What Lies Beneath a Secret Life?

When you’re lying next to your husband or wife late at night, are they thinking about you? Or are they really thinking about someone from their workplace?  Or are they thinking about a recently rekindled friendship with a prior boyfriend or girlfriend that they connected with through Facebook?

In Dr. Gail Saltz’s engaging and gripping book, “Anatomy of a Secret Life,” she peers beneath the invisible  multiple layers of secrets that lie tucked within the darkest psychic regions of the mind and the balance of power that frames these powerful secrets.

Through exploring the complex and elaborate ways that adulterers, addicts and criminals use secrets to get what they want and to satisfy their deepest urges that drive them to it, Dr. Saltz shows us why a complex secret life can usually only be managed for so long before a shift of power within the secret-keeper causes their secrets to completely take over and control their life. And when that happens, a normal life becomes a secret life.

Not only might we lie awake wondering about our spouse’s secret plans, nearly every day we learn about deceptive acts and schemes uncovered by the media as we see the lives of public figures and politicians start to unravel right in front of us.  We find out about the eye-opening details of things they did and said and plans they made that they had hoped and expected to keep hidden.

Then as the rational side of our brain wants so badly to do- we try to find a way to make sense of it all: their impulsive actions, their months and sometimes years of practicing their lies and planning their schemes as we looked them right in the eye.  What was the time frame? Do we know all the facts yet or could there still be more to uncover?

We examine and re-examine each word they said for the context beneath the meaning, replaying them in an endlessly rotating loop in our minds. What did we miss? What did we fail to notice or see?

We chose to believe them.  We wanted to believe them. We trusted what they said.

The more we think about how much we believed them, the more we begin to doubt our own ability to figure out what is the truth from what is a lie.

As we witness the destructive fall-out that tumbles out of a secret life, we’re left to wonder how these secret-keepers ever realistically expected to keep their secrets from taking over their lives as well as just how they could have dismissed the potential impact that these secrets would have when revealed to  their loved ones.

When secrets take control of our lives, everything changes.