Can We Stop Pretending Secrets are a Good Thing?

  Secrets are not helpful. They don't build friendships or bonds between lovers. Secrets, no matter how enticing, are at best holding back consequences of something already done and at worst letting genuine relationships secretly rot.

Someone recently told my wife that if her husband had an affair, she wouldn't want to know, ever. She would rather he hold it in and suffer if he must. Maybe that helps her accomplish her relational goals which seems to be more along the lines of keeping something up rather than fighting for something better, but even if it's painful, are you really so concerned with preserving the image of something that you're willing to sacrifice any chance at the real thing?

Of course a moment of honesty can be destructive if not worked past and seen through to completion. Telling a friend that you think they are self-centered might not go over so well, in which case the truth might expose that you didn't yet have a friendship that could handle that level of intimacy. Sometimes we correctly keep a secret, not because it's helpful, but because another is not strong enough to take it. It's true that some people are simply not in the place emotionally, spiritually, or mentally to carry the truth to a place of healing; the journey kills them.

But we don't always have the luxury of knowing when a relationship can carry the honest load. So often the question is, is it worth the risk? Is a deeper relationship with this person worth the chance that the journey to that relationship might kill whatever we do have? Or is your goal to try and keep the peace and allow it to either awkwardly fall off the face of the earth or reach some sort of crisis where the truth comes out anyway. In hindsight I'd say my experience points resoundingly to yes.

It's tricky. It takes a lot of wisdom. There will be failure.

But can we stop pretending that our secrets are a good thing?