What, gone without a word?
Ay, so true love should do, it cannot speak;
For truth hath better deeds
Than words to grace it.
The Two Gentlemen of Verona II, 2
Gone, just like that, without saying a word? That person had secrets and kept them from her lover. But why? Should people keep secrets from each other, and is it a good or bad thing to do so? Can you truthfully say that you have no secrets from your partner? Would you tell your man that you have plans to leave him, or simply leave like that person did in the above quote?
There are some people who believe in telling their partners everything, from the day they were born, to every time they used the toilet. Even their first kiss and sexual encounter are not kept secret and are open to the free press.
Is this a good thing, or should some things be left unsaid?
“I love my man, so I don’t believe in keeping any secret from him.”
“I could never tell my wife everything, as she would never understand. That’s why I keep some things secret.”
Different strokes for different folks. But one thing is certain, secrets, good and bad, will always exist as long as mankind has the gift of thought, and the ability to hold those thoughts without saying anything.
That’s what we’ll explore today, right after these not-so -secret responses to ‘Just like yu granny.’
The old saying, ‘Misery loves company’ would indicate that those who are miserable love to make those around them miserable as well. After all, why should you be happy when I am miserable, would be the thinking behind their misery. I would think that the way to combat the onslaught of misery from their women, the men should display a positive and happy attitude regardless. This would drive them crazy.
Regarding your footnote on the long skirts for high school girls, I did some investigating. When I called the school, the lady refused to give a reason. When I spoke to one of the ‘victims’, to my surprise, she was just like the teacher…testy. Finally I asked a male student who was even more angry. Whatever the reason, it is apparently a source of great embarrassment to all at the institution.
Can you keep a secret, keep it in your mind? Who remembers that little ditty of yesteryear, and who still lives by it? Maybe you’re more familiar with the Jamaican saying, ‘Is not everything good fi eat good fi talk.’ There is a historical value in keeping secrets. There are people who swear by secrets and believe that their partner should only live on a need-to-know basis. “I would never tell my wife my secrets, she might fling it in my face one day.” Fear is a motivation to keep secrets. Some men live their lives with more secrets than the CIA and the KGB combined, and exist like spies.
The partner doesn’t know anything about his past, his job, his earning or even where he goes on the weekend. It’s only after he passes away that the secrets are unearthed. There are secrets that hurt and secrets that heal, but if you have mutual trust, then the secrets shouldn’t matter. Shouldn’t, but you know how things go already.
Money is one secret that usually destroys many relationships. When one partner starts to keep earnings or other aspects of money a secret from the other, then that’s the beginning of the end. Husbands do it, and wives do it too.
Imagine the horror, dismay and disappointment of a husband who has discovered that his wife has opened a brand new account and has stashed away hundreds of thousands of dollars in it. “Mavis, imagine, look how we struggling to make ends meet, living pon saudeen and crackas, and I find this bank book with close to a million dolla in it.”
Maybe she knew why she had to ferret away that secret stash. Either she planned to leave him and was building a nest egg, or she simply wanted her independence. Maybe she was just plain wicked and bad. That sort of secret can hurt.
Men have secrets too — past, present and future — and to withhold these may help or may hurt, depending on the severity and timing. One big secret that men have is…another woman. Wrong as it may be, it’s a secret that he dare not divulge, for even though she may say otherwise, no woman is cool with that. But if he has an outside child, should he keep that a secret, or tell his wife about it?
Wow, that’s a big one, but it’s best he not keep that secret, for that’s bound to come out one day. Some very ‘helpful’ friend, neighbour or co-worker will conveniently mention that Mr So and So fathered a baby with that girl from the Mandeville branch. “Listen, I’m not one to gossip, but did your hubby mention that he’s a new father? I thought you knew.”
A woman’s past is usually her biggest secret of all, and if you see some women now, you’d think that their history was written and chronicled at the Vatican, blessed by the Pope himself. But what hubby doesn’t know won’t hurt him. As if he really cares. But most men care, and a woman’s past can have a very negative impact on her present and future.
But that colourful past is her best kept secret, and come hell or high water she’s not going to divulge it. That’s why so many women downplay their past and say that they only had one or two boyfriends before their current man. I had a friend who left his woman because one day he casually asked her about previous boyfriends and got the shock of his life. “When she got to number 28 I couldn’t take it anymore. It almost mad me.”
Her secret was that she was wild as a go-go dancer, yet now acts as if she was raised on the altar of self-righteousness. “Imagine that, from pole to pulpit, what a secret she keep from him.” Now that’s a secret that heals, for hubby does not know. What’s past is past, and only the present is important. Why bring it up and spoil a good thing? Some people will say, “If he really loved you, your past shouldn’t matter.”
What if the woman slept with the best man only once, long before she met her husband, should she divulge to hubby? Should he tell her that her chief bridesmaid and he once lived together in New Jersey many years ago?
Should keeping health issues from your partner be a secret? I often read the advice columns and see where certain health issues are kept from partners. Usually they’re sexual in nature and not life-threatening, but they still need advice from the doctor. “Dear doc, I had an STD as a teenager, should I tell my intended bride to be?”
“Dear doc, I had three abortions while in high school. Should I tell my hubby?”
“Dear doc, I had a vasectomy, should I tell my wife?”
“Dear doc, I’m pregnant but my husband had a vasectomy before we were married, what should I do?”
“Dear doc, I once had a homosexual encounter when I was in college, should I tell my wife?” Dear doc, dear doc, dear doc…oh dear.
Wow, those are big secrets that could shake up any relationship. Should they be kept secret or told to the partner? What would you do?
As for those secrets that involve other people from your past, like that longtime affair many years ago, or that stolen-heavy-petting-session-but-no-sex-with-the-neighbour-while-hubby was-away-for-a-week? Should those be kept secret?
“The man who can keep a secret may be wise, but he is not half as wise as the man with no secrets at all.” — EW Howe. A wise person also said, “Keeping secrets from someone is no different from lying to them. It’s still dishonest.”
Secrets heal and secrets hurt, but sometimes what you don’t know won’t hurt you. So if you don’t want to hear the answer, don’t ask the question. And remember, a secret’s only a secret if only you alone know it.
Footnote: I see where Zimbabwe has outlawed corporal punishment in schools, and is perhaps the first African nation to do so. This was initiated because a teacher was discovered to be physically abusing a number of young students, resulting in serious welts and bruises on the children’s bodies. The country is divided on the issue, saying that the young people will now become lawless and uncontrollable. For many parents, it’s a tradition to beat their children, and now feel that their rights as parents have been taken away. One mother lamented that now she can be thrown in jail for doing what her parents did to her, basic discipline. They do have a point. Discipline is one thing, but abuse is another. Take away strong discipline from children and see what they become. You haven’t got to look far to see that.