*Whoa! According to one new study, 25-percent of married couples say that they hid (and are still hiding) something pretty major from their spouse. And 42-percent say they doubt they will get caught.
What is this costly secret that could potentially be a marriage deal-breaker? The study says it ranges anywhere from money troubles to infidelity to (gulp!) a pornography obsession.
And yes, these secrets have (and do!) cause the bearers many sleepless nights.
The study, with 2,175 married British couples as participants, show results that say the average married couple is keeping six secrets between them. These secrets also include things like staying in touch with former lovers, and past relationships. And then there are the more damaging secrets, such as those that deal with sexuality, and drug or alcohol over-use.
The research by Slater & Gordon also showed that 26 per cent of the participants are certain their marriage would be over if their secret came out.
On average, those in the study had kept quiet for nearly 10 years, but a quarter of respondents said they had been hiding the truth about something from their husband or wife for more than 25 years.
Amanda McAlister, head of family law at Slater & Gordon, said: ‘There is often a perception that marriages come to an end because of lots of little things coming to a head over time. But we find that a high proportion of clients come to us having been in a happy marriage just weeks earlier.
‘It’s normally the case that one lie or one secret is the undoing of the whole marriage.
‘These divorce proceedings are often the most bitter and aggressive as well as there are a lot more emotions running high. They can also be quite acrimonious in terms of negotiating over assets and can drag on for years.’
But why didn’t he/she just tell me?
Most said they had not told their partner because they did not want to worry them, but other excuses were that their partner would not understand or the incident was a one-off that would not be repeated.
Nearly half of respondents said that someone else knew their secret and a quarter said they were scared it would one day slip out during conversation.
Some respondents had suffered with panic attacks or turned to alcohol to get through their guilt, the study found.