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Doing Life Together

secretI was in the grocery store yesterday. The tabloids at the check out were headlining the secret love child of yet another celebrity couple. While we tend to expect this from celebrity relationships, secrets are a problem. They don’t usually end well.

I am often asked if it is a good idea to reveal secrets to a partner.

The answer to this begins with a question. How does it feel to find out a secret after the fact? Do you really want to be surprised with a secret ten years into a marriage, especially one that may have impacted your decision to marry in the first place?

Keeping secrets usually backfires.

Yes, secrets are difficult to bring out into the light, but keeping them sets the stage for heartache down the road. The hidden thing often surfaces later. Then the reaction is even more intense because now it is associated with dishonesty. Because of dishonesty, the impact is usually worse.

Furthermore, the person living with a secret carries a burden. That burden may interfere with intimacy as well. It’s hard to live with secrets—the guilt, the fear and anxiety of being found out rarely helps a relationship.

So should you keep secrets from your partner? Generally speaking, I’m not recommending it. Better to be honest. Otherwise, it makes trusting that person difficult. And trust is a building block of healthy relationships.

 

So

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