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11 "Don't-Tell-the-Wife" Secrets All Men Keep

Secret #6: We like it when you mother us, but we're terrified that you'll become your mother

With apologies to Sigmund Freud, Gloria Steinem -- and my mother-in-law.

Secret #7: Every year we love you more

Sure, we look like adults. We own a few suits. We can probably order wine without giggling. But although we resemble our father when he was our age, we still feel like that 4-year-old clutching his pant leg.

With that much room left on our emotional-growth charts, we sense we've only begun to admire you in the ways we will when we're 40, 50 and -- God forbid -- 60. We can't explain this to you, because it would probably come out sounding like we don't love you now.

"It took at least a year before I really started to appreciate my wife for something other than just great sex; and I didn't discover her mind fully until the third year we were married," says Newton. "But the older and wiser I get, the more I love my wife." Adds J.P. Neal, 32, of Potomac, Maryland: "The for-richer-or-poorer, for-better-or-worse aspects of marriage don't hit you right away. It's only during those rare times when we take stock of our life that it starts to sink in."

Secret #8: We don't really understand what you're talking about

You know how, during the day, you sometimes think about certain deep, complex "issues" in your relationship? Then when you get home, you want to "discuss" these issues? And during these "discussions," your man sits there nodding and saying things like "Sure, I understand," "That makes perfect sense" and "I'll do better next time"?

Well, we don't understand. It doesn't make any sense to us at all. And although we'd like to do better next time, we could only do so if, in fact, we had an idea of what you're talking about.

We do care. Just be aware that the part of our brain that processes this stuff is where we store sports trivia.

Secret #9: We are terrified when you drive

Want to know how to reduce your big, tough guy to a quivering mass of fear? Ask him for the car keys.

"I am scared to death when she drives," says LaFlamme.

"Every time I ride with her, I fully accept that I may die at any moment," says Buckingham.

"My wife has about one 'car panic' story a week -- and it's never her fault. All these horrible things just keep happening -- it must be her bad luck," says Andy Beshuk, 31, of Jefferson City, Missouri.

Even if your man is too diplomatic to tell you, he is terrified that you will turn him into a crash-test dummy.

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