The Difference Between Privacy and Secrecy in a Relationship
Getting to Know Another Person
Relationships are about allowing someone else to know who you truly are. Everybody has flaws, everybody has insecurities, and different personas that they share on different occasions. When you are in a relationship with someone for a long time, you gradually start to see all of these different “sides” of him or her. You begin to understand the reasons for their behaviors, and not all of them are pretty. We are each distinct, separately functioning identities, but we allow someone in our lives to share in our joys and struggles. So, then, is a relationship about unrestrained communication, or should there be some privacy between a couple? I believe that there is certainly a need for privacy in a relationship, and I shall define the term how I mean it, but I do not believe that there is any place for secrecy . The difference should not be too hard to grasp by the end of reading this short article.
Some people feel like they need to know everything about every element of their partner’s life. They want to know what their partner is doing, who they are with, and so forth. To be in a relationship like this feels stifling, and one may wish to break out of it from time to time to do things on his or her own - for instance to partake in a hobby. This is what I would define as healthy privacy. You should always aim to keep a sense of self in your relationship, which necessarily means that there are certain things that you simply do not discuss with your partner. Your partner is not your therapist – you do not need to dissect every problem with him or her. Share your life, by all means, but some details should be kept in your own heart and mind for the sake of the relationship. You do not need to create a huge problem out of something small by bringing it up with your partner.
We all go through private struggles – to do so is to live a human life. We get into relationships so that we can share our struggles and our joys with our partners. Privacy is necessary to overcome some problems on our own, but they become destructive when they become secrets. The key is to know the difference, and to be brave enough not to let the one slide into the other.
Ultimately all secrets are revealed. Covering up things with lies, or withholding important details, may destroy your relationship. Generally, it is always better to swallow pride, admit the truth and deal with it. Secrecy has no place in intimacy.
Are there such things as “good secrets”?
Sometimes. His receding hairline turns you off? Accept it gracefully. You have sexy feelings for some other, real, person? Just be more attentive to your partner (unless the behavior is repetitive, because that’s a character flaw of your own). Here is an interesting example for some mental mastication: it’s privacy when an ex sends you an email, it’s secrecy when you reply to it.
- Te Amo
This article was written by relationship bloggers, from the relationship blog Te Amo HQ. If you would like to read more relationship articles, please visit the link above.
Are you pursuing a new goal at work? Great, that is something private that you can surprise your partner with once you have accomplished it. It will give you something to look forward to outside of your relationship, and will give you greater energy and joy to share with your partner. However, if the goal will have a more dramatic effect on your relationship, for instance a move to a new city, this is not something that you should be keeping from him or her.