Honesty is a way of life. We’ve all been hurt by lies: a friend tells you that the jeans you just purchased look good when they don’t; a boyfriend lies about keeping in touch with his ex-girlfriend; or a boss promises a raise that never materializes. You may think you are doing your friend a favor by stretching the truth and telling white lies to protect her, but life doesn’t work like that; that’s wishful thinking. Not telling the truth, leaving out the whole truth, coloring a situation or omitting parts of the truth will eventually rot the core of your relationship and what you two have together. It is that simple. It may take some time to catch-up but it always does.
When you are honest with your partner, you are building upon your love. It sends the message that you are reliable and dependable. It builds a culture of emotional security and trust. When you feel more secure in your relationship, you’ll operate from your highest self. You’re not worried that he’s doing x, y, and z behind your back. You feel secure and loved. When you feel secure in your relationship or your job, you can focus on the work at hand versus expending most of your energy worrying about something else.
I have found that when you lie to your partner, he will find out even if there is no proof. You feel the wind and you don’t see it. There’s a sixth sense about us – especially women. We can detect the ever so imperceptible behaviors and the ever so slight shifts that escape most. So, you might as well come out and tell the truth. In the short run, telling the truth may hurt you if you have screwed up, but in the long run, it will benefit your relationship as well as strengthen your level of intimacy and bond with your partner. Forgoing the immediate gratification for long-term value and gain is not only the right thing to do; it is also the smart thing.
Honesty doesn’t just mean that you tell the truth when you’re regaling him about what you did last night. It also means being open about how you feel. If you don’t feel right about something within the relationship, or your needs are not being met, it is on you to share those concerns with your partner (not your girlfriends or inner circle). You must talk with the person at the core of the issue about your feelings.
Many people do not like feedback or criticism even if it is meant with the best intention. Telling the truth is not a license to go off on someone or to lecture your man. You are not his mom or mentor. There is a saying: “Truth without love isn’t truth (it’s manipulation, vindictiveness, control, etc.), and love without truth isn’t real love.”
Temper what you want to share and do it at the right time, in the right environment, in your happy place. Do not bring up a sensitive topic if your man has had a terrible day at work or his dog just died. You might want to wait until his brain fog lifts. NOTE: If what you have to say is urgent then waiting won’t make sense, even if it’s ‘bad’ timing. Proceed but approach with love, kindness and understanding.
How do you know if your truth is coming from a place of love? When you speak from your heart, not your head. When you make it about you; when you use “I” statements such as, “I felt x, y, z when this happened and it bothered me because x, and I’d love it if next time you could do this instead.” Now, this is a short version of the conversation. If you need to provide more context, do so. For example, my father had a terrible temper when I was growing up. Naturally, I run as far away as I can from people who have bad tempers. Letting your man know where your issue stems from may be helpful. If you are self-aware enough to realize the “why” of what you do then do share more.
Make a conscious decision to do the right thing, always. There is never a bad time to do the right thing even if the immediate benefits are not obvious.
Choose to be vulnerable. After all, intimacy cannot exist without vulnerability. And vulnerability cannot take place without courage. Choose to be courageous every single day. The more you stretch and expand beyond your natural comfort zone, the more rewarding, fulfilling and meaningful your relationships will become. Sharing your authentic self is so worth trying, even if there is an element of “risk” because what you get back is a deeper view into your partner’s soul while he gets a deeper view into yours. To be seen, heard and valued for whom you are is the prize. Is there anything more rewarding than that? I think not.
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