6 thoughts on “The Cost of Keeping Secrets

  • September 17, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    This is a great article and one I wish I’d stumbled on a couple of weeks ago. I found myself trying to keep a secret from my partner because I didn’t want to make her mad. I didn’t cheat but I lied about texting my ex. In the past, no matter how forthcoming I’ve been, my girl friend still gets as mad at me for telling the truth as if I told a lie. Anyway, needless to stay I panicked and lied and she broke up with me. I felt sick having to keep this secret and I’ve never wanted to. I wanted to tell the truth but my fear of making her upset made me gamble, and I lost. It’s irrational, I know. It was dumb, especially when knowing that my sporadic conversations with my ex were completely innocent and no matter what I should have just told the truth. I hope I always remember how it feels to keep secrets and lies….because I never want to feel this awful again.

    • September 17, 2014 at 8:53 pm

      I respect that you’re already in such a self-reflective place so soon after the breakup. That’ll really help you in your next relationship.

  • September 18, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    A duty of candor is not something most Americans feel. Keeping a secret will hinder the other persons ability to make their best decisions. In the law profession their is a duty of candor backed up by an ethics violation for exactly this reason.

    I like to think that Americans do this because they follow the example set by their political leadership but, that isn’t true.

    Humans are just afraid of losing what they have or of not getting what they want. Secrets primarily are kept for personal gain. We don’t want an angry girlfriend or to tell voters how powerless politicians really are. Secrets are rarely kept to save someone unnecessary suffering.

    • September 18, 2014 at 2:50 pm

      I’d never heard the expression “duty of candor” before. It’s a good way to think about the ethics of relationships. I think you’re right that secrecy is largely motivated by fear, and facing that fear is better for all involved.

  • September 18, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    I think lying and keeping secrets is motivated by different factors: you have individuals who do it pathologically to deceive and hurt others and you have people who do it for fear of punishment. There are even people who do it because they may feel like they’re trying to spare others feelings. Nothing is ever black or white when it comes to behavior and the choices we make. Personally, it’s been a tough lesson and a learning experience…lying and keeping secrets was something I’ve never felt good about or taken pride in

    • September 18, 2014 at 5:58 pm

      I agree–there are no blacks and whites in human behavior. Being in my line of work, you’re always dealing in grays.


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