How lies affect relationships

How Secrets and Lies Destroy Relationships

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Trust is fragile. Secrets and lies jeopardize trust and can damage us and our relationships — sometimes irreparably.

We all tell “white lies.” We say, “I’m fine,” when we’re not, compliment unwanted gifts, or even fib that “The check is in the mail.” But in an intimate relationship, emotional honesty includes allowing our partner to know who we are. Honesty is more than simply not lying. Deception includes making ambiguous or vague statements, telling half-truths, manipulating information through emphasis, exaggeration, or minimization, and withholding feelings or information that is important to someone who has a right to know, because it affects the relationship and deprives that person of freedom of choice and informed action. Although we may consider ourselves honest, few of us reveal all our negative thoughts and feelings about the people we are close to. It requires courage to be vulnerable and authentic.

The Cost of Secrets and Lies

Most people who lie worry about the risks of being honest, but give little thought to the risks of dishonesty. Some of the ways in which lies and secrets cause harm are:

1. They block real intimacy with a partner. Intimacy is based on trust and authenticity — the ability to be vulnerable or “naked,” not only physically, but also emotionally.

2. They lead to cover-up lies and omissions that can be hard to remember. These mount up, and if the truth comes out, it may be more hurtful than the original secret. The longer the truth is hidden, the greater becomes the hurdle of revelation, for it would bring into question every instance of cover-up and all times the innocent partner relied upon and trusted the betrayer.

3. The secret holder feels guilty, or at least uncomfortable, during intimate moments with the deceived person. Closeness and certain topics tend to be avoided. Avoidance may not even be conscious and can include things like being preoccupied with work, friends, hobbies, or addictive behavior, and doing activities that leave little opportunity for private conversations. The deceiver might even provoke an argument to create distance.

4. Honesty is valued as a moral norm, although the context and specifics may differ among cultures. When we violate religious or cultural norms by hiding the truth, we experience anxiety generated by guilt. Despite our best efforts at hiding, our physiological reaction is the basis for electronic lie detectors.

5. This violation of our values not only leads to guilt; it also affects our self-concept. Over a long period, deception can eat away at our self-esteem. Ordinary guilt that could be reversed with honesty now becomes shame and undermines our fundamental sense of dignity and worthiness as a person. The gap between the self we show others and how we feel inside widens.

6. Our ways of managing guilt and shame create more problems. We hide not only the secret but more of who we are. We might build resentments to justify our actions, withdraw, or become critical, irritable, or aggressive. We rationalize our lie or secret to avoid the inner conflict and the danger we imagine awaits us if we come clean. Some people become obsessed with their lie, to the point that they have difficulty concentrating on anything else. Other people are able to compartmentalize their feelings or rationalize their actions to better manage dishonesty. Compartmentalization and denying, rationalizing (“What my partner doesn’t know won’t hurt him/her”), or minimizing (“I only did it once”) are psychological defenses that help us deal with inner conflict and an undesirable reality. They can be so effective that the liar is convinced that lying supports the relationship. He or she may not want to face the hurt or choices that the truth could precipitate.

7. Not surprisingly, beyond mental distress, research reveals that lying leads to health complaints.

8. The victim of deception may begin to react to the avoidant behavior by feeling confused, anxious, angry, suspicious, abandoned, or needy. They may begin to doubt themselves, and their self-esteem may suffer. Often, victims of betrayal need counseling to recover from the loss of trust and to raise their self-esteem.

What to Reveal

Opinions vary on how much “truth” others need to know. In some cultures, there’s a tacit understanding that infidelity is almost expected — as long as the adulterer is discreet. Mores change over time: Homosexuality and transsexuality, once taboos, are now more openly accepted and discussed. Similarly, having unmarried parents or being adopted were once kept secret or only revealed when the child was older. Such jarring revelations could be traumatic, yet also explained confusing anomalies in a child’s mind. Today, many families opt for open adoptions instead.

We have a right to information about our heritage, particularly for medical reasons. Secrets about things such as addiction, criminality, and mental illness can lead to real risks, along with chronic shame and family dysfunction. Children already “know” something’s wrong, but denial undermines their self-trust and reality testing.

