Not long ago, we offered our readers a few interviews with four women on what their partners don’t know about them. I only think it’s fair to look through a man’s perspective and see what men are afraid to share with their partners. The men I have interviewed for the purpose of this article wanted to keep their anonymity for obvious reasons.
M1 (married, 40 years of age, two kids)
Q: Is there anything you don’t share with your wife?
A: We hardly share anymore. There was a time, mostly before we had the kids, when we shared and discussed everything. It’s not the case anymore. We are too busy. In fact, she is too busy. She has these career goals and hardly ever has time for the kids, let alone for me.
Q: Is it the lack of desire to share or the lack of time?
A: Both. We watch TV and I hate some of the programs she watches, but I go along to avoid the scandal. “I have one pleasure in life!” We talk about the kids and since I have more free time and my work is flexible, I am the one looking after them. I don’t like feeling like a single parent all the time and if I have an evening out with friends for a few pints, she goes crazy. I haven’t told her I know that she used to have a fling at work. I was keen on keeping our sexual life alive and make it better. It used to be great, but she immediately rejected every new thing I tried to offer. She became sexually detached after the first birth and she was angry because she had to stay home for six month and was afraid she might lose her job. I know she had that affair because it was an option for promotion. She got the promotion.
Q: How do you manage to meet your personal sexual needs then?
A: I am too honest to cheat on her, but separation is also not a solution. I guess I will look elsewhere.
Q: Do you intend to tell her?
A: Why? Did she tell me how she got that promotion? It’s not revenge. It’s just the way it is when trust is lost. She shares nothing and I don’t see the point in doing it, although I tried to talk to her so many times. I guess we didn’t know each other for too long before we got married. What’s the point of talking? It’s like talking to a brick.
Man 2 (26 of age, in a relationship, no kids)
Q: How long have you been together?
A: Seven years. We started dating the first year at university.
Q: Well, it’s been a stable relationship then?
A: Pretty much. I love her and I’m sure she loves me just as much. We know everything about each other, we share, we discuss. It’s not been boring. Ever.
Q: Is there anything you don’t share with her?
A: I guess everyone is entitled to his secrets. If I hold something back, is mostly because I don’t want to hurt her. She’s terrible at cooking and choosing presents, so I started cooking more often. I think she knows I’m not crazy about her meals. I also absolutely hate how she shares even intimate details about our life with her girlfriends and her mother. I hinted at it a few times and she does it more seldom now. I also don’t tell her if some new outfit looks kind of funny on her. I know she will get mad. It’s about her confidence and I like to see her confident.
Q: Has your sexual life changed?
A: It’s had some ups and downs. She wanted to try a threesome with a friend of hers and that went bad. She was jealous and called it off shortly after we started. But we like roleplay. We started a few years ago. We don’t do it that often, but every time it’s great. We used to watch porn together, but now there’s no need of that – we both have a vivid imagination.
Q: Would you say you are a romantic type?
A: I try to, but I also forget our anniversary… you know, from the day we met and I have to think of something on the spot. Once I forgot it was her birthday and she was pissed off for months. I don’t think it will happen again.
Q: Do you think you sexual life will change when you start a family. Are you planning to, by the way?
A: We have decided not to get married, but we are definitely thinking of having kids. I am very much afraid that being parents will change a lot of things and I want to keep our happiness a bit longer.
Q: What does she think? Have you told her about your fears?
A: She feels the same. Maybe in a few years. We want to enjoy life a little longer.
Q: Have you ever been attracted to another woman since you met her?
A: I’m a man, of course I have, but I have never thought of cheating on her. She knows it. Also, as far as sex in concerned, she shares her desires and I try to fulfill them. Experimenting with toys is my thing and she didn’t really like it at the beginning, but now she initiates it. I guess, we are a pretty normal couple in love.
M3: (30 years of age, in a partnership, one child and one step child)
Q: Is there anything you would spare your wife?
A: She’s my partner, not my wife, and she is definitely against marriage. We met when I was 19 and she was 25 and she had already had a child from her husband who she had divorced two years before we met. I spare her… quite a lot actually. I mean, I don’t lie to her, but I don’t tell her things that might upset her.
A: Well, I was very young when we met and I stayed at home with her and the kid. I missed going out with friends, but she was alone, needed help and we couldn’t afford a babysitter. I love her for the person she is, for being a great mum, but she came out of that marriage too wounded and with no self-esteem. She is also much wiser, more experienced in every way. At the beginning, sex with her was awesome! Still is. My twenties were all about her and I feel like I missed out the fun my friends were having. I have never told her that. I also had very little sexual experience and at some point I tried sex with another woman. It was extremely good, but I felt very guilty for doing it. It never happened again, I shared what I needed in sex. I didn’t want to feel the need of going to other women.
Q: But you said she was more experienced?
A: She is, but she is into BDSM… to an extent, nothing hardcore, but I’m not. I had to adapt and I started enjoying it, but from time to time I need some regular romantic sex and I told her that. I know she tries. She’s extremely clever, a great person, but I was in a hurry to commit because I was afraid to lose her. Now I regret wasting a few of my best years, never going to clubs and trips with friends who I eventually lost. But I suppose, it’s one thing or the other. We have our own child now and I am a happy dad. I love my step-child very much, too, but I hate my partner’s constant communication with her ex-husband who inflicted such damage on her. I have colleagues, but no friends anymore and I can’t tell her I miss having friends.
Q: How did your parents react when you got together?
A: Neither mine nor hers took it well. We rarely talk with our parents. That hurts sometimes because my parents could have seen I loved her and could have been more supportive. I understand her parents after the first devastating marriage.
Q: Are the kids in the way of your sexual life?
A: Well, there are times when sex is not possible and is rare, but kids are our priority and we are both adamant that we are going to raise carefree and happy people. Sometimes, I love playing with them more that having sex. It’s tiring, it’s a great responsibility, but it’s worth it.
Q: If she ever cheats on you?
A: I have no idea. I hope it doesn’t happen. Maybe we can start going to swinger parties to avoid that, but I know she’s conscious of our age difference and I’m not sure how she would feel, although she looks much younger than most women below thirty.
Whether these men told the entire truth or not, I can never be sure. Men almost never disclose to anybody if the partner earns more than them because they see themselves as providers. They tend not to discuss or share worries about their physical appearance, sexual performance and the occasional failure to perform and would rarely, if ever, admit to it. Balding, aging, dissatisfaction with their job, wanting to study for better qualification, troubles with colleagues and bosses – these are things they keep to themselves and maybe women should let them have those secrets. Sometimes not sharing means caring.
What women don’t know about their partners and what men don’t know about their wives and girlfriends comes down to what they decide to share, what they are afraid to say, how they see the outcome of an honest talk and the fear that outcome would results in unresolved issues which, when accumulated, put the relationship in jeopardy. Also, we must keep in mind that each person needs their own space and there are boundaries that cannot be violated even in prosperous and stable relationships. Respect those limits.
However, not sharing something concerning both sides, especially in a dysfunctional relationship, endangers trust and that can be resolved only through talking it through. The initiative is a responsibility of both partners.
–By Geri Decheva