Wed | Sep 20, 2017

Complete Honesty and Transparency with Love

Published:Sunday | September 18, 2016 | 9:00 AMJody-Anne Lawrence

Many people say love and respect is the key to a healthy relationship. But is it? Or is it? Is the key to a healthy relationship honesty?

According to relationship specialist and sexologist Dr Sidney McGill one of the goals in forming a committed long-term, intimate relationship is becoming progressively transparent - being open and honest. While all the details aren't necessary, he notes that there are cardinal facts that each partner needs to know about the other before a long-term commitment is reached.

If there are things that you have not disclosed, premarital counselling is a good medium to explore these issues. A third party sometimes helps to bring clarity or a fresh, unbiased perspective to the issue. If the issue affects the partner or the relationship in any way, it is their right to know, no matter how small you may think it is.

Among these must-knows is the issue of fertility - whether you are able to have a child or not. This is something that people tend to take for granted and omit to discuss. According to Dr McGill, if you are aware that you are unable to have children, you should let your partner know. Give them the time to grieve for you and also give them the opportunity to think about whether or not this is a need for them. They should not be told at the last minute or after they have committed to you.

One thing that people tend to not think about is sexual orientation. However, Dr McGill advises that you should tell your partner if you are uncertain where this is concerned, especially if you've experimented with the opposite sex. He believes that this should be done in the presence of an expert.

As it pertains to terminal illness, this should not be something that you withhold from your partner. While you might believe that you are the one that is dealing with the illness, your significant other has the right to know what is it that they are getting into.

Among these, Dr McGill lists mental problems, addiction issues, financial problems, religious preferences, nutritional and diet preferences.

He advises that choosing the right time is also vital. "Ensure that they are at ease and comfortable, because breaking the news is never easy. Thus, you want a mutual relaxing location. A park or anywhere with a lot of greenery helps to set a relaxing tone. It will give you both a time to think without external pressure or distractions."