One of the greatest challenges for any relationship is when one person finds out something very disturbing about their partner’s past, either accidentally or through someone else. Perhaps your partner was involved in an accident, did drugs, hurt someone emotionally or had a major fallout with someone you have just got acquainted with. It is natural for you to feel shocked and upset, but you need to gather yourself, stay calm and not jump to any conclusions, if you want to save your relationship.
Confronting Your Partner
To begin with, you need to share with your partner what you have found out about them. It is unpleasant, but it will be very difficult for you to keep it buried just to avoid a confrontation, because unlike your partner, you don’t know the reasons for how they behaved and why they kept it a secret from you. The lack of knowledge and constant speculation will make it very hard for you to save your relationship.
Controlling Your Emotions
It is very important that you don’t jump to any premature conclusions. It is only fair that if you hear something unpleasant about someone you love, you check with them first. You will never be able to tell right from wrong unless you know both sides of the story. However, it is surprising how many times people will fail to respect this basic notion of fairness, and jump to conclusions, react and get upset, before they have even spoken to their partner. The reason is that strong emotions get in the way of clear thinking. You really need to control that at this stage in order to save your relationship.
Being Calm and Supportive
When you do talk to your partner, be prepared to face strong emotions yourself. They obviously had strong reasons to keep a major secret from you, and to now see it exposed will not be easy. However, remain calm and try to be supportive. It is never easy to look back into a past one has been trying to put behind them and forget. It is best if you talk to your partner only after you have gotten over your own initial shock. It will be easier for you to remain composed.
While the conversation is on, your emphasis needs to be on listening and understanding. Don’t form instant judgments and counter-argue too much. Think through the things your partner has told you carefully before you judge. To save your relationship, there is no substitute for a calm and thinking mind. Whatever further questions you have, ask them the next time you talk about this. In fact, the next time should be easier for both of you to handle.
At the end of the day, you need to be prepared to accept that even if your partner was guilty earlier, it does not mean that they are the same way now. People do change for the better, and sometimes they don’t bring up their past because it is too painful and they may even be afraid to delve upon it. There is no reason why you cannot save your relationship and sustain a healthy relationship in the future.
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