The Secret Oddity Of Married Life

Newlyweds envision a life in which they share their dreams with each other. How wrong they are! Judging by an Ipsos-Reid/Reader’s Digest poll fielded in Canada, dreams are just what husbands and wives often fail to share. Nor is this silence confined to dreams of extramarital affairs, although 8 percent of respondents said they’ve had those and refrained from telling their spouses. Seventeen percent said they’ve secretly dreamt of “starting over in a new career”; 14 percent have dreamt of traveling on their own; 6 percent have dreamt of adopting a kid. Then there’s this morsel of marital weirdness: 12 percent have secretly dreamt of getting a dog. Given such reticence about dreams, it’s no surprise people are discreet about stuff they actually do. Thirty-three percent have refrained from telling a spouse how much they paid for something; 7 percent have kept “failure at work” a secret. Given the common urge to improve one’s mate (see the chart), it’s probably just as well that marrieds edit themselves. Anyway, this practice doesn’t prevent the spouses from understanding each other. Eighty percent of husbands and 69 percent of wives cited their spouses when answering the question, “Who do you feel knows you the best?”