If you're inclined to fudge the truth when telling your partner about the cost of a recent purchase, then you could be accused of "financial infidelity"!
Well that's the opinion of a psychologist on a morning TV program that I saw recently. (Yes well, perhaps enough said, hey?)
It seems a bit far-fetched, but failing to be totally honest with your partner does take you near to dishonoring your commitment together. And it doesn't matter whether that commitment was expressed as a set of vows in front of an altar, or an agreement to live together and give it your best shot!
If you were to conduct a little non-scientific poll amongst your work colleagues, you'd find they all value honesty, and believed themselves to be honest! You've probably seen evidence that's not ALWAYS true! And probably most people get away with the odd "white lie" without any pangs of conscience.
Your life partnership/marriage needs a kind of heroic, excruciating, vulnerable-making, honesty that's at a whole new level!
It needs to be the kind of honesty where you reveal to yourself and your partner just how nasty you were to the girl in the next office, the guy in the other lane on the freeway, or the kids (while she was out and you were in a snotty mood)!
Have you ever been at a "team meeting" to talk about a problem?
You all sit around the table or in a circle, awkwardly avoiding looking at the leader. If anyone says ANYTHING they skirt around the issue, knowing full well that what's being said is a load of crap.
And then someone gets brave and says what they REALLY think. People gasp (at least internally). Then slowly others join in the honesty, and painfully but successfully the problem can be dealt with!
Well that ball-shrinking, gut-twisting, heart-pounding, weakness-exposing honesty is the kind of vulnerability that needs to be in a relationship.
And I don't think it's unrealistic to say that excruciating honesty like that needs to be part of EVERY DAY you share together.
This is about taking emotional risks. And it's what makes a relationship sing!
But don't get me wrong. Being honest, doesn't mean being nasty. If you have a complaint or concern about an element of your partner's behaviour then you can be honest without being mean! There are ways to be honest and caring, and sensitive at the same time. It's all about continuing to love someone with an unpleasant behaviour, not just self-righteously loving DESPITE an unacceptable behaviour!
Some questions to get you thinking about honesty?
- What subjects might tempt you to be less than excruciatingly honest? (Finances and sexual dissatisfaction often top this list.)
- How do you react when your partner dares to be honest and vulnerable with you?
- How would you like to be treated when you reveal a side of yourself that you struggle to love? (eg your body image)
- How do you feel when you know deep in your heart that your partner has shared something with you at that excruciating level?
- When was the last time you were less-than-honest with your partner?
- How safe do you make it for your partner to be honest?
If honesty, is a quality that's slowly dying in your relationship, what are YOU going to do about it?