Why Keeping Secrets Can Be Harmful

Melanie Kane
3 min readJul 19, 2022

Have you ever hidden something from your partner? Do you feel guilty about it?

People keep secrets, and that’s okay. However, while withholding personal information isn’t necessarily wrong, it can be harmful.

As an individual, you have the right to keep sensitive information private from your relationship. But privacy does not equate to secrecy. There’s a difference between not wanting to tell versus lying to someone — especially if that someone is your partner.

Here are the reasons why secrets can be hurtful to your relationship:

It triggers trust issues.

Trust builds relationships. You establish it by unfolding truths. Once it’s broken, rebuilding it can be difficult.

“What could be the other lies they told?” As mistrust starts to emerge, a handful of questions follow. You start being suspicious of every activity your partner does.

What you can do moving forward:

  • Communicate
  • Forgive
  • Focus on the present

It affects your communication.

It prevents you from being completely vulnerable with your partner. You now avoid discussing the problems that your relationship encounters. Overwhelmed by the lies, you no longer feel comfortable opening up.

How to fix it:

  • Go back to where your relationship started. Go on dates to get to know each other.
  • Although it’s hard, confront your problems head-on.

It hinders your relationship’s growth.

You thought nothing could ever go wrong until you found out that your partner has been keeping secrets from you. Now you no longer trust them, and all the progress that your relationship has made is all going down the drain.

What you can do moving forward:

  • If the lie wasn’t deceptive, there’s still a chance to patch things up. Take that mistake as an opportunity to grow.
  • Tell the secretive partner to be transparent, as it is the only way for your relationship to advance further.

It makes you question your worth.

“What’s wrong with me? Am I not dependable?”

You start to judge whether or not you’ve been a reliable partner. You end up blaming yourself for your partner’s lies, thinking that maybe you haven’t been attentive enough.

  • Understand that there’s nothing wrong with you. You’re not the problem.
  • Create a healthy boundary moving forward so their lapses will not affect your self-perception.

It hurts your relationship’s intimacy.

You can no longer look your partner in the eye. Every time you see them, all you can think of are the other lies you haven’t discovered. It’s hard to bring back the affection that you once shared. Is it still possible to bring it back? Try these simple ways:

  • Let your vulnerability be known. Talk about how it hurts you and how it prevents you from being soft to them.
  • While it’s not your responsibility to carry the burden of their mistake, it’s still your relationship that is at stake. To bring the attachment back, start by doing the little things — talking to them in a soft manner, being forgiving, and loving.

Avoid Doing Things That Could Threaten Your Relationship

Yes, you can have your own life outside your relationship. You’re not obligated to tell your partner everything.

Keeping a secret is only harmless in itself if it doesn’t involve a third party. Anything other than that could possibly ruin your partner’s trust. And you don’t want to do that.

Don’t spill everything you have, but also keep your partner in the loop. Don’t leave them in the dark. You wouldn’t want your partner doing the same thing to you, would you?

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Melanie Kane

I’m passionate about helping people find deep, emotional connections through 1stchoicedating.com/welcome