The truth almost always comes to light.
It can be extremely tempting to keep secrets when we are in a relationship, especially when we are ashamed/afraid to tell our partners the truth.
However, I can tell you from personal experience that every relationship where one of us kept secrets from the other, ended in failure.
Honesty does not mean you need to tell each other every single thing that floats into your head. I’m talking about authentic honesty — where you share anything that your partner needs to know, wants to know, or should know.
It’s easy to come up with excuses for why we didn’t tell our partner about the flirty text that came in from a coworker, or the debt that keeps stacking up because of an escalating online shopping habit. But secrets will quickly snowball and they will continue to build and build until it’s a huge wedge in your relationship.
Here are the reasons why you really shouldn’t keep your skeletons in the closet if you want your relationship to work out in the long term.
1. The right person won’t judge you for your past.
The reality is that not everyone is going to be okay with your past. In fact, some people who may decide they don’t want to be in a relationship with you because of your past choices/behaviors.
I dated someone post-college, for example, who would continuously bring up how I used to be a big partier, and how unattractive it made me in his eyes. We ended up breaking up because he would express his disgust whenever my friends brought up stories about our fun/wild days.
That was his decision and even though I didn’t really understand his anger, I had to respect the fact that he didn’t want to date someone with my “party history.”
As much as it can sting, someone is completely allowed to not date you because of your past, but you have to give them the opportunity to decide.
#2. The truth almost always comes to light.
Before my parents got divorced my Mom had a secret affair.
The truth was discovered when my Dad went digging and found an email trail that confirmed his suspicion. The affair had been going on for over two years and she would have kept it a secret for longer if she could have.
Once I dated a man who kept his smoking a secret from me for three months. He would never spend the night and I thought it was because he wasn’t really into me, but it was because he didn’t want me to learn about his habit. Hiding his habit didn’t change the fact that he was a smoker, it just made me wonder what else he was hiding from me.
It could be months after events or even years, but it’s almost impossible to hide something big from your partner forever.
#3. Financial secrets could affect both of your futures.
I have a friend whose boyfriend lost a ton of money in financial investment. He didn’t tell her for months and she continued to wonder why he never talked of the future or wanted to make any plans.
Finally, he told her the truth one night when he was drunk, and she was furious. She said that she deserved to know what she was getting into because the debt he now carried was something that would affect both of their futures should they end up getting married.
When I first started dating my current partner I was over my head in credit card debt. Instead of continuing to ignore it, he helped me work through my finances and come up with a plan, and I paid it off less than a year later.
Keeping financial secrets is an excellent way to set your relationship up for long-term failure.
#4. Your past has molded you into the person you are.
This ties into my first point that the right person won’t judge us for our past. I want to expand on that because I believe that is only one of the many reasons you should be transparent about your journey.
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t terrified to tell my partner some of the dark and ugly things about my past.
However, even if I’m not thrilled about some of my choices, they have shaped me into the person that I am today.
Opening up to someone and letting them know our secrets can be terrifying. But allowing our skeletons to come in the way of a promising/otherwise healthy relationship is even more feeling.
There is no better feeling than putting all of our cards on the table and having someone choose to accept us as we are.
We just have to give them that chance.