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Five Possible Outcomes of a Secret Relationship

Updated on October 27, 2017
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MsDora, Certified Christian Counselor writes on moral integrity especially for women and promotes the significance of the men in their lives

People who have secret relationships think that they have good reason to do so. We do not have the right to tell them what to think; but we can let them know that there are disadvantages to such an arrangement.

Photo by Michael Dorausch
Photo by Michael Dorausch | Source

Here are five possible outcomes to share with those who are determined to be secretive anyway. Hopefully, the outcome for them will be the one that is mentioned last.

(1) The Secret Becomes Burdensome

Several years ago, a mother brought two teenage daughters onto a television talk show to hear her confession. She was ready to end the secret about an affair with her neighbor. Her daughters surprised her with their own secret; they had been watching all along.

She was upset that she had worked so hard, and in vain, to keep her secret. It took critical planning to make sure that the girls were asleep when she was ready to sneak out the back door.She had to make sure that the neighbor had put his dog on the front porch, so it didn’t bark at her crawling through the fence. She suffered panic attacks when it was time for her to sneak back in, not certain if her daughters were awake or asleep. Whenever the doorbell rang during the day, she got ready to give an angry speech to someone whom she feared was minding her business. Keeping the secret was sabotaging her sanity.

Add to all that the guilt feeling of betraying her daughters. It became so burdensome that after all the attempts to keep it secret, she shared it and ended it once and for all before thousands of people.

(2) Suspicion Overwhelms Them

Photo by Nitika thapar CA
Photo by Nitika thapar CA | Source

“While trust is an essential element of an intimate relationship, it can be easily broken and hard to repair. When your partner withholds important information from you regardless of their reasons, it’s normal to feel betrayed.” So writes Terry Gaspard, MSW, LICSW in How Keeping Secrets Can Destroy a Romantic Relationship.

Lovers who keep their relationship secret, find it easy to withhold information about themselves. If they don’t tell, how will the partner know? Why would other individuals volunteer information when they are not even aware of the relationship? And if the lovers try to follow-up on any suspicions they might have, they risk having to explain why they need the information.

A secret as minor as a traffic ticket or as major as a previous marriage may remain a secret for as long as the relationship is secret. Or, the culprit may mention the secret in a moment of mindlessness; or, a third person might incidentally use it as a reference. What follows are queries of “What else are you hiding?” and “Why?”

Mahatma Ghandi suggests, The moment there is suspicion about a person's motives, everything he does becomes tainted.” Suspicion can possibly turn into total mistrust.

(3) Disappointments Frustrate Them

Opposite to that side of the romance spectrum where the lovers withhold information is the other side where they make glib promises. With no input from levelheaded relatives and friends, the lovers’ imagination feed only on each other’s excitement. There are no limits to the tall castles they build in their minds.

For example, a young man promises to introduce his secret girlfriend to his family at the Christmas gathering where she will meet family members and close friends all at once; but on Christmas Eve he decides that it is wise to wait. Is it because he figured out that it would be better to talk first with his mother and father? Or, did he discover the seating chart which places him at the table next to the girl his parents would like him to marry? No matter the reason, Christmas for the female lover will not be as happy as she expected.

Disappointments happen partly because family members and friends make plans which do not include the lovers as a couple. The lovers can choose to remain alone in their bubble, but the rest of the world cannot honor expectations which they do not know about. Expectations may dwindle and likewise all emotions attached to them.

Photo by Jiri Hodan
Photo by Jiri Hodan | Source

(4) The Secret Backfires

A young man was not ready, so he said, to become a father but his secret girlfriend was pregnant. He would have continued the relationship if she had an abortion; but she didn’t. She felt nobody would believe her story about him because no-one ever saw them together. By the time she got the DNA test results, he was miles away.

Another woman was hospitalized (no phone calls allowed) and her secret boyfriend was not on the list of authorized visitors. Her relatives did not know about him. He confided in one of her sisters, whom he asked to deliver some letters he wrote. The sister accepted all the letters, never delivered them, while the sick woman dismissed her lover for not making the effort to keep in touch.

There are probably many more cases in which nobody heard, nobody saw, and therefore nobody spoke up when a third voice would have made a difference.

