Entering into a new relationship can be rather scary for many people. Opening up your heart and home to someone based primarily upon what they have told about themselves is a major step to building trust and living a happy life together. But what happens when you wake up one morning to find that the person you thought you knew was someone opposite of who you fell in love with?
Many times in relationships, one partner may decide to withhold information for one reason or another. Whether it is a secret of the past, current financial standing, or behavior that has taken place during the union, not being forthright in all aspects of one’s life can ultimately damage relationships beyond repair. Almost anyone who has ever experienced the loss of trust can attest to the fact that it is extremely difficult to move on or to get things back to the way they once were.
Once that trust is lost, it is nearly impossible to regain, leaving the relationship in disarray. With this knowledge, why do people still choose to be dishonest or not forthcoming to others? Or is it okay to hold on to information that one thinks the other should not know?
The Center For Thriving Relationships lists three ways that secrets can destroy relationships.
- They can create a barrier to connection.
- They will wear away at trust.
- Gaslighting occurs and it’s psychologically abusive.
When information is withheld or fabricated, the one who is holding on to such knowledge may tend to hide their true feelings in other areas. Because they know the truth, it can become difficult to display their authentic selves when interacting with their partner.
Conversely, when the secret is uncovered, the partner who is finding out this new information most often feels betrayed. They will most likely question everything about their partner moving forward, to include if they really ever loved them at all. The connection that was once felt is now broken.
Trust issues are inevitable when lies are revealed. There is nothing worse than finding out that you have been lied to and betrayed by the one you love. Breaking the trust with someone will almost always drive a wedge, especially between lovers.
Gaslighting often happens when the secret-keeper refuses to take responsibility of their actions, but will rather find a way to make the other feel bad or guilty for their reaction. This is the salt in the wound, so to speak. As if it were not enough to be lied to, following it up with being accused by the one who is actually guilty has to be the ultimate betrayal.
Anyone of these aforementioned outcomes are destructive to relationships and should be considered whenever one is making the decision to keep information from their partners. While some may overlook such issues depending upon the level of betrayal that was committed, there will always be a lingering feeling that your partner may be lying.
Additionally, a secret can be damaging to any type of relationship, not just romantic. Therefore, in order to create a solid foundation and interact freely with others, it is always best to be forthright with information and allow the other person to choose whether or not they want to continue on the journey with you.