Deep secrets need not hinge on external events. Hopes and dreams that people don’t dare speak aloud are also secrets. Many times a self-assessment is someone’s deepest secret, – clinical psychologist Nando Pelusi.
“The assessment is lower than they let on,” he explains, “and their anxieties are higher than they let on. People say to me, ‘I seem calm, but I’m constantly upset or freaking out.’ It’s not fraudulent, but it is a facade.”
A maddening duality characterizes deep secrets: Even undisclosed, they can harm us and those around us. We need to internally acknowledge our secrets to be true to ourselves, but they can make us feel inauthentic if they too deeply challenge our identity. We’ve evolved to learn to keep secrets, as children who must become independent adults and as adults who must navigate a complex society. We’ve also evolved to keep things from ourselves. The deepest secrets are the ones we don’t directly acknowledge—even in our own diaries.
Vigilant secret keepers pay a price. “The secret takes up so much mental space that it interferes with work and romance, because there’s always the need to watch that it doesn’t somehow slip out,”- Lubetkin says.
The more a secret occupies your mind, the stronger its negative effect.
What I’ve come to realize is that being vulnerable and honest about all aspects of your life is an act of courage. Some people believe they need to keep secrets or lie to survive in a relationship.
They lack confidence in their ability to confront unpleasant topics, such as money troubles, or issues related to past or present errors in judgment or mistakes. However, finding healthy ways to honestly express yourself to your partner is the best way to build a trusting relationship that endures the test of time.
But is lying by omission or keeping a secret the same as betrayal? In my opinion, you want to consider how your partner would view your secret if they found out and you neglected to tell them about it. Also, if you feel guilty or uneasy about not disclosing information to them, it’s a red flag that you need to do so.
Experts agree that trust can be easily broken and hard to repair. When your partner withholds important information from you regardless of their reasons, it’s normal to feel betrayed. For many people, any form of deceit can be a deal breaker.