One of the key ingredients for any marriage is honesty. It’s challenging building a life with someone we love but can’t trust. Usually when we think about “honesty”, we believe it only covers those substantial situations, like being truthful about finances, how we feel about one another and whether or not we’ve been faithful. We rarely consider the impact of not being honest in the minor areas of our relationships. Trust begins with the basics. The little white lies we tell aren’t as much of a concern as the reason we tell them. Are we hiding something? Do we think our spouse can’t handle our truth? Are we uncomfortable being completely honest with our partner, and if so, why?
Below are a few of those little white lies and the reasons we should avoid them:
1. “No, you don’t look fat in that outfit”. Seems harmless right? Whenever this question arises, our spouse needs an honest answer. Many of us are concerned with how answering truthfully will make our spouse feel. Our partners need to know we are able to advise them in love. Whenever we share our opinion, it’s how we deliver it that matters most. We can tell them the truth and spare their feelings at the same time. Instead of simply answering “yes, you look fat”, how about saying “That outfit is not as flattering to your shape as your blue dress”.
2. “I have a headache and I’m not in the mood” Intimacy is one of the major ways couples connect physically. Our spouse has needs. When we choose to lie about the reasons we aren’t up for being intimate we cheat ourselves and our spouse. Instead, what if we said “I’m just really tired from work and and I can’t seem to muster up the energy to make love.” Even with this being said, we should still seek ways to replenish our missing energy and add intimacy with our spouse to the top of that to-do list.
3. “That new dress in the closet was a gift”. It’s hard to admit we have a problem with spending or sticking to a budget. Lying about our spending habits only makes the situation worse. It costs us financially and jeopardizes the trust being built in the relationship. We have to be honest and ask for help when we struggle. If given the opportunity most spouses can assist in creating a realistic spending plan that works for the household and our shopping habits.
4. “Nope, nothing’s wrong”. Let’s not play this game. If something is bothering you, why not share and provide your partner with an opportunity to correct the situation and their behavior if needed. When we say nothing’s wrong, we’re ensuring that whatever happened will occur again. Instead let’s say “I felt some kind of way when I heard you say… or when this happened…”. Couples need to be solution focused, but that’s challenging when we aren’t honest about what’s bothering us.
Relationships are stronger when both partners can share honestly what’s on their hearts and minds. We should be able to talk about any and everything. Being mindful of how those little white lies can mount up to one big mess is key. Our partners rely on our truth. Remember, it’s always best when it’s delivered in a loving and gentle way of course.