23 Things She’s Not Telling You (According to Women)
Nope, she's definitely not fine.
Women tend to have a reputation for oversharing, for letting their emotions and inner thoughts spill out far too easily. However, even though they’re stereotyped for saying too much, there are plenty of things women actually aren’t sharing. From her sexual history to her real feelings about your family to her spending habits, these are the things women feel, think, and do, but don’t tell you about.
She has extra income.
From online craft businesses like Etsy to selling clothes on sites like Poshmark, many women are finding more and more ways to add money to their bank accounts. But they may not always be letting their partners in on their newfound second source of income.
“Even though my husband and I combine our finances and have almost all of our assets in joint accounts, I still maintain a separate account for my growing online business,” says Amber Nash, founder of health, fitness, and nutrition website Fit Healthy Best. “Every now and then, I’ll keep a little to myself for something I want to splurge on.”
And she’s not afraid to spend it (but she is afraid to tell you about it).
Women might divulge some information about their personal finances, but often times, they’re not giving you the full picture—especially when they have a habit of splurging on things like clothes or beauty products.
In a Redbook magazine article about what spouses hide from each other, one 30-year-old woman said she doesn’t tell her husband how much she spends on her separate credit card. “I mostly use it to buy clothes for myself and the kids,” she said. “If he knew, he would definitely tell me I’m being careless.”
She knows where she wants to eat.
A common, yet petty argument that comes up in many relationships surrounds picking a restaurant for brunch or date night. The stereotype is that women can never decide, but in truth, most of the time, she actually knows.
“Even when women say they don’t know where they want to eat, they often already have a place in mind! It’s just that we’re afraid our significant other will not be interested in eating at the same place we want to,” says self-proclaimed mompreneur Liz Jeneault of product review site Faveable. “We hold back, hoping the place we have in mind will be mentioned by our partner.”
She doesn’t want your honest opinion on how she looks.
When the lady in your life asks you about how she looks, chances are, she’s just fishing for a confidence boost, not your honest, critical thoughts. “Never answer the question ‘Do I look fat in this?’ in any way other than ‘You look great,'” writes clinical psychologist and HuffPost contributor Barbara Greenberg. “A woman always knows how she looks. There is absolutely no possibility that she wants your honest opinion.”
Sometimes, she just wants you to listen.
In certain situations, all she wants is her partner’s open ear, not a problem-solving pow-wow. Instead of always trying to fix what she’s venting about, let her get it out and give her the emotional support she’s looking for.
As psychologist Joanne Davila explains on Psychology Today, understanding what your partner needs at the time is the key to healthy communication. “Everyone needs both emotional support and practical help. Neither one is right or wrong, better or worse,” she writes. “The trick is knowing what is needed at any given moment and finding the right balance of listening and helping. Those are the hard things.”
She often feels like she doesn’t measure up.
Even if you think the world of your partner, turns out, she might not feel the same about herself. “Everywhere we look, we see airbrushed supermodels or pictures on Instagram from our friends who seem to have perfect houses and perfect children,” writes Ashley Willis on the website Patheos. “It can create an overwhelming pressure to ‘measure up’ to impossible standards. We don’t often voice these feelings of inadequacy, but we feel them.”
She’s not actually “fine.”
When it comes to arguments within a relationship, some women will often take the path of least resistance and say they’re fine even if that’s not the case. “Women must have invented the ‘I’m fine’ response to keep the peace,” Match.com relationship expert Whitney Casey told Woman’s Day.
When a woman brushes something off by saying she’s fine, work with her to get her to open up about what’s really bothering her because, as Casey says, “letting feelings fester only causes confusion down the line.” Tackling the issue head-on will make it less likely for a similar argument to come up later.
She doesn’t want space.
When a woman throws out the need for “space” during one of these arguments, what she usually wants isn’t room to breathe; it’s better understanding.
“The problem is that she wants you to figure that out on your own and you are not a mind reader,” writes Greenberg. “If a woman says that she needs space, by all means, do not get in your car and drive away for two hours. You are likely to get a hearty helping of silence when you return.” Instead, Greenberg suggests taking the opportunity to step back and look at things from her point of view.
She wants you to take more initiative.
Sure, she doesn’t mind asking for help every now and then. But after awhile, she may become tired of always asking, and instead, wishes you would take initiative so she doesn’t feel like she’s always “nagging.”
“I’d like him to be a little more intuitive,” one Reddit user wrote on a thread called, “What’s Something You Wished Your S.O. Knew But Would Never Want to Tell Them?” “I don’t want to have to specifically ask you to put the laundry away, or hang the washing out, or clean the bathroom—doing so makes me feel like a nag. Would it be so hard to notice it needs doing and just do it?”
She’s scared to tell you about her sexual history…
Some women still feel judged and ashamed for their sexual histories, which may lead them to be less than honest about their pasts. For example, writer Amanda Goldstein penned an essay for The Cut about how her husband knows pretty much everything about her, except the number of people she’s slept with before him (50, compared to his two).
