Privacy vs. secrecy in a marriage

Tammy Nelson, PhD explains the difference between privacy and secrecy in marriage
Relationship Advice for Parents | Privacy vs. secrecy in a marriage
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Privacy vs. secrecy in a marriage

Privacy versus secrecy is a conversation that you need to have with your partner. What's transparent? What is it for me to have the friends that I want? That I get to talk with them, text them, be Facebook friends with them? And that's about my life, and it's separate from yours. And what is the part that we need to share, that needs to be open and is sort of the - I call it the shared circle. So I have my life, you have your life, and there's the shared circle. Whatever's in the shared circle has to be really transparent. And that's the part that yes, you can have some privacy. But if the privacy becomes secret, in other words, if I ask you to share it, and you deny it, and you say I can't, or I don't want to, then it becomes something I think you're hiding. And frankly, once you start hiding something from me, even if there's nothing going on, then you sort of feel guilty, and then it becomes something even if it's not. For example, a Facebook friend. If you don't tell me that you have a Facebook friend from your past, and you're hiding it, then it becomes a secret. Now you feel guilty about it. Now it's becoming something that perhaps it wouldn't be if you just shared it with me. So the difference between privacy and secrecy starts with a conversation.

Tammy Nelson, PhD explains the difference between privacy and secrecy in marriage


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Tammy Nelson, PhD

Psychotherapist & Relationship Expert

Tammy Nelson PhD is the author of several books including, “Getting the Sex You Want; Shed Your Inhibitions and Reach New Heights of Passion Together”  (2008) and  “What’s Eating You? A Workbook for Anorexia and Bulimia (2004)” and her latest  book “The New Monogamy; Redefining Your Relationship After Infidelity” (January 2013) is receiving critical acclaim.  She has been a featured expert in New York Times, Washington Post, Self,  Glamour Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, MSNBC,  Shape, Men’s Health, Women’s Health Woman’s Day, Women’s Health, and a source in Time Magazine. She writes for the Huffington Post, YourTango and can be followed on her blog

Tammy Nelson is a Board Certified Sexologist, a Certified Sex Therapist and an Imago Relationship Therapist.  She is an international speaker and a licensed psychotherapist in private practice with over 25 years of experience working with individuals and couples.  She travels and lectures internationally on her quest for global relational change.

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