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You may think you know your wife better than anyone, but chances are she has at least one ''don't-tell-the-husband" secret! And she might have 11.
Men often think of women as being a profound mystery, something most women tend to cultivate. But understanding the woman you love may be a lot easier if you know her secrets. And, boy, does she have secrets. Redbook deputy editor Jeannie Kim writes in that magazine that all womankind has 11 near-universal secrets, some of which will shock men and some of which they'll realize they suspected all along.
The 11 secrets most women keep, including your wife:
1. Everything a woman buys for herself -- from shoes to skirts and even shampoo -- really costs 20 percent more than she tells you.
2. She actually thinks about sex -- with you -- a lot. (It's just that by the end of the day she's too tired to do anything about it.)
3. She is just as nervous about commitment as you are.
4. She may be modern and independent, but she still wants you to be "the man."
5. Her ex-boyfriends were not completely terrible in bed.
6. She is scared that she'll turn into her mother. (So the worst insult you can throw at the woman you love is, "You're acting just like your mother.")
7. She wants you to be jealous -- but just a little bit.
8. Yes, she fantasizes about hot celebrity guys, but that doesn't mean she wants you to be one of them.
9. She tells her girlfriends more than she will ever admit to you (but less than you fear).
10. She really does notice and appreciate all the chores you do.
11. She loves you with all her heart, but she still gets wistful about the fact that she'll never feel that falling-in-love sizzle and spark again.
You may think you know your husband better than anyone, but chances are he has at least one ''don't-tell-the-wife'' secret -- and he may have 11 of them!
Men get smarter as they age. While a younger man might think being honest is always the best policy, he quickly learns that some things are best kept secret the first time he confesses to his girlfriend that yes, he was watching that pretty young thing in the bikini wash her car.
Magazine writer and editor Ty Wenger revealed in Redbook what every woman wants to know: What secrets is her husband keeping from her?
Although men who tell too many lies and keep too many secrets risk souring a relationship from lack of trust, some of the more innocuous lies are told and secrets are kept to keep the peace. That is the kind of secret Wenger is revealing. And ladies, some of these secrets will melt your heart and make you so happy you married the man you did.
11 secrets most men keep, including your husband:
1. Yes, he falls in lust 10 times a day -- but it doesn't mean he wants to leave you.
2. He actually does play golf to get away from you.
3. He is unnerved by the notion of commitment, even after he has made one to you.
4. Earning money makes him feel important.
5. Though he often protests, he actually enjoys fixing things around the house.
6. He likes it when you mother him, but he's terrified that you'll become your mother.
7. Every year he loves you more.
8. He really doesn't understand what you're talking about when you discuss "issues" in your relationship. It makes no sense at all to him -- even though he will nod in agreement and apparent understanding.
9. He is terrified when you drive.
10. He'll always wish he was 25 again.
11. Give him an inch and he'll give you a lifetime. Translation: Let him be a dumb guy and play poker with his buddies or go on vacation alone, and he'll love you forever for that.
"And that's the truth," insists Wegner.
We asked 900+ married women what they conceal from and reveal to their husbands. Here's what they said. How do you compare?
Who is more honest: men or women?
72% of you said: "Women tell the truth more often."
Are little white lies ever okay to tell your spouse?
71% of you said: "Yes."
"As long as it's not about the fundamentals of marriage. Men don't want to hear everything anyway." Melissa, Pasadena, MD
29% of you said: "No, a lie is a lie."
"Even small lies can have big consequences. Complete honesty works." Laurie, Philadelphia
When a girlfriend asks you not to tell anyone her secret, do you tell your husband?
57% of you said: "Yes, he is my ultimate confidant."
"I'd want to share that intimacy but I'd kill him if he repeated it!" Dawn, Chicago
43% of you said: "No, I wouldn't betray my friend's trust."
"Besides, if I told him intimate things about my girlfriend, he'd look at her differently." Nicole, Bakersfield, CA
Have you given your husband a compliment that wasn't true?
65% of you said: "Nope. I call it as I see it."
"Insincerity benefits no one. If I tell him to change clothes, he can take it." Tiffany, Columbus, GA
"I never do that because my husband already knows he looks good!" Donna, Des Moines
35% of you said: "Yep. I boost his self-esteem."
"He has pants that make his butt look fat! I say he looks good to protect his ego. I bet he does the same for me." Kristen, Mount Union, PA
Have you ever lied about how much you paid for a purchase?