In a sexual relationship, we have a right to know our partner’s intentions and fidelity for emotional as well as medical reasons. Often, faithful partners rationalize or deny this need and their vulnerability to their emotional detriment. By not asking questions or expressing their needs, they enable and collude in deception for the same reason that the betrayer is dishonest or secretive — to not rock the boat and jeopardize the relationship. When there’s been betrayal, even if the couple stays together, seeds of distrust linger and sometimes poison the relationship.

On the other hand, we also have a right to privacy. Even in the most intimate relationship, disclosure of conversations with our therapist, close friends, and relatives should be discretionary.

When and How to Reveal

What, when, why, and how we disclose are all essential factors. The timing, impact, and our motives should be carefully considered. Full disclosure may be necessary to rebuild a broken marriage. Studies also show that people who have good self-esteem and a high opinion of their partner are more likely to forgive him or her. However, what are the compelling reasons to reveal an affair that’s long over or a current one that we have no intention of ending? In the first case, is it to deepen mutual intimacy? In the latter, is it to avoid it or provoke a divorce that we’re afraid to initiate? Disclosing our dissatisfaction in the relationship might be the necessary conversation that, if communicated earlier, would have prevented the affair.

For everyone involved, the pain of the secrecy compounds the pain over the initial event, and the longer the deception continues, the more damaging it is to self-esteem. Ideally, before revealing the truth to the person we’ve lied to, it’s helpful to have accepted our mistakes; otherwise, our shame and guilt can be obstacles to genuine empathy for the person we’ve harmed. First, talk to someone nonjudgmental whom you trust, or seek counseling. If we’ve forgiven ourselves, we’re in a better position to answer questions and face the anger and hurt feelings that we’ve caused.

Each case of betrayal is unique. The potential damage and complications that surround lying, as well as disclosure, are things to consider when telling lies and keeping secrets. Contemplation in advance about the consequences of our actions to ourselves, our loved ones, and our relationships requires a degree of self-awareness, but can prevent unnecessary suffering.

Victims of Betrayal

When the truth comes out, often it's enlightening. It can help the other person make sense of previously unexplained or confusing behavior. At the same time, it can be devastating and traumatic to discover that the one we loved and trust has betrayed us. It can shatter the image we have of our partner, as well as our confidence in ourselves and even reality itself. Unfortunately, victims of betrayal frequently blame themselves. If the relationship wasn’t working, both partners have a responsibility to speak up and address problems. Although it may be fruitful to examine our behavior in order to learn from it, we’re never responsible for someone else’s actions or omissions.

There’s a natural desire to seek explanations and to know more facts. Aggrieved partners begin to review details of prior events and conversations, seeking overlooked clues and evidence of lies. They may painfully conclude that they and their partner have been living in two very different realities, which they once believed were shared. If the relationship ends, both partners may suffer from shame and blame, compounding grief.

Even if the relationship survives, there’s loss when trust is broken. As with all losses, our first reaction is denial, if not of the facts, then of the severity of the impact. It may take time to accept the truth. Each of us will attribute a different meaning to the facts in order to heal and make peace with ourselves, our loved ones, and a disordered reality we once thought was safe and predictable.

©Darlene Lancer 2016

8 Destructive Effects Of Lying In A Relationship

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The word ‘lie’ is one which instantly generates a vision and feeling of gross negativity; it embodies the sort of morality that most people would wish to steer well clear from.

Despite this, there are many individuals who are prepared to spin works of fiction to their friends, family, and partners – all with seemingly little difficulty.

But what is the truth about lying? What harm does it really cause? Here we examine just 8 of the many ways in which lying is poisonous to relationships of all kinds.

1. Lies Erode Trust

Perhaps the most obvious impact that lying has on a relationship is the erosion of trust one person has in the other. Lies and trust cannot easily coexist; eventually the former will destroy the latter.

Whether like a storm that causes a landslide, or rain that slowly eats away at rock, lies can utterly change the landscape of a relationship and make it uninhabitable for one or both parties.

Trust is so essential for a strong and successful relationship that when it is lost, the chances of total collapse are very high.

