Should you share everything with your husband? NOT A CHANCE!

By Elissa Freeman

There has been much discussion in this space about the woman who felt compelled to confess all her ‘sins’ to her husband after years of marriage.  She said she felt “better” and “closer to him.”

Really?

Unless it involved murder or that I was an FBI fugitive, would I ever sit down with my husband of nearly 13 years and unload every detail of my past?

Not a chance.

There are just some things in life that are left better unsaid. As far as I’m concerned, my dear husband knows everything he needs to know about me. And quite frankly, the reverse is also true. Sure, the events of our collective pasts shaped who we are today…but a total rehash from top to bottom? No, thank you.

A lot of it may depend on the stage of life I was at when I got married. I was a late bloomer at 37. I was well on my way in my career, traveled at the drop of a hat and would think nothing of dropping $250 on shoes (after all they were an ‘investment’…and still are!). At that point in my life I’d also been through my fair share of highs and lows, good and bad relationships and wonderful life experiences.

The bottom line is this: I knew who I was then and I know more about myself now. Also, I don’t dwell on the past; I only look forward. My husband and I have embarked on this journey together—and together we have grown in innumerable ways. It’s not the events of the past that bind us, but the events of the present and whatever the future holds.

So, if we ever rehash the past, we’ll start from the day we met…

Comments

  1. Diplomat says

    How ironic that just below your article it says “Sharing is Sexy”! (It’s on the bar with various social media apps.)

  2. Holly says

    Wow, so many points to comment on, where do I start? It has taken me 10 years of marriage to realize this important fact. You are right, my husband does not need to know everything! I used to tell him everything and I admit to feeling a tad guilty that I don’t divulge all any longer. I have friends telling me about marital troubles and they are asking me to keep it all a secret and not tell my hubby and I sm obliging. As for my past and dysfunctional family, he already knows more than he should but that is part of what helps him understand me.

    As for dwelling on the past, I have to admit I’m shamefully guilty. It drives my hubby crazy and I don’t blame him. I met him 10 years before you met your husband and perhaps I had unfinished business. I’m working on it.

    • Elissa says

      Thanks so much for commenting, Holly! I remember when I was first married, I felt my husband needed to know everything. Big mistake. I had to think: how useful is this information? Is it just going to stir up an unnecessary argument? It was usually the latter. It took me awhile to realize this, but our relationship is all the better for it.

  3. Rebekkah F. says

    Sadly I don’t agree with the sentiment expressed in this article, and hope the author’s words don’t inadvertently encourage others to think that selective omission is the path to harmony in a marriage.

    As old fashioned as it sounds, my husband is my soulmate and we have both always felt comfortable sharing the good and the bad with each other. Our love has only gotten stronger over these many years because of the respect and honesty with which we’ve treated each other.

    • Elissa says

      Thanks for expressing your feelings on the issue, Rebekkah. However, you may have missed the point. My view has everything to do with respect and honesty – and that goes for what we do and don’t tell each other.

      Some people feel better about getting into the minutae of life. For me? I prefer to look at the big picture.

      • Rebekkah F. says

        No Elissa, I think it is you who may have missed the point. I lead a simple life with a man I love who I am honest with. To some, that might seem like ‘minutae’, but to me, that’s my ‘big picture’ life.

  4. says

    I love this, despite the fact that it TOTALLY doesn’t apply in my marriage. I met my husband when I was sixteen, so I didn’t have too many sins to confess! :-)

    But as for the current and future, while I never lie to him, after more than twenty years together I know that there are some things he will not benefit from knowing. None of it is secret, but there are things that, if I throw them in his face in an effort to be “open” it would just cause aggravation.

    • Elissa says

      I so hear you, Amy! In fact, your comment reminds me of something my mother once told me:

      “You don’t need to tell your husband everything. All he needs to know are these two things:

      Honey, I’m pregnant.
      Honey, the house is on fire.”

      Everything else is on a need to know basis only!

