Trust and transparency are the cornerstones of every happy relationship. Honesty and openness create a solid foundation that paves the way for a healthy relationship. Secrets can erode trust, which will consequently lead to a relationship breakdown.
But here’s the cold bitter truth-everyone keeps secrets. They sit with us, sort of like loose change in our pockets. Some secrets burden us and weigh us down, while others simply exist. Secrets in relationships are common-almost expected even.
No one expects you to reveal all our secrets to your partner. However, there are some non-negotiables that every person should disclose to have a healthy relationship. Secrets start to become a problem when they begin to take a toll.
The bigger the secret, the harder it typically is to keep it, which makes the potential for disaster even greater. The only thing that can fix the situation is revealing the secret information because it is only in the truth that a couple can start to move towards recovery.
So what is the difference between secrets and privacy in a relationship?
All individuals are entitled to some level of privacy in life. But secrets can be all fun and games until they aren’t. When prolonged for too long, secrets can fuel more lies, deception, and elaborate schemes designed to keep what should not be revealed hidden.
There is a thin line between secrets and privacy that can be hard to figure out. Privacy in a relationship relates to personal space. In giving someone space, there is a level of trust and respect. The other party is made aware of the need for this space and in return, he or she respects this need without intrusion.
We all need a little privacy otherwise we’d lose it. Secrets are destructive because they eliminate both trust and respect. Secrets, unlike space and privacy, are things that the other partner is unaware of.
Therefore, in essence, secrets are lies. Each partner must be ready and willing to share their secrets and the environment must be accommodative, otherwise, it could all backfire. Unfortunately, forcing your partner to reveal secret information that they are not ready to share can be the source of strife in a relationship.
If a relationship is healthy, an individual should feel secure enough to share information out of their free will. As you get to know your partner better, relevant revelations will begin to manifest themselves.
Secrets will always be present. However, in the end, it is all up to you whether you are willing and ready to reveal them or not. So, which secrets should couples never keep from each other? Here are a few:
Unhappiness in the relationship
A lot of couples choose to stay in unhappy and discontent relationships for various reasons. Unfortunately, some individuals opt to keep the reasons for their unhappiness a secret from fear of hurting the other party while some simply do not want to admit to themselves and their significant other that they are unhappy.
Sometimes couples drift apart over time, and it is no one’s fault in particular. In the end, however, most couples find that problems in relationships just do not disappear on their own. The issues have to be brought to light and addressed by both people. Otherwise, the relationship will continue to decline, which might force the couple to separate.
Everyone knows that affairs are hurtful to marriages and could be just the thing that finally breaks a couple up for good. However, it is the subtle things that are easily ignored long before the affair begins that lay the foundation for disconnection.
Sex is a beautiful thing that is designed to build intimacy between couples. Sexual satisfaction and fulfillment are not the end-all, be-all in a relationship, but it is important. As such, if one party starts to feel disengaged, he or she should be able to speak out freely and even offer suggestions aimed at enhancing the overall sexual engagement such as introducing sex toys to the bedroom.
Regardless of who brings home the bacon, financial decisions should be shared between couples. Whenever you have disagreements relating to money, the issues need to be brought forward and talked about in a safe space. When a party keeps financial decisions a secret, it not only violates the level of trust in the relationship, but it also constitutes financial infidelity.
Our past relationships affect our future ones significantly. When you leave an old relationship, you leave it with your baggage. Hiding your old relationships from your current partner, no matter how embarrassing, can leave your partner feeling confused and isolated.
If you are divorced and are dating again, you may want to hold off on sharing any stories with prospective dates until you get an indication that things are serious. Otherwise being too open and honest can end up chasing any interested parties.
If you have children from previous relationships, you need to come clean to your partner about them, whether you are actively involved in their lives or not. Sharing this truth is essential for the wellbeing of the family.
The last thing you want is to exclude your spouse from such an important aspect of your life, especially when it concerns family. This could create distrust and resentment. You do not want your spouse to find out the news from anyone else, so you must be forthcoming with the truth.
Addictions of any nature
According to Kate Huber at NJGamblingFun, “Addictions of any nature, including sexual obsessions, alcohol and drug abuse, gambling or any other things of the sort are serious matters that your spouse should be aware of. Addictions have the power to destroy lives and tear families apart. So it is important to be honest about any such struggles so that you can receive the support that you need to recover.”
One vital thing that every couple needs to maintain in the relationship is trust. Without it, a relationship cannot flourish. Couples must prioritize transparency as there is no place for secrets in a successful relationship. Unless, of course, you are planning a surprise party or hiding a gift.
There is plenty of research that indicates that when couples open up and share secrets, the self- disclosure upholds intimacy. Keeping secrets limits a couple’s ability to be free and open, which is bound to cause harm long term.