2. Lying Shows A Lack Of Respect

Being told the truth, no matter what it may be, confers the feeling of respect upon the recipient. It proves to them that the other person places significant value upon the relationship and is not prepared to jeopardize it by deceiving them.

While some truths will clearly put a relationship at risk, lies tend to be even more damaging. Telling someone the truth, even if you know it will hurt them, shows that you are willing to take responsibility for your actions; lying shows nothing of the sorts.

As soon as this lack of respect becomes apparent, it begins to put great strain on all aspects of the relationship and, if left unchecked, it will be the undoing of it altogether.

3. Waiting For The Liar To Slip Up Again

Once you uncover a lie for the first time, it is hard not to live in expectation of future untruths from that person. You begin to question what they are saying, passing their words through your internal alarm systems in order to detect any hint of dishonesty.

The problem is that having to be on perpetual high alert for bullshit puts a real strain on the interactions between the two of you. Sooner or later, the mental energy required will make you want to avoid that person altogether.

On top of all this, thinking that another lie is not just likely, but inevitable is going to make you more suspicious. This is especially true in romantic relationships where one partner starts to question where the other is, who they are with, and what they are doing. This is nothing but toxic for the trust and respect we’ve already spoken about.

4. Lying Demonstrates Selfishness

When someone lies, they are essentially putting their own self interest before those of others. Their unwillingness to make a sacrifice for the greater, long term good of a relationship is another indicator that they do not place a high value on it.

Lies can also be an indication of more widespread selfishness and disregard for the other party, which can make them feel unloved and unwanted.

5. Feeling A Fool For Believing A Lie

That moment you realize you’ve been lied to is a highly unpleasant one. When your eyes are opened to the truth, you can’t help but feel foolish for ever falling for the lies.

Being made to feel this way by another person eats away at all the positive feelings you may have towards them. The hurt may open up a divide between you, or it may simply cause old cracks to resurface and widen.

Either way, your view of this person will be forever changed by the pain they have inflicted upon you.

6. The Liar Is Conning Themselves Too

An often overlooked consequence of lying is that the perpetrator is also being untruthful to themselves. In attempting to conceal the truth from other people, they are refusing to reveal their genuine wants and desires to the world.

In essence, they are denying their true identity and seeking to be someone that they are not. Any relationship is bound to feel the strain of this disingenuous approach to life.

7. Lies Make A Relationship Unbalanced

For a relationship to stand the test of time and endure the trials of everyday life, both parties must give equal commitment and energy to it. This balance creates the feeling of partnership that binds two people together and allows them to bring the best out in each other.

Lying disrupts this natural equilibrium and causes the scales to tip to one side. For the person who was lied to, it can feel as though they have put their heart and soul on the line, only for the liar to hold back theirs.

When you recognize this reluctance on their part to fully commit, it is natural to doubt their desire to make the relationship work. This is true of all kinds of relationships, but especially romantic ones.

8. Lies Beget Lies

It is not uncommon for one lie to lead to another and another in some vain attempt to keep the wool pulled over someone’s eyes. It might even be the case that an individual is a habitual liar who sees no real wrong in telling porkies to the people in their life.

Unfortunately, where one lie might cause repairable damage in an otherwise strong relationship, multiple lies will serve to fan the flames of the fire that will eventually engulf any sense of cohesiveness that once existed.

Where lying becomes commonplace, no relationship can survive intact.

Still not sure how to approach your partner’s lies? As hard as this situation may be, it can be made easier with the help of a trained relationship counselor. Whether you speak to one by yourself or with your partner, they will listen to your concerns and offer advice to get your relationship back on solid ground. Chat online to a relationship expert from Relationship Hero who can help you figure things out before the issue causes irreparable damage. Simply click here to chat.

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Why do we lie in a relationship and what does it lead to?

It's not that I'm a pathological liar. It's just that I have some kind of selective lie - for example, I never deceive my friends, and if I try to lie for good, I immediately blush treacherously. But in relationships, I am a virtuoso of lies. Except one case.

