3 Tips for Dealing With a Secret Relationship

You’re secretly involved with the wrong guy: a boss, married man, teacher or coach at school, or your friend’s boyfriend. You know it’s an unhealthy relationship. You can’t talk about him with your friends or family. These tips for dealing with secret unhealthy relationships will help you break free.

Are you thinking about ending this relationship? Read How to End a Toxic Love Affair Before it Ruins You.

I was inspired to offer tips on how to deal with a secret relationship because of a comment from one of my “She Blossoms” readers. “I spent the whole weekend with three of my closest friends,” she said, “and I couldn’t talk about my secret relationship. I’m in love with a man I can’t talk about, and it’s killing me.”

In this article, you’ll learn why secret relationships are unhealthy, how they affect your life, and what the long-term damage is. These insights alone can help you move on! I’ll also share tips for breaking free and write a follow-up article on healing after a secret relationship ends.

Your thoughts about secret relationships are welcome in the comments section below. Writing is one of the best ways to discover what you really think and feel. If you take time to stop and listen to the still small voice, you will start healing and moving forward in your life.

How to Deal With a Secret Unhealthy Relationship

Before you read on, consider how your secret relationship is affecting your life. How is it affecting your health, friendships, lifestyle, school or work responsibilities, self-perspective?

The more you know about the negative effects of this type of unhealthy relationship, the easier it’ll be to deal with it and eventually break free. Not being able to talk about the negative effects of secret relationships makes them worse — so don’t just think about how you feel. Write and talk about it.

Secret relationships are unhealthy because…

You can’t talk about the man you’re involved with. You’re crushing on or emotionally attached to a guy you can’t have, and you can’t tell anyone. This prevents you from working through your thoughts and feelings. Secret relationships are dangerous because there is no light or air, no way to air out your fears, concerns or problems. It’s unhealthy to be unable or unwilling to talk about the man you like or even love.

You’re alone when you’re in a secret relationship because you have no support or external feedback. This sets the stage for unhealthy, unbalanced, and possibly even physically or emotionally abusive relationships.

Finally, you’re dealing with shame and guilt. Secret relationships are kept hidden for a reason: there is something bad, negative or wrong with them. You aren’t supposed to be with this man for an important reason! You’re secretive about this relationship because the truth will affect, harm or even destroy other people. That’s what makes secret relationships so unhealthy to you and others.

The destructive effects of secret unhealthy relationships

Not being able to talk about the man you’re involved with — your boss at work, teacher or coach at school, or a married man you’re involved with — separates you from your family and friends. Secret relationships often feel romantic and exciting at first, but the novelty wears off. We were created to live together in a family, with friends, in cities and communities. Hiding your relationship doesn’t feel good. It’s unnatural, which is why you’re searching the internet for help dealing with a secret relationship.

When you can’t talk to your loved ones about your problems, you are alone. And that is one of the worst, most destructive effects of secret unhealthy relationships: isolation and loneliness.

How to break free

This article isn’t called “3 Easy Tips for Breaking Free From Secret Relationships” because the truth is that it’s hard to let go of someone you love. But still, you can start growing forward and healing.

3 steps forward:

  1. Write down the 5 worst problems this secret relationship is causing in your life.
  2. Imagine how light, peaceful, easy and healthy your life will be when you are in a healthy relationship. Focus on the freedom and joy of being with a man you don’t have to hide.
  3. Decide what 3 steps you can take to break free from this unhealthy relationship. What do you need to do?

Incorporate these three steps into your day. Remember that dealing with a secret relationship takes strength and courage. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it!

Make breaking free a daily practice

Every week I focus on a different theme on She Blossoms. This week we’re exploring the power of small, consistent habits. Over time, they make a huge difference in your life!

How to Deal With a Secret Unhealthy Relationship

First, set your phone or watch to go off three times a day. Perhaps morning, noon, and night would work best for you.

Second, when your alarm goes off, look at what you wrote. Remind yourself how destructive your secret relationship is, and how good it will feel after you’re free. Take time to refocus your thoughts. Really reflect on the pain and damage secret relationships cause, and decide that you will choose to move forward in your life.

Third, start taking those steps you decided on. Use your timer as a reminder to take one more small, tangible step forward.

You might also consider talking to someone about this man you can’t talk about. If you don’t want to talk to a family member or friend, contact someone else you trust. It’s important to talk through the pain of losing someone you love. Talking will help your heart heal after a breakup.

How do you feel about dealing with your secret unhealthy relationship, and perhaps even breaking free? Your thoughts – big and little – are welcome below! I read every comment, but don’t worry: I won’t give advice or tell you what to do. It’s your turn to talk.

If your relationship is over, read Healing After a Secret Relationship Ends.

May you find a fresh source of life, peace, hope and joy in your life. May you be blessed with strength, motivation, and purpose. And finally, may you move forward with love, peace and hope.


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3 thoughts on “3 Tips for Dealing With a Secret Relationship”

  1. Hi,
    I am a 62 year old man and have been in a four year relationship with a women who is now 32. She has meet all my family and friends over the course of our time together but I have never met anyone in her life, no one knows I exist. During the first year or so, she would cry and ask me what to do. She said she wanted people to know how much I meant to her but feared no one would ever accept this.
    I would tell her that I can not tell her want to do that she needed to make that decision. She made the choice to do so but something happened that changed the course of our relationship and prevented her from revealing us.
    We were out a dinner and a women I know asked if she was my daughter. I told her that she was my girlfriend. She continued her assault.
    Saying you are so young, are you younger than his daughter, what does your mother think. For the first time she questioned what our future together was going to look like.
    I love and care for her more than any women ever in my life. But being a continued secret is so difficult.
    A few weeks ago, I questioned what we were doing and what I meant to her. She said that I am the most amazing person ever in her life, the most powerful connection she has ever felt, her rock, always there for her, loved time together. I said but no one in your life knows how you feel about me or that i even exist. Told her I wanted more from our relationship.
    She said if she truly loved me that she would not be in fear of what her family and friends think. If she was truly in love with me that she would not be concerned when random people look at us when we are out together but she does.
    She ended our relationship four weeks ago saying we could stay together and see if her feelings would change but felt that was unfair to me. She felt it best to do our separate ways and see other people. I miss her so much

  2. I am in a relationship that I can’t discuss amongst friends n family.. it’s seems right at first although I was aware of all the facts, I entered in, not expecting to fall in love. I begin to notice the unhealthy feelings after the first year n some months, that did not stop me, I opened up to him about my feelings, but his response was always what I want to hear, after being out of a relationship n having a few miscarriages I wanted to feel what I’m feeling now n yes I said now bc I’m still in it, but I’m here in this site bc I really want to let go, taking baby steps is not good at all. But I have been reading n have been focusing on all the information here.. all I asked is for prays for strength bc I’m in love with a mm.

    1. Idala,
      I dont know if or when you will get this message but I too am involved with a MM and its not an easy situation to get into and it sure isnt easy to get out of it. I think in order to leave the situation you must be completely honest about what you really want. I believe you have to get to a place where you truly are fed up and ready to move on. I dont think you put forth the real effort until you get to that place. I dont know if you journal but writing helps me to sort my thoughts and it gives me clarity. That may be a helpful tip for you. These forums are really helpful and you should take a look at some of the other forums as well. They may offer some advice.