Use accusations and reproaches to improve the relationship.Secrets in Relationships
This text was published in the Swiss magazine “ Zeit ”.
Are secrets harmful or good and necessary in a couple relationship? The clear answer is: yes! They are good and necessary and can be harmful.
Every relationship is shaped by a special communication. You only communicate impersonal information to strangers. You share personal information with friends. You communicate intimate things to your love partner. Everyone wants to be loved for who he is and for all of his sides. The love partner has this task today — to confirm the individual in his being.
The question now is whether one should communicate everything that is going on in the intimate area, in the innermost being? A little thought experiment shows how harmful that would be.
If a partner could read minds, she would find out, for example, who else you find attractive or perhaps more attractive, who you want to spend a night with or have already spent, which fantasies help you with masturbation, what role your money or inheritance play, when you intend to leave it, for example when the house is paid for or the children are out and much more. If partners could read minds, hardly anyone would get involved in romantic relationships.
Here is a small example: A man wants to know from his girlfriend in an intimate moment how many men she has slept with. She hesitates to answer because she instinctively feels that it would be better to keep it a secret. She says to him: “You don’t even want to know!” But he is boring, and when she finally says that she doesn’t really know, it is probably over 30, he is badly hit. The relationship is disturbed for a while, he thinks about breaking up at times, but stays. It would have been better if she lied. For example, saying: “I don’t count something like that, and I mean, it’s none of your business.”
Secrets are essential in a relationship. On the one hand, the secret distinguishes itself from the other, on the other hand, it keeps the partners’ interest and curiosity about their inner workings alive. Your own identity is preserved through secrets. Because only because no one else can look into my head and into my feelings do I exist as an individual. And only because partners are separate from each other do they need their love, which gives them affection and confirmation.
What is absolutely necessary in a love relationship today, however, is the impression of having no secrets from each other, at least not big ones. A love affair thrives on communicating the most intimate things; you tell your partner what no one else knows about. You tell him longings, feelings, fears, expectations, hopes, desires, etc. This creates the illusion of knowing exactly what is inside of the partner. This illusion is needed so that the impression of total love — I am loved for myself, with everything that makes me — can arise.
However, one should not confuse the impression of absolute openness with absolute openness. The conviction that you are completely loved only lasts as long as you do not communicate much . What would disturb this impression too much, i.e. everything that separates instead of connecting, is better kept to yourself. At least as long as you can.
Of course, secrets harbor risks, for example the risk of being involuntarily revealed. The affair, if it comes out, can end or enliven the relationship. It depends on the severity of the injury it causes. Why is there an injury at all? Because the expectation of knowing the other is broken. What can then save the relationship is revealing more secrets. For example, what you have missed for a long time, what you have been suffering from for a long time, etc. However, there is no guarantee that the relationship will be preserved, because everything you reveal can either trigger affection or aversion.
Do you have to fear that a relationship will run out of secrets in the long run? No, because every secret that is revealed is followed by others. The production facility for secrets is where personal change takes place — in the unconscious, in the individual’s emotional area that cannot be controlled. It’s good that you don’t know everything about your partner and not everything about yourself.
What now? When you are faced with the decision “confess or not?” Answer the following questions:
- Is there an agreement on the point that I am keeping secret?
- Does it matter for the relationship?
- How will my partner react if I reveal the secret?
- How will my partner react if I remain silent and he finds out the secret himself?
- What consequences do I think I can live with better?
If a lie comes out, all that remains is to stand by it. Yes i lied Out of selfishness. Because I want to keep the relationship with you!