For four years I dated the perfect Yegor: he didn't quarrel, understood everything, didn't get jealous, didn't lose patience, gave flowers regularly, fulfilled every wish and didn't forget about dates and details. And he still did not know how to make strong-willed male decisions. It was good and ... boring with him.

After graduate school, we went on a trip with a big group, where I fell in love with his friend Vlad. Despite the male friendship, he began to look after me - right on the trip, without hiding from Yegor. When we returned to Kyiv, Vlad began to constantly make appointments with me. Coincidentally, I was just looking for a new home, which we originally planned to rent together with Yegor, but he was in no hurry to take the initiative.

As a result, Vlad invited me to live with him - temporarily, as a friend. We both knew that this was a lie and that our neighborhood would not be limited to joint breakfasts. Most of all, my friends were amused by the fact that Yegor himself brought me to Vlad, and then my things. And yes, I told him that Vlad and I are friends. But it didn't seem to bother him at all. We continued to date for almost a year before we broke up. He never once suspected me of cheating.

It would seem that they usually say about such cases: “If you managed to deceive a person, this does not mean that he is a fool. You've just been trusted more than you deserve." But now it seems to me that it was a matter of self-deception, and not of trust in me. I think it was just painful for Yegor to admit that our relationship did not become ideal. Such is the defensive reaction.

Why do we deceive ourselves? Olga Kornienko, Ph.D. in Psychology, a practicing psychologist and leader of training groups, comments: “Often we seem to not recognize the truth ourselves, we don’t want to understand it. Then it goes into the shadows - that part of our personality that is not realized, but instinctively influences our emotions, choices, reactions. This is the part that is denied by our sharp-sighted inner "critic" who knows what is "right" to be, especially for a particular person or group of people. Hence the name "the shadow side of our personality." Through the acceptance of it in oneself, the recognition of its existence, the possibility of expressing it, it becomes conscious and possible for presentation. To do this, we need to agree with our "critic", the "social mask" that we wear for others and for ourselves, with the concepts of "good and bad", "right and wrong", "beautiful and ugly".

The second thing that can stop you is the fear of breaking up the relationship. Many prefer not to initiate another into the truth about themselves, as they are afraid of the consequences. Do not rush to fantasize that you with your "bad" trait, history or preference, the other person will not accept. A sincere desire to be together affects the acceptance of you by others.

When we do not recognize the truth in front of us, it goes into the shadows - that part of the personality that is not realized

Why didn't I break up with Yegor as soon as I met Vlad? I considered my boyfriend an invaluable person for the relationship, the person I love, and refused to admit to myself: he is very boring with him. Besides, I never found it difficult to lie to men. Mom says this is a kind of revenge on dad for his behavior. In fact, it was convenient for me.

The boomerang law was not slow to work: my friend Arina fell in love with Yegor, and they began to communicate. Secret from me. And one day the skeleton from their closet fell out - I saw photos from their wedding on Facebook. It was very painful. Then I learned that one of the most unpleasant feelings associated with lying is when your loved one tries to prove that he is not lying, but you feel: he is lying even now. I was able to forgive Anya only a few years later, when I met my future husband.

“Lies are most often based on two feelings: fear and shame. Fear of losing relationships, lifestyle, status, respect. And the shame to show some side of yourself, - explains Olga Kornienko. - The habit of lying can begin to form in childhood, when the child really wants something, but his parents do not allow him to. In this case, he is looking for opportunities to get what he wants, avoiding the prohibition and punishment of his parents. And here is born not only the desire for a goal, but also excitement, cunning, adrenaline. In addition, in lies there is also a secret that excites. Especially if you share it with someone.

Lying in adult life is also the result of personal splitting. Shame keeps us from opening up. Some trait of mine is unacceptable, disgusting for another: he will not accept me with this. The level of shame depends on how much you yourself recognize the right to be such, regardless of the opinions of other people.

Only by recognizing all our sides, roles, desires as normal and having the right to life, can we risk telling others about them,” says Olga.

Things were not so easy with my husband either. When on the first date he asked where I live, I lied: I said that I had a friend (then I still lived with Vlad). And for the first time I felt almost physical pain from lying. Something in me has changed. I thought: having learned that I live with a guy, Sasha will not call again. I confessed everything myself - after he invited me to live together.

