- All secrets are deep. All secrets become dark. That's in the nature of secrets.
- Cory Doctorow, Someone Comes To Town, Someone Leaves Town, 2005
American science fiction writer
A dear friend of mine has journalled about a certain point in time when she realized her marriage wasn't as solid as she'd always believed. It was at the exact time when something dreadful was revealed to her. A rude awakening of sorts, as she watched her now ex-husband sitting on the end of their bed telling her what broke her heart. A secret he'd kept for a while.
I'm a firm believer in the philosophy that secrets are detrimental to relationships. Secrets are just lies disguised as silence. I believe that if there's something you can't tell your loved one, for whatever reason, its a bad thing. Affairs are secrets. Addictions are secrets. Bad things are kept secret. Secrets destroy, and secrets can only bring harm.
A marriage is much like a business partnership. An agreement that your lives will be melded together as one. There is nothing that should be kept from one another. Period. If a secret is allowed to fester and grow unchecked, it will overshadow the relationship and undermine everything the vows were based on.
My children have been brought up with the credo, "No secrets in this house." Think about grade school, when you heard children whispering and giggling and you were sure it was about you. How did that make you feel? My children have been taught to be kind to others, and to respect our household. No secrets. Period. Its a great way to gauge behavior and make choices as well - if its something you'll have to hide, its something you shouldn't be doing. Surprises are completely different than secrets. Obviously if you know what Daddy's getting for Christmas, its okay to keep that under wraps because its a surprise. There is a difference.
I live by this philosophy. My husband knows everything about my life; every small aspect, every minute detail. When my children ask me a question, they know I'll answer truthfully. They know I keep nothing from them, ever. From the time they were little, I wanted them to know and understand that Mom will tell them the truth, that they can count on me, and that will never change.
Well, tonight was one of those "defining moments":
Let me explain how that felt. Immediately I understood my place - way far below what I assumed it should be. I understood that my feelings, regardless of how much value I placed on honesty and openness, mattered little. Yeah, I understood my place. My rank if you will. Yeah...way down there.
I understood everything, and I understood instantly.
So to my friend, and you know who you are...
Lets light a fire tonight and let go. I'll toss all the secrets in there, and you toss all the items you've been storing, and let it burn, let it go. No garage sales, no advice columns, lets just do it. Watch it burn, watch the smoke disappear... taking all the hurt with it.