Everyone keeps secrets. Big or small, innocent or dark, secrets are a part of who we are as human beings. And even though we might strive to be as transparent as we can, there will always be something that’s left unvoiced and unshared. Even with the people closest to us, our romantic partners. And privacy can, suddenly, morph into secrecy.
The people of Reddit, protected by the anonymity their usernames give them, opened up about the things their partners don’t know. From things that are surprisingly wholesome to secrets that are best left in the dark so they don’t ruin someone’s day. Scroll down and check out these redditors’ honest answers.
Remember to upvote the posts that you enjoyed reading the most, dear Pandas. And if you have any lighthearted secrets that your partner doesn’t know about, you can spill them in the comment section.
Bored Panda reached out to the author of the viral r/AskReddit thread, u/alvl70charizard, to get their perspective on secrets in relationships. They were kind enough to answer our questions. Scroll down for our interview with them.
#1That I don't need to read aloud. My girlfriend struggles with insomnia but for some reason when I talk to her late at night she passes out almost immediately. So whenever I read a book I read out loud softly under the guise that it helps me focus. It works every time :)
Image credits: xxzaif
Redditor u/alvl70charizard told Bored Panda that they're "a huge fan" of the r/AskReddit subreddit. "I find myself often scrolling endlessly reading some of the most passionate people give their opinions and life experiences. The night before posting, I had a conversation with my friends and my partner about the \'little things\' in a relationship. Things like fears, interests, and future goals," they opened up about the inspiration behind the question they asked.
"The conversation was fun and eventful with everyone giving their two cents, but the group quickly moved on to another topic. But like many others, I tend to overanalyze, and found myself asking, 'What’s one thing my partner doesn’t know?' Or, 'What’s one thing I don’t know about my partner?'" the redditor shared how they started thinking more and more about relationships and honesty.
"Now I like to think that my wife and I are super open about our relationship, but surely there’s something we don’t know right? So, I asked her and much to my surprise she said, 'Everything and anything I know you know.' I felt relieved almost instantly, but I figured someone out there needed to answer the question for their own well-being. So, I created the question in the thread!"
#2My wife is prone to nightmares and often whimpers or screams in her sleep when she has one. I can reassure her without waking her and get her to feel safe enough that she makes happy little cooing noises while she’s still sound asleep. I’ve been doing this for her for over thirty years.
Image credits: silviazb*tch
#3I try to give her the “better half of life”.
If there are two pieces of pizza left and one piece is burnt, I’ll take the burnt one. She gets the good piece.
If I’m going to shower and there’s one normal towel left, I will use a hand rag or something to dry off — she gets the towel.
If there’s that unwanted end of the bread loaf, I’ll make myself a sandwich using that sad end piece . I’ll then make her sandwich with the good pieces .
I do this all the time for the smallest things. She never knows.
I try to make her life better in those small ways
Image credits: phillythompson
Redditor u/alvl70charizard revealed to Bored Panda that, in their opinion, they definitely think that honesty is always the best policy in any romantic relationship. They also practice what they preach. "I think my partner and I have created a space where that is true. If there is something going on in our lives, it’s better to be there together and tackle it head-on as a unit rather than individuals," they mused.
In their view, a partner should 'ideally' be comfortable sharing everything. "But there are situations where withholding information may be for that person’s mental and physical benefit. The question then arises, 'Is that the right thing to do?' I honestly don’t know."
#4Whenever we get fast food to go, she enjoys eating the extra fries which have fallen out of their carriage and into the bag. I'm not really sure why she enjoys them so much but whenever there aren't any, I drop a few down when grabbing my fries secretly and then give her the bag. It's been 8 years haha. I always grab my fries last and she's never noticed.
Image credits: NecromanticGarden
#5When we watch movies together we always snack. One of our favorites to munch on during the movie are the Sour Punch Bites. She takes all the blue ones because I don't like them and they are her favorite - always says how lucky she is that worked out like that.
The blue ones are also my favorite, but she can have them.
Image credits: xbone42
#6He does not know that he was my teenage crush since I was 12 and I wrote so many beautiful poems on him. We have been married for 6 years and have a child together. I don’t know if I will ever have the courage to tell him that I have always loved him.
Image credits: Mai128
They referred to one of the posts in their thread as an example of how difficult it is to decide on what to do in certain cases: "For example, one of the posts in the thread discussed how a user hadn’t told his wife that her mother called for her right before she passed away. She had left the room just minutes before and he never told her. Personally, I don’t know what I would have done or said in a similar situation."
