A few years ago, I heard someone say that married people should not have any secrets from each other.
Some secrets are harmful, it is true — sneaky, deceptive secrets. Selfish secrets.
Other secrets are simply things you don’t talk to people about.
After nearly a decade, there are things I have not told my husband. At the same time, I know there are things he has not told me. I “know” this because there are subjects he brushes over or avoids…for example, some of his military experiences. I believe this to be completely normal, and I do not see it as a problem. Sometimes people have experiences that are either too unpleasant, or too personal, or simply too unusual to try to explain to other human beings.
I think the expectation that married couples “become one” is a false concept that leads many couples to divorce.
We have different names and separate bank accounts, and some might see those choices as a sign of a lack of commitment. Not so. After nearly ten years, I still think marrying my husband is the best decision I ever made.
When I was single I used to be more spontaneous. I would sometimes feel the need for a change of scenery and I would pack a bag and drive without any plan of where I would go. I would not tell anyone. I would drive in a random direction and stop when I felt like stopping or found an interesting place. I would find a hotel and check in. I would find a restaurant and eat. I might be gone for two or three days without any contact with friends or family — but usually no one would notice I was gone, because I spent a lot of time alone anyway.
A few weeks ago I told my husband I was going to the bank and the library and would be back soon. Along the way I decided to make another stop and I was gone for a few hours. My phone was off. My husband became concerned. This was very uncharacteristic behavior for me, in his experience.
My spontaneous self would be unrecognizable to him. The wife and parent I have become does not normally act in a spontaneous manner…she likes to know in advance what will happen in her life.
There are other versions of me. Sometimes I think about the different phases of my life and how I have become a different person many times over.
My married life is my longest phase, and my happiest. I expect it to be my last phase. I think the same is true for my husband. He does not need to know every part of me to understand me or trust me, and I do not need to know every part of him.
A decade is a long time, but in the case of my marriage, it does not feel long. It just feels like home.