How to Handle Your Partner’s ConfessionsFebruary 4, 2013
When your spouse tells you that he’s having a midlife crisis and just bought a new sports car, it probably will come as a bit of a shock. But chances are pretty good that you can get through it. However, if he confesses that he wants to quit his job and go find his true life purpose; that could be cause for alarm. Confessions in a relationship can be good for the soul, but they can also be tricky to navigate and sometimes even unnecessary. In a recent article, several relationship experts weigh in on what to do if and when your partner decides to come clean about something.
Let’s start with an easy one… your honey wants to find himself, or she wants to fulfill her passion in life. Although this is all good and well, as a couple you must discuss the ramifications of this decision. Will this impact the family income? If so, how will that deficit be compensated for? Will your partner be willing to sacrifice to get through the difficult financial period that usually accompanies a major career change? Talk about these things openly and honestly. If the desire is a deep, honest, heartfelt, and legal one, support it. This leads to another big hot topic for many couples: financial confessions. If one partner spends a large amount of money without discussing it with the other, you might get a chance to fine tune your financial relationship. First, as a team, large financial decisions should be made together. But each member of the team should also be allowed to make minor financial decisions without gaining permission from the other. One way to accomplish this is to have separate accounts for fun money and a joint account for shared expenses and big purchases.
Confessing a relationship that occurred prior to your current one could also be confusing. Experts advise being wary of a person who shares details about who they were intimate with before you. This could signify a guilty conscience or worse yet, could indicate that they still have feelings for that person. Try to find out the real reason that your partner felt compelled to confess something that could do more damage than good. The experts also advise couples to really talk about having children long before they begin their families. If both agree that children are in their future, and then one confesses later on that they don’t want children, this change of heart could run deeper than parenting alone. Leah Klungness, author and psychologist says, “Perhaps what he’s truly reconsidering is building a future with you.” Some decisions may feel permanent, like relocating or changing jobs, but actually are quite temporary. Children, on the other hand, are forever. Make sure you both are clear about which direction you want your relationship to go before you commit to major life decisions.
Blades, Nicole. The shocking truth: Relationship deal-breakers. (n.d.): n. pag. Fox News. 28 Jan. 2013. Web. 28 Jan. 2013. http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/01/25/shocking-truth-relationship-deal-breakers/
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The preceding article summarizes research or news from periodicals or related source material in the fields of mental health and psychology. GoodTherapy.org did not participate in or condone any studies, or conclucions thereof, that may have been cited. Any views or opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org.
RileyFebruary 5th, 2013 at 3:46 AM
Even though I know that there are those of you out there who will disagree with this, I am fine if my boyfrined never does the big tell all with me, going back to past relationships or even other girls he may have thought about while we have been together. If something isn’t going to do anything to improve our relationship together then I would rather just not know. I mean, what good will it be for me to know about a one noght stand ten years ago other than make me insecure? It does nothing to add to what we currently have, and I would rather him go t o a rooftop and shout it out to get it off his chest instead of feeling like he has to unburden himself to me.
y batesFebruary 5th, 2013 at 9:02 AM
Ding, ding, ding!! AGree on kids before you get too far into a relationship. When my now-husband asked for my dad’s hand in marriage (yes, I am from the south and dang proud of it), my dad said to be sure to agree on two things-kids and money. We did-neither one of us wanted kids. Then, of course, I got pregnant. Surprise! But, our little bundle of surprise is 14 now and has a 10 year old sister. Thank goodness we both changed!
ClydeFebruary 5th, 2013 at 9:05 AM
I guess it was about five years ago when I had a midlife crisis. I went out and bought a car without tell the little lady. Next day, I came home and she had bought diamond earrings. We both couldn’t be happier.
brentFebruary 5th, 2013 at 9:07 AM
People really do need to consider their boyfriend/girlfriend’s feelings before doing a little tell all session. If it isn’t going to make you closer, DON’T DO IT! Sometimes tell all sessions are only beneficial for the one doing the telling and it can be a very selfish thing.
WillFebruary 5th, 2013 at 3:08 PM
Coming clean about something may feel like something unpleasant to the recipient partner but think about how much it had bothered the disclosing partner in the first place. A relationship is about sharing and being open to one another. So why is coming out with what’s in your mind so bad?? It reinforces the belief that the recipient partner is the one who the disclosing partner trusts the most and is able to speak about every truth in his or her mind. It’s a good thing for sure.
OliviaFebruary 5th, 2013 at 10:57 PM
For me – what my partner confesses need not be something I definitely like or may not even be something that interests me. But if he has chosen to tell me rather than anybody else that is a good sign.
And a couple could always discuss things. It’s not like both have to agree to one’s ideas. Healthy discussion never hurt nobody. And moreover if the idea is not such a great one to start with, a discussion may help the one proposing it see the facts. So confessions followed by matured discussions are always a welcome thing.
Siobhan GFebruary 8th, 2013 at 11:10 AM
too many marriages try to carry over into marriage what we had when dating. . . not accepting that sooner or later the hormones are going to slow down and if you don’t base the relationship on solid growund, then you have nothing to continue to build upon
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