6 Secrets You Should Never Keep From Your Partner

wife telling husband a secretOf course, you want your partner to see you at your best. You know what we mean: the you who wears mascara, isn't eating ice cream right from the pint, and actually remembers where you parked the car at the airport. But to appear THAT flawless, you've probably got to keep a bunch of secrets, and that's probably definitely absolutely NOT good for your relationship.


"When people think of intimacy, they typically think of sex, but the most valuable intimacy comes from a vulnerability that's born of trust," explains Paul Hokemeyer, JD, PhD, a licensed marriage and family therapist who works out of New York City, Los Angeles, and Telluride, Colorado. "It's an emotional rather than a physical connection."

In other words, letting your partner see you, emotional warts and all, is a good move. (And takes a lot of courage.) So why don't more couples do so?

Fear-based insecurities, according to Hokemeyer. And in the two decades he's been a relationship expert, he's heard a lot of hidden truths. Here, he shares with The Stir the six secrets you should ALWAYS fess up to.

1. Your emotional health. "Addiction and mental health issues are still very stigmatized, and yet every family suffers from them," Hokemeyer says. There's nothing shameful about having a mental health issue, be it depression, bipolar disorder, or anxiety. "These conditions are very manageable," assures Hokemeyer, "and best treated in the context of an open and honest relationship."

2. Money. You knew this was going to be on the list, didn't you? "Money holds an incredible power -- which can be used to positive or destructive purposes," Hokemeyer says. If you feel compelled to keep any of your financial transactions a secret -- be it the one pair of shoes you bought or 100 -- "there's a real risk that the integrity of your relationship will be compromised," says Hokemeyer.

3. When you feel sick. "Studies show that people heal faster when they're in an honest and supportive relationship," Hokemeyer says. "Still, many people feel they need to be stoic and [keep] truths about their physical health to themselves." Bad idea, yo. While your partner might not need to know just HOW crampy you feel right now, it is okay to share that you're feeling ick and give him a chance to comfort you.

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4. How you REALLY feel about his mother. Wait -- what?! "You can honestly convey how you feel about a person without being malicious and mean-spirited," explains Hokemeyer. An important caveat: "Make sure you convey your views with dignity and respect," he adds. Which we interpret to mean that you should NOT insist on calling your MIL "that crazy old coot."

5. If you have an STD. Having a sexually transmitted disease can be hella awkward to admit. There's no easy way or right time to do so. But "love can transcend these ailments," says Hokemeyer. "Hiding them will not."

6. How old you really are. We get it. Aging is hard. But "we need to respect and honor ourselves for who and where we are in life," Hokemeyer says. "If we don't hold ourselves in a place of esteem for our true age, no one else will."

"No one" including, of course, your partner.


Image via © iStock.com/mathiaswilson

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