We all keep secrets, but knowing which are the right ones to keep, and which ones aren’t, can be hard to know. A relationship is built on trust. If you can’t trust your partner, then something needs to drastically change.
Anything that relates to both you and your partner definitely needs to be shared. Finances are one of the biggest issues in any relationship, and money troubles or worries cannot be kept secret. The thing about money troubles is that they surface sooner or later. So, even if you’re juggling credit cards and trying to keep your debt a secret, as soon as any major purchase comes up where both of you need financial statements, the truth will come out.
It’s also not fair to your partner. If they are unaware of financial constraints, they could still be planning the next vacation, car purchase, or house move. Then, once your financial secret is told, their dreams will be crushed. Instead, if finances are a concern, talk about them as soon as they arise. Not only will it allow you to tackle the problem together, but it will eliminate the stress that has been building up inside of you.
Another secret that can’t be kept is addiction. Addiction comes in many forms and often remains a secret for far too long. Whether it’s alcohol, drugs, gambling, or another unwanted behaviour, it’s important for addiction to come out into the open. This can take much effort as there are often feelings of shame and depression as well. But the sooner you can come face to face with any sort of addiction, the sooner help can be found.
A relationship is made of two different people, and it’s ok to keep some of your thoughts to yourself. Fleeting thoughts that don’t take hold are perfectly fine. It’s ok to think that a person in your gym class is attractive. It’s ok to wonder what life would be like without kids. These are normal thoughts that you don’t need to feel guilty about. It’s when the thoughts turn into planning that you need to be aware of them and share with your partner.
If you’re ever unsure about what to tell your partner, ask yourself if you would like to know these thoughts or behaviours from them. Would they want to know? If the answer is yes, then be sure to start the conversation. If no, then you can let things be. The in-between thoughts are harder to know about. In these cases, think about why you’re having these thoughts or feelings in the first place. There may be deeper issues at work that need to be reflected on.
Another option is to discuss the above with your partner. What do they think is okay to keep private and what topics should definitely be shared with one another. You can also explore with one another the meaning of keeping things to yourself versus sharing them. Start the conversation!
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