“I don’t intend to ever tell my husband how many people I’ve slept with,” she writes. “It’s a can of worms that just doesn’t need to be opened. And I’ve made peace with the fact that my husband will never know everything about my past. However—and this gives me comfort—he will know everything about our future together.”
…Especially if she’s cheated in the past.
Not only is it hard for a woman to admit to how many people she’s slept with, it’s particularly difficult for her to share any past indiscretions that involved an affair.
“Sometimes, if a partner has cheated in the past, they won’t tell their new partner about it,” psychotherapist Tara Fields told Redbook. “They’re often afraid they’ll be judged or that it’ll immediately infuse a sense of doubt or insecurity into the current relationship.”
And she doesn’t actually want to hear about your sexual past either.
Women will often say they “don’t mind” listening to the stories of previous women in your life, but that may not be exactly true. If you plan to open up about your past lovers, it’s best to avoid going too in-depth.
“There is not a single woman who I have ever met who wants to hear about your intimate relationships with other women,” writes Greenberg.
She’s not the biggest fan of your family.
“I strongly dislike my mother-in-law,” one 26-year-old married woman told Redbook. “My husband knows she isn’t my best friend, but he has no idea that I talk some serious trash about his mom—in my defense, she’s a very selfish person. All my friends just laugh and laugh about how she is.” And speaking of chatting with friends…
She tells her friends everything.
Yes, ladies love to do a lot of talking; it’s just not always with you. While your partner may let you in on some of the things she’s divulged to her best friends about your relationship, she’s probably not admitting to everything. We’re sorry to tell you, but not much is left off the table.
She’s not OK with putting her career on the back burner.
Resentment can often follow when a woman feels pressure to put her career on hold for a family—especially if she doesn’t feel like she has a choice in the matter. Marriage therapist Carin Goldstein told Woman’s Day that while a woman may not initially express a problem with sacrificing her own professional ambitions for the sake of becoming a stay at home mom, over time she may “feel like [she’s] lost who [she is] as a woman outside of being a wife.”
Or she’s overworked.
Sure, everyone wants a more lavish lifestyle. But if that lifestyle comes at the expense of running on empty, chances are, she doesn’t want it.
“I don’t want to work this hard for what we have (materially),” one Reddit user noted. “I would rather downgrade everything and work less hours, and spend time exercising my creative side—painting or writing or something expressive—instead of sleeping out of exhaustion and boredom.”
She’s not comfortable sharing her successes.
As psychologist Kristen Carpenter told Self, women are aware that some men feel threatened by women who are successful—and it can cause them to be less inclined to boast about a work promotion or raise to a male partner.
“[Women] do not share successes enough,” she says. “They don’t want to feel there is a race between themselves and their spouse, and think discussing their successes interferes with the male provider role.”
She wants you to have your own life.
While she may love spending quality time with you, she wants you to have your own life has well.
“We should have different hobbies and be able to teach each other things,” says one Reddit user. “I want both of our lives to have richness and excitement that could be independent of each other.”
She’s going to therapy.
Therapist Jodie Voth told Self she sees many women taking a trip to therapy solo to discuss issues in their relationship, without letting their significant other know.
“I cannot tell you how often women come to therapy without their husband’s knowledge,” she said. “Their goal? To decide if the relationship is worth saving or not. Women hide therapy because it feels risky to involve him; he now has equal opportunity to influence the fate of the relationship.”
She’s worried about your drinking.
There’s no shame in having a drink every now and then to unwind after a hard day at work, but the woman in your life may be more worried than she’s willing to let on about your drinking patterns.
“It’s a problem when you can’t rely on him,” clinical psychologist Andra Brosh told Woman’s Day. “Start by setting some boundaries and see how he responds. If he says it’s ‘your problem,’ there might be a deeper issue for him.”
She has a serious health issue.
Odds are, whether it’s a lump near her breast or a mole she’s unsure of, she’s probably not telling you about it—or, if she is, she’s greatly downplaying her concerns. “Women will hide worrisome concerns from their spouse to protect their husband or decrease distress—especially if it feels major,” Carpenter told Self. But, she says, doing so closes women off to support in the process.
She wants you to show more affection.
Women aren’t often eager to tell their partner they want more affection and romance in their relationship out of fear of sounding needy. But even if they do, telling a partner you want a romantic surprise takes away the marvel of it all.
“I wish my husband would text me, email me, leave sticky love notes for me, write me poetry or love letters—any positive way to make me feel valued, loved, and respected,” one woman told Your Tango. “I want to feel like I am his priority.”
And she wants you to express your emotions.
Women are typically viewed as more emotional than men, but, most of the time, you partner wants to hear how you feel.
“When they’re around, but don’t speak and only give one or two word answers to questions, it’s worse than him not being there,” one Reddit user explained. “I don’t say anything because it’s obvious that he’s trying to work out a puzzle in his head, and I don’t want to be a burden on his concentration—though, I’m right here, offering to help and listen.”And for all the things you should say to your special someone, check out the 40 Cute Things to Say to Your Girlfriend Every Day.
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