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Top 5 Ways Your Partner May Be Hiding Secrets from You

Top 5 Ways Your Partner May Be Hiding Secrets from You

The longstanding movie-enhanced image of fairy dust being sprinkled over a couple in true love is indeed quite romantic. These days, however, an alarming number of relationships aren’t quite so picture-perfect. Couples therapy expert Esther Perel concurs, saying that “When I entered marriage I bought into the whole romantic package. I want my husband to take care of everything. I want to never feel anxious again, never feel a fear of abandonment. It’s the complete merge model. But that’s very different than the millennials I work with.”

As most people are aware, trust is the most important ingredient in making a relationship work. Oftentimes though, there’s cause for concern where it’s not unreasonable to suspect your partner of hiding secrets from you. The secrets your partner might be hiding from you could range from something as innocuous as opening your mail to something sneaky like having a secret bank account to something as deathly serious as infidelity with your neighbor. It’s never been as easy as it is today for your partner to keep secrets from you; so easy, in fact, that you won’t believe the types of things partners sometimes hide from one another.

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    With all of this in mind, we have compiled a list of the top 5 ways that your partner may be hiding secrets from you. If the integrity of your relationship matters to you, it is worth your while to be on the lookout for telltale signs that something may be amiss so that you can address these issues and resolve them amicably.

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    1. Think your partner likes your food? Think again!

    It is often said that “the way to a man’s heart goes through his stomach”. In other words, serve him some great food and you will win his love. Many ladies enjoy cooking for their men, but whether the guys actually love the cooking might be up for debate. Plenty of men can not stand the taste of the cuisine their partners feed them but adopt a diplomatic approach and compliment the food anyhow. Unbeknownst to their partners, however, these men might be discarding the homemade cuisine in favor of take away food.

    Think that could never happen to you? Next time your man comes home, ask him whether he enjoyed the lunch you made for him to take to work. Then interrogate him with some follow-up questions about the food. If you have left him dinner in the fridge because you were out for the night, ask him about that too the next day. If you think your partner might be hiding a secret or concealing the fact that he does not like your food, you should be certain that it is worth your while to prepare it for him in the first place!

    Life Hack 2

      2. Your partner went Where?

      Naturally, you and your partner ought to be spending a lot of time together. Of course, as individuals we are all entitled to some “me time”. Then again, there should certainly be limits as to the activities you engage in alone. This concept may be a foreign one to your partner though or, worse still, he might be taking unfair advantage of time away from you. For all you know, while your partner could be telling you that he’s just having a night out with the guys, that night could have been out at a gentlemen’s club or spent enjoying the company of women.

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      On a far lesser scale, it might seem to you like your partner has become a little “extra eager” to take the dog out for walks or head to the park often with your kids. While it’s certainly possible he’s just being nice and trying to give you some time of your own to chill and relax, he might also be engaging in other activities you are unaware of. At the other end of the spectrum, he might even hint at you and him taking separate holidays from one another. Especially if it is the first time he has ever brought up something like that, you might want to investigate where precisely he wants to go and if there’s some sort of ulterior motive he’s got going on. If you notice a sudden, or even gradual, change in your partner’s routine that allows him for more time away from you, it’s not unjustified to start suspecting that he’s hiding something from you or that there may be cause for concern.

      3. More money, more problems?

      In many relationships there’s a division of labor and chores. This often means that just one of the two partners takes responsibility for money-related issues. If that person is your partner, then perhaps you should consider paying a little extra attention to what’s going on in the bank account.While your credit card may not indicate any suspicious activity in the form of purchases you don’t recognize, if your partner is hiding something money-related from you he may be doing so in cash. Check your bank balance once in a while to see if you notice any out-of-the-ordinary ATM withdrawals. If you do happen to notice your man walking around with more cash than usual, it would not hurt to ask why he’s carrying it all around.

      Beyond that, if you have got a partner who is determined to hide some secrets from you, it is not unreasonable to think that he might have a separate bank account you are not aware of. Maybe he is channeling funds in there to support a recreational gambling habit he thinks you would not approve of? And if you think this is impossible, as you would otherwise find evidence like gambling software on the computer, think again. Many gambling operators offer up an instant play casino platform which would allow someone to play while not leaving tracks. To be fair, it is possible that your partner is hiding something from you, money-wise, because he wants to buy something nice for you without you knowing about it in advance. In fact, there are even how-to articles online that give guys tips for how to keep that surprise from you. So if you notice a little money missing from the piggy bank, it might not be all that bad and you should certainly consider discussing the situation before initiating a hostile confrontation.

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      Life Hack

        4. Nothing to see here, we are just Browsing

        When it comes to Internet browsing and other online activities, modern-day technology has made it possible to hide things pretty easily. Thus, it’s not uncommon to wonder if your partner might be using these technologies to hide secrets from you. Some of the measures he might be taking to ensure you remain blissfully unaware of his online activities include the use of private browsing, as well as the creation of fake user profiles with which to visit certain unsavory corners of the Web.

        If you are pretty certain that your partner does not engage in such activities from their home computer, it still does not mean that he is not utilizing mobile technology for these purposes. For instance, there are ways of hiding apps on your Smartphone, and the fact is that if your partner has gone to the trouble of using technology to conceal things from you as far as his online surfing habits go there is no telling what he might be up to when you’re not around or not looking over his shoulder. While no partner should automatically suspect their significant other of impropriety, the bottom line is that technology makes it easier than ever before to hide secrets and live separate existences.

        Life Hack 3

          5. Is that “eau de mystique” I can Smell?

          Too many bad habits can be malodorous. If your partner is engaged in some of those bad habits and wants to keep them a secret from you, there are many ways he could be masking their smell. For instance, if you notice that he’s recently taken up the habit of chewing gum or suddenly starts carrying breath mints around with him wherever he goes, he might be trying to hide a new smoking habit from you. So if your partner suddenly walks into the house at the end of a long workday smelling as fresh as a daisy or as though they have bathed in cologne, this might serve as a warning flag for you. Sure, he may just be refreshing himself after a tiring or challenging day, but it does not take too much imagination to wonder if he might have been engaging in other activities while at the office or out inthe town with friends.

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          This is especially true with activities that carry with them another person’s fragrance that he may be trying to hide, while a sudden change in your partner’s behavior is also liable to be questioned. With this in mind, keep your wits about you and commit to using all of your senses to see if your partner is hiding something from you. Your instinct is also important, and you should not be afraid to raise issues that are causing you concern in a frank, calm and proactive manner.

          Life Hack 4

            The Bottom Line

            Naturally, we would encourage partners to be fully open with one another through the course of their relationship. If you do suspect that your partner is hiding something from you, we do not advocate confronting them about it right away, or in an overly aggressive manner that prevents them from responding adequately. Trust in a relationship is sacred and can be difficult to repair if breached. For that reason, it may be worth your while to follow these steps to confirm your suspicions about your partner before actually making a move to do something about it.

            Featured photo credit: Eddy Van via flickr.com

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            Last Updated on February 21, 2019

            The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

            The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

            In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

            Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

            Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

            Conflicts are literally everywhere.

            Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

            Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

            Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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            Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

            Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

            Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

            The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

            Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

            Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

            How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

            Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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            Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

            Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

            How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

            Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

            Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

            Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

            How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

            Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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            Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

            Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

            How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

            Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

            Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

            Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

            How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

            Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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            Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

            Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

            How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

            Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

            Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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