I knew that I was taking risks, but suddenly I realized that I could not start our relationship with deceit. There was no quarrel - instead of it there was a long silence, which turned out to be worse than a scandal. I tried to explain the reasons for my action, but I saw that I had lost Sasha's trust. He forgave me, although he walked away for a very long time, and during quarrels he kept recalling my deceit. This was my payment. Regardless of the consequences, every skeleton in my closet suddenly stirred and made itself felt. And I couldn't stop. For the first time in my life, I told a man everything about myself: about the terrible attitude towards other guys, about weaknesses, resentments and envy of someone else's success, about complexes due to small breasts and tiny lips, about the persistent fear of my father, about addiction to alcohol and drugs, about sexual preferences, about which she was silent, "because she is ashamed. " I was not afraid to open my soul to him and show that not only winged unicorns live in it, but also ugly secrets. It is paradoxical that after that Sasha did not see me as a stranger and did not decide that we were not on the way - he became even closer.

In one day, you can be lied to from ten to two hundred times. We lie to strangers more often than to colleagues.

And most importantly: with his care and support, he gradually fed my inner demons, lured them out and did not allow me to come back. Only by daring to confess my hard-hitting secrets and learning that they love me just like that, no matter what, did I become who I always wanted to appear.

“Yes, somewhere inside each of us lives a childish desire for unconditional love and acceptance by others. We really want to believe that we will always be accepted. But the other also has its own boundaries that we meet. It is also important to notice both your own boundaries and the boundaries of another person. If you can't bear to be like this with me, we don't get along in this place. And can we continue our relationship in this regard? If so, let's agree in what format, so that both you and I feel good in them. And yes, relationships can disappear if the secret becomes a reality, but they can also reach a new level - find something very important that has not happened yet.
Here you should answer the question for yourself: are these relationships really so important to me if I cannot show some side of myself in them?

The cost of lying in intimate relationships is trust and the consequences of its loss; tension and secrecy, lack of spontaneity in some areas of life; the impossibility to share the joy of accepting oneself by another, as well as sharing one’s desires with him, the pleasures that lie in this shadow side of the “I”. You need to weigh the pros and cons of such a relationship. To take a risk and appear, to face fear and shame in order to be able to be just yourself with another,” commented Olga Kornienko.

I recently heard from my colleague Alena: “What should I do with the skeletons in the closet? Why do anything with them at all? They lie to themselves - and let them lie. Maybe she's really right? After all, they all lie one way or another. TED has a talk by Pamela Meyer, author of How to Spot a Lie. In particular, she says: “In just one day, according to research, you can lie about ten to two hundred times. We lie to strangers more often than to colleagues. Extroverts lie more often than introverts. Men lie eight times more about themselves than about anyone else. And women use lies as a tool when they need to protect someone. If you are an average married couple, you will cheat on each other one time out of ten. If you're not married, that figure goes up to three out of ten." Lies are an integral part of life - and yours, and mine, and that guy. How do you define the line after which harmless embellishment ends and you enter dangerous territory?

When Nicole Kidman's character on Big Little Lies first visits a psychologist without a husband, she asks her direct questions about domestic violence and her fear, and Kidman categorically denies everything, tearfully listing the qualities she values in husband. So she tries to avoid sudden shame and the truth that she hid from herself. At this moment, you understand: self-deception is one of the most terrible types of lies.

Another hero of the same series claimed that all married couples pretend, even the happiest ones. Is it so? A friend of mine adds: “Only those families in which partners lie to each other can be happy and strong.” His philosophy is simple: you can save a marriage for many years if you tell your partner only what can bring joy to your life together. Everything that overshadows the relationship, away. This also applies to the truth, which my interlocutor carefully hides and does not give out even in metered portions. He and his wife have two children and have been married for over fifteen years. And both spouses are really happy. Agree, there is reason for reflection. But it seems to me that this requires two mandatory conditions: the lack of conscience in one and curiosity in the second.

