1. Stupid Secrets Withholding important information for fear of rejection 2. Stupid Egotism Asking not what you can do for the relationship but only what the relationship can do for you 3. Stupid Pettiness Making a big deal out of the small stuff 4. Stupid Power Always trying to be in control 5. Stupid Priorities Consuming all your time and energies with work, hobbies, errands, and chores instead of focusing on your relationship 6. Stupid Happiness Seeking stimulation and assurance from all the wrong places to satisfy the immature need to feel good 7. Stupid Excuses Not being accountable for bad behavior 8. Stupid Liaisons Not letting go of negative attachments to friends and relatives who are damaging to your relationship 9. Stupid Mismatch Not knowing when to leave and cut your losses 10. Stupid Breakups Disconnection for all the wrong reasons
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December 24, 2002
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Excerpt from Ten Stupid Things Couples Do to Mess Up Their Relationships by Dr. Laura Schlessinger
"Dr. Laura, when, if ever, should I tell a woman I'm dating that I used to own and run a whorehouse "
Believe it or not, that was a recent question from a caller on my syndicated radio program. Though this specific question may stimulate snickers and outright laughs, the basic question is an important one: What, if any, information from your past are you obligated to reveal during dating, engagement, and marriage And what if the past is only last week And on the flip side, is there any danger in "the whole truth, and nothing but the truth"
Is Everything Private a Secret
The first issue to think about when deciding "what to tell" is to be able to distinguish between secrecy and privacy. This is not a small issue or insignificant distinction at all. I recently asked my listening audience their opinions and experiences with secrecy and privacy in intimate relationships and got the largest and most immediate response I ever received to an on-air question. Here are some of those responses:
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"Privacy is something you 'give' someone out of respect. Secrecy is something you 'withhold' from another."
"Privacy is when you want to go to the bathroom or pick your nose without your spouse looking -- or try to buy them a gift without their knowing. Secrecy is when you feel guilty about something that you can't tell your spouse."
"For spouses to be secretive, they would also have to be separative. Secrecy builds lack of trust, reservation, guarded intimacy of the heart, and resentment -- all of which lead to bitterness. Private is personal only to the individual and should not include anything that affects in any way both parties or the family."
"In my opinion, privacy in marriage is your own personal space. In this, there is trust and respect. The other partner is aware of this space and respects it without intrusion. We all need a little private time to ourselves, otherwise we go nuts! I think secrecy is destructive in marriage -- it is a lack of trust and respect. This is something the other partner is unaware of, and in essence, it is a lie."
"Privacy is something we value within ourselves. It is something we decide a little at a time to share. My thoughts are private and I will choose to share bits and pieces. Secrets are wrong if they promote dishonesty, distrust, and compromise morals and integrity."
"Privacy is having some quality time or spiritual time alone. I think secrecy in a marriage could be a form of deceit."
"Privacy is the withholding of information concerning yourself, the disclosure of which would be of no benefit to the partner, and which you do not wish to share. Secrecy, on the other hand, is the withholding of information that may have an effect on the well-being of the partner. This effect may be financial, spiritual, physical, or mental. Privacy is acceptable. Secrecy is not, unless it protects the partner from harm."