There are some secrets you keep that are perfectly harmless. Like that homemade cake you brought to your mother-in-law's dinner that was actually store-bought or the surprise birthday party you're planning for a friend. Others, not so much. Researchers from Columbia Business School have revealed some fascinating (and not-so-great) information about the secrets we keep and the results might just surprise you.
For the study, researchers analyzed more than 13,000 secrets from ten previous studies and came up with 38 common categories, ranging from cheating on a test to financial falsehoods to infidelity. What they found was that the average person is holding on to 13 secrets at any one time, five of which they've never told a living soul. Researchers also discovered that the most common secrets people are hiding are ones from their partner. Yikes.
Related: Shortest celebrity marriages
Shortest Celebrity Marriages
Shortest Celebrity Marriages
Mario Lopez and Ali Landry dated for six years before marrying in 2004. But it all fell apart within 18 days -- Landry found out Lopez had cheated.
The first of Drew Barrymore's three husbands, she was only 19 when she wed Jeremy Thomas. She'd only known him for six weeks when they tied the knot in 1994. Unsurprisingly, they called it quits after 39 days.
Britney Spears has long put this behind her, but the world still remembers her infamous 55-hour marriage to childhood friend Jason Alexander. Hey, things happen.
It was definitely a wild night in Vegas, and it ended with Carmen Electra marrying quirky basketball player Dennis Rodman at 7 in the morning. They had it annulled nine days later.
Drew Barrymore and Tom Green made an odd pairing, but they stuck it out for a few months. They wed in summer of 2001 and had split by the winter holidays.
A few years after Rick Salomon made his screen debut (?) alongside Paris Hilton in her infamous sex tape, Pamela Anderson snatched him up. They married in 2007, and Pam filed for divorce 60 days later. (They remarried and re-divorced in 2014.)
What it lacked in duration, it owned in overexposure. The much-hyped nuptials of Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries took place in 2011 and cost an estimated $10 million. The marriage formally ended 72 days later.
Nicky Hilton and Todd Meister opted for a quickie Vegas wedding in August 2004. A promising start, but ultimately the marriage collapsed that November.
Yes, this is an actual wedding photo. Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock made it official with a ceremony on a yacht. Looks like a good time, but they'd had enough 122 days later.
In this photo, she's still Jenny from the Block! Jennifer Lopez married pro dancer Cris Judd in September 2001, but by June 2002, he'd danced right on out of her life.
Long story short, Fred Armisen and Elisabeth Moss were married for 8 months and it was really, really bad. Moss has called the experience "extremely traumatic and awful and horrible."
They made for a very cute teen-dream couple, but real life was more like a nightmare. They divorced after five months, and Bush cited "fraud" as her grounds, which is definitely concerning.
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Esposito were husband and wife for a lovely four months until parting ways.
Nicolas Cage and Lisa Marie Presley wed in a beautiful Hawaii ceremony, but once they got back to reality, things weren't so picture-perfect. They divorced 107 days later.
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So what are these secrets that we're staying so tight-lipped about? In each of the studies that researchers looked at, thinking about having an affair, sexual acts, lying, and romantic desire consistently topped the list of secrets that participants didn't share with anyone else. Next in descending order was: a time in the past where they violated someone's trust, stealing something, being unfaithful emotionally, keeping a goal or ambition to themselves, details about their family's history, financial information, being unhappy about something physical about themselves, not satisfied about a friend or social life, and being unhappy in a romantic relationship. Double yikes.
When it comes to secret keeping, previous research has shown that it's linked to anxiety, depression and poor physical health. The best way to stop thinking about a secret? Tell someone. Honesty is the best policy, after all. Except for when it comes to that chocolate cake you "baked." For that, our lips are sealed.