Things Your Partner Doesn’t Need to Know
Are we promoting keeping of secrets between partners? No, but rather maintaining the sacredness of your personality. It was Esther Perel who said, ‘The quickest way to kill sexual chemistry between you and your partner is to know everything about them.’
And why is this so? Because sexual fulfilment by nature requires separateness. That’s why you couldn’t get it within yourself to begin with. If, therefore, you get to know your partner until they also feel like an extension of yourself, the attraction will have no distance to cross, and it will die.
Many people mistake intimacy with familiarity. Intimacy is about connecting deeply with another, but while remaining yourself and them remaining themselves. They need to stay in their otherness, their unknowable essence. This is what brings fascination and wonder.
Healthy relationships require a balance between closeness and separateness. You need to be open enough to connect and engender trust, but still separate enough to maintain your individuality and spark your partner’s curiosity to know you more.
So what things should you keep away from your relationship?
One, details of your past sexual experiences. One guy was just chilling when his wife’s ex-lover sent him a text taunting him that he was ‘feeding on the ex-lovers leftovers,’ and detailing their sexual escapades back then. The woman had wisely kept these details away, but now someone else disclosed them, whether true or exaggerated. It was a malicious move of course, and premarital sex always invites this kind of attacks.
Whenever we allow someone into that vulnerable side of ourselves before marriage, these are the problems we’re inviting.
The guy struggled to shake off the psychological assault, much like someone spitting in your soup to spoil your appetite.
You may not need to hide the fact that you got involved sexually with someone, but you don’t need to enumerate the details.
You also don’t need to list all the people you ever slept with. If someone starts digging for that kind of information, they’re stripping you of your dignity and you must never cooperate. Either they’re deeply insecure and the information will only feed their fears, or they’re a narcissistic abuser who is looking for weapons to torment you with.
Never resurrect your dead past by giving it presence when you’ve worked so hard to change your life. If someone doesn’t want to trust you for who you are today, you don’t need them in your life.
You don’t hide a child or who you got them with. A child is not a ‘dead history’ but a present fact in your life.
Secondly, you don’t need to disclose the inside details of your spiritual or prayer life. This is the other place where you’re completely open and vulnerable. Your confessions and requests in prayer shouldn’t be heard by anybody else. Of course there’s the part for joint or family prayers, but we’re referring to the personal side where you’re dealing with personal wishes and struggles. You will be sharing what you’re learning and how you’re growing, of course, but you don’t need to disclose every bad thought or temptation you’ve confessed in your prayers.
Lastly, your partner doesn’t need to know about every crush or infatuation you get on people out there. Meeting people whom you like doesn’t end when we settle in marriage. We just no longer entertain the attractions or act on them. But if you were to disclose to your partner every one of them, they might question whether you’re really serious about them. Yet these may be merely passing feelings that have no bearing or effect on your love for them. Love by nature is territorial and possessive and you need to protect your partner’s exclusive claim to your love in this regard.
In summary, secrets mean important information concealed unfairly and for selfish or malicious purposes. But privacy means safeguarding the sanctity of your personhood by not stripping it naked. Some degree of covering is essential, even when you’re in an intimate relationship. This means keeping things to do with your sexual past, your personal spiritual journey, and your occasional attractions to other people unspoken of.