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Ask Jen Helant Your Own Question

Jen Helant
Jen Helant , Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1386
Experience:  I have a degree in psychology and worked with many couples. I am happily married and have been for 10 years.
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can too much honesty hurt in a relationship

Customer Question

can too much honesty hurt in a relationship
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Jen Helant replied 3 years ago.

jenhelant :

If both individuals are honest then it can be a very good thing. Honesty can build the relationship while leaving no resentment hidden. However everything needs to be said the right way with no judging, pointing fingers, or criticizing. Everything can be said, but depends how it is said. Now if one is being honest about something that does not need to be said and its intent is to hurt the person that can be damaging in a relationship.

JACUSTOMER-b9x48myv- :

What if the intent isn't to hurt the other person in the relationship

jenhelant :

Then being honest is good. If one is not honest it can cause hurt within the person holding it in if it is something they are hiding. And if it is something they are hold sing in about the other person than it can cause resentment. Honesty and communication is very important. Sometimes it is hurtful, but it is best to be true and honest rather than superficial.

JACUSTOMER-b9x48myv- :

I don't know i am a little confused. Me giving a honest, truthful answer when asked a question is making things worst than before and certain feelings from past are making my love one upset and hurt. I've always been someone who been honest to a certain extent not fully honest fearing hurting my partner. This is the first relationship that I have been completely honest and feelings are being hurt

jenhelant :

I understand. Sometimes certain subjects are better not discussed such as past relationships. The truth can hurt and if your partner is wanting to discuss the past then they need to be strong enough to deal with the feelings it can bring. This is why some choose not to discuss it. If you lie about it then it can be worse since it may come up one way or another in the future then the trust will be lost over something silly. The past is what it is and we can not change that. Everyone has a past and sometimes people get jealous or hurt listening to it. It can even be due to issues of their own such as confidence or self esteem issues. But I think you are doing your part and should let your partner know that despite the past they are the one for you now. Let your partner know that you want to be honest and not lie just to make them feel better since it will not be true. However maybe somethings are better not discussed. It would be up to the both of you what gets discussed and what doesn't regarding the past.

JACUSTOMER-b9x48myv- :

How do I go about doing that? She's very vocal about her past while I am not. I feel like every time we talk about my past she gets hurt. Simply she trying to distance me from my past and not compare our present relationship to the past. I want to communicate more with her because this relationship has shown some long term potential.

jenhelant :

Do you feel you need to talk about your past? Does her past bother you?

JACUSTOMER-b9x48myv- :

her past does not bother me but she talks about it so much it makes me think that's the only way to connect with her. Even though I know it doesn't. Were completely different people from different background. were attracted to each other in some many other ways. i just trying find common ground with out hurting her feelings

jenhelant :

It seems like rather than living in the present she is strongly connected to her past. This can be why your past seems to bother her so much. I would not talk about your past unless you need to in order to relate in to the present. If she asks you about it then you can let her know you will be happy to answer, but would like to be honest as you think she would want that as well. However, if it will hurt her than you prefer to leave the past in the past and focus on the present relationship you both have.

jenhelant :

If you do not see the need for her to continually talk about her past then I would talk with her about it. She may feel this is a good way for you to get to know her better. In any case I would try to focus on the present getting to know one another better talking with spending time together. You can explain this to her as spending time and discussing the present will bring you both closer and help you both get to know one another even better.

JACUSTOMER-b9x48myv- :

even though she talks about her past she doesn't bring it in to relationship. for me she always ask me why i bring past baggage even though i don't feel like i do. but when she ask me certain questions she's quick to point out that i am bring past tendencies in to the relationship

JACUSTOMER-b9x48myv- :

its almost like i feel she's testing me

jenhelant :

I see. Sometimes we do need to talk about the past in order to better understand our future and learn from our mistakes, so we do not repeat them.

jenhelant :

If you feel she is doing this then try something different

jenhelant :

If she asks you about the past let her know you prefer not to discuss it

jenhelant :

Just discuss your present feelings, thoughts, and ideas without relating it to your past. This way she may start to listen rather than make excuses. It will eliminate this barrier and she would need to deal with the real issues at hand.

jenhelant :

Rather than just being upset about the past

jenhelant :

You can even point out to her in the moment when she asks you that she is the one asking. This way it will be clear before you answer so she does not turn the tables around.

JACUSTOMER-b9x48myv- :

even if i told her my feelings were different from the time in which were discussion. i know partners do not like to be judge before you get to know them, but i did that. my feelings have changed since then do i sit down with her to explain all that's in the past and communicate to her how I feel now

jenhelant :

Yes

jenhelant :

No one likes to be judged before hand but sometimes we can make a mistake and do that based on our past. However,

jenhelant :

It is normal and I see that a lot. It is not necessarily

jenhelant :

That you were judging her, but you may have not known her well enough yet and were protecting yourself.

jenhelant :

There is nothing wrong with that since two people need to get to know each other better before trust can be built.

jenhelant :

Let her know you did not know before and now you know her better and see things clearer

jenhelant :

You can also apologize for prejudging her, but let her know that was not the intent.

JACUSTOMER-b9x48myv- :

unconsciously protecting myself

jenhelant :

That's right

jenhelant :

Are you still with me?

JACUSTOMER-b9x48myv- :

yes i am still with you

jenhelant :

OK great

JACUSTOMER-b9x48myv- :

the relationship I have has taught me a great deal about myself and how i've allowed other relationships to dictate each relationship that I've had in the past. for her she all ways say to me never to judge to someone before you get to know them. but it baffles me when she tells me she never thought i would turn out be the person that i am now rather she completely that i was when we first met a year and half ago

jenhelant :

Seems like she is then doing the same thing. It is good that you grew and learned. Yes, we can not judge people. However we can not trust people as soon as we meet them, so it is important to get to know them better first. This is in any relationship. As time goes on their actions show who the person is. Being skeptical and not fully trustworthy is normal and actually the way to go. This does not mean one is judging. We need to get to know someone first.

jenhelant :

However we can not judge others based on our last if they are showing themselves different. A lot of people do this out of fear so it is good you realized this, so you can understand and make changes.

jenhelant :

As for her she may have had an idea how the relationship was going to be and now sees it is different. Sometimes things do them out better or worse than we expect.

jenhelant :

Even though we can not judge based on our last relationship. We still need to get to know the person, but without that barrier. It does not mean we automatically trust them and be the opposite extreme due to not wanting our past to dictate our future.

jenhelant :

We still need to get to know them. Having insight into all of this is very good to grow a and learn.

jenhelant :

This is how we improve within ourselves and each relationship.

JACUSTOMER-b9x48myv- :

Your right, these questions I've asked has been lingering in my mind for some months now.

jenhelant :

I am glad I could be of help.

jenhelant :

It is good to get things answered so your mind can be clearer

jenhelant :

And will help you be able to proceed better moving forward in your relationship and life I'm general.

jenhelant :

*in

JACUSTOMER-b9x48myv- :

then all thats needed to be done is communicating how we feel on a subatomic level

jenhelant :

Sorry lost connection for a bit

jenhelant :

It is best to as much as we possibly can

jenhelant :

Being level and opened

jenhelant :

communication is important

jenhelant :

I wish you the very best. Please let me know if I can help any further

JACUSTOMER-b9x48myv- :

thanks

jenhelant :

Anytime. It is my pleasure.

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