What Keeping Secrets Does to Your Marriage

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Everyone keeps secrets. They sit with us, like stones in our pockets. Some weigh us down. Others just exist. All are present. In fact, according to a study published last year in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychologypeople keep 13 of them on average. The most common secrets are sexual in nature, researchers found: having to do with behavior or with romantic thoughts about someone outside of the confines of your primary relationship. But all secrets, big and small, have a profound effect on you and your marriage — whether you notice it or not. Secrets in relationships are common.

It hurts to keep secrets. Secrecy is associated with lower well-being, worse fitness, and less satisfying relationships. Research has linked secrecy to increased anxiety, decline, symptoms of poor health, and constant the more rapid progression of ailment. There is a seemingly obvious account for these harms: Hiding secrets is hard work.