How to Deal with Relationship Secrets
Most people know that keeping secrets can be damaging to relationships, but we often keep them anyway. Why do we do this? Why do we put our relationships at risk by keeping secrets? There are many reasons why people keep secrets from their partners.
Sometimes we keep secrets because we’re afraid of what the other person will think or how they will react. We may also keep secrets because we don’t want to hurt the other person’s feelings. Sometimes we keep secrets because we’re ashamed of what we’ve done, or because we’re embarrassed. We may also keep secrets because we don’t want to get into trouble. Whatever the reason, keeping secrets is never a good idea. Here are some tips for dealing with relationship secrets.
Useful techniques for coping with Relationship Secrets
Here are some helpful techniques for dealing with relationship secrets
1. Tell the truth.
Hiding something about your past is risky. It is possible and even likely that your partner will one day find out that you hid something or kept a secret.
2. Make a commitment to yourself to work on your secrets.
Discuss the issue with a friend or your partner. Work on resolving the issue in a positive way. You’ll feel better and your relationship will improve.
3. Make a commitment not to keep secrets.
It’s often good to commit not to tell secrets. If you do reveal a secret, you must do so honestly and without blame.
4. Think about what is the worst thing that can happen if you tell.
Think about the consequences of telling the secret. Your partner has the right to know the real you. Prepare yourself for their reaction and whatever the consequences may be.
5. Consider how you can tell without causing harm.
If you are revealing a secret about an affair or hidden debt, think about how you can tell your partner without blaming them in any way and without becoming defensive. It might be a good idea to enlist the help of a therapist.
6. Have empathy for your partner
Put yourself in their shoes. How would you feel if they told you they had kept a secret from you, one that will likely upset you? Allow them to feel how they feel-angry, hurt, distrustful, shocked, disappointed, etc.
If you kept secrets from your partner, it may be because you are ashamed of something in your past. Maybe you hid debt from them, opened credit cards without their knowledge. Did you have an affair? Did you hide that you take medication for a mental illness?
Whatever you hid from your partner, when you tell them your secret, be sure to also tell them what steps you have taken or will take to resolve the problem you hid from them.
Sometimes, the broken trust and pain caused by a partner’s secret or dishonesty is hard to come back from. Couples counseling can help you and your partner heal your relationship and re-establish trust.
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