Situations like that fall into a bit of a grey area and, according to the redditor, "a majority of people would agree it comes down to the person and the situation." In short, there's no easy answer about total whether or not total honesty is possible (or even recommended) in extremely delicate situations that can have a deep, lasting, negative impact on your partner.
"I would just like to add a huge thank you to everyone in the Reddit community that submitted any responses. Especially those that wrote some personal information it means a lot when a community can come together and talk about their lives like we did," the redditor praised their fellow internet users.
#7I pretend to be asleep when he wakes up because I love how sweetly he wakes me up :)
Image credits: throwawaythewayside
#8That I know our daughter's reddit account, and that I check in on her regularly.
I feel deep, profound guilt about following her, because while I respect her privacy I know that she has significant physical and emotional issues. She's at college out of state, and battles with clinical depression and an unusual and incurable chronic illness, and she really, really tries not to let on to the world when she's going through a rough patch. She'll make a comment or post something that lets me know that she's feeling crushed or broken, and I'll co-incidentally reach out to her the next day and give her an opening to talk about anything that's bothering her. Most of the time it works and she'll vent for awhile and feel a little better. Some of the time we just trade pictures of cats. Either way, she knows that she's loved and that someone is thinking of her.
If I told my wife about this? She'd blow the whole thing up and like a bull in a china shop she'd make it pretty clear that she knew our daughter's account and immediately interject herself into our daughter's life so she could fix everything. I understand that, because my wife is brilliant and protective and only sees the world in black and white. But I also understand that my daughter has to fix her own life - and that she's doing it every day, but that it doesn't hurt to have someone text her out of the blue and tell her a dad joke and try and make her laugh while she's doing it.
I wrestle with the idea that I'm simultaneously a bad parent and a bad husband because of this. I've been married for almost thirty years, and this is the only thing I've ever kept from my wife. I hate it, but it's a hole I dug for myself, so I have to sit in it alone.
Image credits: Randomizer73
#9I rub her back when she's asleep because she makes happy noises and I like to think it makes her have better dreams... I do also do this to the dog though.
Image credits: TheVampireSantiago
Certified relationship coach Alex Scot explained to Bored Panda that there is a difference between secrecy and privacy. The former can be harmful to a relationship if left unchecked while the latter is a healthy part of living.
She told us during an earlier interview that transparency is vitally important in any relationship that you pursue, but especially in romantic ones. If you’re ever stuck wondering whether or not you should tell your partner something, the first thing you should do is put yourself in their shoes and imagine what they would want.
"If it can affect your partner or family, there absolutely should be transparency. Whenever in doubt, put yourself in the other person’s shoes and ask yourself what you would like if you were in their situation," relationship coach Alex told Bored Panda.
#10My wife is the biggest softie for animals, and we have birds that nest right in a column on our porch. One day a baby bird fell out and she saw. Well it ended up dying, but I buried it and told her that I saw the momma bird come down and get it. It made her day so much better that I haven't had the heart to tell her it died and probably never will.
I also distract her whenever I see roadkill coming up, or tell her it was just a plastic bag or something.
Image credits: JBroski91
#11My husband borrows my concealer sometimes to cover up acne. Problem is, he has this beautiful olive skin and I have very fair skin…it didn’t match but he was too embarrassed to buy his own concealer so he insisted on just using whatever I was using. So I bought him his own and put it in the spot where he knows to look for mine. It took me a few tries but I eventually got the right color match
Image credits: megpal426
#12I put "no salt" salt into his salt shaker he keeps on his table near his video games. He is notorious for over-salting his food and has high blood pressure. I've been doing this for almost 4 years now. He can't tell the difference.
Image credits: deckpumps_n_deldos
"If it wouldn’t impact them, then you have the option of keeping it to yourself. The difference between privacy and secrecy is that secrecy has a sense of shame, guilt, or knowing that your partner or family member wouldn’t be ok with whatever took place,” she said that we should strongly consider opening up about a secret if it has a direct effect on our loved ones.
Of course, every situation is different and in some cases, a bit of discretion might save our partners a world of hurt. However, that really depends on the secret in question. And the secret-keepers have to take into account the fact that trust is incredibly hard to rebuild after it’s been broken.
Alex said that it is “always a challenge” to rebuild that trust. The bigger the secret, the longer it will take. "For smaller offenses, it will take less time, but for larger offenses, be prepared to be overly transparent for a time and hire a therapist or coach to walk you through the process. Trust takes consistency to rebuild and consistency equals effort over time."
