Relationship Red Flag: A Lack of Communication About Small Things at Someone Else’s Request

A red flag can be your partner agreeing with a friend to not share any information about them or what they discuss.

Your partner agreeing with another person to not openly communicate with you on small things, which may be the other person grooming your partner, may later turn into them asking your partner to not share more significant information with you; asking your partner to keep secrets from you on things they’ve discussed or ways they’ve interacted. The red flag isn’t the person asking; the problem is your partner agreeing to the request.

I think such requests are odd, as well as manipulative, because when you’re in a relationship with someone you talk about situations and circumstances revolving around family members and friends. I’m not saying there should be a discussion about deep personal things in everyone’s life or every interaction. I’m simply saying that open discussion is a facet of healthy relationships.

I was in this situation about a year ago. I acknowledged it bothered me and I somewhat dismissed it. I say somewhat because I did reference it on occasion. I realized I’d entertained the cognitive distortion that my discomfort was insignificant to the health of the relationship. I voiced my disagreement with how he and his friend communicated although I accepted his agreeing to the request. I erroneously believed as long as communication between him and I was okay, it didn’t matter if he told me anything about the other person or their discussions. My inner reasoning told me I was wrong because him agreeing to not discuss things with me was allowing the person to have a negative impact in our relationship. Secrets kept from a significant other is counterproductive to healthy communication.

I care about things and people my partner cares about and I’m likely to ask how certain people are doing. My not knowing what I was “supposed” to know or not know began to deteriorate the security I had in us maintaining open communication. A lack of sharing general information about someone in particular may cause one to wonder what that person may be saying that they desire to remain discreet about. It’s unhealthy to think it’s wrong or inappropriate to ask your partner about a friend.

I have a close circle of friends, they all know about each other, they’re all aware of each other. It’s little things like if I was asked what I did that day by Jason, I’d say, “I went for a walk with Bernadine today.” Even though it’s insignificant and doesn’t have a bearing on my friendship or relationship with Jason, it’s the simple sharing of general information that maintains healthy bonds between people because you’ve been open about what you’ve done. Talking to someone, taking a walk, having lunch isn’t a big deal. It becomes a big deal with you hide it from a loved one who is simply asking about your day.

In my journey to constantly learn more about myself so I can be a better person and have healthier friendships and relationships, I’ve acknowledged little things usually turn into larger things. I’m learning to not accept a red flag, regardless of how insignificant it may seem at that time, because eventually it’ll lead to something bigger as well as set a precedent in what behaviors I accept from others.

I’d love to hear of a lesson you’ve learned or a red flag you no longer dismiss. How did it make you feel? How did you come to terms with what you learned about yourself?

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I journeyed from GED to a PhD in Psychology. I decided to focus on my writing once I retired from the clinical field. I write in various genres and have several WIPs for publication once edited. I post articles on this website for intellectual and entertainment purposes.

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