When people start a romantic relationship, they want it to last for long. Some might even think that they need to keep secrets to survive in the relationship. Being honest and opening up to a partner is all about confidence, comfort and trust. If these three important factors are missing, then naturally, you start keeping secrets. In fact, some don’t even like to discuss topics like money issues or habits. Keeping a secret isn’t healthy as it can ruin a relationship. Find out why you should not keep secrets from your partner.
HealthShots connected with Dr Chandni Tugnait, a psychotherapist, life and business coach, to know about the side effects of keeping secrets in relationships.
Reasons why couples keep secrets
Couples may keep secrets from one another for different reasons. Some of them are:
• Fear of judgement
• Uncertainty or frustration with the relationship
• Lack of time to discuss issues
• Avoiding difficult subjects
• Wanting to protect themselves from potential hurt.
Dr Tugnait says that couples may also feel too embarrassed or ashamed to open up about certain topics to avoid appearing weak or vulnerable. They need to be open and honest with each other if they want to build trust and maintain healthy communication. It may be easy to keep a secret if a couple spends little time together due to distance or other life commitments. Keeping secrets can harm relationships as it can lead to feelings of distrust and loneliness.
How keeping secrets can ruin a relationship?
Maintaining a healthy relationship is not always easy. And if secrets come in the way then it doesn’t take long to form cracks in the relationship.
1. Loss of trust
When one partner keeps secrets from the other, it can lead to mistrust, suspicion and insecurity in the relationship. Without trust, it can be difficult for the couple to communicate openly and honestly, says the expert.
Keeping secrets often leads to resentment, as one partner may feel that they are not being heard or taken seriously by the other. This can also lead to bitterness, anger, and frustration, as one partner may think their feelings are not valued or appreciated by the other.
3. Unmet needs
If one partner hides essential information, it can be difficult for both the partners to express their needs and desires. As a result, these needs may go unmet, leading to further dissatisfaction and hurt feelings between both partners.
4. Lack of communication
Secrets can impede communication in relationships as people feel too embarrassed or ashamed to discuss certain topics with their partners. This lack of communication can create tension and misunderstanding within a relationship and make it difficult for couples to solve any issues.
5. Emotional distance
Keeping secrets from a partner often leads to emotional distance since partners struggle with expressing themselves openly without fear of judgement or criticism from their partner. This can lead to disconnection and alienation between both partners, which is detrimental to any healthy relationship.
Right time to share secrets with your partner
You might be too busy or your partner might not be available when you want to talk. So, the right time to share secrets with your partner is when both of your feel comfortable and safe enough to do so. It is essential to create an environment where both the partners feel free to voice their thoughts and feelings without fears or insecurities. It may be helpful for couples to set aside specific times or activities, such as dates, weekend walks, or movie nights. Then they can talk openly about any topics that have been bothering them. It is important to remember that communication is a two-way street, and partners should be comfortable listening and responding to each other.
How to be honest to your partner
zWondering how you can be honest with your partner? Here’s what you can do:
• Create an environment of trust and respect by being open, honest, and patient with each other.
• Set aside specific times or activities where you can talk openly about any topics that bother you too.
• Listen carefully to each other’s words and feelings without judgement or criticism.
• Recognise the importance of keeping secrets confidential within the relationship.
• Respect each other’s boundaries when deciding what should stay confidential and what may be shared with others outside of the relationship.
• Speak openly and candidly while still not hurting or offending your partner’s feelings.
• Respect each other’s privacy, and understand that some things may feel too personal or private to be shared.
• Find creative ways to open-up, such as writing each other letters, telling stories, or playing guessing games together.
It’s all about being vulnerable and honest with your partner about your experiences, thoughts and feelings.