66% of you said: "Of course."
"I told him a designer bag was a fake." Joanne, Suffern, NY
"He's frugal. It's not fair to deny myself things we can afford. I told him our $500 DVD player cost $200. We're both happy." Dawn, Chicago
34% of you said: "Never."
Is not telling your spouse something the same as lying?
70% of you said: "No way."
30% of you said: "Oh, yeah!"
Have you ever hid a purchase from your husband?
60.5% of you said: "Certainly."
"When I buy new shoes, which he thinks is frivolous, I just leave them in my car. Then I'll put them on in the car on days I want to wear them." Kristen, Mount Union, PA
39.5% of you said: "Not a chance."
"If it's a purchase that I feel uneasy about making in the first place, because he would question it, then I shouldn't be buying it." Melissa, Winsted, CT
Have you lied to your husband about the number of your premarital sex partners?
80.5% of you said: "No, I've been up-front about my past."
"I'm not embarrassed about the people who've been an important part of my life. They've contributed to who I am." Mary, Danbury, CT
19.5% of you said: "Yes."
"I don't tell him everything. I'm sure he hasn't told me everything. There are things that are better left unsaid." Nicole, Bakersfield, CA
Have you talked to an old boyfriend and not mentioned it to your husband?
68% of you said: "No big deal. I told him."
32% of you said: "I kept it quiet."
Have you ever invented an excuse to avoid having sex with your husband?
52% of you said: "Nope."
"I don't make up stories when I'm not in the mood. Why should I have sex when I don't want to or be afraid to say so?" Emily, Reno, NV
48% of you said: "It's happened."
"I make excuses all the time! My husband shouldn't wait until 10pm to put the moves on me when I'm really exhausted after a long day." Nancy, Los Angeles
Have you ever faked an orgasm with your husband?
52% of you said: "Oh, yes!"
"My husband is one of those men who thinks that if a woman doesn't have an orgasm, then she's not having a good time. So I'll fake it to save his feelings." Wendy, Chicago
"There's a point where you just think, 'Enough already.'" Dawn, Chicago
48% of you said: "Oh, no!"
"Faking an orgasm is just denying yourself pleasure. Why should I remain unsatisfied?" Laurie, Philadelphia
Do you have a fantasy you've never shared with your husband?
55.5% of you said: "He knows my erotic thoughts."
"Letting my husband in on my role-playing fantasies has made our marriage more fun and interesting." Melinda, Pittsburgh, PA
44.5% of you said: "Yes!"
"I'm too shy to tell my husband that I often fantasize about us making love in public places on a park bench or under a restaurant table. I'd never do these exhibitionist things. But if I told my husband, he'd want to follow through on them then I'd really be in trouble!" --Susie, Santa Fe, NM
Honesty in Marriage: The Expert's Take
Are white lies okay in marriage? Or does deception of any kind lead to marital problems? John Gray, Ph.D., author of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus and a Redbook Marriage Institute advisory board expert, weighs in.
Why it's okay to lie about crushes: "The number-one secret couples keep from each other is an attraction to another person. People have fantasies about other partners all the time that they never plan to act on. Men's fantasies tend to be sexual, while women's tend to be relationship-oriented. But most married couples keep quiet about this so as not to hurt their spouse's feelings, and that's okay. Most people couldn't handle having a spouse say to them, 'My fantasy is to make love with our neighbor.'"
Why you should tell the truth about shopping: "A big source of stress in marriage is money. So it's not uncommon for husbands and wives to deceive each other about their spending habits, because they fear that being forthcoming will garner them criticism and stress. But in the long run, when you hide this from your partner, you're not being open and don't trust that he'll support your decisions. This eventually builds up and gets in the way of communication and passion. You reach a point at which you can't honestly talk to the person you've chosen to share your life with!"
What about telling someone else's secrets? "Women view the telling of secrets as a way to increase intimacy and say, 'I'm sharing this because you're special.' If your husband is your best friend, then it's natural to want to confide in him. But you need to be certain he'll keep the info private."
Is there such a thing as a "harmless" white lie?
"Nearly everyone tells one occasionally to avoid hurting
their spouse's feelings. But your goal is to have more
integrity, to not get into the habit of telling white lies.
Honesty empowers you; it keeps how you feel and what you say
in sync. That balance and openness gives you personal energy
and, ultimately, gives your marriage more strength."
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