(5) Wisdom Prevails

Perhaps both partners will come to their senses after any of the above probabilities actually happen. Perhaps they will find that despite their impetuousness, they really love each other. They will admit to their folly in hiding from the people who could offer them wise counsel; they will decide to stop being selfish and share their joy.

They will stand up together and face those who have reservations concerning the relationship; they will learn from the counsel of those who have their interest at heart and desire happiness for their future. They will love being in love with no reason to hide.

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    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 5 days ago from The Caribbean

      Ann, thanks for sharing and affirming the folly of secret relationships. Why hide such a beautiful gift as love?

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      Ann Carr 5 days ago from SW England

      "Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive". It's very true. I've been in a couple of similar situations and I know it eats you up one way or another; so much better to face up to it all, as in your number 5.

      Once again, you offer such great advice on life's complicated path, Dora. Wonderful!

      Ann

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 12 days ago from The Caribbean

      Maya, welcome to HubPages! Thanks for sharing on this topic.

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      Dora Weithers 2 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Jo, and always for an unacceptable reason. Some people learn only from their own mistakes. Thanks for your feedback.

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      Jo Miller 2 weeks ago from Tennessee

      With so many reasons not to engage in secret relationships one would think no one would ever do it, but it happens so often.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Devika, thanks for underscoring the need to think things through. Sometimes, folks may be too hasty to do that. thanks for your input.

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      Dora Weithers 3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Paula, you're not terrible; you're true to yourself. I shouldn't be laughing either, but I am. We never know what our reactions will be to such surprising not-surprising happenings. We'll be better prepared, and will likely get it right the next time. Thanks for sharing.

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      DDE 3 weeks ago

      A secret approach is asking for problems and never turns out in the best of ways. Lots to think about here on this interesting hub. People don't think carefully when taking such steps into secrecy.

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      Paula 3 weeks ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Ms Dora...I had to return to share a story. I ran into an old friend of mine, when this article of yours came to mind immediately....He & his 1st wife did a lot of socializing with another couple, yrs ago. In time, leaving out unnecessary details, he left his wife and the other woman left her husband & of course you understand why.

      Fast forward to "now." My friend informed me he is now divorced (from wife #2) because she has once again found someone "new."

      I tried my very best but honestly, I failed. I shocked even myself with what came out of my mouth! (Aw shucks, not really).....I looked at him a bit expressionless and said, "Please tell me that you were not shocked nor surprised.") He was speechless. I sort of felt badly......(OK, again, not really.)

      Am I terrible?????

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Tamara, you make a wise choice in preferring freedom over the bondage of secrets. Thanks for your input.

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      Tamara Yancosky Moore 3 weeks ago from Uninhabited Regions

      Dora,

      A unique article you have here, and I do agree with it. Secrets are very disturbing to me, and create suspicion. I, myself, tend to be an “open book” which has gotten me into trouble, at times, because I speak what is in my mind. I have even been bullied, online, for this. But, I do not mind because it’s part of having integrity, and not being a game-player.

      At the same time, I cannot tolerate secrets from close loved ones. Besides, keeping secrets is a very burdensome luggage that would take up way too much time in one’s life. I prefer the freedom of not carrying such a weight.

      God knows all secrets.

      Thank you, Dora, for such a well-penned, and thought-provoking post!

      Hugs,

      Tamara xxx

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Dolores, thanks for your feedback. It does take all kinds to make a world. We love those better who are guided by some moral principles.

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      Dolores Monet 3 weeks ago from East Coast, United States

      Excellent points here, Dora. I think some people just plain love secrets. It makes their life seem exciting. Sadly, their lives become a pack of lies and if they have any conscience at all, wind up just feeling bad. But plenty of people don't have much of a conscience.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Linda. The outcome we all want will happen when the secrecy ends. It's possible.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks,Lori. I'm with you. Light reveals truth; we need that in an honest relationship.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Peg, thanks for your supportive feedback. For real, so many things can stay hidden which bring disappointments later on.

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      Linda Crampton 3 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      You've shared some great information once again, Dora. The fifth outcome is by far the nicest!

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      Lori Colbo 3 weeks ago from Pacific Northwest

      "Secret" usually indicates sin. No always of course, but in the case of relationships I think so.

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      Peg Cole 3 weeks ago from Dallas, Texas

      Secret relationships can hide so many negative things. Several of these sound like familiar memories...And you are right. When the woman expects their engagement to be announced at the family dinner and it is not, well then. That says a lot in itself about the relationship.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Kari. Great, that there's a solution to every problem, after we admit that there's a problem. I appreciate your input.

