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Keeping Secrets Isn’t So Bad for You After All — With One Exception
Twilight of the Stanford Prison Experiment. Internal Memes: Parasites and Predators of the Mind. Keeping Secrets Withholding a secret can hurt, so can revealing it. Learn about the dangers of keeping things hidden, whether a secret ought to be told, and how to let it all out.
In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 - Wikipedia
When should we keep a secret? What are the risks? A bad idea that colors much of life. By Randi Gunther Ph. Karl Pillemer, Ph. Christine Hyde, Ph. John Paul Garrison, PsyD.
These effects depend heavily upon the individual, however, Garrison notes. The reality is that people cheat all over the place and are dishonest. Most people, however, are honest because of one thing: fear. For one thing, the mind-wandering aspect of secret-keeping that Slepian wrote about in his study undeniably saps attention from your primary relationship.
Telling stories: keeping secrets.
Your wife might be confused or suspicious and therefore trust you less, or if she believes your explanations, you might feel like a jerk, which might also increase the distance between you. Having secrets saps mental energy and does tend to wear on most people over time, Garrison agrees. But you might have to take a risk. If it matters to you to be completely honest, you have to find a way to tell the truth. Truthfulness does appear to be a major factor in keeping couples happy in the long term. In his interviews with older people for the Legacy Project at Cornell, Pillemer says that couples cited honesty and open communication as the two most important elements of a successful, lasting relationship.
Porn habits are surprisingly common deal-breakers in many relationships, Garrison says.
When you stop keeping secrets
A husband revealing past homosexual experiences also has proved to be too much for some wives in his practice to handle, he adds. Hyde also had a counseling client who was outraged and disgusted that her husband expressed his desire to have sex with her from behind, a position a lot of couples would consider pretty vanilla. If revealing a secret to your partner causes them to reject you then it may not be a good-quality relationship in the first place. Many people decide to reveal a secret such as cheating to move forward in a relationship, despite the risks, Garrison says. If you have a comfortable place to talk about it, such as with a therapist, I have seen relationships repair from those kinds of things, when presented in the right context.
Hyde approaches clients with damaging secrets in a similar way, advising that they figure out their cognitive distortions, which she defines as the bullshit you tell yourself to allow yourself to engage in what you know is bad behavior. But when they reflected on what makes for strong relationships, honesty topped the list.
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