SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Arnold Schwarzenegger says his lifelong penchant for secrecy and ability to put his emotions "on deep freeze" led him to keep many secrets from his wife Maria Shriver, eventually causing the dissolution of their marriage when he was forced to admit he fathered a child with the family's housekeeper years earlier.

Throughout their strained 25-year marriage, Schwarzenegger says he did not want to tell Shriver about crucial life decisions such as major heart surgery and running for California governor because he feared she would overreact and tell her well-connected family and friends.

In his new autobiography, "Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story," and in an interview airing Sunday on "60 Minutes," the former California governor acknowledges that his inability to be honest with people has hurt those closest to him.

"That's the way I handle things. And it always has worked. But, I mean it does not – it's not the best thing for people around me because I sometimes – some information I just keep to myself," Schwarzenegger tells reporter Lesley Stahl on "60 Minutes."

The former Mr. Universe traces his detachment to his bodybuilding days, where he says emotions make athletes lose.

"So I became an expert in living in denial," says the Hollywood action star and former governor.

Schwarzenegger praises Shriver throughout the book as a partner and friend who was essential to his success, but also admits to keeping her in the dark about many career decisions. Shriver filed for divorce in July.

Although he had been toying with the idea of running for governor for more than a year, Schwarzenegger waited until just days before the filing deadline for the 2003 recall to discuss it with Shriver, writing in the book that he "didn't want endless conversation about it at home."

Shriver opposed the idea, but was persuaded to soften her stance by her mother, Eunice Shriver, who told her to support her husband's ambitions, or he might resent her for the rest of his life. Despite that struggle, he also didn't inform her when he decided to seek a second term, writing that she had to read about it in the newspaper.

"Total Recall" will officially be published Monday. The Associated Press purchased an early copy.

But Schwarzenegger's biggest secret, the child he had with the family's housekeeper, became tabloid news last year after he left office. Shriver confronted him during a January 2011 counseling session and he finally acknowledged the boy, Joseph, was his. Schwarzenegger says he kept the secret from his wife for years because he was worried "it would get out."

He tells Stahl he never even had a conversation with the housekeeper, Mildred Baena, about the son. Instead, after he began noticing the boy's strong resemblance to him, around age 8, he just began giving Baena extra money.

"I kind of put it away and just said to myself, `OK, I'm going to put this away. I'm going to fulfill my responsibilities,'" he tells Stahl.

He declined to say whether he has a relationship with the child, who is now about 15, and he said he didn't want to go into any more details about his relationship with Baena because he's already caused Shriver and their four children enough pain.

"I don't want to reawaken and kind of talk about it because it's not going to help them. And I just want to protect them as much as I can," he says.

There were other deceptions, too, including a "hot affair" with actress Brigitte Nielsen while filming the 1985 film "Red Sonja," when he and Shriver were living together. He admits to other affairs, but tells Stahl they are "something that's obviously between Maria and me."

Schwarzenegger says in the interview that his marriage and his family were the most important things in his life, but he caused them tremendous pain.

"So the thing that really meant the most to me kind of fell apart because of my doing," he says in the "60 Minutes" interview. "That is something that I will always look back and say, `How could you have done that?'"

Also on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • Anthony Weiner's Online Romance

    Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) was forced to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/16/anthony-weiner-resigns_n_878229.html" target="_hplink">resign</a> following a lengthy media investigation triggered after he accidentally sent his Twitter followers a picture of himself in his underwear. In the aftermath of the initial tweet, Weiner <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/31/anthony-weiner-twitter_n_869008.html" target="_hplink">claimed</a> that his account had been hacked, but subsequent developments showed that he had contacted a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/16/anthony-weiner-photos-women_n_878211.html" target="_hplink">number of other women</a> online, at times engaging in <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/07/anthony-weiner-facebook-chats_n_872783.html" target="_hplink">raunchy conversation</a>.

  • Eliot Spitzer Client Number 9

    In March 2008, a federal investigation revealed that Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D-N.Y.) had habitually patronized a high-priced prostitution agency, spending up to $80,000 on the service.

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger's Mistress

    Revelations surfaced earlier this year that the former California governor and movie star had <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/18/arnold-schwarzeneggermild_n_863882.html" target="_hplink">fathered a child</a> with his maid during an affair that took place during the 1990s. The child is now in his teens. In a statement to the <a href="http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-me-0517-arnold-20110517,0,312678.story" target="_hplink"><em>Los Angeles Times</em></a> in May, Schwarzenegger confessed to the relationship: <blockquote>"After leaving the governor's office I told my wife about this event, which occurred over a decade ago," Schwarzenegger said Monday night in a statement issued to <em>The Times</em> in response to questions. "I understand and deserve the feelings of anger and disappointment among my friends and family. There are no excuses and I take full responsibility for the hurt I have caused. I have apologized to Maria, my children and my family. I am truly sorry."</blockquote>

  • Mark Sanford's Secret Trip To Buenos Aires

    When Governor Mark Sanford (R- S.C.) went missing for a few days in June 2009 he said he was hiking the Appalachian Trail. He later confessed he was actually in Argentina visiting his "soul mate." He and his wife have since gotten divorced.

