There is no secret that will not be revealed. Everybody knows this well. But, for whatever reason, most people still choose to keep some kinds of secrets to themselves for as long as possible.
I think it's quite OK, under some circumstances, to hide certain truths until the time is right. But trying to cover up what should be disclosed to the person who will be directly affected by the concealment is not a good idea as it can irreparably ruin a relationship.
Recently I came across a couple of similar news stories about two couples who suffered the same kind of love-turned-sour crisis following a shocking revelation. While sounding rather ridiculous at first, both stories eventually gained my sympathy.
The first case was reported late last month. It was about an old Belgian man who requested the court annul his 19-year marriage to his 48-year-old Indonesian wife after he discovered that she was actually a transsexual.
The 64-year-old husband first met his partner when she was working as an au pair to his sister's children. He said she was an attractive woman, all woman, and had no male traits. He never suspected a thing until a relative of hers came to visit and let the secret slip. Even his friends and family heard rumours that she used to be a man. And when he confronted her, she finally confessed she had been born a boy and had undergone a sex change operation.
"My world collapsed in a few seconds. I was horrified. I feel like I have been violated for almost 20 years," the old man told the media.
The poor man is reportedly undergoing psychiatric treatment. He said what his wife had done to him and his family was unforgivable. "I just want her out of my life."
"Unbelievable!" you might say. I also find it hard to believe that the man, who has two children from two previous marriages, wouldn't be able to distinguish between a real woman and a transsexual during all those years.
Anyway, what is a bit unclear to me is whether the husband decided to dump his wife solely because of her deception, or because he couldn't come to terms with the fact that she isn't a real woman.
I have learned that most transsexual women are very sensitive about the issue regarding gender identity. Like the wife in this story, they think that they are women so they don't need to tell anyone about their past as men. It's like a haunting chapter of life that they want to expel from their memories for good.
Of course, women have no problems treating them as our female counterparts considering the feminine qualities they have. But whether men will be able to ignore their biological gender and regard them in the same fashion as they do with real women is another story.
So it will be unfair for a man not to be told of the true gender identity of his (transgender) lover in the first place. This will deprive him of the right to make a sound decision on their relationship based on true accounts.
Well, if this case has given transwomen some lessons to ponder, let's see what real women will learn from the next story.
This news item was reported a month before the first one.
It is about a man in China who recently divorced and sued his wife for being ugly. Not only did he win the case, his ex-wife was obliged to pay 3.7 million baht in compensation, too.
Initially, their relationship went pretty well as he was reportedly absolutely in love with his beautiful wife. But soon after she gave birth to a baby girl, things began to get ugly.
The trigger was the baby's looks, which horrified her father who thought she was incredibly ugly, neither resembling him or her mother at all.
That's when he began to suspect his wife of being unfaithful and filed for divorce.
But after a DNA test proved he was indeed the father of the ugly baby, his wife finally admitted that she had actually undergone 3 million baht's worth of plastic surgery to drastically change how she looked before she met him. After realising that her natural looks were "responsible" for his ugly baby, he sued her on the grounds that she had duped him into marrying her under false pretences. The court agreed, awarding him compensation for the deception.
"This man is crazy!" you might shout. Even though I disagree with the wife keeping mum about her past, I can't believe that this kind of secret would drive the husband to go so far as to file for divorce, publicly humiliating her in the process.
Of course, the wife is to blame for not telling the truth to him before they got married. But how could she possibly know that he would be this shallow and would set such high standards for the appearance of their future baby?
I think the bigger issue for this lady lies in her inability to detect her (presumably) good-looking lover's secret sooner _ that he is actually an ugly-on-the-inside person whom she should have stayed away from in the first place.
I guess this story has caused many beauties (with a history) to start worrying about some little secrets of their own and hope for the best that their relationship will not turn ugly like that.
Well, I might be too idealistic but I think a healthy relationship should start with two people being able to truly accept each other's flaws, big or small, and each feeling comfortable with the way the other one really is. There should not be a secret between them at all.
So, if showing your sincerity by revealing your (not so) little secrets to your man will possibly lead to the end of the relationship, please face it with courage and be proud that you have done the right thing.
It might be hurtful, of course. But at least you can walk away with dignity.
Patcharawalai Sanyanusin is a writer for Life.
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- Writer: Patcharawalai Sanyanusin