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Nkem Says: Keeping Secrets Could Actually Save Your Relationship

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Anyone who has ever been close to me will tell you one thing: I hate secrets. Communication is a huge deal for me in any kind of relationship. Even though I grew up being told to keep secrets from people, as a way to protect myself, experience has made me understand that sharing thoughts, feelings, deepest fears, dreams and struggles is key to building an open, honest and healthy relationship.

Of course, not everyone feels completely comfortable engaging in self-disclosure… even when it comes to the people they are closest to, or are even intimate with. There is always the strong need to protect one’s interests, avoid confrontation, conflict or manipulation, and of course, the fear of losing the person completely.

Then again, there are secrets…and then there are secrets. For instance, not telling your girlfriend that you still stalk your ex or even stalk their own ex on social media, or not admitting to how much time you waste doing random, unfruitful things like playing online games, window shopping or even picking your eyes or nose, may not necessarily count as major secrets. No one will necessarily give you the side eye if you keep any of these little secrets from your partner as they are more like innocent little blips and do not directly affect the other party.

However, withholding information that directly affects or concerns the other individual or omitting any information that reveals the core of your identity, thus keeping your partner from having a complete picture of you (flaws and all) definitely constitutes as keeping a secret.

Some of these secrets are usually linked to unpleasant topics such as money troubles/finances, job situation, fidelity or issues related to past or present mistakes.

Keeping secrets certainly indicates a lack of certain elements including trust, authenticity, and real intimacy.

However, it appears secrets could also help breed these same elements. I recently hung out with some colleagues, and during our discussions, the topic of keeping secrets in a relationship came up.

One of the guys raised a point that early in a relationship, it can be difficult to know just how much to reveal to the other person and so secrets become necessary to protect the growth of that relationship. He confessed that he had recently been introduced to a girl with whom he had been started dating for just about 1 month. He explained that on their last date, she had asked him how he raised the money to start his business. And rather than telling her it was savings he made from the time he was a yahoo boy, he told her he got financial support from his friends and family.
According to him, he was protecting the relationship as it was still at its blueprint stage and he was not yet comfortable disclosing the sins of his past.

Again, he wanted her to get to know him and fall in love with him for who he really is before sharing all that information with her. His submission was that just as no parent tells a child the whole truth, people in relationships should accept the ongoing need to edit their full reality to ensure trust and intimacy are forged. His situation also suggested that until you reach a certain comfort level, whereby you are both in it for the long haul, you are probably better off keeping a few things under wraps.

Sometimes when we meet someone new, we get drawn into the fantasy world where we believe that we have found “the one” and so we do all we can to build a foundation of trust. We forget the fact that relationships, especially nowadays, are volatile at best, and we turn our personal life into an open book, killing our relationships before it even gets the chance to thrive.

Surely, keeping certain dark secrets and revealing them in small doses and at appropriate times in relationships may be in everyone’s best interest. Chances are that you are not even the only one keeping a secret or two. You may be shocked later on, when you find out what your partner is keeping also under wraps.

Do you agree or not?

Nkem Ndem is an energetic and highly accomplished Media Consultant who loves to help small businesses, especially women-led, grow their online presence using the right digital strategy or transition from traditional organizational boundaries. With years of experience in Copywriting and Editing, Content Branding and Strategy, Social media, and Digital Marketing, she is clearly obsessed with Digital Communications. She is the Head of Content and Lead Consultant at Black Ink Media - an Ideation and Content Agency that excels in providing fresh, creative digital services to content-centric businesses. Find out more about her at www.blackinkm.com or send her an e-mail at [email protected] Also follow her on IG: @nkemndemv, Twitter: @ndemv.

29 Comments

  1. AceOfSpades

    April 28, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    You are right about this. Some secrets sef you take to the grave. I once borrowed money from about 4 people to fund something which turned out to be a scam (it’s not MMM o). Money that was running up to 4 million naira.

    Till today whenever my sister and a friend ask what I used the money for, I have a fixed lie I tell. I don’t think anyone will know because if they know, the way the see me will change.

    • b

      April 28, 2017 at 4:44 pm

      But that is not really a so bad secret naa. dont we all make mistakes.
      Love you babes

  2. Exotique

    April 28, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    If the secret is such that has the potential to affect your partner physically, emotionally or otherwise upon its disclosure, then it should be shared once you establish commitment on the relationship. But if the relationship is at its early stages and the secret is not ‘heavy’ then I don’t see the need…

  3. Me

    April 28, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    Any relationship based on falsehood and lies might just be dead on arrival..
    Honesty is always the best policy. If after being honest, the other person doesn’t want to associate with you it’s OK. At least you told the truth. Imagine getting married to someone with a life changing secret only to find out after the wedding.

  4. Mz_Danielz

    April 28, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    There are seven stones people tie in a wrapper when entering any relationship.

    For the relationship to work, you need to reveal the stones at the right time.

    If you bring the 6th at the time you should be revealing the 2nd, things won’t go well.

    This was one of my maternal grand mother’s favorite sayings

    • Blueberry

      April 28, 2017 at 6:02 pm

      She was wise. Believe me, by the 4th stone you will know if that person is genuinely there for you or not.

