How to keep a secret when your relationship’s under a microscope

If you’ve been living under a rock, let me be the first to tell you: Meghan Markle’s pregnant. The couple made the public announcement after Meghan passed the 12-week mark and, per the Twitterverse, people were pretty surprised. That’s a normal scenario for most couples, but extraordinary for a couple that lives both in the spotlight and under a microscope. Harry and Meghan’s every move is reported. Sometimes I feel like I’m reading coverage of how many times they chewed their breakfast. It’s seriously intense! But, they somehow managed to keep their pregnancy a secret for an entire trimester. That got me thinking about how sometimes couples need to a keep a secret between the two of them and that can be hard. I’m not saying your relationship is under Harry and Meghan-level scrutiny, but a nosey boss or over-involved parent can make keeping things between just the two of you tough. So, if you guys have a secret – a pregnancy, a job interview, couples therapy or anything else – here’s how to keep it mum when you’re under what feels like a microscope.

Talk about it

Not with other people, obviously. Just the two of you should talk about it. Be sure you guys agree on the need to keep it secret and commit to not discussing it with anyone. If one of you is more Team Secret and the other is more Team Spill It, you guys have to communicate until you’re both on the same page. During this conversation, talk about the stress of keeping the secret. Maybe one of you needs the release of sharing the secret and getting advice. You could deal with this by going to therapy or agreeing on sharing with folks completely unrelated to your social circles. The bottom line here is that you need to hatch a plan you both agree on and both feel good about.

If asked, answer

Your personal paparazzi likely won’t take the hint about your secrecy. If you’re directly asked about the secret, answer just as directly. For example, if you’re asked if you two are saving for a house, you can straight up say, “I’d prefer not to discuss that.” It’s direct and not mean, but for sure gets your point across. Sometimes people think secret-hunting is a fun game you’re playing. Make it clear that it’s not game and there are no winners if they keep needling for the info.

Know nothing lasts forever

And that especially applies to secrets. Your secret’s going to come out at some point and it’s better if you’re in control of it. While it’s fine to keep certain secrets for a while, you are going to have to eventually share that your man got laid off or you didn’t pass the bar exam. Instead of letting people deduce that, work with your boo to figure out the best way to share the secret. Make sure it’s as low drama as possible and tell people how you want them to react. I know that sounds weird, but try it. “We’ve been having a hard time with fertility. We love you and want you to know, but it’s too hard for us to talk about. So, hopefully we can answer some questions now and then we’ll reach out to you when we want to chat about it. Please don’t ask us about it.” Not that weird, right? Know that you can be as in control of the secret as you want as long as you’re active about it. Sitting and hoping your secret stays secret forever just isn’t realistic.

Every couple has private moments and events they don’t want to share. Be sure you do a good job of keeping yours, even when you’re under scrutiny. And congrats to Meghan and Harry. This baby’s going to be the freaking cutest thing I’ve ever seen.