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In order for a relationship to be healthy, partners must trust that when they set boundaries and are intimate with each other, both people will uphold those boundaries and neither will attempt to hurt the other partner.
Check out our post on Rumors and Relationships to learn more about dealing with rumors.
If your partner is threatening to out you, you might consider telling your friends or family before your partner has a chance to.
If you feel like it is safe for you to resist, your best option might be to stand your ground and not give in to the threats.
This is often easier said than done, but giving in to the threats usually doesn’t make them stop forever.
Blackmailing is a form of emotional abuse and, like all abuse, is about power and control.
A person who uses this tactic wants to make you afraid of some consequence in order to get you to do what they want.
However, you know the situation best, and if you fear your partner could become violent or harm you, it might be safest to give in for now.
Remember, if you are giving in to protect yourself, it’s survival; it doesn’t mean you are giving up or that you deserve to be treated this way.
In fact, it can intensify your partner’s sense of control, and the threats might even become more extreme in the future.