A good relationship must be based around equal partnership, honesty, and trust. But even the closest couples can keep secrets, whether it’s because they’re afraid of how their partner will react or that it might cause hurt feelings. In fact, research conducted by U.K. family law firm Slater & Gordon shows that one in five people are keeping a major secret, such as infidelity, contact with a former partner, pornography, or money troubles, from their spouse. What’s more, a quarter of the respondents in this study said they kept this secret for more than 25 years, and further, 12% said they had gone to great lengths to keep that secret hidden.
We’re not saying your partner is keeping anything relationship-ending from you, but they may be hiding a few more-harmless secrets. Here are four things your partner doesn’t want you to know.
1. Your partner secretly thinks about your ex
How much your ex is still in your life, meaning if you’re friends or on friendly terms, can determine how much your current partner is curious about him or her. According to a study out of Western University, 88% of 18-to-35-year-olds have stalked their exes’ pages, and 80% have stalked their exes’ new partners. The research also found the more Facebook stalking that occurred, them more distress the stalkers experienced.
While these numbers refer to people stalking their own exes, “The likely hood of searching for your partner’s ex on social media is probably up there as well. This is likely because human behavior is to look for evidence to justify the comparison. It’s not easy to compare yourself if you don’t know much about [them],” dating and relationship coach Ravid Yosef tells The Cheat Sheet.
“Our fascination with our partner’s exes comes from a very common (and often damaging) human behavior of comparing ourselves to others. It’s natural to want to compare yourself to your exes past. [Do they] love me more? Am I [better looking]? Am I better? Will our story end differently than there’s?”
2. Your significant other notices the extra weight you’ve put on
If you’ve recently put on a few pounds, don’t think that your partner doesn’t notice. It may be that he or she just don’t want to tell you. If you’re a newer couple, sometimes you put on what’s called “couple’s weight.” It’s those few extra pounds that magically appear from dining out and not going to the gym because you’re so busy spending time with each other. Research that was commissioned by Diet Chef and reported in the Daily Mail reveals that more than 60% of people put on weight when they are comfortable in their relationships, some 62% of people admit to gaining up to 15 pounds since being in a relationship, and 72% think that their partner has put on weight.
3. Your partner wants time away from you
Your partner may not want to tell you this, but sometimes they just want to be by themselves, per Psychology Today. Alone time is one of the healthiest things for a relationship. Spending time apart gives each person time to decompress, to be themselves, and to be secure with their identity outside the relationship. We’re sure that deep down you want and welcome the chance to relax alone or hang out with your own friends as well.
You’ll find that their absence, even if they spend an evening out with their friends, will make the heart grow fonder. It’s a saying for a reason. Make some time to miss each other so that you’ll be that much more grateful for the time you spend together.
4. Your partner doesn’t want you to know his or her financial situation
Keeping secrets can lead to an erosion of trust in a relationship, and cheating, well, financially speaking, can be a huge thing to keep from your partner. “Marriages work best when there is open communication between partners, even when one is the dominant decision maker,” says Hersh Shefrin, a financial behavior expert and professor of finance at Santa Clara University in California, to Forbes.
That said, a new poll by CreditCards.com reveals that there’s a 20% chance that your spouse isn’t being entirely honest with you when it comes to money. Specifically, one in five Americans admit they’ve spent $500 or more without their partner’s knowledge, and 6% keep a hidden checking account or use secret credit cards without their partner’s knowledge.
Forbes notes that keeping secret accounts, or anything else having to do with money, might be a healthy thing to do if one of the partners is irresponsible when it comes to money, or has gambling or shopping addiction. That extra account will act as a safety net if things with your over-spending partner get out of control.