Do you love to be open and honest with your partner? Well, perhaps you shouldn't tell them everything. Dave Zinczenko of Men's Health magazine and clinical psychologist Dr. Sherri Edelman tell us the six secrets couples should keep classified from each other.
You don't turn me on right now.
Dave says: No matter how gorgeous your partner is, there are going to be moments when they don't seem to resemble the attractive person you were first enamored with. They're wearing the black belt and burgundy shoes (Forty-five percent of women say that fashion sense is extremely important for attraction.) or they just got a haircut from Edward Scissorhands. But physical attraction waxes and wanes, and there will be moments of both in any relationship.
Sherri says: I agree, but if it is directly related to the woman (i.e. he loves your hair down, and you always wear it up, or if he loves lingerie and you always wear flannel pajamas), these issues can be tactfully addressed.
I flirt with others at work.
Dave says: Even if you have no intention of taking it anywhere, nobody wants to think of their significant others spending 8, 10, 12 hours a day flirting with attractive females, especially when they look, smell and behave at their very best. (Forty-two percent of men and 35 percent of women have lusted after a peer at work — without ever making a move.)
Sherri says: I agree. A woman would not benefit from knowing this. However, 8-12 hours of flirting a day is extreme. Also, flirting is a term that could mean different things to different people. A man's intention is what is important. What need is he getting met by this? Is it reflecting something missing in the relationship like attention, interest in his work or compliments?
That's not how my Mom or Dad would have done it.
Dave says: It's true for men that in the majority of cases, we are intimidated by your parent who provided the role model that we now have to fill. And number one, we'll never be able to measure up to your mom or dad on a few levels; number two, we were raised by a different set of parents that taught us a different way of doing things. If you want to impart your parents' wisdom to your partner, it's fine to tell them stories about how your folks did things, but never make it a comparison between how your parents lived, and how your partner is living.
I can't stand your friends.
Dave says: According to 83 percent of the men we surveyed, boxing out a man's friends is a relationship deal-breaker. And 62 percent of women consider it a deal-breaker if a guy doesn't get along with her friends.
Sherri says: I agree this is a problem. This needs to be handled carefully. A woman can have her views and opinions, and may not want to be “attached at the hip” with his friends, but character assassination should definitely be avoided.
I still think about my ex.
Dave says: While it is natural to think about your ex, the Internet has made exes a bigger threat than ever before. The phenomenon of Googling one's ex, which the majority of Americans admit to, can really make your spouse jealous and fearful. Especially since the phenomenon of people reuniting with very old flames has recently exploded (because of the Internet).
Sherri says: An occasional thought like “I wonder if she ever took that position in Boston?” or “Did the mortgage ever go through on that house she loved and was trying to buy?” is much different than preoccupation, obsessive thinking, fantasizing and longing. Any kind of communication like texting, IM/chat, e-mailing, etc., could border on emotional cheating and be considered by some women as threatening, so collaborative discussion is needed.
My friends know all about our sex life.
Dave says: Her entourage knows all about you. As hard as she might try — which probably isn't hard at all — a girl can't keep a new fling to herself. Early in a relationship, you dominate her life, so her friends are already calling and e-mailing for daily updates. If she were any less discreet, she'd have a blog with your name in the URL.
Sherri says: Sharing very intimate details crosses the line (sexual intimacy). Girls beware! Be careful whom you trust ... if you tell all, you may tempt a girl "friend" to seduce your man!