“Why can’t we feel safe enough in our intimate relationships to reveal all of ourselves?”

This is a comment by Nick, mostly on the post “Why Is My Boyfriend Lying to Me About His Past?“.

Nick, mostly said:

“People are entitled to their histories; it what makes us who we are. That includes our successes and our failures; the relationships that showed us how to love, and those that taught us that love isn’t everything. We should embrace our past, and that of our partner, because without them we wouldn’t be together.

“Sentimentality aside, there is also a certain shame we hold about our past, and in turn we shame others about their own. Our histories become private not for this reason alone, but also to manage the insecurity and jealousy (real or perceived) of our partners. Consider how this question was framed. Instead of asking how she can get her partner to open up more, and to feel safe sharing his private, inner life with her, she says, ‘I cant let go and my self esteem is shot now.’

“This question isn’t really about him. The biggest issue isn’t the lying. Lying in relationships is so commonplace as to be unremarkable. Instead I would propose the biggest issue is why we can’t feel safe enough in our intimate relationships to reveal all of ourselves. What about the way they interact caused him to need to hide this? What about the way he reacts causes her to hide things? Is intimacy really possible when we spend so much time concealing ourselves from each other? Deal with that problem and the lying will take care of itself.”

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Comments

  1. Maybe it has to do with the temporary and transitory nature of many of relationships?

    The duration of many “long-term” relationships isn’t very long anymore. As a person might perceive this as not lasting a lifetime, they do not reveal all. I can understand this aspect of their thinking.

    Finally, how do you embrace that which you do not know? It’s impossible.

    Only if your partner is willing to share his or her past, can you know. Once it is disclosed, you are then free to make an informed decision regarding your partner and the relationship. I really do not see why this is such s big deal. Would you not want to know if your partner were a felon? It is relevant. Same with other things including sexual past/history.

    It is not the lying that creates the problem. It is the failure to disclose (usually by omission) that is so problematic.

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