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गुरुवार, जून 10, 2010

Love relationships

What’s your relationship secret?
From keeping secret diaries to meeting up with ex-flames, couples keep a lot of secrets from each other. How much is too much, asks Kalpana Sharma. Wat’s your secret?
I can’t sleep… I feel so lonali... Today, I kept looking at the cell phone, waiting for his sms or call… It’s 12:30 now, he must be busy with work or is he busy with her? Going to bed now, with thieling of emptiness. Goodnight!” This is a page out of Anita Nath’s secret diary. Anita (name changed) shares, “I don’t miss a day of writing my diary. I do it when my husband is sleeping or away. I keep it hidden in my bookshelf, so he has no clue. Sometimes, I’ve vented out my feelings after our rows and the next day, when I read it, I freak out imagining his reaction.” She adds, “It gives me my own personal space and a secret partner.”
Psychologists say that even the healthiest couples hide things from each other. Adds psychologist Seema Hingorrany, “We are social beings, but we all have this inner persona that we don’t want anyone to know. Such secrets give you space to grow and carve a personal identity. It is an extremely common phenomenon and termed the ‘Me & I’ syndrome. It provides a sense of contentment.” This sense of bliss is also attained through keeping up with clandestine hobbies. PR manager Aarti Jadhav lets out her secret, “I love photography and click random pictures. My sweetheart isn’t aware of it. I do this in my own time and love it. This is my way of unwinding.”
It’s her special “me” time that she doesn’t have any plans to share, not even with her soulmate. Some follow different hobbies, keep away email passwords and cell phones, some secretly watch porn, catch up with friends privately, and others do it for their families. Says Preeti Sharma (name changed), “I have been sending money to my parents without my husband’s knowledge. I don’t want him to think badly of my family, who need the money. I am not cheating my husband, this is a personal matter.”
Sometimes, this need to create a personal space comes from having a controlling partner. It can also be credited to one’s upbringing, where people who have been punished for owning up resort to such self-defence tactics. However, even small deceptions can rock a relationship and at times, there is a fine line between what’s harmless and what’s not. We have cases where people catch up with their ex-flames once in a while just to unwind. Of course, with their better halves having no idea of the rendezvous! Confesses Rishi Singh (name changed), “I am still in touch with my ex, but that doesn’t change my equation with my wife. We have met on rare occasions, but I know it won’t go down well with my wife, so I simply don’t tell her.”
There’s a thin line dividing privacy and secrecy. Even if a secret is minor, honesty is always at a premium in a relationship, despite knowing that there may be an adverse reaction waiting. Suggests marriage counsellor Kamal Khurana, “As long as you are indulging in something harmless, which doesn’t change the importance you give your relationship, it is safe. ‘Privacy’ is good for a relationship but ‘secrecy’ can create havoc. For example, watching porn is ‘privacy’ as many do it for enjoyment. But having a net affair is ‘secrecy’, which can threaten the relationship. The rule is that if you want your relationship grounded in trust, walking on the secret zone should be avoided.” Psychologist Varsha remembers a case where a married woman had a few shots of vodka for the first time on New Year’s Eve in her husband’s absence and decided never to tell him. She explains, “She enjoyed the high but feared being judged. So, she kept it from him. In many cases, people text their exes, for the thrill.”
Coming clean with your past is a worthy achievement but people should tread this path carefully. Shares Roopa (name changed), “On the day of my marriage, I told my husband about my past, even showed him letters and gifts. He was receptive and I felt on top of the world. However, soon we started having tiffs and often he would bring up my ex. It made me feel foolish.” Many experts are against total honesty. Says Seema, “I advise couples not to divulge their past. In an insecure moment, the thought of you with another man or woman may create serious conflicts. I have known many couples who could never trust their partner again after knowing their colourful past.” Writer Shilpi Kaur believes that it may be wise to keep some stuff away from a partner’s watchful gaze. She says, “When a friend couldn’t return money I had loaned him on time, I ended up telling my boyfriend and regretted it. I don’t want them judged or be told how I should handle them.” When the partner comes face to face with revelations, it’s natural to feel hurt. Psychologist Rajendra Barve suggests, “If it’s harmless, give your partner space and it will strengthen your relationship.” Author Tuhin Sinha, who recently got married, echoes the thought. “Now that I am married, I try to involve my wife in everything I do, as far as possible.” He does miss a few things, “Earlier, I could just pack my bags and go away on vacation without anyone questioning my whereabouts. I can’t do that anymore.” Khurana concludes, “Whenever you plan to keep something secret, ask yourself if you should. Listen to what your heart says.” Sure, honesty is the best policy, but at the end of the day, it’s fine to keep some tidbits of your life to yourself as long as they don’t harm your marital ties.


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