of my crazy on him. I keep dark thoughts and feelings from him all the time, I'd make him miserable if I didn't.
He knows, btw, I am not keeping all of it from him, just a lot of the excessive stuff.
I'm thinking of divorce.
My wife is scared of me. If I am working on something and I swear or vent my frustration. She runs to me (usually I am alone) and wants to know how to fix it.
Then she leaves the house when I say I am just mad that: I burned my hand. Toilet is clogged. I stripped a screw and need to drill it out.
She told me this weekend that when I am mad she gets scared, and that just broke something in me since I can't fully process it.
I don't know why, I have never even raised my voice to her. But she cringes and covers her ears whenever a loud noise occurs. I spoke to my parents and friends, they think it sounds like she has been abused in the past. But she doesn't want to talk about it, and when we disagree we don't even get to argue. She just locks herself away from me and our kids.
We are in marriage counselling because I haven't been happy for a long time. But she was arguing with the Therapist about what I really feel and how I should take vacations alone since I have had panic attacks on vacation before and that ruins them for me (or maybe her).
I don't know what to do, but I am tired of walking on eggshells.
Got someone pregnant in highschool, gave up custody so I wouldn't have to pay child support. They all died in a car crash 5 years later.
I'm not sure I actually love him, or if I just don't want to be alone or start a new relationship from scratch.
I once pooped in their garage because I was waiting for her to come home and let me in. Blamed it on the raccoons.
Declining mental health and everyday drug addiction. I wish I hadn't been so good at hiding it.
I needed help.
I hooked up with a professor of mine in college and after that she would pimp me out to her colleagues. That’s not the label she would have given it, but that’s what it was.
Nothing dark, but I hide pints of ice cream in the back of the freezer. If I don't hide it then it's gone. My girlfriend has 0 self control and will eat the entire pint in one sitting. I like to spread it out so I can have an enjoyable snack a few days in a row.
Sometimes I'll even buy one with gluten in it intentionally so she can't have it. She has celiac and can't have gluten.
I hate that she compares me to ex husband and i have to prove her wrong over and over again....i hate that i have to pay for is past mistakes. Like ugh starting to wonder if i can kepp doing this....i really do love her but its making me depressed
That there is literally nothing about myself that I actually like and I honestly have no idea what he sees in me...
All the men I've been with before him (only three) made it crystal clear they were with me because I was nice, supportive, safe, and convenient. Because I put up with [them]. They weren't actually attracted to me — just what I could do for them. ... It's hard to build confidence when my whole life has been about what's (objectively) wrong with me when everyone around me, including my romantic partners, compliment everything except my appearance. Now I'm in my mid-30s, and this is the first one who I think might actually be attracted to me. It feels too good to be true.
That I’m unsure if I will ever be able to express and maintain deep emotional intimacy with anyone
Not my gf now, but she didn’t know the extent or details of my childhood struggles. she knew I grew up in the projects up until age 10, but I think because i never wore it like a badge of honor or carried myself in the stereotypical way of someone who would come from that environment, many people think i was unaffected. and i never bothered to share those details because i never wanted to make a sob story out of a situation that i was blessed to get out of and that many people are still currently in. but that living situation has taken a toll on me in various ways that’d i love to expound upon for those who are interested.
Her father once told me : if he could go back in time, he would never have dated her mother and have kids with her. Was pretty shocking thing to hear while on vacation with the whole step family. The guy has Asperger's. Weird family. The girl left me cold turkey a few months later after 7 years together, and i still didn't even think about telling her that story.
My mom hated my ex (lets just call her Sarah) for how bad she hurt me when we broke up. My mom passed away about a week after seeing Sarah at the mall, and she gave Sarah dirty looks and a cold shoulder. Sarah and I saw each other soon after my mom passed, and she broke down and told me that based on their recent encounter, she was sure my mom hated her. I lied to her and said “no, she was just really sick at the end, She didn’t hate you.” Sarah and I are still good friends to this day and I will never tell her the truth that my mom hated her guts.
I'm an iv drug user on and off. I work long contacts in isolation far away from home and I use a lot when I'm away. I clean up when I'm going home so my wife can't tell but I'm still not quite 100% when I'm home with her.
She's struggling with stuff and it breaks my heart I can't meet her needs but I need this job to pay for our future. I'm trying to quit the drugs, it's easy when I'm home but as soon as I'm alone in this stupid little hole in the wall for work 4 weeks at a time I'm back to using. I don't know how to tell her.
This is from my POV not Doofenshmirtz's
My father is an AIDS patient,he did not reveal it to anyone and married my mom.And as a result I was born,unaffected,my mother also is unaffected.(happened in 2002)
(To clarify the doubt from my father a DNA test was performed and I am his son but without the virus..)