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Family Matters

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Linda Mintle, Ph.D. is a licensed marriage and family therapist, author of 16 books, a national expert on family issues and the psychology of food and weight. She's an assistant professor in the department of pediatrics at Eastern Virginia Medical School, a national speaker, writer, and news contributor.

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Should You Reveal Your Secrets to Your Spouse?


Yesterday, I was in the grocery store and the tabloids were headlining the secret love child of yet another celebrity. While we tend to expect this from celebrities, secrets are a problem for any couple. The question asked is if it is a good idea to reveal those secrets to your spouse.

Let’s think about how it feels to find out after the fact. Do you really want to be surprised with a secret 10 years into a marriage, especially one that may have impacted your decision to marry in the first place? Besides, the person living with a secret carries a burden that may interfere with intimacy.

Secrets tend to fall into three categories:

1) Indiscretions (i.e., affairs, drug use, contracting an STI, etc.)
2) Rule violations (i.e., partying, drinking too much at the office party, etc.)
3) Conventional problems (i.e., failing a test, hiding a health problem, etc.)

We keep secrets from our loved ones for all kinds of reasons. We may be afraid of disapproval. We may want to protect that person, or we may worry about his or her reaction.

But, self-disclosure actually helps relationships and builds intimacy. Living with secrets is like living in a house with a cracked foundation; it never quite repairs and creates problems. While you don’t have to reveal every thought in your head to your partner, keeping secrets about important issues is not recommended.

Revealing secrets can hurt the other person, but it is the only way true repair can begin. You’ve already hurt the person by engaging in the behavior or keeping something important from him or her. Healthy relationships require honesty. Scripture tells us to bring things that are in the dark into the light. That is how healing begins.

In relationships where trust is absent, self-disclosure can open the door to betrayal, gossip and violations of your privacy. Think Linda Tripp and Monica Lewinsky. Don’t reveal your secrets to people you cannot trust. In fact, better to keep those secrets between you and your spouse.

If you need help getting through the process, find a therapist. In the end, your relationship will be better without the secrets.

Print      Email to a Friend    posted on Friday, September 13, 2013 2:03 PM

Comments on this post

# Thanks to my BF and Dr. Wakina

I am writing this little article to thank Dr. Wakina ( and my Boyfriend (Andrew) who made efforts to restore my confused spirit. My Ex vowed that he must fight with his last strength to see that I am sad and don’t last with my current Boyfriend after I broke-up with him because he didn’t have any positive idea about keeping a Girlfriend, he was so abusive and unromantic. So I decided to break-up and moved on with a guy who values me and gives me every satisfaction that I have wanted. This made my Ex so angry and went extra miles to use charms on me and gave me restless and confused spirit, I couldn’t concentrate anymore with Andrew and the feelings for him was gradually dying. I didn’t know how Andrew noticed that it’s a spiritual attack and consulted Powerful Doctor Wakina who used his spiritual eyes to look into my spirit and traced my case to my Ex. This Great Man called back my dying spirit because I was almost going crazy; he broke the charm on me, ca
Left by Elba on Oct 16, 2014 9:24 AM


i want to use this opportunity to thank my great doctor who really made my life a pleasurable one today. This great man DR.OSEGHALE brought my husband back to me, i had three lovely kids for my husband, about four years ago i and my husband has been into one quarrel or the other until he finally left me for one lady. i felt my life was over and my kids thought they would never see their father again. i tried to be strong just for the kids but i could not control the pains that torments my heart, my heart was filled with sorrows and pains because i was really in love with my husband. Every day and night i think of him and always wish he would come back to me, until one day i met a good friend of mine that was also in a situation like me but her problem was her ex-boyfriend who she had an unwanted pregnancy for and he refused to take responsibility and dumped her. she told me that mine was a small case and that i should not worry about it at all, so i asked her what was the solution to m
Left by Anitaparis on Oct 16, 2014 9:01 PM