Secrets can become us. Life events will always have power over us, but how much power we let them have is determined by us. I understand that you can feel ashamed of yourself or ashamed of a family member or where you come from. We have all been teenagers and had insecurities. It’s easy to build up walls or put on a mask to go through your life and survive those insecurities, but what happens when that mask becomes you? What happens when you are so deep into character you are no longer the person you were?

I recently ended a three year relationship, because I felt this person had deep family issues he needed to work with, that affected how he saw our relationship and his interactions with other people.  When we were having our final conversation, him trying to understand why it was coming to an end, he blurted out this “huge secret”. At least for him, it was something that was huge, deep and shameful. I will not disclose what the secret was, because it is not my secret, but I will tell you that because of it; he made the decision to become the man he is today. He is a person who bettered himself, just to prove that he was better than his upbringing, his surroundings. I’m not saying that is not to be admired, we should all strive to become the best versions of ourselves. Having said this, he was so caught up with being better that he did not feel any connection to his siblings or other family members and could be a bit pompous when talking to other people. He is a good guy, we had our good moments and for a time I really did think my search for a life partner was over.

What hurt me the most, was that this person had been basically lying to me for the past three years. He didn’t trust me enough to share that part of himself with me and was only planning on telling me after (if ever) we got engaged. As I mentioned before, I was breaking up with him before the secret came out, but once the secret came out it was as if all my concerns were confirmed. My heart ached for this person, but I knew the relationship was done. He had let his mask wear him and I had been dating that mask and not him.

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