Keep it secret or tell the truth? | Impact of a secret on a relationship
It's the age old question. Should I keep it secret or should I tell the truth?
The difference between secrecy and privacy is that, with secrecy, there is the intention to withhold.
People believe that transparency gives birth to trust, but it also gives birth to surveillance. Trust is being able to sit with uncertainty.
At times, certain things can be better not to know. Once there is knowledge, one must live with the consequence of knowing. It's becomes a question of how much knowledge will protect or heal versus how much it will cause pain or traumatise.
For the secret keeper, it's not secret itself that is most damaging, but the holding of the secret. So, what is your reason to tell? Is it to bring yourself closure, absolve yourself of guilt or to release the tension from holding the secret? These are self-oriented endeavours. On the other end choosing not to tell is choosing to hide your authentic self.
It's a delicate balance, to evaluate the risk of keeping the secret with the damage to self, other and the relationship.
There will be times the other involved will have a sense of the truth, but pieces of the puzzle are missing – they are so sure, yet so full of doubt. And living in that space is damaging. The choice to withhold can be crazy making. Is that okay with you, to be the cause of that?
When a secret exists, the relationship is put at risk. The longer a secret is kept, the larger the wager. Many have good intentions, keeping a secret to avoid hurting the other person. But know that by avoiding the hurt you avoid intimacy. Secrecy is a barrier to intimacy. So, What foundations would you like a relationship to be built on? Is keeping the secret serving you in that way?
Ive asked more questions than answered. Ultimately it's not my place to answer. There are many
factors at play. Even taking into account culture, values, beliefs, expectations. All important to consider. And I dont think there is a straight forward right or wrong.
I just hope to leave you with some reflections so you can make a decision that you will be able to live with.