I recently read a similar thought in Tamriko Sholi's book "Inside a Man". One of the characters with whom the author spoke tells how he loves his wife and at the same time cheats on her. But remorse does not oppress him. He admits that he thought for a long time about why he needed to sleep with other women, and realized that this is his nature, which cannot be changed. It's that simple. Of the hundreds of betrayals, his wife accidentally found out about one, but even the fear of losing her kept him from casual relationships for only a year. Maybe some people are simply incapable of loving anyone other than themselves?

"Of course I'll lie to them if they refuse to understand me!" - admits my cousin Anya, who, secretly from her parents who control her around the clock, got two tattoos, tried smoking and had sex. Probably, when you feel that your desires are respected, and you are loved without any conditions, you will not want to act contrary and contrary.

I wonder if the number of skeletons falling out of the closet depends on how honest we ourselves are with others? Or does this factor have nothing to do with our attitude towards people? Perhaps we need to become those with whom we want to be extremely honest - able to understand a loved one in any situation, not trying to get into his personal space, not giving unsolicited advice, not criticizing his choice - and then we will protect ourselves from lied? Don't know. It seems to me that in every relationship at least once your loved one will do something that he wants to hide from you. Not because he does not respect, does not appreciate you and does not value your relationship, but out of fear of losing your feelings and trust. That is why we are endowed with the talent to forgive. Those who have mastered it are the happiest people in the world.

Tags: lies, relationships, psychology

Lies in relationships. How Secrets Kill Love

Secrets and lies in relationships compromise trust and sometimes cause irreparable damage. We all tell lies for good. By saying "I'm fine" when we're not, we pretend to like a bad gift or make up excuses when we forget to keep a promise.

But in intimate relationships, emotional honesty includes letting the partner know who we are. It's more than just not lying. Deception includes making ambiguous or vague statements, half-truths, manipulating a situation through emphasis, exaggeration or minimization, and withholding information or feelings that are important to those who have a "right to know". Because it affects relationships and deprives a person of freedom of choice and conscious action. Although we consider ourselves honest, few of us reveal all the negative thoughts and emotions about the people we are close to. It takes the courage to be vulnerable and authentic.

The cost of lying

Most worry about the risks of being honest, but little about the dangers of dishonesty. Some of the ways that untruths and secrets hurt:

  • They block real intimacy. Intimacy is based on trust and authenticity - the ability to be vulnerable - "naked" not only physically but also emotionally.
  • They lead to hiding lies and omissions that are difficult to remember. Sooner or later, everything is revealed, in which case the discovery of the truth causes more damage than the original secret. The longer the truth is hidden, the greater the obstacle to revelation it is, since it calls into question every case of concealment. And it turns out that the innocent side all this time relied and trusted the traitor.
  • Because of the first two points, the secret holder usually feels guilty, or at least uncomfortable, during intimate moments with a deceived partner. Intimacy and certain themes are generally avoided. All of this happens even unconsciously and include withdrawal to work, friends, hobbies or addictions. Any activity that leaves little room for personal conversation. The deceiver even deliberately provokes conflicts to create distance.
  • Universally, honesty is valued as a moral norm, although the context and characteristics differ between different cultures. When we violate religious or cultural norms by hiding the truth, we experience guilt anxiety. Despite our best cover-up efforts, the physiological response is the basis for electronic lie detectors.
  • Violation of our values ​​not only leads to guilt and affects our actions, but also our self-esteem. In the truest sense of the word, long-term deception eats us up from the inside and destroys our self-respect. The initial self-blame, which is resolved upon being revealed, transforms into shame and undermines our fundamental sense of dignity as a human being. The gap between how we present ourselves to others and how we feel inside is widening.
  • Ways to manage guilt and shame create more problems. We hide not only a secret, but more than that, who we are. We create resentment to justify our actions, withdraw, or become critical, irritable, and aggressive. We rationalize our cunning to avoid internal conflict and danger. Which, as we imagine, awaits us if the truth is revealed. Some people are obsessed with their lies to the point where they find it hard to focus on anything else. Others share their feelings or rationalize their own behavior. Separation and denial, rationalization (“What he or she does not know will not harm him”) or minimization (“I only did it once”) are psychological defenses that help us deal with mental struggles and unwanted reality. Barriers can be so effective that the liar is convinced that he maintains relationships and acts for the good. He or she does not want to face the pain or the choice that the truth will present.
  • Studies show that lying, in addition to psychological distress, leads to health complaints.
  • The victim of deception begins to react to the behavior of the avoider, feeling discomfort, confusion, anxiety, anger, suspicion. Feeling abandoned or needy. Start to doubt yourself and your own worth. Often, those who have been deceived need help to recover from loss of trust and build self-esteem.

