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How Keeping Secrets Can Harm Your Relationship

Since this is an article about secrets, we’re going to start with honesty. Are there secrets you’re keeping from your partner? They may be as innocuous as the fact that you hate your significant other’s cologne or as racy as the truth behind your girls’ weekend with too many bottomless mimosas. At the end of the day, we’re all keeping secrets.

Most of us carry a measure of guilt for keeping a secret or telling a little white lie. However, when do our secrets go from casual to catastrophic?

That, my dears, boils down to your own moral code. If your partner has gained weight (as we all have) during the pandemic, should you keep the secret that her dress does, in fact, not flatter her? Should you keep it to yourself that your guy’s back hair simply grosses you out? It seems that most of the time, we keep secrets if we feel that divulging the tale would hurt another person or party.

But, are you keeping things to yourself to spare them or yourself?

Secrets can be quite harmful if they create an atmosphere of distrust in a relationship. Here’s an example: We all know cheating is morally repugnant. Yet cheating happens, and it happens often. Keeping the secret of infidelity from your partner is one of the biggest red flags there are that secrets and lies can be damaging. You’re not sparing their feelings. You’re sparing yours.

While not as huge as cheating, there are some yellow flags when keeping secrets. Ever snuck a peek at your guy’s phone while he was in the shower? Ever looked at your girlfriend’s DMs to see who’s sliding in? If you find yourself constantly keeping things from your partner or sense they’re keeping things from you, it can be incredibly damaging.

So, then, when can secrets be healthy to keep? There are a few questions to consider.

Why am I keeping this secret?

Is this about me or do I think that I’m protecting my partner or relationship?

Is this relationship so new that I’m waiting to fess up?

Will my partner eventually find out what my secret is?

When it comes to keeping secrets, it all comes down to you. You don’t need to tell your girlfriend that your childhood nickname was Puddles. You don’t need to tell your boyfriend his love for indie goth rock isn’t in your wheelhouse. We do, however, need to be open with our partners. Open communication is sexy and necessary. The innate trust you feel when looking into their eyes and knowing you could say anything is sought after by everyone. That kind of relationship is possible for you, honestly.

About the author
Mom, advocate & writer. Creator of Rants of a Virgo, an essay site. Follow Laura on Instagram or read more articles from Laura on Thought Catalog.

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