  • Eric Massa's Tickling

    Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.) <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/05/eric-massa-resigning-new_n_487870.html" target="_hplink">resigned</a> in 2010 following <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/03/eric-massa-to-retire-new_n_484288.html" target="_hplink">mounting questions</a> about his conduct that culminated in a House ethics investigation of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/04/eric-massa-house-ethics-p_n_486424.html" target="_hplink">harassment allegations</a> brought forth by a male aide. Shortly after stepping down, Massa <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/09/eric-massa-and-glenn-beck_n_492441.html" target="_hplink">appeared</a> on Glenn Beck's television show and described part of an incident that had triggered the charges. "Not only did I grope him, I tickled him until he couldn't breathe," he said. "I should have never allowed myself to be as familiar with my staff as I was... I own this misbehavior."

  • David Wu's Alleged Teen Encounter

    On July 26, Rep. David Wu (D-Ore.) <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/26/david-wu-resigns-sex-scandal_n_909734.html" target="_hplink">announced</a> that he would step down pending the conclusion of ongoing negotiations to raise the debt ceiling. Wu, who had fielded <a href="http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/house/should-david-wu-resign.html" target="_hplink">prior criticism</a> for erratic behavior in the run up to his successful 2010 reelection -- he <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/23/oregon-newspapers-gop-david-wu-resign_n_827462.html" target="_hplink">emailed staffers</a> a picture showing him wearing a tiger costume -- is currently facing allegations that he engaged in an unwanted sexual encounter with an 18-year-old. Wu has claimed the action was consensual.

  • Chris Lee's Craigslist Follies

    Rep. Chris Lee (R-N.Y.) took part in perhaps the shortest Washington scandal of all time earlier this year, when a <a href="http://gawker.com/#!5755071/married-gop-congressman-sent-sexy-pictures-to-craigslist-babe" target="_hplink">report</a> that he had sent shirtless pictures to a woman he contacted on Craigslist prompted his <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/09/chris-lee-resigns-after-c_n_821080.html" target="_hplink">resignation</a> mere hours later.

  • John Ensign Has Affair With Aide's Wife

    In June 2009, Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) admitted to having an affair with the wife of a close friend and top aide. In April of this year, he <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/21/john-ensign-resigns-reports_n_852285.html" target="_hplink">announced</a> that he was resigning amid a high-profile ethics probe.

  • Jack Ryan Taking Jeri Ryan To Sex Clubs

    According to custody records, 2004 Illinois Republican Senate hopeful Jack Ryan brought his wife -- actress Jeri Ryan -- to sex clubs in various cities with the intent of having sex in public. Ryan was forced to drop out of the race amid the scandal that flared afterward.

  • John Edwards And Rielle Hunter

    In August 2008, Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) finally confessed that he'd had an affair with a former campaign worker after being exposed by the <i>National Enquirer</i>. He met Rielle Hunter, his future campaign videographer, in a bar. Edwards <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/21/john-edwards-admits-pater_n_431006.html" target="_hplink">admitted</a> fathering the child in early 2010.

  • Larry Craig Toe-Tapping In Airport Bathroom

    Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) was arrested in June 2007 for lewd conduct following an unusual interaction with another man in a bathroom stall at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Craig did not resign immediately, but he did not run again.

  • Mark Foley Sends Sex Messages To Underage Pages

    In September 2006, then chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) was forced to resign amid a scandal involving sexual IM and email conversations with male pages. Foley has since admitted that he is gay.

  • David Vitter Caught With Prostitutes

    Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) was exposed as a former client of the "DC Madam" prostitution ring in 2007. She even called him during votes. The conservative senator was reportedly also a regular at a New Orleans brothel. Vitter ran for reelection and won in 2010.

  • Tim Mahoney Paid Off Mistress Staffer

    In October 2008, it was reported that Rep. Tim Mahoney (D-Fla.) had paid a former staffer-turned-mistress $121,000 to keep her from filing a lawsuit. Mahoney later admitted to having more extramarital affairs.

  • Vito Fosella Bailed Out From DUI By Mistress

    In May 2008, Rep. Vito Fossella (R-N.Y.) was arrested for drunk driving, taken to jail, and bailed out by his mistress. After conflicting stories and poorly constructed lies, he finally admitted that he had been engaged in an affair with the woman and was the father of her 3-year old child.

  • Don Sherwood Accused Of Choking Mistress

    In 2005, opponents of Rep. Don Sherwood (R-Pa.) released a D.C. police report from 2004 alleging that Sherwood had choked his mistress. The release of the report forced Sherwood to admit to a five-year affair with the woman.

  • Gary Condit And Murdered Intern Chandra Levy

    After congressional intern Chandra Levy went missing in May 2001, Rep. Gary Condit (D-Calif.) became the center of a scandal that led to his admitting an affair with Levy. In 2009, Levy's murderer was determined to be a man already in prison for other murders.