#13My husband's birthday is Christmas Eve. Unfortunately his birthday gets forgotten a lot. The first year we were married almost no one remembered, and although he claimed it didn't bother him, I could see that it really did. So now I send out a text first thing on the morning on Christmas Eve, and all everyone to take a moment to wish him a happy birthday, and explicitly stated that no one is to let him know that I've sent out the text. Almost 12 years in, and he hasn't found out
Image credits: dream_weaver35
#14That most of the times I ask my wife for a hug are when she's feeling down or upset, because she doesn't like to be "clingy or needy" so she internalises and goes quiet.
I tell her I need a hug because of one thing or another so I can comfort her without making her feel like she's inconveniencing me.
Image credits: candinos
#15I always make sure he has the best softest towel for him to dry himself after a shower.
I make sure he gets the big cup so he doesn't have to get up to refill.
I lie to him how much his medicine costs because I don't want him to stress. It takes me a month to pay it off (we buy a three month supply).
I buy the best meat and chicken so his stomach doesn't have problems and don't tell him about the price. So he just eats happily and with no stress.
I pat-pat every one of his shirts (when folding laundry) with my hand so my loving energy goes in it to protect him and for him to hopefully not have stomach ache that day.
Image credits: _________Ello
#16She suffers from depression, and when she hits a slump she feels like laying in bed and doing nothing, even though 99.9% of the time just getting out of bed and doing something, ANYTHING will make a dramatic difference in her day. So usually when she hits a slump I'll manufacture some fake emergency that only she can help me solve, like "hey babe I think one of the cats has a scratch on his face but he won't hold still for me to look." Of course, the cat is fine, but I just tricked her into getting out of bed and doing something, and that's always the hardest part.
Image credits: shutterpunts
#17Boyfriend has financial struggles, not because of anything he’s ever done. His mother is mentally unwell and his father can’t work for various reasons. He’s been the sole provider for his family since he was a teen and has to balance his job on top of being the top 5% in his university cohort to maintain two scholarships.
He had to put his mom in a psychiatric hospital by himself when he was 19. He had no support from relatives except his grandma, who doesn’t have an income herself but tries her best. He currently is raising his younger brother and paying rent for the both of them. He acts strong about it but he gets “financial panics” very very often.
In comparison, my family isn’t rich but we’re definitely lucky enough to be comfortable. My parents pay my tuition, but I still work part time (teaching) because I don’t get any pocket money and I also enjoy it. I’m a very frugal person though so a lot of it just gets saved up.
So, sometimes I secretly transfer some money into his account. I pretend to “borrow” his phone and delete the SMS notification off of it. He’s never noticed. It’s not a lot of money but I like to think it helps him get a little bit of extra something.
Image credits: _k0ella_
#18That I knew he was planning to propose to me but I still acted surprised.
Married 14 years now, still haven't told him. He is so proud of the idea that he managed to surprise me.
Image credits: Syntania
#19That her mom called for her the moment before she died. When her mom was dying she was in the room with her for almost 24 hours straight and left for 30 seconds and I was there and in those 30 seconds her mother died but not before calling for my wife. I don't know if it will haunt her or not, but I just don't think it's something she needs to know
Image credits: GoGoNJDevil
#20When we were dating she tickled my feet and I acted as if I wasn't ticklish. 13 years later she will tickle them and be amazed I am not ticklish, everytime it tickles.
I have to hide this forever.
Image credits: dontworryimstupid
#21One time, when I was making his favorite dinner (baked chicken tenders) I didn't have any eggs so I dredged the chicken in mayo before breading it (he hates mayo). He said it was the best batch I've ever made and had seconds. I will take this to my grave.
Image credits: Shakezula69iiinne
#22My wife thinks I always fall asleep next to her when we cuddle at night (we go to bed at different times but I jump in for a few minutes to snuggle before she zonks out). I don’t, I just fake it. But it makes her super happy so every time, I pretend to drift off and she has to wake me and it makes her laugh every time. This has been going on for 9 years.
She’ll never know.
Image credits: AndrogynousRain
#23He knows because I tell him a lot, but I don’t think he fully understands how much I love and rely on him. I don’t think he could know without being in my head, but I have pretty acute anxiety. I know enough about my anxiety to know when I’m freaking out over nothing, so I try to keep it mostly contained to my own brain and keep the external freak outs to a minimum. Just his presence keeps me grounded and calm. He is my best friend and I don’t know if I could have accomplished most of what I have without him.
