No Secrets In My MarriageJanuary 18, 2012 No Comments
Dear Madame X,
There is much discussion of The Obamas, a new book by Jodi Kantor that discusses the presidential marriage. One of the topics caught my eye. Apparently Barack Obama ordered the hit on Osama Bin Laden without discussing it with his wife first. Now as President, he has no obligation to do so, but I wondered if you thought that as a husband he should have.
How much should couples share and how does that apply to things they do on the job?
Wife Who Thinks Marriage Should Involve Assassination
Personally, I couldn’t stand it if I had a job like that or if my husband did because I would find it difficult to keep secrets like that.
However, the Obamas knew what they were getting in to when they signed up to be the First Family. With a job like that, or with lawyers or other government jobs, there is a degree of secrecy which is necessary for the job to function. The reason for this is that by keeping these secrets they believe they are working for the greater good of the public and by telling their wife this could compromise what they are trying to achieve.
I would say, if you’re the kind of person who can’t deal with that level of secrecy, don’t get a job like that and don’t marry a man who has that kind of job.
But if someone has a job like being a lawyer, it’s only a temporary secrecy until the case is over, after which they can share it with their partner.
It’s also important to note that just because the person is required to keep a secret about their work doesn’t mean they are being dishonest about other aspects of their life or their marriage — it’s a very specific type of secrecy.
I guess I would say that secrecy, such as with the Obamas, is fine, so long as both people know what they are getting in to and they agree that it’s for the greater good of whatever cause they are working on. There could be a problem if one of the partners was struggling to deal with information being withheld, or if the person keeping the secret told their partner everything. If they don’t believe in that cause they shouldn’t be doing that job.
But most people don’t have these kinds of jobs anyways, so if your husband is hiding a lot of his work from you, that’s something you need to work out with him because there needs to be a good reason for it.
Madame X is a master of sex. She is adamantly pro-sex which she translates to pro-fun and pro-safety. An avid practitioner of the activity, she has also been trained in the technical dos and don’ts. No mere agony aunt, she knows of what she speaks. Send her your questions, comments, and concerns about sex and relationships here.