What is private and what is public information in your relationship? If you are wanting to avoid unpleasant disclosures in the future, then this is a factor you should spend some time discussing in great depth with your partner.
In most cases, when your partner provides others with too much information it is by accident. While the disclosure will often feel intentional, it is important to try and keep things in perspective. Often times the reactions that follow a leak of classified information can be more damaging than the information shared.
When trust is betrayed there are often several events that follow. The first is distress, especially if this is a close relationship. We don’t expect these kinds of transgressions to come from those with whom we are intimately involved with. A betrayal of trust makes us question our judgement and perception of things.
The second effect is that the person who is betrayed will usually seal themselves off in order to prevent additional harm. Relationships require both individuals to interact and share, so when one partner withdraws it unbalances the entire relationship.
The third effect from a betrayal of trust often appears later on~ a real desire for justice. While seeking to right a wrong sounds justifiable, it often resembles a form of revenge which only elevates and worsens the situation. A real lose, lose situation.
The best solution would be to avoid getting into this situation in the first place. It starts by clearly communicating to your partner as to what is private and what is public information. Privacy does not always mean the same thing to everyone. If your partner is a little more “open” with information, then it is important that you discuss with him/her what is okay and what is not okay with you. If you are the one who is more open about your relationship, then error on the side of caution~ keep it to yourself.
If you have crossed the line and made a mistake, start by admitting it. By taking responsibility for the slip, you take that weight off of the person who was betrayed. This helps to lower their level of distress, as they at least understand that this wasn’t something they brought upon themselves. In addition, by taking responsibility you are working towards restoring your partner’s trust, making it easier to address the situation and mend the relationship. Taking responsibility for your actions also reduces the odds of your partner seeking revenge and evening the score.
While there are some matters that are clearly not open for public discussion, there are some subjects that don’t have to be discussed or disclosed in private either. Just because you are in a relationship, doesn’t mean that every aspect of your life has to be shared. The video below illustrates this situation quite well.
There are no clear rules that can be used to set the boundaries of personal disclosure across all relationships. Variations in culture, upbringing, and personality make this a factor where couples have to develop their own personal code that they will abide by. Take the quiz below to see how your relationship compares to others.
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