The secrets that bind us

The secrets that bind us


Monday, August 03, 2020

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OFF the bat, many of us can think of at least one thing we dread our partners ever finding out about us — whether it's a piece of our past that can jeopardise the relationship and the crucial element of trust, or something embarrassing enough to keep in the confines of the closet. But sometimes we feel compelled, or are forced, to share these secrets, and the reaction can be interesting, to say the least.

We asked some readers to share secrets they had hidden from their partners which caused a problem when they were exposed.

Lisa, 36, food chemist:

My partner thought because I only talked about one ex, I just had one or two partners before him. After being together for close to two years, we had a soul-to-soul and I told him how abusive men in my life had caused me to block out a huge section of my life. He was supportive until I listed five men I had not previously mentioned. I could see it made him uncomfortable, and after that, he started making little remarks, especially when we had disagreements. I only got him to stop when I gave him an ultimatum that he would either move on from my past, or leave. It took him a few weeks but he came around and apologised. I still think that he secretly judges me though.

Daniel, 34, security guard:

I took out a personal loan to finance school while I was going to university. The school thing didn't work out and the loan ended up going to the collectors. I never told my wife about it, but about two years into my marriage they started harassing her, going as far as to call her workplace. When this happened all hell broke loose. She helped me to get back on track and pay them off, but she treated me like I wasn't responsible for a long time after that.

A, 28, police officer:

I didn't tell him that I have herpes. Well, I didn't know that it wasn't just oral herpes, to be honest, but I should have still said something. Then I had a breakout and when I went to my doctor she said she was sure she had told me before. He was there and he went off! The good thing is, the doctor was able to help me prove that it all happened before him, and I hadn't cheated. He stayed with me, but it took a while for us to get to a place of trust again.

Thalia, 37, administrative assistant:

I had a threesome with a friend and her man. Then when I met my partner and he introduced me to his friend (my old friend's man) I pretended like I didn't remember him and he did the same. That was until one day my man called, obviously upset, and demanded I meet him to talk. The friend had told him and he was embarrassed and felt deceived. We have been able to get through it, but we three never hang out.

Clint, 47, carpenter:

When I started dating my wife I was closing off something with someone else. Truth is, the other person didn't know that, and so when she found out about my wife, who was my girlfriend at the time, she threw a fit, but left me. That's what I wanted. I moved on and married my wife and about two years in we were at an event one day and my ex came over to say, “Oh, this is the hag you cheated on me with,” She wasn't aware I had married. My wife was mad, not really because of her outburst, but more so because I had lied when I'd told her I was single, and had carried on an emotional affair with the woman for some time after we started dating.

Milly, 54, business owner:

I had a child at 13 and they took her from me. I had no contact at all with the child and my mother never allowed me to ask about her. When I was in my mid-40s the child came looking for me. I had not told my husband of five years about her, or the abortions that my mother made me have which caused me to lose my womb. He ended up finding out about those things, and was upset for a long time. He forgave me eventually, and the young lady, my daughter, doesn't hold anything against me because, like she said, I was a child — and had been raped. My husband is even compassionate towards the situation now; he just was not happy I wasn't comfortable enough to share it with him before.

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