  5. Barbara says

    Great article – and I wholeheartedly agree. I’m not certain the other commenter understood the sentiment. My husband is my soulmate too. And our relationship is stronger both from what we do share, and what we don’t.

  6. says

    I am in Amy’s camp since I met my husband when we were 19 and really I have a terrible memory anyway. And his is even worse since he’s the youngest of 4. I get all my good dirt from his sisters. It still cracks me up when, after being together for basically 20 years, he tells me a story I didn’t know or vice versa. I’m shocked we have any left! But I also hate to dwell on the past – in all aspects of my life. Onward!

    • Elissa says

      Love your comment! I love finding out little details along the way – it keeps the relationship fresh! Although, the sister pipeline is a good one!

      What I want to know? How did you guys meet and what is it like to be married to the ONLY BOY in a family with three other sisters??? Blog please!!

  7. says

    Even when it comes to the present, I’d never tell my dh everything! He doesn’t need to know when I run out for a manicure or a massage at lunch time, when I think another man’s attractive or when I feel angry with him for no good reason other than he’s not perfect. Or when he’s droning on about something I can’t really focus on and I tune out, saying, “Mmm hmmm,” to make it sound like I’m listening. He’d be furious if he knew! Every woman deserves to have her secret garden.

    Here’s a blog post I did on “when is silence a lie?”

    • Elissa says

      Sharon…you had me at manicure! I completely relate to your comment on so many levels. And your blog post is just golden…thanks so much for visiting and sharing.

  8. says

    My husband, oddly, LOVES to hear about my “past..” and since I met him in my late 20’s – after living a few years as a broad…I mean abroad – I have plenty of past to share. But I do agree in general; gory details are just TMI. And there are most certainly times when NOT telling him what I’m thinking is what keeps the peace. Selective telling is the way to go.

    • Elissa says

      Firstly…love your sense of humour! Secondly, I like your point about “selective telling” – I think that’s really a ‘woman thing’. Just like ‘selective hearing’ is a man’s thing!! LOL! (Sorry, I tend to laugh at my own jokes…)

    • Elissa says

      And? I just realized it was YOU! And after what I read about your Parisian moment in time…I might want to know everything too! LOL!!

  9. says

    My husband and I have absolute trust and a great marriage. He knows 99% of what goes on day to day, but does he need to know EVERYTHING? Uh, no. Mostly because he’d be bored to death with the minutae of what goes on when he’s not around. As for the BIG stuff, well there are LOTS of things that happened before we met that he will never know. He knows the big picture, but sharing every detail of every intimate encounter I ever had is definitely not going to help our perfectly fine marriage. He even tells me he’d rather not know some details, and I’d rather not share.

    There’s such a thing as oversharing with a spouse. Aside from confessing a murder, unloading whatever might weigh on my conscience from things that never even involved him is only going to give him a heavier burden, and that’s not fair to him. Yes, spouses are supposed to carry burdens for each other… But only to a point. Bringing up old romances (or whatever) usually just ends up saddling the other person with feelings of insecurity and/or images they’d rather not have. Then you both feel like crap. Like I said, is that really fair?

    • Elissa says

      I love the point you make about ‘sharing the burden’…forcing us to really define ‘burden’. Plus, you’re point about insecurity is a good one…after all, whose insecurity is it really when you choose to bring up old romances??

      Also? LOVE your blog!

      • says

        Thank you! My blog is sad and neglected lately. I promised it I would get back to it soon, but I’m a dirty liar. Or lazy. Or reeeeally busy. All apply on any given day. ;)

  10. says

    Hubby and I have been together for more than 20 years, there’s really not many secrets between us during that period, he knows how many boyfriends I had before him and vice versa, we both feel that’s enough.

    Fast forward to now and the life going forward, I chose WHAT to tell him WHEN it’s necessary and WHY he needs to know, there’s mutual respect and trust build in every successful marriage.

    Just my two cents (before the wine…of course)

    • Elissa says

      I think your two cents would be just as articulate even after the wine! Thank you for taking the time to comment!

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