“Are secrets really lies, or are you protecting your loved one from pain?”
Stay with me and I’ll show you how to…
- truth or dare
- develop a space between
- create new beginning
When I open the debate over whether secrets are really lies, I am usually met with strong feelings and opposition from both sides.
“Absolutely! I’m being deceived!” versus “I can’t let them know because I know it’ll devastate them, and it would destroy us. I don’t want that, so I keep it a secret.”
We can all justify our position from the stance of Judge or Juror, depending on our own needs; but no matter what, we are still being evasive and perhaps disingenuous.
Imagine the atmosphere in our session room as he sat in silence and she told the story of discovering her husband’s second family in the same town, with children attending the same school. She recounted every detail in a matter-of-fact way, as she had told it to herself over and over, trying to understand how this had been kept hidden from her, and for so long. Twenty years! He was never able to give a satisfactory explanation for why he kept this secret for so long.
Do you play a game of Russian Roulette — Truth or Dare? Knowing that Truth will hit them like a bullet out of nowhere, and the Dare to tell them the truth may or may not mitigate its impact on everyone. Either way, it usually causes pain, and the fall-out might be greater than you imagined. The choice is there.
Whichever side of the fence you’re on — being lied to, or holding a secret — these suggestions may help you.
- Decide if you want to change the level of honesty between you both. Do you know what to expect, or are you prepared for surprises that could be good or bad?
- If NO was your answer to the first question, then determine if it’s possible to improve your companionship. Becoming a dependable companion improves intimacy.
- Invite your partner to play a relationship game with you: “Let’s try and enjoy ourselves. Let’s make the most of our time together.”
- Sit down facing each other and reach out to hold hands.
- Take turns finishing this phrase: “I’m grateful to you because…” This can get quite emotional, so hold on tight!
- Imagine the possibility that your relationship may improve during lockdown. Maybe even get curious about your beliefs about your partner and how correct they are.