  5. mrs chidukane

    April 28, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    Some secrets are better revealed when you marry the person so you’ll be sure he or she will not run away. However, if the secret is that you have had more sex partners than the man, nne you’re better off taking it to your grave. Lol

    • yinka

      April 28, 2017 at 5:18 pm

      I don’t think that fair,its like trapping someone.Imagine your husband was gay or has severe sexual deficiencies,how would you feel if he didn’t tell you about it so “you will not run away”

    • curious

      April 28, 2017 at 8:02 pm

      pls enof with this gay narrative already….

    • Blueberry

      April 28, 2017 at 6:03 pm

      I do not agree to that. Make sure all is revealed before marriage.

  6. Susie

    April 28, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    Bellanaija I am begging you on my knees please find another picture of our dear Nkem to use as stock photo for variety’s sake!

  7. DLP

    April 28, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    Humm this is dicey, but I have secrets too, my hubby does not know and I don’t intent to spill.

  8. Spunky

    April 28, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    Your secret is yours to keep…or share. I appreciate honesty but from experience, certain secrets should be kept guarded as long as its not life threatening to one’s partner.

  9. Blueberry

    April 28, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    I agree with you 100%. Like you said, relationships nowadays are volatile. If you open the book of your life at the very beginning of a relationship, you may not only kill it before it starts, but also run the risk of having the person spread the news about your dark secret like wild fire in the dry season. Some people don´t have zips to their mouths.

    Most people nowadays often seek companionship under the guise of friendship or having a relationship with you. But it turns out most of the time that they have ulterior motives. So it is better to be careful, and take it one step at a time until you are sure you can trust them with certain information.

  10. Bimpe

    April 28, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    Should I tell my husband to be that I have slept with a girl before and still have fantasies of sleeping with one.I’m not a lesbian. Just for the fun of it. Abeg, this secret is going to the grave with me

  11. anonymous

    April 28, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    I totally agree 100%…some secret should not be shared…Please ladies you don’t have to share everything…leave the past as it is…

  12. OJ

    April 28, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    Secrets ranges in terms of the time the events occurred, severity/depth and consequences that follows, even beyond marriage
    1. incestuous affair
    2. number of sexual partners
    3. number of men/women dated
    4. carried out abortion and effects to the womb or not
    5. any sexually transmitted disease/infection
    6. any kids outside, baby daddy or baby mama
    7. used to be a runs girl or not
    8. how much is your salary……this usually depends on the type of person u are dealing with
    9. been married before or not
    10. some strange sickness inside the body
    11. secret bank account or property or investment somwhere

    these are just few i could think of…feel free to add your secrets to the list

    • Peter

      April 29, 2017 at 12:21 pm

      Slept with two sisters who are friends to your wife
      Gone to consult an oracle to confirm if partner will be successful
      Being a member of a certain occult
      Have spies that monitors partner
      Married and killed an aged woman in Europe in other to get green card
      Secretly buried a school mate in the course of initiation
      Having children outside because the long term marriage is yet to bring a child.

      Please, someone should add more that he or she has heard of or done.

    • Diuto

      April 29, 2017 at 8:27 pm

      Biko no 7. Whatever happened to runz guys? Or you don’t believe they exist?

  13. OJ

    April 28, 2017 at 9:07 pm

    hahahahaha…BN did not approve my comment ooooo…hian!!! what i wrote was too hot to handle abi? dia is god ooooo!!!!!!

  14. Caramel chic

    April 28, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    But the real question isn’t about whether to keep things a secret. We need to be asking ourselves have we come to terms with our own secrets. I don’t know any families that have benefited from secrets

  15. Jummy

    April 28, 2017 at 10:48 pm

    I agree. take some secrets to the grave. When my boyfriend and I first started dating, I felt trapped. I swear I don’t know why but I did. I felt he was so old and I was so young and he’s lived his life and I haven’t gotten to live mine.

    So in the first week of us being officially boyfriend and girlfriend, I had a one night stand with a guy from tinder. Needless to say, that one night stand reaffirmed my feeling and for my back boyfriend and I knew I wanted him more than anything else. But I’m NEVER telling him. Taking that shit with me to the grave. He would never understand.

    I guess it’s a case of what you don’t know won’t hurt you.

  16. Beautiful stranger

    April 29, 2017 at 1:22 am

    Secrets and lies always backfire one way or the other…Say the truth it shall set you free.It’s better to say the truth and be at peace than dwelling with guilty conscience for the rest of your life.

    • I Just Waka Come

      April 29, 2017 at 3:08 pm

      Yeah, but who said anything about a ‘guilty conscience?’

  17. Temi

    April 29, 2017 at 7:05 am

    Whether you say it or keep it, whether good or bad WELL IT WILL ALWAYS WORK YOUR CONSCIENCE… STOP OPENING YOUR LEGS TO THE FIRST COME AND SERVE,, IT GOES TO BOTH MEN AND WOMEN. LEARN TO DO THE RIGHT THING AND DIE IN PEACE

    • Anon

      April 29, 2017 at 4:52 pm

      AT your age all you can think of is body count of is bodycount and slurshaming . AGBaya obsessed with sex

  18. Peter

    April 29, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    Life itself is a secret, until the appointed time you will never know or understand something . Disclose what you need to and keep others with you .

  19. Ty

    April 29, 2017 at 11:15 pm

    Lol,pls don’t be naive to think u can share everything..some secrets are to die with u,especially in a marriage.

  20. me

    April 30, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    Everything in darkness will always come to light

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