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.

Friday, November 6, 2015

DEFENSIVE ANGER BLINDS US TO TRUTH


Anger unleashed is like throwing beach sand in a full-face wind hoping it will take away the cause of sand in your eyes...

sometimes you have to let the storm calm down before you see the big picture...

that the beach of our lives is not just made of words of sand and thoughts of wind, but also the waves of action that extend to shape its length, and an entire ocean of watery depths filled with dark mysteries and great serpentine sea dragons.

That is where the real dangers lie... in the hidden realms of the sea of our untamed emotions with its deep chasms and craggy places... this ocean of our hearts.

Look carefully over yonder... whenever no sand has been stolen by the eyes... this is also where the answers surface occasionally on the water's cover, and glimpses of their sunlit insights can be seen breaking out by the well-trained eye...

If you listen closely, you might even understand their calls to truth.

CONFESSIONS OF REAL LIFE CHEATING HUSBANDS


I recently did an online poll on Facebook asking men (only) for their input as to why some men cheat on their partners/spouses.

The answers came flooding in, ranging from genetics, to hormones and hunter-gatherer days, to DNA-built-in-urges to satisfy the need to make lots of descendants, to simply being choice, or a product of one's culture, or social constructs, or even some men saying that the woman is the gift inside the box and that men who just want sex or gratification simply get no farther than pulling off the wrapping from off the gift and never look deeper into the treasure that's inside the person, where other men said that the entire cheating thing is completely done by males who are immature and are not real men at all and do not deserve to be called men, but animals satisfying an urge they refuse to control.

The results of this question of why men cheat were fascinating; I had a number of men send me private messages of some of their stories, and how they experienced some of their personal situations. Many of them were not happy in their marriages, and needed an outlet, or were looking for someone to fill a void. Some merely had wanderlust, or were self-proclaimed horndogs.

I was able to gather a few of the men's stories about small chat sessions they had with some women while they were married or in a steady relationship, without their wive's/partner's knowledge or consent. I have deleted all real names, and also have removed all of the comments from the women since I did not have permission to publish them. The men's responses are below, so here is what a typical (one-sided) conversation about sexual topics might look like (sorry folks, this is NOT the X-rated version... this is clean blogging only! LOL)

KEITH TALKING TO DAVIDA WHO LIVES IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD:

Erect! Haha I wish.
Especially when I am walking around nude... Just in case you wanted a bonus.
Bend you over while eating pizza...?
I'm nude now...
You could stay here if you wish since I am the only one here.
I certainly hope you are getting plenty [of sex] right now?
Still having vegetable sex?
It was really fun being single. Monogamy takes work for me.
Because I don't think I could be with just one person, especially when I wish to sleep with multiple women at once...
I have been considering some older women.
[I got married for] Consistent sex. Trying to do the right thing.
[Marriage is] Nothing special in my opinion.

PATRICK TALKING TO MARY AFTER JUST MEETING ONLINE:

You certainly are an attractive woman.
In the end, it [chemistry] matters.
Are you saying, you feel I am your "soul mate"?
With money, anything can be done.
You are a little older than me which in my mind is good.
I love being in the sack. I have an above average libido.
This has been a most "stimulating" conversation.

PETER WITH ALICIA AND THE SAME THREE LIES HE ALWAYS TELLS WOMEN:

[I am] 49 and separated. [in reality married]
Yes [I live alone]. [in reality living with spouse]
Yes [I want to get remarried].

JESSUP AND NAOMI DISCUSSING HIS MARRIAGE:

You are looking sexier all the time!
You are attractive. It should be easy to find men.
It is based on chemistry. I have an attraction for you, but your feelings are what matter too.
Yes [I'm married], and not entirely happy.
No kids. I just got married three years ago.
A person can be happy married and be happy single. Each has its advantages.
I am not super attracted to her [my wife] but she is a good person.
Sometimes I ask the same thing ["What do you want now?"]
So the point is be happy where you are. It isn't necessarily better to get married.
The relationship is the tougher bit.
Sexual attraction certainly helps... Speaking from experience there.
Loyalty - Probably my partner's best quality.
I am [lucky]. It doesn't necessarily make me entirely content when I could be with a person like you though.
You are young and attractive, and it sounds like you have a good heart.
I really don't know how perfect I am for wanting you.
Not where my sexual attraction is though [my wife].
Why have kids if you are unsure where you want to go? That is how I feel.

It is apparent that these men all have something in common... they are adult men, married, and use the Internet to hide their sexual prowling from their wives (or girlfriend in one case). They also admitted that none of these particular conversations with the "other woman" ever turned into anything physical/real outside of their chat session. I thank them for their candid and revealing chat sessions, because it is something that women who are looking for men online can watch for in their answers--be aware! If a man is cheating on his wife, his chances are much higher to cheat on the next female in line too. Women who are married to these men may find themselves in divorce because the men do not want to change their behaviors, ultimately, or find it too hard (pun intended) to stop. Sex is one of the most commonly addictive behaviors known to man. People search for "sex" on the intarwebs more often than anything other keyword.

Many people have known for years that men who cheat rarely do it just once, and the more they do it the more they get comfortable doing it and are more likely to keep up the behavior. When caught they admitted to me that their reactions can vary, depending--some go into straight out denial, while others turn the conversation around and blame the women for cheating (whether they have cheated or not). Yet others apologize and make ammends and then turn around and do it again next time. Rarely do men stop cheating, but it does happen.

Typically, if it is not in the heart of a man to cheat on his spouse, then he simply will not do it under any circumstance, often times on principle. Others fall prey or go through a stressful time and get close to someone and find themselves in a relationship before they realize what happened.

I will add one comment that came from one of the many women who tried to give answers on my "men only" poll... and that is of monogamy. She said that monogamy is a constructed mode of behavior that promulgates behaviors of hiding (because monogamy does not allow for sex outside the one relationship, ever) and "cheating," whereas open relationships, which are defined by all parties, go in with eyes open and communication equally open, decisions are made together and all persons involved can be happy and accepted without fear or hiding. It is food for thought, but may be not be the answer for all people. It takes a certain level of trust, and also may depend on one's upbringing as to how comfortable one might be to do (or not do) such a thing.

Anyway, I had read something recently that made me ponder the question of why men cheat... so now you know at least some of the reasons why. It appears, at least with the men who chatted above, that their marriages were suffering... but whether because it was truly bad situations, or if it was because their hearts were not in the marriages to begin with, may never be known (I didn't want to pry too far in the end).

If one of these guys above was your husband, what would you do? How do you know if your husband or partner is cheating on you? Perhaps I'll keep these questions for another blog at another time. For now, I will just leave you with bit of better news about monogamy and faithful husbands. One man I spoke to said this about his wife and family, "My wife drives me crazy, but she's good to the kids and me, and I feel she's truly in love with me, which is what I wanted in a relationship. My monogamous relationship comes from he respect I have because the love I feel she gives to me and my children."