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How much can you tell your spouse?

By Yetunde Arebi
Who is your
confidant? Is it a friend or your spouse? How much of your secrets can you share with your spouse?
Love, they say is about giving and sharing, which can only thrive where there is mutual trust, understanding and effective communication between the partners.

So, who better can you share your secrets with other than the one you claim to love, cherish and share your body with? The one who is supposed to know you inside out.

However, this appears not to be the case with a lot of couples, young and old. In this narratives from some of our respondents, reasons, ranging from traditional to moral grounds were attributed as part of the barriers militating against sharing of secrets between partners.

Beginning from this edition and as our special package for the holidays, you will be reading what these people had to say. If you or someone you know of, have been through a similar experience, or you have an interesting story to share with us on this issue, please write and send your contributions/opinions to The human Angle, Vanguard, P.M.B. 1007, Apapa, Lagos. Or our e-mail address: we look forward to reading from you. Cheers!

Sally, (38), an Engineer says it depends on the issues and the chances of his not hearing about it. She has this to say:
As a married couple, you are not supposed to have secrets. Both of you are supposed to be the closest people on earth.

Your relationship should be higher than that between you and your parents, siblings and friends. Next to God Almighty, your husband comes next. You have to relate with him as you relate with your God and it is God that is now the Lord over the two of you.

So, what I’m trying to say is that, you should not have secrets, you must both be well informed about all that happens to each other. But most of these is better said than practiced.

There are so many things that go on in your life that you cannot share with your partner for a lot of reasons. You have to read the situation very well before you jump into it, or else, it might backfire on you, then you’ll have only yourself to blame.

As a woman, you have to be careful. It is difficult to trust a man completely because anything can happen. So, in the case of finances, I do not tell my husband everything to the letter, because I am very sure he does not tell me everything to the letter too. Though he does not monitor my finances, I still don’t tell him everything.

A woman ought to have some money of her own to fall back on when the rainy days come. He might make a mistake and get someone pregnant. If he does not kick you out, it means that whatever he owns becomes the property of two women and their children. Then, there is also his own relatives on the other hand.

Though it depends on the man, but joint projects are not usually advisable because whatever a woman has is generally believed to have originated from her husband anyway. As if women get paid with stones while only men earn money. So, all these too comes into consideration.

In the case of sudden death, which can go either way, it could be you or him, everything depends on God. Whatever I have as my personal savings is what I plan to fall back on in case of any accidental eventualities. You need to see what widows go through in some cultures to know just a little of what I am talking about. Once a man dies, it is assumed that the wife must have something to do with it because she has something to gain from his death.

It is as if the accusing relatives don’t have anything to gain from his death too, or if it were the woman that dies, the man would not have anything to gain. Some friendly, loving, sweet in-laws have turned out to be monsters in disguise on the death of their male relatives.

So, a wise woman today, has to be double smart. If by God’s grace we scale through all the hurdles of life together, then, everything we have belong to our children. If he derails and litters the ground with children from strange women, they all get to share his own and mine goes to my children as addition.

Still on this money issue, there are several little things that we take for granted. Though they are still lies, but because they are not of much consequences, we pass them off as just the way life goes. It is not easy for a woman to confess that all the money for the housekeep allowance goes into what it was meant for. Some women believe that they must make a gain of sort from this every month.

I have friends who swipe off several thousands of Naira into personal things out of the housekeep allowance, while insisting to their husbands that the money is not enough and that they’ve had to chip in something of their own every month.

Then they buy things and also tell their husbands that they bought them on credit from the office, just so he might not have an idea of how much they have. Naturally, a husband should know how much his wife earns, or at least have an idea, though most men don’t bother about such things because the woman’s money is supposed to go towards her upkeep anyway, or as they might decide.

But it is not everybody that depends on monthly salaries alone, a lot of people even make much more than their salaries out there. In that situation, it is difficult for a partner to know how much the other makes, so there is room for lies.

I believe that most of the secrets between partners is centered around financial issues and this is because of the general insecurity that surrounds the marriage institution in our society. Tradition and family influence is so enshrined into our marriage institution that it always manages to create a divide in an otherwise healthy relationship or union. That is all I can say.

According to Bayo, (35), businessman, there are two ways to go about telling your partner all your secrets:
My closest confidant can either be my wife, or my close friend. But for me, I can’t tell much of my secrets to my partner because nobody can be trusted. It is not possible for me to rely on my wife. I would prefer to tell my close friend everything about me, than telling my wife.

I’m sure you don’t expect me to tell my wife that I have a girlfriend outside and naturally also, it’s not everything that is said in my family that I will discuss with my wife.


Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.