When Keeping Secrets Makes Things Worse...
What To Do To Make Things Right Again
Whether it was on purpose...or not...Have you ever
told a lie to someone or..
Have you ever NOT been completely honest with
someone and not known how to make things right or
set the record straight?
So what about secrets?
Have you ever tried to keep a secret from
someone (like your spouse or partner) and keeping
the secret from them started creating even bigger
problems for you?
This is what happened to one woman who wrote to
us recently asking for advice.
She had found herself in a really uncomfortable
situation as a result of not telling the truth to
She didn't know how to deal with her situation
after she realized that her lie was going to be an
even bigger problem for her than if she'd actually
told the truth in the first place.
This woman told us that there was a secret she
had been keeping from her husband and when he had
asked her about, she had lied to him and denied his
Now she wants to talk to him about it but
doesn't know how since she already told him
something that wasn't true.
You may not have this particular problem but
we're guessing that at some time or another you
have wanted to go back and amend something that you
said or did and didn't quite know how to do it.
Maybe you have or haven't lied about something
as this woman did--but you still may have had
problems bringing up something unpleasant or
uncomfortable with someone else.
So here's the thing...
There's no shortcut when this happens and no
"easy" way to save face, especially when there have
But you know what's worse?
Allowing the lie, uncomfortable feelings or
"withhold" as one of our teachers called it to
build walls between the two of you is much worse
than dealing with it.
Susie met with a group of women last week and
one of the women brought up something that was
uncomfortable for her to say and for others to
This woman said what she needed to say--a couple
of other women were thinking the same thing--and
the issue was brought out in the open for
Even though it was an uncomfortable situation,
if this woman had not said what she was feeling,
the group would have lost its cohesiveness and
there would have been an unnamed tension that
hadn't been there before.
Although this issue wasn't about confessing to a
lie as our reader asked about, the same kind of
courage and authenticity has to be present in both
So how do you deal with talking about something
unpleasant with someone, which may be confessing to
giving wrong information in a previous discussion
and 'fessing up to a lie?
Here are a few pointers to help you...
1. Connect with what you're feeling and what
your "truth" is. If you need to, take some time
and write out what your truth is before you try to
2. Choose a time when you can be alone and
not distracted to talk with the other person.
Do this privately and not in a public place like a
restaurant. Provide a "safe space" where you both
can express what you need to say without being on
Look at your intentions and make sure they
aren't to hurt the other person, get revenge or to
make the other person wrong but rather to set the
record straight for the future health of your
3. Make sure you keep breathing and center
yourself before you speak. You might take some
deep breaths, bringing the breath into your belly
and down to your toes before you exhale. Focus your
attention on the place just below your navel to
4. Let the other person know how important he
or she is to you. You might use our "Magic
Words" phrase "Our relationship is really important
to me..." to start your conversation.
5. Say what's true for you--and make it only
about you. If, like our reader, you've told a
lie, you can explain why the lie came out of your
mouth in the first place.
- Maybe you reacted out of fear of losing your
- Maybe you didn't want to hurt him or her,
but in telling the lie, you realize that you
created more hurt and mistrust.
- Maybe you just weren't courageous enough to
tell the truth at that time but now you are.
Keep in mind that these aren't excuses and don't
excuse the lie--if there was one.
This information does, however, let the other
person know what you were thinking at the time.
If you're trying to deal with a lie you told,
explain how you are willing to make amends now if
the person is willing to listen.
6. Stay open to the other person and allow
whatever emotions are there to come up. If he
or she becomes angry, listen but don't put yourself
in a position to get hurt if the anger gets
physical or out of control.
If the other person withdraws or leaves and
won't talk with you, try to talk again at a later
If he or she still isn't willing to talk with
you, you can write your thoughts in a letter and
Remember, if you have lied and you've been
questioned about it, the mistrust is already there.
Being courageous and telling the truth is the
first step to regaining and rebuilding
trust--although there are no guarantees that the
other person will trust you again.
Trust is built in every moment and it starts
with being authentic and allowing the "real" you to
This is also how love expands and grows.
Our best to you,
& Otto Collins
Other Relationship Issues,
and Otto Collins are spiritual and life partners
who are committed to helping others create
outstanding relationships of all kinds. They
regularly write, speak and conduct workshops and
seminars on love, relationships and personal and
spiritual growth to audiences all across the USA.
They are the creators of the "Relationship Toolkit"
which has helped people in over a dozen countries
improve their relationships. It includes a video
Partnerships plus two
and Relationship Success
Relationship Quotes Worth a Million
Dollars! You can also
read more articles like these and subscribe to
their weekly newsletter on love and relationships
by visiting their web site at www.collinspartners.com
Their new E-book Should You Stay or Should You
Go? has just been released and is now available
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