Sometimes, you find yourself withholding information from your partner.
It’s not intentional – or, at least, it doesn’t always start off that way. Maybe you genuinely forgot to tell them, after getting stuck in a monotonous conversation about the upcoming hard rubbish collection, or the mould growing on your bathroom ceiling.
Weeks, months, years can pass before you realise that your best friend, the person you promise to tell everything to, is a little in the dark about a niche aspect of your life.
Other times, it’s not as innocent as that.
Perhaps there are things you don’t want your partner to know at all. Things you make a concerted effort to conceal from them. Things you go above and beyond to hide, because you know the consequences of them coming out could be, well, catastrophic.
We reached out to our readers to find out what secrets Australian women are hiding from their significant others right now.
Here’s a handful of their responses…
1. My curious exes
“We’ve been dating for about a year,” one woman told Mamamia. “My secret is that before I met him, I had several sugar daddies from whom I got a significant amount of money.
“My boyfriend is older and makes more money than me, so I’m concerned he will think that I see him as a sugar daddy as well, even though I don’t.
“Part of the reason I’ve never mentioned it is he hates talking about money, but mostly I avoid telling the truth because I’m ashamed.”
2. We were on a break
“We’ve been dating for six years, but at one point early on in the relationship took a bit of a break from seeing each other.
“While on our break, I had a drunken threesome with my best friend and her boyfriend, who are now not together. It’s still a secret all these years later. I feel like I can’t tell my boyfriend now because too much time has passed and what’s the point? He will just feel hurt and embarrassed.
“It meant nothing and was at a time because I didn’t at all think I would end up with my boyfriend in the end. Plus, I know he has some dirty little secrets of his own from that time in our lives, and that’s okay.
“We are all entitled to our secrets.”
“We’ve been together for three years and he has no idea that I get Botox, and have since we met.
“What makes keeping the secret more difficult is that my partner openly talks about how awful he thinks Botox is and I just can’t be bothered to have an argument with him about it.
“It’s my body – none of his business really.”
4. All the other men
“In the 18 years my husband and I have been married, he has not once cottoned on to the fact that I have had multiple affairs. Every year, with many different men.
“I’ll never tell him. Why ruin the marriage, and why ruin the affairs?”
5. Money matters
“We’ve been together for 32 years and there are lots of secrets. Firstly, I’m over $40,000 in credit card debt. He doesn’t want to know. I earn over $160,000 per year and so am the main breadwinner, but on an emotional level he really struggles with that. He just lives in denial.
“Despite what I earn, I rarely tell him how much I’ve spent on an item, so he thinks I’m the bargain queen! I quite often bring an item home and take a pen to it, cross out the price and write a new ‘sale’ price on it. It feels kind of rude to buy myself a $500 cardigan when he’s struggling to pay for a new welder.
“He grew up in the 50s, so in his mind he’s supposed to be the main breadwinner, not the other way round. On an intellectual level he’s okay with it, but on an emotional level it causes him stress. No good can come of him knowing the truth. Best not upsetting that dynamic.”
6. The pregnancy
“We’ve been together five years and I’ve never told him I had an abortion early into our relationship.
“I keep it from him because I know he will be disappointed that I hid it from him for so long. A small part of me is scared he’d leave me because of it.”
7. Dwindling wardrobe
“We’ve been together for three years and I’ll never tell him I throw out his clothes that I don’t like.
“When he asks about them, I say ‘That t-shirt with the holes in it? Nope, haven’t seen it’.
“If I told him I’d run the risk of him continually wearing underwear with holes bigger than my fist.”
8. History overlap
“We’ve been together for two years now and he has no idea we have the same ex girlfriend. She left him for me, actually.
“I’ve never told him about the fact I’m bi-sexual. My boyfriend doesn’t know either of us (me or his ex-girlfriend) dated women at all.
“I see her often at group functions.”