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      Dora Weithers 3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Shauna, for your continued support and for your valuable feedback here. We're on the same page. Nothing redeemable about being involved in a secret relationship.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Sally, for your input on this valuable topic. I support all your observations.

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      Kari Poulsen 3 weeks ago from Ohio

      Very informative article. Secret relationships never turn out well, unless they go for #5. :)

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      Shauna L Bowling 3 weeks ago from Central Florida

      Dora, I think the most powerful statement you make here is that keeping a relationship secret takes more energy than building the relationship. Relationships take work if you want them to be loving and successful. When you blend two separate humans with independent lives together as a team, concessions have to be made and considerations offered. Hiding the fact that you're a couple works against that premise. Besides, if you feel the need to keep the relationship secret, how healthy can it be? Why do you feel the need to hide? Are you doing something wrong? Probably.

      Congratulations on your Hubbie Award, Dora. You truly deserve it!

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      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 weeks ago from Norfolk

      No good comes of a secret liaison, trust is gone forever and it tears the whole family apart. Would one even consider it if one fully understood the implications? I doubt it? Great article as always MsDora.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Chitrangada, thanks for your affirmation. What's the point? It's like courting unhappiness.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Louise, I agree with James too. There must be something not right, if there is the need to hide.

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      Chitrangada Sharan 3 weeks ago from New Delhi, India

      Great article and I completely agree with you! What’s the point in having a secret relationship! In any case, it is meant to cheat someone.

      Thanks for sharing this thought provoking article!

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      Louise Powles 3 weeks ago from Norfolk, England

      That was really interesting to read Dora. Secret relationships can be very problematic sometimes. I agree with James' point about not being in a relationship if it's secret.

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      Dora Weithers 3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks Paula. I love the words you sue to describe the results. I appreciate your feedback.

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      Dora Weithers 3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Flourish. The examples are real. It is surprising what people get involved in and with what consequence.

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      Dora Weithers 3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Eric, thanks for sharing. Glad you laughed then and still laugh now. You have more than enough reasons to love your wife completely.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Jackie, you said it well. There is a price which is usually too high for the fleeting satisfaction people get from wrongdoing. Thanks for underscoring that God's principles are best for everyone.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Bill. Immediately you knew that the secret relationship was not a good idea. Makes us wonder why people whom we consider wise still get involved in such foolishness.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks James, for your affirmation. That was a wise lady. There is really no good reason for a secret relationship. Why hide a good thing? I appreciate your feedback.

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      Paula 3 weeks ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Ms Dora...Always enjoy your work. You get right to the point and always impress. I can't imagine what possible good anyone can believe would ever come from a covert affair. All signs, results and ramifications are negative, destructive and regrettable! Thanks for your wisdom. Peace, Paula

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 weeks ago from USA

      Oh, Dora, is this ever a great article! I've known of some secret relationships that would make your head spin. I like the examples that you used and the five possible outcomes.

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      Eric Dierker 3 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi, Hi, hi, I had a secret relationship during my first marriage. When I told the object of my affection about it, we both laughed our heads off. She was my wife's good friend.

      To this day I shake my head.

      I had lust in my heart and who I lusted after was flattered. Thank God for his guidance in love.

      I am simply a buffoon about such things. How could you not wake up in the morning and scream to the heavens, how much you love your lady?

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      Jackie Lynnley 3 weeks ago from The Beautiful South

      As you and I know Dora, there is even more to it than the secret. There is only one way to do everything and that is God's way.

      Like you, I am sure, I am in awe of those who are so shocked at bad outcomes! I think God's law really works for everyone, Christian or not. There is always a price.

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      Bill Holland 3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I saw the title and I thought "there can be no good outcome" and you pretty much confirmed that thought. I always enjoy your thought-provoking and/or inspirational articles.

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      James C Moore 3 weeks ago from The Great Midwest

      Ms Dora, your hub is on point. I once read some wise bits of advice from a lady who had reached a milestone birthday. I don't recall her name or the birthday anniversary as this was at least a couple of years ago. However, I remember this one nugget of wisdom:" if a relationship has to be a secret you shouldn't be in it." This hub confirms as much.