Saturday, November 28, 2015
WHEN TRUTHFULNESS IS LACKING IN MARRIAGE
As a person who has deeply searched and sought after the Truth (with a big "T") in my life, I have to say that I found a whole lot of little "t" truths along the way, the big Truth notwithstanding. I also know that people also use "little white lies" to protect others from harm, or what they perceive could hurt someone, or to protect themselves, but there there comes a time, especially in love relationships and marriage, that being honest and truthful should be paramount to anything else.
Why should truthfulness come first in a marriage or love partnership?
Simple, it is the foundation upon which everything else is based. If you do not have truth between you, you also lose trust, and with that the relationship breaks down. This is not only accurate for fidelity in monogamous relationships, but also poly relationships that are based on mutual agreement.
Yes, there are times when the truth hurts. Finding out that a spouse has cheated on you certainly hurts, regardless of which gender was not monogamous. Some people believe in polyamorous relationships to avoid having to lie to their spouse or partner, but include them in the process of knowing and dating or being with other people in an open relationship. This poly arrangement works for some people, but not all. Some people are monogamous by nature, and others by upbringing. Still others based in on their religious belief system.
Are you religious or spiritual? What is your belief on truthfulness, whether religious or not? Does it affect how you behave in public? Does it affect how you behave in private?
For me, when I became a Baha'i, I was highly attracted to the quote:
"Truthfulness is the foundation of all human virtues. Without truthfulness progress and success, in all the worlds of God, are impossible for any soul. When this holy attribute is established in man, all the divine qualities will also be acquired. --‘Abdu’l-Bahá, cited in The Advent of Divine Justice"
And I like this one...
"Truthfulness, uprightness and integrity are the attributes of the righteous and the hallmarks of the pure. ... A truthful person will be protected from all moral afflictions, will shrink from every evil deed, and be preserved from every wicked act, inasmuch as all vices and misdeeds are the very antithesis of truthfulness, and a truthful man will hold them all in utter abhorrence. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, from a Tablet, translated from the Persian"
(source for both quotes: http://www.bahai.org/beliefs/life-spirit/character-conduct/truthfulness-trustworthiness-justice)
There is something to be said for truthfulness being the foundation of a marriage. Either there will be truthfulness and trust in a relationship, or there will not. Have you experienced both? How did it affect you? What did you learn from it? Did truthfulness become more important after a loss due to untruths that were told, or behaviors that were based on lies?
If you are in a relationship, and your spouse is prone to lying or sneaking or hiding things from you, then you have to ask yourself whether you have the inner strength to push through it and learn what you can, and or move on. Changing the other person rarely, if ever, works. Sometimes it takes a complete breakdown before people change. Sometimes it takes an act of God. Sometimes nothing helps and they will simply have to walk their own path until it leads to their destruction, or yours with them. Are you prepared for that? If you are committed to the relationship, how much are you willing to take? What boundaries do you need to set? How can you do this in a loving way that promotes truthfulness rather than just blame or hurt?
It seems like a scary future, not really knowing or trusting someone in their issues about being truthful, but on the flip slide, it can make you feel very secure and loved if you know you can count on your partner to be truthful no matter what, or if you have their undying love no matter what. However, if a painful truth hurts you, perhaps that your partner wants more lovers than just you, or you caught them in a lie about going to work when they were secretly meeting someone else, can you handle that truth?
The old saying in the Bible (John 8:32), "The truth will set you free" may free you from a miserable marriage, or put you on a new path to healing, even if it brought hurt at the beginning.
Above all, be honest with yourself.
Be truthful about what you can handle, and where you stand.
No matter what happens, stand in your own truthfulness... especially in your marriage or love relationship. That is the most powerful thing you can do for yourself... and even this is an act of love, perhaps for yourself, or your sanity in the face of untruths that might surround you or permeate your marriage.