When was the last time you held something back from your partner?
Lots of us keep secrets in our relationships.
White lies aren’t usually a problem – for example, you may not want to admit to your partner that you enjoy reading trashy magazines – but lies and coverups can drive a wedge between you.
Healthy relationships are based on trust and transparency.
In general, honesty is the best policy.
Here are 8 secrets you shouldn’t keep from your loved one:
1. Financial problems
Debt is one of the most common causes of arguments between couples.
You may want to conceal your problems to avoid a fight, but this tactic rarely works;
your partner will probably find out one day, and this will only compound the situation because they will be slow to trust you with financial matters in the future.
2. Health problems
Talking about your health can be challenging, because you might not want to worry your partner or inspire their pity.
Some illnesses, such as depression, also carry a lot of stigma, which makes it harder to open up.
However, your partner deserves to know the facts, because illnesses will affect your day to day life together, joint financial planning, and your future together.
3. Hidden feelings towards your partner
Have you ever asked your partner, “What’s wrong?”
only to be met with silence?
You probably felt annoyed and alienated.
The lesson – don’t try to repress your true emotions.
Hiding your feelings is a bad idea for two reasons.
First, it’s not as easy as you’d imagine; there’s a good chance your partner has picked up on your resentment or anger anyway.
Second, you cannot hope to resolve your relationship problems unless you address the problem head-on.
4. Infidelity, even if it’s in the past
By keeping quiet about a past affair, you are denying your partner the right to make an informed decision with regards to your relationship.
Consider this: If your partner found out about your affair, whether it was last month or 15 years ago, would they still stay?
If you have reason to believe they would leave – and this is a distinct possibility in most cases – you are robbing them of right to make their own choices.
5. Criminal history
It’s best to be open about your past early on.
Lay out the facts, tell them you have moved on, and don’t get defensive if they have any questions. You can hide this kind of information for a while, but it will eventually surface. For instance, rental agencies often carry out criminal checks when letting a property.
Come clean within the first few weeks, and you won’t have to worry about being found out later.
6. Your family history
Fill your partner in on any negative or difficult family relationships before they meet your relatives for the first time.
This will help them avoid sensitive topics or asking questions that might inadvertently cause offense.
You should also disclose past trauma or abuse that still affects you in the present day, as this will give your partner a valuable insight into your behavior.
7. Your stance on having kids
A couple cannot have a happy, long term future together unless they reach an agreement on whether to have children.
Think very carefully before committing to a relationship unless you are both completely at peace with your joint decision.
Otherwise, one or both of you will end up resenting the other.
8. Your needs in the bedroom
Talking about sex can be challenging, but it’s essential.
For most couples, a healthy intimate relationship is an important element in their emotional intimacy.
Emphasize all the things your partner does that you like, and then make constructive suggestions on what they could do differently.
Don’t forget to ask them whether they’d like you to try something new.
How to open up
If you need to have a difficult conversation, schedule a time when the two of you can talk for a couple of hours in a private place.
Be prepared for your partner to respond negatively; most people react badly to a betrayal of trust.
he best approach is to acknowledge and respect their feelings, apologize, and then decide together how best to work on repairing the relationship, if that’s what you both want.
Either way, respect their decision, learn from the experience, and try not to harbor secrets in the future.