Interesting. So, the same semi-random topic has come up in THREE seperate conversations I’ve had this week with THREE seperate people.

It can’t be a coincidence, so I’m going to write about the topic (in sweeping generalizations, which is my preferred payload distribution method).

Is it wrong to keep a secret from a loved one if the following two things are true?

1. The secret will not harm the loved one in any way, and you aren’t doing anything that’s actually wrong
2. Telling the loved one will make them have feelings of… jealousy, sadness, or other negative feelings that might affect the relationship in spite of the fact you’re doing nothing wrong

It’s complicated. We’re taught to always be honest… “secrets don’t make friends” etc.

How about an example… a silly one… to illustrate the point. Jenna LOVES Michael Rosenbaum (Lex Luther – Smallville)… a lot. When I met her she had pictures up of him at work. Now, imagine that she actually KNOWS Michael Rosenbaum. She hasn’t TOLD him she likes him, but she does… Now she tells ME she likes him, and I KNOW she KNOWS him personally. So I get jealous, suspicous, maybe sad, depressed… and all along, she has NO intention of ever telling him she likes him, let alone actually do anything.

So, under that hypothetical situation, it would probably be best if she just didn’t tell me. It wouldn’t help anything, and it might actually cause problems.

But, you ask, what if you find out from someone ELSE that she likes him and knows him personally… what then?

Well, that’s unfortunately a worst-case scenario… because then it looks like you’re covering something up.

So tell me, is it better to cover up harmless things and risk looking like you’re covering it up, or is it better to be upfront and risk hurt feelings?

You’re the experts, not me…

  8 comments for “Secrets

  1. January 31, 2007 at 1:24 pm

    Wouldn’t it be great if we were born with the ability to know which one was best?
    I think we should have been granted three things to have instinctually; like this (what you’ve just written about), and at what point to stop drinking, and maybe something like what person to avoid at bars or parties because they are secretly an asshole.
    That would be really really great.

  2. January 31, 2007 at 2:22 pm

    Honesty is the best policy. I’d much rather hear something from my husband than from the grapevine. If you tell your loved one your secret in the right way it won’t be as hurtful.

  3. January 31, 2007 at 3:02 pm

    One would hope they were never in a relationship in which the other person would be jealous about something like that. However, having absolutely no personal experience with such a situation I don’t feel as though I’m authorized to give advice. All I can say is that when I lie it’s to avoid confrontation or hurting someone. I’ll let you know if I ever cross that bridge.

  4. January 31, 2007 at 3:42 pm

    I’m going to go with saying something about it…just be tactful. I would much rather hear about things from the source, rather than second-hand. Even if YOUR motivation is to keep from hurting someone by not revealing something that, to you, is really kinda stupid…if someone else knows and “tattles” on you, you can almost bet their motivation is to cause trouble. Avoid drama if possible. (Say the situation is, you dated a co-worker a few times, nothing major, didn’t work out, no hard feelings. But you still work with the person, and now you’re in a serious relationship. You and your co-worker/former date know there’s nothing up, and nothing ever came of your relationship, but another co-worker KNOWS about it…and tells your current honey. There’s no way to spin that without sounding like a defensive cheating asstard. But if you say, hey, I went out with this chick from work a few times, nothing major, I love you, let’s get it on because you’re so hot and sexy…there’s not much that a drama-seeking fucknugget can say when she goes “oh yeah, I knew that.” No shock value depletes the effectiveness of that tattling maneuver.)

  5. January 31, 2007 at 4:20 pm

    Why hurt somebody by telling them something they don’t need to know in the first place? Nobody is entitled to know every damn detail of their partner’s lives. Nobody. You are welcome to ask me a question … and I am welcome to not answer it. Relationships are about trust not about a complete loss of privacy. If you are masturbating over online porn while I am at work, I don’t need to know. If I ask you how come you are not horny when I get home, you can tell me about the wank session or you can claim to be tired. The “real” reason is not important because it won’t change the outcome. (unintentional sort-of pun) Just make damn sure you make it up to me later.

    My former husband would sometimes ask me “Is that [dress/blouse/shoes] new?” and I would say “It’s been in the closet for weeks!” He knew what I meant.

    Having said all of which, I think it comes down to a case-by-case judgment call. Trust your instincts.

  6. Wen
    January 31, 2007 at 10:42 pm

    If it has something to do with Jenna then you should tell her. If it has to do with someone else then you should stay quiet. Nobody likes a tattletale, and they’ll blame you even if you’re not involved.

    Oh, and tell Jenna that Michael Rosenbaum is very nice. I worked with him a few years ago.

  7. February 1, 2007 at 8:39 am

    In a situation like this I generally start with “honey I have something to tell you…I have cancer…not really, but I used to like ‘fil in the blank’ pre-you and thought you should know, in case some other busy body should happen to mention it. But now a days I love you and try and remember how much you loved me when you thought I was going to die.

    On a side note I can see why Jenna is in love with you, you kinda look like Lex Luther. You diabolical capitalist genius! Just try and use your powers for good this time and not evil.

  8. Rik
    February 1, 2007 at 4:27 pm

    Good hypothetical. You’re screwed.
    Other than that, like WCG, i’d say be honest. It’s easier to keep track of the truth than all the lies you tell. Plus you sleep better at night.

    *Unless the person you told the truth to comes to your home in the middle of the night and tries to strangle you in your sleep. I’ve always had trouble sleeping through that. Women are crazy i tell ya!

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