Ever wondered what would happen if you told “the whole truth and nothing but the truth”? I’ve come to a point in my life and in my relationship where that is one of my highest standards – that I must absolutely be true to what’s on my heart. But years ago, when I first started heading down this path, I wasn’t at a place personally or relationally that supported such a venture. And the results were nearly disastrous!
When The Truth Hurts
Many years ago, when I had only been married a short time, I came home wanting to share with my husband a new and interesting thought I’d been pondering. I wasn’t sure how he would take it. OK, I was pretty sure he wouldn’t take it well … but I was hopeful.
I felt burdened by my experience and assumed that my partner would have at least some interest in dropping in with me (it was my unspoken ideal of what love looked like-that we care deeply about what is important to each other) – so I ventured to say:
“Have you ever seen someone, you know, like on the street, or while you were in your car waiting at a stop light and thought to yourself, “Hmmm, I wonder what my life would be like right now if I married that guy?” He stood, eyebrows raised, expressionless, poised like a soldier given marching orders, and walked away without saying a word…for two weeks.
Lying By Omission
Aha. Just as I suspected (frankly, as my mother warned me), men don’t want to hear this kind of thing. You know – things like: how many men you have really slept with, if you’ve ever experienced pleasure outside of your relationship with them, if you’re frightened, insecure, needy-and they definitely don’t want to hear that you are currently wondering what it might be like to be with anyone else aside from them.
To be fair and, well, honest, the same seems to hold true for us women; we aren’t so keen on hearing that our beloved has just fantasized about another life with some other woman (or man). We don’t want to hear that YES he thought that woman who just walked by was GORGEOUS and had fabulous breasts, butt, eyes, whatever. Nor do we want to hear that lately the relationship isn’t spicy enough, or that they have temporarily lost interest in sex, or are considering that perhaps this is not the relationship they signed on for…and on and on.
So what to do? Because I’m curious – and realized I’d hit a nerve – I took this show on the road. I gathered a studio audience filled with men (I was pretty clear on where we women stood on the matter) and dragged 40 of them down the rabbit hole with me, determined for them to give it up. To cough up the truth, the whole truth and nothing but…their truth. Thank God (dess) they came along willingly!
Under the right circumstances men will tell you almost anything, particularly when they know you won’t hold it against them-for ransom!!
Invariably, each man told a similar story as I passed the microphone around. They want to say it (the truth, that yes, they were looking and liked what they saw), but they feel that the women cannot handle the truth and they would suffer the consequences or punishment (usually a withhold of sex). So the men decide, it isn’t worth it. (For the record, most women don’t tell the truth because we fear men will leave and we need them to stay, so we too withhold such truths). I declare to my men that all of the above eventually turns to poison and kills the relationship-a slow, yet lethal seepage of lie-onide. And ask, what, if anything, can be done and wait to see who cares.
Handling The Truth
A few brave men raise their hands and say they will bite the bullet, that they are tired of the game, want to be free and see whether the damage can be avoided with some compassion, patience and valor. My heart swells, I deliver copious hugs and close the show hopeful for all relationships now and in the future.
Regardless of the subject matter, I remain a faithful servant to the liberating phrase, The truth shall set you free. And today fill my life with people young and old devoted to the truth, whose hearts swell with compassion and expand with courage to venture towards greater freedom of being. Thanks to those brave men and my devotion to the truth, I am ever grateful and am no longer afraid to lose what is not possible to have. Blessings!