Yikes! Super sensitive subject.
We all have dark secrets. It’s a mistake to think that you’re the only one; everyone has done things or had things done to them that they aren’t proud of, it doesn’t necessarily make you a bad person. One of the hardest parts about having dark secrets is sharing them with others, especially if that other is the love of your life.
It may seem scary to think about bringing up your past with your significant other, but there are a lot of reasons why you should share your secrets, and ways you can do it to ensure a positive outcome.
Should I Share My Secret With My Partner?
Honesty is a vital part of any long-term relationship. You may think it’s counterintuitive to reveal dark secrets to strengthen a relationship, but leaving them buried can have an even worse outcome than getting them out into the open. Your significant other will appreciate hearing secrets from you first, rather than finding them out the hard way and listen to your excuses as to why you didn’t reveal them.
Secrets are becoming rarer by the day as all of humanity’s accumulated information gets uploaded to the Internet. If it happened, there’s likely a record or picture or testimony of it on the Internet for everyone to see. If there is any evidence of your secret online, don’t expect it to stay hidden from your partner for long.
Do other people know your secret? Do you trust them to keep it or, more importantly, to tell an honest account of the secret? By getting your secrets out into the open, you can explain them the way you see them, not a third party’s possibly biased point of view.
The effects of secrets often worsen over time. The more they are left to linger, the more damage they might do. A good example of this is a dark past when it comes to finances. Money troubles and bad histories can put a major strain on a relationship, and you should clear them up before things get serious. If not, your relationship might be over before it even begins.
You’re Not the Worst Person in The World
Like we talked about before, everyone makes mistakes. Your partner, if they truly love you, will forgive you for your mistakes and see the good in you. After all, even the most respected figures in history had sordid pasts. Martin Luther King Jr. had extra-marital affairs, and Mohandas Gandhi had failed relationships with his children. You’re only human, and your significant other knows that.
How Do I Tell Them?
Once you have worked up the resolve to reveal your dark secret to your partner, don’t just go blurting it out. This is a delicate issue that requires tact and strategy so that emotions don’t cloud the facts. Below are a few things you should consider when telling your significant other about your dark past.
The time has to be right for you to put your past out there. Certainly, you don’t want to spill your secrets on the first date. You need to know if you can trust this person, and that you want to engage in a long-term relationship with them. If either of the answers to those questions is no, keep your secret away from them.
On the other hand, you don’t want to wait too long. The longer you wait, the angrier your partner might be because you kept it from them for too long. Letting it lie also increases the likelihood that the secret will come out naturally and not on your terms. You should reveal your secret after you have a bond of trust with your other half but before marriage. You want to enter into that covenant with a clean slate, knowing that your spouse loves you enough to forgive you for your past.
Set The Stage
Don’t present this as a positive occasion, it’s not pleasant, but it is necessary. Don’t take your partner out to a fancy dinner or butter them up with gifts. This event should be more like a doctor’s appointment and not a surprise party. At the same time, don’t make it out to be something dire like a cancer diagnosis. Your significant other should be ready for important news, not a horrible revaluation.
Be Honest About Your Secret
Don’t sugar coat your past deeds; anyone will see that you are trying to spin the details in your favor. Be honest about the facts with your partner and don’t waste time trying to defend or justify your actions. Explain what happened and why, and answer any questions truthfully if they are reasonable. Don’t attempt to implicate others or seek pity. You don’t want revenge or admiration; you just want your partner to know the facts. They’ll be much more likely to take your side and forgive you if you don’t try to color the details or portray yourself as innocent.
Be Prepared for the Emotions
It’s natural for your significant other to react to this secret emotionally. They might cry or be angry and shout, and that’s OK. It’s your responsibility to be the level-headed one. You’ve had plenty of time to think about this secret, and your calm and rational approach will help your partner work through it. Don’t get into a shouting match or blame them for their reaction, think about how you would feel if the roles were reversed.
Revealing a dark secret to a lover is a daunting task, don’t feel bad if the prospect is scary because it won’t be easy. But a loving relationship is about taking the bad with the good. If someone only loves you in good times, they don’t truly love you. Revealing your secret may be damaging in the short term, but it will get better. Take comfort in knowing that you are doing the right thing for you and your lover.
Main photo cred – Weheartit