#24Just how often I check her out. She brags to her friends that I'll check her out 10 times a day. Dearest voluptuous woman, that's how many times I make sure you catch me. I am stealing glances the entire time we share any space.
#25That I have a folder of photos on my computer called “Places I have found my wife’s shoes” that is legitimately filled with thousands of pictures of my wife’s shoes that are neither in the closet or shoe rack
I started it years ago as a joke and it has gotten out of hand
Image credits: gerryf19
#26How highly I think of her. She is brilliant and capable but has the most insane and deeply rooted case of imposter syndrome I've ever seen.
Image credits: itsmyfrigginusername
#27Very early in the relationship after the second date his monitor broke right on Sunday. I knew he was an avid gamer.
So I quickly bought a 27" monitor on eBay and told him I had that laying around. While he was on the way to me, I power walked through half the town to get it and quickly changed clothes because it was drizzling.
He had low income and no money and I didn't want him to feel like he's in my debt. We're over two years together now.
#28When we worked together, someone kept stealing food from my husband’s lunchbox. He started deliberately packing more food. He assumed the person was stealing food because they were hungry and couldn’t afford it.
I found out who did it. She hated him and was doing it to try to piss him off. I told her if she did it again I would make a big stink of it, but never told him because I didn’t want to shatter his illusion that he was doing a nice thing for someone who really needed it.
Update: I think I need to fess up tonight and let him know so many people who aren’t me think he’s a treasure. I may not fit in the house with how big his head is going to get after that though!
Image credits: Heysandyitspete
#29I bought the flowers his workplace sent him when his mother died. Everyone else in his family were sent flowers by their work except him and I was utterly furious. He’s a teacher and both of us have made a lot of personal sacrifices for his job but when I contacted them I was told they couldn’t send him anything because it would “set a precedent” or some bollocks. So I told them I’d pay and I bought a huge bouquet and sent it to him. It really meant a lot which makes me even sadder.
Image credits: Laylelo
#30I always give him the bigger towel, leave him the bigger slice of pizza, make sure there’s a few bites of food in the pan because he likes to sneak extra when he puts the dishes in the sink after dinner, hang the covers a little longer on his side of the bed, leave the last three cookies so he has at least two and can leave the last one for me like he likes to do. The list goes on and on, but he will never know how much joy he brings me and how he saves my life everyday. Okay, sap is over, back to regular, un-wholesome internet-ing.
#31That when I tell her I don't want her to make cookies cause we are being healthy, that I really want her to make cookies.
Image credits: Ezzy17
#32Every night I turn around to cuddle him and I give his shirt a big sniff because his smell makes me relax.
#33Every time we go into a restaurant or place of business, I make sure to identify all the exit points in case something bad where to happen.
Also never have my back to the doors.
#34That I'm over 4 years sober. You think they would have noticed, but when I started going to AA at lunch at work after a hard year of trying and failing, sobriety finally stuck. I had been sober a month and she accused me of being drunk again and that I was obviously sneaking alcohol and clearly I was hungover and that I was a loser who would never get his sh*t together. I thought, "well I won't say anything and work on myself until even she will notice.' So I did, I stayed sober, I got fit, I ran a marathon, I got therapy, I got treatment for what turned out to be adult adhd that had gone undiagnosed for 51 years, I started anti-depressants and generally turned my life around.
She never noticed, and I'm regularly accused of being a lousy drunk by her. About every other week or so. I'd say it hurts, but I'm in such a better place now that I truly don't give a sh*t what a toxic person like that thinks, which makes her even more negative. I've stayed married to her for 26 years, but I don't think I'll make it much farther.
Image credits: zyzzogeton
#35My fiancé doesn't know I put a king snake in the attic last spring to take care of a rat and squirrel issue.
Image credits: pabst_jew_ribbon
#36The degree to which I was really abused by my ex. Actually no one knows
Image credits: Pahanka
#37When I shower she thinks I make an absurdly loud noise when I'm washing my butt. Really I'm just squeezing water in my palm, but it's much funnier that she thinks it's my butt. Even done this while we were both in there to really get her going
#38We're in a LDR. I happily and willing set out on journey to go see my boyfriend first. We're both not financially well-off (but that's our business). He doesn't know how much more I make than him. He doesn't know how much it cost to get my passport, the plane ticket, nor how much I spent while I was there. He doesn't know when I came back home I was in debt. It's not his problem. (It wasn't even a big deal to me because I could pay it off.) Only recently, when his sister asked me how much I paid for the flight, did I tell her, in which my boyfriend overheard.
I don't want our relationship to become about competing with money and developing resentment.