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Communicating with the One You Love

All of us have our insecurities, and some of us have our secrets. Sometimes we share these with the ones we love, and sometimes we feel trapped, ashamed or simply unable to do so. Sometimes our insecurities are just the random issues of self-esteem or feeling like we’re not good enough in anything we do, often as a result of our childhood or just bad experiences as a young adult or teen. And sometimes we don’t share things because we’re ashamed of something that we feel others wouldn’t understand. Even those we love and hold close to our hearts.

To the one who later learns of the insecurities or secrets, it feels like a betrayal of the love and trust and everything they hold dear in the relationship. It’s not about the actual thing not shared. It’s about the other’s inability or unwillingness to share it. Some people have a hard time understanding this, and focus only on why they didn’t share it. They don’t understand that the other person, the one who feels betrayed, doesn’t really care about that so much. They only care that the choice was made to keep this issue from them.

In relationships we’ve always said that communication is key. Communication means not just talking about the easy, simple things in our life (“I’m angry when you say you’re going to take out the trash but then you don’t.”). It also means talking about the most scariest and difficult things in your life. Those things you may not even feel comfortable talking to yourself about, or acknowledging or giving them the time of day.

That’s a warning sign, too. If you don’t feel comfortable acknowledging this to yourself, then it’s something you’re clearly not comfortable with. You have to find a way — whether through self-reflection, therapy, a self-help group, whatever — to overcome that discomfort and open up. Because communication with your significant other — “opening up” — is the only thing that makes that person different from your best friend or your favorite sibling.

If you love another with all of your heart, you may benefit in finding a way to share your most intimate, dark secrets with that person before they come out in some other, unexpected way. It’s never too late to do so. In most cases, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by your significant other’s positive reaction to your sharing.

Communicating with the One You Love

John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

Dr. John Grohol is the founder of Psych Central. He is a psychologist, author, researcher, and expert in mental health online, and has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues since 1995. Dr. Grohol has a Master's degree and doctorate in clinical psychology from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Grohol sits on the editorial board of the journal Computers in Human Behavior and is a founding board member of the Society for Participatory Medicine. You can learn more about Dr. John Grohol here.

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APA Reference
Grohol, J. (2018). Communicating with the One You Love. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 26, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 28 Feb 2008)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
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