Should you tell your partner or potential partner about a certain situation, should you tell them you had an affair? Should you tell them you've looked at their phone or computer? Should you tell them you have dyslexia?
The possible questions are infinite and the answers, likewise are infinite too as each situation requires its own response. There are basic ways of approaching secrets in relationship that can help.
The fundamental basis to any good relationship is good communication. Sharing thoughts, feelings and experiences is the only way for partners to really get to know each other so that emotional intimacy can follow and to feel understood and truly supported. If you lie or are less than honest with a partner how can you ever be close?
Whilst honesty sounds good in theory, there are certain situations where it becomes less clear. Two of the most common reasons where people are dishonest is that they don't want to hurt their partner or to lose them. If you are hiding something think about what your motivation is to do so.
If you are being dishonest because you fear losing your partner, think about whether you really “have” your partner to begin with. Spending time together does not mean that people truly understand or support each other. If your partner does not know important things that may change how they think or feel about you, then they are not really with you. They are with who they think you are, this is not the same as being with YOU. Ask yourself am I being respectful to them? Am I being fair to myself, possibly depriving yourself of the experience of being accepted for who and what you are
If the avoidance is based on not wanting to hurt your partner consider how they would feel if they found out this information. Again are you being respectful to them, of their right to know this and decide for themselves how they would like to proceed. Are you denying yourself potential support from them. How would you feel if similar information was kept from you?
If you decide to disclose your secrets to your partner, think about the best way to do this, anticipate the possible ways they could respond and prepare yourself as to how to answer. If you are leaning towards keeping your secret, be aware that this creates distance in the relationship, even in a small way.
Although open communication is definitely essential in relationships, as they say, “The devil is in the details.” Think about your situation. If in doubt ask for guidance from the relationship readers at TheCircle who can support you through such a decision.