Are you telling your partner a little bit too much?
It can be risky to share everything with your partner, and silence can sometimes be rather golden. Doctissimo has a few pointers on what to tell (or not) within the confines of a couple.
Chatting about your day at work, sharing your most intimate feelings, admitting to cheating… communication has become the focal point of modern relationships, with many a relationship sunk following a communication faux pas.
Today, relationship codes have changed and a fusional couple is no longer an ideal model. Having a drink with a friend, or dinner with an ex – without telling him… This was unthinkable a few decades back, but quite the norm today!
The ‘me’ is no longer absorbed into the ‘we’ and independence is sacred, individuality to be cultivated; up to a certain point, that is. Do you know when to let it all out and when to keep your mouth shut?
What should you be telling your partner?
“Not telling all is actually a sign of maturity,” says psychologist Jacques-Antoine Malarewicz. On the other hand, demanding total transparency is a sign of a lack of self-confidence.
According to the psychoanalyst Catherine Bensaïd, playing the total honesty card in a relationship carries the risk of trivialising honesty. “Sharing it all with your partner without limit, puts your mystery at risk – a power that is essential in the game of seduction.” Without taking the immaturity of over-the-top verbose communication into account.
“If I systematically go through every single little detail of my day point-by-point, I feel like I’ve become a child again answering all the questions my mum asked me,” says Fran. In the long term this kind of endless verbosity is so boring and passion-numbing that you risk ending up as friends rather than lovers.
The right moment for telling the “big” stuff
While little secrets are necessary, certain silences can be really heavy in a relationship. “Being fired or getting diagnosed with an illness are subjects that need to be discussed,“ says Malarewicz. Feeling comfortable talking about the “big” subjects is in this case, a sign of your confidence in your partner. So many couples have come out of serious situations even stronger because of good communication between them.
Sharing your feelings should be natural, but not at any time or place. Both of you have your own past and emotional baggage that should be understood and taken into consideration. No point wanting to get it all out there in the heat of a massive dispute or in a moment of difficulty. Catherine Bensaïd advises that you, “Waiting for the right moment is the foundation of respectful communication within a couple”. And be attentive to how you talk and how you are listening to your partner.
To tell or not to tell… that is the question!
These few tips should help you find the middle ground between brutal honesty and deafening silence:
- What you should not tell: your little secrets – You’ve been hanging around with your best friend after work and so of course, you’ve come home late. Or you’ve had dinner with an ex just for old times sake. You know that it’s going to make your partner go crazy, with a fight sure to follow. Shhh! Keep it to yourself and you’ll avoid useless discussions and squabbles, while keeping your freedom in tact, with no damage (for either of you).
- What you should tell: all about money – You’ve caved in a bought the latest iPad or Jimmy Choo shoes – blowing the budget in the process. Tell your partner about it and find a solution to the budget blowout together: don’t eat out for the next couple weeks for example. If you’ve been fired, there’s no use in pretending to go to work everyday (it’s more common than you’d imagine). Just put your cards on the table and let your partner offer you a little support.
- Maybe you should tell or maybe not: cheating on them – As far as cheating is concerned, you should probably tell him about it if is a direct result of a problem in your couple. “We’re not getting on anymore and I’m seeing someone else.” However, if it was in a moment of madness at an office party, there’s probably no need to own up… You probably already feel guilty, are loving your partner even more now, and you aren’t planning a repeat, so telling them will serve little purpose.
Copyright © 2011 Doctissimo
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