What to disclose.

Opinions vary on how much "truth" others need to know. There is an unspoken belief in some cultures that infidelity is acceptable - as long as the adulterer is restrained. Narva change over time so that homosexuality and transsexuality, once taboo, are now accepted and discussed more openly. In the same way, the fact of having unwed parents or of adoption was once kept secret and revealed only when the child became an adult. Such harsh revelations were often traumatic, but also explained the vague illogicality in the child's mind. Today it is recommended to tell the kids, and some families prefer open adoptions, where the natural mother is more or less involved in the life of the child.

We have a right to information about our birth, especially for medical reasons. Hiding in things like addiction, crime, and mental illness lead to chronic shame and family dysfunction. Children already "know" something is wrong, but denial undermines their self-confidence and reality testing.

In sexual unions, we have the right to know about the intentions and fidelity of our partner, both for psychological and physical health. Often, faithful participants rationalize or deny this need and their vulnerability to emotional harm. Without asking questions or expressing their needs, they allow and become complicit in the deceit for the same reason that the traitor is dishonest or hidden. Not to rock the boat and jeopardize the relationship. When faced with infidelity, even if the couple stays together, the seeds of distrust remain and sometimes poison the bond.

On the other hand, we also have the right to privacy. Even in the closest relationships (the anonymity of conversations with our psychotherapist, friends and relatives must be unconditional).

When and how to disclose

What, when, why and how we disclose are significant factors. Timing, impact and our motives must be carefully considered. Research shows that half-truths will make you feel even worse. (“Total regret,” Kelly Dickerson, Psychology Today, May 6, 2014). Full disclosure can repair a broken marriage. Research also shows that people with good self-esteem and an opinion of who is at fault are more likely to forgive.

But what are the good reasons for revealing a story that has long since ended or a story that we are not going to finish? In the first case, is it necessary to deepen mutual intimacy? And in the second, avoid this or provoke a divorce that we are afraid to initiate? But what is certain is that revealing our dissatisfaction in relationships is a necessary conversation. Which, if wound up earlier, might have prevented treason.

For all involved, the pain of secrecy connects the pain associated with the initial event and the entire duration of the deception. The greatest damage falls on self-esteem.

Ideally, before revealing the truth to the person we lied to, it is helpful to accept our

mistakes. Otherwise, our shame and guilt will become an obstacle to genuine empathy for the one we have hurt.

First talk to someone you trust who is not interested or seek advice. If we forgive ourselves. It will be easier for us to answer questions and face the wrath of the one we hurt.

Each case is unique. The potential damage and complications that surround lying, as well as disclosure of information, are things to consider when we lie or disagree. Thinking about the consequences of our actions for ourselves and our loved ones requires a degree of self-awareness, but will prevent unnecessary suffering.

Victims of betrayal

When the truth is revealed, it often enlightens. Helps the other person understand previously unexplained or confusing behavior. At the same time, discovering that someone we love and trust has betrayed us is devastating and traumatic. This destroys the image of our partner, as well as our self-confidence and even reality itself. Unfortunately, often the victims of betrayal blame themselves. If the relationship is not working, both are responsible for speaking up and fixing problems. While this lesson may be helpful, we will never be held responsible for the actions or omissions of others.

There is a natural desire to seek explanations and more facts. Victims begin to review the details of previous events and conversations, looking for missed clues and evidence of lies. They may painfully conclude that they live in two completely different realities. If the connection is broken, both will suffer from shame and guilt, aggravating sadness.

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